Banned from South Africa

Banned from South Africa – What Now?

News Flash: The overstay endemic continues. Despite the widely publicised issues pertaining to foreigners overstaying their visas to South Africa, the number of people getting banned from South Africa as a result of these overstays continues to rise.

Overturning bans from South Africa on the rise

We are seeing a daily influx of foreigners making contact with our firm in order to overturn bans from South Africa that they and/or their family members have received. These inquiries range from people who have overstayed their visas for medical reasons, to those who have simply failed to check the expiry date of their visas. The period of these overstays can range from a matter of days to years on end and foreigners often hold the erroneous belief that nothing can be done in order to facilitate their quick return to South Africa.

In the event that a foreigner departs South Africa after the expiry of his/her visa, he/she will be issued with a declaration of undesirability at the point of departure. This declaration will contain details pertaining to the duration of the overstay and the ban period. Important to note, is that the declaration also instructs the foreigner in question to submit an overstay appeal to the Department of Home Affairs in the event that he/she would like to contest the ban from South Africa.

How an overstay appeal works

This overstay appeal will need to comprehensively deal with the reasons for the overstay and must provide grounds justifying the overturning of the ban. The Department of Home Affairs has taken a stringent approach to the adjudication of these appeals and it is advisable to enlist the services of experts in order to draft and submit the strongest possible appeal.

In the event that you require further information on how to overturn a ban from South Africa, kindly 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, News, Visit SA, Work in SA and tagged , , .


  1. Hie My name is Skuni ,They banned me to enter SA wat can l do to lift it or their’s a fine l have to pay.please help

  2. I was banned to enter the Republic of SouthAfrica on 17 December 2018 because the immigration officer of stamp number 684 gave me fourteen days on passport but not in the system.On my way back to Zimbabwe, ,to my surprise the officer on duty said you had been overstayed using stamp number 543 to ban me

  3. Hi my name is obvious muleya
    On the seventh of January 2019
    Was banned from entering the country which they told me that my visa is fraudulent,

  4. Hi..I had a travel ban in 2015 and now I want to travel to US this month transit through SA can they allow me to connect my flights to the US

  5. Hi, my name is Josephine. I was banned for overstaying in South Africa in October 2014. Although I was medically unfit to leave the country then when I came to visit my husband. We went to the home affairs department to apply for extension of stay because of my condition. After the application, we followed up several times but we got no response. And inspite of all the paperwork I showed at the airport I was still banned. Can I visit my husband this year and if so in which month.
    Waiting for your response. Many thanks

  6. Jossie is my name. I was banned in 2014 October. Can I visit this year again in April. I need to visit my husband because I will be having my holiday break. Many thanks.

  7. Hello please I need to know what’s the meaning when your visa is stamp by the South Africa immigration in the airport. And is you first time for coming to South Africa. The stamp content is (Reg 11/01/2019 Admission applied for) that was the content of the stamp. Please those that means am banned.or can I buy ticket back? Please advice me

  8. hiii mam or sir…
    my name is nadeem case isbto confuse for me…i have travel to south africa around 5 times entry..wen i was travlling 6th times i dont knw wat happen just they deported me n they put section 34/8 stamp on my pasport…n they didnt scan my passport…can u i can appeal to take out my ban

  9. Hie am miss vee Dale I overstayed In South Africa fr abt 2 years before completing the last year I was banned in sa boarder while I was traveling to Swaziland are there any funds to fix a banned passport coz the year 2019 I need to study here in Sa

  10. Hi there,

    i am a Nigerian, i traveled to South Africa in June 2016 and i applied for a student permit Visa which was refused by the DHA. i later traveled to Nigeria as my Sister was very sick and the family needs my physical presence as a form of support . i traveled out of South Africa on the 21st of October 2016 and the immigration Officer wrote Ref 273(c) on the stamp on my passport.

    what does Ref 273(c) means and how can i Overturn this Ban.

    i wait your swift response .


  11. Hi I’m from Botswana and they banned me to enter SA,so they gave me their email,to ask and tell them my reason I did my best buh still no respond,they banned me for 5 years ,pls help me what can I do now,I still want to visit SA

  12. Hi am David,

    I was recently declared undesirable, for overstaying for more than 30days, but there was no ban stemp in my passport.
    Am i banned? And if i am banned am i allowed to transit the country while travelling abroad? 9lease help.

