Archive from October, 2021

Durban court sentences former Home Affairs official to four years behind bars for fraud and corruption

Court
Durban court sentences former Home Affairs official to four years behind bars for fraud and corruption
Daily News Oct 29, 2021
DURBAN – The Durban Magistrates Court sentenced a former Department of Home Affairs official to four years of direct imprisonment for fraud and corruption.
Hawks spokesperson Captain Simphiwe Mhlongo said Sbulelo Malanda, 44, was sentenced on Monday.
Mhlongo said Malanda was working for the Department of Home Affairs at its Umzimkhulu offices. In 2017, she colluded with her accomplices and assisted the foreign nationals to obtain South African identity documents fraudulently. As a result, those foreign nationals unduly benefited from social grants from the South African Social Security Agency.
“A case of fraud and corruption was reported at Umzimkhulu police station. The case docket was allocated to Hawks members from the Durban Serious Commercial Crime Investigation team for intensive investigation, and they were arrested in August 2017,” Mhlongo said.
He said they made several court appearances until her accomplices were found guilty in 2018. They were sentenced to two years imprisonment, which was suspended for five years on condition that they were not found guilty of fraud or corruption during the period of suspension.
“Malanda continued to attend court until she was found guilty in June last year. She was sentenced to four years of direct imprisonment for three counts of fraud and another four years imprisonment for three counts of corruption. She was further sentenced to six months imprisonment for contravention of the Immigration Act,” Mhlongo said.
He said her sentence will run concurrently.
www.samigration.com

Process of renunciation of Indian citizenship simplified

Process of renunciation of Indian citizenship simplified
The Hindu – 28 October, 2021
SA mgratuon
Provision made for uploading documents online, completion of process within 60 days: MHA
The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has simplified the process for Indians who want to renounce their citizenship. Provisions have been made for applicants to upload documents online, with an upper limit of 60 days for the renunciation process to be completed.
Over 6.7 lakh Indians renounced their citizenship between 2015-19, the Lok Sabha was informed in February.
In 2018, the MHA revised the Form XXII under the Citizenship Rules for declaration of renunciation of citizenship, which for the first time included a column on “circumstances/reasons due to which applicant intends to acquire foreign citizenship and renounce Indian citizenship”.
An official familiar with the subject said there was no sudden surge in the number of applications to renounce citizenship but the online process has been initiated to check fraudulent documents and “reduce the compliance burden”.
As many as 1,41,656 Indians renounced their citizenship in the year 2015, while in the years 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019, the numbers stood at 1,44,942, 1,27,905, 1,25,130 and 1,36,441, respectively.
The Ministry issued new guidelines on September 16 stating that the form, after being filled online, has to be downloaded, signed and submitted at the District Magistrate’s office, if the applicant is in India, or at the nearest Indian mission, if she or he is in a foreign country. The applicant will also be interviewed by the DM before the certificate is issued, the Ministry said.
Other than the passport, the applicant also needs to submit proof of address and proof of payment of fee.
The Ministry stated that once a copy of the form had been received, the entire process for issuance of renunciation certificate would take 60 days after “verification of documents”.
According to the 2009 Citizenship Rules, the fee to renounce citizenship for an applicant in India is ₹5,000, and for someone applying through an Indian mission in a foreign country is ₹7,000.
The guidelines said that when a person ceases to be a citizen of India under Section 8(1) of Citizenship Act, 1955, “every minor child of that person shall thereupon ceases to be a citizen of India”. The minor child may, however, within one year of attaining full age apply to resume Indian citizenship. The guidelines are not clear if minors would also lose citizenship if only one of the parents gives up her/his Indian citizenship.
www.samigration.com

2022 University Application Closing Dates

madiba migration
2022 University Application Closing Dates

Careerwise – – Date 28 October 2021

If you wish to secure your spot in the class of 2022 at one of the twenty-six South African higher education institutions, you have to start working on starting your application process.

It’s important to note that before you make any application, consider different factors. And those include the environment you see yourself living and working comfortably in, the location, (public) transportation facilities and routes, accommodation, daily economic costs, financing for studies via institutional bursaries, and the general style of the learning institution you want to attend.

NB: application dates may differ and/or change due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The institutions hold the privilege to revise the dates published in order to match what has been a constantly changing learning environment since the pandemic began.

