The Department of Home Affairs and its partners are calling upon qualifying asylum seekers and refugees to renew their expired visas and status online before the deadline of 30 June 2021.

Home Affairs Minister, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, extended the validity of asylum seeker visas and refugee statuses which expired during the lockdown to 30 June 2021. The online extension is aimed at providing the extension of visa service in a manner that contributes to limiting the spread of Covid-19.

The Department started to offer the online extension service of asylum seeker visas and refugee statuses on 15 April 2021.

With the online extension, a holder of an asylum seeker visa (section 22) or a refugee status (section 24), is able to request an extension of visa validity through email, without having to physically go to a refugee reception office.

In terms of process, when making a request for online extension, a client sends an email message to a dedicated email address listed below. A client will then receive a response outlining the process to follow, a template and list of required documents. Once all documents are sent and received at Home Affairs, the Department will consider the request and communicate its decision by email.

In cases where a request cannot be processed online and requires that the requester should appear in person at a Refugee Reception Office, a letter stating that will be sent. This letter will provide such a person with the office name, date and time of their appointment.

In cases of families, each member must submit a request for an extension individually. Multiple clients are allowed to use one email address. The principal applicant must sign extension requests of minors. The signature on those requests must be the same as the ones on the existing/expired permits.

To request online extension for an asylum seeker or refugee visas a client will need to submit the following documents:

• A signed template that has a permit number, full names and surname, and full contact details (an email address, mobile phone numbers and physical address).

• Proof of physical address in a form of a utility bill or an affidavit confirming address.

• A copy of the current visa. If the visa is lost, the client must submit an affidavit confirming that the permit is lost and indicate the previous permit reference number.

Source: Government of South Africa

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