Are you sure your visa is still valid? Due to the immigration acts various regulations in South Africa, there are many ways that your visa can become expired and even “default” on your specific and relevant visa terms. Here are some of them.
If you have a “spousal visa” or “life partner visa”, remember that they are granted on the basis of your permanent relationship existing. If you end your marriage or break up with your life partner, you are required to report to Home Affairs or leave the country. You may be granted an opportunity to apply for a new visa based on new grounds, if you qualify somehow (e.g. you work in South Africa or run a business, etc.). However, in this case you may also be asked to apply from your home country.
The main three types of work visas are the general work visa, the critical skills work visa and the intra-company transfer work visa. The first and third allow you to work for one company only. If you are on a general work visa for one firm, then resign and find a new job opportunity in South Africa, you are required to reapply. What’s more, you will probably have to return to your home country to do so. Even the critical skills visa sometimes has a company written into the visa itself and it is not always clear if Home Affairs has issued this according to the Act or under special circumstances.
Since the rule regarding those who have not yet received new visas (timely applied for) by the expiration of their current visas, many people have overstayed. This is simply setting yourself up for disaster. While some complain that they have no choice, should you overstay while waiting for your new visa, any number of tragedies could occur to you. Firstly, Home Affairs (or another government body) could find out about this and in effect have you deported with a hefty ban on returning. Secondly, your bank could notice and freeze your account, since without a valid visa you cannot hold a bank account in South Africa. Another reason is that your visa application may be rejected, and you will be left with an expired visa in your passport and no choice but to leave South Africa and receive a ban.
When you think of the things at stake, it is necessary to make absolutely sure that you are complying with both the immigration laws of South Africa as well as the terms on your specific visa.
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 know relocation procedures back to front. Get in touch today!
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