Nelson Mandela University (NMU)

5 August 2021 for early applications (excluding MBChB).

30 September 2021 for late applications (excluding MBChB).

30 September 2021 for international student applications (excluding MBChB).

30 September 2021 – International student applications (application fee: R500).

University of Fort Hare (UFH)

Friday, 29 October 2021

You can find the application forms here, application guidelines and fees, and banking details.

University of Pretoria (TUKS)

New applications for the Faculty of Health Sciences have been extended until 31 July 2021.

While the last opportunity for matric learners to write their national benchmark test is 30 September 2021.

Further closing dates are Specific to Faculties.

You can browse all faculties and their stated dates here.

North-West University (NWU)

31st July 2021 (Selection courses)

30 September 2021 (Non-selection courses)

University of South Africa (UNISA)

1 September 2021 (applications open)

15 December 2021 (closing date)

You can read up on the institution’s application guidelines and how to download the 2022 prospectus here.

University of the Free State (UFS)

31 July 2020: Architecture, Quantity Surveying, Construction Management, and Social Work:

30 September 2020: All non-selection programmes

1 November 2020: Fine Arts

Download a PDF that contains dates and important information for students from the institution.

Rhodes University (RU)

30 September 2021 (Undergraduate studies)

31 October 2021 (Postgraduate studies)

Walter Sisulu University (WSU)

30 September 2021 (Faculty of Health Sciences)

31 October 2021 (Other Faculties)

University of Johannesburg (UJ)

30 September 2021 –12:00 PM (Undergraduate Studies)

You can read up on the institution’s comprehensive application guidelines, closing dates for postgraduate applications, fees, and contact information here.

University of the Western Cape (UWC)

30 September 2021 (excluding Bachelor of Dentistry and Oral Health, BA Honours Biokinetics, BSc Honours Biokinetics)

31 August 2021: School of Government postgraduate degrees

Visit this page to learn how to launch and process your application.

University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN)

30 June 2021: Medicine

30 September 2021: All other programmes

University of Witwatersrand (Wits)

30 June 2021 (Faculty of Health Sciences (all programmes); Bachelor of Architecture; Bachelor of Audiology, Bachelor of Speech-Language Pathology; BA Film and TV).

30 September 2021 (All other University programmes; Residence applications).

Visit this page to apply online, learn about application fees, ways to process payment, etc.

University of Cape Town (UCT)

31 August 2021 for all undergraduate programmes.

Note: applications for student accommodation close the same day.

University of Limpopo (UL)

23 September 2020 (for both South African and International students).

Find the online application form and admission requirements on this page.

University of Venda (UniVen)

30 November 2021

This page will direct you to the application portal.

University of Mpumalanga (UMP)

30 September 2021: Bachelor of Education in Foundation Phase Teaching

30 November 2021 (All programmes)

15 January 2022 (Masters programmes)

University of Stellenbosch (SU)

31 July 2021 (applications for Undergraduates, residence applications)

01 August 2021 (NSFAS assistance applications opening date)

30 November 2021 (NSFAS assistance closing date)

15 December 2021 (closing date for Diploma in Public Accountability)

Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University

30 July 2021 (B Radiography, B Dental Surgery, B Pharmacy, B Dental Therapy, MBChB, and BSc Physiotherapy)

30 July 2021 (BSc, BSc Diet, B Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, B Occupational Therapy, B Oral Hygiene, B Nursing Sciences)

University of Zululand (UniZulu)

30 August 2021 (Social Work)

30 September 2021 (Nursing Sciences)

31 October 2021 (for other programmes)

Sol Plaatje University

30 November 2021 (All programmes)

Universities of Technology

Central University of Technology (CUT)

30 November 2021 (South African applications)

29 October 2021 (International applications)

Tshwane University of Technology (TUT)

30 November 2021 (All other programmes)

30 July 2021 (2022 applications for the CSIR Bursary Programme close)

Vaal University of Technology (VUT)

30 September 2021 (Undergraduate Studies)

Mangosuthu University of Technology (MUT)

30 September 2021 (Engineering – 1st-semester applications; Management Sciences; and Natural Sciences Faculties)

Durban University of Technology (DUT)

