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Home Affairs struggles to tackle 2-year backlog

Home Affairs struggles to tackle 2-year backlog

Businesstech -13 December 2021

South Africa visa 01

Permanent Residency Permit (PRP) applications for South Africa have been on hold since March 2020 when the president declared the country to be in a national state of disaster, and the arrival of the Omicron variant could push things out even further, warn immigration experts.

When the Department of Home Affairs was forced to down tools, PRP applications quickly began piling up, says Moeketsi Seboko, immigration manager at Xpatweb.

“Foreign nationals hoping to settle in the country more permanently were shocked by the delays because it prevented them from being able to open bank accounts or renew car licenses, among other things. In fear that they would not be allowed back into South Africa, they were also reluctant to leave the country.

“Business owners who were waiting for their permanent residency permit to be approved, found themselves stuck in limbo. They were obligated to continue with their trade and to provide for themselves while being unsure about what the future would hold for them.”

Before long, the department was compelled to begin processing PRPs due to a backlog of thousands of applicants, said Seboko.

In June 2021, it announced that applications would resume from 1 January 2022. However, nearly two years after the onset of the pandemic, the discovery of the mutated Omicron variant, could see the state of disaster being extended well into the new year, leaving those who dream of becoming permanent residents possibly perturbed.

“The DHA has yet to confirm whether they would continue with their plans to tackle the backlog in the new year,” he said.

Critical skills

The DHA advised that, from past information, the predominant applicant for permanent residency are dependents, like spouses or life partners.

There are, however, numerous cases where the primary applicants were migrants who have been working in South Africa for more than five years or experienced foreign nationals who qualified for a PRP based on their critical skills, said Seboko.

“This means that, with the release of the revised Critical Skills List looming, and the draft CSL having been handed over to the DHA for consideration, they consulted with various government departments, including the Departments of Health, Tourism, Public Enterprises and NEDLAC for additional input.

“Thousands of skilled foreign nationals are now hoping that their vocation will be listed as in-demand in South Africa so that they can commence a career path in the country.”

Seboko noted that the DHA is notoriously understaffed and wrestles with an archaic IT system, which makes the PRP and visa processes treacherously slow. In response to these concern, the department has assured applicants that it was working to reduce processing times.

www.samigration.com

Starting a Business as a foreigner in South Africa

Starting a Business as a foreigner in South Africa

samiGrations

Starting a business as a foreigner in South Africa can be an arduous task without enlisting professional help. There are a number of ‘hoops’ that must be circumvented and the process can be time consuming and a distraction from the all important task of establishing your business.

At Sa Migration Immigration we have assisted hundreds of entrepreneurs with their ambition to create a business in South Africa and are able to boast of an unrivalled track record of success, all based on what we believe to be the most comprehensive service available.

Below we detail the important aspects of starting a business as a foreigner in South Africa but if you prefer to talk to a human being to discuss your needs, feel free to call us on any of our phone numbers

Where to begin with starting a business as a foreigner in South Africa

Importantly and before you commit time and money, you should have an assessment of your circumstances and requirements carried out. Assessments, as with ourselves, should be free of charge and carry no obligation.

Very often, and understandably, people source information on the obvious, in this case the business visa. There is however a real alternative that should be considered, if for no other reason to ensure you have made an informed decision.

Below we look at the two routes for starting a business as a foreigner in South Africa and discuss the merits and pitfalls of each.

The different visa’s for starting a business as a foreigner in South Africa

In order to be able to set up, invest into and work within a business in South Africa as an immigrant there are two types of visa you can apply for:

  1. Business visa – Traditionally, for anyone starting a business as a foreigner in South Africa this category has been the most recommended.
  2. Independent Financial Permit – A very underused permit category that allows for the holder to commence a business, but also offers a host of other benefits over the business visa route.

Who can apply?

Business visa are for those individuals seeking to invest in a business, or an existing start up, and who will be working within the business.

The Independent Financial skills permit is a permit that is not restricted to a certain economic activity. As such it allows the holder total freedom to invest into a business, whether they will be working in it or not. There is also no obligation to invest, or start a business. In short the holder of the Independent permit is free to make their own decision as to whether they run a business, work or even retire.

Must there be local ownership?

No a business can be owned and run with 100% foreign ownership. However for those with a local partner this is also fine. This applies to both the business visa and independent financially independent.

Can I buy into or outright an existing business?

Yes, which ever permit or visa category you select you can do either or indeed set up one from scratch.

Is there a minimum shareholding a foreigner must own?

As a business visa holder you will need to typically own in excess of 25% of the business. A Financially Independent permit holder has no restrictions.

