• Visa Validity Position Potentially Reversed; Visas Remain Valid Beyond Passport Expiration Date
  • April 10, 2017
  • Law Firm: Fragomen Del Rey Bernsen Loewy LLP - New York Office
  • The South African Immigration authorities are considering reversing the recently-issued guidance document stating that visas with an expiry date beyond that of a traveler’s passport are to be withdrawn and the holder must submit an application for a new visa to ensure legal residence in South Africa. Therefore, until further announcements are made, South African visa holders with a valid visa in an expired passport and additionally holding a renewed passport should be able to enter South Africa and those already in South Africa with a valid visa on an old passport and holding a new passport should be allowed to transfer their visa from the old passport to a new passport. Those with expired passports must obtain a renewed passport and will not be allowed to enter the country with just their expired passport.

    What This Means for Employers and Foreign Nationals

    Authorities should continue to allow visa holders with a validity period that extends beyond the validity of their passport to enter South Africa with their expired passport, their visa and their new passport. Those already in South Africa should be allowed to transfer their visa from an old passport to a new passport.
    Since the authorities have not published an official announcement on this position, the situation remains subject to change and affected foreign nationals should contact their immigration professional.