Articles

Articles

01. Oct. 2019 Mail & Guardian

Mother challenges home affairs

We were not properly cared for. We were frequently physically disciplined,” she says. “I lived in fear; I suffered significant emotional and psychological distress.” Unable to tolerate the abuse, she started siphoning off some of the money she earned from selling detergents to fundraise for the orphanage. When she had enough, she took a bus to the border and a customs officer helped her cross over. She says she knew it was illegal. Chantel was known by a different name at the orphanage but she changed it when she arrived “so that I could not be traced and sent back”. In many ways her life improved in South Africa. She headed to Durban where she met a South African and the couple started life together in the Durban North suburb of Red Hill. They had two children, one born in 2007 and the other in 2014. When it was time for her firstborn child to go to school, Chantel realised the pain of her own statelessness. Because Chantel’s partner is South African, both of her children are legitimately South African, but because Chantel had no documentation at all, her children were never issued with birth certificates. No school in South Africa will enrol a child without a birth certificate. The couple made several attempts to have the children’s births registered with the department of home affairs ` providing clinic notes and records from the local hospitals where they were born ` but they were always turned away. And the educational authorities were not willing to help. By 2016, Chantel’s oldest child was already eight years old and had not yet been enrolled at school. The couple turned to the Legal Resources Centre, where advocate Stuart Humphrey, acting pro bono, agreed to draft an urgent court application. The first prize was to get the child enrolled without having to produce a birth certificate. Education authorities, acting in the child’s best interests, backed down. KwaZulu-Natal chief education specialist Busisiwe Gcabashe said, in an affidavit: “We undertook to enrol the child at school on condition that … [the child’s parents] submit the birth certificate once it is available. This was because we appreciate and respect the child’s constitutional rights to education. And that [the child] is a South African citizen by birth.” Gcabashe said, however, that the entire matter was largely dependent on the attitude of the department of home affairs. Chantel’s appeal to this department was that it issue the children with birth certificates and issue her with a visa, or grant her permanent residence, to formalise her status in South Africa. To this end, Chantel’s lawyers are attacking the Regulations to the Births and Deaths Registration Act, which makes no provision for the registration of a birth where one of the parents does not have any proof of identification. Part of the lawyers’ research has involved tracking Chantel’s early history and the name she no longer uses. But neither the Eswatini authorities, her lawyers or the department of home affairs have been able to unearth any records for Chantel under any of her names: not the one she hasn’t used since she was a child in Manzini, nor her current name. She is stateless and her children are stateless. To make matters worse, Chantel’s common-law husband died last year. While her children are now both attending school, without their birth certificates, this situation cannot carry on indefinitely. Chantel’s is one of the cases that will be argued in the Durban high court later this month, but will in all likelihood have to be decided by the Constitutional Court. The department of home affairs, however, has not been swayed. Richard Sikakane, director of travel documents and citizenship at the department, said it “strongly opposes” Chantel’s application and that it would be unlawful for a court to direct the department to bypass legislative prescripts for an “illegal immigrant” who lied about her name. “We disagree that she is stateless. I seriously dispute that any person can be born stateless,” Sikakane said. “She admits that she was born in Swaziland [Eswatini]. Her identity can be traced and affidavits can be obtained from family members there and the process of establishing her identity can start there.” But Chantel is not able to travel to Eswatini because she has no passport or ID. Sikakane says issuing IDs and granting citizenship to unidentified immigrants is not only wrong but would compromise the country’s security. “There are no shortcuts. Holding the government at ransom to break the law cannot be condoned,” he said. A recent report compiled by the Scalabrini Centre, which is based in Cape Town and provides services to migrants and refugees, documented the plight of 325 foreign-born children in South Africa. Most of these children are undocumented and they face the threat of statelessness once they turn 18. Among those interviewed were two sisters, thought to have come to South Africa from Kenya with their mother. They were discovered living in a car and taken to a child and youth care centre. Their mother then disappeared. The Kenyan authorities do not recognise these girls as Kenyan nationals and the South Africa authorities don’t recognise them as South African. The scalabrini Centre’s advocacy officer, Lotte Manicom, says urgent measures, including law reform, are needed to counter this situation. “Present immigration laws and regulations prevent the opportunity for these children to document themselves,” she said. “It is foreseen that many of the children will have no choice but to return to their country of origin (if they can) once their placement order is no longer valid or extendable.” She recommended that the department of home affairs roll out a “special dispensation permit” to allow these children to remain in South Africa and, in certain instances, that citizenship be granted to them. In acknowledging the vital need for an ID, Manicom added that the documented children in question were all aged between 11 and 18, that they originated from 15 different African countries and that some were fleeing war and persecution. “A variety of rights flow from an identity document,” Manicom noted. “It establishes a nationality, an identity, and an ability to function in a formal society. For a child, an identification document is crucial in their ability to access their most basic rights, and to plan a meaningful future.” www.samigration.com V.5012

