The Department of Home Affairs has granted another extension to temporary visas that expired during the lockdown. The big news of the month, however, is that we finally have a date for the reopening of permanent residency applications!
Temporary visa extension until 30 September 2021
The Department of Home Affairs has extended the validity period of different categories of temporary visas which expired during the lockdown to 30 September 2021!
This extension enables all qualifying visa holders to remain in South Africa under the conditions of their visa until 30 September.
Anyone who’d prefer to return to their country within the validity extension period can depart South Africa without being declared undesirable.
Do I qualify for the extension?
The Department of Home Affairs will apply the extension to:
- short-term visas issued for not longer than 90 days, such as tourist visas and longer-term temporary visas issued for three months to three years, and
- for visa or permit holders who have not departed South Africa since the announcement of the National State of Disaster in March 2020, and who arrived in South Africa with a valid visitor’s between December 2019 and 14 March 2021.
What if I arrived in South Africa on or after 15 March 2021?
Unfortunately, the latest visa extension does not apply to anyone who entered South Africa from 15 March 2021. The normal validity period of your visa applies instead.
What if I’m a longer-term temporary visa holder and my visa expired during the National State of Disaster?
Holders of longer-term temporary visas, issued for 90 days up to three years, such as study visa, treaty visa, business visa, medical treatment visa, relatives’ visas, general work visa, critical skills work visa, retired person’s visa and exchange visa, which expired during the State of National Disaster are encouraged to renew their visas before 30 September 2021.
What about refugees and asylum seekers?
The Department of Home Affairs has also extended the validity of asylum and refugee permits until 30 September 2021. The Department is encouraging both groups to continue renewing their permits via the online platform as Refugee Reception Centres remain closed.
New PR applications open on 1 January 2021
The Department of Home Affairs has finally announced when applications for new permanent residency applications open. The date to put in your calendar is 1 January 2021!
Permanent residence appeals and proof of PR applications open sooner. You can submit your appeals or applicants from 1 October.
Contact us if you need assistance
Please do not hesitate to ask for assistance with renewing your longer-term temporary visa or with applying for PR! You can reach our team at +27 (0) 21 424 2460.
Alternatively, send us a online call back request and one of our consultants will contact you instead. Our consultants are also available to answer any questions you have about the visa extension.
Click here to read the official Government Gazette: Government Gazette 30 June 2021