The world’s authorities have learned that swift action is needed in order to prevent the widespread distribution of the illness across international borders.
Some countries and airlines have embargoed flights to and from China and have even gone so far as to deny Chinese Nationals who from the Wuhan district (situated in Hubei), entry into state territory.
South Africa has also taken precautionary measures and introduced a temporary visa concession for Chinese nationals currently holding visitors visas and temporary residence visas, in light of the corona virus outbreak.
It has been communicated that until further notice, Chinese Nationals whose visitor’s visas have already reached the maximum validity period, will be allowed to apply for a new visitor’s visa on the same visa conditions for a further three-month period.
Chinese Nationals who hold intra-company transfer visas, which visas are due to expire on or before 31 July 2020, will be permitted to apply for three-month visitor’s visas (with authorisation to work) in terms of section 11(2) of the Immigration Act.
Chinese Nationals who are holders of temporary residence visas which have already expired since 1 December 2019, and those which will be expiring by 29 February 2020, will be allowed to submit renewal applications for those expired visas without the need to first legalise their status in South Africa (form 20-authorisation for an illegal foreigner to remain in the Country pending an application for status).
These temporary concessions are only valid until 31 July 2020 and is only available to Chinese Nationals who were legally admitted into South Africa.
Unfortunately, these concessions do not seem to provide any relief to non-Chinese citizens, but who are ordinarily resident in China. Non-Chinese citizens who are required to return to China, may need to apply for special authorisation to benefit from these concessions.
The Employment Survival Guide is an informative guide covering a number of topics, which is being published purely for information purposes and is not intended to provide our readers with legal advice. Our specialist legal guidance should always be sought in relation to any situation. This version of the survival guide reflects our experts’ views as of 25 March 2020. It is important to note that this is a developing issue and that our team of specialists will endeavour to provide updated information as and when it becomes effective. Please contact our employment team should you require legal advice amidst the COVID-19 pandemic