Is there a minimum amount of investment required?

For business visa holders you need to invest ZAR 5 million into the business unless you qualify for a waiver.

The Act calls for investment of R5,0 million in a business and you need to make sure you employ 60% South African citizens or permanent residents to get both a temporary and permanent business visa, you can get these visas with less capital investment – sometimes for as low as R600,000 investment using our expert team at SA Migration.

Many businesses do not require a capital investment as large as R5 million and in certain cases, you are allowed to reduce this amount and commit to a smaller investment if your business falls within the certain industries. The following businesses to be in the national interest, and therefore qualifying for reduction or waiver of the capitalisation requirements as determined to be in the national interest in relation to a Business Visa: Many of these business owners do not have the required investment amounts. If this is the case and the business falls in line with one of the following industries, a capital waiver can be requested. This would mean a reduction in the required investment amount.

There is no requirement for the holder of the Financially Independent permit to invest any set amount into as business, they are free to invest as little or as much as they desire. Note however, to successfully apply for a Financially Independent permit, you need to prove a net worth of the equivalent of ZAR12,000,000 (12 million) but these funds do not need to be brought into South Africa.

Can my partner or children work in the business?

Partners of the business visa holder can work in the business but not for remuneration. Children would not be able to work in the business unless a work visa was granted in their own right. If you have children still in education years a study visa would be required.

Partners of Independent Financial permit holders will need to secure residency in their own right which would involve a spousal or life partner visa application. Dependent children would require a study visa.

Must I employ South Africans?

There is a requirement that employees are at least 60% South Africans (citizens or permanent residency holders). These must be employed on a permanent basis in the business if you hold a business visa. There are no such requirements for the Independent Financial permit holder.

Can I apply for permanent residency?

Starting a business as a foreigner in South Africa, via the business visa route, would first mean obtaining temporary residency. Once in receipt of this, permanent residency can be applied for.

Independent Financial permit applicants may only apply for permanent residency. This of course has its attractions but the disadvantage can be that permanent residency takes longer for the Department to process.

What sort of company must I set up?

Typically a Pty Ltd would be the appropriate company structure and you can ask us about  about the various business structures here.

I am in a permanent relationship / married to a South African – do I need a business visa?

Neither a business visa, not an Independent Financial Permit are required if you have a South African partner. Starting a business as a foreigner in South Africa with a South African partner requires you to have either a spousal visa or life partner visa which you can then endorse to set up and run a business.

If I am not working in the business, just investing, do I need a business visa?

Business visa’s are designed for the holder to work in the business. Foreign investors do not require a business visa. Any foreigner may own a business with no restriction. However should they intend to work within the business or come to live in South Africa a visa would be required.

How do I prove my business concept and my credentials?

When making a business visa application, part of the application’s supporting evidence is the submission of a comprehensive business plan. The business plan purpose is twofold – one, and in the traditional sense, to prove the business will be successful, and two, to highlight some of the home affairs requirements.

There is no requirement for a Financial Independent application to submit a business plan.

Would my business need to be audited?

There are requirements for businesses with a certain turnover to be audited and also others like estate agents are required from a regulatory prospective. There is also an argument for it being good practise for all businesses to be audited.

The decision, subject to these rules, is up to the business holder.

Can I set up an NGO in South Africa as a foreigner?

Yes, non profits are able to set be up.

How long does the application process take?

There are two aspects to the application process:

  1. The compilation of the visa or permit application.The compilation of the business visa application is more time consuming as this stage involves not only the Home Affairs requirements but also supporting documentation such as the company registration paperwork and the memorandum of incorporation. In addition other departments such as the Department of Trade and Industry are involved. Compilation can therefore take 4 – 12 weeks.
  2. The Financially Independent application does not involve such third parties and can therefore be achieved much quicker.The second stage is the submission to the Department of Home Affairs and the Departments timing can vary from 4 weeks to 12 weeks usually for a business visa.

Here there can be a potential drawback for applicants for the Financially Independent as these have historically taken approx 9 months.

Is there any other important distinctions?

But in summary, whilst the independent financial permit is a lot more flexible and carries little obligations with it either initially or on an ongoing basis there are 2 considerations that must be taken into account:

  1. The timing of your move. Permanent residency applications (Independent Financial Permits) take longer to process. If you plan in ample time this can be mitigated.
  2. The Department of Home Affairs levies an additional charge for successful applicants of the Independent Financial permit of ZAR 120,000. This is almost akin to a success fee as it is only payable if your application is approved.

Making an Application for a Business Visa

Making an Application for a Business Visa

This section deals with making an application for a business visa in South Africa. A business visa is required by a person who is seeking to buy into or set up a business in South Africa in which they will be actively involved (work).

