Why should I use a registered migration agent?

Why should I use a registered migration agent?

In South Africa, unregistered people working as migration agents are not breaking the law but are unregulated and you have no recourse for poor advice which will have devasting consequences on your application and your future in South Africa .
This is because people who are not registered might:
• not know about current South African legislation and procedures
• give you incorrect advice
• make false claims about your chances of success.
Advantages of a registered Immigration Practitioner:
• knows the current South African Immigration legislation and procedures
• writes a licensing exam and is registered with FIPSA / Law Society
• will always give you correct advice
• will be honest about your chances of success
• will go for regular training with Department of Home Affairs, Department of Labour, VFS and Department of Trade and Industry.
Applying in South Africa: if you want to report an unregistered person, you can contact us (free of charge).
Applying outside South Africa: if you are outside South Africa and suspect that an unregistered person has broken the law, you can report them to your local law enforcement authority and tell your nearest immigration office or SA Embassy .
If you think that a migration agent is acting unprofessionally, you should also tell your nearest immigration office ( Department of Home Affairs ) .
SA Migration International is registered with FIPSA ( Forum of Immigration Practitioners ) and the Department of Home Affairs

Overstay / VLIST Ban Issued for 5 Years . There is hope !!

Overstay / VLIST Ban Issued for 5 Years . There is hope !!

Overstaying one’s visa is a common occurrence among people who applied to extend their visa in South Africa and said visa not issued in time for travel .
In recent months overstaying one visa has moved from being a minor inconvenience to a possible criminal offence with potentially serious ramifications. The changes brought about by the new immigration laws have made overstaying ones visa a very serious affair which needs a careful and smart approach to remedy.
Let us now explore the effect of overstaying ones visa and what steps to take to correct this now serious matter.
Effect of an overstay
An individual who remains the republic after his or her visa has expired is in violations of the Act. The immigration Act describe such individual as illegal Foreigners. Illegal foreigner are dealt with in terms of section 32 which provides:
32(1) any illegal foreigner shall depart, unless authorised to do so by the director general as well as any illegal foreigner shall be deported.
The seriousness of an overstay is clear from the section, anyone who is considered an illegal foreigner must be deported and there are no exceptions. In addition section 49(1(a) makes it a criminal offence to remain in the republic in contravention of the Act and on conviction the penalty is imprisonment for a period of not more than 2 years or a fine. In addition section 30(1) (h) renders one departing the republic on an expired status an undesirable.
Legalization of an Overstay
Section 32(10 read with regulation 30 provides for a mechanism to cure an overstay a potentially avoid any sanction for the overstay. This process is commonly referred to as legalisation and is given expression in the following section:
(a)Demonstrate, in writing ,to the satisfaction of the Director General that he or she was unable to apply for such status for reasons beyond his or her control and;
(b)Submit proof to the Director General that he or she is in a position to immediately submit his or her application for status.Reg 30(2) The Authorization to remain in the Republic as contemplated by section 32(1) of the Act shall be granted on Form 20….
In order to legalise an overstay 3 points must be complied with.
1.You must neither be arrested for purposes of deportation nor be ordered to leave. Both instances occur when you have been detected by Home affairs officials. Therefore you can only avail yourself to legalisation if you have not been detected by immigration enforcement officials.
2.Demonstrate in writing, commonly referred to a good cause. The applicant must demonstrate that the overstay was not intentional but a consequence of factors beyond the control of the applicant? It is not enough to simply overstay for no justifiable reason and approach the Director General where no good cause exists.
3.The applicant must show that he or she is in a position to submit his or her application for a status immediately upon being granted the authorisation.
Once the authorisation is given it will be issued to the applicant on a form 20. The applicant then uses the form 20 to apply for the visa.
If you require assistance with Uplifting the Overstay ban and or Legalization and have any questions on the topic please feel free to contact our offices for specialist advice.

