Draft Amendment to the Immigration Regulations 2014

The Department of Home Affairs (“DHA”) invites public comments on the draft First Amendment of the Immigration Regulations, 2014.

Written submissions should reach the DHA on or before 14 October 2016.

Click here for a copy of the Draft Amendment

High Court ruling – Holders of asylum seeker & refugees permits may now apply for the relevant immigration permits and visas

The much anticipated ruling on Immigration Directive 21 of 2015, barring Refugees and Asylum seekers from applying for a change of status to any visa or permit in terms of the Immigration Act, was handed down by in the High Court of South Africa on 21 September 2016. It has been declared that Directive 21 is inconsistent with the Constitution of the Republic and therefore invalid and must be set aside.

The judgement further clarifies that  even  failed asylum seekers must be permitted to apply for a visa by affording them the same opportunity as illegal  foreigners in section 32 where allowing individuals to approach the Director-General  for authorisation to apply for a visa.

Click here for a copy of the High Court Judgement

The Importance of South African Permanent Residency to your Expatriate / Human Resource Strategy

The work permit process can be time consuming and even painful, depending on your permit categorisation. One question often asked is whether an expatriate should not consider Permanent Residency application sooner, effectively lifting the expatriate’s status above the noise of normal work permit requirements. We found that there can be a significant upside however, depending on the complexities there may also be adverse consequences.

Why Permanent Residency?

Permanent Residency allows the holder to live and work in South Africa unlimited including the right to work without restriction, engage in business, own property, study and do all things a citizen is permitted to do with the exception of voting in the South African elections. You may only do so once you have been naturalised as a South African citizen. Permanent Residency in South Africa also allows its holder maximum flexibility with regards to entry and exit through the country’s borders. Read more

Draft Amendment to the Immigration Regulations 2014

The Department of Home Affairs (“DHA”) invites public comments on the draft First Amendment of the Immigration Regulations, 2014.

Written submissions should reach the DHA on or before 14 October 2016.

Click here for a copy of the High Court Judgement

High Court ruling – Holders of asylum seeker & refugees permits may now apply for the relevant immigration permits and visas

The much anticipated ruling on Immigration Directive 21 of 2015, barring Refugees and Asylum seekers from applying for a change of status to any visa or permit in terms of the Immigration Act, was handed down by in the High Court of South Africa on 21 September 2016. It has been declared that Directive 21 is inconsistent with the Constitution of the Republic and therefore invalid and must be set aside.

The judgement further clarifies that  even  failed asylum seekers must be permitted to apply for a visa by affording them the same opportunity as illegal  foreigners in section 32 where allowing individuals to approach the Director-General  for authorisation to apply for a visa.

Click here for a copy of the High Court Judgement

The Importance of South African Permanent Residency to your Expatriate / Human Resource Strategy

The work permit process can be time consuming and even painful, depending on your permit categorisation. One question often asked is whether an expatriate should not consider Permanent Residency application sooner, effectively lifting the expatriate’s status above the noise of normal work permit requirements. We found that there can be a significant upside however, depending on the complexities there may also be adverse consequences.

Why Permanent Residency?

Permanent Residency allows the holder to live and work in South Africa unlimited including the right to work without restriction, engage in business, own property, study and do all things a citizen is permitted to do with the exception of voting in the South African elections. You may only do so once you have been naturalised as a South African citizen. Permanent Residency in South Africa also allows its holder maximum flexibility with regards to entry and exit through the country’s borders. Read more

South Africa Not Renewing Zimbabweans Special Permits – Gigaba

The almost 200 000 Zimbabweans currently on permits issued under the Zimbabwean Special Permit (ZSP) project, have to seek alternative permits if they wish to extend their work, study or stay in South Africa beyond 2017, Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba has said.
“Those from Zimbabwe, as we announced last year when we announced the extension until December 2017, will in the meantime, between now and December 31st of 2017, have to regularise themselves in South Africa by applying for other permits and visas which are provided for in the Immigration Act,” Gigaba told reporters in Rustenburg in South Africa.
“The special Zimbabwe dispensation cannot exist forever. We therefore have to move towards a phase where we regularise them by ensuring that we provide them with visas in terms of the Immigration Act, and not through special arrangements.” Asked what would happen to the Zimbabweans based in South Africa if they have not attained other permits by December 2017, when their special dispensation permits expire, Gigaba said he wouldn’t speculate over the matter. Read more

Start-up visas: Countries draw top talent

A growing number of countries determined to attract entrepreneurs to their soil are handing “start-up visas” to the best and brightest of them.

A start-up visa enables entrepreneurs to live and start businesses in countries where they are not citizens or permanent residents, for a defined period of time.

According to global entrepreneur network Startup Nations, at least a dozen countries now have start-up visa programmes. These include Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, the UK, Ireland, France, Spain, Italy, the Netherlands, Denmark, Canada and Chile. Startup Nations’ network continues to grow, and is expected to add the likes of Argentina, Poland, Norway, the Dominican Republic and Estonia, which plans to implement a start-up visa programme in January. Read more

Validity period of visas now solidified

Effective 1 August 2016, visas will be issued with a “Valid From” date instead of an “Issue date” which will accurately calculate the expiry dates of visas. This is an issue that has been plaguing expatriate employees. The time employers have previously spent on correcting visas to ensure correct expiry date will no longer be necessary.

Directive 19 of 2016 was issued by the Department of Home Affairs to this effect.

Click here for a copy of the Directive

Department of Home Affairs Launches Inaugural Naturalization

The Department of Home Affairs will host an inaugural naturalization in honour of foreign nationals residing in South Africa. In this ceremony applicants who have been permanent South African residence holders for a period of 10 years will be formally awarded certificates, while they will be expected to take an oath affirming their allegiance to the Republic of South Africa. The function will take place in the East Rand later Wednesday.