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Home Affairs announces extended business hours for January

4 January 2019 – Iol
The Department of Home Affairs (DHA) has announced that it will be extending its operating hours from 2 – 11 January 2019 to keep up with demand over the busy holiday period.
In a statement released on Thursday (3 January), the DHA said that several of its offices across the country will operate from 07h00 to 19h00.
The department said the decision to extend operating hours came after long queues were experienced in some centres at the same time last year.
“Extending office hours at large offices and selected medium offices will help ensure citizens and clients are not turned away before receiving the services they require,” said department spokesperson Siya Qoza.
“This will assist also in managing queues so that people do not spend a long time waiting to be served.”
Qoza further urged citizens to use this opportunity to collect their Smart ID cards if they have received a notification.
“Those who have not applied for their smart ID cards are encouraged to capitalise on the extended hours and accordingly apply with speed, ahead of the general elections,” he said.
“All other services will be offered, including applications for and collection of passports and registration of births, marriages and deaths”.
You can find a full list of offices which will offer extended business hours here.

South African Citizenship Visa

Citizenship Options

South African Citizen by Descent
South African Citizen by Naturalisation:
Automatic loss of Citizenship
Resumption of South African citizenship
Deprivation of Citizenship
South African Citizen by Naturalisation:
Automatic loss of Citizenship
Resumption of South African citizenship
Acquisition of the citizenship or nationality of another country
South African Citizen by Descent:
Anybody who was born outside of South Africa to a South African citizen. His or her birth has to be registered in line with the births and deaths registration act 51 of 1992.
South African Citizen by Naturalisation:
Permanent Resident holders of 5 or more years can apply for citizenship. Anybody married to a South African citizen qualifies for naturalisation, two years after receiving his or her permanent residence at the time of marriage.
A child under 21 who has permanent residence Visa qualifies for naturalization immediately after the Visa is issued.
Automatic loss of Citizenship.
This occurs when a South African citizen:
Obtains citizenship of another country by a voluntary and formal act, other than marriage, or;
Serves in the armed forces of another country, where he or she is also a citizen, while is at war with South Africa.
Deprivation of Citizenship:
A South African citizen by naturalization can be deprived of his citizenship if;
The certificate of naturalisation was obtained fraudulently or false information was supplied.
He or she holds the citizenship of another country and has, at any time, been sentenced to 12 months imprisonment in any country for an offence that also would have been an offence in South Africa.
Acquisition of the citizenship or nationality of another country
Any person who wants to apply for citizenship in another country must apply to the Minister of Home Affairs to retain his or her South African citizenship before acquiring the citizenship of the other country.
Resumption of South African citizenship:
Any former citizen by birth or descent who:
Gave up his or her South African citizenship, or
Automatically ceased to be a South African citizen;
can apply for the reinstatement of his/her South African citizenship. However this person must return permanently to South Africa.

Parliament rushes to complete outstanding work before term ends

02 January 2019 – EWN
CAPE TOWN – Parliament will be pushing hard to complete it outstanding business before its term ends ahead of elections.
This includes wrapping up its Gupta naturalisation inquiry to determine whether due process was followed in awarding citizenship to members of the controversial family to advance their state capture motives.
The inquiry of the Home Affairs Committee stalled late last year, over an unavailable witness that is now being summoned to appear.
Ashu Chawla played an integral role in facilitating visas and permits for the Gupta family and their employees.
He was also an accused in the Estina Dairy farm matter but returned to India while out on bail.
With that case now withdrawn, it’s making it even harder for Parliament to get him to appear.
Home Affairs committee chairperson Hlomane Chauke said: “There’s no way that we can’t get accountability. We respect the fact that lawyers represent him, but the way these lawyers are treating us is not in the best of interests of the country and what we are trying to achieve.”
The former director-general Mkuseli Apleni is also still due to return to the committee to give further evidence.
Former Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba resigned only a month after testifying before the inquiry, but Chauke says he could be asked to return once the committee has heard from Chawla.

South African Life Partner Visa
Life Partner visa is issued to someone in long term relationship.
This type of South Africa Spouse or life partner visa is available to people in either heterosexual or same-sex relationships and can be applied for as either a spouse temporary residence permit or a permanent residence permit depending on the length of the marriage or relationship in question.
An application for temporary residence life partner visa requires that the partners are in a proven relationship for 2 years.
Foreigners who are spouses of South African citizens or permanent resident holders may apply for permanent residence if they have been together for 5 years or more in terms the Immigration Act .
To obtain permanent residence, you would have to have been living with your partner for more than 5 years. This came about with the new regulations .
The life partner visa is very similar to the spousal visa but accommodates same sex partnerships. You will have to prove financial and emotional support and may be called upon to be interviewed by the department.
SA Migration Intl will guide you through the entire process and make sure that all is in order for your application. Once your application is in you will be able to track the progress of it by entering a unique reference code in our application tracking system and be kept fully up to date with the progress of your application.
Once we confirm that you will qualify for the visa we will guarantee you a successful application.
If you need a life partner or spouse visa for South Africa please contact us now!

