The Minister of Home Affairs, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, has extended the validity period of legally issued visas which expired during the lockdown period to 30 September 2021 for short-term visas, issued for a period not longer than 90 days, such as a tourist visa.
The validity period of longer-term temporary visas issued for three months to three years which expired during the lockdown has also been extended until 30 September 2021.
Directions communicating these amendments, in line with the National State of Disaster Regulations, will be gazetted by 30 June 2021.
This means that visas or permits of holders who have not departed South Africa since the announcement of the National State of Disaster in March 2020, and arrived with a valid visitor’s visa between December 2019 and 14 March 2021, are deemed to be valid until the end of September 2021.
Holders of such visas are permitted to remain in the country under the conditions of their visas until the expiry of their applicable extension. Those wishing to be repatriated to their countries within this period can depart without being declared undesirable persons.
The extension does not apply to people who entered the country from 15 March 2021. The normal validity period of visas of people admitted into the country from 15 March 2021 applies.
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 invited to renew their visas at www.vfsglobal.com/dha/southafrica before 30 September 2021.
Refugee Reception Centres remain closed. The validity of asylum and refugee permits has been extended until 30 September 2021.
Asylum seekers and refugees are encouraged to continue renewing their permits via the online platform.
As of 25 June 2021, the Department had approved the extension of 9 788 Section 24 (refugee status) and 28 249 Section 22 (asylum seeker permits) since the online extension system was activated in April 2021.
Holders of a visa or permit must adhere to the terms and conditions of their visa and any activity not endorsed onto such visa or permits is prohibited.