Archive from April, 2021

Don’t Be Declared “Undesirable”

Many tourists have been thrown into the deep end as Home Affairs implement South African visa changes overnight.
I’m sure by now many of you have read or heard about the recent rules that have come into effect for the SA Visa. After doing some research I decided to gather some information together to try and put your minds at ease and make sure you are aware of how to avoid being declared an “undesirable” person.
First… The changes.
90 Day Tourist Visa & Extensions
As before, upon arrival into South Africa you will receive a 90 day Tourist Visa (exemptions apply, please check the DHA website). This Visa has the option of a further 90 day extension (total 180 days), however at present these are not guaranteed and are quite difficult to get approved in time.
Extensions can be done via VFS Global, a visa facilitation company. Applications must be done online through the VFS website, by filling in an application form, scheduling an appointment and paying the relevant fee via EFT.
On the day of your appointment at VFS you will need to submit all documentation and have your biometric data recorded. You will be given a receipt that must be kept to collect your passport and documents IF your extension is granted.
Travelling With Children
Parents travelling with children under the age of 18 MUST carry an Unabridged Birth Certificate in addition to the child’s passport.
This applies to ALL travel… Inbound, Outbound and In Transit.
When a child is travelling with one parent, that parent in addition to the above must also have consent from the other parent in the form of an Affidavit or Court Order or in the case of the other parent being deceased, a Death Certificate.
If the child is travelling unaccompanied, proof of consent from both parents or if one parent, an Affidavit/Court Order/Death Certificate as stated above.
A letter from the person who will be receiving the child containing the residential address and contact details where the child will be residing, a copy of the Passport/Identity Document for the receiving person and lastly the contact details of the parents.
Second… The Problems
90 Day Tourist Visa & Extensions
Clients who wish to apply for the extension of a further 90 days must make application as soon as possible once arriving in South Africa. Processing time is currently taking approximately 60 days and longer.
If your application is not granted before your 90 days is up, you MUST leave South Africa within those 90 days. Persons who stay beyond that period will be declared “undesirable” and prohibited from re-entry into South Africa for:
• 1 year, if you overstay 30 days or less;
• 2 years, if you overstay for a second time within 24 months;
• 5 years, if you overstay more than 30 days.
Persons will also be fined at the airport on departure.
These bans and fines can be appealed but can take months, be expensive and have no guarantee of a positive outcome.
“Border Hopping” (travelling into neighbouring countries for short periods and re-entering South Africa) is no longer allowed.
Persons who come in for 6 months every year, “Swallows” are advised to apply for the 4 Year Tourist Visa, in their home country.
Please note: There is NO GUARANTEE that your application for a Visa Extension will be granted and no refund is applicable if the application is denied.
Travelling With Children
Travel will not be permitted at all if the documentation needed is not provided. This stands when leaving your home country or South Africa when travelling with children under the age of 18.

Department of Home Affairs flouts court orders, year after year

Still no functional refugee reception office in Cape Town.
Home Affairs still does not serve new applicants in Cape Town despite a Supreme Court of Appeal ruling that says it must reopen and maintain a fully functional refugee reception office.
• Despite court orders, since Home Affairs closed its refugee reception office in Cape Town it has not reopened a new one.
• Home Affairs dragged the matter through the courts for six years, losing every time.
• Since 2017 it has made little progress in reopening a “fully functional refugee reception office in or around the Cape Town” as ordered by the court.
• In a recent report Home Affairs said it had had to start the tender process from scratch.

Nearly two years have passed since the Department of Home Affairs promised to open a Cape Town Refugee Reception Office (CTRRO) once again, and nearly a decade has passed since it decided in 2012 to stop processing new asylum applications in Cape Town.

In a judgment on 30 August 2012, the Western Cape High Court ordered Cape Town Home Affairs to start serving new applicants again. The judge said the cost to Home Affairs of assisting newcomers was negligible compared to the harm done to them.

The court said delaying implementation of the court order would cause grievous harm to asylum seekers. While undocumented, they would be subject to arrest and deportation.

Yt Home Affair proceeded to drag the matter through the courts until in September 2017, the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) ruled that Home Affairs must “reopen and maintain a fully functional refugee reception office in or around the Cape Town Metropolitan Municipality by 31 March 2018.”

