Visa Overstay South Africa

Visa Overstay South Africa – How will you pay?

A year has passed since the amended Immigration Act and regulations came into effect and we are still seeing people overstaying their South African visas on a regular basis. One of the more common reasons for a visa overstay in South Africa is that many foreigners still hold the erroneous belief that they will be able pay a fine upon departing.

Overstay Act South Africa

Section 50(1) of the Act prior to amendment stipulated that a foreigner who leaves South Africa after the expiry of his or her visa will be liable for a fine not exceeding R3000.00. Many international travelers saw this option as a much easier and cost-effective option in comparison to the rigmorale of submitting an extension application at the Department of Home Affairs (“DHA”). This appears to have fostered a casual approach to the offence of overstaying one’s visa and we are still seeing the residual effects of this practice today.

What happens when you overstay in South Africa

The above mentioned fine, however, pales in comparison to the harsh penalties currently being implemented.  A visa overstay under the amended Act will result in a ban from South Africa for up to five years in most cases. Foreigners who have grown accustomed to the previous practice are understandably being caught out by this law change and are finding themselves at the mercy of DHA when it comes to their chances of returning to South Africa.

What to do when you’ve overstayed in South Africa

If you have fallen into the South African visa overstay trap, it is advisable to enlist the services of experts in order to draft and submit an overstay appeal. If the appeal is successful, you will be in a position to apply for a new visa and return to South Africa. In the event that you require assistance, do not hesitate to contact our offices.

Speak to a professional

Contact Le Roux Attorneys, South African Visa specialists about your visa application. Start by selecting one of the enquiry options below

 

Posted in blog, Legal Advice, Live In SA and tagged , , , .

86 Comments

  1. Please assist me.I overstayed in South Africa before the new regulations were introduced.I had not yet paid the fine.So when i go there now,am i going to be allowed to pay the fine and proceed with my journey?

  2. You will need to do a status check with your closest SA embassy to determine if you are still banned and whether you can return to SA.

  3. I overstayed my visa by one day in 2013 and got fined R80 which I never paid. How do I pay it and will I be allowed back to SA?

  4. I submitted my application for my retired persons permit renewal on Wednesday, June 8, 2016 at Nelspruit. My current permit only has 43 days validity, expiring on July 19, 2016. I submitted a letter explaining that the late submission was due to a delay by SAPS in getting my police clearance certificate back in time. The office in Nelspruit told me that the letter was unnecessary, but I asked them to enclose it anyway. My question is this: if I leave South Africa prior to my current permit expiring and then return shortly after it has expired will I be granted a standard 90 day tourist visa so I can wait for my renewal to be approved? The office in Nelspruit advised against this and told me I should just wait for the application outcome in South Africa, even though that will result in me overstaying my current permit. If my renewal is rejected for some reason I understand I will then be in South Africa on an expired permit, and declared ‘undesirable’ when I leave. This is all very confusing. Please advise me on my best course of action.

  5. My passport was banned for 4 years after I was waiting for my permit .The immigration officer didn’t even check my paper for waiting list he just stamp ban on my passport what can I do my husband is working in S.A .

  6. Hi Eugene. We would never recommend that you overstay your visa for any reason whatsoever. We would advise staying on the right side of the law to avoid possible consequences.

  7. Hi ,may you please help how do l overturn a passport overstayed because of a wrong stamp is it possible to pay for that or l have to wait for 5 years to come back to S A,Your help will be much appreciated…

  8. If you were banned for a year and have served the ban what do you do to overturn the ban or hold on your passport?

  9. Hi Derek. Since you have served your ban, you do not have to overturn your ban anymore and it will no longer affect your visa application process.

  10. Hello admin

    I have over stay in 2014 which I am not come with my passport but I come back to my country with TC document my passport data is there also, now I wanted to apply for visa this august it’s possible for me to be ban or not going to be showing?

  11. Hi, I am departing from harare Zimbabwe to sydney australia and the plane passes through south africa. Will my over stayed passport affect my jorney

  12. Hi, I am departing from harare Zimbabwe to sydney australia and the plane passes through south africa. Will my over stayed passport affect my jorney

  13. Hi, um departing from harare Zimbabwe to sydney australia, the plane passes through south africa, will my overstayed passport affect my jorney. Please let me know

  14. Hi Beke

    Thank you for contacting us. In our experience, none of our clients have had an issue with passing through South Africa but we would advise that you call the airport in South Africa and ask the immigrations officer if there will be an issue.

    Kind regards,
    The SAVisas Team

  15. Hi, I was given a day while transiting from SA to Swaziland but I lost my bag in a texi while departing from The airport to Swaziland but I was lucky to get the passport back by a Good Samaritan whom help me see the passport and send it to me in Swaziland. What is my chances of not being Penalized if I am Traveling back home

  16. Hi Keny

    Thank you for contacting us. Please email this outline of your situation and your contact details to matt@lr-inc.co.za and a specialist will contact you.

