Archive from March, 2021

Cape Town hailed as one of the world’s 50 best places to work from remotely

The Bo-Kaap in Cape Town. The fact that the city is ‘chock-full of colourful markets and quirky neighbourhoods’ makes it a drawcard for digital natives, says Big 7 Travel.
With more people working from home indefinitely because of the Covid-19 pandemic, the option to work from anywhere in the world has never been as enticing as it is now.
With this in mind, Big 7 Travel has released a list of the 50 best places to work from remotely in 2021 — and the Mother City has made the cut.
Coming in at number 42, Cape Town made the travel website’s list by virtue of its atmosphere, scenery and community of expats and nomads.
“Cape Town sometimes gets a bad rap for its droughts, iffy Wi-Fi and occasional safety concerns. However, it still manages to reel in digital nomads by the thousands,” states Big 7 Travel’s website.
“Despite having a few drawbacks, Cape Town boasts an incredibly connected expat and digital nomad scene from all corners of the globe. The scenery doesn’t hurt, either. Situated right on the water, surrounded by mountains and chock-full of colourful markets and quirky neighbourhoods, Cape Town is all about the atmosphere.”
The team from Big 7 Travel used variables such as affordability, internet access, cool co-working spaces, expat friendly communities and regulations that make it easy for digital nomads to work from a different country to make their final selection.
Tallinn, the capital of Estonia, came in first, largely due to a visa the country has put in place that offers digital nomads the opportunity to work remotely within Estonia for up to a year. The cost of living is also relatively low, according to the list, and with 99% of public services available online, internet access is a charm.
Tbilisi in Georgia grabbed second place, owing to its rich cultural offering, funky co-working spaces and a remote-worker visa to qualifying individuals.
Apart from Berlin, at sixth, the top 10 places on the list were dominated by countries in Eastern Europe, the Caucus region, Asia and Latin America.
The top 10 best places for remote working in 2021, according to Big 7 Travel:
1. Tallinn, Estonia
2. Tbilisi, Georgia
3. Belgrade, Serbia
4. Bali, Indonesia
5. Chiang Mai, Thailand
6. Berlin, Germany
7. Singapore
8. Buenos Aires, Argentina
9. Hanoi, Vietnam
10. Ljubljana, Slovenia

What is a Notarial Contract and why do I need one for a Life Partner Visa?

“The notarial contract is a formal agreement entered into by a South African citizen/permanent resident and a foreign partner, notarised by a South African notary, setting out the details of their rights and privileges in terms of their relationship. There is no standard format for this notarial contract and each one will be unique according to the party’s particular requirements and circumstances.”- Louwrens Koen
The reason for notarial contract is to show proof that your relationship with your partner has exceeded a period of 2 years and to prove that your relationship is valid indeed. This is presented in the form of a sworn affidavit and a notarial contract which is included with your application for a life partner visa.
The cost in South Africa to consult and draft a notarial contract is roughly going to cost about R1200.
Please note under the new immigration regulations that it’s a requirement to prove that you have been in a relationship with your partner for at least 2 years or more in order for the South African Embassy to award you with a life partner visa.
Make use of our free assessment to find out whether you are eligible to apply for the life partner visa!

