New DA Minister extends Visa Concession

The Department of Home Affairs (“DHA”), once a vital enabler for tourism and investments as well as counteracting skills shortages, is under “New Management”. The new DA Minister, Dr Leon Schreiber is facing a mountain of unprocessed applications, scrap-metal IT and an unmotivated staff contingent that consists mostly of Motsoaledi sycophants that are used to do nothing.

Schreiber, on his very first day, addressed the expired concession to extend visa while waiver and visa extension applications are still rotting unattended, i.e. unprocessed. One wonders what Motsoaledi does NOT do on his first day in his new sleeping position at the Department of Health

The concession is extended until the end of the year, 31 December 2024. It was announced with no shortage of hints towards the laziness and ignorance of his predecessor combined with the promise that under his reins any extension of the concession would be announced well ahead of its expiry and not letting it expire without any comment.

The wording of the concession is as follows:

Applicants whose waiver application outcomes are still pending

 Visa holders who have applied for a waiver and the waiver application is still pending as at 30 June 2024, are granted a further temporary extension until 31 December 2024 to enable the Department to process the applications, for applicants to collect their outcomes, and to submit applications for appropriate visas.

Those who wish to abandon their waiver applications and depart from South Africa, will be allowed to exit at a port of entry before or on 31 December 2024 without being declared undesirable in terms of section 30(1)(h) of the Immigration Act, 2002 read with regulation 27(3) of the Immigration Regulations, 2014.

Visa holders who need to travel, but are awaiting the outcome of a waiver application, will be allowed to exit and re-enter at a port of entry up to and including 31 December 2024, without being declared undesirable in terms of section 30(1)(h) of the Immigration Act, 2002 read with regulation 27(3) of the Immigration Regulations, 2014. However, non-visa exempt applicants who travel out of the country with a waiver application receipt are required to apply for a port of entry visa which would allow them re-entry into South Africa.

Applicants whose visa applications are still pending

Visa holders who have applied for long-term visas (Visitor’s Visas in terms of section 11(1)(b) and 11(6) of the Immigration Act, 2002; Business Visas, Study Visas, Relative’s Visas and Work Visas) and whose application is still pending as at 30 June 2024, are granted a further temporary extension until 31 December 2024 of their current visa status. Applicants are not allowed to engage in any activity other than what the visa conditions provide for.

Those who wish to abandon their visa applications will be allowed to exit at a port of entry before or on 31 December 2024 without being declared undesirable in terms of section 30(1)(h) of the Immigration Act, 2002 read with regulation 27(3) of the Immigration Regulations, 2014.

Visa holders who need to travel, but are awaiting the outcome of a long-term visa application, will be allowed to exit and re-enter at a port of entry up to and including 31 December 2024, without being declared undesirable in terms of section 30(1)(h) of the Immigration Act, 2002 read with regulation 27(3) of the Immigration Regulations, 2014. However, non-visa exempt applicants who travel out of the country with a long-term visa application receipt, are required to apply for a port of entry visa which would allow them re-entry into South Africa.

Applicants whose visa appeal applications are still pending

Visa holders who have appealed a negative decision on an application for long-term visa (Visitor’s Visas in terms of section 11(1)(b) and 11(6) of the Immigration Act, 2002; Business Visas, Study Visas, Relative’s Visas and Work Visas) are granted a temporary extension until 31 December 2024 of the current visa status. Applicants are not allowed to engage in any activity other than what the visa conditions provide for.

Those who wish to abandon their visa appeal applications and depart from South Africa, will be allowed to exit at a port of entry before or on 31 December 2024 without being declared undesirable in terms of section 30(1)(h) of the Immigration Act, 2002 read with regulation 27(3) of the Immigration Regulations, 2014.

Visa appeal applicants who need to travel, but are awaiting the outcome of an appeal application for a long-term visa, will be allowed to exit and re-enter at a port of entry up to and including 31 December 2024, without being declared undesirable in terms of section 30(1)(h) of the Immigration Act, 2002 read with regulation 27(3) of the Immigration Regulations, 2014.

All appeal applicants are required to produce a copy of the rejection letter with a receipt for the appeal application on departure and re-entry into South Africa. Non-visa exempt appeal applicants who travel out of the country with an appeal application receipt, are required to apply for a port of entry visa which would allow them re-entry into South Africa.

Short term visa holders issued in terms of section 11(1)(a)

 Short term visa holders issued in terms of section 11(1)(a) of the Immigration Act, 2002 for 90 days or less, who have applied for a renewal, but have not received their visa renewal outcome, must make the necessary arrangements to depart from South Africa within 90 calendar days from the date of expiry of the principal visa, to avoid being declared undesirable. The latter concession is in line with the provisions of section 11(1)(a) of the Immigration Act, 2002 which limits the duration of sojourn for visiting purposes to a total of 180 days.

The temporary concession applies only to foreign nationals who have been legally admitted into South Africa, submitted their applications via VFS Global and who can produce a verifiable receipt for such application against the VFS Global tracking system.

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