30 September 2021 (All programmes)

Walter Sisulu University of Technology and Science

30 September 2021

Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT)

31 August 2021 (certificate & higher certificates; postgraduate studies; B-Ed programmes).

Visit this page for further application information.

www.samigration.com

9 big changes coming to Home Affairs in South Africa – including self-service and the ‘end of downtime’

9 big changes coming to Home Affairs in South Africa – including self-service and the ‘end of downtime’
Businesstech – 28 October 2021

e-tourist Visa
The Department of Home Affairs is introducing a number of changes to its systems and at its branches to improve service delivery, says the department’s minister Aaron Motsoaledi.
Responding in a written parliamentary Q&A, Motsoaledi said that this will include a significant overhaul of its backend IT infrastructure, as well as improvements at a branch level.
The key changes include:
• Self-service: Implementing a Department of Home Affairs self-service kiosk system for collections, reprints of birth, marriage and death certificates, and re-issue applications for Smart ID’s and passports. This is expected to be completed by the 2024/25 financial year to reduce long queues and ease access to Home Affairs’ services.
• Banks: Increased rollout of Department of Home Affairs services such as ID and passports to more banks in all provinces.
• Internet speed: Upgrading most of the Department of Home Affairs branches across the country to a minimum of 2MB line or higher bandwidth.
• Connectivity: Closer cooperation with other state and private entities on improving access to the internet to the areas that do not have internet connectivity.
• Minimised downtime: Implementing LTE internet routers to most Department of Home Affairs branches in all provinces to minimise service interruptions due to cable theft.
• Mobile trucks: Introducing 100 trucks with VSAT connectivity and a live-capture system for use in rural areas.
• Power: Improved management of generators in terms of maintenance together with the Department of Public Works to minimise the issue of power outages that affect ICT infrastructure.
• Equipment: A partnership with connectivity equipment manufacturers will improve turnaround times to replace connectivity hardware infrastructure.
• Relaxed procurement: The implementation of a strategy wherein the Department of Home Affairs has access to a localised pool of pre-approved service providers wherein a procurement of a connectivity service can be expedited without the onerous procurement processes.
The Department of Home Affairs is also developing a new online system that will allow users to apply for their IDs and other essential documents without going into a physical branch, Motsoaledi said.
The minister said that citizens with access to the internet can apply for smart IDs and passports online under the current system.
South Africans can also use participating banks to provide applications of smart IDs and passports. These services are set to be further expanded to include a range of online options, he said.
“The same eHome Affairs digital channel will soon be used to allow clients to book appointments, not just with the participating bank branches, but with participating Home Affairs front offices as well.
“(This will apply to) various services, and not just smart IDs and passports,” he said.
Motsoaledi said that digitisation was critical to the department’s strategy in the future. “The Department of Home Affairs acknowledges the adoption of digital transformation and the implementation of ICT technologies that enhance service delivery channels. That’s why there are current e-modernisation projects in place and an e-home affairs digital channel.”
In August, the department said that there are currently 27 bank branches that offer E-Home Affairs services across six different provinces. It plans to roll out these services to a further 43 sites.
www.samigration.com

