SA Immigration News

 

According to a media briefing held by the Minister of The DHA today (9 April 2024) as a result of errors in the newly published amended immigration regulations, dated and implemented on 28 March 2024, same will be withdrawn and a rectified version will be published.
He also mentioned that with regards to general work visa applications, the points base system, will replace the requirement for a recommendation from The Department of Labour. We are yet to receive further information regarding the points base system.
Immigration to South Africa

SA Immigration News

The Department of Home Affairs (DHA) published a draft second amendment of the SA Immigration Regulation 2014, which was dated 9 February 2024.

Members of the public were given until 29 March 2024, to submit written suggestions, comments, etc. relating to the proposed amendments.

Despite the closing date for written submissions being 29 March 2024, The DHA proceeded to publish the new regulations, which was dated and implemented on 28 March 2024.

The crucial amendments are as described below:

When applying for long term temporary residence visas and/or permanent residence permits, police clearances / criminal record checks are required in respect of countries where the applicant resided for longer than 12 months, immediately preceding the date of their visa / permit application.

Radiological reports are no longer required when applying for temporary residence visas and/or permanent residence permits.

A spouse or child of a SA citizen or permanent resident, or the parent of a SA citizen or permanent resident child, may apply for a change of status / condition, from a visitors visa, to any other visa category, from within SA.

If a foreign national is employed by a foreign employer on a remote basis and provided that they earn a minimum annual salary equivalent to R1 million, they may apply for a visitors visa in terms of Section 11(2) of the SA Immigration Act, for the purpose of working remotely in SA. If the visa is issued for longer than 6 months (within a 12 months period), the applicant must register with the SA Revenue Services.

A foreign national who qualifies to apply for a critical skills work visa, must provide proof of registration with a SAQA accredited board/body/council in SA, if such registration is required by law, provided that in the event of submitting proof that one has applied for such registration, the critical skills work visa may be issued for an initial duration not exceeding 12 months.

All work visa applications must be adjudicated in accordance with a point-based system, as determined by the Minister of the DHA. Although not limited to, the points base system, will consider, age, educational qualification, language skills, work experience, offer of employment, the ability to adapt within SA, etc.

The points base document has not yet been issued, which already proposes a new challenge.

 

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One of the South African work visa categories is the critical skills work visa, which refers to a list of skills or qualifications that are lacking in the country.

On the 3rd of October 2023, a newly updated critical skills list was published, detailing the skills that South Africa is currently experiencing a scarcity of. The new list gave emphasis to two specific skills: Veterinary Nurses and Veterinarians.

Candidate Engineers may now also apply for critical skills work visas, which was not possible before, as the Engineering Council did not issue recommendation letters for this category.

One of the most challenging aspects of the previous critical skills list was that it required the critical skills visa applicant to submit a proof of application in order to attain a certificate of registration with a SAQA accredited body. Additionally, it also required from the applicant a critical skills recommendation letter, from the same SAQA accredited body, as confirmation of the applicant’s skills or qualifications. This was particularly difficult owing to the fact that some SAQA accredit bodies do not offer the services of issuing such recommendation letters, and in some instances, applicants could not find a specific SAQA accredited body in line with their critical skill.

The newly updated critical skills list refers to proof of application for a certificate of registration with a SAQA accredited professional body, where applicable (i.e., if required by law), or a critical skills recommendation letter from a SAQA accredited body.

 

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SA Immigration News

The High Court has declared the Home Affairs decision to discontinue Zimbabwean Exemption Permits (ZEPs), unconstitutional and invalid.

In 2021, the Home Affairs Minister announced that the ZEPs which was first introduced more than 10 years, ago, would be terminated. This prompted court challenges from various organisations and migrants in SA.

Today (28 June 2023), the court ruled in their favour, that proper public consultation did not take place prior to the decision being made.
The Home Affairs Minister has been directed to re-consider the issue “following a fair process” which complies with the relevant laws. Pending the outcome of this process, ZEPs will remain valid for a further 12 months, until 30 June 2024 and they have the protection of not being arrested or deported.

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