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Statement of the South African Minister of Home Affairs on Lock-down Visas

The Department of Home Affairs is extending the validity period of legally issued visas which expired during the lockdown period to 31 January 2021.

Holders of such visas are permitted to remain in the country under the conditions of their visas until 31 January 2021. Those wishing to be repatriated to their countries within this period can depart without being declared undesirable persons.

The Department is also resuming services for applications for identity cards or documents and for all types of passports.

Visa services, including submission of applications through VFS Global, will also resume in the following categories:

Visitor’s visas; study visa; treaty visa; business visa; crew visa; medical treatment visa; relative’s visa; general work visa; critical skills work visa; intra-company transfer work visa; retired person visa; corporate visa; exchange visa;  waiver of prescribed requirement, as contemplated in section 31(2)(c); and appeals or reviews contemplated in section 8 of the Immigration Act.

 

For information as to how Relocation Africa can help you with your Mobility, Immigration, Research, Remuneration, and Expat Tax needs, email info@relocationafrica.com, or call us on +27 21 763 4240.

Sources: [1], [2]. Image sources: [1], [2].

Visa Service Update for South Africa: VFS Centres Reopen

As per the VFS South Africa website, as of Tuesday 22 September 2020, visa services have resumed at all Visa Facilitation Centres in South Africa.

All categories of temporary residence visas, including applications of waivers of the prescribed requirement, will be accepted. The resumption of other immigration related applications will be phased in over a period of time.

Please note that adherence to all COVID -19 health protocols at all VFS centres are mandatory.

For more information, click here.

 

For information as to how Relocation Africa can help you with your Mobility, Immigration, Research, Remuneration, and Expat Tax needs, email info@relocationafrica.com, or call us on +27 21 763 4240.

Sources: [1], [2]. Image sources: [1], [2].

Updated Level 2 Lock-down Rules for South Africa: Flights, Home Affairs, Transit, and Weddings

Government has gazetted a number of directives which clarify and update a number of rules around the country’s move to a level 2 lock-down.

This includes changes around events such as weddings, rules around travelling as well as a new list of services which will be offered by Home Affairs.

These changes are outlined in more detail below.


Home Affairs services

Home Affairs minister Aaron Motsoaledi has confirmed that the following additional services will be available at Home Affairs offices during the level 2 lock-down:

  • Applications for first issue of Identity Card or Green Barcoded Identity Documents;
  • Applications for Identity Cards or Green Barcoded Identity Documents by persons who have been issued with a Temporary Identity Certificate during the national state of disaster, which certificates have expired;
  • Applications for amendments of personal particulars;
  • Applications for rectification of personal particulars;
  • Back Office records retrieval services.

The directive also states that all temporary identity certificates issued during the period of the national state of disaster that have not yet expired on the date of commencement of this Directions, are hereby extended up to 31 October 2020.

Weddings and other events 

Tourism minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane has published a new directive clarifying the rules around weddings and other events.

The regulations state that attendance at a venue for a wedding, exhibition or any other function is limited to 50 persons and all hygienic conditions and physical distancing measures must be adhered to, for the limitation of exposure of persons to Covid-19.

The directive further states that the person organizing the wedding, exhibition or function and the owner or manager of the venue must ensure compliance with the requirement relating to physical distancing of at least one and a half metres and the wearing of a cloth face mask, a homemade item or another appropriate item that covers the nose and mouth, by all attendees.

Other requirements include:

  • Set up screening stations at entrances to facilitate the screening of persons before entry;
  • Not allow access to a person who is not wearing a cloth mask, or homemade item that covers the nose and mouth or another appropriate item to cover the nose and mouth;
  • Ensure that every person wears a cloth face mask, a homemade item or another appropriate item that covers the nose and mouth at all times except when eating or drinking;
  • Ensure that every person sanitizes before entry;
  • Sanitize microphones and podiums after use by every person.

Flights 

Transport minister Fikile Mbalula has published a new directive indicating that domestic passenger flights are permitted at the following airports:

  • Bram Fischer International Airport;
  • Cape Town International Airport;
  • East London Airport;
  • George Airport;
  • Hoedspruit Airport;
  •  Kimberly Airport;
  •  King Shaka International Airport;
  •  Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport;
  • Lanseria International Airport;
  • Margate Airport;
  • Mthatha Airport;
  • OR Tambo International Airport;
  • Phalaborwa Airport;
  • Pietermaritzburg Airport;
  • Port Elizabeth International Airport;
  • Richards Bay Airport;
  • Skukuza Airport;
  • Upington International Airport.

