They found that the same type of application may be approved at one Embassy but then rejected at another and certain Embassies would process the application in just a few weeks whereas other Embassies might take months to process the same type of application.
In an attempt to eliminate these inconsistencies, earlier this year the Minister of Home Affairs announced that long term visa applications submitted worldwide would be sent to Head Office in Pretoria to be adjudicated.
This change meant that almost 200 consulates were sending all their long-term visa application to one centralised point to be adjudicated by only a handful of adjudicators. The new process created a bottleneck since its inception and caused unprecedented delays, with applications taking in some cases 7 to 8 months to be finalised.
After facing strong criticism on the changes made to the adjudication process from businesses wanting to invest in the Republic, on 31 August 2022 the Department of Home Affairs prepared a directive, released earlier today that effective immediately withdraws the instruction to South African Missions abroad to send their long-term applications to the centralised hub for adjudication.
This decision should lead to much faster processing times for long-term visa application and lesson the strain on investors. The Department is expected to make further announcements on the transitional logistics with regards to applications that have already been sent to the Department of Home Affairs in South Africa for processing.