08. Apr. 2020 SAMI

Rich, older South African men are buying Plan B passports in Europe in record numbers

Business Insider SA - 05 April 2020 The first half of 2018 saw a huge surge in applications from South Africans looking to buy their way into second passports, mostly in Europe, numbers from an advisory company show. V.5085

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08. Apr. 2020 SAMI

How to get British citizenship via double descent

British citizenship via the double descent route was a much talked about topic the past few months. However, there is still a lot of confusion about who can qualify. V.5086

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08. Apr. 2020 By Alan Knott-Craig (SA Author)

South Africa might just get lucky - this might not all come to pass but at least there’s hope.

In February, our country was in bad shape. Our stock market was over-heated. We were heading for a recession. We were heading for a downgrade. And then Covid19 happened. V.5088

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06. Apr. 2020 Groundup

Victory for asylum seekers in Constitutional Court

Court rules on extension of temporary permits The Constitutional Court has ruled that asylum seekers’ temporary permits must automatically be extended while their case is being reviewed. Archive photo: Ashraf Hendricks V.5083

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04. Apr. 2020 News24

German government begins repatriation of citizens from SA

The German government on Friday started the repatriation of its citizens from South Africa. Strict travel regulations had been in place since a 21-day nationwide Covid-19 lockdown was announced. Previously, all flights were grounded, but the repatriation was permitted due to the revised regulations announced this week by the Minister of Transport Fikile Mbalula. V.5087

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02. Apr. 2020 SAMI

This caters for applicants (in South Africa) that were born in the United Kingdom. This page also serves to clarify the benefits of being born in the UK versus having a parent (or grandparent) that was born in the UK.

The are quite a few complications in these cases that we are looking to clarify. The first relates to eligibility of British nationality. The second relates to the type of British nationality. Finally, we close off by revealing some solutions we have up our sleeves. V.5082

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01. Apr. 2020 RNZ

Government takes another look at partnership visas

directed his officials to come up with a solution so Indians aren`t unfairly excluded from receiving partnership visas. The intervention has come after mounting anger and frustration from the Kiwi-Indian community at recent policy changes with some even walking away from the Labour Party. V.5084

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31. Mar. 2020 Iol.com

Foreign nationals stuck in SA will be allowed to go home with chartered flights, says Mbalula

Cape Town - Foreign nationals stranded in South Africa will be allowed to be repatriated under strict conditions, while South African nationals abroad who wished to return home would be allowed to do so, Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula said on Tuesday. V.5075

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31. Mar. 2020 SAMI

Great Grandparent Born in UK

This caters for applicants that were born outside of the UK and they have a UK born great grandparent. The applicant would be defined, from an immigration perspective, as 4 generations apart. The case can be viewed a the grandparent of the applicants parent and not the grandparent of the applicant (of course). V.5076

