DHA Visa Extension Directive in March 2023

The Department of Home Affairs communicated yesterday that they are introducing new temporary measures to reduce the backlog of over 62,000 pending visa applications submitted via VFS within South Africa. Please click here to view.

Applicants awaiting the finalisation of their pending extensions for the long-term visa will have their current visa status extended to the 31st of December 2023. However, this applies only to applications submitted and which are pending as of the 31st March 2023.

Short-term visa holders (i.e. ‘tourist’ visa holders) whose initial visa was issued for less than 90 days and have not received their extension outcome by the 31st of March, can stay until the 30th of April 2023 to avoid being declared undesirable.

We are still awaiting clarification from the DHA on these new measures as the wording of the provisions seems to be erroneous, in certain instances.
Some to the long-term visa categories have not been mentioned i.e. Retired Person Visa.
The term “less than 90 days” is incorrect, as tourists may receive, and usually receive a 90 day visa.

It is further regrettable that these new measures were communicated 2 days before the expiry of the current extension, while many foreigners already left the country to avoid complications of their status in South Africa.