Canada: students worry about unaffordable course withdrawal

WhatsApp Image 2021-10-21 at 12.52.35
Pie News – 28 October 2021
International students enrolled at Canadian institutions have said they are unable to withdraw from their courses and get refunds due to college policies and visa processing delays.
International students enrolled at Canadian institutions have said they are unable to withdraw from their courses.
“If the students withdraw without this, their colleges hold back large sums of money”
As part of applications for study visas, students using the fast-track study permit Student Direct Stream were required to pay for a full year of study up front, as well as a Guaranteed Investment Certificate of CAN$10,000.
“If I tried to withdraw, I would not get refunded for my two semesters which is $16,000”
However, some of these students have been waiting for long periods of time to have their applications processed – including one who has been waiting since March 2020.
A number of students told The PIE News that they are unable to withdraw their applications, to either re-apply or apply to other countries, as their institutions require that they receive a student visa refusal from IRCC.
If the students withdraw without this, their colleges hold back large sums of money – something the students say they can’t afford. They told The PIE that they feel trapped as their applications are not being either refused or accepted and so affordable refunds are not possible.
“I have completed my two semesters, and if I tried to withdraw, I would not get refunded for my two semesters which is $16,000,” one student who is studying online at Hanson College in Ontario told The PIE.
“If my visa application is refused I will be given a refund minus $500 which is the offer letter fee and labour fees. But I put in my application in October 2020 and still have had no response from IRCC,” they said.
The student said they believe IRCC is processing more recent applications and that their application has got stuck in a backlog.
“So if I tried to drop my application and reapply for the same college, to get out of the backlog, I would not get my refund,” the student added.
Hanson College was contacted by The PIE but did not respond by the time of publication.
Other students told The PIE that they had been waiting for extended periods of time for IRCC to answer queries around their visa applications.
“I applied for a Canada study visa in March 2020. I and many other students have been waiting for a long time. But IRCC is not taking us seriously. They are giving results to new files instead of old files,” one told The PIE.
The PIE contacted IRCC for comment but has not yet received a response.
Another student told The PIE that the visa delays would prevent him from transferring to a college in another country.
“If I get a visa rejection I will get a refund but my college will deduct $250,” the student, who is enrolled at Mohawk College in Hamilton, Ontario, said.
“But if I get sick of waiting and I want to apply in the UK, US or any other country in the world they will deliberately deduct $2,200 and the remaining amount will be given to me in more than 60 days.”
Asked whether he could afford such a deduction, the student said he could not and that it would put his family in a precarious financial situation.
“My father is a farmer and he sold his land. He also took out a loan on our house where we live. So now my house is mortgaged by the bank and my father has been paying interest since the April 30,” he said.
A spokesperson for the college told The PIE that since the beginning of the pandemic, Mohawk College has supported international students who begin their studies virtually while their visa is being processed.
“If I get sick of waiting and I want to apply in the UK, US or any other country in the world they will deliberately deduct $2,200”
They provided information that showed that if a student withdraws before October 10, they will only have to pay a $250 fee.
However, if a student withdraws between October 10 and December 11 they will have $2,200 deducted from their refund. After December 11 they will not be eligible for a refund of any fees.
“Students studying under this pending visa approval status are provided with a unique refund procedure which they receive as an attestation during the Admissions process,” the spokesperson said.
“This refund procedure gives students the opportunity to receive a refund of their fees (less mandatory non-refundable fees) for the majority of the semester if their visa application is denied.
“When students receive a decision on their application, they must advise our services team so that they can begin the process to withdraw the student. The student is required to complete additional documentation confirming their intent to withdraw before any refunds can be processed,” they added.
IRCC sent the following response to The PIE on Thursday, 16 September:
The pandemic has had a significant impact on Canada’s immigration system, and we understand the frustrations of applicants at this difficult moment.From March to October 2020, travel restrictions prevented most international students from travelling to Canada, even if their study permit application was finalised and approved.
With reduced processing capacity during the pandemic, IRCC prioritised finalising applications for those who were exempt from the travel restrictions at the time, such as family members of Canadians and agricultural and health-care workers.After travel restrictions for students changed in October 2020, IRCC has prioritised study permit applications from prospective students whose designated learning institution (DLI) had a COVID-19 readiness plan approved by their province or territory.
When the list was introduced, fewer than half of the DLIs in Canada had a COVID-19 readiness plan. Since then, the list has been updated every 2 weeks and the number of DLIs on it has grown, with about 75% of active DLIs now on the list of DLIs with approved COVID-19 plans. IRCC has continued to accept and process study permit applications throughout the pandemic to the extent possible.
During the pandemic, IRCC has generally not refused incomplete applications. While we have announced that this measure is changing, many of the applications in IRCC’s processing inventory are incomplete. We can’t finalise these applications until applicants are able to provide biometrics, immigration medical examinations, police certificates or other missing documents.
Earlier this year, IRCC committed to processing, by August 6, complete study permit applications that were received by May 15. Nearly 29,000 study permit applications were identified as part of this commitment. Of those, only 80 were not yet processed as of August 6. Applications that were incomplete or that required additional information were not part of IRCC’s processing commitment.
We’re processing complete applications submitted after May 15, 2021, as quickly as possible. Some applications take longer to process, such as those that are incomplete or require the officer to request more information from the applicant.Students may also begin or continue their studies from abroad, if their designated learning institution offers online learning.
As a facilitative measure, those who were approved for, or applied for, a study permit for a program starting between March 2020 and fall 2021 could study online from abroad, up to December 31, 2021, with that time recognised for an applicant’s eligibility for a post-graduation work permit in the future.As of August 2021, IRCC had processed close to 370,000 study permit applications, a significant increase when compared to the same period last year when about 100,000 study permits applications where processed.
www.samigration.com

