As per an extended Ministerial exemption, no-one whose visa has expired during or shortly before the lockdown will be penalized. Persons with visas that have expired after 15 February are permitted to stay in the country, leave the country or make an application for a new visa, until 31 January 2021 without being declared illegal, undesirable or having to be legalized first.

Short-term visitors (or “tourist”) visas that have expired during this time will not be extended again. Such tourist visa extensions are only granted to persons who arrived in the country after the re-opening of borders in September. Due to high volumes of applications and limited capacity under Covid-10 restrictions, securing appointments for applications or collections of outcomes has become increasingly difficult. You are welcome to contact us should you require assistance.

Others affected by the travel restrictions and the health risks of traveling during the pandemic may also benefit from concessions. According to information received by Imcosa, permanent residents who have spent an extended time outside the country and were prevented from returning to South Africa during 2020 to avoid the lapsing of their permits (usually the case after an absence from the country of longer than 3 years), will not lose their status. Similarly, persons who have received their permanent residence, but not been able to take up residence in South Africa within the specified period, will not lose their status. Official confirmation of this concession is still being awaited.