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 , , , .


  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 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 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.

  20. 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?

  21. Hi Saul

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

    Kind regards,
    The SAVisas Team

  22. 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

  23. 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.

  24. 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

  25. Hi Sinini

    Thank you for contacting us and sorry to hear about your situation. Please email outlining your situation and include your contact details and a consultant will get in touch.

    Kind regards,
    The SAVisas Team

  26. 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

  27. 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

  28. 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

  29. 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


  30. 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

  31. Hi Clifford

    Thank you for contacting us. Please email this overview to along with your contact details and a specialist will be in contact with you.

    Kind regards,
    The SAVisas Team

  32. 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.

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