There’s no policy to privatise ports of entry – Gigaba

There’s no policy to privatise ports of entry – Gigaba
The Citizen – 8.5.2018
He referred to Fireblade Aviation’s immigration services at OR Tambo International Airport, which it pays for, but says it gets other services for free.
Home affairs minister Malusi Gigaba told members of parliament today that no approval policy has been established regarding the privatisation of sections of national ports of entry.
Gigaba was briefing the Portfolio Committee on Home Affairs on the proposed privatisation of a section of the OR Tambo International Airport to Fireblade Aviation, as well as the possibility of privatising sections of Cape Town International Airport and the airport in George in the Southern Cape.
“If the minister had granted permission, the minister would have followed legal prescripts until the end. In the absence of such legal prescripts, we stand with our belief that there was no approval of this decision formally granted and the matter is really irrelevant.
“But the issue we are raising, as I say, is the matter of principle which applies to whether the poor are entitled to good quality service only after the rich have received them. To whether the laws of the country can be disregarded when the rich are concerned and whether the government should provide free services to the rich,” said the minister.
“When we say that there is no policy, we meant that it’s not the political argument, it’s a legal argument until there is a policy that guides, you can’t just decide because I have money, I will take these without policy being there.”
Gigaba further said that the cabinet was still dealing with the matter of rationalising the number of international airports that the country has. “Cabinet has taken a decision at our request as home affairs to rationalise the international airports because we have been complaining.
“For example, Upington is an international airport only in summer during hunting seasons and in winter during harvesting season. Nelson Mandela, is an international airport but who lands there?
“So if there is no soccer game, rugby game or international event, we have to provide immigration officers for an airport that is not utilised for such purpose. We need to rationalise the immigration officers and we have to increase our capacities,” he said.
In 2017, the OR Tambo international airport was seriously undercapacitated and home affairs’ view was that there was a need to rationalise the immigration capacity to provide services at the busy international airports where such services were required, added Gigaba.
“The matters went to court, we are appealing the matter in the Constitutional court, not to get to the merits of the case, but to just explain how we got to where we are. The court’s decision was in favour of the applicants. Our arguments, both in relation to the high court and the supreme court was that we have not been listened to, in terms of the merits of our arguments, but the matters were based on what we thought was peripheral and dismissable issues that served before the courts.”
He said that he had left the department of home affairs at the time when judgments were being made and appeals being made until his recent return in March. When the supreme court made its judgment around September, October last year in favour of applicants, “they then submitted a supplementary application to be allowed to operate the Fireblade, meanwhile pending a decision by home affairs to appeal or not”.
The permission was granted on condition that they (applicants) were going to pay for the immigration services and that had subsequently been done, said Gigaba, adding that only immigration services were being paid and all other government services were not being paid, “so meaning that government services were being provided to a private family for free as a result of the decision”.
– African News Agency (ANA)

Drive to Expand Australian Cyber Spy Powers

Drive to Expand Australian Cyber Spy Powers
Friday, May 4, 2018
Australia’s military cyber spy agency, the Australian Signals Directorate (ASD), could soon be receiving radical new espionage powers to monitor Australian citizens for the first time. If approved, the ASD may be able to secretly access the digital information of Australians including emails, health data, bank records, and text messages.
The Sunday Telegraph revealed a series of top secret letters exchanged between the heads of the Department of Home Affairs and Department of Defence discussing the plan to potentially allow government hackers to “proactively disrupt and covertly remove” onshore cyber threats by “hacking into our critical infrastructure.”
Currently, only ASIO and the Australian Federal Police have the powers to investigate Australians and they require a warrant to do so. Minister for Home Affairs Peter Dutton said that the proposed expansion was in response to the increasing sophistication of transnational criminal activity.
The proposed changes could grant the ASD powers to compel Australian companies and government agencies to hand over data or security information when requested. The expansion has been justified on the basis that traditional law enforcement lacks the technical capacity to fully identify, detect and disrupt systemic transnational Organised crime involving Australian citizens, and often relies on foreign law enforcement partners.
There is no need to panic just yet however, with Minister for Foreign Affairs Julie Bishop stating that there are no plans for the Government to expand the powers of the ASD as the laws already in place can target transnational crime while maintaining Australian’s privacy.

Home Affairs looks to boost tourism by easing up visa requirements

Home Affairs looks to boost tourism by easing up visa requirements
2018-05-04 – The South African

The Department of Home Affairs is working hand in hand with Tourism, in an effort to boost the number of tourists coming to South Africa.
The controversial regulations around travelling with minors have also been addressed.
The two departments aim to achieve this by setting up a team of officials that will work to ease visa requirements for visitors.
This announcement was made by Home Affairs Minister, Malusi Gigaba, alongside his counterpart at Tourism, Derek Hanekom on Wednesday.
“We have, therefore, agreed that we are going to establish a joint working team, composed of respective deputy directors general that are going to meet regularly and facilitate regular feedback to both of us jointly so that we can review the progress being made in this regard and take whatever executive decisions are required,” Gigaba said.
The talks between the two ministers also covered the controversial policy surrounding travelling of minors.
During his first stint as Minister of Home Affairs, Gigaba introduced regulations which required that children travelling alone or with a single parent present unabridged birth certificate or consent letters from both parents. This was implemented in 2015, and resulted in tourist numbers dipping.
According to Hanekom, this has been addressed and an announcement is set to be made in coming weeks.
“We are very close to an agreement on that, there are one or two things that have to be finalised and then we can make an announcement in this regard,” he said.
Gigaba also added that the two departments are looking to make travelling with minors easier.
“We’ve tasked our respective teams to look at additional measures that are going to make it easy for people to travel with minor children without compromising the security of children,” he said.
Home Affairs is also working towards the introduction of electronic visas.