Please read on for information how you make application for a business visa in South Africa or should you prefer you can contact one of our team to discuss your situation. For further information on business visa you can also view our quick links on the left hand side of this page.

Getting assistance with making a business visa application

  • You can e-mail your business visa enquiry here to info@sami.co.za
  • Use or office Whtaspp number + 282 3738415 to contact us

NOTE: If you are an existing company based abroad but seeking to expand your operations into South Africa please mention this with details on the visa that may be applicable to you.

Who should apply for a Business Visa?

Applications for business visa, as alluded to above, are for individuals who wish to either invest into an existing South African business that they will work in, or set up a new business that will work in.

Business visa versus investor visa

A business visa should not be confused with an investor visa. A business visa allows you to work in the business and the visa is issued for this purpose. An investor visa (which is not offered in South African immigration) allows immigration through investment of a certain amount of capital and does not require the immigrant to work.

When applying for a business visa what are the residency options?

Making an application for a business visa in South Africa allows you to apply for temporary residency. Once you are in receipt of temporary residency you can then apply for permanent residency.

How long can I apply for on my business visa application?

As with all temporary visa’s, the decision as to the validity period of a business visa lies with the Department of Home Affairs. In the case of a business visa it will not be issued for more than 3 years.

When can you apply for permanent residency?

Permanent residency can be applied of at any stage but it is most normal to make an application after receiving your business visa for temporary residency.

Where should my business visa application be made?

First time applications that involve a change of your via status, for example from tourist to resident, must be made from outside of South Africa. It is only where there is no residency status change that you can apply in South Africa, for example renewing an existing temporary visa.

What is the main criteria when making an application for a business visa in South Africa?

  • A completed application form
  • A thorough business plan
  • An appropriate company structure
  • Applicable registrations or undertakings
  • Investment amount for business visa
  • Employment of South African citizens or Permanent residency holders

 

  • Types of business structures in South Africa
  • Types of business structures in South Africa
  • The Companies Act of 2008 relays the appropriate types of business structures in South Africa pertaining to companies. Whether you are seeking a business visa, or an endorsement to a visa you will have to select the right business structure.
  • Sa Migration Immigration has assisted individuals / companies since 2006 with advice on the types of business structures in South Africa and with the setting up thereafter.
  • Types of business structures in South Africa
  • Below we give you an insight into each of the types of business structure in South Africa you may consider for your business if setting up operations as a foreigner. Where there is more information available on the business type simply click on the headers below.
  • Sole Proprietorship
  • A sole proprietorship, which is often referred to as a sole trader, is a business structure that is owned and run by one individual.
  • It is important to note that with a sole proprietorship there is no separation between the owner and the business structure – the business does not have its own legal entity. In practise this means the income of the business is all for the owner, as are the taxes and any liabilities.
  • Partnership
  • A partnership is akin to a coming together of between 2 and 20 people who contractually agree to operate a profit generating business business together. They further agree to split any profits as per their agreement and in proportion to their interests.
  • In establishing a partnership each partner needs to make a contribution to it and as per a sole proprietorship the partnership is not a separate legal entity, leaving partners generally liable for debts
  • .
  • Private Companies
  • Typically the choice for most foreigners setting up a business in South Africa. This type of business structure in South Africa does not place any prohibition on foreign shareholding and only requires one shareholder and one director.
  • The new Companies Act prohibits a Private Company (Pty Ltd) from offering securities to the public.
  • Private companies are seen as separate legal entities and as such are taxed in their own right and offer the shareholders protection against liabilities.
  • A Pty Ltd will require reservation of a company name, the completion of a memorandum of incorporation and written consent of the auditors, if any, to act for the company.
  • Public Companies
  • A public company is largely set up to offer shares to the general public for the purpose of capital raising. There is a requirement for a minimum of one shareholder and three directors.
  • Public companies are known as Ltd companies and have their own legal identity.

 

  • Personal Liability Companies
  • If a company incorporates under section 8(2)(c) of the Companies Act the terms of its memorandum of incorporation (MOI) state that the directors and past directors are jointly and severally liable, together with the company, for any debts and liabilities of the company, as are or were contracted during their respective periods of office. Typically this means professions such as attorneys and accountants that make use section 8(2)(c) of the Companies Act.
  • State Owned Companies
  • A State owned company is either a company defined as a “state-owned enterprise” in the Public Finance Management Act 1 of 1999 or a company owned by a municipality. The majority of the provisions of a public company will apply to state-owned companies as well.
  • Non-profit Companies (NPC)
  • A non profit company is incorporated public that is established, as an example, for some form of cultural or social activities or communal / group interests. Income is not distributed to any stakeholder from this type of business structure.
  • Foreign and External Companies
  • External companies are foreign owned companies that are incorporated outside of South Africa but trade in South Africa. There is a requirement for foreign owned companies to register as an external company with the CIPC and they may not offer securities to the South African public.
  • This type of business structure in South Africa is utilised by foreign companies wishing to set up a branch in South Africa.

