Online Renewal of Permits

Since April 2021 the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) started to offer the online extension service of asylum seeker visas and refugee status permits.

The online extension service allows a holder of an asylum seeker visa (section 22) or a refugee status permit (section 24), to request an extension of validity through email without having to physically go to a refugee reception office (RRO).

The DHA is calling upon qualifying asylum seekers and refugees to renew their expired visas and statuses online before the existing blanket expiry date of 30 April 2022.

How to renew your permit online?


One: Send an email requesting the online extension of an asylum seeker or refugee visas to the RRO where last extension was made including only your permit number on the subject line. (Emails for each RRO provided below.)

ATTENTION! The subject line of the email must contain ONLY your DHA number!

Two: Once the request is sent to the email indicated, the DHA will reply with instructions including a template form that must be completed.

Three: You will then need to submit the following documents:

  • The signed template with permit number, full names and surname, and full contact details (an email address, mobile phone numbers and physical address).
  • Proof of physical address in a form of a utility bill or an affidavit confirming address.
  • A copy (scan) of the current visa. If the visa is lost, you must submit an affidavit confirming that the permit is lost and indicate the previous permit reference number.

Four: Once all documents are sent and received at the DHA, the DHA will consider the request and communicate its decision by email. In cases where a request cannot be processed online the DHA may ask you to appear in person at an RRO by sending you a letter with an appointment. This letter will provide you with the office name, date and time of their appointment.

Please note the below important information:

  • In the case of families, each member must submit a request for an extension individually
  • Each individual application must be sent in a separate e-mail message, even if they are sent from the same email address or account.
  • The principal applicant must sign extension requests of minors and the signature on those requests must be the same as the ones on the existing/expired permits.
  • Where a visa or permit is issued and sent via email, it will include an email address at the bottom that allows a person (for example, your employer) or organisation (for example, your bank) to write to the DHA to verify that the permit is indeed a valid one. 
Desmond Tutu Refugee Reception Office  Refugee visa extensions: [email protected] 
Asylum seeker visa extension: [email protected] 
Cape Town Refugee Reception Office  Refugee visa extensions: [email protected]  
Asylum seeker visa extension: [email protected] 
Musina Refugee Reception Office  Refugee visa extensions: [email protected]  
Asylum seeker visa extension: [email protected] 
Gqeberha (Port Elizabeth) Refugee Reception Office  Refugee visa extensions: [email protected]  
Asylum seeker visa extension: [email protected] 
Durban Refugee Reception Office  Refugee visa extensions: [email protected]  
Asylum seeker visa extension: [email protected] 

What to do if you do not receive a response?

What should I do if Home Affairs does not reply to my email?

At first, you will receive automated response from Home Affairs within 24 hours advising you of the next steps. Please refrain from sending multiple e-mails.

If you do not receive anything at all after you sent an email, ensure that you have sent to the correct email and followed the guidelines above.

Should you receive an email saying, for example, “According to the system, permit number DBNCOD0000000, is still valid” and gives you a date in the future, do the following:

– Refresh your email inbox.

– Check your SPAM/JUNK emails folder.

ATTENTION! You are expected to submit your renewal request to the email addresses above (to the RRO where you last renewed your document), but the referral letter/permit from the system will come from a central email address: [email protected] .

Do NOT try to submit applications to this email, but expect the response and search your junk box for it!

I still have not received my permit, what should I do?

if you have done all the above and you still have not received your permit or even an automatic response to your application after 10 days, follow the steps below:

• Do not send any more applications or emails to the Department of Home Affairs.

• Contact one of the organisations listed on Help South Africa – Legal Assistance

Additionally, if you are facing challenges and require further assistance on the process, you can contact the UNHCR toll-Free Helpline 0800 100 030.


Only persons whose permits and visa expired since the state of disaster was declared in March 2020 can apply for renewal of permit through the online system at the moment. If your permit expired prior to this, contact one of the organisations listed on Help South Africa – Legal Assistance.

Please note that Refugee Reception Offices remain closed during this period.

This is a FREE SERVICE offered by the Department of Home Affairs. Be CAREFUL of scams and people charging money for the renewal of your documentation.

Report Corruption: 0800 701 701 or [email protected]

Frequently Asked Questions about the Online Renewal Process available here.