  13. Hi
    I only recently visited South Africa in February. however at that time i was still a minor visiting my mom. i have just turned 18 in July. i have overstayed for more then a month because my mom was unaware of the new regulations and as a result i have been banned for five years from South Africa. is there any way I can get the ban lifted as i was visiting my mom?
    Please do send feedback.

  14. Hello
    I would like assistance with wavering a barn I received for a fradulant Visa at Or Tambo SA when traveling to Zim I have been staying for 2years and am getting married to a South African man is this at all possible your response would be much appreciated

  15. good day sir/ma my name is john mary am from nigeria,i visited south africa last year october and stayed for 10days and planned to take another trip in april 2018 but was denied and my passport was stamped and also gave me a shit of paper that i have adverse record please sir/ma i would like u to help me in this situation cos i want to visit again but dont know how to go about it.

  16. My passport overstayed and when i left they stamped that i needed to pay 3000 Rands.I never paid that amount.I have got a new passport and i want to travel to SA again.How can i see my current status?Does it mean i need to pay that amount or that i have been banned?

  17. I was caught by the border line making my way to South Africa and I got arrested in September 2015. then I was deported. I was not told how many years was I banned and I was told to go to the South African embassy in Swaziland. where I was told to write an appeal . I e-mailed it but I got no response. please help me of what to do.

  18. Hie my passport was wrongly when l was getting into South Africa .they stamped 26.11.2016 on passport and on there computer they put 20.11.2016 when l was going out they told me l was overstayed going to load in Botswana driving Zim reg so what must l do to get my ban concealed because its already expired but l was denied entry and lost my job l can’t enter for deliveries

  19. Hi dear sir/madam i hope you can help us my parents went india for visite both have Perment Recedance but as per home affairs my mom over stay. 1464 days so she is ban for 5 year’s how can we resolve and home afairs imigration officer kept both of them passports
    If they is solution if we can pay the penalty and make my mom papers legalise !

  20. Hi there, does the ban expires automatically after the date of the ban period or what..please advise.

  21. hi I have any over stay when I went to turn over stay my passport was stamp a feck stamp I notice it when I wanted to re enter and then it stamped section 29 chapter 1 how can I over turn that section

  22. Hie my name is Willard moyo I have a prblm with my pasport was banned to enter in South africa the issue is starting when i depoted from lindela to zimbabwe with my stamped out pasport so I need help what can I do now

  23. I overstayed in SA by 2 days and i have been banned for 1 year, please how can i draft a letter to appeal.

  24. hi, I applied for south African visa through an agent from Nigeria but my application was not only refused my passport was was stamped with black stamp pls just what is the meaning of the black stamp, my agent is not telling me the truth

  25. I have clients who were banned from South Africa for say 2 to 3 years. Where do they send an email to after the expiration of that period to ensure they can now re-enter South Africa? Please advise urgently. Thank you.

  26. Hello there, may i please know if there is any specific proceedings you should follow after your ban period ends or you just re-enter south africa normally. Your response is greatly appreciated

  27. Wha t are reasons why a clearance would be denied for someone who had a work visa and overstayed. He went to Nigeria for a while to check on business and returned to South Africa to check on finances from work done there. Had no problem re-entering. However was denied clearance to depart with one way plane ticket home. He is there on a British work visa and passport. Please tell me what can be done or what happened and how long will it take to fix.

  28. Hello..I got married in February when we were suppose to go for marriage certificate my father inlaw got sick so my husband had to rush back home to Nigeria now they stamped him out for 5years no return is there any way he can come back here in SA. Please advice

  29. Hi my friend was found in possession of fake asylum paper and he also overstayed.He tried to go back to South Africa and was that he has a life ban.Could this be true since his offence was possession of fake papers and overstaying only.If its true that he has a life ban what can be done to uplift this ban.T

  30. hie my name is Victor Mthunzi was denied entry at Beitbridge South African border side due to a fake stamp dated 2013, so am kindly asking for your assistance on how i can clear all that and willing to pay the fine.
    thank you

  31. hie there. I bought a work permit for R5000 only to be told last week when I visited home.the immigration officer wanted to stamp a ban I then explained to him DAT I didn’t know it was fake n he have my surprise I I did almost everything with that permit namely bank accounts,drivers license and income tax number with this permit.pliz help wat can u do i to be legal again.

