Archive from January, 2015
Jan 30, 2015 - Business Permit    No Comments

South Africa: Delays With Home Affairs Permits – Zimbabweans Sent Away From Work

Groundup – 2015-01-29
Three Zimbabwean men whose permits are pending have been told to leave their jobs at Touareg Tents in Capricorn Business Park and return only when they can prove they are legally in the country.
The three men applied for ZSPs (Zimbabwean Special Permits) last year, soon after online applications opened in October. The permits are supposed to take eight weeks to be issued. However, for many applicants the permits are taking a lot longer.
The chairperson of Zimbabwe Community in South Africa (ZCSA), Ngqabutho Mabhena, who has been active in the implementation of the ZSP programme, said what the company had done was “wrong”.
“Companies will not be charged for employing ZSP beneficiaries with pending permits,” he said.
Dawn Barrett, Touareg Tents General Manager, in an email to GroundUp, said: “The employees concerned are valued staff members and were never dismissed or suspended. They were simply asked to go to Home Affairs and provide us with proof of their application to renew their documents. The days given to the staff were in fact leave days and their wages were not affected.”
But the three men, who did not want to be named, said they had been told to leave work and come back only when they had received their ZSPs or could provide a letter from Home Affairs certifying that they were legally in the country. They said they were not being paid and were worried about how to pay school fees and take care of their families here and in Zimbabwe.
The company has written to Home Affairs requesting that the employees be provided with a letter certifying that they are allowed to work.
One of the employees said he had a grade nine child who needed stationery, school fees and uniforms. “Month end, I should pay rent and buy food for the family. I do not know how I will manage. I am thinking of joining other men on the side of the road.
“I went to the Visa Facilitation Services application centre in Cape Town looking for help, and they said they cannot help me since they are only Home Affairs’ agents.”
On 12 August 2014, the Zimbabwe Dispensation Programme (ZDP), which was launched in 2009, was changed to the ZSP. About 250,000 people were eligible to apply.
By the end of last year, when the application period closed, 207,802 online applications had been received.
GroundUp asked Home Affairs how many ZSPs are outstanding. Despite several efforts to get a response, as well as promises by the department to respond, no response had been received by the time of publication

Jan 30, 2015 - Business Permit    No Comments

SA passport gaining greater access to the world

2015-01-29 – Traveller 24

Cape Town – An annual visa restriction index has revealed that the South African passport is slowly moving up in the world, one spot at a time.

Every year global consulting firm, Henley & Partners releases their Visa Restriction Index, which analyses the visa regulations of all countries and territories in the world, ranking them based on how freely their citizens could travel with only a passport.

South Africa has moved up one spot from last year’s 42nd, to 41st position this year. Travelling on the so-called Biltong Book or Green Mamba alone now allows South Africans access to 97 countries and territories, three more than previous years.

The top position is shared by five countries, whose citizens all have access to 174 countries and territories on their passports alone. They are Finland, Germany, Sweden, USA and the UK. Canada and Denmark are in the second position with access to 173 countries.

Afghanistan ranks right at the bottom of the list in the 94th position, with access to only 28 countries sans visa. Iraq finds itself in the 93rd spot with access to 31 countries, while Somalian, Pakistani, Palestinian Territory and Nepalese citizens only have access to between 32 and 37 countries and territories each.

This article kindly brought to your attention by Sa Migration International leaders in Visas / Permits to South Africa : Website – www.sami.co.za , email : info@sami.co.za ,

Jan 30, 2015 - Business Permit    No Comments

97 countries South Africans can visit without a visa

As any local sans ancestral visas or dual citizenship may know, travelling on a plain old green South African passport is no joke.
Before even thinking about entering most countries around the world, we are required to pass the ultimate endurance test: a visa application.

Reams and reams of paperwork, sweaty-palmed interviews, exorbitant amounts of money and throbbing admin headaches later, we may or may not be allowed to hop in and out of a destination as fast as our little legs can carry us.
And for all those endowed with a generous dollop of wanderlust, it really just is a bit of a party pooper.
Or, at least that’s the general perception.

However, if you delve just a little bit deeper, it turns out that the world is actually a whole lot more open to us than we may have thought!

