Extending a South African 90-day business visa

extending-a-south-african-business-visa-300x185One of the queries we get most often is how to extend a 90-day business visa. Usually it’s because the visa holder is in South Africa and requires more time to wrap up things before returning home.

Unfortunately, not knowing what to do could mean last minute changes to plans or even an abrupt end to the business trip.

We’re willing to bet this neither of these scenarios are ideal for your company. If we’re correct, continue reading…

It is possible to extend the 90-day visa in South Africa – but think twice about doing so

When an applicant first apply for a South African 90-day business visa, it happens in the applicant’s home country.

Turnaround on these applications are quick. It usually only takes two weeks to receive an outcome. However, things look a little different when the extension is done in South Africa.

Processing times are inconsistent

The Department of Home Affairs is not known for fast turnaround times or consistent turnaround times. It is thus possible that the applicant will only receive the visa extension outcome after the valid visa has expired.

If this outcome is a rejection, and the visa has already expired, the visa holder will be deemed undesirable when they leave South Africa. This status comes with a reentry ban of up to 5 years. While it is possible to appeal the undesirable status, the person will only be able to apply for a new visa once the ban is lifted.

Our advice? If there is any chance that an extension will be necessary, ensure that your business visitor apply for the extension upon their arrival in South Africa. South Africa’s Immigration Act stipulates that renewals must be done at least 60 days before the expiry date on a visa. As visitor visas are valid for a maximum of 90 days, it means the extension application must happen within the first 30 days after arrival.

Please note that following our recommendation puts an applicant in a better position to get a visa extension in time, but does not guarantee success.

Would you like assistance with extending a South African 90-day business visa?

Please feel free to discuss the extension of a 90-day business visa with our consultants. You can call us on either 021 424 2460 or 011 234 4275.

Or would you prefer us to contact you instead? We’re more than happy to and all you have to do is request a call back. It’s that simple.