South Africa COVID – 19 Update

Effective 18 March, until further notice, a travel ban applies to individuals of all nationalities traveling from Italy, Iran, South Korea, Spain, Germany, USA, UK, China and any other high-risk country determined by the Government. Foreign nationals who have visited these countries since 15 March do not qualify to be issued with Port of Entry Visas or Temporary Residence Visas until further notice.

The 90-day Visa waiver/exemption applicable to Italian, South Korean, Spanish, German, American and British (U.K.) passport holders, which allowed for them to be issued with Visitor’s Visas upon arrival in the country, has been withdrawn with immediate effect. Holders of these passports will be refused entry to South Africa if they are not in possession of a Port of Entry Visa prior to travel. (This visa will have to be applied for, and issued, by the South African Diplomatic Mission abroad prior to travel.) It is currently not possible for nationals resident in these countries to apply for visas.

All Port of Entry Visas issued to Chinese and Iranian passport holders on or before 15 March for the purposes of visiting South Africa, are deemed to be canceled and declared null and void. This does not apply to all categories of Temporary Residence Visa. The 90-day visa waiver/exemption applicable to Portuguese and Singaporean passport holders and the 30-day visa waiver/exemption applicable to Hong Kong Special Administrative Region passport holders, which allowed for them to be issued with Visitor’s Visas upon arrival in the country has also been withdrawn with immediate effect. Holders of these passports will be refused entry to South Africa if they are not in possession of a Port of Entry Visa prior to travel. They may apply for visas at the South African Missions in their countries of citizenship or ordinary residence; however, they must include an official medical report completed by a qualified medical professional confirming that they have not tested positive for COVID-19.

All foreign nationals who arrived in South Africa since mid-February are subject to full testing. The visas of foreign nationals already within South Africa are not revoked; they remain valid for the period for which they have been issued. All foreign nationals originating from countries affected by the COVID-19 outbreak, or those who have to transit through an affected country to return home, and whose visas have or will expire are allowed to re-apply for the same visa which may be issued for a period not exceeding 31 July 2020, subject to meeting all legal application requirements; however, this does not include applications to change status from one visa category to another or to change the conditions endorsed on an existing visa. Those whose visas expired from 1 December 1 2019 up to and including present date and until 31 March 2020 will be allowed to reapply for their visas without first having to apply to regularise their stays by applying for a “Form 20”. (authorization for an illegal foreigner to remain in the country pending the outcome of an application for status.)

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