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New Immigration regulations to be reviewed says DHA

Legislation passed since last year aimed to confirm the legality of all migrants in the Republic and to regularize the influx of migrants through new travel and visa rules and requirements.

New Immigration Regulations To Be Reviewed Says DHA

Speaking of plans to address certain unintended consequences of the law Gigaba said the Green Paper on migration would be finalised by March next year.

Extensive consultations on this policy framework had been held with various stakeholders, he said.

They have developed the structure of the Green Paper and it will have 10 chapters.
As South Africa did not have a policy on economic migrants, the economic migrants entered the country illegally and clogged up the system on asylum seekers.

Home Affairs records show that there were more than 330 000 immigrants, who entered the country legally between 2010 and this year, but stayed on after their visas had expired.

The policy framework would also address the issue of foreign students with critical skills, and how the government could retain them, said Gigaba.

“You can’t keep amending legislation when the broader policy framework does not give you enough space,” he said.

The minister said the new policy framework would be able to give the government room to manoeuvre on the issue of economic migrants.

The minister also stated that the country’s borders would also be fixed to contain the effect of those sneaking into the country unlawfully.

The establishment of the Border Management Agency (BMA) will bring together all agencies, operating at the points of entry, under one roof. Gigaba also said that the agency would be brought before Parliament this year and expressed is hope that the new law would be approved by Parliament next year so that the agency can start operating.
In the meantime, six points of entry will be identified to be used as pilot projects for the new Border Management Agency.

The agency will integrate all government departments in the border posts, to flush out syndicates, illegal immigrants and drug-dealers.

“We have 11 agencies operating at the points of entry, and operating as individual departments, none of them taking an instruction from a single command centre,” said Gigaba.

However, this would come to an end once the Border Management Agency comes into operation in 2017, he added.

It will include, among others, Home Affairs, the police, the defence force, the South African Revenue Service and the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.
SAPA

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