South African Retirement Visa

A retirement visa can be granted for 4 years to someone with a monthly pension, irrevocable annuity or retirement account of R37 000 from a net worth/combination of assets realizing R37 000 per month and wishes to retire temporarily or permanently in South Africa.
A South African Retired Person’s permit is ideal for people want to retire in South Africa temporarily or permanently subject to the financial criteria or parameters being satisfied. This South African visa category is designed for those intending to retire in the country or wishing to have a long stay in South Africa with the need to renew the visa or permit. This retirement visa is not based on age but rather on assets, rental income and / or bank accounts generating income. It is based upon foreigner provide proof that such foreigner has the right to a pension or an annuity or retirement account which will give such foreigner a prescribed minimum payment for the rest of his or her life from the country of his or her origin; or a minimum prescribed net worth generating income for life.
This South African immigration visa is a popular option for seasonal visitors, i.e. those visiting the country for a period of six months or more. An important point to observe is that successful applicants are under no obligation to apply for permanent residence.
The temporary grant may be renewed indefinitely so long as the requirements continue to be met. However, permanent residency does bestow additional benefits upon its holder. In South Africa, immigration through the retired person’s route can be either a temporary visa permit or a permanent residence visa as outlined in the eligibility criteria summarized below.
The temporary route is granted for four years and is renewable indefinitely for four-year periods.
The permanent route offers permanent residents the same rights and privileges as those with South African citizenship, with a few key exceptions, most notably the right to vote.
In both the temporary and permanent residence category the, South African Retired Persons Visa is based upon financial criteria and unlike a South African Work Visa, no prior job offer needs to be in place before an application can be made. Although unlike temporary South African visit visas, retired people can permitted to work if they wish, provided they apply under the correct visa category – Retirement plus Work Visa We wish to stress that the category “retired person”, does not confer a maximum or minimum age limit for this class of visa for South Africa. Retired person’s visas may be awarded to people of all ages, proving that the eligibility requirements below are met.
A pension, retirement account or irrevocable annuity which has a value of at least R37, 000 per month. This requirement applies to each person making an application.
Alternatively, candidates may obtain a South African visa of this kind by demonstrating a “net worth” through a combination of assets which equates to a minimum of R37, 000 per month. Once again, this criterion applies to each person making an application.
Work Conditions
The nature of this type of immigration to South Africa is such that no specific stipulations are in place regarding a candidate’s ability to work in South Africa. In most cases, it may be assumed that people embarking upon this route, based as it is upon a steady income from a source other than employment will not be entering the country to work. However, each case will be considered individually and candidates may be able to work during their time in the country.
Applicants wishing to work will need to submit an employment contract and demonstrate that no South African citizen or resident is available for position. If candidates were to achieve permanent resident status then as with other routes to settled status, working in South Africa would be permitted.
Accompanying Dependents
Spouse immigration and dependent immigration are now provided through temporary South African Retired person’s visas. This route to South Africa is based upon the financial security of each applicant and unlike work permit visas or business visas, the dependent family members of retired applicants automatically qualify for visit visa status to accompany the principle applicant and does not have to meet the same criteria for temporary residence but for the purposes of permanent residence they are treated as one family unit.
However, in cases where an applicant successfully obtains permanent residence as a retired person, their spouse and/or dependent children, i.e. those aged under 21 will also qualify for permanent residency.
Financially Independent
An alternative route exists in the financially independent visa for which candidates would need to be able to demonstrate a net asset value totalling not less than R12 million.
In addition, it would also be necessary to demonstrate proof of payment of R120,000 as a non-refundable sum to the Director General of Home Affairs. The application for a financially independent visa will lead to permanent residence.
A retired persons visa may be issued for a period exceeding three months to a foreigner who intends to retire in the Republic, provided that the foreigner provide proof that such foreigner has the right to a pension or an annuity or retirement account which will give such foreigner a prescribed minimum payment for the rest of his or her life from the country of his or her origin; or a minimum prescribed net worth.
The Department may authorise the holder of a retired person permit to conduct work under terms and conditions as the Department may deem fit to determine under the circumstances.
A retired person visa may allow its holder to sojourn in the Republic on a seasonal or continuous basis; and not exceed a four-year period, at the expiry of which it may be renewed one or more times.

