The Department of Home Affairs, its service provider VFS Global and most South African Embassies and Consulates abroad are open for short- and long-term visa applications, waivers and appeals. In fact, local visa applications are being processed comparatively fast. Permanent residence results are being issued and can be collected.
However, due to the restrictions of Covid-19 regulations, offices can only work with a much-reduced staff contingent and thus at a lower capacity. Thus, applications for permanent residence and citizenship are not yet possible (with few exceptions which accept citizenship applications). Understandably, managing large numbers of people safe during this time is a challenge. Every Covid case on-premise leads to the closing of an office for 7-10 days, which further increases the pressure on the system. We, therefore, feel that the appeal for our patience is a reasonable one. We are hoping that further applications will open during the first term of 2021.