The Minister of Home Affairs in South Africa has issued temporary measures for foreign nationals who have entered South Africa and are awaiting the outcome of their visa or waiver applications, as well as those that need to enter South Africa, those whose visas have expired or are due to expire, and those who are unable to return to their countries of residence due to travel bans.
Key extension dates to note
Waiver applications: Applicants who have waiver applications pending have been granted a temporary extension until 31 March 2022. This is to allow time for the Department of Home Affairs to process the pending applications, and for the applicants to be able to collect their outcomes and submit their relevant visa applications. Applicants who wish to abandon their waiver applications and depart South Africa will be able to do so before or on 31 March 2022 without being declared undesirable.
Visa applications: Applicants who have visa applications pending have been granted a temporary extension on their current visa status and conditions until 31 March 2022. Applicants who wish to abandon their visa applications and depart South Africa will be able to do so on or before 31 March 2022 without being declared undesirable.
Visitor visas: Foreign nationals who entered South Africa from 1 October 2021, and whose visas are about to expire or have expired and are unable to depart from South Africa due to travel restrictions, are granted a temporary extension of their visitor visa until 31 March 2022. The extension will allow these foreign nationals to depart South Africa without being declared undesirable.
Permanent residence permits: Foreign nationals who have been granted permanent residence status but were unable to enter South Africa by 31 December 2021 are granted a temporary extension until 31 July 2022.
The above temporary measures apply only to foreign nationals who have been legally admitted into South Africa.
Written by Ahlisha Yesmariam, Immigration Paralegal, Employment & Compensation Practice, Baker McKenzie Johannesburg