    Kind regards,
    The SAVisas Team

  17. Hello Admin,

    I have over stay for 3weeks in south Africa and I want to go out…
    What will be my fine?

  18. Hello,
    I was issued a one year ban last year. It’s been over a year now. How does this affect my visa application as I want to apply for a study visa?

    Thank you.

  19. Hello I overstayed in 2012 and my passport expired. I didn’t get it stamped upon my exit,now I applied for new passport and I want to visit South Africa will I be allowed to enter with the new passport?

  20. Hi Saul

    Thank you for contacting us. You may need to check your status in South Africa just to be sure. Please email matt@lr-inc.co.za and outline of your situation and your contact details and he will advise you on this situation.

    Kind regards,
    The SAVisas Team

  21. Hi Aroogz

    We have followed up and we have replied. Please try checking your spam inbox in your email? If you cannot find the reply email, please send us an alternate email address.

    Kindest regards,
    The SAVisas Team

  22. My passport was stolen in Messina,in 2012 April while I was on my way to home.I reported it same time in Messina police station, and l was asked to write and sign the affidavit with all relevant information. When l later found my passport in my country of resident in 2014.l tried to use it to cross to SA.But l told that am prohibited to cross to South Africa until l pay 3000rands in SA embassy. l presented my affidavit and l was told to appeal with the department.Help please.

  23. Was banned for 1yr in 2014 nw i want to return to s.a from Zimbabwe is there any fine I’ve to pay at the embassy or port of entry,what’s the proceedure ?wl the ban be automatically removed

  24. Hi Sinini

    Thank you for contacting us and sorry to hear about your situation. Please email immigration@lr-inc.co.za outlining your situation and include your contact details and a consultant will get in touch.

    Kind regards,
    The SAVisas Team

  25. Hi Knowledge

    Thank you for contacting us. The ban does not lapse automatically. Please email matt@lr-inc outlining your situation and include your contact details and he will get back to you about the procedure moving forward.

    Kind regards,
    The SAVisas Team

  26. hi,l overstayed in South Africa in 2013 and was fined R3000,00,l want to pay the fine now but l lost my fine notice,will l be able to pay my fine without the notice.please help

  27. Hi Naom

    Thank you for contacting us. You will still be able to pay your fine at the embassy or point of entry. They should have a record of your fine on the system. Your best bet is to go to the embassy and just explain that you have a fine but you’ve lost the notice and that you want to pay it.

    Kind Regards,
    The SAVisas Team

  28. hello admin

    I am still in SA in a situation of overstay and I lost my passport but now I want to go home. What is the process I should follow? Thanks for assistance

    Tiana

  29. Just got a 1 year ban to enter South Africa the reason is I over stay with 1 day .enter South Africa on the 06 /10 / 16 then on the 09/ 10/ 16 they said I have over stayed because on 08/09/16 I enter South Africa was given a mouth visa within the same mth have made 3 visit in and out South Africa then when I enter on 06/ 10 / 16 I tell the lady that was serving me that I Wat 7 day then I overlooked thinking everything is fine got shock of my life was told I overstayed on the 09/ 10/16 now I am purchaseing offecer who regularly buy from South Africa I can even attach inovces in my name can’t stand the 1 year ban how best can u assistance me

  30. Hi Clifford

    Thank you for contacting us. Please email this overview to matt@lr-inc.co.za along with your contact details and a specialist will be in contact with you.

    Kind regards,
    The SAVisas Team

  31. Hi there

    i overstayed in South Africa in 2009 and paid a fine of R 1500, l just want to know if this information is in the database.. l am applying for a UK visa and mentioning this overstay will reduce my chances but if the UK immigration find out they will reject my application.

  32. Hi. I lost my passport in south Africa and I didn’t find it then Iast year December I wanted to go home I applied for a emergency travelling document at zim embassy when I get to the border the lady jus serve me with a form of being undesirable she said I ve been banned for 5 years now I’ve got a new passport and I want to go to SA what should I do

  33. Hi Leftie

    Thank you for contacting us. Please email this overview to matt@lr-inc.co.za with your contact details and he will be in contact with you with advice on your situation.

    Kind regards,
    The SAVisas Team

  34. I missed my flight to Libreville and there is only one flight per day. now I have to catch the flight on the next day. what is my fate? banned for how long? I have proofs I was at the airport.

  35. I missed my flight on the last day of my visitor visa. And now I have to catch the next flight on the following day. What will be my fate? Banned for how long?

  36. Hi Mary

    Thank you for contacting us. If you have overstayed your visa for 1 day because you missed your flight, you will be issued a ban of 1 year when you leave the South African port of entry. You can then appeal the ban if you wish. If you need assistance with your appeal please email matt@lr-inc.co.za.

