Ahead of the implementation of new immigration laws and the release of a severely shortened critical skills list, South Africa’s Home Affairs Department appears to be pre-emptively clamping down on immigration and undermining efforts to encourage foreign direct investment (FDI). This is according to expert immigration lawyers, who noted that a new Bill on International Migration is expected to be available for comment in March 2019, and a new critical skills list intended to be implemented in April 2019.
Amendments to the current immigration regulations are in line with the October 2015 recommendations of the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Immigration Regulations, which was led by President Cyril Ramaphosa in his previous capacity, as Deputy President of the Republic.
There were tears of joy as the High Court in Cape Town set aside a decision by the Department of Home Affairs to refuse a stateless family's application for citizenship.
The Mulowayi family of Kensington, Johannesburg, finally found relief on Tuesday after a protected battle with the department which had refused their application for citizenship on what has now been determined to be wrongful grounds.
The South African Government has recently published its long expected White Paper on International Migration which provides a policy framework for comprehensive review and overhaul of South Africa’s immigration system and the introduction of significant changes over the next two years. Amongst the most drastic of the proposed changes is the decision to replace permanent residency with a revisable – and revocable - long-term visa.
In a very comprehensive judgment handed down today in the High Court of South Africa , Western Cape Division, Immigration Directive 21 of 2015 barring Refugees and Asylum seekers form applying for a change of status to any Visa or Permit in terms of the Immigration Act has been declared to be inconsistent with the Constitution of the Republic and invalid and set aside.
Following a recent ruling by the North Gauteng High Court, the Department of Home Affairs has just extended eligibility for a port of entry visa in terms of section 11(1) to foreign truck drivers who are employed by South African employers.
Following a new Immigration Directive released recently, foreigners are no longer required to submit a South African police clearance certificate in order to extend or renew their visas in South Africa.