Home Affairs : Rejection and Appeals: What to do when your application has been rejected.

Home Affairs : Rejection and Appeals: What to do when your application has been rejected.
As with any change there comes with it a lot of miscommunication and an increase in the number of failed applications. It appears that there has been a sharp increase in the number of visa and permit application being rejected and many prospective immigrants are left to wonder how on earth they can navigate this now even more complex immigration system.
The primary basis of appeals and review in the context of immigration is contained in the Act itself. Section 8 of the immigration act provides the basis on which applicants can appeal to either the Director General or the Minister to review any adverse decision made by the Department. Section 8(1) and 8(2) and deals primarily with decisions to refuse entry to a foreigner at a port of entry. These sections are often very contentious
Legal Basis of appeals and reviews
The above section provides that any adverse decision by the Department must be communicated in writing with reasons.
For this reasons applicant whose applications have been rejected have a right to be informed and be given written reasons. This section is given expression in the form of a Rejection letter issued by the Department.
Upon receiving the rejection letter the applicant has 10 working days (2 weeks) to appeal the decision. When can a Decision be appealed? An appeal is not a second chance to submit documents not submitted in the first application. It is not enough to simply supplement the documents submitted but there must be a ground to review the decision of the adjudicator based on the documents already present. In appealing the decision the applicant is saying to the Director General or Minister that “based on the documents I submitted in my original application this decision is wrong and must be reversed”
A decision that is biased, arbitrary, and capricious in nature can be appealed.
Bias: A decision is considered biased when it is influenced by a predisposition of the adjudicator. In this case the adjudicated forms an opinion based on factors outside the facts presented before him/her in the application. A common occurrence is found in the adjudication of work visa and spouse visa application where reference to high unemployment levels and prevalence of marriages of convenience are made.
Arbitrary: A decision is considered arbitrary when it has no legal basis and random. For instance where an application for a Spouse Visa with a work endorsement is rejected on the basis that the applicant did not provide a Labour Certificate. In this instant the Labour certificate is not a requirement for a Spouse Visa- Work Endorsement and therefore the decision is arbitrary because it has no legal basis. Many rejections are arbitrary and can be successfully appealed.
Capricious: quite similar to an arbitrary decision and often an arbitrary decision is also capricious but no always. A decision is capricious when it does not follow the law or logic and often whimsical in nature. For example, applicant A applies for a visa without providing proper authentication, a trend has developed and not application is ever denied on that basis. Applicant B applies without proper authentication and is rejected on that basis, while the decision may be correct it may be considered capricious due the sudden unexplained change.
How to appeal an adverse decision successfully?
Once it has been established that an adverse decision can be appealed an applicant can then prepare an appeal to that effect. It is important to put your case with as much detail as possible and attach all relevant documentation.
Appeals can be quite technical and where possible it is wise to seek the aid of a professional to assist you.
Final remarks.
If you are certain that the decision is wrong then a well thought out and prepared appeal will have an adverse decision reversed. It is unclear how long should the Director General or Minister take to consider an appeal but generally and in our opinion it should not take more than the time it take to consider an application. Reviewing a decision already made does not require the consideration of the entire application afresh but the points that are being challenged in the appeal. Legislation and the courts are yet to make pronouncements on how long is a reasonable period to wait for an appeal before the delay is considered unreasonable. Where such a delay occurs applicants will have recourse to the High Court as excessive delays are reviewable by the court

Home Affairs set to fast track e-Visa rollout

Home Affairs set to fast track e-Visa rollout
Thursday 3 May 2018 – Ewcn
– The Home Affairs Department wants to fast track the rollout of e-visas to increase the number of tourists visiting the country.
e-Visa will introduce the online capture of visa and permit applications and capture the applicant’s biometrics in South Africa and abroad.
Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba has instructed the department to prioritise the fast-tracking of the new online e-Visa system.
An application will be captured and submitted online together with the required supporting documents that will be scanned and attached to the application.
Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba said, “I have given an instruction to the department to prioritise the e-visas and to ensure that at the end of this financial year we make a very concrete announcement as to online visa applications as well as the issuance of e-visas.
“It is going to be very significant for us to improve our traveller numbers and to ensure that some of the passenger traveller processes we undertake upon arrival we can undertake online through the verification of the records and the documents that people require to travel to SA.
“We could simply in SA to make it easier for them.”