immigration

Change of status from Visitor’s Visa now allowed for spouses and children of South African citizens and permanent residents:

Spouses and children of South African (SA) citizens and permanent residents were prohibited from changing their Visitor’s Visas, used to enter South Africa, to other types of longer term visas, for example relative’s visas, study visas and work visas. These applicants had to travel abroad (to their home countries, although they perceived SA as their home country) file the required longer term visa application at the South African Mission, obtain the visa and then return to South Africa. This meant in practice that families were torn apart, the spouses’ right to cohabitation and children’s rights to dignity were infringed whilst the visa formalities had to be met.

The Department of Home Affairs restricts short-term work to 180-days per calendar year

Foreign nationals who are required to conduct short-term work in South Africa in circumstances which do not necessitate applying for one of the available categories of work visa require a Visitor’s Visa (issued in terms of Section 11(1)(a) of the Immigration Act 13 of 2002 (as amended) (“Act”)) with an authorisation to conduct work endorsed thereon in terms of Section 11(2) of the Act (“Visitor’s Visa 11(2)”).

How the proposed critical skills visa list could impact SA tech companies

According to Reuters, a proposed reduction to the South African critical skills visa list threatens the prospects of those hoping to immigrate to South Africa for work purposes, and also jeopardises the livelihoods of many immigrants currently working in South Africa.

The proposed version of the critical skills visa list would drastically reduce the number of skills that could qualify immigrants for a working visa.

Occupations in high demand <-> critical skills list

Comparison of occupations in high demand in 2014 and 2018:

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Comparison of the occupations in high demand in 2014 and the critical skill list of 2014

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Comparison of the critical skills from 2014 and the occupations in high demand of 2018

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Comparison Occupations in High demand 2018 and critical skills list from 2018

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Comparison of the critical skills from 2014 and the critical skills from 2018

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Major immigration law changes to hit South Africa hard: expert

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.