VFS & Department of Home Affairs Holiday Closures 2021

With all the excitement surrounding the reopening of visa applications the first week of January 2022, it would be easy to forget that the Department of Home Affairs and VFS Global are likely still scheduled for a festive season closure.

While the Department of Home Affairs has not announced an official year-end closure, we can surmise from past experience that they may close around 16 December 2021 and reopen around 10 January 2022. We can expect VFS to remain open during this time except for public holidays as they have in the past for collections only. However, given that no official announcements have been made, applicants should be prepared for this to change.

It is imperative to understand that any visa that is due to expire during the expected closure period MUST be renewed before VFS closes. There will be no leniency or extensions granted to any person(s) whose visa expires before this time, and they will face the full legal repercussions of overstaying a visa. These include being declared undesirable upon departure and banned from re-entering South Africa in the future. Foreigners who have overstayed their visas for 30 days or less will be banned from South Africa for 12 months, while those who overstayed by more than 30 days will be barred from re-entering South Africa for 5 years.

June Luna Immigration Attorneys offers expert South African immigration services, including visa renewals and applying for visa extensions. If you require assistance with your soon to expire visa or would like to know your options regarding the fallout of overstaying your visa, please contact us.