Virginia, US

Sep 05 2019

Protests Cause South African Diplomatic Missions to Temporarily Close

Nigeria, South Africa

At a Glance

  • Amid violent protests, South African diplomatic missions in the Nigerian cities of Abuja and Lagos have closed to ensure the safety of their personnel.
  • The diplomatic mission closures are creating processing delays for all immigration related applications and the missions are expected to re-open only after a security assessment is made, at a yet unknown date.
  • As a result, foreign nationals will not be able to submit applications and will not receive any adjudications on their applications until the offices reopen.

The situation

Amid violent protests, South African diplomatic missions in Nigeria, including the South African High Commission in Abuja and the Consulate General in Lagos, have closed in order to ensure the safety of their personnel. It is not yet clear when the missions will reopen.

Impact

  • Processing delays. The mission closures are expected to create processing delays of two to four weeks for all immigration applications, depending on when the offices reopen. The diplomatic missions will only reopen after a security assessment is conducted.
  • Effects on applications. As a result, foreign nationals will not be able to submit applications and will not receive any adjudications on their applications until the offices reopen.

 

Background

A history of anti-foreigner attacks in South Africa against Nigerians, which has increased in recent weeks, has created violent protests in Abuja and Lagos and increased diplomatic tension between the two countries.

Looking ahead

Although an agreement is likely to be reached between South Africa and Nigeria in order to stop violence stemming from the attacks in both countries, the situation may worsen before it gets better. However, Fragomen will provide an update once the diplomatic missions reopen and resume regular services.

This alert is for informational purposes only. If you have any questions, please contact the global immigration professional with whom you work at Fragomen or send an email to africainfo@fragomen.com.