Travel document confusion riles tourists with children

27.12.2018 – The Citizen

Home affairs insists an unabridged birth certificate is not needed for parents travelling with children, but apparently nobody told customs officials.
The department of home affairs has reiterated that the requirement for an unabridged birth certificate for children travelling with their parents no longer applies, but the parents must still carry it anyway – in case customs officials ask to see it at ports of entry.
This follows a huge outcry among travellers who claimed they were stopped at ports of entry by customs staff who demanded the unabridged certificate for their children, despite the announcement by the department it was no longer a requirement.
The department of tourism recently said tourism supports about 1.5 million jobs directly and indirectly in SA. StatsSA figures for 2016 show the sector directly contributed 2.9% – or R125.1 billion – to the country’s gross domestic product (GDP).
When the initial requirements were first issued, Tourism Minister Derek Hanekom took issue with the home affairs decision, saying the move would kill tourism in SA and impede economic growth. Home affairs was forced to back off.
Reacting to complaints, tourism spokesperson Siya Qoza yesterday said the prescription to produce an unabridged birth certificate was no longer a requirement.
“Only in instances where immigration officials have a reason to suspect wrongdoing, will they ask for documents.”
Qoza said travellers must still carry the certificate in case it was needed at a port of entry for the purpose of investigating a suspect criminal activity by an individual.
If there was something suspicious, immigration officers could stop a traveller and ask questions to seek clarity, and may also ask for minor’s birth certificate.
“So it is important parents carry the certificate and other relevant documents in case,” he said.
However, if a child was travelling with both parents, there would be no need to produce proof of a relationship. But if the child was travelling with one parent, a written consent of the parent remaining behind would be required to show he or she gave permission for the child to travel with second parent.
Qoza said the only document required would be an affidavit from the non-travelling parent. It must indicate that the non-travelling parent was aware of the child’s travel and that he or she gave permission.
The department was reacting to reports that a large number of travellers were being stopped at ports of entry and exit and asked for unabridged birth certificates for the children they travelled with – despite the department having reversed the regulations on this.
Some complaints on social media, however, contradict this, claiming officials demanded the documents even in the presence of both parents.
In a Twitter message this week, Hanekom asked the home affairs department to ensure it did the right thing to avoid interfering with tourists to the country.
In his tweet, the minister wrote: “Let me repeat. I hope @ HomeAffairsSA reads this. Both parents travelling with their children with passports of a visa exempt country: NO additional documentation required. One parent or adult accompanying the child: you MAY be required to prove the relationship with the child.”
In September, the department indicated its intention to scrap the regulations that required parents who travel with minors to produce an unabridged certificate at ports of entry. Recently, former home affairs minister Malusi Gigaba said a consent form would still be required from both parents for a child to leave the country.
But parents would no longer need to produce a certificate in the name of the minor, because the details appear on the parent’s passport under the new set-up.

Canadian woman detained in China has returned home

CBC News • Posted: Dec 28, 2018
Sarah McIver’s case does not appear to be linked to detention of 2 other Canadians

Alberta teacher Sarah McIver, right, was the third Canadian detained in China this month. China and Canada said the detention of Sarah McIver didn’t appear to be related to the detention of the two other Canadians. (Facebook)
Sarah McIver, a Canadian teacher who was detained in China earlier this month, has returned to Canada after being released from custody, Global Affairs Canada says.
“Global Affairs can confirm that a Canadian citizen, who was detained in China this month, has been released and has now returned to Canada,” spokesperson Richard Walker said in an email. “Due to the provisions under the Privacy Act, no further information can be disclosed.”
McIver’s aunt, Rhona McIver, told CBC News that the Alberta woman’s mother and sister had travelled to Vancouver to pick her up and that the family is “thrilled” she is back home.
Earlier this month, McIver became the third Canadian detained in China in recent weeks. She was held over a work-permit issue related to her teaching job and was sentenced to administrative punishment for illegal employment, according to a spokesperson for the Chinese government.
McIver’s arrest came just days after the detentions of Canadians Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor, though both Canada and China insisted her case is different from that of the two men.
Tensions have been high between Canada and China since the Dec. 1 arrest of Meng Wanzhou, the chief financial officer of Chinese telecom giant Huawei Technologies.
Canada made the arrest at the Vancouver International Airport at the request of the U.S. officials, who accuse her of violating trade sanctions on Iran. Meng has since been released on bail pending extradition proceedings.

Canadian businessman Michael Spavor, left, and Canadian diplomat Michael Kovrig were taken into custody on allegations of endangering China’s national security, officials in that country say. (Associated Press/ International Crisis Group/Canadian Press)
Not long after the tech executive’s arrest, Chinese officials confirmed Kovrig and Spavor had been detained separately in China on national security concerns.
Chinese officials have not exactly said that the two men are in custody in retaliation for Meng’s arrest, but they have pointedly linked the cases, insisting at length that Meng’s arrest was illegal and an international affront, while Kovrig and Spavor have been detained properly under Chinese law.
Kovrig is a Canadian diplomat currently on leave from Global Affairs as he serves as an adviser to the International Crisis Group think-tank, while Spavor is a businessman who arranges tours of North Korea.
Canada and its allies have been pushing back against the detentions, with Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland saying last week that the government is “deeply concerned” by the “arbitrary detention” of the two men.
Global Affairs did not say when McIver was released or when exactly she returned to Canada.