Archive from April, 2022
Apr 26, 2022 - Business Permit    No Comments

UK Skilled Worker Visa Immigration Route

UK Skilled Worker Visa Immigration Route

The South African – 26 April 2022

Are you looking to make a career move in 2022? Why not consider a career in the UK under the Skilled Worker visa route.

The Skilled Worker Immigration Route is one of the most popular immigration routes for South Africans coming to the UK. There are, however, many misconceptions about how the route works in practice. The consultants at Sa Migration have subsequently compiled some answers to the most Frequently Asked Questions on the Skilled Worker Visa Route. 

Do I first need to secure employment before I can apply for the Skilled Worker Visa?

Yes. You first need to secure employment in one of the eligible Skilled Worker occupations with a UK registered sponsor employer before you are eligible to apply for it.

The sponsor will provide you with a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS). This CoS will enable you to apply for the Skilled Worker visa. 

Can my spouse work in the UK if they accompany me on a Skilled Worker Visa?

Yes. Your spouse or partner can apply to accompany you to the UK as your dependant. If your spouse or partner is successful in their application, they will be able to work without any restrictions in the UK. 

Do I require a Police Clearance Certificate for a Skilled Worker Visa application?

Some occupation codes, mainly in the teaching and medical industries, require a Police Clearance Certificate. Your Sa Migration consultant will be able to advise in every case. 

How soon do I need to travel to the UK once my Skilled Worker Visa has been granted?

Initially, you will receive a travel vignette valid for three months. You will have to travel to the UK within these three months of validity. However, you cannot start working for your UK employer more than 28 days from your employment start date as per the Certificate of Sponsorship.

Do the same rules apply if I want to apply for a Skilled Worker Visa for Guernsey instead of the UK?

 Yes, except for a few differences. You still need to first secure employment in one of the eligible occupations with an eligible employer. However, you will not be required to pay the National Health Surcharge. Also, instead of having to obtain a Certificate of Sponsorship from the UK employer, your employer needs to apply for an Employment Permit from the Population Management Department and a Work Permit from the Immigration Department. These permits must be submitted with the entry clearance (Skilled Worker Visa) application. Your Sa Migration consultant will be able to assist you. 

Does the Skilled Worker Visa lead to British Citizenship?

Yes. After spending five years in the UK on the Skilled Worker Visa, you can qualify to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain. However, holders of Skilled Worker Visas have to fulfil very specific requirements regarding the minimum salary threshold when applying for ILR. Please speak to your Sa Migration consultant for specific advice in your case and to plan your route to British citizenship.

Apr 26, 2022 - Business Permit    No Comments

UK Visitor Visa: All you need to know about the visa

UK Visitor Visa: All you need to know about the visa

The South African – 26 April 2022

South Africans who want to travel to the UK as tourists need to apply for a UK Standard Visitor Visa.

It is also important to note that the processing time of UK Visitor Visas is currently about six weeks. So, it is important to plan and apply for your Visitor Visa in time. 

Sa Migration have answered some of the most Frequently Asked Questions on the UK Standard Visitor Visa below. 

Will I be allowed to work while in the UK on the UK Visitor Visa?

The Home Office is very strict on the rule that you cannot do paid or unpaid work for a UK company or as a self-employed person while on a visitor visa in the UK. 

However, they allow some business activities, such as attending interviews, meetings, conferences, etc. We recommend that you speak to one of our consultants to ensure that the work you intend to do falls within the allowed business activities. 

I have a long-term visitor visa for the UK. My daughter is in the UK and having a baby. What is the maximum time I will be allowed to spend visiting my daughter?

You can stay in the UK for up to six months on a UK Visitor visa. Even if you have a two year, five years or ten years long-term Standard Visitor Visa, you are still only allowed to stay in the UK for up to six months at a time. The Home Office strictly forbid repeatedly living in the UK for extended periods via the UK Visitor Visa. 

As we have family in the UK, we are regular visitors. I want to apply for a long-term visitor visa for all our family members. Is it possible to apply for children as well?

Yes, it is possible to apply for children for long-term visitor visas. However, long-term visitor visas will only be valid for up to six months after a child turns 18 years old. One should thus keep the child’s age in mind when applying for a long-term visitor visa. Your Sa Migration consultant will advise in every case. 

I will be visiting friends in the UK on my UK Visitor Visa. I also want to check out the job market and switch to another UK visa while I am there. Is this allowed?

Clients often think that they can visit the UK to check things out, decide whether they want to live and work in the UK, and then apply for another type of UK visa while they are there. 

