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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].

UK Home Office Changes Will Make it Easier for South Africans to Emigrate to the UK

The UK’s Home Office has published more details about its future skills-based immigration system.

Earlier this month, the department said that a new immigration and borders system will be implemented in a phased approach from 2021.

“Proposals include scrapping the annual cap on the number of visas issued for skilled workers and widening the skills threshold to include people with qualifications equivalent of A levels,” the Home Office said.

“The new skills-based system will also remove the resident labour market test for high-skilled workers and introduce a route for temporary workers at any skills from low-risk countries, allowing them to come to the UK for a maximum of 12 months.”

According to JP Breytenbach, director of Breytenbachs Immigration Consultants, the new skills-based immigration system is definitely good news for South Africans looking to live and work in the UK.

“The new immigration system will mark the end of free movement for European workers to the United Kingdom. It will not favour any specific nationality. Europeans will have to compete with all other nationalities if they want to apply for UK jobs and visas,” he said.

Breytenbach said that the end of free movement will also mean that there will be more job opportunities available.

This, coupled with a simpler skills-based immigration system will allow South Africans to take up more job opportunities in the UK, he said.

“It will definitely be easier for South Africans with sought after skills and talent to apply to live and work in the UK.

“Furthermore, there will no longer be a cap on the number of workers that can come in a specific period. This will make it easier for UK employers in specific sectors to hire the number of workers they need.”

Still desirable

Despite recent Brexit troubles, Breytenbach said that the UK labour market remains a desirable location for South Africans.

“London is reckoned to be the financial capital of the world, and many global businesses have their headquarters in the city,”he said .

“This obviously means many attractive job opportunities for skilled and highly skilled persons in London, and the country as a whole.

“It is also easy for South Africans to adapt to the UK workplace and culture. Language is no barrier. The short flight distance also makes it an attractive destination for South African businesses looking to expand to the UK and EU markets.”

No typical applicant

Despite a recent uptick in the number of South Africans looking to emigrate, Breytenbach said that there a really is no ‘typical’ South African applicant.

“There are numerous young persons who are applying for UK student visas. Many of them then later switch to other immigration categories, upon finishing their studies,” he said.

“We also have skilled and highly skilled persons who apply for visas and permits from all age groups, and a number of business persons looking for visas in order to expand their businesses to the UK.”

 

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 Visitor Visa Directive

Visitors visas issued in terms of Section 11(2) of the SA Immigration Act to conduct short term work

The first visitors visa issued in terms of Section 11(2) of the SA Immigration Act (issued at the SA Missions), may be approved for a maximum duration of 3 months. Where a further extension is required within the RSA, an extension may be requested for a final period, not exceeding another 3 months.

Any person who has been issued with a visitors visa in terms of Section 11(2) of the SA Immigration Act and has had it extended for a further 3 months, shall not qualify for another visitors visa in terms of Section 11(2) of the SA Immigration Act, within that same calendar year. If such visa is issue with dates which overlap into a new calendar year, the dates falling into the new calendar year must be calculated as part of the new calendar year.

Back to back applications within the same year, by the same applicant, may not be accepted by the SA Missions and applications for extensions will only be accepted once in each calendar year.

It should further be noted that the DHA adjudicators have been instructed that when processing applications for extensions in terms of Section 11(1)(a) of the SA Immigration Ac (from within the RSA), they must ensure that the applicant does not end up having more than 180 days in a year.

For more information about visitor visas, visit the VFS website 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: [1], [2].

Home Affairs Department to Review Residency Status of Foreign Pastors

Home Affairs Minister Siyabonga Cwele says his department is considering a review of their status as permanent residents.

The Department of Home Affairs is set to take a hard look at high-flying pastors who’ve moved to South Africa to run lucrative ministries.

Home Affairs Minister Siyabonga Cwele says his department is considering a review of their status as permanent residents.

So-called “miracle” pastors are also facing closer scrutiny from the South African Revenue Service, while the African National Congress has called for rogue religious leaders to be investigated by the CRL Commission.

Cwele told Parliament’s home affairs committee that becoming a permanent resident of South Africa involves certain conditions that must be met.

“There are many of these things in the public [eye], like these priests who come from foreign countries to do work here. We’ve asked the department to review their status. Because if you come here, you say you’re coming to run a factory – there’s no factory called a church.”

The minister says it’s not about being against people from other countries.

“Quite clearly, we are not xenophobic but if you come to our country under certain conditions you must stick to those conditions.”

 

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].

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.

 

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].