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Statement from Minister Malusi Gigaba concerning new Regulations

source DHA Website

"Ladies and gentlemen, welcome and thank you for attending our weekly media briefing following the change in the executive as announced by President Jacob Zuma this past Sunday.We look forward to these regular interactions with yourselves with a view to briefing you on the implementation of government’s programme of action as we enter the second phase of radical transformation of our economy and thus help move South Africa forward.

Malusi Gigaba To Replace Naedi Pandor As Minister Of Home Affairs

At the outset of my briefing, let me reiterate some fundamental principles that should continue to guide the Department of Home Affairs.

My view is that the Department needs to continue working hard to ensure that every South African receives good quality service in terms of the critical documentation they need from birth to age of maturity; throughout all the stages of their lives. We need to ensure that we clean up and protect our National Population Register.

Critically, we need public servants who are ethical, have integrity and can be trusted. We need to continue to tighten the capacity of the state by modernizing Home Affairs and providing quality professionals to service our people at our frontline offices.

We must continue to protect our children through the work of the Film and Publications Board. Similarly, I continue to be inspired by how we have, over time, modernized the Government Printing Works (GPW) to enable it to issue secure, credible and high value documentations to South Africans. Plans are afoot to ensure that GPW develops further capabilities in the production of Smart ID cards.

In this regard, all of our officials must be prepared for the hard work that lies ahead as we move towards a hands-on activist and collective leadership that we will provide and they must be ready to play their own part in pursuit of that objective.

We need to continue ensuring the effective and efficient management of migration in the interest of the security of the country while ensuring that it contributes to economic development and prosperity of the country.

Turning to the subject of today’s media briefing, the Immigration Regulations, I am happy to announce that the Immigration Regulations of 2014 came into effect on 26 May 2014. Effectively, this marked the commencement of the Immigration Amendment Acts of 2007 and 2011 and the new Immigration Regulations, 2014.

You will recall that the Draft Regulations were published in the Government Gazette on 14 February 2014 for public comment. The closing date for public comment was 28 February 2014 but was extended to 07 March 2014 to allow for more submissions.

Following this public consultation process, we are happy to announce the following amendmentsto the immigration regulations:

  • Under the new regulations the word “visa” replaces the word “permit” except for the permanent residence “permit”. For example, a visitor’s permit will now be called a visitor’s visa, a work permit will now be called a work visa and a study permit will be called a study visa.
  • This means that under the new regulations there will be a clear distinction between short-stay visas and long-stay permanent residence permits.
  • The Act now requires that every child must possess his or her own passport.
  • A person who is on a visitor’s or medical treatment visa may not change his or her status whilst in the Republic except in exceptional circumstances.
  • Study visa will be issued for the duration of the study or course.
  • No business visa may be issued or renewed to a foreigner who intends to establish or invest in a business that is listed as undesirable business undertaking.
  • A person issued with a business visa must employ or prove that 60% of the total staff complement is South African citizens or permanent residents.
  • Quota work permit and exceptional skills work permits have been repealed.
  • A critical skills work visa has been introduced into the Act.  
  • An intra-company transfer work visa will be issued for a period of four years.  
  • A corporate visa will be issued to South African corporate applicants to employ a number of foreigners for a period not exceeding three years, after showing the need for employment of such foreigners.
  • An exchange visa (for persons under 25 years) will not be granted to conduct work pertaining to an undesirable work as published by the Minister in the Gazette, after consultation with the Minister of Trade and Industry.
  • An asylum transit visa issued at a port of entry will be valid for a period of 5 days to enable the holder to report at a nearest Refugee Reception Office.
  • Cross-border and transit permits have been repealed.
  • Persons who overstay for a prescribed number of times will be declared as undesirable - fines will no longer be charged for overstaying.  
  • Owners of or persons in charge of conveyances will be required to provide, through Advance Passenger Processing (APP), passengers’ information prior to departing for South Africa.
  • Section 46, which dealt with Immigration Practitioners, has been repealed as applicants will now be required to apply in person at the Mission in the country of origin or where they permanently reside.
  • First time application for visa will be made at the Mission and only renewals or extensions can be made in the Republic (at VFS Offices).

We take this opportunity to thank members of the public who took time to respond to the request for public comments during the drafting and finalization of the Regulations"

Minister Malusi Gigaba

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