We get phone calls every day from foreign nationals who only have a day or two left on their visa, or whose visas have expired.
Neither of these are situations you want to be in. South African visa renewals could take months to finalise, which means you might have to leave South Africa.
That’s if you still have a couple of days left on your visa. If your visa has expired, you’re in the country illegally and you could very well be declared undesirable and banned from the country.
You have to plan ahead
You can’t sit back and relax once you have your visa for South Africa. Instead you have to ensure that you understand the renewal process, know what’s necessary and when to start the renewal to do so in good time.
The good news? You don’t have to do it all on your own – we can help you. We’ll tell you how in a second but first we’re going to share the top 6 things you have to know about South African visa renewals:
1. All requirements must be met again
To qualify for an extension of a visa, you must again be able to meet all the requirements. This includes any criteria added or updated since your original visa application.
Should you be unable to meet any requirements, your visa renewal might be rejected.
2. Keep your passport up to date
It is crucial to see to it your passport is valid at all times, because you won’t be able to apply for a renewal otherwise.
3. Applications must be submitted at least 60 days before the expiry date of the visa
Remember earlier we mentioned that only having a couple of days left on your visa is an undesirable situation? It’s because the Department of Home Affairs stipulate that South African visa renewals should be submitted at least 60 days before the expiry of your current visa.
That doesn’t mean however that you can’t submit a renewal earlier. You can, but it has to be within the final 6 months of the validity of the existing visa.
4. Renewals must be submitted in South Africa
Renewals cannot be made outside of South Africa. Instead, Home Affairs stipulate that renewals must be submitted at a VFS application centre in South Africa.
5. Start early
You don’t only plan ahead, you also start early. Our advice? Start preparing for your renewal as soon as possible. For some visas, like work visas, starting as far in advance as 12 months before the expiry date of the existing visa is recommended.
How can we help with South African visa renewals?
We promised we’ll tell you how we can help with visa renewals and we stick to our promises. Hence, without further ado, here is how our immigration team can assist with your visa renewal:
- Determine if you still qualify.
- Discuss your options with you.
- Advise you best on the route forward.
- Assist you with your paperwork.
- Help you understand the rules and regulations.
- Ensure a better chance of success.
Sound good? Then you should contact us
If you want to tackle your visa renewal with our experts by your side, simply give us a call on either +27 (0) 21 424 2460 or +27 (0) 11 234 4275. Our team will be more than happy to answer your questions and help you to start preparing for you renewal application.
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