Why using an Immigration Consultancy is absolutely Vital

Whoever said that immigration is a piece of cake clearly paid an arm and a leg for the slice. The immigration process is incredibly case specific to the point that if it is not handled properly, it can immediately end with a negative outcome. Today, we discuss the reasons why you, as a person or as an organisation, should make use of an immigration consultancy for all the nitty gritty details that the immigration process has to offer.
Immigration is not going to happen overnight. In fact, there is a common misconception that in a couple of weeks, one can pack up all their stuff and head out the door to a better life. Immigration takes months – and more often than not – years to achieve. Just the documentation collection stage alone can take a few months due to the number of documents required to even be considered for this type application. And that’s all assuming that you have the correct, up to date document list for all the necessary pieces of information requested by a foreign government.
Before one takes on the task of dusting off their old certificates and papers, one will first have to determine whether or not they are even eligible for immigration. With differences in tertiary education levels from country to country, correct working experience and language proficiency to name a few, you want to know where you stand prior to actually starting an application. Where one can spend a large amount of money in Portugal or Malta to obtain a permanent residence status, a country like Australia or Canada could have a completely different (and more accessible) process for obtaining permanent residence.
It’s important to have yourself assessed before you even look at spending money, as you may very well qualify for a route that you hadn’t even thought of. This is where immigration consultancies come into play. The consultancy will review your specifics (work experience, education, age, marital status, etc.) and then determine where your best options lie.
Scam artists and frauds have plagued the Immigration Industry for decades and in the modern era this has not changed so one must ensure that whoever they are talking to is a credible and confirmed source. Note, a legitimate agency should NEVER charge you for verifying your basic information and assessing your eligibility. A transaction will only become applicable IF you are eligible and IF you so choose to use the services offered, keep an eye out for organisations and individuals who attempt to take advantage of your naivety and try to make a fast buck out of you.
No matter how serious a query may or may not be regarding immigration, rather talk to a certified and legitimate consultancy. Immigration is no walk in the park, with most interest being based on goals for personal growth or for a household the last thing anyone wants is to end up with a negative outcome and waste of resources. Why not rather enlist the professional services of an agency that shares the same values?
Sa Migration International ( SAMI – Sa Migration ) – Is a registered Immigration Practitioner recognised the Department of Home Affairs , a member of FIPSA – Forum of Immigration Practitioners , a SAQA recognised organisation and we enjoy a high level of cooperation with the Department of Trade and Industry ( DTI ) as well as the Department of Labour ( DOL )

Home affairs extends visas that expired in lockdown

Home affairs minister Aaron Motsoaledi has issued directions extending the validity period of legally issued visas that expired during the Covid-19 lockdown period.
This is to end-June for short-term visas “issued for a period not longer than 90 days, such as a tourist visa”.
The validity of longer-term temporary visas (issued for three months to three years), is until end-July.
“Holders of such visas are permitted to remain in the country under the conditions of their visas until the expiry of their applicable extension. Those wishing to be repatriated to their countries within this period can depart without being declared undesirable persons,” said the ministry.
The extension does not apply to people who entered the country from March 15. In these cases, the normal validity period applies.
Holders of longer-term temporary visas such as a study visa, treaty visa, business visa, medical treatment visa, relative’s visa, general work visa, critical skills work visa, retired person’s visa and exchange visa, which expired during the lockdown can apply to renew their visas at before July 31.
Refugee reception centres remain closed. The validity of asylum and refugee permits has been extended until June 30.

Asylum/refugee visas Extended to 30 June 2021

If your asylum seeker permit or refugee status has expired, or is due to expire, during lockdown (from 15 March 2020 onwards), it is considered to have been extended up to, and including, 30 June 2021.
This was officially confirmed by Directions and Amended Directions Gazetted by the Department of Home Affairs. You can read these Directions and Amended Directions
The Department of Home Affairs has also indicated that they will begin an online renewal process for asylum seeker and refugee documentation. However, this process does NOT exist at this time. Once we know more about this process and when it will begin, we will share more information on social media and our website. We hope to provide assistance to clients who may experience difficulties or access issues with the upcoming online renewal process.
It is important to note that Home Affairs has confirmed in its Directions that “all the rights, benefits and obligations of asylum seekers and refugees remain the same. The refugee and asylum seeker permits that expired during lockdown will not be subject to any penalties.”
Refugee Reception Offices:
Refugee Reception Offices have not offered any face-to-face services since they closed at the beginning of lockdown. Should Sa Migration receive any news about the reopening of services at Refugee Reception Offices, we will update this webpage and our Facebook page