However, It is important to note that one cannot switch to another type of UK visa while in the UK on a UK visitor visa. You have to return to your home country and submit the visa or permit application from there.

It is only in very exceptional circumstances that a person is allowed to switch while on a visitor visa. Please speak to your Sa Migration consultant for more advice.  

Can I get married to my British partner in the UK while on a UK tourist visa? 

As a general rule, you cannot get married in the UK on a standard visitor visa. 

If you intend to marry your British or settled partner in the UK, you can apply for a Marriage Visitor’s Visa. The application is similar to a standard visitor’s visa; however, you will have to submit evidence confirming that the wedding will occur in the UK and proof of social- and economic ties to South Africa, among other requirements. 

There are no strict financial requirements, but you will have to return to South Africa after the wedding ceremony. If you want to join your partner in the UK, you will have to apply for a Spousal visa from South Africa. You must keep in mind that you will then have to fulfil the financial requirements at this stage.

Apr 26, 2022 - Business Permit    No Comments

Children with no birth certificates, IDs, permits, passports cannot be stopped from attending school

Children with no birth certificates, IDs, permits, passports cannot be stopped from attending school

26 April 2022 – Pretoria News

Lawyers for Human Rights has said that no child may be prevented from attending school simply because they do not have documentation. Picture: Jacques Naude/African News Agency (ANA)

Pretoria – Lawyers for Human Rights has once again stressed that no child may be prevented from attending school simply because they do not have birth certificates, IDs, permits or passports.

Thandeka Chauke, a lawyer at the organisation, said that under the Constitution, every child in South Africa had the right to go to school, irrespective of whether they had documentation.

“We urge the Department of Basic Education and schools to ensure that no child is turned away or disadvantaged due to lack of documentation.

“We further urge the Department of Home Affairs to accelerate efforts to ensure all children in South Africa are documented and have full access to their rights,” Chauke said.

Karabo Ozah, the director at the Centre for Child Law, also reaffirmed that all children, including those whose parents were illegal foreigners, had a right to schooling.

No government school was allowed to turn them away if they did not have birth certificates or other documentation, she said.

She referred to the landmark judgment in December 2019, by the Grahamstown High Court in the Eastern Cape, which confirmed the right to basic education of all children, irrespective of the child’s birth registration status.

The court declared the admission policy of the Department of Basic Education barring undocumented children – both South African and non-national – from attending school because they were undocumented, unconstitutional. The president of that division was Judge Selby Mbenenge, who ruled that the department was acting unconstitutionally in not permitting children to continue receiving education in public schools purely because they lacked documents.

The Centre for Child Law was at the forefront of the application when it came to light that some schools in that province refused a number of undocumented children schooling.

It was sparked by a department circular at the time which stated that certain forms of funding, including for support materials and food, would be provided to learners who had valid ID or passport numbers.

It was earlier argued that almost a million children could be denied access to public schools if the policy continued, unless they obtained birth certificates as a matter of urgency, which Home Affairs was unable to provide due to a host of reasons.

In 2019, the Department of Basic Education, said there were 998 433 undocumented children enrolled in public schools, mostly without birth certificates. Of these, 880 968 were South African citizens.

Judge Mbenenge said in his judgment in that case that the right to basic education was enshrined in the Constitution.

Thus, no child could be denied this right simply because he or she had no documentation.

He said in the country’s constitutional dispensation, basic education was a pivot of transformation, serving as it did, to redress the entrenched inequalities caused by apartheid.

It was argued at the time that there were many reasons why parents often battled to obtain the necessary documentation for their children.

These included instances where their parents did not meet the requirements to obtain the documents and the inability of unmarried fathers to register the birth of the child without the mother being present.

The courts have, however, meanwhile come to the assistance of these unmarried fathers, who are now able to register their children.

Both Lawyers for Human Rights and the Centre for Child Law maintained that education was a fundamental right which had the power to change a child’s life for the better.

A denial of the right had irreversible consequences and kept children locked in cycles of poverty, they said.

Apr 26, 2022 - Business Permit    No Comments

EOH, home affairs face off over R400m contract

EOH, home affairs face off over R400m contract

IT Web – 26 April 2022

A showdown is looming between the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) and JSE-listed tech group EOH, as they are set to go to arbitration over the controversial R400 million biometrics contract.

The parties have counter-claims on the multimillion-rand Automated Biometric Identification System (ABIS) contract sourced by the DHA that is yet to go live, five years later.

The final implementation of the system would provide a single source of identification for citizens across state institutions and private sector entities.

