South Africa: Visa Validity Position Potentially Reversed; Visas Remain Valid Beyond Passport Expiration Date

The South African Immigration authorities are considering reversing the recently-issued guidance document stating that visas with an expiry date beyond that of a traveler's passport are to be withdrawn and the holder must submit an application for a new visa to ensure legal residence in South Africa. Therefore, until further announcements are made, South African visa holders with an expired passport should be able to enter South Africa and those already in South Africa should be allowed to transfer their visa from an old passport to a new passport. Since the authorities have not published an official announcement on this position, the situation remains subject to change and affected foreign nationals should contact their immigration professional.

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Feb 24, 2017
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The South African Immigration authorities are considering reversing the recently-issued guidance document stating that visas with an expiry date beyond that of a traveler's passport are to be withdrawn and the holder must submit an application for a new visa to ensure legal residence in South Africa. Therefore, until further announcements are made, South African visa holders with an expired passport should be able to enter South Africa and those already in South Africa should be allowed to transfer their visa from an old passport to a new passport.


What This Means for Employers and Foreign Nationals

Authorities should continue to allow visa holders with a validity period that extends beyond the validity of their passport to enter South Africa with their expired passport, their visa and their new passport. Those already in South Africa should be allowed to transfer their visa from an old passport to a new passport.

Since the authorities have not published an official announcement on this position, the situation remains subject to change and affected foreign nationals should contact their immigration professional.

Fragomen will continue to monitor and report on developments as they become available.

This alert is for informational purposes only. If you have any questions, please contact the global immigration professional with whom you work at Fragomen or send an email to africainfo@fragomen.com.


© 2017 Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen & Loewy, LLP, Fragomen Global LLP and affiliates. All Rights Reserved.

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Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen & Loewy, LLP, Fragomen Global LLP and affiliates, (collectively known as “Fragomen Worldwide”) is the world’s largest firm dedicated to corporate immigration, and is recognized as the leading global immigration services provider.

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