E-Visa Market Is Booming Worldwide with Muhlbauer Group, Netrust, Atlantic Zeiser

e-tourist Visa
Puck – 28 October 2021
E-Visa Market Comprehensive Study is an expert and top to bottom investigation on the momentum condition of the worldwide E-Visa industry with an attention on the Global market. The report gives key insights available status of the E-Visa producers and is an important wellspring of direction and course for organizations and people keen on the business. By and large, the report gives an inside and out understanding of 2021-2026 worldwide E-Visa Market covering extremely significant parameters.
Brief Summary of E-Visa:
An e-visa (electronic visa) is an online platform which allows an applicant to facilitate online application to get a visa. An e-visa is an advanced form of traditional documents introduced to improve the security structure as well as limit fraudulent cases, so as to increase integration competences with high-tech airport infrastructure. E-visas are used to check identity of a traveler over digital means using unique identification number, digital signature, & others, when crossing borders or entering into another country. This technology stores data of the traveler on a smart chip. Global e-visa market growth is driven by the introduction of e-visa application and services. It eases reduction of hassles throughout the processing and verification of documents at airports, reduces the processing time at immigration desks to get clearance, as well as also permits security personnel to focus their attention on the surveillance of suspicious & high-risk travelers.
Market Trends:
• Increasing Adoption of Hybrid Smart Cards
Market Drivers:
• Growing Cross Border Travel
• Introduction of e-visa application and services
Market Opportunities:
• Growing Number of identity frauds
• Growing adoption of e-visas among developing economies
Regions Covered in the E-Visa Market:
• The Middle East and Africa (South Africa, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Israel, Egypt, etc.)
• North America (United States, Mexico & Canada)
• South America (Brazil, Venezuela, Argentina, Ecuador, Peru, Colombia, etc.)
• Europe (Turkey, Spain, Turkey, Netherlands Denmark, Belgium, Switzerland, Germany, Russia UK, Italy, France, etc.)
• Asia-Pacific (Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Vietnam, China, Malaysia, Japan, Philippines, Korea, Thailand, India, Indonesia, and Australia).
www.samigration.com

‘Irate citizen complaints’ lead to longer hours at some home affairs offices

mr maz
‘Irate citizen complaints’ lead to longer hours at some home affairs offices

Times Live – 28 October 2021

Temporary extension to cope with surge in demand for services

Home affairs minister Dr Aaron Motsoaledi has approved the temporary extension of operating times at some of the department’s offices by two-and-a-half hours, to keep them open from 8am to 5.30pm.

The department said the temporary extension, effective from Monday, was designed to meet a surge in demand for its services.

Out of the 412 home affairs offices, 197 were modernised live capture offices that could process smart ID cards and passports.

These are the offices that will operate for extended hours due to increased demand for services.

“The deputy minister [Njabulo Nzuza] and I have been receiving a lot of complaints from irate citizens across the country.

“Most of these people have complained about a bad practice by some home affairs offices where queues are cut and people sent home, presumably because there are already more than enough people to serve for the day,” said Motsoaledi.

The minister said he learnt this incorrect practice of sending people home happened as early as 7am.

“We want to emphasise there is no government policy that provides for that and members of the public should not be treated in this way,” Motsoaledi said.

“Where it happens, members of the public must challenge it, take down the name of the official who wants to send them home and raise it with the office manager.”

He said the temporary extension was meant to resolve congestion which had increased over the past two weeks at identified offices. The intervention includes the full return of staff to those offices.

He said the only people who would be sent home were those who arrived after 5.30pm. Motsoaledi said everybody who arrived before 5.30pm should be served and not turned away.

The department said in the event of the system being offline, it would intervene quickly.

Everyone visiting home affairs offices was urged to observe social distancing rules, sanitise their hands and wear face masks properly, covering both nose and mouth. Anyone who is not wearing a mask properly will not be assisted.

www.samigration.com

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