Top 5 Things to Know about South African Visa Renewals

SA Migration – 17 June 2022

Picture this – it’s Monday and in a quiet moment you decide to go through your foreign employees’ documents.

To your shock you discover that one employee’s visa is due for renewal – at the end of the week.

Suddenly, your Monday is a whole lot bluer! You have no idea how you’re going to do this. You don’t even know if it’s still possible to submit a renewal!

Take a deep breath – this does not have to happen to you.

You can avoid any visa renewal shocks and surprises simply by keeping these 5 facts in mind:

1. Applications must be submitted at least 60 days before the expiry date of the visa

South Africa’ Immigration Act requires visa holders to submit renewals at least 60 days before the expiry date of their visa. Visa holders may also submit renewals earlier but no earlier than 6 months prior to a visa’s expiry date.

Our advice? Don’t wait for the 60 days! Submit as early as possible to allow for unforeseen hiccups.

2. Start the groundwork early

The process of renewing a South African visa is the same as applying for a new visa. For this reason, it is advisable to start preparing for a renewal well in advance.

When it comes to work visas specifically, there are often multiple steps that need to be followed before being able to submit the renewal to the authorities. Given the backlog at Home Affairs due to the post COVID-19 pandemic, hangover  we recommend starting the preparation process 12 months in advance.

3. The visa holder must meet all the requirements again

To apply for a visa extension, the visa holder must be able to meet the requirements of their visa again. This includes any new requirements or changes to requirements that were made by the Department of Home Affairs since the previous application or renewal.

Applicants who can’t meet the requirements of their visa will most likely not get a visa extension.

That does not mean it’s the end of the road! Unsuccessful renewal applicants can get assessed against all of South Africa’s immigration requirements to see if they perhaps qualify for another visa that lets them work in South Africa.

4. Keep critical documentation up to date

Want to save yourself a lot of headaches? Ensure that documentation with expiry dates are always valid. By keeping documents up to date, you’ll see to it that you’re ready to proceed with renewals as soon as it’s necessary.

Police clearances is one example of documentation with an expiry date. These documents are only valid for 6 months from the date of issuance. The passport expiration date is also an important one to keep in mind. It is impossible to apply for a visa with an expired passport.

5. Extensions must be submitted in South Africa

All extensions must be submitted in South Africa, at a VFS application centre. Visa holders can’t submit extensions outside of South Africa.

Need help with South African visa renewals?

Our corporate team can assist you with all types of South African visa renewals. The team will guide you through the requirements and work with you to submit a complete application.

How can we help you , please email us to whatsapp message me on:

 +27 82 373 8415, where are you now? check our website :

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