A reduced number of locations are operating at a lower capacity
than usual in the interests of the safety of customers and staff,
and to ensure that the UK Visa and Citizenship Application
Services (UKVCAS) delivers an effective service that still meets
public health guidelines. Ongoing global restrictions mean some
UKVI services will remain closed.
John Dunn, the director of citizenship and immigration at Sable
International, said that South Africans could now rebook existing
UK visa or British appointment that they were not able to attend
due to the pandemic. He said UKVCAS will honour existing payments,
and applicants will not be charged again and no appointment prices
will be displayed for rebooking.
However, certain short stay categories like the visit visa and EEA
family permit that are issued for 6 months but have expired will
not be renewed or extended. They will have to be resubmitted in
full, and government fees must be paid again.
“We are able to book appointments for new applications, but there
is a lower number of appointments available, due to the
restriction on the number of people they are safely allowed to see
“The South African government has opened the borders to people who
have work commitments and study commitments abroad. This includes
those on the student visas and who have work permits that have
been approved before or during this time. However, the borders are
unlikely to open in full for other travel before October,” said
While the UK borders were not officially closed, people arriving
in the UK will need to spend 14 days in self-isolation and will
need to fill in a locator form upon arrival, detailing where they
plan to spend those 14 days.
The process when you get to the UK:
Dunn detailed the process for South Africans arriving in the UK.
“When you arrive in the UK, you will not be allowed to leave the
place where you’re staying for the first 14 days you’re in the UK
(known as ‘self-isolating’) unless you’re arriving from an exempt
“All South African visitors to the UK will need to complete the
public health passenger locator form 48 hours before arrival. You
must present these details on your arrival in England. You may be
refused permission to enter the UK (if you are not a British
citizen), or fined if you do not provide your contact details or
do not self-isolate unless you arrive in the UK from an exempt
“You should self-isolate in one place for the full 14 days, where
you can have food and other necessities delivered, and stay away
from others. You must self-isolate at the address you provided on
the public health passenger locator form.
“You cannot go out to work or school or visit public areas, go
shopping or go out to exercise. If you require help buying
groceries, other shopping or picking up medication, you should
order a delivery.
“If you cannot safely self-isolate for 14 days, you should tell
Border Force Officers when you pass through UK border controls.
They will provide you with details of a booking service which you
can use to obtain accommodation and self-isolate in at your own
expense,` he said.
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