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.
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)”).
According to Reuters, a proposed reduction to the South African critical skills visa list threatens the prospects of those hoping to immigrate to South Africafor 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.
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.