Visa extension until 30 September 2022 for visa and waiver applicants

In April of this year, the Department of Home Affairs granted visa and waiver applicants a visa extension until 30 June 2022.

Home Affairs had to issue this extension because of the severe backlog at its offices. The extension was supposed to give Home Affairs more time to process applications.

Unfortunately, Home Affairs is still experiencing a severe backlog in the processing of visa and visa waiver applications and the Department has therefore issued another blanket visa extension.

1. Applicants whose visa applications are still pending:

If you submitted a 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 30 September 2022.

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 port of entry 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 30 September 2022.

Should you decide to abandon your application, you’ll be able to leave South Africa on or before 30 September 2022 without being declared undesirable.

How long are applications taking?

Home Affairs usually takes 6 to 8 weeks to process temporary residency visa applications.

Unfortunately, applicants now wait between 8 to 10 months on average to receive outcomes on their applications!

Why is Home Affairs taking so long?

There are various reasons for the severe backlog in visa and permit processing, not least an internal investigation into fraud and corruption within the Department of Home Affairs.

Home Affairs Minister Aaron Motsoaledi has said he’ll share the investigation’s findings with MPs on Friday, 8 July.

In response to the findings of the international investigation, Home Affairs is in the process of determining and implementing new systems in an attempt to curb fraud and corruption.

No light at the end of the tunnel yet

There is no way of telling when Home Affairs will clear the backlog. They have made promises in the past about timelines but didn’t manage to stick to them.

We expect that Home Affairs will issue another blanket visa extension if it hasn’t made enough progress by 30 September.

Please feel free to contact us in the meantime 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.