All in all there are 97 countries around the globe we can enter on our passports alone, and while they may not be the US, Canada, Australia or most of Europe, there are some pretty dang exciting places to go.
Here’s a round-up:
Africa
Most SADC countries are accessible to us without a visa, as long as we’re going there for vacation. Any form of work – even volunteering – requires some form of a visa, so make 100% sure what the rules are beforehand.
Here is the full list of African countries we can enter without visas:
Benin, Botswana, Gabon, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Rwanda, Saint Helena, Senegal, Seychelles, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
And then a few where we get a visa on arrival:
Cape Verde, Comores, Egypt, Ethiopia, Madagascar, Tanzania, Tongo, Tunisia and Uganda
South and Central America
The good news is that pretty much the ENTIRE South and central America is accessible to us on nothing but a passport, with the exception of, among others, Suriname, French Guiana, Mexico, Cuba, and Puerto Rico.
Here is a full list of the South and Central American countries we can enter on our passport:
Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Brazil, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Falkland Islands, Grenada, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Montserrat, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and Grenadines, Turks and Caicos Islands, Uruguay and Venezuela.
North America
Sorry, folks, it’s a no go. Visas are a must. Check out what you need for the US Visa application process.
Europe
Well, it’s mostly closed to us, but there are a few surprising destinations we can enter sans visa.
Ireland, Kosovo and, this just in, since 1 March South Africans no longer require visas to get into France’s Reunion Island.

Also see: Reunion Island – an eruption of unusual landscapes
Asia
Georgia, Hong Kong, Macau, Malaysia, Maldives, Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand.
Visa on arrival
Armenia, Bangladesh, Bahrain, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Nepal, Sri Lanka, South Korea, and Timor-Leste
Middle East
Israel and Jordan
Visa on arrival
Oman and Turkey
Oceania
Cook Islands, Fiji, Federated states of Micronesia, Nauru, New Zealand, Niue, Palau, Samoa, Tuvalu, Vanuatu

Jan 30, 2015 - Business Permit    No Comments

New online home affairs offices inundated as applicants shun paper-based offices

2015-01-28 16:57 Traveller24
Cape Town – Of the 403 home affairs offices, 110 are now equipped with the Live Capture system for the processing of smart ID cards and new passports, the department’s Director-General, Mkuseli Apleni has said.

The department said it aims to reach 140 offices by March 2015 in a statement posted on its website – with the long-term aim of having over 38 million citizens convert from the green ID to the smart ID card.

Apleni said since the smart ID cards can only be issued at offices where they have rolled out the Live Capture system, it has resulted in long queues, which is understandable since many are applying and paying R140 for the Smart Card ID instead of the green ID.

Apleni however said the green ID is still valid since it is offered in offices with no Live Capture.
Currently ID cards are free of charge to 16-year-olds as well as senior citizens who are aged 60 years or older.

In 2013, home affairs introduced the smart ID card and the new passport as part of its modernisation programme and it incorporates strong security features aimed at significantly reducing fraudulent copies of these two essential items. To date over one million smart ID cards have been issued, with the target set to reach 1.6 million cards by the end of the 2014/15 financial year.
While the old system depends on paper forms and manual fingerprinting, the new Live Capture system is online – bringing with it the new challenge of bandwidth according to the statement.
An automated application process with the Dispensation for Zimbabwean Permits is also in place and through this the department aims to “normalise the stay of Zimbabwean nationals who were in the country illegally”.

Apleni said the modernisation programme should totally transform the manner in which Home Affairs renders public services in all their offices, including at the ports of entry.
Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba will soon announce the process of sorting out current network challenges but the offices have the capacity to render services even when they are offline, according to Apleni.
This article kindly brought to your attention by Sa Migration International leaders in Visas / Permits to South Africa : Website – www.sami.co.za , email : info@sami.co.za ,

Jan 30, 2015 - Business Permit    No Comments

Indian and Chinese cruise tourists get multiple-entry visas to Dubai

asiacruisenews.com 29/01/2015
Dubai: The Dubai Corporation for Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DCTCM) has begun issuing multiple-entry visas to cruise tourists visiting the UAE from China and India.
The DCTCM expects the new multi-entry visas to increase the length of stay of travellers to the UAE.
The new permit for cruise passengers costs Dh200 ($54.45), which is less costly than buying two visas separately for visitors from countries such as India, China, Russia & CIS, South Africa and Brazil.
Multiple-entry visas are not yet available for Indian and Chinese nationals arriving via airports, but the idea has been proposed and is being dealt with on a federal level, DCTCM officials say.
This cruise season, Dubai will see 110 cruise ship calls and a total of roughly 381,000 passengers between October 2014 and June 2015.
Around 60,000 more passengers will embark, disembark or transit at Dubai this season, a 19% increase on the 2013/2014 season. [28/01/15]
This article kindly brought to your attention by Sa Migration International leaders in Visas / Permits to South Africa : Website – www.sami.co.za , email : info@sami.co.za ,

