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How to be proactive about your visa renewal during the lockdown

On May 7, 2020 / by Sherone Lewis / Leave a comment

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There are many foreign national workers under lockdown in South Africa, which remains one of the least affected countries in the world in terms of Covid-19 cases. There is a common misconception amongst foreign nationals in South Africa, whereby they believe that nothing can be done to resolve their visa issues during lockdown. Here are ways to be more proactive about your visa renewal during the lockdown.

Get ahead of the queue

While applications cannot be filed during lockdown, foreign nationals and their employers can use this time to prepare these applications and book an appointment to ensure applications can be filed as soon as possible after lockdown is lifted.

Be prepared to travel for renewals

Certain classes of visa renewals, such as the Intra-company transfer work visas, Corporate visa holders, and Short term business or work visas will require travel back home for renewal. However special dispensations have been made available to assist these visa holders who cannot travel due to international travel bans. When travel restrictions are lifted, the special dispensation will cease, and foreign nationals will be forced to travel back for their visa renewal. Getting your extension in South Africa under the current special dispensation means a significant saving in cost and time, as well as not being forced to travel at an inconvenient time and removes the uncertainty that comes with visa renewals in certain foreign countries.

Uncertain future of work visas

In these unprecedented times, many processes are fast changing. This causes uncertainty of what will be required going forward, including the possibility of needing health certificates and/or being forced to quarantine for an extended period of time. Until the special dispensations are revoked, you operate in a very clear cut and well administered system, provided you follow the rules and regulations. Make sure you review your current work visa category. The main reason to change your work visa status is to fall into a better category. This generally refers to a category which allows longer or indefinite stay, or which grants you access to permanent residency or South African citizenship status.

Now is the time to start your visa renewal process. This prevents being caught in an expected rush later when restrictions are lifted, or processes adjusted to accommodate the different levels of restriction.
If you’re looking for assistance with your visa, we’re here to help! By using an immigration consultant, you also get the peace of mind of knowing that your application is in the hands of someone up to date on all immigration legislation. Our immigration consultants in South Africa know relocation procedures back to front.

If you’re looking to use an Immigration Consultant for all your immigration needs, make sure you get in touch with us today!

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