Business Plans for South Africa

Researching a business plan, formulating it and ensuring the business plan is realistic and workable are just some of the key criteria when commencing a new business.

When such a business plan is presented as supporting evidence to immigration authorities its importance becomes even more valid.

A business plan is a written document that describes the business, the business objectives, strategies, market segment, forecasts and financial resources.

The functions of a business plan are many but include:

  • Providing a template from which to run your business
  • Measuring the success of your business
  • Setting out financial goals – short and long term
  • Quantifying expansion plans
  • Raising capital
  • Supporting immigration applications
  • A review document
  • Attracting investors, shareholders and business networking

 

What should a Business Plan include?

A business plan is a written statement of the journey your business is going to take. It should provide details of how you intend to develop the business, who is going to play a role in this business and how the financial side of the business will be managed.

Clarity on these issues is particularly important if you’re looking for finance, investment or using the business plan to support an immigration application. Your plan should at least include:

  • An executive summaryThis is an overview of the business you want to start. This is essential – first impressions count! Many people will be influenced by how well the summary is presented based on the first few pages of your plan.
  • Short description of the business opportunityThis details who you are, what product or service you will supply and why, who you will supply the product to and how.
  • OperationsIncluding such things as manpower, premises, IT infrastructure, future expansion.
  • Marketing and sales strategyWho will buy your service or product and why. How will you promote the service in terms of product, placement and pricing.
  • FinancialsOne of the most important aspects of the business plan. These documents and tables translate everything form the business plan into figures.

The Exempted Industries are :

(a) Agro-processing

  • Fisheries and aquaculture i.e. freshwater aquaculture and marine culture
  • Food processing in the milling and baking industries
  • Beverages viz. fruit juices and the local beneficiation, packaging and export of indigenous teas
  • High value natural fibres viz., organic cotton and downstream mohair production
  • High value organic food for the local and export market
  • Biofuels production viz. bioethanol and biogas
  • oils: tea extracts, including buchu, honeybush: and other oil derivatives (avocado, amarula etc.)
  • Diversification / beneficiation of biomass sources i.e. sugar, maize

(b) Business Process Outsourcing and IT Enabled Services

  • Call centers
  • Back Office Processing
  • Shared Corporate Services
  • Enterprise solutions e.g. fleet management and asset management
  • Legal process outsourcing

(c) Capital / Transport equipment, metals and electrical machinery and apparatus

  • Basic iron and steel
  • Basic precious and non-ferrous metals
  • Casting of metals
  • Other fabricated metal products: metalwork service activities
  • General purpose machinery
  • Tooling manufacturing
  • Foundries
  • White goods and associated components
  • Electric motors, generators and transformers
  • Electricity distribution and control apparatus
  • Insulated wire and cable
  • Accumulators, primary cells and primary batteries

(d) Electro Technical

  • Advanced telecommunications
  • Software development
  • Software and mobile applications
  • Smart metering
  • Embedded software
  • Radio frequency identifications
  • Digital TV and Set Top Boxes due to migration to full digital television
  • Process control, measurement and instrumentation
  • Security and monitoring solutions
  • Financial software
  • Manufacturing sensors

(e) Textile, Clothing and Leather

  • Spinning, weaving and finishing of textiles
  • Knitted and crocheted fabrics and articles
  • Wearing apparel except fur apparel
  • Dressing and dying of fur
  • Leather skins and hides beneficiation

(f) Consumer goods

  • White goods and associated components

(g) Boatbuilding

  • Boatbuilding and associated services industry
  • Engines and engine systems
  • Marine equipment and accessories

(h) Pulp, paper and Furniture

  • Manufacture of paper products: publishing, printing and reproduction
  • Manufacture of articles of straw and plaiting materials
  • Paper and paper products and furniture
  • Manufacture of wood and products of wood and cork

(i) Automotives and Components

  • engines, radiators, filters and components thereof
  • air conditioners / climate control systems
  • alarms and Tracking devices
  • axles, transmission shafts
  • body parts and panels
  • catalytic converters, silencers and exhaust systems and components
  • wiring harnesses, instrument panels vehicle interiors, electronic drive train components,
  • lighting equipment
  • seats and parts thereof, seatbelts, leather covers
  • suspension and shock absorbers, springs and parts thereof
  • steering wheels, columns and boxes
  • ignition, starting equipment, gauges and instrument parts

