New Immigration Amended Act 13 of 2011 together with Immigration Amended Act 3 of 2007 and Regulations.
The new Act and Regulations has been approved, implemented and promulgated in the Government Gazette as from 26th May 2014. It was signed of by the previous Home Affairs Minister, Mrs Pandor and the President on 16th May 2014.
Applicants must submit their applications in person due to new biometrics being taken on the day of submission. Applicants are however allowed to have a representative, either a qualified Immigration Practitioner/Immigration Lawyer accompany them for assistance with the application process at VFS offices.
Underneath, Please find the following information regarding the new Immigration Act.
New Applications - All new or first time Temporary Residence Visa applications will now have to be submitted at the nearest South African Embassy or Mission abroad. Applicants are no longer allowed to enter South Africa on a holiday visa and then change their status within South Africa (for example: Visitor's/Holiday Visa to Retired/Work/Business Visa). The application must also be submitted in person by the applicant him/herself. The only applications that would be allowed to change condition/status within South Africa, will be that of the accompanying spouse or minor dependant child of a person on a valid Work / Business Visa.
Extension/Renewal Applications - These applications can be submitted within South Africa. These applications will now be submitted through any of the 11 VFS Global offices across the country. See a list with addresses on the VFS Global Centres page on top. Also previously, applications needed to be submitted at least 30 days prior to the expiry date of the current visa. This has now been increased to 60 days prior to the expiry date of the current visa. Good Causes (reasons for submitting late) will no longer be accepted according to the new Act. Also, once your extension application has been successfully submitted through any VFS centres, you will be allowed to legally remain in the Republic/South Africa on that receipt from VFS until the outcome of your Application. This is only allowed for Temporary Residence Visa Applications.
Permanent Residence Permit Applications - These applications can be submitted in South Africa through any VFS Global centres throughout South Africa. You can also submit these through any SA Embassies abroad if you choose to do so. Just remember that when applying for Permanent Residency, you have to stay on a valid Temporary Residence Visa until the outcome of your application.
Change of Conditions - Only 2 types of Applications in this category will be accepted to be submitted within South Africa through VFS centres. 1) Foreigners coming into SA to Accompany their Spouses/Life Partners and/or their Parent who is on a valid Temporary Residence Visa (ie: Work, Business, Volunteer). 2) Foreigners who are already in the Republic/South Africa and provide proof that he/she has been admitted lawfully into SA and has been here on a valid Temporary Residence Visa (ie: Work/Business/Retired/Relative/Volunteer/Study).
Overstay on Visas - Any Foreign national who overstayed the validity period of their visa will now be classified as "undesirable". This means that for the period mentioned below, the foreigner will be blacklisted and not be able to enter South Africa during this time.
Under Immigration Directive 9 of 2014 the following implementation will have an effect on the foreigner and will be declared undesirable as follows:
- Overstay less than 30 days (1st offence in 24 month period) - undesirable for 12 months.
- Overstay less than 30 days (2nd offence in 24 month period) - undesirable for 24 months.
- Overstay 30 days or more - undesirable for 5 years.
- When a new overstay (as from May 26) is indicated, the person / foreigner will be treated as an undesirable person as per the above criteria.