Home Affairs extends visas in South Africa – what you should know

Home affairs minister Dr Aaron Motsoaledi has extended the validity period of legally issued visas which expired during the lockdown period.

The new expiration date for short-term visas, such as tourist visas, is now 30 September 2021.

The validity period of longer-term temporary visas issued for three months to three years which expired during the lockdown has also been extended until 30 September 2021, the minister said

Directions communicating these amendments, in line with the national state of disaster regulations, will be gazetted by 30 June 2021.

“This means that visas or permits of holders who have not departed South Africa since the announcement of the national state of disaster in March 2020, and arrived with a valid visitor’s visa between December 2019 and 14 March 2021, are deemed to be valid until the end of September 2021,” the Department of Home Affairs said.

“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 department said that the extension does not apply to people who entered the country on or after 15 March 2021 and that the normal validity period of visas of people admitted into the country from this date still applies.

Holders of longer-term temporary visas, issued for 90 days up to three years, 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 can renew their visas here.


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Home Affairs extends visas in South Africa – what you should know