Nov 9, 2021 - General, Travel, Visa    No Comments

Appeals – rejected applications, Undesirable Declaration Waivers, V-listing and Legal Immigration Services

Appeals – rejected applications, Undesirable Declaration Waivers, V-listing and Legal Immigration Services

Our dynamic team of immigration consultants provide specialist advice on temporary residence visas, permanent residence permits, appeals on rejected applications, undesirable declaration waivers, V-listing and legal immigration services. Get in touch with us if you’d like a professional yet personal experience provided by our experienced consultants.

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U.S. to relax travel restrictions for vaccinated foreign air travelers in November

U.S. to relax travel restrictions for vaccinated foreign air travelers in November

Reuters – 08 November 2021

WASHINGTON, Sept 20 (Reuters) – The United States will reopen in November to air travelers from 33 countries including China, India, Brazil and most of Europe who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, the White House said on Monday, easing tough pandemic-related restrictions that started early last year.

The decision, announced by White House coronavirus response coordinator Jeff Zients, marked an abrupt shift for President Joe Biden’s administration, which said last week it was not the right time to lift any restrictions amid rising COVID-19 cases.

The United States had lagged many other countries in lifting such restrictions, and allies welcomed the move. The U.S. restrictions have barred travelers from most of the world including tens of thousands of foreign nationals with relatives or business links in the United States.

The United States will admit fully vaccinated air travelers from the 26 so-called Schengen countries in Europe including France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Switzerland and Greece, as well as Britain, Ireland, China, India, South Africa, Iran and Brazil. The unprecedented U.S. restrictions have barred non-U.S. citizens who were in those countries within the past 14 days.

Restrictions on non-U.S. citizens were first imposed on air travelers from China in January 2020 by then-President Donald Trump and then extended to dozens of other countries, without any clear metrics for how and when to lift them.

Zients did not give a precise start date for the new rules beyond saying “early November,” and many details of the new policy are still being decided.

Separately on Monday, the United States extended its pandemic-related restrictions at land borders with Canada and Mexico that bar nonessential travel such as tourism through Oct. 21. It gave no indication if it would apply the new vaccine rules to those land border crossings.

The United States has allowed foreign air travelers from more than 150 countries throughout the pandemic, a policy that critics said made little sense because some countries with high COVID-19 rates were not on the restricted list, while some on the list had the pandemic more under control.

Monday’s action means COVID-19 vaccine requirements will now apply to nearly all foreign nationals flying to the United States – including those not subject to the prior restrictions.

Americans traveling from abroad who are not vaccinated will face tougher rules than vaccinated citizens, including needing to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test within a day of travel and proof of purchasing a viral test to be taken after arrival.

‘BASING IT ON SCIENCE’

Airlines for America, an industry trade group, said that through late August, international air travel was down 43% from pre-pandemic levels.

The announcement comes as President Joe Biden makes his first U.N. General Assembly speech on Tuesday, and hosts leaders from Britain, India, Japan and Australia this week.

White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters on Monday the policy was not timed for diplomacy. “If we were going to make things much easier for ourselves, we would have done it prior to June, when the president had his first foreign trip, or earlier this summer. This is when the process concluded,” she said. “We’re basing it on science.”

Passengers depart Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, in Atlanta, Georgia, U.S., November 23, 2020. REUTERS/Chris Aluka Berry

U.S. COVID-19 infections and deaths have skyrocketed since June as the Delta variant spreads, particularly among the unvaccinated. Nearly 29,000 new U.S. cases were reported on Sunday.

British Airways Chief Executive Sean Doyle said the U.S. announcement “marks a historic moment and one which will provide a huge boost to Global Britain as it emerges from this pandemic.”

Shares in U.S. airlines were little changed, while some European carriers gained. British Airways parent IAG SA (ICAG.L) rose 11.2%, while Air France-KLM (AIRF.PA) and Deutsche Lufthansa (LHAG.DE) AG closed up more than 5%.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson called the announcement “a fantastic boost for business and trade, and great that family and friends on both sides of the pond can be reunited once again.” Germany’s U.S. ambassador, Emily Haber, said on Twitter it was “hugely important to promote people-to-people contacts and transatlantic business.”

