EXTENTION OF LOCKDOWN
As you know, President Cyril Ramaphosa has extended the national lockdown until the end of April 2020. The Department of Home Affairs has accordingly outlined measures which will remain valid until 31 July 2020 (unless otherwise provided) to deal with immigration, which we summarise below for your convenience as follows:
- Any person whose visa expired before or during the lockdown will not be arrested or detained for holding an expired visa. If such person departs South Africa he/she will not be declared undesirable upon departure.
- Any person who submitted a visa extension application prior to 15 February 2020 and has still not received an outcome will not be treated as an illegal foreigner.
- Any person whose visa expires after 15 February 2020, may reapply for their relevant visa while in South Africa immediately after the lockdown has been lifted.
- Any person whose visa expired after 15 February 2020 and who scheduled an appointment for the submission of their application prior to the lockdown should, after the lockdown has been lifted, reschedule the appointment to the soonest available date.
- Anyone who holds a work, business or study visa with visa applications pending may continue to work, conduct business or study. The Department is however not clear on the status of those who hold work, business or study visas and have not yet, as a result of the lockdown, submitted their respective applications.
- Visas issued to nationals of high risk countries who were abroad on 15 March 2020 remain revoked. No foreign national, other than those being repatriated through an initiation by their home country, may not depart the Republic.
- Holders of the Lesotho Special Permit have up to 15 June 2020 to submit their applications for the Lesotho Exemption Permit.
- The Lesotho Special Permits, which expired on 31 December 2019, remain valid until 15 June 2020. No new applications will be taken.
- Any asylum seeker, whose permit expired from 16 March 2020 to the end of the lockdown period, will not be penalised or arrested, provided that they legalise their status within 30 calendar days of the lockdown being lifted.
We will continue to update you with information as we receive same and we continue to wish you and your loved ones all the best through these difficult times.