As the matter heads to arbitration, the DHA is seeking to be reimbursed some of the monies paid to EOH, while the tech company has a similar claim on the department.

The initial ABIS contract, with a price tag of R400 million, was awarded by the DHA to the tech company in partnership with IDEMIA in 2017, after a tender process marred by controversy.

A forensic report by auditing firm Nexia SAB&T revealed how EOH and State Information Technology Agency senior staffers orchestrated an unlawful scheme to make sure EOH landed the lucrative contract.

The DHA then ceded the contract to IDEMIA as of 31 March 2021 and at the time of the cession, R224 million had already been paid to EOH.

Now, speaking to ITWeb, EOH CEO Stephen van Coller says a binding decision on the dispute with DHA will be made in three months.

Van Coller also revealed the tech group has set aside R48 million to be paid out when liabilities arise from investigations into government contracts awarded to it that are associated with impropriety.

The DHA biometrics contract is one of the contentious contracts that EOH is trying to settle.

“We had eight legacy contracts, so we decided to complete or settle them rather than co-default on them because they sat in some very important parts of the South African economy.

“We are going to arbitration with the DHA. We think they owe us money, they think we owe them money as always and that process is due to kick-off in July,” Van Coller tells ITWeb.

Adding pressure on the process are fresh concerns raised by NEC Africa, one of the five companies to bid for the contract in 2017, which is demanding the contract now held by IDEMIA be nullified.

Critically, it says, the South African Police Service still does not have access to a live ABIS system for queries to help fight crime as a result of the delays.

After the cession, the DHA concluded a new agreement to the value of R191 million with IDEMIA for the completion of the initial failed project, with 31 October 2021 as deadline, but this has not happened.

In the court papers filed in the South Gauteng High Court, NEC argues IDEMIA has failed to meet multiple deadlines and extensions “to deliver on the unlawfully ceded corruption-tainted EOH contract”.

The French multinational admitted to the court that the project was incomplete, but said: “IDEMA will have completed the implementation of the ABIS project by the time this application is determined.”

The application to which reference was made was set down for hearing on 7 February 2022.

When contacted by ITWeb on the latest delays, Sandra Valerii, vice-president of group public affairs and press relations at IDEMIA, responded: “As a policy, IDEMIA does not comment on its contracts. Please direct all questions on the DHA contract to the South Africa Department of Home Affairs.”

Tommy Makhode, DHA director-general, hadn’t responded to ITWeb’s requests for comment on the matter by the time of publication.

Apr 25, 2022 - Business Permit    No Comments

New UAE visit visa for jobs: Get entry permit without sponsor

New UAE visit visa for jobs: Get entry permit without sponsor

New UAE visit visa for jobs: Get entry permit without sponsor

New UAE visit visa for jobs: Get entry permit without sponsor

Khaleej Times – 25 Apr 2022

The special visa for job seekers provides a win-win situation for all stakeholders related to the job market.

The UAE’s new visa rule would assist the government in finding fresh talent, help job seekers save time, and provide companies with increased flexibility in their human resource (HR) practices.

The new type of entry visa, titled ‘explore job opportunities’, by the government provides easy entry for young talents and skilled workers to explore new job opportunities without requiring a host or sponsor in the UAE.

The change was among many new visa rules approved by the UAE Cabinet. Previously, several hundreds of thousands of employment seekers arrived in the UAE on a visit visa searching for future jobs. Furthermore, it is illegal for companies to employ workers while on tourist visas.

Deepa Sud, the CEO of Plum Jobs, said the UAE government has opened up the country to welcome new talent into the country.“It is evident they are looking for potential talent across sectors. They encourage more people to come here and look for jobs and make the UAE their long-term home. The new visa simplifies formalities.”

She added,“With this, all sectors are set to benefit. New businesses, the telecommunication sector, the immigration department, the Dubai Metro, the real estate sector, airlines, etc. It is a win-win for all parties.”

Sud said in a post-pandemic world; there is a shortage of skilled workers.“Such visas provide the next generation of job seekers a friendly environment to find their niche. It gives them a little more freedom, and since the process is cost-effective and hassle-free, it makes it a lot more effective.”

Commenting on the time constraint and short deadlines job seekers face, Huma Afreen, a human resource specialist at the Transnational Academic Group, said,“In the recruitment cycle, the time has often been a constraint in the past. Having more flexibility toward visa options would help attract many young and skilled candidates worldwide, improving the quality of our talent pool.”

The company facilities human resource requirement for Curtin University, Dubai.“And from a candidate’s perspective, the new rules give them sufficient time and flexibility to find a job they are happy with, at the right level, pay and so on,” Huma added.

