Intra-Company Transfer Visa - Update January 2015

Intra company

According to Immigration Directive 19 of 2014 the Holder of an intra-company transfer work permit as issued under the old law prior to 26 May 2014 for a period of two years who wants to be issued an extension for the further two years of the four year period can applicate for a new intra-company transfer work visa at a Visa Facilitation Centre (VFS) in SA or at the South Africa Mission in the applicant’s country of origin or of permanent residence.

If the applicant has completed four years of his/her international assignment and the operational needs of the company demand that the employee come back to South Africa, a new intra-company transfer visa may be applied for. The application for this new four years visa can only be submitted at the South African Mission in the applicant’s country of origin or of permanent residence, provided that all prescribed requirements have been complied with.

The employer’s benefit to the abovementioned possibility of being issued a two year extension is that the application can be submitted in SA without travelling expenses and administration around having to send the applicant back to his/her country. 

Critical Skills Visa

More and more critical skills visas are being issued for only 12 months and on condition that they can be renewed after proof of registration with the relevant professional body. This is associated with another directive whereupon the confirmation letters by the professional bodies are not required anymore. It cannot be predicted now if the process of renewing will be easy or a whole new application has to be submitted.

·Permanent Residence based on a South African minor child

Parents of South African Children
Recently the Department of Home Affairs refuses to accept applications for temporary or permanent residence visas by parents of minor South African children. This is warranted by the fact that such children as minors are not in a position to assume financial, emotional, medical and physical responsibility for their parent.We consider this justification is unconstitutional and give advice on appealing such a rejection. There are strong grounds speaking against this policy:

Already under the old law prior to the amendments of 26 May 2014 there was a requirement for a temporary or permanent residence permit to be able and willing to support and maintain the foreign relative. The application form made an exception of this requirement where the applicant is the parent of a minor child being a citizen or a permanent resident.

The relative’s visa is fully in line with constitutional principles and standard and the constitutional right to family and parental guidance. This is contradicted by demanding minor children’s support for their parent. No minor is in position to submit a legally valid undertaking of support, since minors are unable to provide legally valid undertakings.

Furthermore the South African Constitution guarantees the parental rights and responsibilities. The children themselves are also protected by the Constitution. By refusing the parent a temporary or permanent residence permit in South Africa, the Department of Home Affairs would be denying the South African child its constitutional right to family and parental care.
This is indicated by an international legal comparison to German law as well which says that a residence permit shall be granted to a foreign parent of a minor for the purpose of care and custody.