New immigration regulations are causing chaos
The new immigration legislation published in the government gazette last week and came into effect on Monday, 26 May 2014, has generally been met with frustration and confusion.
While a period of public comment was observed from March until last week most of those affected by the legislation calls it ‘severe’ and going so far as to accuse it of being unconstitutional.
Rumours that the new regulations were specifically held back until after the May 7th elections have fuelled the flames. With Naledi Pandor handing over the reins of Home Affairs to Malusi Gigaba within only days of passing the controversial bill adding to the speculation. Gigaba’s capacity is not being questioned the timing of the new law is.
The Department of Home Affairs have called for public input between March and now. Although some say that certain areas of the legislation seem to have been improved since the original draft the general feeling is that those are limited instances and the new legislation mostly remains full of gaps.
Worryingly various Home Affairs offices around South Africa and the world had not been informed of the new process a day after it had been implemented. Some are off the opinion that there may in fact be some Home Affairs offices that are at this late stage still not up to date with the changes but the Department of Trade and Industry is no better off.
The DTI and Department of Labour are now involved in the application adjudication process, yet they are not informed of all the changes and also have no supporting setup to handle the applications at all.
The Quota and Exceptional Skills Work Permits are now removed and have been replaced by a Critical Skills Visa, however there is no mention anywhere of what qualifies one for this new visa.
Immigration consultants and those professionals working in the country, or those in the process of applying for their visas to work in the country, are left uninformed and confused.
The new law further demands proof of at least a two year-long relationship before spouses or life partners of South African citizens can join their loved ones in the Republic. This new law is a direct violation of the South African constitution.
To add insult to injury some application such as first time applications will have to be made abroad. Migrants will not be impressed if for example, the delay and cost in application results in families being split a family or causes loss of employment.
Foreign investors in the film industry might find that a country that previously attracted foreign investment through easily obtained visas is now caught in the red-tape of an ill-considered law. “Industries such as the film industry, a huge creator of jobs and a big economic boost for our country, will now struggle to in some cases lengthen and also apply for the various visas without sending foreign employees back to their countries of origin first. There are one or two advantages to the new regulations for this industry, however,” states an article published by Independent On-Line.
With accusation that some of the new laws are unconstitutional, migrants should brace themselves for long phone calls and longer queues at Home Affairs offices.
Contact New World Immigration and our friendly consultants will advise you.