Statement by the Minister of Home Affairs regarding the reopening of borders and services during Alert Level 1
30 September 2020
All 18 land ports of entry will be opened from 1 October 2020. The other 35 land ports of entry remain closed.
The Department of Home Affairs is extending the validity period of legally issued visas which expired during the lockdown period to 31 January 2021.
Holders of such visas are permitted to remain in the country under the conditions of their visas until 31 January 2021. Those wishing to be repatriated to their countries within this period can depart without being declared undesirable persons.
The Department is also resuming services for applications for identity cards or documents and for all types of passports.
Visa services, including submission of applications through VFS Global, will also resume in the following categories:
- Visitor’s visas;
- study visa;
- treaty visa;
- business visa;
- crew visa;
- medical treatment visa;
- relative’s visa;
- general work visa;
- critical skills work visa;
- intra-company transfer work visa;
- retired person visa;
- corporate visa;
- exchange visa;
- waiver of prescribed requirement, as contemplated in section 31(2)(c); and
- appeals or reviews contemplated in section 8 of the Immigration Act.
Some of these services will also be available through our Missions abroad.
High risk countries
Any person from a country listed as having a high COVID-19 infection and transmission rate, who wish to undertake a business travel into South Africa, may from 1 October 2020, in writing, apply to the Minister of Home Affairs and demonstrate reasons for their request to enter the Republic for business purposes during the period of the national state of disaster.
Such applications must be directed to email Covid19BusinessTravel@dha.gov.za and supported by:
- a copy of passport and/or temporary residence visa;
- proof of business activities to be undertaken in the Republic;
- proof of travel itinerary; and
- proof of address or accommodation in the Republic.
We need to remind our people that the fact that we are at level 1 lockdown, does not mean that the Covid-19 pandemic is over. We still have to take precautions, and some of them, might be very hard decisions to make. But this will be done in such a way that it strikes a balance between saving lives and livelihoods.
In this regard, the opening of international travel will follow a Risk Adjusted Approach. Here is the full list of countries considered high risk:
- Bosnia and Herzegovina
- Costa Rica
- Czech Republic
- North Macedonia
- Puerto Rico
- United Emirates
- United Kingdom
We need to emphasise once more that people who are not allowed from these high risk countries are leisure travellers only. Other categories of people from these countries, are allowed under special conditions, as appears in the Regulations and Directions.
The above list will be reviewed every fortnight.
Siya Qoza, 082 898 1657 (spokesperson for the Minister of Home Affairs)
David Hlabane, 071 342 4284 (media manager for the Department of Home Affairs)