Temporary concession for foreign nationals on visas extended

09 Jul 2024

The temporary concession for foreign nationals currently awaiting the outcome of visa, waiver and appeal applications has been extended.

In a statement, the home affairs department points out that the extension is the home affairs minister, Dr Leon Schreiber’s, first official act as the new minister.

According to the department, the extension “safeguards applicants – including those who are contributing to South Africa through their scarce skills – from suffering adverse consequences or being erroneously declared undesirable while they await the outcome of applications submitted to the department”.

The department confirmed that a backlog in various visa and permit categories remains, and minister Schreiber has now moved to protect applicants while the backlog is reduced.

“The decision to avert adverse consequences for applicants who seek to obtain lawful visas in order to contribute to South Africa, either through their skills or as tourists, signals the Minister’s commitment to improving the visa system to make South Africa a more attractive destination for international investment, tourism and job creation.”

The department adds that the decision to extend the temporary concession serves as a signal of intent to reinvigorate the department and position it as a vital economic enabler.

The minister has also committed to avoiding a repeat of the current situation that has seen the previous concession expire prior to the extension being announced.

“While the department is committed to eradicating the backlog as soon as possible, the Minister undertakes that any further extension, modification or amendment to the terms of these concessions will be communicated in writing prior to the new expiry date of 31 December 2024.”

Various temporary measures on waiver application outcomes, visa applications and visa appeal applications will apply with immediate effect.

According to the department, short term visa holders who have applied for a renewal, but have not received their visa renewal outcome, must make the necessary arrangements to depart from South Africa within 90 calendar days from the date of expiry of the principal visa, to avoid being declared undesirable.

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(This article is provided for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. For more information on the topic, please contact the author/s or the relevant provider.)
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