Last night President Ramaphosa took the bold and brave decision to implement a nationwide 21-day lockdown from midnight on Thursday 26th March until 16th April in response to the Coronavirus pandemic. This unprecedented step – in democratic South Africa – in an attempt to “flatten the curve” of Covid-19 infections and will no doubt affect each and everyone of us in one way or another. We must all navigate our way through this turbulent time for South Africa and the world.
We are not entirely certain what impact this lockdown will have on persons with visas which expire during the lockdown period or soon thereafter or appeal applications that are meant to be filed within the 10 working days from uplifting the outcome. We understand that VFS Global has already suspended their online system and no appointments for submissions prior to the commencement of the lockdown or thereafter can be made. VFS Global will furthermore be closed during the lockdown. We will upload information to our website as soon as we have any further clarity.
We however bring the following to your attention in the interim:
- Our offices (and the offices of VFS Global) will be closed and out of bounds during the lockdown.
- We will be working from home and will therefore have access to our emails.
- We suspect that the processing of applications submitted prior to the lockdown and thereafter are likely to be delayed.
- Litigation is suspended until further notice. No new matters will be enrolled prior to June 2020.
- Travel bans continue to be in place. Please refer to earlier publications/directive in this respect.
These are indeed extraordinary times for all of us. Many of us have lived through difficult and uncertain times in this country before, but this is certainly unique and is a global crisis. We wish you all the wisdom, strength and patience needed as you manage your business, homes and families during this difficult time.
For more information on the President’s address of 23 March 2020, please click here.