Extending a South African 90-day business visa

extending a south african business visaOur consultants often get queries from foreign nationals who want to extend their South African 90-day business visas. Usually the person is in South Africa and needs more time to wrap things up.

Unfortunately, not knowing what to do could lead to last minute changes to plans or abrupt ends to business trips.

We’re willing to bet this is not the situation you want to be in during your next business visit to South Africa. If we’re right, continue reading…

You can extend your visa in South Africa – but should think twice about doing so

When you first apply for a South African 90-day business visa, you do so in your home country.

Turnaround on these applications are quick. It usually only takes two weeks to receive an outcome. However, things look a little different when it comes to the extension if it’s done in South Africa.

Processing times are inconsistent

The Department of Home Affairs is not known for fast turnaround times or consistent turnaround times. It is quite possible that the outcome of your visa extension will only be issued after your valid visa has expired.

If this outcome is a rejection, you will be deemed undesirable when you leave South Africa and banned from reentry for up to five years. You’d need to appeal this status and only be able to pursue a new visa once the ban has been lifted.

Should you decide to go ahead and apply in South Africa, submit the extension application as quickly as as possible.

Our advice is to do it as soon as you’ve arrived. The Act stipulates that renewals must be done at least 60 days before the expiry date on a visa. Hence, if you do the maths, you’ll see that it is ideal to do apply for an extension within the first 30 days in South Africa.

Please note that following this recommendation puts you in a better position to get your visa extension in time, but does not guarantee it.

Would you like assistance with extending a South African 90-day business visa?

Please feel free to discuss the extension of your visa with one of our consultants. You can reach the Cape Town team on +27 (0) 21 424 2460 and the Johannesburg team is available at +27 (0) 11 234 4275.

Or would you prefer us to contact you instead? We’re more than happy to and all you have to do is request a call back here. It’s that simple.

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