Immigration Inspectorate cracks down on South African employers

SA Migration – 17 June 2022

1South Africa’s immigration policy is once again up for review. It has recently emerged that, since 2010, approximately 330 000 foreigners have overstayed their South African visas and remained in the country illegally. This is commonly viewed as the result of government failing to significantly invest in methods aimed at policing illegals residents. This is, however, only the tip of the iceberg and the government is well aware of the need to successfully implement a policy framework to ensure that South Africa’s immigration policies stand alongside those of leading world powers.

On 23 April 2015, the Honourable Minister of Home Affairs, Malusi Gigaba, advised parliament that the Department of Home Affairs is working towards completing a new International Migration White Paper aimed at overhauling South Africa’s entire immigration policy framework.

Investment into immigration worker visas

Of particular relevance to South African businesses is the Minister’s assertion that R118 million is to be invested in increasing the capacity of the Immigration Inspectorate over the course of the next 3 years. The Inspectorate is tasked with the policing of illegal foreigners within South Africa and the increased capacity will allow it to focus on the effective detection and prosecution of companies employing undocumented migrants and foreigners whose visas have expired. The Inspectorate will be looking to increase the frequency of raids on companies suspected of employing illegal foreigners in an attempt to clamp down.

Repercussions of employing illegal foreigners

The Immigration Act imposes substantial fines and terms of imprisonment for companies and employers who are deemed to have knowingly employed illegal foreigners and it is clear that the inspectorate, with the backing of the Department of Home Affairs, has deemed this area to be one which requires more stringent regulation. As a result, it is becoming increasingly necessary for companies to ensure that they are compliant with all aspects of the Immigration Act at all times. A failure to do so, is likely to lead to severe repercussions.

Are you employing illegal foreigners?

Companies currently employing illegal foreigners and wishing to legalise their staff can contact us at overstay appeals for further information and assistance.

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