(J) Green Economy Industries

(jj) Power generation:

  • Nuclear Build Programmer i.e. joint ventures, consortiums and the establishment of new companies to grow South Africa’s nuclear manufacturing capability and nuclear supply industry to supply into the nuclear build programme
  • Independent power generation, energy infrastructure and alternative energy

 

(jjj) Renewable Energy:

  • Onshore wind power – manufacture of turbines/blades
  • Solar PV and Concentrated Solar Power manufacture/assembly
  • Biomass
  • Small hydro
  • Lowering greenhouse gas emissions from landfill sites
  • Energy efficiency and energy saving industries
  • Solar water heaters
  • Waste Management and Recycling
  • Reducing landfill

(k) Advanced Manufacturing

  • Nano-materials
  • High performance materials based on natural resources (advanced bio-composites
  • Advanced materials, polymers and composites
  • Medical devices, diagnostics and composites
  • Space e.g. satellite manufacturers etc. and astronomy e.g. SKA, telescopes, dishes etc.
  • Composites (intelligent textiles used in medical, building and construction industries)
  • Continuous fibre reinforced thermoform composites
  • Biochemical and biologics for applications in agriculture, industry and health/medical sectors
  • Electricity demand Site Management Solutions to improve electricity efficiency usage
  • Lasers and laser-based additive manufacturing various applications
  • Advanced Robotics Mobile Intelligent Autonomous Systems
  • Applications in the mining industry, data collection and analysis
  • Bio – manufacturing – Biochemical and biologics for applications in agriculture, industry and health/medical.
  • Fuel cells and Technology

(l) Tourism infrastructure

  • Accommodation – hotels, boutique hotels, lodges and resorts
  • urban integrated tourism/ entertainment precincts
  • adventure, – eco-, sport-, conference- and cultural tourism
  • infrastructure developments
  • leisure complexes and world class golf courses
  • harbour and waterfront developments
  • trans frontier conservations areas
  • Tourism transport – aviation, rail, cruise liners etc.
  • green building and green technologies for tourism
  • attractions and activity – based tourism.
  • museums and heritage

(m) Chemicals, plastic fabrication and pharmaceuticals

  • basic chemicals
  • water treatment chemical products
  • man-made fibres
  • plastic products: polypropylene and polyvinculchloride
  • medical (drips and syringes), manufacture of active pharmaceutical ingredient
  • (APIs) for key anti-retrovirals (ARVs)
  • Manufacture of reagents for AIDS/HIV diagnostics
  • Production of vaccines and biological medicines

(n) Creative and Design Industry

  • Film studios, treaty film co-production ventures, distribution infrastructure
  • Servicing of foreign productions
  • Production of film and documentaries, commercials, stills photography and
  • Multi-media
  • Post-production
  • Design
  • Jewellery manufacturing and design
  • Fashion design

(o) Oil and Gas

  • Maintenance ship and rig repair
  • Fabrication – equipment and specialised components
  • Specialised services – training and accreditation
  • Specialised services – non-descriptive testing, inspection services, SHEQ services
  • Exploration – technical services: seismic surveys, logging, environmental impact assessments, etc.
  • Exploration – offshore
  • Exploration – onshore shale gas
  • Exploration – onshore coal bed methane and underground coal gasification
  • Infrastructure – refineries (Oil and GTL)
  • Infrastructure – terminals LPG/LNG import, storage and distribution
  • Infrastructure – ports and associated infrastructure
  • Infrastructure – storage
  • Logistics – pipeline

(p) Mineral beneficiation

  • Downstream processing and value addition

(q) Infrastructure Development

(r) ICT

  • Geoamatics and Digital media
  • Wireless and Telecom
  • Electronics
  • IT
  • Software Development
  • Advanced programming

List of undesirable Business in South Africa;

  • Businesses that import second hand motor vehicles into the Republic of South Africa for the purpose of exporting to other markets outside the Republic of South Africa
  • The exotic entertainment industry
  • Security Industry

 

www.samigration.com

How a traffic offence can impact South Africans planning to move to the UK

How a traffic offence can impact South Africans planning to move to the UK

Busstech – 10 December 2021  2021

SA mgratuon

Regardless of the route taken to British citizenship, every applicant must satisfy the good character requirement, says John Dunn, director of citizenship and immigration at Sable International.

“As the name suggests, British officials assess your character and determine whether you could be conducive to the public good in the UK. While there are some obvious reasons for UK citizenship applications being refused, there are also minor breaches that deny applications,” he said.