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31. Mar. 2020 SAMI

Missed appointment not enough to refuse refugee asylum ` court judgment

A man whose father fled Burundi during political turmoil and genocide there in 1994, has been given a fresh start at applying for asylum in South Africa after he was embroiled in a dispute with authorities for about a decade over a missed appointment. V.5077

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31. Mar. 2020 SAMI

Asylum seekers can now apply for residence visas Constitutional Court ruling overturns Home Affairs directive

The Constitutional Court has ruled that asylum seekers whose refugee applications have been refused, can apply for a visa. Archive photo: Ashraf Hendricks If you are an asylum seeker and your application to be a refugee is refused, you are still allowed to apply for a visa. The Constitutional Court ruled this in a unanimous judgment handed down in October. V.5078

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31. Mar. 2020 SAMI

All you need to know about the new UK immigration system

(Partner Content) The United Kingdom left the European Union on 31 January 2020. Although this was the official Brexit date, there is still a transition period in place. V.5080

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31. Mar. 2020 SAMI

Visa outsourcing scrapped Government shelves plan to privatise visa processing.

The government has scrapped plans to outsource its visa processing system. Acting Minister for Immigration, Alan Tudge, announced last Friday that the Department for Home Affairs was terminating its tender process for the Global Digital Platform. He said it was part of “new policy approach to the acquisition and delivery of workflow processing capability” for Home Affairs ` and government as a whole ` and indicated the government remained interesting in updating the current process. V.5081

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29. Mar. 2020 Business Insider SA

Coronavirus: Standard Bank extends payment holidays to personal accounts too

Standard Bank clients earning R7 500 or less will qualify for a three-month payment holiday on all personal account-related debt, the bank said on Sunday. Interest and bank charges will still be charged during this time. Standard Bank last week introduced similar payment holidays for business and student-related debt during the Covid-19 disaster. V.5068

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29. Mar. 2020 Fin 24

Absa launches extensive coronavirus payment relief programme

After careful consideration and engagements with regulators, Absa announced on Sunday that it is introducing a comprehensive customer, business and corporate relief programme. V.5069

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29. Mar. 2020

Home Affairs rejects calls to release immigration detainees fearful of coronavirus

Detainees fear they will get coronavirus. The United Kingdom has released hundreds of immigration detainees over fears of a coronavirus outbreak, but Australia`s immigration officials say that`s not necessary. V.5071

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29. Mar. 2020

UK immigration: The UK Ancestral Visa �` FAQ

(Partner Content) The UK Ancestral Visa is still one of the most popular and common ways in which persons from the Commonwealth countries can come to the UK. However, you will have to prove that you have a grandparent born in the UK to qualify. Below we have answered some of the most frequently asked questions our consultants received during the past months. These FAQs will clarify many issues for readers on the Ancestral Visa immigration route. V.5074

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28. Mar. 2020 News24

No hope in sight for South Africans stranded at airports abroad

South Africans stranded abroad should not expect evacuation any time soon. The Department of International Relations and Cooperation (Dirco) said it was doing everything possible to assist South Africans stuck at transit airports after their connecting flights were cancelled ahead of the government-imposed national lockdown to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus. V.5070

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28. Mar. 2020 News24

Coronavirus in SA: Impasse over evacuation of British citizens

Thousands of UK citizens are believed to be in distress while they are stranded in South Africa but the government refuses to relax lockdown regulations to allow the European country`s crews to rest before returning home. V.5072

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27. Mar. 2020 Traveller 24

40 Hours and almost R80k later - the rip-off of flight prices to get home before lockdown

Before the lockdown in the country was even announced, South African married couple Jana and Martin were making arrangements to cut their three-month backpacking trip through Southeast Asia short. V.5065

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Articles

08. Apr. 2020 SAMI

Rich, older South African men are buying Plan B passports in Europe in record numbers

Business Insider SA - 05 April 2020 The first half of 2018 saw a huge surge in applications from South Africans looking to buy their way into second passports, mostly in Europe, numbers from an advisory company show. V.5085

Click here for full article

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