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TIMEFRAMES ` Temporary Residence & Permanent Residence

Source: Samigration, 13/02/2019

Various Ministers have made promises about service delivery and made a big song and dance about how they were going to improve the situation. However, on the ground, the reality is simply not happening. It is becoming impossible to predict how long it will take to process straight forward Visas through the South African Embassies / High Commissions abroad. The only advice we can give out to clients and potential clients is to apply timeously, i.e. well in advance of their intended departure to South Africa and to also await receipt of the approved Visa. This is absolutely critical so as not to have persons running into problems and companies experiencing issues because a Visa is taking longer than anticipated. We also advise that applications for extension of current Visas from within South Africa should be dealt with timeously. At least 60-90 days prior to the visa’s expiry will be enough time so as not to put the holder of a Visa in jeopardy and risk an overstay. It would be best to rather not travel until the new Visa is granted but if someone needs to travel after the date of the visa’s expiry and based on the premise that they applied for an extension and provide proof thereof, they can leave the country after the expiry date but will certainly be, despite their and our best endeavours, listed as an overstayer and imposed with a prohibition or ban from returning to South Africa for a period of time. This can range from a one year ban for an overstay of up to 30 days, and a five year ban for anything longer than that. The only remedy available to a person declared an overstayer would be to apply to the Department of Home Affairs for an appeal against the overstay, setting out the reasons and rationale for the appeal. Generally these appeals are successful. The crunch lies however with how long it takes to process and this could be anywhere between weeks and months. Therefore this must be factored into your planning.


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