SOUTH AFRICA (July 30, 2020) – COVID-19: Permits and visas extended until end of October

  • South Africa
  • 07/31/2020
  • Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP

High Priority

Visas and permits in South Africa will be extended because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The South African government cited the unavailability of most services at visa centers when announcing the extension.

Key Points:
• Visas and permits that were set to expire July 31 will be extended until Oct. 31. Final regulations to be published.
• Other temporary measures put in place during the initial extension continue to apply through Oct. 31.
• Visa exemptions that have been withdrawn will remain withdrawn.
Background: Immigration services in South Africa have been minimal since the start of the pandemic and ensuing lockdown. The government has announced several temporary measures for foreign nationals who were legally present in South Africa during the start of the pandemic.

Department of Home Affairs Visa Application Centers are operating for collections only and exclusively by appointment. The centers remain closed for other activities. The government is weighing the possible opening of visa centers for online applications in limited categories and following possible online submissions, there will be in-person appointments for actual application submission.

BAL Analysis: Employers should continue to monitor how the visa extensions affect individual employees. The response to the COVID-19 pandemic continues to develop, and BAL will provide additional updates as information becomes available.