Athul Mohan, a job seeker currently in Dubai on a visit visa, said,“I came to the UAE for the first time in 2020, and Covid-19 hit. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find anything at that time. I came back last month to try my luck here again.”

A mechanical engineer, Athul is still on the lookout for a job. He said,“A visa specifically made for job-seeking purposes puts people like me in an advantageous position. Things would be more streamlined, and companies would treat us with better respect.”

Apr 25, 2022 - Business Permit    No Comments

Teacher shortage to worsen after home affairs cancels Zim exemption permits

Teacher shortage to worsen after home affairs cancels Zim exemption permits

Sunday Times Live – 25 April 2022

Almost 200,000 Zimbabwean nationals will be affected and they don’t hold much hope of getting the relevant visa

The pending exodus of Zimbabwean teachers is set to hit South African schools. 

The teachers are part of the 200 000 Zimbabweans who hold the Zimbabwe Exemption Permit. The permits will not be renewed by the Ministry of Home Affairs. 

home affairs minister Aaron Motsoaledi announced at the end of 2021 that extensions to the permits would not be granted and the affected Zimbabwean nationals would be allowed until the end of this year to get visas.

He said 178,412 Zimbabwean nationals had been granted exemption permits. They now have to apply for a visitor’s visa or a business, relative’s, spousal, critical skills work or general work visa.

But Zimbabwean teachers holding exemption permits said their chances of getting a visa are slim because their employers have to prove to the department of employment & labour why South Africans with the same qualifications could not be appointed to the post.

Thembi Moyo, 36, a teacher at CityKidz, an inner-city school in Johannesburg, said: “I don’t believe my chances of getting a visa are good. They [the department of employment & labour] will need proof that no-one locally can fill the position.”

There are 12 Zimbabweans, including Moyo, at the school who have either exemption permits, special permits or asylum documents.

Moyo, who has been teaching at the school for nine years, said SA is her second home, adding: “We have a lot of parents who are happy with the Zimbabwean teachers.”

Her colleague, Pretty Ndlovu, 53, who teaches English to grade 5 pupils, said she does not know how she will manage financially if she is forced to return to Zim.

“Our country is not financially stable. I am a widow and if I go back, where will I start from? How will I survive? I don’t blame the SA government. Maybe they are running out of resources but they think we, as foreigners, are grabbing up the jobs of locals.”

Apr 25, 2022 - Business Permit    No Comments

South Africa plans to start tracking emigration – here’s where people are moving


Businesstech – 25 April 2022

The South African government plans to change its data collection systems to get a better idea of how many skilled South Africans are leaving the country.

The proposal, which is included in the Department of Employment and Labour’s latest National Labour Migration Policy (NLMP), notes the country has seen an outflow of valuable skills in several sectors.

It added that the emigration of skilled South Africans has not been addressed efficiently through any specific policy, and constitutes a growing problem in certain sectors.

The updated data-tracking will also allow the government and public to have reliable, up-to-date data on flows and stocks of highly skilled South Africans employed abroad and on sectors and occupations particularly affected by attrition to emigration or remigration, it said.

Historically, the Department of Home Affairs and Statistics South Africa has not published information on the number of people emigrating. However, the United Nations does keep data on migrant stock and where South Africans have emigrated.

According to the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs’ 2020 International Migrant Stock report, by the end of 2020, 914,901 South Africans were living in other countries and territories, up from 786,554 in 2015.

Three times as many people emigrated from South Africa between 2015 and 2020 – over 128,000 people – than between 2010 and 2015 (43,000 people), the data showed.

Country of destination Number of emigrants
United Kingdom 247 300
Australia 199 700
United States 117 300
New Zealand 73 800
Canada 48 100
Germany 20 400
Mozambique 20 200
Zimbabwe 19 700
Netherlands 17 500
Eswatini 12 700

Wealthy more likely to leave 

FNB’s latest property barometer for South Africa shows that around 8% of people are selling their homes with plans to leave the country. Notably, the data shows that wealthier South Africans – even those in upper-middle-income brackets – are more likely to sell up to emigrate.

As many as 14% of home sellers in the R2.6 million – R3.6 million house price bracket are selling to emigrate, with this figure dropping to 11% in the R3.6 million+ house band.  Emigration-related sales increased steadily between 2015 and 2019, rising from 5% of total sales in 2015 to a record-high of 13.4% in Q2 2019.

This number subsequently dropped to around the 8% mark in 2021 due to a confluence of factors, including international restrictions and a strong property market. However, this is up a percentage point compared to the Q2 2020 report.