    Kind regards,
    The SAVisas Team

  37. Hi Cara

    Thank you for contacting us. If you have overstayed your visa for 1 day because you missed your flight, you will be issued a ban of 1 year when you leave the South African port of entry. You can then appeal the ban if you wish. If you need assistance with your appeal please email matt@lr-inc.co.za.

    Kind regards,
    The SAVisas Team

  38. Hallo i have a question my wife ( latvian ) and myself (south african)travelled to south africa in 2009 with her visitor visa valid for 6months but we stayed for 34 days only, but there was a condition on the visa of 30days in then to reenter that we did not see. On the border we recieved a R1500 fine and told we should pay when we next terurn to south africa.
    We want to go to south africa again in couple of weeks time what should we do pay the fine in uk before we apply for her visa as she got a new passport now as we got married and dont have old passport anymore ? Will she get banned for only paying it now? And will this affect her abbilty to get a visa?

  39. Hi Martin

    Thank you for contacting us. Please email this overview, any more questions you have and your contact details to matt@lr-inc.co.za and he will get back to you.

    Kind regards,
    The SAVisas Team

  40. I’m a nigerian,i am 6 month overstay in south africa, my passport was stolen and didn’t make a police report. I want to go back to my country,i am short of cash to pay a fine. What can I do?

  41. I had dzp permit and did not apply for zsp (Zimbabwe special permit) in 2015. What can I do now in order to apply for another work permit? What are the penalties for overstaying?

  42. Hie l overstayed in south Africa for 2days and was given one year ban. It is over now and l need to know if l will be asked to pay money if l go to harare and how much is it because l stay in bulawayo

  43. Good day

    I would like know if my application to lift the ban of undesirsble has been received, I have tried many times calling the office line but no body answers the phone or replies back the email we sent the department. I was charged with overstaying on the 10 September 2016 for overstaying three days but I was there on duty doing my refresher training for Mine Rescue Service. I have just missed my quaterly training as a Proto Member. Please kindly assist me the lines or email where i can get help from.

    Regards.

  44. Hi Kabelo

    Thank you for contacting us. Please email matt@lr-inc.co.za with this overview and include your contact details and he will get back to you with advice on the matter.

    Kind Regards,
    The SAVisas Team

  45. Please Assist

    I Entered South Africa on August 19, 2014 for a Visit and while in South Africa i wanted to apply for a residence permit but unfortunately i was duped. I tried to transfer my money from My Malawian Account to the Account of a fellow Malawian who had been in South for a while but that friend disappeared after the money entered in his account so i had no other way of processing residence documents. As such i overstayed and ever since i have been trying to only put bread on the table .

    So please how can you help me with the overstay so that i can apply for permit? I am still in South Africa.

  46. Hi Maxwell

    Thank you for contacting us. Sorry that you were duped. Please email matt@lr-inc.co.za with your contact details and he will get back to you with advice on the matter.

    Kind Regards,
    The SAVisas Team

  47. Hello my name is Vumile a south African man married a Malawian woman, we are still in process of getting spouse permit as we are married in Malawi already, now is it possible to stamp out from any border and come back before her expirely date? she is suppose to be out on the 4th January and we don’t have money for her to go back to Malawi

  48. Hi.
    Does anyone kmow if there is a way of getting the Rapatriation deposit back after that you overstau? Thank you

  49. Hi Vumile

    Thank you for contacting us. You can use any port of entry to leave South Africa before the date of expiry and you will not receive a ban on her passport.

    Kind regards,
    The SAVisas Team

  50. Goodday,
    i entered SA in Februabry with study permit that will expire on Dec 31st. i have applied for renewal since October and havent gotten it yet. my wedding is coming up in Nigeria early January and DHA is closing for christmas at the end of this week (23/12/16). i am very hopeful i get the permit this week but if that fails, pls what do i do?

  51. My wife and I both have South African passports, but we live n the USA. Our three children have US Passports. In 2012 my wife was forced to stay in SA longer than three months because of Immigration issues she had here in the US. When that was finally resolved, we were told that we had to pay R3,000.00 per child because they were in SA longer than three months. The children are all minors, and as I mentioned both their parents have SA passports. We never paid the R3,000.00 per child, We are planning on going to visit again in January. Will the allow the children back into the country?

  52. Hi Fela

    Thank you for contacting us. A blanket extension was granted for all tertiary education study permits that expire before or on the 31st of December, which allows you to depart before the 31st of March 2017 without receiving a ban, read more here: http://www.savisas.com/blog/international-students-given-blanket-extension-due-protests/. However, they have not made it clear whether you can return during the extension.

    For more information please email immigration@lr-inc.co.za.

