In July 2022, the Department of Home Affairs granted visa and waiver applicants a visa extension until 30 September 2022 to give it time to process a backlog of applications.
As expected, Home Affairs has had to issue another extension as it’s still experiencing a backlog in processing applications.
1. Applicants whose visa applications are still pending:
If you submitted your visa application to VFS inside South Africa and you’re still waiting on the outcome of your visa application, your previous or existing visa is now valid until 31 March 2023.
While in South Africa, you may only engage in the activity allowed by your visa.
Travelling to and from South Africa
The good news is that under the blanket extension, you can travel out of South Africa without being declared undesirable.
Upon return to South Africa, one of the following would apply to assure entry into the country:
- Visa applicants from visa-exempt countries: Present your VFS receipt at the port of entry for admission into South Africa
- Visa applicants from countries that are visa restricted: You must apply for and be issued a visitors visa before returning to South Africa
2. Applicants whose visa waiver applications are still pending:
If you’re still waiting on the outcome of your visa waiver application, your existing visa is now valid until 31 March 2023.
Should you decide to abandon your application, you’ll be able to leave South Africa on or before 31 March 2023 without being declared undesirable.
Will we see another extension?
It’s interesting to note that Home Affairs issued previous extensions for three months at a time. This time around, Home Affairs is giving themselves an extra six months instead, which could signal that things within the Department are even worse than previously supposed.
Nevertheless, we remain hopeful that things will improve soon.
Contact us for assistance
Please feel free to contact us for advice or assistance with visa applications.
You can reach us at +27 (0) 21 424 2460. Alternatively, request a callback, and one of our immigration consultants will contact you instead. You can expect a call within 24 hours.
Read the directive in full: