Work Permit

It is not difficult to observe in Global and South African media that the South African Government is ambivalent over the current state of our immigration policy, laws and service delivery.

To help the country ensure the effective and efficient management of
migration, newly appointed Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba recently
outlined the Immigration Regulations of 2014.

The Forum of Immigration Practitioners (FIPSA) has declared that the new
Immigration Regulations, published on 23rd May, contain an array of
shortcomings which effectively make it impossible to apply for a work visa or
other visa.

Foreign nationals working for your local company who don?t confirm their
employment to Home Affairs or have overstayed on a visa could put you and
your business at serious risk.

The Department of Home Affairs says it has noted recent reports in print and
online media on the looming expiration of permits issued to Zimbabwean
nationals under the special dispensation period.

New visa rules issued by Home Affairs, applicable to foreigners who need to
execute short-term projects in South Africa, will put R1 billion in investment
and 1600 local jobs in jeopardy.

The concept of cross-border employment is growing in popularity as skills shortages continue to plague the country but many businesses and individuals are unaware of the legalities surrounding foreign workers. Manpower MD, Peter Winn talks about the intricacies of moving and employing staff globally.

The Department of Home Affairs? issuing of works permits to Zimbabwean nationals, under its recent Zimbabwe Dispensation Project, has inflated the number of work permits issued by the department to foreigners, with over 65 000 issued in the first quarter of this fiscal year.


The newly renovated Home Affairs office in Barrack Street, Cape Town, will be open to the public from Monday, 18 April 2011. The office will provide services such as the printing and issuing of birth certificates and other civic documents, applications for permits, and all data will be captured online through live capture technology.

The Department of Home Affairs can provide no timelines as to when the processing of temporary residence and permanent residence applicants will get back to normal. According to Leon Isaacson, MD of Global Migration SA, the Home Affairs processing of work, study business and other permits has effectively ground to a halt, with a backlog estimated at 30 000.


Foreign nationals applying for extensions for their individual permits will from now on only have to wait 48 hours for these extensions to be processed by Home Affairs. This will enable applicants to travel, work, study and conduct businesses in terms of the conditions of the original permit.


The confusion around current immigration issues in South Africa continues as Home Affairs announces that Zimbabweans will no longer be given a special concessionary permit which allows them to work, study or conduct business on a visitor?s visa. Information is available for HR managers and other employers who need to know about the changes.

Home Affairs’ proposed crackdown on foreign truck drivers crossing the country’s borders without work permits will have a serious economic impact on trade within the SADC region, and is likely to cost Southern African countries several millions of rand a day, according to immigration specialist Leon Isaacson of Global Migration.


Visa applications for foreigners who have needed skills are being delayed because the new list, which was due in February, has not been released. Leon Isaacson predicts increasing protectionism for current businesses or industries that are suffering because of the global economic downturn. "We hope this will not lead to the closing down of opportunities for foreigners to work in South Africa," he says.


The UK is a "traditional? starting point for young travellers from South Africa, and the base from which many explore Europe, says Marc Whitmill. The fact that the British Home Office has instituted entry and work permit regulations complicates living and working in these territories - but it doesn?t remove the opportunity, says Whitmill.


Sceptical about employing a foreigner? Concerned about conflicting information from the Department of Home Affairs and unnecessary delays? Stop and consider your scarce skills positions before you cast aside CVs from foreigners, as some may be fully qualified, and easily employed.

The current economic crisis has already led to large job losses across the globe and presents an opportunity for South African businesses who have been struggling to find sufficient numbers of skilled workers. Leon Isaacson, MD of Global Migration, warns that companies will have to act quickly to attract these skilled workers who are also wanted in other countries.


Human resources professionals, recruiters and managers are finding it increasingly difficult to source the necessary talent within South Africa to grow their businesses and remain competitive.

This is likely to remain an issue for the next 15 to 25 years as education systems adapt to produce more appropriately prepared and skilled individuals, according to Leon Isaacson, managing director of Global Migration SA.

Foreigners who live and work in South Africa may be concerned that they will have to renounce citizenship of other countries if they wish to apply for South African citizenship.
South Africa permits dual citizenship, which allows easier access into other countries for those who want to conduct business or work freely in several parts of the globe. However, it is important for travellers who have dual citizenship to be aware that they must always use their South African passport when entering or leaving South Africa.

HR professionals, recruiters and managers are finding it increasingly difficult to source the necessary talent within South Africa to grow their businesses and remain competitive - and this is likely to remain an issue for the next 15 to 25 years, according to Leon Isaacson, managing director of Global Migration SA.

Global Migration SA in conjunction with TaxConsulting is holding a one day seminar in October in Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town. Leon Isaacson, CEO of Global Migration SA and Registered Immigration Practitioner will be speaking about South African Work Permits, skills shortages and HR Strategies.

A class action lawsuit, spearheaded by immigration specialists Global Migration SA, is to be brought against the Department of Home Affairs in a bid to shorten the unacceptably long waiting period that qualified candidates face when applying for permanent residence in South Africa.

South Africa, like most countries, allows non-nationals to change from temporary status to permanent residence, provided they meet government criteria. Some situations where a foreigner can apply for direct permanent residence include when they have the relevant work permit, a business permit, when they have relatives who are citizens, and a number of other cases.

The consequences of having the incorrect work permit for South Africa can be serious: a foreigner may lose a job when a work permit has to be redone; be unable to open a banking account or obtain finance, or be restricted in applying for permanent residence. Leon Isaacson explains the different types of work permits available for those looking into immigration visas.


The South African Department of Home Affairs? vision states that it (the department) "strives to become the leading Department in South Africa in terms of service delivery and effective and committed staff members.' The strategic plan lists Mission Success factors such as "client focus orientation, accessibility of services, corruption free system...' among others.

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