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Understanding Visa Validity Post-COVID-19 Pandemic visa policies, and how motivational request letters may no longer have the impact they once did.

In the past, it was common to include a motivational letter with a visa application, detailing reasons for the need or desire for a longer validity visa. These letters often provided additional context for visa officers to consider when determining the visa’s validity period. While the efficacy of these letters varied, in certain cases, they could result in longer validity visas.

However, the COVID-19 pandemic has fundamentally changed many aspects of international travel, including visa policies. Countries around the world have had to reevaluate their immigration controls to protect public health, and as a part of these changes, the flexibility in visa validity periods has been significantly reduced.


The main reasons for these changes are as follows:

  1. Limited predictability:
    The unpredictable nature of the pandemic, with waves of infections, new variants, and changing travel advisories, makes it difficult for immigration authorities to confidently issue longer validity visas.
  1. Health and safety precautions:
    By limiting the duration of visas, countries can better manage the number of people entering and staying in their territory, thereby reducing potential health risks.
  1. Regulatory changes and updates:
    The pandemic has resulted in frequent changes to travel and immigration regulations. Shorter validity visas allow for greater flexibility in responding to these changes.


These changes mean that a motivational request letter may not have as much influence on the length of visa validity as it once did. However, it’s important to note that the decision to grant a visa and its validity period is ultimately at the discretion of the visa officer reviewing your application. A well-written motivational letter can still provide valuable context about your travel plans and intentions, and it remains an important part of the application process.

Please do not hesitate to reach out if you have further questions or if you need assistance with your visa application process. We are here to help you navigate these changes and ensure that your application is as strong as possible.

Everytime You Fly!

Visas Zone is the preferred supplier for travel documentation and visas for some of South Africa’s largest corporates such as Chevron, Shoprite and Rennies Travel Group.