  32. Hi
    I recently embarked on a trip to Swatziland and my passport was not stamped on my way back to South Africa an Exit stamp was stamped on my passport at the Swaziland border but on getting to the South Africa border my passport was not stamped with Entry Stamp.
    I’m kinda worry, what should I do, Please, I need a help coz, I will still travel to Swatziland since I have a 3month’s multiple entry

  33. Hi there I was banned for 5years because of overstaying it’s now a month is there any chance you can help and how much does it cost me

  34. Hi i am not seeing responses to people who are asking if they can go back to South Africa after 12 months if they were banned for that period.

  35. Good day,Please assist my fiance applied for a work permit with an agency.He wanted to go out of the Country to visit his family only to find out that his permit was fake.He got banned from the Country for 5years.Please kindly assist as we did not know we where corned.

  36. Hello Admin. I left south Africa this year February, to come to Nigeria to see my sick mom and I was banned 5 years. Before leaving I tried doing my permit but didn’t turn out successful and as the only child of my mother I had to come home to be with her. I want to knows if there is a way to get back to south Africa as I already started my life out there and I got a job out there. Pls advise

  37. Hello
    I was banned last year (2016) in May ,for overstaying by just a few hours, for a year. Now that the year has passed (its now July 2017) was wondering if I can now travel to South Africa or I still need to apply for the ban to be lifted first.


  38. Good Day Simone,

    Thank you for contacting us. Please email with this overview and your contact details and an attorney will be in contact with you.

    Kind Regards,
    The SAVisas Team

  39. Hi there,

    I was in South Africa last year (April-Octobre) on a tourist visa and applied for an extension during the first month I arrived in SA.
    I was waiting and waiting for my visa to be processed by VFS but the status never changed. VFS and DHA told me that I can stay in South Africa until i have the results of my visa application. Unfortunatelly I didn’t hear back from them until the time I was supposed to leave the country anyways (Octobre). At the Airport I got banned from South Africa for 5 years, but they also told me I can reverse the ban inbetween the next 10 days. I tried to do that (plenty of emails and phone calls to the DHA) but no one ever respondet or picked up the phone.
    Do you have any ideas what I can do?

    Thanks, Simone

  40. Hie I was banned for five years after using an agent, not knowing he is fake and he gave me fake in my 4th year of the ban, but I miss my family so bad, I’m British can you help?

  41. Hi there
    I overstayed when i visited south african last year and i used one bus driver to get my passport stamped when he got to the boarder but unfortunately when i was coming back home the immigration officers noticed and my passport got stamped ban but there is no time frame on the ban ,how do i go about this ??

  42. hi there,

    I was declared undesirable in 2015 for 1 year. Can I now reenter South Africa (since the ban is over) or is there something I have to do before?

    King Regards

  43. hi, im a south Africa citizen and my husband was banned for overstaying his spouse permit. when we went to Nelspruit home affairs to extend his permit they said we have go to his home country and apply from there. when he left the country he was banned for 5 years at OR TAMBO airport and now he served 2 years away from us but now we are in Pakistan so I just want to know what to do so we can go back home with him. living without him for 2 years was unbearable. please help

  44. Hi Chris

    Thank you for contacting us. Please email with the details of your current visas and your contact details and our consultant will be in contact to discuss the situation.

    Kind regards,
    The SAVisas Team

  45. Hi there
    I applied in May 2014 for a temporary residency visa at the Bellville Home Affairs to live here in Cape Town with my South African wife
    The long wait hasn’t been too much of a problem but I’ve now accepted an offer to sell my house in Australia and I need to travel there by about mid Feb to sign the contract and pack my personal possessions
    How can I travel to Australia for a week and return here without any problems of being declared “undesirable” and possibly facing a ban then having to go through some appeal process
    My wife and I are extremely anxious and would gratefully appreciate any advice

  46. Hi Xholani

    Thank you for contacting us. Please email with this overview of your situation and your contact details and we will get back to you with advice on the matter.

    Kind regards,
    The SAVisas Team

  47. Hi I was delayed at the border in August 2016. I caught a bus from Pretoria to Beitbridge. I was supposed to leave on the 26Aug so I arrived in the early hours of 27th August. I was basically 2hrs late but i was handed a one year ban. I tried to appeal but I didn’t get any response. I can’t even travel in transit via Johannesburg and with the type of work I do, I need to connect in Joburg.

