Latest immigration law changes in South Africa | Hudson McKenzie

Latest immigration law changes in South Africa

February 2, 2017 | Immigration, Latest Thinking, News

The Department of Home Affairs, South Africa have issued an urgent alert regarding visa rectifications, visa transfers and appeals on applications rejected. We have outlined a summary of the directive.

Rectification of visas

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

  • Where the names of the applicant are incorrectly spelt, 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 visa.

Visa transfer from an old to a new passport

Effective 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 it.
  • If a passport got damaged with a valid visa in it.
  • 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 a transfer if a passport has 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.

Appeals in relation to 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:

  • A mistake was made by the adjudicator (decision maker).
  • Where the applicant believes that they have been rejected under a wrong category, which often happens.
  • Where the adjudicator (decision maker) claims that documentation was 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.

This immigration alert has been prepared by IBN Immigration Solutions, South Africa.

Should you have any questions regarding the above, please contact us on +44(0) 20 3318 5794 or send an email to londoninfo@hudsonmckenzie.com.