Home Affairs sought leave to appeal from the Constitutional Court but this was refused. This means the SCA ruling is final.

In January 2019, GroundUp reported that Home Affairs, which by then was already in contempt of the court order, said a site in Maitland had been identified by the Department of Public Works and the proposed date for the office to be occupied was 1 June 2019, according to the Legal Resource Centre (LRC).

In July 2019, the LRC requested Home Affairs submit a detailed plan for the new office, including updated timelines and the reason for missing its June deadline.

Last week, Petra Marais, attorney at LRC, said Home Affairs had sent reports every three to six months, instead of the monthly reports ordered by the Supreme Court of Appeal in 2017.

Marais said, “The last report received from Home Affairs for the period of August 2020 to January 2021 advised that Home Affairs together with the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure has put out another tender during 2020 for new premises for the CTRRO, and from the bids received have now identified a premise in Epping.”

“The LRC has not received updated time lines nor a list of tasks completed during this time. From the reports filed by Home Affairs we were notified that the reason the previous premises fell through was that the landlord could not deliver on all the requirements set by Home Affairs. The Department of Public Works and Infrastructure thereafter advised Home Affairs that the tender process has ‘restarted from scratch’. We were given no reason as to why the tender process had to restart since the Department received five tenders from its 2018 bid, and therefore had four more tenders to consider.”

Marais said the reports filed by Home Affairs “still fail to provide us with timelines, adequate direction and sufficient information for why the Department is not complying with the SCA order”.

Despite various announcements by Home Affairs, refugees and asylum seekers have been struggling to access services for almost a decade now, and the situation became worse when the pandemic struck.

At present, Home Affairs in Cape Town only renews asylum documents and refugee statuses for people who originally applied in Cape Town.

With lockdown in March last year, services were suspended and Home Affairs declared an automatic renewal of documentation. At present, asylum seeker permits that expired, or were due to expire during lockdown, are valid until 31 March 2021.

Last year, the Scalabrini Centre said it is concerned about the number of refugees and asylum seekers with expired documents, and that the Department of Home Affairs has not made public any plans about dealing with the disruption caused by Covid-19.

GroundUp has tried to get comment from Home Affairs spokesperson Siya Qoza and media manager David Hlabane since 17 March

Apr 28, 2021 - Uncategorized    No Comments

Work visa requirements for South Africa immigration

Work visa requirements for South African immigration
Background to Work Visa for South African Immigration
South Africa offers a number of options for those who are seeking a Work Visa for the purposes of South African immigration.
Similar to other countries the Work Visa legislation focuses on two main areas:
1. The protection of employment opportunities for South Africans
2. The ability to recruit skilled foreign workers into skill shortage areas or fulfil corporate requirements.
In essence regulations around Work Visas have to provide a balance between making sure employers recruit local South Africans where possible, but allow them to recruit workers from abroad where they are unable to do this.
Types of Work Visa
Broadly speaking there are two types of Work Visa
1. Where the applicant does not have a job offer.
2. Where the applicant has a job offer
Where the applicant requires a work visa and does not have a job offer:
1. Critical skills work visa â€` This visa is based on a well researched list of occupations that are badly needed in South Africa. You don’t need a job offer to apply for the visa, and the visa enables you to enter and stay in South Africa for 12 months to secure a position
Where the applicant requires a work visa and has a job offer
There exists three options for applying for immigration to South Africa via a work visa where the applicant has a job offer:
1. An Intra company transfer â€` Where the individual is being transferred from a branch of the company, based outside of South Africa, to a branch of the company within South Africa. This work visa can also be applied for by individuals who are employees of sister companies or companies with a shared interest. The visa allows the employee to relocate to South Africa and undertake employment for a certain period of time and only for the specified employer.
2. Corporate work visas â€` These can be applied for by organisations that have a need to recruit a number of foreign staff over a set period of time. Obtaining a corporate work visa is hugely beneficial to an organisation. It not only reduces costs, but also speeds up the work visa application process. The individuals applying ‘under’ the corporate visa do not have to provide for many of the requirements normally associated with a work visa.
General work visa â€` Where an individual does not meet the criteria of any of the above work visas an application would have to made under the General Work Visa category. According to the South African Immigration Act, the applicant for a General Work visa has to provide a conditional offer of employment from a South African based employer. In addition also documentation, confirming that the employer has fully endeavoured to employ South African citizens or residents.
Some Frequently asked questions on work visas
Can I apply for Permanent Residency with a work visa?
Obtaining permanent residency via the work visa option inevitably means first having to not just get temporary residency but also maintain it for a 5 year period of time. Intra company transfer visa are not considered within this 5 year rule.
Can my family come with me?
Partners and dependants can accompany holders of work visas. Please note partners are not allowed to study, work or run a business, they are simply allowed only to accompany and stay in South Africa. They may also not be included in permanent residency applications but may themselves apply at a later time dependent on their relationships with the permanent resident.
What about my children attending school?
Dependant children can attend a South African school but need to first obtain a study visa.
Why not subscribe to our newsletter to make sure you keep up to date on the requirements for South Africa work visas.