    Kind regards,
    The SAVisas Team

  53. Hi Jo

    Thank you for contacting us. You need to go to your closest South African embassy to find out if there is a ban on their passports or if the fines still stand, you can pay the fines if they are still outstanding. You can also work on registering your children in South Africa and try getting them dual citizenship.

    If you need any more information please email immigration@lr-inc.co.za.

    Kind regards,
    The SAVisas Team

  54. I overstayed in south africa with 20minutes on the 3rd of january 2015 and was given a 1year ban. My ban ended on 3rd january 2016.now l want to apply for a study permit and l send an appeal to the home affairs in september 2016.what can l do now and how do l know if my ban was cleared?

  55. Hi Melissah

    Thank you for contacting us. You will need to obtain a waiver letter from the Department of Home Affair before you return to South Africa.

    Kind Regards,
    The SAVisas Team

  56. Hello
    I have overstayed my visa for just 2 weeks and i want to go home now and i was told i will be ban and i don’t want to be banned please is there a way i can go about it here.

  57. Hi Meshach

    Thank you for contacting us. You will, unfortunately, receive a ban on your visa. The length of the ban will depend on how long you have overstayed at the time you exit at the port of entry. You have the option to then appeal the overstay ban. Please email matt@lr-inc.co.za with this overview and your contact details and a specialist will be in contact to discuss the matter.

    You can read more about overstay appeals here: http://www.savisas.com/visa-overstay-appeal-south-africa/

    Kind regards,
    The SAVisas Team

  58. Hi there. I applied in May 2014 at the Bellville Home Affairs for a temporary residents visa to live here with my South African wife
    I’ve contacted Home Affairs countless times in the last 2 years to enquire about my application. They say that it’s still pending.
    Recently I’ve had an offer to buy my house in Australia and I have accepted the offer. I need to return to Aust by about mid Feb to personally sign the contract and pack my possessions
    My wife and I are stressed and nervous about me being declared undesirable when exiting and having to wait months for an appeal to be heard by Home Affairs. When my focus should be on the sale of the property and selling, shipping to SA, and giving away my possessions, our focus/worry is about me being declared undesirable and not being able to return to be with my wife swiftly
    I want to buy a return ticket, but would hate to not be able to use it whilst awaiting an appeal. Is there anything I should ask from HA that may assist me. How long may one of these appeals last
    Any advise you can give would be appreciated
    Kind regards Chris Habel

  59. Hi Chris

    We understand your concern. Please email our specialist matt@lr-inc.co.za with this overview and your contact details and he will get back to you to discuss your options.

    Kind regards,
    The SAVisas Team

  60. Hi,

    My visitor’s visa will expire on February 6th and my flight home is on February 14th. If I go to Zim for two days before the 6, how many more days will I get when returning to South Africa?

    Thank you

  61. Hi, please where and how can one pay a fine that was issued for an overstay.? Must it be paid before applying for another visa? She travelled sometime in 2013 and overstayed a few days. She was fined so she wants to know where to pay the fine because she wants to go back. Thanks

  62. Hi Stacey,

    What happens if i tried to extend my critical skills work visa before it expired but because of SA police clearance confusion (between the old and new automatic method done at VFS — which while i went there to do it, i was told it has been suspended), as a result, i couldn’t submit / extend my visa and it expired Dec 31, 2016. I now have the police clearance done the old way and issued in Jan 2017 but unfortunately now, i’ve over-stayed my visa — since it has expired and therefore couldn’t submit my application for extension.

    I’ve filled-in the forms and done all what is required at DHA regarding the over-stay reasons / visa extension but when ever i go to DHA to get the decision, they keep telling me to come after a month that they don’t know when the decision would be out.

    Is there an alternative way to address this issue, as this is taking long and becoming uncertain?

    Regards and thanks in advance for your advice.

    Paulo

  63. Hello
    I have overstayed my visiting days for 2 weeks but my visa is still valid, I want to know if i would receive ban or fine ? please is there a way i can go about it here.

  64. Hello,

    I overstayed my visa in march 2014 for 3 weeks. They told me to pay the fine at home. But I lost it. It has been almost 3 years and now I have a wedding next week and want to travel to Capetown. Where can I pay my fine?
    I am dutch but living in the US

  65. I am a Nigeria and i lost my passport and i want to go home because my cousin just pass away i want to know if i can use TC and when i reach Nigeria i will get my passport back please get back to me fast i need to travel home this week

  66. hello
    My parents are leaving SA on friday. They have over stayed they stay by 4 months, due to ill health, they dont have a physical visa only what is stamped in their uk passports. Are they going to be fined? if so how much and do they have to pay it before they leave the county?
    They are elderly and im concerned.

    They have perm resident but it is in their old UK passports, but they do have them with them, will this help? Their ID numbers are still valid in SA even though they dont have them.

    Please advise

    Tracey

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