Jan 30, 2015 - Business Permit    No Comments

Somalis begin 3 800km journey home by foot

27/01/2015 03:00:00 By Wonderboy Dlamini Swazi Observer
FOLLOWING their alleged unresolved grievances against the ministry of home affairs, Somali nationals, who have been at loggerheads with government, have since resolved to return to their war-torn country by foot.
At least seven Somali asylum seekers have recently been making headlines in local newspapers after they complained of living conditions at Malindza Refugee Camp which they termed as ‘inhuman’.
They complained of being starved and made to work in the fields situated at the camp without being given anything in return.
The Somalis were also reported to be eating grass and tree leaves as they claimed that they were not given anything to eat at the camp.
In a bid to address their situation, the Somalis also visited the ministry of home affairs to seek audience with the principal secretary in the ministry, Anthony Masilela and other officials.
Upon meeting with the PS and the officials, the Somalis are said to have asked the ministry to assist them in going back to their home country, stating that they could not take any more of the hardship they faced at the camp.
They have since resolved to go to their country and they started the over 3 862 journey to Somalia by foot last night.
They left for the Lomahasha border gate by foot.
The Somalis are said to have also made their intention to leave the country known to the administration of the camp.
Led by one Mowlid Omer Warsame, they were found already on the road at around 10:30am.
Interviewed briefly, Warsame said they had since decided to walk back to their country following the harsh living conditions they were going through at the camp.
Warsame said the living conditions were unbearable to the extent that they found it better to go and die in the warfront in their home country than in a foreign land.
He also said following their discussions with the PS in the ministry of home affairs, they were promised that their grievances would be attended to in a space of seven days.
He said, however, this did not happen as almost two months have passed without their grievances being addressed.
“At first we asked the PS to assist us in going back to our home country but he insisted that we must stay at camp as he promised to attend to our grievances within seven days.
“We were then shocked to learn through the media that the PS later said that we should find our own way out of the country if we wanted to,” he continued.
He said it was for this reason that they have then decided to walk back to their home country as they did not have any other means of transport.
He said they had now resigned themselves to go and die in their home country if not along the way.
“We are aware that it might take us years to get back home as it is too far, but we are determined to either die on the road or in our own country,” he said.
‘Those are just men on the street’

PRINCIPAL Secretary in the Ministry of Home Affairs Anthony Masilela says the Somalis who have decided to walk back to their home country are unknown to the ministry.
Masilela was responding to reports to the effect that the aggrieved Somali nationals who were accommodated at Malindza Refugee Camp have since decided to leave the country.
The Somalis walked out of the camp last night with the intention of going back to their home country.
When he was drawn for comment on the matter, Masilela said the ministry had no control over the Somalis as they were not refugees in the country.
He explained that the Somalis were only in a process of being granted the status of being refugees in the country.
“Apparently, the ministry does not have records of the said Somalis listed as refugees in the country as they were still recognised as asylum seekers. The ministry therefore, does not have control over them,” said Masilela.

This article kindly brought to your attention by Sa Migration International leaders in Visas / Permits to South Africa : Website – www.sami.co.za , email : info@sami.co.za ,

Jan 29, 2015 - Business Permit    No Comments

UK would be better with fewer immigrants’

January 28 2015 at 12:46pm
By James Chapman – IOL
REUTERS British Prime Minister David Cameron. Photo: Luke MacGregor
London – Britain would be a “better, stronger country” if the number of immigrants were slashed, David Cameron said on Tuesday.
The prime minister insisted he did not regret his target to cut net migration to the “tens of thousands” a year, despite latest figures showing it hitting 260 000.
Cameron, who remains under pressure from UKIP on the issue, admitted his pledge would not be met by the time of May’s election, but refused to abandon it.
“We’ve made some progress but not as much as I’d like,” he told BBC Radio 2. “In terms of immigration from outside the EU, it’s now down at its lowest level for many years because we have put a cap on the number of economic migrants that can come from outside the European Union to Britain.
“But inside the European Union migration has gone up, partly because we are creating more jobs than the rest of Europe put together, and that’s why I put the toughest possible welfare reforms for foreign migrants coming to Britain. It was a commitment I made which I want to keep.”
Before the last election, Cameron pledged “no ifs, no buts” to reduce net migration to the “tens off thousands” during this parliament.
Asked if he regretted setting the target, the prime minister insisted: “No. I believe that we would be a better, stronger country if we had net migration in the tens of thousands rather than the hundreds of thousands.
“The figures are very clear – I have not achieved that. I want to keep going until we do achieve that. I think it’s the right thing for our country.”
Cameron faced criticism when he launched the six “key themes” of the Conservative election manifesto earlier this month, and immigration was conspicuous by its absence. The six key themes are the deficit, jobs, taxes, education, housing and retirement.
He later insisted measures to control immigration would feature heavily in his party’s pledges on jobs and housing.
The prime minister proposed curbs on tax credits, child benefit, jobseeker’s allowance, housing benefit and council housing for incomers from the EU.
The payment of out-of-work benefits will be stopped altogether, he says, while tax credits, which top up wages for the low paid and are seen as the major “pull factor” for immigrants from the Continent, will only be paid to people here and paying in for four years or more.
But some Eurosceptics were dismayed that Cameron omitted any mention of an even more ambitious plan for an annual quota or an “emergency brake” on EU migrants.
Daily Mail

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