Visa and Legal Stays further extended for Foreign Nationals

Visa Extensions until 31 March

The world has gone from “affected” to “shocked” about the recent developments around the Coronavirus. But instead of thanking South African scientists, who discovered the new variant “Omicron” and did not “breed same”, the country has been banned on flights to South Africa or with regard to the return of their nationals. President Ramaphosa shifted between pleading and accusing the foreign countries that had issued a travel ban, but was met with silence as blind activism seems to allow the deviation from the eternal rule “Don’t Shoot the Messenger!”.

Minister Motsoaledi, one one of the two days he worked this year, issued today Directive 12 of the Department of Home Affairs (“DHA”) to address the following four groups of foreigners:

Applicants with pending Waivers

Foreigners whose waiver application is still pending are granted an extension to stay until 31 March 2022 to wait and collect their outcomes from the DHA. When leaving the country on an expired temporary visa they will not be declared undesirable. That is the theory, in practice about 5% – 10% of all those exits are still rewarded with a ban from the country and will have to be appealed. If you are in this situation, urgently contact us at overstay@into-sa.com.

Applicants with Visa Applications pending

By another blanket concession, Directive 12 grants the continued stay for those applicants that are still waiting for the outcome of their Visa Application until 31 March 2022. This enables those who are still waiting but whose Visa has in the meantime expired, to leave the country for the festive season at home and to come back in order to collect the outcome of their applications.

Visitors with expiring or expired Visa

Foreigners who entered the country legally on or after 1 October 2021 when the country moved to Lockdown Alert Level 1 may stay on with an expired or an expiring visa until 31 March 2022. Foreigners whose waiver application is still pending are granted an extension to stay until 31 March 2022 to wait and collect their outcomes from the DHA. When leaving the country on an expired temporary visa they will not be declared undesirable. That is the theory, in practice about 5% – 10% of all those exits are still rewarded with a ban from the country and will have to be appealed. If you are in this situation, urgently contact us at overstay@into-sa.com.

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