Cape Town Refugee Center to Reopen in January 2020

The Cape Town refugee reception office, Scalabrini Centre, is expected to reopen in January 2020.

The centre was closed for almost seven years, which affected thousands of immigrants. It was due to reopen by March 2018, but the Department of Home Affairs missed the deadline. The Department of Public Works said due to budget constraints and high costs, it would lease a building in Bellville.

It was expected to cost just over R21 million for a leasing period of over five years. The Scalabrini Centre and the Legal Resources Centre took Home Affairs to court back in 2017. The Supreme Court of Appeal then ordered the department to open the office by March 2018.

The centre’s Miranda Madikane said she was pleased about the recent development. “We are feeling very happy that accommodation has been found.”

Madikane said without documentation, foreign nationals were unable to access basic services such as healthcare, education, employment and were afraid they would get arrested. “When you’re living without a document in South Africa, it’s extremely difficult and dangerous, and places massive pressure on people,” she said.

 

For information as to how Relocation Africa can help you with your Mobility, Immigration, Research, Remuneration, and Expat Tax needs, email marketing@relocationafrica.com, or call us on +27 21 763 4240.

Sources: [1], [2]. Image sources: [1], [2].

How South Africans Can Bring Their Parents and Grandparents to the UK

Part of the process of deciding to move to the UK is weighing up the impact on your extended family.

While even simply the idea of leaving loved ones behind can be devasting, moving from South Africa to Britain will most likely mean a long-term physical separation from beloved family members, says Lisa Aspeling from immigration consultants Move Up.

Below she outlined the different ways that emigration South Africans can bring their elderly dependents with them when moving.

How to qualify for the Elderly Dependent Permit

Issued for five years, one major advantage of the Elderly Dependent Permit is that it leads to British citizenship.

However, the rules around being granted this particular visa are very strict and it’s common for many of these applications to get refused, said Aspeling.

“Unfortunately, if your parents do not qualify to move to the UK based on ancestral rights or the other more traditional routes to UK settlement and they don’t need round-the-clock care, they won’t be eligible for the Elderly Dependent Permit.

“Applicants must prove that they require long-term, hands-on care in order to handle everyday living. The kind of care your parent or grandparent will be required to prove they need includes daily tasks like washing, cleaning and cooking. Essentially, your parent or grandparent will have to prove that they are absolutely unable to live independently.”

Aspeling said that a comprehensive doctor’s report about your parent or grandparent’s state of health would be an important document to include in your application.

Full medical records, including specialist reports and hospitalisation records, as well as a letter from the applicant’s current carers – for example, their nursing home manager – is also essential, she said.

“The letter should state the healthcare professional’s full recommendations, whether that is being admitted into a frail care facility or receiving special medical attention.

“The only silver lining here is that the UK government will accept a broad range of reasons for this: the specific care your parent or grandparent requires might not be available locally, or no one can reasonably provide it, or it can come down to a lack of affordability.”

Requirements from the sponsor to qualify for the elderly dependent permit

“Not only do your parents (or grandparents) need to jump through some hoops to qualify for this rare visa, but you as the sponsor need to prove that you can provide adequate maintenance, accommodation, and care for your elderly dependant – and here’s the catch – without having to withdraw public funds,”said Aspeling.

“You as the sponsor will be required to sign a sponsorship undertaking form, confirming that you are entirely responsible for your dependant’s care, without relying on public funds, for at least five years.”

EU law and elderly dependents in the UK

While no one knows what will happen to the UK’s immigration laws after Brexit is completed, as things stand, if you have EU nationality, rather than British citizenship, it is easier to qualify to bring your parents or grandparents to the UK, said Aspeling.

This is largely because the rules for elderly dependants are much more lenient under EU immigration law, she said.

“Under EU law you will, among other things, need to show you are exercising treaty rights in the UK by studying, working, being self-employed or self-sufficient. The UK Home Office will also need proof that your parent(s) or grandparent(s) is dependent on you.

“Although being granted an Elderly Dependent Visa is admittedly a rare outcome, our experienced immigration consultants are available for a free consultation and assessment to help you determine if this is a viable route for moving your parents or grandparents to the UK with you.”

 

For information as to how Relocation Africa can help you with your Mobility, Immigration, Research, Remuneration, and Expat Tax needs, email marketing@relocationafrica.com, or call us on +27 21 763 4240.

Sources: [1], [2]. Image sources: [1], [2].

Tourist Safety Tips for South Africa

South Africa is a country filled with natural beauty, cultural diversity, and interesting history. As a result , it is popular tourist destination.

While South Africa may be stable politically, compared to some other African countries, it does have a relatively high level of crime, especially in certain areas. Control Risks Group Limited recently released statistics for kidnapping around the globe, and Southern Africa is certainly not free from these incidents. Before you visit, it is a good idea to take a look at your government’s travel advisory notices online (if there are any), so that you know what to avoid.

It is important to be cautious, and remember the general safety tips that are given to many visitors (and locals). We’ve included some below for you.

  1. When possible, avoid displaying lots of jewelry, and carrying valuables in your hands. Try not to speak on your phone while you are walking around outside.
  2. If you leave items in your car, put them in the glove compartment or trunk, and always remember to lock your car.
  3. Park in a well lit, preferably guarded, place. Companies such as Interpark run paid parking buildings in CBD areas.
  4. When you are waiting at traffic lights, be aware of your surroundings, and leave enough space to move your car should you be approached and feel uncomfortable.
  5. When walking around, especially at night, it is advisable to have other people with you. This is especially true if you decide to go hiking.
  6. Remember emergency numbers, or save them on your phone. The national emergency line is 10111 for police, and 10177 for ambulances. 112 can also be called from any cell phone in SA for an emergency call center.