It will have less impact travel from China, which requires its residents to quarantine for at least two weeks on return home. International flights from China are capped and running at around 2% of 2019 levels, a situation expected to last until the second half of next year. read more

CDC HAS FINAL WORD ON VACCINES ACCEPTED

Foreign nationals will need to present proof of vaccination before travel and will not be required to quarantine on arrival.The White House said the final decision on what vaccines would be accepted is up to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The CDC on Monday pointed to its prior guidance when asked what vaccines it will accept.

“The CDC considers someone fully vaccinated with any FDA-authorized or approved vaccines and any vaccines that (the World Health Organization) has authorized,” said spokesperson Kristen Nordlund. That list could change pending additions by either agency, she said.

Exceptions include children not yet eligible for shots. Airlines heavily lobbied the White House to lift the restrictions, and it has been working since August on the new plan.

The U.S. Travel Association trade group previously estimated that the U.S. restrictions, if they ran to the end of the year, would cost the American economy $325 billion.

Zients said last Wednesday that given the rise of the Delta variant, it was not the right time to lift travel restrictions. Asked on Monday what had changed since then, Zients cited rising global vaccinations, adding: “The new system allows us to implement strict protocols to prevent the spread of COVID-19.”

Zients said the new system would include collecting contact tracing data from passengers traveling into the United States to enable the CDC to contact travelers exposed to COVID-19.

The administration has been considering imposing vaccine requirements for foreign nationals since May, officials said, but the White House only decided on Friday to move forward.

www.samigraation.comAmerica - open borderAmerica - open border

South African Business Visa

South African Business Visa

we can add more rotation text Department of Home Affairs to a foreigner intending to establish or invest in a business in South Africa in which he or she may be employed, and to members of such foreigners’ immediate family providing that certain requirements have been met.
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.

The 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
  • 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

Our team of professionals at SA Migration International will assist you and help you to obtain your business visa for you.

Click Here if you require more information on this visa type and we will revert to you

South Africa is going through a very exciting stage at the moment and there is lots of opportunity to be involved in this emerging economy and the government welcomes anyone wishing to invest and create employment. Especially for small business owners, the markets are extremely lucrative and the government welcomes anyone who wants to invest.

www.samigration.com

South African Retirement Visa

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.

  1. The temporary route is granted for four years and is renewable indefinitely for four-year periods.
  2. 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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

Click Here if you require more information on this visa type and we will revert to you

www.samigration.com

Asylum seekers placed in ‘unsuitable’ Blackpool hotel despite council protests

The Guardian – 07-11-2021

Local authority accuses Home Office and Serco of trying to beat court hearing and frustrate justice system

Blackpool council has accused the Home Office and Serco of deliberately acting to frustrate the justice system after placing asylum seekers in a hotel, despite objections that the accommodation was wholly unsuitable.

About 140 people, mostly families, have moved into the Grand Metropole on Blackpool promenade. Blackpool council had said using the hotel for temporary accommodation required planning consent and it had been going to seek a court injunction on Monday in an attempt to stop the arrangement.

The seaside resort is particularly busy at present. The Blackpool Illuminations light show runs until 3 January and the town is also hosting the World Fireworks Championships near the hotel, likely to cause disruption and noise to the hotel’s vulnerable residents.

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Blackpool is the latest council to express concern about the suitability of housing asylum seekers in hotels. Earlier this month, a report documented the deterioration in the mental and physical health of asylum seekers in Glasgow when housed in hotels.

Lynn Williams, the Labour leader of Blackpool council, said the local authority was promised it would be informed in advance of any arrivals, and that nobody would be placed in the hotel before Monday at the earliest. However, people were moved in overnight on Sunday and in the early hours of Monday morning, with more expected this week.

Williams said the council had received no official notification until Monday lunchtime, despite the assurances sought on behalf of local health leaders, who said services were facing unprecedented demand.

The council leader said she was “further disappointed” that the Home Office and Serco had made the move after being informed the council was seeking an injunction, with a court hearing scheduled for Monday. “I am saddened that they have acted in a way that smacks of a deliberate move to frustrate the justice system,” she said.

Williams urged Blackpool residents to show compassion and understanding to the “very vulnerable families and children who have arrived with us here in Blackpool”. She said the council would work to ensure that the “appropriate support” was in place for the families, and would be reviewing its legal position.