Details emerge about how Bushiris escaped

*Self-styled prophet Shepherd’s ‘lover’ helped him and his wife reach the Beit bridge border*
Self-proclaimed Malawian prophet Shepherd Bushiri allegedly fled South Africa through Zimbabwe with the assistance of his 27-year-old “lover”.
This is according to a Limpopo-based former member of Bushiri’s Enlightened Christian Gathering Church, who says the woman – who had borrowed his own car – allowed Bushiri and his wife to use it to travel to the Beitbridge border post in Musina on November 10.
The man told City Press this week that he was exposing these details because he was fed up with the church leader’s shenanigans and deceit, particularly his declaration that he was willing to return and stand trial if his safety was guaranteed.
Bushiri, he added, had been coming up with excuses like demanding that the magistrate in Malawi recuse himself and expecting South African witnesses to travel to Malawi, where he and his wife are currently fighting extradition.
The man requested that he and the woman who borrowed his car for the Bushiris not be named until they had met with the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation. The woman, he added, wanted assurance that she would be protected before revealing her identity.
The congregant backed up his claims to City Press about Bushiri’s escape with a sworn statement.
Bushiri’s South Africa-based lawyer, Ntsako Baloyi, insisted that he did not know how the couple had left the country, as they had not informed him. It was initially suspected that they escaped with the assistance of Malawian President Lazarus Chakwera on November 14 – a matter that threatened diplomatic ties between that country and South Africa. Chakwera had been in South Africa to meet President Cyril Ramaphosa around the time the Bushiris disappeared in the face of mounting fraud and money laundering charges involving R102 million.
They had been released on R200 000 bail each by the Pretoria Central Magistrates’ Court soon before their escape. The couple are standing trial in a court in Malawi’s capital city Lilongwe. They are scheduled to appear again tomorrow. The “prophet” is also facing eight counts of rape dating back to 2016, with some of his alleged victims being as young as 16. She later confided to me that she had helped them escape because she’d been having a sexual relationship with Shepherd Bushiri for almost two years.
Hawks spokesperson Colonel Katlego Mogale declined to comment on whether the Hawks were aware of this version of how the Bushiris escaped, saying only that the matter was still under investigation.
In his affidavit, the former member of Bushiri’s church alleged that he had lent a white car to Bushiri’s alleged lover when the “prophet” called her and asked for assistance on November 9.
“Bushiri asked the woman if she had a car in good condition for a long-distance trip and told her to ask me to lend her one if she didn’t. She happened to be using my car at that time, as her own had mechanical problems,” he said. Bushiri’s wife, he alleged, was driven by another person to the woman’s apartment in Embassy Towers in Sandhurst, Johannesburg, between 11am and noon on November 10 and they then drove to Carlswald in Midrand, which is where Bushiri was.
From there, the couple set off for the Malawi border post at about 2pm, accompanied by another woman. The Bushiris, he said, were wearing baseball caps to disguise themselves.
He alleged the lover was given strict instructions not to tell anyone about this trip, but to misdirect people by calling all her friends and acquaintances and telling them she had accompanied Mary Bushiri to Sun City, and then leave her cellphone at home to avoid taking their calls. He himself, the man said, had been unaware of what had really happened. “She called me at about 1pm [on November 10] and told me about taking Mom [Mary Bushiri] to Sun City,” he said.
In the affidavit, he said: “When she called me, she sounded as if she was in a hurry and when I tried to call her back 30 minutes later, her phone wasn’t answered.” The congregant alleged he was at his home in Limpopo when the Bushiris skipped the country. “She [later] told me that she only realised there were four vehicles as part of the Bushiri entourage, which drove ahead of them to check for roadblocks and police presence on the road when they arrived in Polokwane. They all booked into a lodge in Musina and, at about 1.30am the next morning, they were called into the Bushiris’ room. That was when the couple bid them goodbye. The Bushiris were then fetched by another car and left for Malawi at about 2am, presumably through Beitbridge,” he said.The woman offered the Bushiris R20 000 in cash.
Zimbabwean police spokesperson, chief superintendent Paul Nyathi, said that the country’s police did not have any information about the Bushiris passing through their borders. By mid-morning on November 11, following the Bushiris’ departure, the lover allegedly used the cellphone of her companion to contact the congregant via the Telegram app to ask for directions to his house in Louis Trichardt.
The same day that the prophet came out of prison, he started losing serious weight and when he was admitted to hospital here in South Africa, they told him he had poison in his blood. That was when she told him the whole story. “When she told me that Mary’s phone had been left at her house, I told her to remove it as soon as possible because anyone could trace it. We went together to her house [in Sandton] and only when I saw Mary’s cellphone did I believe her story,” he said. “She phoned Sylvester [one of Bushiri’s members of protocol] to come and take the phone and she handed it to him. I informed her of the seriousness of her actions in helping the Bushiris to escape,” he said. “She later confided to me that she had helped them escape because she’d been having a sexual relationship with Shepherd Bushiri for almost two years. She confirmed it by showing me a double-breasted suit, a yellow tie, a white shirt and blue Boss underwear that Bushiri had left at her place after spending a night there,” he said. City Press has seen pictures of the clothing, taken by the congregant.
Baloyi said that many theories had been postulated about how the Bushiris escaped South Africa, but this was the first time he had heard that they had passed through the Beitbridge border post. “It’s not known to me how they left, as I deal with them on legal issues – not on how they decide to do things. To date, I can tell you that they’ve shared nothing about how they left with me. I suppose they’re not emotionally ready to do so,” he said. He added that the Bushiris had left because their lives were in danger and they feared persecution and an unfair trial.
“Let me share with you: the same day that the prophet came out of prison, he started losing serious weight and when he was admitted to hospital here in South Africa, they told him he had poison in is blood. The Bushiris have it on record, and evidence from the prison, that they were poisoned,” said Baloyi.

