Contrary to popular belief, the ‘Enter on or before’ date on your visa is not an expiry date
There is a difference between visas issued within South Africa and visas issued in foreign countries. Visas issued in South Africa have an official expiry date that says VISA EXPIRY DATE. Visas issued outside South Africa has a section where is says ‘enter on or before’.
One should pay close attention to the ‘enter on or before’ date. This date is not your visa’s expiry date but the latest date at which you should have entered South Africa to activate your visa.
When entering South Africa, you will be issued with an entry stamp, and that entry stamp will hold your official visa expiry date.
The immigration officer at the airport issues this stamp with a ‘VALID UNTIL’ date. This date will be the date of entry plus the duration of your visa.
If you have a 3 year visa it will be the date 36 months from your date of entry.
Currently we are experiencing inconsistencies in the processing of Permanent Residence (PR) applications. In a recent article in our blog and newsletter, we shared the information gazetted by the Department of Home Affairs (DHA), that over 4.600 old applications might be lost.
This refers to PR applications submitted prior to the introduction of VFS in June 2014, a private company now handling the submission and collection of applications on behalf of DHA, as well as their safe transport to DHA Pretoria.
IBN can proudly confirm, that we have no applications left outstanding on this list, which were still submitted directly to DHA. We have checked the entire list for familiar names. Found a few, but those clients have all long had their PR’s issued. So we don’t know what happened to the remaining old applicants, but believe that many have either been solved or moved on.
However all is still not good with DHA. A new backlog is currently created, as we have indeed PR applications outstanding since December 2014. Those have of course been submitted via VFS and can be tracked. All VFS confirms though is that they were handed to DHA typically a day or two after submission.
No further updates are available. We are currently pressuring DHA to process these long overdue applications, as common practice expects DHA to make decisions within 8 month. Continue reading
The South African Department of Home Affairs recently had to admit that it has lost 4,616 applications and published a list of affected applicants online. All mentioned applicants have to re-apply and submit new applications per email to the Department of Home Affairs.
The Department received permanent residence applications prior to 02 June 2014 utilising the Track and Trace system .
The Department has now published a notification in its website that it has noted that it does not have 4616 applications on hand as per Track and Trace system.
The Department of Home Affairs could not clarify the reasons for the loss of these applications.
To solve this issue, Mr Mkuseli Apleni, the Director-General of the Department of Home Affairs, under the powers vested in him under Sections 26 and 27 of the Immigration Act, 2002 (Act no. 13 of 2002) as amended, published a list in the National Government Gazette. Continue reading
South Africa seems to have abounded the global standards of carrying a passport. And internationally it is not regarded as safe. Whereas other countries constantly improve the security features of its passports, SA seems to have given up completely.
The entire drama started in July 2009, when suddenly the United Kingdom required South Africans to apply for visas, mostly as a result of terrorism fears. Most importantly, that terrorists could obtain passports which allow them to travel into Europe.
And there are 2 elements to it, the passport itself as well as the control over its production system. Apparently many blank passports simply disappeared at the government printers.
Things have since improved, but not yet to the extend that South Africans can travel without having to apply for a visa in order to enter the UK and Europe. Effectively a visa is another (upfront) passport verification process.