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Covid-19: home affairs outlines measures to deal with immigration, work visas

Source: News 24, 14/04/2020

This also applies to people who submitted their applications
before the lockdown, with the outcome pending.

This is among temporary visa measures for foreign nationals
legally in SA which will remain valid until July 31 unless
extended officially by the department.

During the lockdown, except for cases relating to expatriation
initiated by their home countries, all foreign nationals who are
currently in SA may not depart the country.

Expiry of visas

Holders of temporary residence visas which expired from mid-
February, who did not renew their visas before the lockdown, will
not be declared illegal or prohibited persons.

Any person whose visa expired before or during the lockdown will
not be arrested nor detained for holding an expired visa.

Those who opt to return to their countries of origin or residence
after the lockdown, instead of renewing their visas, will not be
declared undesirable upon departure.

Visa application and adjudication

During the lockdown, the department is not receiving or
adjudicating applications for visas and permanent residence
permits.

Foreign nationals whose visas expired after February 15 may
reapply for their respective visas or relevant visa exemptions
while in SA immediately after the lockdown has been lifted. They
will not be required to apply for authorisation to remain in the
country. Those with expired visas from the same date who had
scheduled appointments on dates which fall within the lockdown
period should reschedule their appointments to an available date
after the lockdown has been lifted, the department advised.

Lesotho exemption permit

Holders of the Lesotho Special Permit have up to June 15 to submit
their applications for an exemption permit.

Expiry of asylum seeker permits

Any asylum seeker whose visa expired from March 16 to the end of
the lockdown will not be penalised or arrested provided they
legalise their visa within 30 calendar days of the lockdown being
lifted.

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