South African Minister of Home Affairs, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi has extended the validity period of legally issued visas expired during the lockdown period to 30 September 2021 for short-term visas, issued for a period not longer than 90 days, such as a tourist visa.

For longer-term temporary visas issued for three months to three years has also been extended until 30 September 2021. In line with the National State of Disaster Regulations, these amendments coupled with their directions will be gazetted by 30 June 2021.

Individuals who hold these visas are allowed to continue staying in the country under the conditions of their visas until the applicable extensions expire. Individuals who wish to return to their own country within this period can depart without being declared undesirable persons.

This extension does not apply to individuals who have entered the country from 15 March 2021. The normal validity period of the visa applies to these individuals.

Holders of longer-term temporary visas, issued for 90 days up to three years, such as study visa, treaty visa, business visa, medical treatment visa, relatives’ visas, general work visa, critical skills work visa, retired person’s visa and exchange visa, which expired during the State of National Disaster are invited to renew their visas at http://www.vfsglobal.com/dha/southafrica before 30 September 2021.

As of 25 June 2021, the Department had approved the extension of 9 788 Section 24 (refugee status) and 28 249 Section 22 (asylum seeker permits) since the online extension system was activated in April 2021.

Asylum seekers and refugees are encouraged to continue renewing their permits via the online platform.