The Department of Home Affairs published new regulations today, 26 March 2021, in Government Gazette 44335.
A year ago, special visa concessions were announced which automatically extended visas which expired during the state of disaster.
The ongoing state of disaster was announced on 15 March 2020.
The visa concessions allowed foreign nationals to remain in the country for as long as they chose to do so, subject to the concession criteria.
New concessions announced
The March 2021 visa concessions extend all tourist and s11(2) business visas which expired during the state of disaster, to 30 June 2021.
No other visa types have been extended. However, visa holders (other than tourist and s11(2) business visa holders) have been afforded a four-month grace period, to 31 July 2021, within which to apply for new visas or leave the country.
The holders of study, treaty, business, medical treatment, work (general work, critical skills and intra-company transfer), retired person or exchange visas whose visas expired during the state of disaster will therefore not be deemed to be in possession of valid visas after 1 April 2021.
However, applicants may apply for new visas until 31 July 2021.
No further concessions have been made for persons issued with visas or permits on or after 15 March 2021.
No further concessions expected
Our clients are advised not to expect further visa concessions.
Any person who entered South Africa on or after 15 March 2021, or who was issued with a visa or permit on or after 15 March 2021, will not be granted any further concessions.
The holders of study, treaty, business, medical treatment, work (general work, critical skills and intra-company transfer), retired person or exchange visas which expired during the state of disaster and who thus far were covered by the visa concessions are advised to contact their immigration service providers immediately.
We expect that the next four months will see many foreign nationals renewing their visas. Applicants are advised to book submission appointments as soon as possible to avoid disappointment.
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We can help you with all Visa Applications in South Africa. We also feature a Free Online Assessment to help you determine your current status and which steps to take next. Contact Le Roux Attorneys today to assist you with any visa enquiries or questions.
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