In light of the extension of the nationwide lockdown in South Africa until 30 April 2020, the government has communicated a number of changes to its usual visa processing and issuance policies. Amongst other things, new temporary concessions have been introduced that will alleviate pressures and concerns on foreign nationals in South Africa with temporary residence visas which expired from 15 February 2020 or those whose visas expired before or during the lockdown.
Further to the declaration of the National State of Disaster and the subsequent announcement of a nationwide lockdown, the president of South Africa has extended the nationwide lockdown until 30 April 2020 to continue with government efforts aiming to curb the spread of the coronavirus and COVID-19.1 (For prior coverage, see GMS Flash Alert 2020-118, 26 March 2020.)
Many foreign nationals with expired visas or whose visas are due to expire, are very anxious about their immigration status and consequences of non-compliance with the immigration law during and after the lockdown period. To allay these concerns, the Department of Home Affairs has outlined temporary measures on visa concessions to address these immigration matters.2 These temporary measures will remain valid until 31 July 2020, unless extended officially by the Department of Home Affairs.
1 For some news on recent measures, including the president of South Africa’s 9 April announcement extending the lockdown through 30 April, see the webpage of the United States Embassy in South Africa.
2 For immigration-related news from the Department of Home Affairs, go to the department’s website. For recent measures related to visas and entry to/departure from South Africa, see this Department of Home Affairs 14 April announcement.
By Melissa Duffy and Carolyn Chambers, KPMG International member firm in South Africa
So much is changing every day as the impact of COVID-19 transforms the way we live and work. With travel restrictions, travel bans, border closures, “stay at home” and “shelter in place” policies, implemented to stem the spread of COVID-19, business patterns and employee work routines, and places of work, have been turned on their heads. As Carolyn Chambers and Melissa Duffy, KPMG professionals in South Africa, explain, this could lead to immigration status disruptions and increased tax costs. Read the article.
* Please note that KPMG LLP (U.S.) does not provide any labor law or immigration services. However, KPMG Law LLP in Canada can assist clients with U.S. immigration matters.
The information contained in this newsletter was submitted by the KPMG International member firm in South Africa.
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