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