Passport Expiring Before Visa? No Need to Panic Just Yet

From Julia Willand, IMCOSA Director

A document from the Department of Home Affairs has been making the rounds and causing quite a ruffle. According to it, persons whose visa were issued for longer than the validity of the passport they are in, can no longer travel with the expired passport that holds the visa plus a fresh passport. Also, the document states that these visa are seen as issued in error and will be withdrawn. All of these pretty little changes, in force “immediately”, are conveyed in a document that is not a formal directive, that is unsigned, and that is headed “business processes” and “guidelines”.

Some service providers in the visa and immigration industry have alerted their clients and urged them to take immediate action. Our research showed that none of these new “rules” have been implemented at airports or VFS offices and that officials are not as yet officially aware of them. Information received today confirms our skepticism as to the legality and weight of this document. The document is said to have been withdrawn and a formal clarifying directive to be issued shortly. Until then, all processes are said to remain as they were.

Although we hope and expect that much of the content of the mentioned document will not make it into the directive, there is a possibility that changes will be made to how expired passports with valid visa will be handled. So do check your passport and see whether your visa is valid for longer than your passport. If so, make contact with us at IMCOSA, and we will keep you in the loop of developments so that you can react quickly and sensibly.