What are the UK citizenship good character requirements?

The good character test is a mandatory requirement for anyone over the age of 10 who is applying for naturalisation or registration as a British citizen.

If you fail to meet the requirements, your application will be refused, Dunn said.

“There are major crimes that would obviously hurt your chances at getting UK citizenship but there are other, less clear examples.

“All applicants are assessed based on criteria set out in the UK government’s national policy guidance. Home Office officials use this guidance to assess each nationality application on a case-by-case basis and determine whether the individual meets the good character requirement.”

What type of offence

Dunn noted that the good character requirement goes beyond the scope of simply being free from criminal convictions.

Some of the most likely categories that could put your application at risk:

  • Traffic offences;
  • Financial soundness;
  • Immigration-related issues;
  • Public order;
  • Assisting your children with crime;
  • Dishonesty in the Life in the UK Test.

Traffic offences and your good character standing

Fines and notices that have been referred to a court due to non-payment will be treated as conviction, said Dunn. “So, be sure to settle any fines you receive before you are summoned to pay them.

“Even where a person has not received a fine within the last three years, the decision-maker may still conclude that a person is not of good character. Reason to refuse an application is quite strong in cases where a person has committed multiple offences of this kind, as it shows a pattern of offending,” he said.

Financial soundness

You need to ensure all of your financial affairs – in the UK and abroad – are in order before you begin the UK citizenship application process. This includes any tax or financial issues such as bankruptcy, liquidation or debt, Dunn said.

“As part of your application for citizenship, you authorise the Home Office to conduct verification checks which include credit checks. It is therefore vital that you disclose all infringements, regardless of when they occurred.

“An application will not normally be refused because the person is in debt, especially if loan repayments have been made as agreed or if acceptable efforts are being made to pay off accumulated debts. However, where a person deliberately and recklessly builds up debts and there is no evidence of a serious intention to pay them off, Home Office will normally refuse the application.”

Similarly, Home Office will determine whether the person was reckless or irresponsible in their financial affairs leading to their bankruptcy or their company’s liquidation. If so, it is likely to be reflected by a disqualification being obtained, Dunn said.

Disclosing immigration-related issues

This includes minor or major breaches of immigration law, such as overstaying your visa, even by a short period, or working when your visa did not permit you to, Dunn said.

“If within the 10 years preceding the application, an individual has not been compliant with immigration requirements, the Home Office will normally refuse that person’s application.

“Alternatively, assisting illegal migration or hiring illegal workers violates the good character requirements. If you are in a position that deals with hiring workers, hiring people that are unauthorised to work in the UK can look bad on your good character test and possibly deny you UK citizenship.”

Public order and notoriety

An application will normally be refused if there is evidence that suggests a person has made themselves notorious in the local or wider community, said Dunn.

This will be determined on the scale and persistence of their behaviour, he said.

“Notoriety does not need to be politically related. A person that is, for example, a known football hooligan could also be regarded as a public order risk.”

“If your child has a criminal record, your British citizenship application is normally not refused. This includes being convicted of a criminal offense or being issued with an anti-social behaviour order (ASBO). Your application is at risk when there is evidence of assisting your child with criminal activity.”

Dishonesty in the Life in the UK Test

One of the requirements for British citizenship is passing the Life in the UK Test, which assesses your knowledge of British life. “It is not unheard of for citizenship applicants to pay someone to take their tests or to submit false documents, said Dunn.

“British citizenship applications are refused if the applicant has been deceptive in the 10 years prior to their application. Deception is counted as the day it was carried out to the day is was discovered. The same rules apply to the English language tests required for UK citizenship.

www,samigration.com

 

 

SA not emulating Boris Johnson with Zimbabwe visa change, says Home Affairs

SA not emulating Boris Johnson with Zimbabwe visa change, says Home Affairs

migrationSAs admin-ajax (5)

 

10  December 2021 – Business Day

 

Government says it is responding to a need to regularise the stay of Zimbabwean nationals who entered SA illegally more than a decade ago

 

Nicole Fritz’s emotional outburst was misleading (“We do unto Zimbabweans what Boris Johnson has done to us”, December 1). I am therefore writing to clarify matters for your readers, who may have been left confused.

There are no grounds for comparing the travel ban imposed on SA with the decision not to extend the Zimbabwean exemption permit when it expires on December 31. The decision on exemption permit was not a “first response”, a phrase Fritz uses to characterise the travel ban after the announcement on the detection of the new Covid-19 variant, Omicron.