The directive also confirms that all international passenger flights are prohibited, except those flights authorized by the Minister of Transport.

Public transport 

In a separate directive, Mbalula  confirmed that all long-distance intra-provincial and inter-provincial travel by private vehicles and public transport services are permitted.

  • Minibus, midibus or minibus taxi -type services are permitted to carry not more than 70% of their maximum licensed passenger-carrying capacity for long-distance intra-provincial travel and inter-provincial travel;
  • Bus services are permitted to carry not more than 70% of their licensed passenger-carrying capacity for long-distance intra-provincial and inter-provincial travel;
  • Bus, minibus, midibus, minibus taxi -type services, e-hailing services, meter taxis, shuttle services, chauffeur driven vehicles and scholar transport vehicles are permitted to carry 100% of their maximum licensed passenger capacity for short-distance travel;
  • Rail operations are permitted to carry not more than 70% of their licensed passenger capacity.

The directive also confirms that the transportation of liquor is now permitted.

 

For information as to how Relocation Africa can help you with your Mobility, Immigration, Research, Remuneration, and Expat Tax needs, email info@relocationafrica.com, or call us on +27 21 763 4240.

Sources: [1], [2]. Image sources: [1], [2].

South African Home Affairs Approves Essential Travel for South Africans Who Want to Return to Countries Where They Are Based

The Minister of Home Affairs, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi has, following consultations with the Department of International Relations and Cooperation and the National Coronavirus Command Council, approved essential travel for South Africans who want to return to countries where they are based. South Africans who wish to leave the Republic are permitted to depart only for the following reasons: 

  1. Work
  2. Study
  3. Family reunion
  4. Take up permanent residency
  5. Receive medical attention

South Africa, like many countries in the world, has implemented travel restrictions as part of the measures put in place to fight the spread of Covid-19. Travel between countries is allowed in special circumstances. South Africans wishing to return to the countries where they reside should have the following:

  1. A copy of their valid South African passport
  2. A letter confirming their admissibility under the current circumstances from the embassy or other diplomatic/consular representative of the country they want to travel to.
  3. If returning by road or connecting via flights, the proof submitted needs to include permission from each transiting country.
  4. Proof of means of travel such as air or bus tickets and the intended date of departure.

South Africans who fall in these categories and satisfy the criteria can send an email to Covid19travel@dha.gov.za. An email will be sent to travelers who meet the criteria to enable them to proceed with their travel arrangements. People applying as a group can send one email with the supporting documents for each member of the group. For public enquiries, call 0800 60 11 90.

For information as to how Relocation Africa can help you with your Mobility, Immigration, Research, Remuneration, and Expat Tax needs, email info@relocationafrica.com, or call us on +27 21 763 4240.

Sources: [1], [2]. Image sources: [1], [2].

SARA Webinars: How African Visa and Immigration Specialists are Dealing with the COVID-19 Crisis

Relocation Africa’s Immigration Lead, Lynn Mackenzie, served as Panel Facilitator, and was joined recently by a number of immigration specialists from around Africa, to discuss their response to the COVID-19 situation in their respective countries.

Two live webinars, in partnership with the South African Reward Association (SARA) were hosted to discuss the topics, and we invite you to watch the recordings below so that we can share these insights with you.

The first webinar deals with the COVID-19 response in South Africa and Nigeria. Lynn is joined by Tracy du Plessis (South Africa), and Kunle Obebe (Nigeria).

The second covers the response in Ghana, Senegal, and Kenya. Lynn is joined by Paa Kwesi Hagan (Ghana), Joyce Anti (Senegal), and Brian Githaiga (Kenya).

We hope you enjoy the content. If you have suggestions for future webinars you’d like to see, please feel free to reach out to us via marketing@relocationafrica.com.

For information as to how Relocation Africa can help you with your Mobility, Immigration, Research, Remuneration, and Expat Tax needs, email info@relocationafrica.com, or call us on +27 21 763 4240.

Sources: [1], [2]. Image sources: [1], [2].