We like keeping an ear on the ground and absolutely love bringing you what we find… This time around, an article came to our attention which we feel you will benefit from so below we highlight the key parts, you can find a link to the full article at the end of this post.

Often immigrants sit back after receiving their visas, thinking all the work is done – but it’s vital to not lose sight of renewals.

It is common knowledge that the Department of Home Affairs takes long with applications so it’s always a better idea to start your process sooner rather than later. Not planning an extension or new application properly can have serious consequences for your legality in South Africa as well as your ability to qualify for permanent residence.

Therefore it is important for you to be aware of the rules regarding South Africa visa renewals as well as the requirements that need to be met.

Top tips for South Africa visa renewals

  • Start the preparation process well in advance. The preparation process should start 12 months before the expiry of the existing visa in some cases.
  • Have your paperwork in order.
  • Understand the requirements for renewing your visa – if in doubt, ask.
  • Ensure that your passport is up to date.
  • Check the immigration legislation changes from 2014. You may be in possession of a visa that is no longer accommodated by the Immigration Act which will mean that you need to qualify for another type of visa.
  • Consult with professional immigration specialists and get it right the first time.

Risk factors to watch out for

Understanding the severity of these risk factors can help you avoid disappointment when renewing your visa. There very well may be more so this list is not exhaustive.

  • Your documents expiring: Check all the dates on all your documents. Please understand that certain documents expire after 6 months, so planning is crucial – especially with police clearances if you have lived all over the world. All extensions must be submitted in South Africa. They cannot be submitted abroad.
  • Not submitting in time: Should you not submit in time, please be aware that you will need to leave South Africa and submit in your home country. An extension can only be applied for within the final 6 months of the validity of the existing visa. All extensions must be submitted at a VFS application centre for which an appointment must be secured.
  • Not checking the date of your passport: This can result in you having to leave the country and not obtaining an extension.
  • Financial disaster: Not only will you encounter travel costs as you will need to leave the country, but all the other costs of having to leave your job will also add to the financial burden.
  • Emotional disaster: This will cause major upheaval if everyone has to leave the country when your family is all on one visa. Especially with children still in school, this can be emotional in many ways for all members of the family.

Sources: Click here for full article.

You can also find our July 2016 edition of ZASA Magazine (Issue 10) by clicking here.

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