  48. Hi Dell

    Thank you for contacting us. If you have overstayed your visa by less than 30 days, you will be declared undesirable for a period of 12 months.
    If you have overstayed for a second time within a 24 month period, you will be declared undesirable for a period of 2 years.
    If you have overstayed by more than 30 days, you will be declared undesirable for a period of 5 years. You can read more about bans here: If you would like assistance with overturning your ban please email

    Kind Regards,
    The SAVisas Team

  49. My passport has stamped with a stamp then written section 29(1)(F) I don’t know what this means
    I was told it was a ban
    So I would like to inquire how long the ban is for

  50. Hi my daughter born in southafrica but I can made only her passport unfortunately my wife want go back my country some issues she take my daughter go back my contry with out visa permite of my daughter (she have only passport) but my wife have visa permite how can I bring back my daughter she have now one year two month old I have also work permite in southafrica

  51. Hi Kea

    Thank you for contacting us. One of our lawyers has emailed you.

    Kind regards,
    The SAVisas Team

  52. Hi There
    I have a situation with my girlfriend who stayed over for one day extra but what is surprising is that on the passport it mention that the end date was a day before the day she crossed the boarder but on the system it was recorded that its the day she was passing. at boarder control they still banned her and did not want to consider her plea as they mentioned that on the passport its a day before.

    Secondly in this case, is it possible to still get married to her legally in south africa if shes banned from the country and will she gain access.

    Please send me a quotation to understand what it will cost to rectify the situation as well as the time frame. She is pregnant and i would like my child to give birth in South Africa.


  53. Hi Jessey

    Thank you for contacting us. If you overstay your visa, at the point of entry that you are leaving from, the immigration officer will record the ban on your passport on the system with your passport number. You will also be handed an official letter stating your ban.

    Kind regards,
    The SAVisas Team

  54. hello, me and my husband overstayed one day in south africa and were declared undesirable in january 2015, we appealed immediately after getting back to our country with all required documents, but didnt hear frome home affairs. i have read that if you over stay for one day the ban is of 1 year, i wanted to ask that its already been a year so can we travel back as the ban should have been lifted by now.

  55. Hi Anne. We are sorry to hear about your misfortune. We will certainly be in touch. Best, Willem

  56. Hello, I have been banned in december 2015, my son and i. We were staying with my south African partner and came on visitors permit. To extend our permit, we were told to go to a neighbour country, then re- enter to get an extension.Meanwhile, my partner and I were in the process of getting married and applying for “Life Partner Permit”. After a while, the same agent reffered us to a now Non existent “Agency” that took R15000 to make a 6months visitors permit to give us time to deal and finish with all paper works regarding the life partner permit. At my surprise, I left the country in december for holiday, to be found illegal in the country, to top it of,my permits. Where also fake,and got a Ban of 5years. I do not know what to do now, I would like to find a way to reduce this ban for up to a year at least.Please contact me

  57. Hi Zoe, we’re sorry to hear about your situation. Unfortunately South Africa has cracked down on border hopping for visa renewals. One now must fly to a non-neighboring African country in order to have a visitor’s visa extended. You are correct in your assumption that you will be banned from SA. We specialize in matters of this nature, and will be making contact with you by way of email as soon as possible.

  58. Hi there.
    I am contacting you because my husband and I had originally applied for an unabridged marriage certificate and were told that it would only take between 6 and 8 weeks to complete. I am an american citizen and so when we were having no luck with our unabridged certificate I then called the U.S consulate in S.A and asked them if there was a way I could stay until it was processed, they said that I could go to the country of Lesotho and that by coming back into the country I would automatically gain another 90 days. Hearing this news my husband and I were very happy so we canceled our plans to stay in cape town my last week I was here and went to Lesotho instead. We came back after 4 days and assumed everything was fine, to only find out now 3 months later that the entire time I thought I was legally in the country I had been overstaying my welcome. You can understand my husband and I dismay when we heard this news and heard that this could mean me getting banned from the country for up to 5 years. We have absoloutley no idea what to do and in addition to it all we need that unabridged marriage certificate to continue with our plans of him coming to the united states or me returning here even to just visit with my husband. I am scheduled to be leaving the country in about a week and we know that this ban will happen to me whether we didn’t intend to make the mistake or not. We just have no idea what to do after this happens.

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