What we know so far is that the purpose of the centralised system is to ensure consistency and uniformity in application of the Immigration Act and Regulations toward the adjudication of visa submissions. The implementation of this new system is seen as an attempt by DHA to enhance the integrity of its Immigration Department and to show efforts to align systems in the interest of national security whilst contributing to the recovery of the economy.
DHA had been made aware that there are inconsistencies and arbitrary rules by officials at the Missions which has led to Consular Officials (in different Missions, in different countries) requesting non-prescribed requirements for the same visa application. At time, these requested requirements can change weekly depending on the Official receiving the documents, often results in an inconsistent and unpredictable adjudication process. Although, this is not the case with all Missions, as some are compliant and enforce the correct visa application processes and procedures.
As an expatriate solution firm for the past 17 years, we welcome the new system and are of the opinion that with proper and systemic implementation, the centralised system will improve on the effectiveness and uniformity in the adjudication process of long-term visa applications. However, like with any structural change, teething problems are expected and are currently affecting expats and their employers around the globe. An example of this is greatly increased processing times of visa applications as a result of a bottleneck due to the vast number of visa application received at the DHA Head Office from the Missions. One can only hope that DHA is being proactive and jumping on implementing measures to mitigate further delays in the release of visa application outcomes and also to increase the staff compliment at DHA Head Office to relieve the pressure of the volume of applications received.
We commend DHA on the steps taken to improve processes, however, they will need a more permanent and robust solution to address the ever-evolving Immigration standards. To help us further understand and unpack the new centralised system, as well as discuss other developments within DHA, Xpatweb will be hosting their maiden “Reinventing Mobility Conference” on 30 June 2022. Guests will have the privilege of having the executive Directors from DHA answer all their burning questions.