At last! Home Affairs plans to finally make services digital The Department of Home Affairs is introducing digital services to ensure a credible population register, not vulnerable to theft and fraud.

Good news for South Africans, the days of standing on those long queues and spending hours at Home Affairs will soon be a thing of the past!
Home Affairs Minister Dr Aaron Motsoaledi said that his Home Affairs department is working on a number of tech-focused features, with plans to take some services digital.
In a recent written parliamentary Q&A, Motsoaledi said that the department will also introduce a number of changes which are aimed at increased identity security for citizens.
“The department has partnered with the Department of Health to ensure that each child is allocated with a birth certificate on the spot, by registering birth at health facilities.
This will curb identity theft from the onset as an ID number gets allocated and remains with the child for life. The primary purpose is to ensure a credible population register, not vulnerable to theft and fraud,” Motsoaledi said.
With ‘live capture’, Motsoaledi said that the department is able to identify applicants through online verification which has a direct interface with the Home Affairs National Identification System (HANIS) to identify persons through biometrics.
Enhanced security features for Smart ID card and passport
Furthermore, during the collection of smart identity cards, online verification is also performed to ensure that the correct enabling document is handed over to the appropriate clients.
According to Business Tech, Motsoaledi said that the South African Smart ID card and passport also have enhanced security features.
“The department is moving away from paper to a paperless environment. The department is thereby progressively phasing out the manual application process.
“In addition, in terms of the Departments of Home Affairs’ Information Security Policy, a model was built around proactive risk assessment and risk management where all users responsible for registering and capturing births and identity-related applications within the domain of the organization, are assigned with biometric fingerprint authentication, to detect and hold users accountable for fraudulent activities,” he said
Motsoaledi also urged everyone who visits Home Affairs offices to observe social distancing, sanitise their hands regularly and to wear their masks properly, covering their noses and mouths. “Nobody will be allowed into our offices if they are not wearing their masks properly,” Motsoaledi said.
Home Affairs announced the resumption of a number of services under South Africa’s level 1 lockdown at the start of March.
This comes after several services were temporarily suspended due to concerns around COVID-19 transmissions.
The following services are now available:
• Births registration;
• Re-issuance of births certificates;
• Late Registration of Birth (LRB) for learners and pensioners only;
• Death registration;
• Applications temporary identity certificate (TIC);
• Collection of identity cards or documents;
• Applications and collection of passports for those who are exempted to travel;
• Applications for identity (Smart ID) cards or documents for matriculants only;
• Re-issues of Smart ID cards and identity documents;
• Registration and solemnization of marriages;
• Amendments and rectifications;
• Late Registration of Birth (LRB) for all categories;
• Applications and collections of passports for all categories.