Apr 28, 2021 - Uncategorized    No Comments

Corporate Visas â€` Immigration South Africa

Corporate Visas Immigration South Africa
A corporate visa can only be issued to South African registered company or branch (the applicant) and it offers the possibility to employ great numbers of employees from abroad, all under the remit of one application.
The Corporate Visa may be issued to a corporate applicant to enable them to employ foreigners who may take up employment for the applicant for a limited period of time.
Who should apply for a corporate visa?
The application is directed for corporates with a need for a predetermined number of foreign personnel. This predetermined need, will have to be proven against a backdrop of there being an insufficient number of South African citizens or permanent resident holders that are capable of filling certain roles within the organisation.
What is required in the corporate visa application?
There are a large number of requirements that are associated with the corporate visa application . It is however important to understand the mindset behind these requirements:
The corporate visa is not an open invitation to recruit on mass from abroad for reasons such as cheaper labour. The company applying has to include in its application detailed job descriptions and the proposed remuneration in respect of each employee. The company will also need to provide proof of the specific job requirements to show the skill sets required as well as illustrate the recruitment efforts they have employed to historically try and find South Africans to fill their vacancies.
As such the corporate visa’s role is to protect suitably qualified South Africans from being prejudiced within the local job market, whilst affording companies with a genuine need, to seek large numbers of staff from overseas.
How a corporate visa works?
If a successful application is made, upon receipt of the corporate visa a company may then recruit individuals that fulfil the roles specified within their corporate visa application by means of issued corporate workers certificates.
Upon identifying the appropriate foreigner to fulfil the role, a job offer is made, and subsequent to this a corporate workers visa can be applied for utilising the corporate workers certificate.
In essence it is a two stop process. Firstly to obtain the corporate visa and then to apply for a corporate workers visa. .
What are the advantages of a corporate visa?
A corporate visa represents an excellent way for companies to manage their human resource needs. Due to South Africa’s fast growing economy and increasing demands for services and products from the domestic and international market, your company may struggle to fill all available positions with South African personnel. Certain professionals in highly specialised areas may simply not be accessible in South Africa.
To apply for work visa’s on a case by case basis may not be in the best interests of your company. With the Corporate Visa allowing your company to obtain permission from Home Affairs to recruit a certain number of foreign employees to fulfil certain roles over a finite period of time, this visa may be an attractive option.
One of the advantages of the Corporate Visa has been approved, the individual employees then apply for a corporate workers visa which is far less onerous, than for example, a general work visa. It is also quicker in theory to process and leads to cost-saving.
Are there any disadvantages?
Yes there are, the compiling of the application. Obtaining permission to recruit a large number of foreigners within one application is a lengthy process. Mainly due to the fact that you need to prove that you require not just one, but many foreign workers. In some cases this may be hundreds of positions covered in just one application. Providing such proof means the compilation of the application along with the decision making process can add up to many months.
Note there is every likelihood that you will have to utilise other work visa options whilst awaiting for your corporate visa application to be processed simply due to the time involved
Getting advice
In the new immigration amendments, published in June 2014, the criteria for a corporate visa application became more complex. It is therefore essential you seek professional guidance on this option as an incorrect decision could leave you with severe human resource issues, not to mention wasted money and frustrations.
Introducing Intergate Immigration’s corporate division
The needs of corporations are very different to that of individual applicants, after all you have a business to run. Our unique approach to corporate visa and permit requirements has seen us become the trusted partner for over 250 large corporates, including a number of South Africa’s and the worlds leading companies.
We are the only South African immigration company to have been accredited ISO 9001 and are also able to offer our clients immigration solutions for other African countries as well.
Getting help with your visa or permit application
We welcome the opportunity to consult with you as to your eligibility for a visa /permit and answer any questions you may have with no obligation.

