South Africa: Extension of Stay Permissions for Certain Visa-Exempt Nationals

Last Updated on February 23, 2023

Key Points 

  • South Africa introduced measures to allow entry-visa-exempt foreign nationals to continue to remain in the country legally while other visa applications are processed  


The government of South Africa will grant extension of stay permissions to entry-visa-exempt foreign nationals who have a pending long-term visa application. Extensions of stay permissions will remain in place until 30 September 2022. This timeframe will allow foreign nationals located inside South Africa to remain in the country while their visa applications are processed.  

Applicants with expired immigration permissions who no longer wish to renew visa applications will be required to exit South Africa by 30 September 2022 at the latest.  

Applicants of long-term visas, who are exempt from requiring an entry visa, will be permitted to enter South Africa while the long-term visa application is processed, so long as they present proof of a valid VFS receipt on arrival.  

What are the Changes?  

On 28 June 2022, the government of South Africa announced that stay concessions would be made for entry-visa-exempt foreign nationals who are waiting for a visa application to be processed. The government stated that this additional time is expected to help reduce processing backlogs and delays. Applicants will not be permitted to undertake work-related activities until the visa application is processed.  

Looking Ahead  

Continue to check the government of South Africa’s website and Envoy’s website for the latest updates and information.  

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Content in this publication is for informational purposes only and not intended as legal advice, nor should it be relied on as such. For additional information on the issues discussed, consult an attorney at one of the two U.S. Law Firms working with the Envoy Platform or another qualified professional. On non-U.S. immigration issues, consult an Envoy global immigration service provider or another qualified representative.