Fritz herself says the special dispensation for Zimbabwean nationals dates back to 2009. They have been reviewed since then. Resolving not to extend the exemption is not a decision made in the heat of the moment. Fritz turns a blind eye to the observation that failure to review the exemption permit dispensation works against the interest of the very people whose cause she purports to champion.

One of the conditions of the permit is that the holder cannot apply for any other visa contemplated in the Immigration Act and immigration regulations. Some may qualify for mainstream visas such as business visas, on the basis of successful enterprises built over the years, or critical skills visas in light of their studies and fields of expertise.

Our intentions were clear from the onset. We were responding to a need to regularise the stay of Zimbabwean nationals who entered SA illegally seeking opportunities given the economic situation back home. Dispensation permits had conditions attached to them, one of which was that the permits were not renewable. This special arrangement was always going to come to an end as it was not meant to displace normal immigration processes, which are applicable to everyone wanting to come to SA.

There is therefore no justification to accuse SA of what Fritz calls “simply looking out for their own”, an allegation she made earlier in the case of Europe. By some elusive extension she hopes this indictment applies equally to the decision not to extend the exemption permit dispensation.

There is plenty of recourse for the beneficiaries of the exemption permit dispensation. One of the primary concessions they are getting is being able to apply for normal, mainstream visas and to do so within SA, without being required to leave and apply from Zimbabwe.

A grace period of 12 months has also been granted for permit holders. Fritz knows this. An opportunity is extended to those choosing to return home to make the necessary arrangements over the next 12 months. In addition, permit holders will be allowed to travel freely in and out of SA until December 31 2022, after which they will only be allowed to travel in and out of SA if in possession of a valid visa.

The department of home affairs is approaching companies, employers, learning institutions and the banks to ensure they note that Zimbabwean exemption permit holders who have applied for mainstream visas are to be allowed to continue with, and/or to receive services, provided they submit proof of having applied for a visa in the form of a receipt.

It boggles the mind how Fritz came around to the idea of “dehumanising irrationality” in respect of the expiry of the permits. Notwithstanding socioeconomic challenges, SA extended a hand of friendship to the people of Zimbabwe and continues this support in spite of financial and economic constraints, sustainable development and peace efforts in the region and on the continent.

Contrary to Fritz’s perception, nothing is imposed. The permits were never intended to be a permanent feature of SA life. She herself rightly points out that the gesture was meant “to afford some security and relief”. The permit validity period has not been reduced. It is valid until December 31 2021. This was made clear from the outset.

The three permit dispensations extended to Zimbabwean nationals since 2009 were not accumulative, and in terms of the conditions agreed to with the applicants holders did not qualify for permanent residence.

Fritz does not justify her claim that the department is “dysfunctional even when interacting with those of us whose status is assured”. It is not asking too much to expect those with a stake in this matter to help communicate with permit holders and assist them to make use of the time afforded by the year-long grace period and start applying for visas in terms of the Immigration Act.

The department is committed to managing international migration efficiently and securely while building cordial relations with the countries and people of the African continent and the world.

Tommy Makhode
Director-general, department of home affairs

Sa Migration.com

Behind the long, long wait for a Zimbabwean passport

Behind the long, long wait for a Zimbabwean passport

SA mgratuon

 

10 December 2021 – Business Day

Zimbabwe has brought down its passport backlog from 400,000 last August to about 185,000. But accessing travel documents quickly is a prohibitively expensive process for most

Vitalis Tsikwa is dejected as he steps onto the dusty red soil outside the Makombe building in Harare, Zimbabwe.

“They told me to come and do the application to get my passport on December 15 because they wanted to clear a backlog,” Tsikwa tells the FM. “I wanted an emergency 24-hour passport … I thank God that I didn’t have immediate travel plans.”..

www.samigration.com

Long Distance – Lorry Drivers – Zimbabweans

Long Distance – Lorry Drivers – Zimbabweans

Permit

National Bargaining Council for the Road Freight and Logistics Industry (NBCRFLI)

 

Date 10/12/2021

 

 

CIRCULAR TO THE INDUSTRY

IMPLICATIONS OF THE CABINET ANNOUNCEMENT ON THE ZIMBABWE EXEMPTION PERMIT (ZEP)

The Cabinet in its meeting of Wednesday 24 November 2021 announced that the Zimbabwean Exemption Permit (ZEP), which ends on 31 December 2021, will not be extended.

Following this announcement, the Council has therefore decided to provide further clarity to the industry on this matter in this circular as follows:

  1. The legal effect of Cabinet’s decision is that the Minister of Home Affairs will not grant an extension of the special dispensation granted to holders of current ZEPs when they expire on 31 December 2021.