We have included some travel advisory pages for a number of countries below.

So long as you keep these tips in mind, South Africa will offer you a unique, enriching experience. The country has a rich history, and many famous attractions to visit, as well as a diverse culture in which to participate while you are here.

 

For information as to how Relocation Africa can help you with your Mobility, Immigration, Research, Remuneration, and Expat Tax needs, email marketing@relocationafrica.com, or call us on +27 21 763 4240.

Sources: [1], [2]. Image sources: Jacques Nel [1], [2].

South African Airways is Changing Certain African Flight Routes and Reissuing Tickets

The below is a media statement released by South African Airways.

South African Airways is further strengthening its presence in Ghana by increasing weekly frequencies from 9 to 10 flights between Johannesburg and Accra, and by launching a daily service between Accra and Washington DC, with effect from 5th September 2019.

South African Airways regrets the inconvenience that this strategic decision may have on our customers and would ensure that those customers that already hold tickets for the affected flights are re-accommodated.

Ticketed SAA customers travelling between Johannesburg and Washington D.C. via Dakar (Blaise Diagne International) will be re-routed through one of the following options:

  1. Passengers travelling between Johannesburg (JNB) and Dakar (DSS):
    From Johannesburg (JNB) to Abidjan (ABJ) on flight SA 056 and from Abidjan (ABJ) to Dakar (DSS), on either Air Côte d’Ivoire (HF), Kenya Airways (KQ) or RwandAir (WB)
    From Dakar (DSS) to Abidjan (ABJ), on either Air Côte d’Ivoire (HF), Kenya Airways (KQ) or RwandAir (WB) and connecting onto flight SA 057 from Abidjan (ABJ) to Johannesburg (JNB)
  2. Passengers travelling between Johannesburg (JNB) and Washington D.C (IAD) via Dakar (DSS), SAA will re-accommodate passengers onto the Johannesburg (JNB) – Accra (ACC) – Washington D.C. (IAD) route and vice versa.
  3. Passengers travelling between Washington D.C. (IAD) and Dakar (DSS), can be re-accommodated via Brussels (BRU) to Dakar (DSS) on Brussels Airlines (SN) and vice versa.
    SAA will rebook affected passengers holding tickets as mentioned in points 1, 2 and 3 and the following rebooking conditions will apply:
  • Change of cabin class will not be permitted
  • Change fees will be waivered
  • Tickets must be re-issued on or before 23 August 2019. The issuing agent may re-issue the ticket with the following endorsement: INVOL SKCHG due to SA 207/208 CXD/Date
  • In the event where passengers do not wish to travel as re-accommodated by SAA, passenger may request a full refund of the unused ticket, without penalty.

Customers are encouraged to contact your Travel Agent, any SAA Office or our Contact Centres for assistance with flight changes.

The South African (Johannesburg) assistance line is 0861 606 606, and the US assistance line (Fort Lauderdale) is 1 (800) 722 9675.

To read the full media statement, click here.

 

For information as to how Relocation Africa can help you with your Mobility, Immigration, Research, Remuneration, and Expat Tax needs, email marketing@relocationafrica.com, or call us on +27 21 763 4240.

Sources: [1], [2]. Image sources: Adrian Pingstone [1], [2].

South African Home Affairs Implements Visa Waivers for Top Tourist Countries

The Minister of Home Affairs Dr Aaron Motsoaledi is pleased to announce that nationals from four of the seven countries he granted visa-free status during his Budget Vote speech will be able to travel to South Africa without visas from today.

He said the Department would implement visa waivers for Ghana, Cuba and Principe and Sao Tome after negotiations with these countries have been concluded. The Department is scheduled to complete these negotiations by the end of August 2019 and the implementation will follow soon thereafter.
“As from today, 15 August 2019, travelers from Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and New Zealand will no longer require a visa to visit South Africa for holidays, conferencing and business meeting visits. We took this decision unilaterally but we are engaging these countries to see how they can relax entry requirements for our citizens. I am glad to say that Qatar has already waived visa requirements for South Africans and this will enable our people to attend Qatar FIFA World Cup 2022 easier,” said Minister Motsoaledi.

The Department of Home Affairs is continuously reviewing its operations to contribute in growing the economy, facilitating the creation of jobs and securing our borders.

“The Department of Home Affairs has an important contribution to make in growing tourism and by extension growing the economy and creating jobs. We are constantly reviewing our operations to ensure that we relax entry requirements without compromising our responsibility towards the safety and security of our citizens,” said Motsoaledi.

Already, South Africa has waived the visa requirement for 82 of the 193 countries who are members of the United Nations. Eighteen of the countries enjoying a visa free status in South Africa are on the continent with all Southern African Development Community countries enjoying this status, except for the Democratic Republic of Congo.

These countries which are enjoying the visa free status are among the nations which account for the majority of the international tourist sending states on the continent, Europe and the Americas.

“The Department has already sent directives to ports of entry, airlines and our missions abroad informing them of the removal of visa requirements for nationals of these countries who wish to visit our beautiful country for tourism or business meetings,” said Minister Motsoaledi.

 

For information as to how Relocation Africa can help you with your Mobility, Immigration, Research, Remuneration, and Expat Tax needs, email marketing@relocationafrica.com, or call us on +27 21 763 4240.

Sources: SA Department of Home Affairs [1], [2]. Image sources: [1], [2].