South Africa: Policy Paper Published on Changes to Immigration System

The South African government has presented for public comment a policy paper that proposes changes to the immigration system. The paper suggests reviewing the country’s overall immigration strategy by considering changes in politics, the economy, social development, national security, international and constitutional obligations and the overall increase in immigration.

Key Policies Discussed in Policy Paper

The policy paper discusses the following key proposals:

• Management of admissions and departures: Addressing gaps that compromise secure and efficient migration and establishing a border management authority, redesignated entry ports and new pre-clearance procedures;
• Management of residency and naturalization: Expanding the eligibility criteria for citizenship and permanent residence, such as adding contributions to society and economy as a factor;
• Management of international migrants with skills and capital: Promoting and attracting skilled workers who contribute to the country’s growth and competitiveness by retaining foreign students that study in South Africa and creating a points-based work visa system;
• Management of ties with the South African diaspora: Retaining connections with skilled workers leaving South Africa;
• Management of international migration within the African context: Improving regional bodies in Africa to promote trade, travel and employment;
• Admission of asylum seekers: Acknowledging that the influx of economic asylum seekers affects the country’s ability to focus on other refugees; and
• Management of the integration process for international migrants: Creating a clear integration policy for foreign nationals.