PLEASE NOTE: 

URGENT UPDATE as of 21.02.2017:

Urgent alert issued by the Department of Home Affairs regarding visa rectifications, visa transfers and appeals on applications rejected.

Changes on visa rectifications, transfers and appeals – An Important update as of 21.02.2017

In reference to our previous blog article regarding ‘Changes on visa rectifications, transfers and appeals’ we have received communication that the information provided will be reviewed by The Department of Home Affairs.

For now, the last article published can safely be ignored until an official press release and information is given by The Department of Home Affairs. Valid visa holders are still able to travel in and out of South Africa despite an expired passport with the valid visa, however only if you have a valid passport. It can be expected that something similar might be issued, but hopefully with much longer introduction period.

The Department of Home Affairs will be meeting regarding this matter this Thursday, 23 February 2017.

Following the discussion and outcome we will update our readers accordingly.

CURRENTLY PUT ON HOLD:

Please note as of 21.02.2017 currently put on hold:

Below, please find a summary of the attached directive for ease of reference:

1. Rectification of visas:

Effective from January 2017, the Department of Home Affairs and VFS will only accept applications for rectification of visas on the following conditions:

Where the names of the applicant are incorrectly spelled or are not captured as indicated by the applicant on their application form (DHA-1740 or DHA-1739).

  • Where the visa category is incorrectly captured and is not the same as the one applied for by the applicant. This is further on condition that VFS confirms and can prove that the category as per the checklist is correct and the category on the label (sticker) is wrong.
  • Where the reference number on the visa is incorrect and does not correspond with the reference number allocated to the applicant when they submitted the online application form
  • Where the issue and expiry date of the visa do not correspond to the legal validity of the type of visa
  • If a visa was issued by a SA mission abroad, an email must be sent to Home Affairs head office to confirm the authenticity of such visa. On upon confirmation of same, an application can be submitted for the rectification of the visa.

2. Visa transfers from an old to a new passport:

Effective from January 2017, the Department of Home Affairs will only accept applications for visa transfers on the following conditions:

  • If a passport got lost / stolen with a valid visa in
  • If a passport got damaged with a valid visa in
  • If a passport is full and there are no blank pages in for travel purposes. Please note VFS needs to verify this at the time of the transfer submission.

If a visa was issued by a SA mission abroad, an email must be sent to Home Affairs head office to confirm the authenticity of such visa. On upon confirmation of same, an application can be submitted for the rectification of the visa.

The Department of Home Affairs will no longer accept applications for visa transfers if a passport expired. The current visa in the expired passport will automatically lapse once the passport lapses. By law, the period of validity of a passport shall not be less than 30 days after the foreign national’s intended departure from South Africa. Therefore a visa should NOT be issued for any validity period which exceeds the passport number. The Department of Home Affairs will consider this a visa issued an error and shall withdraw such a visa. In terms of travelling, it would mean that the foreign national will no longer be able to travel with two passports anymore.

For further information on this topic, please refer to the attached communication.

3. Appeals on rejected applications:

No applications for a review will be considered if it is not submitted as an appeal application. These applications will only be accepted on the following conditions:

  • That the mistakes were made by the adjudicator (decision maker)
  • Where the applicant believes that they have been rejected on a wrong category, which often happens
  • Where the adjudicator (decision maker) claims that documentation were missing from an application, but the applicant insists that all required documents were included in the visa application
  • Reasons for rejection considered to be wrongful by the applicant
  • Any other negative reason not mentioned above

Further to the above, the applicant must submit the above-mentioned applications in person at his / her nearest VFS office. The fees for these services will be charged as follows:

Rectification applications:

No Home Affairs / government fee applicable
No VFS fee applicable

Visa Transfer/Transfer of visa applications:

No Home Affairs / government fee applicable
A VFS service fee of R1350 per person is applicable

Appeals:

No Home Affairs / government fee applicable
A VFS service fee of R1350 per person is applicable

We trust the above information is sufficient. Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Please do not hesitate to contact us for advice regarding immigration & visa, setting up business, property transfer & investment.