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In brief

The Minister of Home Affairs in South Africa has extended the validity period of legally issued visas, which expired during the period of the national lockdown in South Africa. These visa holders are permitted to remain in South Africa, under the existing conditions of their visas, until the expiry date of their relevant extension.


In more detail

The Minister of Home Affairs in South Africa has issued amendments to the previous concession extending the validity period of legally issued visas, which expired during the period of the national lockdown. These amendments mean that legally issued visas, which expired during the period of the lockdown, are deemed to be valid until the end of June 2021 and July 2021 respectively.

Key extension dates to note include:

  • The validity period for short term visas, such as a tourist visa issued for a period not longer than 90 days, has been extended until 30 June 2021
  • The validity period for asylum and refugee permits has been extended until 30 June 2021
  • The validity period for longer-term temporary visas, issued for a period of three months to three years, has been extended until 31 July 2021

These visa holders are permitted to remain in South Africa, under the existing conditions of their visas, until the expiry date of their relevant extension. Those visa holders that would like to be repatriated to their country within this period, can depart South Africa without being declared undesirable persons. This extension does not apply to people who entered South Africa from 15 March 2021. People admitted into the country from 15 March 2021 must adhere to the normal validity period of their visas.

The Minister is inviting those holders of longer-term temporary visas, which expired during the period of the national lockdown, to renew their visas before 31 July 2021.

The Department of Home Affairs is still to communicate further details on how to renew asylum and refugee permits, while the Refugee Reception Centres remain closed.

Further details regarding the amendments can be obtained by reaching out to your usual contact in the Johannesburg Employment & Compensation

Author

Johan Botes is a partner and heads Baker McKenzie’s Employment Law Practice Group in Johannesburg. He focuses on employment law and labour relations and advises clients on industrial relations, employment negotiations, labour dispute resolution and change management. He also advises companies on organizational restructuring. Prior to joining Baker McKenzie, Mr. Botes was a director and partner at a leading South African law firm.