South Africa Adopts New Visa Rules

The reversal of the unabridged birth certificate rule is just one of the many changes implemented by the Department of Home Affairs.

South Africa will implement some changes to its visa system in December 2018 which will likely impact tourism and immigration procedures.

This was revealed by the Department of Home Affairs, which recently published its regulatory amendments pertaining to the Immigration Act of 2002. This official government notice, published on 29 November, has been reported on by Business Tech in the wake of former Home Affairs Minister, Malusi Gigaba’s, disgraced exit from the department.

No more unabridged birth certificates

While Gigaba’s dubious tenure came to an abrupt halt following serious allegations of corruption, mismanagement and Constitutional violations – his time as Home Affairs minister will forever be stained by the unabridged birth certificate debacle. This rule, which required minors entering or leaving South Africa to produce an unabridged birth certificate, has been overturned.

The controversial rule, implemented by Gigaba during the start of his term, allegedly cost South Africa R7.5 billion due to a noticeable drop in lucrative the tourism sector.

The reversal of the unabridged birth certificate rule is just one of the many changes implemented by the Department of Home Affairs, due to take effect on 1 December. Let’s look at some other revised regulations which will affect the visa system in South Africa.

Spousal visa for entering South Africa

Visa applications concerning spouses in a “permanent homosexual or heterosexual relationship” have been revised in the latest amendment of the Immigration Act. The adjustments to the regulatory act define new policies relating to the rights of spouses entering South Africa. The notice makes a few important points:

  • Applications need to prove to the Director-General that the applicant is a spouse to a citizen or permanent residence permit holder.
  • Applicants need to sign an agreement stating that the permanent homosexual or heterosexual relationship has existed for at least two years before the date of application for a relevant visa and that neither of the parties is a spouse in an existing marriage.
  • Documents detailing the financial support the partners provide to each other need to be provided.
  • Both partners to a permanent homosexual or heterosexual relationship may be interviewed separately, on the same date and time, to determine the authenticity of the existence of their relationship.

Travelling with a child

Revised regulations relating specifically to children in transit have been noted in the Department of Home Affairs’ document. In addition to no longer needing an unabridged birth certificate, here are some points for parents and guardians to be aware of when travelling to and from South Africa.

Parent(s), legal guardians, or any other person travelling with a child who is a South African citizen, must produce the following before departing or entering South Africa:

  • a copy of a birth certificate or passport containing the details of the parent or parents of the child
  • a letter of consent from the other parent or parents of the child authorising such person to depart from or enter South Africa with the child he or she is travelling with
  • a copy of the passport, or identity card in the case of South African citizens, of the parent or parents or legal guardian of the child
    the contact details of the parent or parents, or legal guardian, of the child
  • a copy of a court order granting full parental responsibilities and rights or legal guardianship in respect of the child

An unaccompanied child must produce the immigration officer with the following:

  • a copy of his or her birth certificate
  • a letter of consent from one or both his or her parents or legal guardian, as the case may be, for the child to travel into or depart from South Africa
  • a copy of the passport of the parent or parents or legal guardian of the child
    the contact details of the parent or parents or legal guardian of the child
  • a letter from the person who is to receive the child in the country, containing his or her residential address and contact details in the country where the child will be residing
  • a copy of the identity card or valid passport and visa or permanent residence permit of the person who is to receive the child in the country

General work, business, and corporate visas

Visa revisions have also been made concerning foreigners who intend to establish a business or invest in a business that is not yet established in South Africa. These revisions include providing detailed account information and registering with various state institutions, including SARS and the Unemployment Insurance Fund.

Applications for general work visas have also been revised and must include a letter issued to the prospective employer by the Department of Labour stating that:

  • despite a diligent search, the prospective employer has been unable to find a suitable citizen or permanent resident with qualifications or skills and experience equivalent to those of the applicant
  • the applicant has qualifications or proven skills and experience in line with the job offer
  • the contract of employment stipulating the conditions of employment, signed by both the employer and the applicant, is in line with the labour standards in the Republic and is issued on condition that the general work visa is approved.

Corporate visas also need to pass through the Department of Labour, following a similar process by engaging integral state institutions.

To make use of the Department of Home Affairs’ e-services, click here. To find your nearest Home Affairs office, click here.

 

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

Former Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille Starts New Political Party Ahead of 2019 Elections

Former City of Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille says her new political party has everything in place to contest the 2019 elections.

The announcement comes a month after she resigned from her position as the city’s first citizen and as Democratic Alliance (DA) member last month.

“I am inviting all South Africans black, white, coloured and Indian, who are in search of something new that will disrupt our current political system. I am making a call for people to do good things for our country,” de Lille said.

Party specifics

The party will contest the 2019 elections in all nine provinces, she said. While the party has yet to be launched, a website has already been set up under the name “For Good”. The name of the party has yet to be made public De Lille said, as her team is still doing “research to test the collateral of the name”.

De Lille revealed, however, that the name of her former party — the Independent Democrats — is being tested as a potential name, as well as a “new name” she is considering. It is the first indication that the former mayor might be reviving the ID — which is still registered as a political party with the Electoral Commission of South Africa.

De Lille said that she had already referred to global marketing giant Ipsos to research whether support existed for her and a new political party. She said that the survey indicated that support did exist. “I am ready to continue to serve my country under a new political movement and I have made the decision based on information and evidence,” De Lille said.

