Temporary immigration measures amid the South African lockdown

The Department of Home Affairs introduced temporary measures applicable to all foreign nationals who intends to enter the Republic of South Africa or who already entered the Republic.

Who is affected?

This will affect all international travellers intending to travel to South Africa or who are currently resident in South Africa.


The Novel Coronavirus pandemic emerged in central China in late December 2019 and the latest figures show it has infected more than 2 million people across the globe. South Africa has recorded more than 2500 cases of COVID-19.

The President of the Republic of South Africa announced a nationwide lockdown effective until the end of April 2020 to manage the COVID-19 outbreak in South Africa. Following this announcement, the Department of Home Affairs, announced temporary measures applicable to all foreign nationals who are currently resident in the Republic of South.


Visa Expiries

Any foreign national who is already present in the Republic of South Africa and whose temporary residence visa is due to expire or has already expired since mid-February 2020, will be allowed to renew their visas provided they meet all the prescribed requirements. These visas may be issued with an expiry date of 31 July 2020.

Any foreign national who decides to depart from the Republic of South Africa after the lockdown instead of renewing their visas will also not be declared undesirable upon departure.

Pending Visa Applications

Any foreign national whose visa expired during the lockdown or who have submitted their applications before the lockdown, but their applications are still pending, will be allowed to continue to work, study or conduct business after the lockdown while waiting for the outcome of their applications.

Foreign Nationals Travelling to and from South Africa

Travellers from high-risk countries, whose visas have been revoked will still not be able to enter South Africa.

Foreign nationals are also not allowed to depart from South Africa during the lockdown unless they travel as part of a government approved repatriation initiative.

New and Pending Visa or Permit Applications

It is currently not possible to submit any Temporary Visa or Permanent Residence Permit applications from within South Africa. The Department of Home Affairs has also suspended the adjudication of applications received prior to the lockdown.

How Santa Fe can assist?

Santa Fe can support your business with any immigration compliance and advisory issues concerning your expatriate population. We can review current employees’ visas and assist with necessary advice or solutions to ensure ongoing compliance with the South African Immigration Act and Regulations.

We will also keep your business updated on ongoing developments on all South African immigration matters and will advise on any changes requiring your attention.

Should you have any questions, please contact:

Terence Rover
Immigration Manager – South Africa
Santa Fe Relocation
Johannesburg, South Africa
D: +27 (0) 10 442 8933
M: +27 (0) 72 279 9606
E: Terence.Rover@santaferelo.com

Paolo Longo
Regional Immigration Director – India, Middle East & Africa
Santa Fe Relocation
Johannesburg, South Africa
D: +27 (0) 10 595 2337
M: +27 (0) 83 677 7949
E: Paolo.Longo@santaferelo.com


To read more immigration updates, click here

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