The Department of Home Affairs (DHA) in South Africa has issued a new directive. The directive allows foreigners in South Africa with pending waiver and long-term visa applications to remain in the country until 31 December 2023. The directive has an immediate effect.
The temporary measures are granted due to the backlog the DHA is experiencing in processing outcomes on waiver and visa applications.
The DHA implemented the following Temporary Measures
Waiver applications outcomes still pending
Long-term Visa holders, that is, work, business, study, relative and accompanying spouse, who have applied for a waiver and the waiver applications are still pending on 31 March 2023, will get a temporary extension until 31 December 2023. This extension will allow DHA to process the applications and for applicants to collect the outcomes and submit applications for appropriate visa renewals. Persons in this situation who wish to abandon their waiver applications and leave South Africa can do so and exit at a port of entry before or on 31 December 2023 without being declared undesirable.
Visa applications still pending
Long-term visa holders, that is, work, business, study, relative and accompanying spouse, who form part of the visa backlog applications, get a temporary extension to their current visa status until 31 December 2023. Applicants in this position cannot engage in any other activity other than what the visa conditions allow for. Persons in this situation who wish to abandon their visa application and leave South Africa can do so and exit at a port of entry before or on 31 December 2023 without being declared undesirable. Non-visa exempted applicants who travelled out of South Africa with a receipt are required to apply for a visitor visa. This visa will allow them to enter the country to await the outcome of their visa extension.
Short-term Visa Holders
Short-term visa holders whose visas were issued for less than 90 days and have not received their visa extension outcomes by 31 March 2023 must make arrangements to depart on or before 30 April 2023. Otherwise, they may be declared undesirable.
It is important to note that all the above temporary measures will only apply to foreign nationals who have been legally admitted to South Africa. The concession also applies to applicants who submitted their applications before or on 31 March 2023.
How Breytenbachs can help you
Breytenbachs Immigration Consultants have highly trained and experienced consultants dealing with our SA immigration and citizenship matters. Please feel free to contact us for assistance with your case.