South African Immigration – Latest Covid-19 update

South African Immigration
Photo by Metin Ozer on Unsplash

South Africa is currently in a revised level 3 lockdown. Unfortunately, the lockdown has some consequences for SA Immigration related issues.

Clients must please take note of the following; 

  • Migrants in South Africa, who cannot leave South Africa due to the lockdown, and arrived in the country before 11/1/2021, will have their visas automatically extended to 31 March 2021. Migrants thus do not need to be concerned about a declaration of undesirability.
  • It is not currently possible to apply for Permanent Residence, as all such applications are on hold.
  • One cannot apply for South African citizenship, as these applications are also currently on hold.

Department of Home Affairs in South Africa

The Department of Home Affairs in South Africa has suspended some civic services. The services include; 

  • Applications for new IDs
  • Passport application
  • Marriage services

VFS Offices in the United Kingdom

The VFS offices in England is not accepting any South African visa applications from 5 January 2021.  This closure is due to the lockdown in England.

The confirmation is unfortunate news for our existing clients who need to submit their SA visa applications. Breytenbachs is in constant contact with the SA authorities and will update clients as soon as we have more information on when the SA visa submission offices will re-open.

South Africa House in London

In London, the SA High Commission is not attending to any walk-in clients for consular, civic or immigration matters. If you need a retention of SA citizenship letter, please speak to your Breytenbachs consultant for advice.

Based on the UK lockdown, announced on 4 January 2021, 15 Whitehall Office is closed until further notice. They are not scheduling any appointments.

A notice on their website states the following;

In the case of applications for Emergency Travel Certificates (ETC), kindly email: [email protected] and [email protected]  ; with a heading Emergency Travel to South Africa.  Please attach proof of emergency  (copy of death certificate or stamped notice of death form or burial order or letter from hospital)

Please do not post applications/documents/passports to the High Commission until government restrictions have been lifted.

How Breytenbachs can help you

Clients can be assured that Breytenbachs is in constant contact with the SA authorities. We will provide updates as soon as we have more information on when the various offices and some types of applications will re-open.

In the meantime, please do not hesitate to get in touch with our SA Immigration Team at [email protected]

You are also welcome to fill out our free South African Immigration online assessment form at