South Africa’s new Home Affairs Minister, Dr Leon Schreiber, has extended a temporary concession for foreign nationals awaiting decisions on visa applications, waivers, and appeals. This move aims to protect applicants from negative consequences while the Department of Home Affairs works to reduce processing backlogs.

What the Extension Means for Applicants

  • Waiver Applications: Those with pending applications as of June 30, 2024, will have an extension until December 31, 2024. This allows them to remain legally in South Africa while the department processes their applications.

  • Long-Term Visa Applications: Applicants for business, study, spouse, or work permits will also receive an extension of their current visa status until December 31, 2024. They can stay and continue their authorised activities while waiting for a decision.

  • Visa Appeal Applications: Similar to long-term visa applications, those appealing a rejected visa application will be granted a temporary extension until December 31, 2024, to maintain their current visa status.

Travel During the Extension Period

  • Applicants can travel freely and return to South Africa until December 31, 2024, provided they have the necessary documentation. Non-visa-exempt applicants must obtain a port of entry visa to re-enter the country.

Important Notes

  • This concession only applies to those who entered South Africa legally and submitted their applications through VFS Global with a verifiable receipt.
  • Short-term visa holders (90 days or less) seeking a renewal must depart within 90 days of their visa expiry to avoid being declared undesirable.

A Signal of Improvement

This extension signals the department’s commitment to improving the visa application process and making South Africa more welcoming to international investment, tourism, and skilled workers. The Minister has also pledged to avoid announcing future extensions after concessions expire.

Please use the following link to read the concession document directly from the Department of Home Affairs – Extension of Temporary Visa Concession.

Should you have any further questions, please feel free to contact Visa Immigration SA

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