In her announcement, the former mayor spoke extensively on the legacy of apartheid and how her focus would be addressing the imbalances created by the past — including apartheid spatial planning in Cape Town, which has meant that most black people still live on the outskirts of the city, rather than in close proximity to economic opportunity.

She said that volunteers have been working on the project for some time, readying to make the announcement. “We were underground, now we can come above board,” she said. The party, she said, is currently unpacking its policy positions in consultation with members of the youth, who she said the party has been working with.

Opposition

Opposition parties have widely welcomed De Lille’s announcement of a new political party.

United Democratic Movement’s leader Bantu Holomisa says that De Lille has some value to add to the country’s political space.

“She should be given the opportunity to outline her vision and mission, not in the too distant future.”

The African National Congress’ Dullah Omar region chairperson Xolani Sotashe said: “She is welcomed to the space of politics once again. I have a lot of respect for De Lille. She is a seasoned politician.”

The Inkatha Freedom Party’s Narend Singh says all the signs were there that De Lille might re-enter the political boxing ring.

“I think she has been pushed to such an extent in her own past environment to do this. I have no doubt she will be a formidable force in the politics of South Africa as an individual and as a collective and we want to wish her well.”

De Lille says her new political party will live up to the vision she had when she joined the DA and is about providing South Africans with a better alternative.

“You know, the project that I started with Helen Zille in 2010, which unfortunately now is no longer there, was exactly to build that alternative because we believed that by building that alternative, we would be able to get people to vote for it. You can only use your vote for bringing about change in South Africa.”

Meanwhile, the DA says it’s unshaken by De Lille’s decision to start a new political party.

This is de Lille’s fourth act in South African politics: from the Pan-Africanist Congress, to the Independent Democrats, to the Democratic Alliance, and now to her second attempt at an independent party. de Lille says her new political party will focus on empowering the youth.

The party’s official launch will be in January 2019, De Lille confirmed.

 

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.

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SA Home Affairs Considering Discontinuing Birth Certificates for Foreign Children

Lawyers for Human Rights says the new regulations propose that foreign children be issued with a ‘confirmation of birth’ and not a birth certificate

Legal groups have raised concern over the Home Affairs Department’s plan to discontinue birth certificates for foreign children born in South Africa.

Lawyers for Human Rights, the Centre for Child Law, the University of Cape Town’s Refugee Rights and the Scalabrini Centre of Cape Town say previously all children were issued with birth certificates, as is required by the Constitution and international law on children’s rights.

Lawyers for Human Rights says the new regulations propose that foreign children be issued with a ‘confirmation of birth’ and not a birth certificate.

The organisation’s Liesl Muller says every child has the right to a birth certificate.

She adds in terms of international law, it is the responsibility of the country of birth to issue a birth certificate, regardless of whether citizenship is granted or not.

“The problem with this is that no child can live a normal life without a birth certificate, and the child cannot access basic education and healthcare.”

Muller says the draft regulation requires children to present their confirmation of birth to their embassy in order to obtain a birth certificate from their country of nationality.

“There are certain groups with children who are particularly vulnerable who won’t be able to, for instance, they’ve fled their country and their refugee protection will be removed.”

 

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].

Home Affairs Legalizes Zimbabweans Living, Working and Studying in SA

Over 180,000 Zimbabwean nationals living in South Africa have applied for official documentation to allow them to stay, work, study and conduct businesses legally in the country, the department of home affairs said.

“The Department of Home Affairs is pleased to announce that it has completed the adjudication and printing of 178,172 applications for the Zimbabwean Exemption Permit (ZEP),” said spokesman Thabo Makgola.

The opening of applications for the ZEP was announced in September 2017 following the expiry of the Zimbabwean Special Permit (ZSP).

“The ZEP is meant to regularise the stay of Zimbabwean nationals in South Africa for work, study or legal business,” said Makgola.

Of the 180,000 applications, 108,485 permits were processed and had been collected, said Makgola.

Meanwhile, 39,089 were in the process of being collected or sent to the various collection offices, he added.

The department has urged 1,932 applicants who had expired passports to contact the Zimbabwean consulate, as their application could not be processed.

While this may be a relief for many, it still denies Zimbabweans permanent residency in South Africa.

The department said it had met with the Zimbabwean Consulate which had undertaken to expedite the passport applications of those who did apply.

The ZEP came into effect in January 2018, and it will expire in December 2021.

 

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].

SA Home Affairs Minister Resigns

Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba has resigned and has submitted his letter of resignation to the Presidency. The Presidency has confirmed receiving the letter from the embattled minister.

Gigaba wrote in a letter to President Cyril Ramaphosa that he has chosen to place the interests of the African National Congress and the country above his personal interests. He says the battle he is facing is political in nature, which he shall continue to fight.

Gigaba is, however, cautious to note that his resignation is in no way an admission of guilt and he leaves the public service with a clear conscience, adding that he has done no wrong.

President Ramaphosa has thanked Gigaba for his long-standing service and commitment to government and the people of the country. Ramaphosa noted that Gigaba says he is stepping down for the sake of the country and the ANC. The former minister says this will also relieve the president from undue pressure and allow him to focus on running the country.

On 31 October 2018, the Public Protector found that Gigaba violated the Constitution and the executive members’ ethics code when he lied under oath about allowing the Oppenheimers permission to operate a private terminal at OR Tambo International Airport.

Advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane directed the president to discipline Gigaba for lying in court and that Gigaba also needed to account to Parliament.

Blade Nzimande, who is the Minister of Transport, has been appointed to act in his place, taking on a duel role in Parliament.

 

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].