Apr 28, 2021 - Uncategorized    No Comments

Corporate Workers Visa / Corporate workers certificate

Corporate Workers Visa Corporate workers certificate
Where a company is in possession of a valid corporate work visa, it has in effect a permission to recruit a certain number of foreign workers, into specific positions for finite period of time.
As an example the company may have applied for 200 civil engineers, if successful, they will be issued 200 corporate workers certificates. These certificates can then be used in the subsequent application for a corporate workers visa. These corporate workers certificate negates many of the criteria normally associated with applications for certain type of work permits.
Is the corporate workers visa for temporary or permanent residency?
The corporate workers visa is issued as a temporary residency visa for a maximum of 4 year, or for a period not exceeding the corporate visa held by the company.
In itself the corporate workers visa may not lead to permanent residency. However the time the worker has held it for can be utilised for permanent residency applications made under the 5 year rule. The 5 year rule says that applications can be made for permanent residency by individuals who have held appropriate work visas for 5 years in South Africa.
What must be submitted with a corporate workers visa application?
Applications must include:
• The applicants valid passport;
• Biometrics of the applicant;
• The relevant corporate workers certificate as issued under the corporate visa;
• A contract of employment;
• Proof of the foreign employees qualifications;
• Proof of registration with the appropriate professional body;
What are the restrictions?
It should be remembered that the employee may only be utilised by the South African company in the capacity for which the corporate workers certificate was issued.
The corporate workers visa cannot be extended.
Getting help with your visa or permit application
We welcome the opportunity to consult with you as to your eligibility for a visa /permit and answer any questions you may have with no obligation.

Apr 28, 2021 - Uncategorized    No Comments

Critical skills work visa for South Africa

Critical skills work visa permit for South Africa
Welcome to the critical skills work visa and permit category. For those potential applicants for a work visa or permit to South Africa, and even those existing work permit or visa holders, this category of work visa may well be great news.
Introduced in the new Immigration regulations in June 2014, the Critical skills work visa and permit saw a refreshingly forward thinking approach by the Department of Home Affairs to attracting much needed skills to South Africa and improving the visa and permit application process.
Some highlights of the critical skills work category include:
• It allows you to get a work visa without a job offer.
• It allows you to enter and stay in South Africa for 12 months to secure a position.
• Is based on a well researched list of occupations that are badly needed in South Africa, increasing your chances of finding a job.
• No restrictions in terms of the numbers in each listed occupation.
• No department of labour recommendation so quicker turnaround times.
• Deals with the professional bodies specific to the occupation.
• Can be a pathway to permanent residence immediately as well an immediate 5 year working visa.
• Qualification for a critical skills visa if you completed a post graduate (Phd) in South Africa.
• Less obligation on employers.
Both permanent and temporary residency options
A temporary critical skills work visa is issued for a 5 year period of time. After 5 years you can then apply for permanent residence.
If you already have 5 years experience in your occupation then there is every chance you can immediately apply for permanent residence as well.
What is the key criteria for a critical skills visa or permit application?
You must feature on the critical skills list, this is firstly based on your educational subject and then further broken down into occupations within these educational areas.
What If I am not on the critical skills list?
There are other visa alternatives that you may qualify for and we recommend you contact us
Great news I am on the list critical skills!
The best next step is to e-mail us and attach your CV, if you don’t have a current CV why not call us on any of the above numbers or request a call back.
Getting help with your visa or permit application
We welcome the opportunity to consult with you as to your eligibility for a visa /permit and answer any questions you may have with no obligation.