Serco and the Home Office have been criticised for placing asylum seekers in Britannia hotels in Wolverhampton and Wigan this month. Lisa Nandy, the town’s MP, said that the hotel, which has been targeted by a far-right group, had previously been deemed “completely unsuitable accommodation” for asylum seekers.

The leader of Wolverhampton council, Ian Brookfield, also accused Serco of lacking humanity, when 200 Afghan families were placed in the city without warning. “Some of them have arrived here in a terrible state, there’s people with no clothes, no nappies for the kids,” Brookfield said. “We know Serco are running this, but they could at least put a little bit of humanity into it. As a council, we are left out of the whole process.”

Serco was one of the three outsourcing firms awarded the contract to house asylum seekers in 2019, despite having been fined nearly £7m for previous failings. The firm, which has the contract for housing in the north-west, the Midlands and the east of England, said hotels were used only as a “last resort”.

“With the significant increases in the number of people arriving in the UK we have been faced with no alternative but to temporarily accommodate some asylum seekers in hotels”, said Jenni Halliday, Serco’s contract director for asylum accommodation services.

According to Home Office statistics, there were 31,115 asylum applications in the UK in the year ending June 2021, 4% fewer than the previous year. The government has promised to allow 20,000 Afghan refugees to settle in the UK, with 5,000 expected to arrive by the end of 2021.

The Home Office said that the “unprecedented demand” meant temporary accommodation such as hotels has had to be used “to manage demands on the asylum estate”. It said the Home Office had met local police, public health providers and officers from Blackpool council, and that all hotels used by the Home Office met health and safety legislation.

www.samigration.com

South Africa: Migrants Live in Fear After Raid By Home Affairs

South Africa: Migrants Live in Fear After Raid By Home Affairs

7 November 2021 – All africa

River Valley has resulted in deportations and increased hostility towards those who cannot get valid documents because refugee offices remain closed.

Two months after her husband was deported to Zimbabwe by South African authorities, Chipo Munetsi, 39, of Moses Mabhida township in Kirkwood, Eastern Cape, is still struggling to come to terms with his absence. She is battling to cope with running their hair salon, which is based in a shipping container.

In addition, Munetsi, says, the deportations have created tensions in the area, with some South Africans blaming migrants for the high levels of unemployment and poor municipal services. But Munetsi says there are several migrants who are creating jobs for local people. She herself employs two South African women – one as a domestic worker and the other as an assistant in the salon.

The Department of Home Affairs, with its health and labour counterparts, held an operation in the Sundays River Valley area in September. Munetsi’s husband Simon was among the 71 migrants without documentation who were arrested during the raids in Addo, Kirkwood and Paterson.

“This is after Simon had made several trips in 2019 to the refugee reception office in Gqeberha in a quest to renew his asylum documents that had expired,” said Munetsi,. “He eventually gave up after he continuously found the system not working. He was then told that he had to pay R2 000 as a fine for defaulting.”

Munetsi, who has a valid asylum seeker’s permit, says since the blitz many migrants are living in fear of some South Africans, who call them derogatory names. She also blames some political parties for stoking the flames with election campaigns exploiting xenophobia. This has led to divisions between residents who prefer migrants to stay, saying they boost their businesses, and those who blame migrants for the collapse of infrastructure and want them gone.

“I have been operating this hair salon business for several years without any problem with the local community. They are my clients and I also assist them when they have financial problems. The situation changed after people were arrested by home affairs officials. We now meet some people in the streets who are hostile towards us,” said Munetsi.

“I didn’t take anyone else’s job. In fact, I have created jobs for the local community. I take South Africa as my second home.”

Hunted down

Most of the migrants who were deported are from Zimbabwe and Lesotho. But residents say migrants who have wanted to get an asylum seeker’s permit have been hamstrung because the home affairs office in Gqeberha has been closed since the Covid-19 hard lockdown started in March 2020. According to the department’s website, it is still closed to new applications.

Martin Denhere, whose brother was one of those arrested in Kirkwood, says migrants without documents were “hunted like wild animals”.

