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Updated COVID-19 Immigration and Travel Restrictions

On July 1, 2020 / by Sherone Lewis / Leave a comment

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Earlier this month the Minister of Home Affairs in the Cabinet of South Africa, gazetted directions in terms of the Disaster Management to prevent the spread of Covid-19. Here’s an updated list of the current travel and immigration restrictions that are in place.

Foreigners currently outside of South Africa

With the exception of foreigners who were already in South Africa on 15 March 2020, all temporary residence visas issued to foreigners residing in high-risk countries are withdrawn. Visa exemptions for foreigners from high-risk countries are withdrawn.

The current services provided by the Department of Home Affairs under lockdown level 3

  • Registration of birth, including late registration of birth
  • Registration of deaths
  • Reissue of birth and death certificates
  • Solemnisation and registration of marriages
  • Issuance of temporary identity certificates
  • Collection of identity cards or documents

Application for, and collection of, passports for persons engaged in the delivery of essential goods across the borders of South Africa and those travelling outside South Africa for receiving medical services.

Refusal of Visas

Foreigners who have been in, or departed from, or transited through, a high-risk country since 15 February 2020 are deemed to be prohibited persons and will not be granted a visa or admitted into South Africa. For the duration of the period of the national state of disaster, no visa application will be considered from nationals or residents of a high-risk country. Applications by nationals of high-risk countries may only be considered if the person is not ordinarily residing in that country and has not been in that country or any other high-risk country since 15 February 2020.

Foreigners currently in South Africa

Foreigners who are currently in South Africa whose visa has expired since 15 March 2020 will not be declared as undesirable when leaving the country until 31 July 2020. Any declaration of undesirability that has already been issued to a foreigner who left South Africa on or after 15 March 2020 is set aside. Foreigners who travel to or through a high-risk country after leaving South Africa will not be readmitted into South Africa.

Foreigners who will be repatriated to their country of nationality or permanent residence during the lockdown must apply to the relevant diplomatic or consular mission in South Africa at least 72 hours prior to the intended date of departure.

If you need any help regarding immigration, make sure you get in touch with one of our qualified immigration consultants today.

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