Apr 28, 2021 - Uncategorized    No Comments

Intra-company Transfers

Intra company Transfers
An Intra-company transfer is a type of work visa that allows for a staff member to transfer from an overseas company to a branch, subsidiary or affiliated business that is operating in South Africa.
Who should apply for an Intra-company transfer work visa?
Ideal for the multi-national company, the Intra-company work visa (Intra-company transfer) allows for an obvious temporary immigration route for staff members to South Africa. Employers should however note that the Intra-company transfer option is only appropriate where the employee is required in South Africa for a maximum period of a 4 years.
If the employee is required for longer than 4 years, the Intra-company work visa will not be appropriate and you should view further options here or you can contact us to discuss your needs.
If you have staff you need to relocate to South Africa, we have a dedicated corporate department that you can contact here.
How long is the Intra-company transfer work visa valid for?
An Intra-company transfer is a temporary work visa only, and as such its validity period is for a maximum of four years. Please note an Intra-company transfer work visa cannot be extended.
About applying for an Intra-company transfer work visa
Importantly it should be noted that if a company is transferring an employee to work at a location in South Africa, you must have an Intra-company transfer work visa to enter the country. This means that the Intra-company transfer work visa needs to be applied for outside of South Africa.
What are the employers responsibilities?
The responsibilities of the employer can be broken down into those that the company abroad must adhere to and those that the branch, affiliate or subsidiary in South African must adhere to.
Responsibilities of the South African branch, affiliate or subsidiary
The South African company needs to confirm:
• Acceptance of the transfer of the employee to them in their capacity as a branch, subsidiary or an affiliate of the company abroad.
• That the employee will only be employed in the specific occupation and capacity for which the intra-company transfer work visa was granted.
• That the foreign employee will at all times comply with the provisions of the Act and
conditions of their visa.
• That they undertake to immediately notify the Director-General if the employee does not comply with the provisions of the act or conditions attached to the visa.
• Any potential deportation costs that maybe associated to the employee and his or her dependent family members, will be born by the company should it become necessary.
• That the employee holding the intra-company transfer work visa will have at all times a valid passport for the duration of his or her employment;
The South African branch, affiliate or subsidiary also needs to demonstrate that they have an appropriate plan in place for the transfer of skills from the Intra-company work visa holder to a South African citizen or permanent resident holder.
Responsibilities of The South African branch, affiliate or subsidiary
The application will need the company abroad to demonstrate the following:
• The employees contract of employment (with the company abroad) is valid for a period of not less than six months.
• Confirmation that the applicant shall be transferred to a branch, subsidiary or an affiliate of that company in South Africa.
• That the employee will not be staying in South African more than 4 years.
What you need to apply for an Intra-company Transfer
The application would need to include amongst other :
• A completed temporary visa application form.
• A valid passport must with an expiry date no sooner than 30 days after the expiry of your intended visit.
NB â€` different consulates and embassies have different requirements regarding the application content for an Intra-company transfer work visa. An example of this is that some require a certified copy of the employee’s birth certificate. Care needs to be taken to ensure that all information and documentation (as required by the specific embassy) is included within the application.
Can partners and dependants accompany the employee?
Yes they can. Partners would need to apply for an accompanying visa whilst dependants of a school age would require a study visa.
Can permanent residency be applied for with an Intra-company transfer work visa?
No application can be made for permanent residency purely as a result of holding an intra-company work visa.
That said, applications for permanent residency can be made by those individuals who have held a work visa for 5 years and the period you have held an intra-company work visa for counts towards this time period.
Therefore if you have previously held, or subsequently hold, another type of work visa for 12 months or more, this combined with 4 years on an Intra-company work visa would allow for a permanent residency application.
Finding out more about Intra-company transfer work visa
Intergate Immigration has successfully assisted companies to submit applications in over 80 South African embassies and consulates around the globe. Offering South Africa’s premier dedicated corporate service, you can trust us with your companies and employees needs. Contact us here to be impressed.
Getting help with your visa or permit application
We welcome the opportunity to consult with you as to your eligibility for a visa /permit and answer any questions you may have with no obligation.