Home Affairs extends validity of visas that expired during lockdown

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The Home Affairs Department says it is extending the validity of visas, which expired during the lockdown.

The extension does not apply to people who entered the country from 15 March.

Home Affairs Minister, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, has issued the directions extending the validity period of legally issued visas to 30 June 2021 for short-term visas and to July 31 for long-term visas.

“Holders of such visas are permitted to remain in the country under the conditions of their visas until the expiry of their applicable extension. Those wishing to be repatriated to their countries within this period can depart without being declared undesirable persons,” the department says in a statement.

It has urged holders of longer-term temporary visas such as study visa, treaty visa and relatives’ visas, which expired during the State of National Disaster, to renew them at www.vfsglobal.com/dha/southafrica before the end of July.

The department had to close most of its services in 2020 when the country went into lockdown to curb the spread of the coronavirus. The only service it was providing during lockdown was the issuing of deaths and births certificates.

Despite having resumed some services, the country’s Refugee Reception Centres remain closed.

Below is a 2019 report on the relaxation SA visa regulations: