By Raphael Oni
The government of South Africa has extended the validity of visas issued that were expired during the lockdown, Short term visa extended to June 30th, 2021 while 31st July, 2021 for long term visas.
The Minister of Home Affairs, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, has issued Directions, in line with the National State of Disaster Regulations, extending the validity period of legally issued visas which expired during the lockdown period to 30 June 2021 for short-term visas, issued for a period not longer than 90 days, such as a tourist visa. The validity of longer-term temporary visas (issued for three months to three years), is until 31 July 2021.The Directions extend the initial validity period extension of 31 March 2021. This means that visas that were lawfully issued and expired during the period of the lockdown are deemed to be valid until the end of June 2021 and 31 July 2021.03.30
The government says Holders of such visas are permitted to remain in the country under the conditions of their visas until the expiry of their applicable extension. Those wishing to be repatriated to their countries within this period can depart without being declared undesirable persons.
The extension does not apply to people who entered the country from 15 March 2021. The normal validity period of visas of people admitted into the country from 15 March 2021 applies.
Holders of longer-term temporary visas such as study visa, treaty visa, business visa, medical treatment visa, relatives’ visas, general work visa, critical skills work visa, retired person’s visa and exchange visa, which expired during the State of National Disaster are invited to renew their visas at www.vfsglobal.com/dha/southafrica before 31 July 2021.
Refugee Reception Centres remain closed. The validity of asylum and refugee permits has been extended until 30 June 2021. In due course, the Department will communicate details of an online service to renew these permits.