 

  1. However, the holders of such permits will be allowed a temporary stay and work in the country for another year, i.e. until 31 December 2022 as if their permits were valid, but the holders of these permits must use that time to apply for other permits appropriate to their particular status or situation. At the expiry of this grace period, those who are not successful in applying for other permits will have to leave South Africa or be deported.

 

  1. This means that there is no immediate impact on the lawfulness of employing

 

current holders of the ZEP between 01 January 2022 and 31 December 2022:

  • The current holders of the ZEP who are unsuccessful in obtaining permits appropriate to their particular status or situation which will allow them to work in the country will be impacted from 01January 2023 as it will become unlawful from that day for them to work in South Africa.

 

 

  • Similarly, it will become unlawful from the 01January 2023 for employers to employ the former holders of the ZEP who have not obtained other permits allowing them to work in South Africa.

 

  • Each employer who knowingly employs such persons will be committing an offence punishable by a fine or imprisonment for a period not exceeding one year.

 

  • Such employment will also be prohibited by clause 58 of the Main

 

Collective Agreement concluded in the Council.

  1. It follows in our view that the affected employers will be entitled, even obliged to terminate the employment of the former holders of the ZEP who have not obtained other permits allowing them to work in the Republic from 01 January 2023. Simply put, the continued employment of such affected former ZEP holders will become unlawful and subject to criminal penalties.

 

  1. However, this does not mean that such employers would be exempt from the provisions of the Labour Relations Act, (LRA) as regards the fairness of those dismissals.

 

  1. It follows, therefore, that such dismissals should be substantially and procedurally fair.

 

Kindly note that this circular is not a legal opinion but an explanatory note on the implications of the Cabinet’s decision regarding Zimbabwean Exemption Permit.

We trust that this document will be of some assistance to you

Kind regards,

 

Musa Ndlovu

NATIONAL SECRETARY

 
www.samigration.com

 

Long queues at Home Affairs in spite of minister’s promise

Long queues at Home Affairs in spite of minister’s promise

Asylum Seeker Picture8

 

10 December –  2021 Ground up

But provincial manager claims “Home Affairs has declared war on queues”

In October, Minister of Home Affairs Aaron Motsoaledi responded to complaints by the public about long queues, saying offices were being modernised. He promised extended hours, a full return of staff, and that senior managers would visit offices unannounced to monitor operations on the ground.

But when GroundUp visited several Home Affairs offices last week, the queues were still long, and people had still been queuing since dawn in the hope, often vain, of being assisted.

Central Johannesburg, Thursday morning: long, snaking queues on two sides of the Home Affairs building. Vangile Msimanga, from Vlakfontein, said she left home at 6:15am to get to Home Affairs by 7am. She needs a passport. Also standing in the queue was Ntombi Zwane, from Brixton, who needs an ID. “I am a bit worried because this queue is not moving,” she said.

Central Cape Town, Barrack Street, Thursday morning. When the offices opened at 8am, queues stretched from Buitenkant Street to Corporation Street. People arranged themselves into queues for collections, ID-card applications and passport applications, new birth registrations, and temporary ID-card applications. “We stand in the queue for five hours and there’s no toilet facilities … I don’t know why they don’t let the people use the toilets inside,” said Yulene Fortune. She had left her home in Mannenberg just after 4am. She needed to collect her new ID card. Photo: Marecia Damons

Meanwhile, on 24 November, Home Affairs briefed the Standing Committee on Premier and Constitutional Matters about systems, operational hours and staffing in the Western Cape. Provincial manager Yusuf Simons said that the department’s working hours are 7:30am till 4pm, with the office open to the public from 8am to 3:30pm.

Simons said that between 2013 and August 2020, Western Cape Home Affairs had lost over 2,500 staff members. “To address the problem of under staffing, DHA is working towards implementing automated services and training staff that has been working on manual services. The booking system has been completed, tested and will be implemented soon to make appointments to avoid the stampede and overcrowding. The department has also entered into partnership with organisations and municipalities to help with queue marshals, cleaners, sanitising, screening and recording of clients queueing outside offices. EPWP [Extended Public Works Programme] workers have been deployed to high volume offices like Cape Town, Nyanga, Mitchells Plain, Bellville and Khayelithsa,” he said.

He said most of the Western Cape offices have been modernised and have live data capture systems. “Home Affairs has declared war on queues to reduce waiting time by displaying signage outside offices to categorise queues into smart card and passport applications, smart card and passport collections, prioritise client categories, such as elderly, physically challenged persons, mothers with infants as well as scholars in uniform. We have also extended office hours during the festive season. Challenges experienced are system downtimes due to cable theft and loadshedding which damage servers and equipment when generators refuse to kick in,” he said.

www.samigration.com

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