The Department of Home Affairs has announced a new set of visa extensions in response to the recently imposed travel bans by various countries. The new set of rules were announced on the 21st December 2021 and provides for the following:
Persons that have submitted Waiver applications may now remain in South Africa until the 31st March 2022. Once they have collected their waiver decisions they may then submit the relevant visa application from within South Africa. Should they rather choose to abandon their waiver application they may leave South Africa by the 31st March 2022, and will not be declared undesirable upon their departure.
Persons that have submitted long term visa applications from within South Africa have received a blanket extension of their present visas until the 31st March 2022. Should such persons wish to abandon their applications then they may leave South Africa on or before the 31st March 2022, and will not be declared undesirable upon their departure.
Should persons that have submitted long term visa applications wish to travel over the festive season then they may do so, and will be able to present their VFS receipts on return to South Africa in order to collect their visa outcomes. If these people originate from a country that is exempt from visa requirements then they may simply enter on presentation of their VFS receipt. If the person originates from a visa restricted country then they must present a port of entry visa together with their VFS receipt.
Persons that have entered South Africa on Tourist Visas on or after the 1st October 2021 have had their visas extended until the 31st March 2022. These persons may leave South Africa on or before the 31st March 2022, and will not be declared undesirable upon their departure despite the fact that their visas may have expired. Should these persons wish to stay in South Africa beyond the 31st March 2022 then they must apply for an extension of their visas.
The final provision applies to persons that have been granted permanent residence and need to enter South Africa in order to retain their permanent residence status. Such persons have been granted an extension until the 31st July 2022 in order to enter South Africa.
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