Answer to a question from a reader

How can I renew my asylum seeker status online?

The short answer

Email the refugee reception office where your last extension was made.

The long answer

If your refugee or asylum seeker visa expired during lockdown, you have until 30 June to extend it online. Start by emailing the refugee reception office where your last extension was made. These are the email addresses of the refugee reception offices where you can extend your refugee or asylum seeker status:

Refugee Reception Office

Section 24 (refugee) extension email

Section 22 (asylum seeker) extension email

Desmond Tutu (Pretoria)

Cape Town





You will then receive a response outlining the process to follow, which includes submitting the following:

  • A signed template, which will be sent to you after your first email, that has your permit number, full name and surname, and full contact details (an email address, mobile phone number and physical address);

  • Proof of physical address, e.g. utility bill or an affidavit confirming address;

  • A copy of your current visa (if you have lost your visa, submit an affidavit confirming that the permit is lost and indicate your previous permit reference number).

After they have received all your documents, Home Affairs will consider your extension request and will let you know whether you were successful. If your visa extension cannot be processed online, you will be told to visit the refugee reception office in person. The time and date of your appointment will be provided.

Each member of your family must submit their own visa extension request, although you can use the same email address. The principal applicant must sign extension requests of minors. The signature on those requests must be the same as the ones on the existing/expired permits.

If you have any difficulties, contact Scalabrini:

Wishing you the best,

Answered on June 4, 2021, 2:54 p.m.

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Please note. We are not lawyers or financial advisors. We do our best to make the answers accurate, but we cannot accept any legal liability if there are errors.