“Undocumented immigrants were accosted at shops and some were rounded up from their workplaces,” he said. “There was no respect for human life. People were bundled and dumped at the local police station. They were not allowed to get food from outside. They were only allowed to collect their belongings when they were being deported after they had spent days in police cells.

“People are living in fear because there is no indication when the refugee offices in Gqeberha will open.”

Tshepo, a migrant from Lesotho who did not want to disclose his surname, says his asylum seeker’s permit expired during the lockdown. He could not be arrested because the government had extended the validity of documents that expired during the pandemic until 31 December.

“One friend of mine [who was deported] was in the business of buying and selling fresh vegetables. He also raised pigs. He promoted local people by buying leftover food from them to feed his pigs. He even donated his vegetables to local preschools,” said Tshepo.

No alternatives

The Zimbabwe Migrants Support Network says home affairs is to blame for causing tension in the area by arresting migrants without valid documents while refugee reception offices are closed.

Secretary general Shelton Chiyangwa said, “Our people are forced to remain in the country without documentation because home affairs’ refugee department has remained closed since March 2020 and we don’t know when they wish to open.

“I have had an opportunity of visiting the farming areas and meet with our people, who lamented very sad stories. Many have their permits expired while new applicants cannot apply for asylum seeker’s permits because the offices are closed,” he said.

Apart from the arrests, the operation resulted in a handful of employers being fined for various labour transgressions. Department of Employment and Labour spokesperson Ziphozihle Josefu said, “The blitz inspection saw a total of 296 employers inspected, with 81 in the farming sector, 137 in the wholesale and retail sector, 25 in the hospitality sector and 53 in miscellaneous [sectors]. Seventy-one illegal immigrants who are nationals of Lesotho, Malawi and Zimbabwe origin were apprehended.”

Community activist Hansie Brander claims that the tension is created by employers who prefer migrants to South Africans.

But not everyone is unhappy about migrants living in the area. James Rungah, a resident of Moses Mabhida, says his life has improved a lot since he started renting out 10 cottages to migrants in 2017. Each cottage accommodates four people who each pay R500 a month.

“I am not employed, so I decided to build these backyard rooms after discovering that there was a shortage of accommodation during the harvesting season. I have developed a good relationship with my tenants. Most of them are immigrants from our neighbouring countries. They don’t hesitate to pay me my money at the agreed time,” said Rungah.

Ghanaian citizen Atta Owusu, who raises broiler chickens in a shack at his house in Valencia township, Addo, says he does not experience xenophobia.

“I have developed a good relationship with local residents. At present I have 600 chicks and I employ three local youths to assist me. I often hire more people when there is demand for more labour,” said Owusu.

www.samigration.com

Nov 7, 2021 - Asylum, Asylum Seeker, General    No Comments

Refugees who arrived after lockdown have no way to apply for asylum

Refugees who arrived after lockdown have no way to apply for asylum

https://www.dailymaverick.co.za/article/2021-11-07-refugees-who-arrived-after-lockdown-have-no-way-to-apply-for-asylum/

The closure of Refugee Reception Offices (RRO) since the Covid-19 lockdown last year has left asylum seekers vulnerable to arrest and deportation. The offices remain closed for new asylum applications and in-person renewal of permits that expired prior to March 2020.

“Many newcomer asylum seekers are therefore at risk of arrest, detention, deportation and are struggling to access basic services due to their lack of documentation,” said Attorney Jessica Lawrence, of Lawyers for Human Rights (LHR).

Lawrence said that during a recent meeting, a Home Affairs official said that newcomer asylum seekers should all have been issued with an asylum transit visa at the border, which would normally be extended by an immigration officer later.

“Asylum transit visas are only valid for five days. Though he did not say this, it was clear that he therefore deemed this as appropriate documentation for newcomer asylum seekers pending the re-opening of the RROs,” she said.

GroundUp was unable to get clarification from Home Affairs on asylum transit visas, when its RROs will reopen, and when it will start assisting new asylum seekers.

According to a 30 September circular sent to refugee organisations by the UN Refugee Agency South Africa Multi-country Office (Samco), Home Affairs has resumed permanent residence permit appeal applications from 1 October, and it will start processing permanent residence permit applications only from 1 January 2022.

www.samigration.com

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