South Africa – Automatic Extension of Study Visas that Expire on or Before December 31, 2016

What has changed

Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba has issued a Directive (number 25 of 2016), which provides an automatic extension of study visas that are due to expire before December 31, 2016. As a result of this extension, said visas will be extended until March 31, 2017. Affected individuals will be required to depart from South Africa on or before this date.

Prior to this Directive, students whose study visas expire on or before December 31, would have been required to leave on the date specified on their visa/entry stamp.

Who is affected?

  • The holders of study visas that expire on or before December 31, 2016.

What to expect

In addition to the automatic extension, affected individuals are granted a blanket wavier of the requirements set out in Regulation 27(a) and (c) Immigration Regulations to declare a person undesirable. This means that affected individuals will not be subjected to an undesirable status when travelling between the expiry stated on his/her visa and March 31, 2017, provided that he/she carries a copy of the Directive (number 25 of 2016), a letter from his/her tertiary institution, and his/her passport.

This Directive is due to the protest action that has been occurring at tertiary institutions which has subsequently delayed study schedules.

What you need to do
Planning ahead

  • The holders of study visas that expire on or before December 31, 2016 should be informed of the Directive and of the documents that should be carried when travelling between the expiry date of his/her current visa and March 31, 2017.
  • Study visa holders whose visas expire on or before December 31, 2016 must depart from South Africa on or before March 31, 2017 to avoid being deemed undesirable.
  • Contact your Emigra Worldwide representative for further details on how these updates may impact you or your client.

The information above was provided by Emigra Worldwide, our global network partners, and relevant government authorities. The information herein is for general purposes only and not intended as advice for a particular matter. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the global immigration professional with whom you work.