Who is applying for South African visas?
While the new immigration regulations might be controversial it seems that migrants and tourist will not stop coming to South Africa.
We took a look at where these tourists and migrants were coming from and while the results delivered some surprises a few of these were no surprise at all.
Industry role players have vocalized their concern about the effects new laws like presenting unabridged birth certificates when traveling with children and the implementation of the Biometric data, they are also finding themselves trying to assist clients who have been declared ‘undesirable persons’ by the South African Department of Home Affairs.
Yet as the new rules are being processed and those affected have come to grips with the particulars of the new laws it is believed that any negative impact felt on the industry and economy should be short-lived.
A recent industry study has revealed, based on the findings of Stats SA in 2013 paints a positive picture which immigration industry leaders feel will be improved upon by 2015.
The majority of visa applications have been for visitor’s visa and this is followed by work visa, while less than a percent of visas issued were done in the visa classes of corporate, exchange and treaty.
The figures also indicate that perhaps government could be doing more to attract business and retiree immigration applicants. Both these categories have very low application rates and both these visas mean financial investment and new entrepreneurial skills, that often lead to job creation, in South Africa.
According to Stats SA during 2013, visas were issued as follow:
Visitors’ Visa - 33 186
Work Visa (Permit)- 24 027
Relatives Visa - 23 845
Study / Student Visa - 15 378
Business Visa -1 911
Waivered Visas- 1 355
Retiree Visas – 680
Medical Visas – 407
with other types of visas (corporate, exchange and treaty) -121
While knowing who applied for South African Visa’s is one thing, it is quite another to know who has applied for South African Citizenship.
In 2013 the 10 countries listed below were responsible for the vast majority of approved visa applications.
Not surprisingly African countries, specifically members of SADC, filed the most South African citizenship applications with immigrants from these countries totalling 34% of all citizenship applications.
The rest of the international requests at just over 45% , with Asian leading at 27,1% - followed by India (17,0%); China (14,9%); Pakistan (12,5%); Bangladesh (8,8%); UK (8,4%); Germany (5,1%); USA (4,0%), Thailand (2,9%), The Netherlands (2,3%) and France (2,1%).