• New Re-Entry Bans In Force for Visa Overstays
  • May 29, 2014
  • Law Firm: Fragomen Del Rey Bernsen Loewy LLP - New York Office
  • Foreign nationals who overstay their visas in South Africa are now subject to bans on re-entering the country, according to an internal directive from the Department of Home Affairs (DHA). Previously visa overstays were subject to fines. The change is effective immediately.

    The length of an individual’s re-entry ban will depend on the length of the overstay:

    • A foreign national who overstays for 30 days or less will not be able to enter South Africa for 12 months.
    • A foreign national who overstays a visa for the second time within a period of 24 months will not be able to enter for two years.
    • A foreign national who overstays for more than 30 days will be subject to a five-year ban on entry.

    What This Means for Employers

    Employers are advised to work with their Fragomen representative immediately to review how the rule change will affect foreign nationals who are required to travel internationally in the upcoming weeks. Employers should continue to carefully monitor the expiration dates of their foreign workers and to plan extension applications well in advance to avoid lapses in authorized stay.