Dear IMCOSA clients, partners and friends,
A turbulent year is ending on a slightly conciliatory note. Thank you to those of you who have written to the Minister or taken other action in protest of the more nonsensical changes to the immigration laws and policies. Influenced by this type of action or not, a number of directives have been issued by the Department, which resolve or at least ameliorate certain grave issues (see below for details), and as late as this has happened, it is an enormously important signal.
1. Intra-Company Transfer Visas
According to the Department's latest directive, holders of Intra-Company Transfer permits or visas can apply for a fresh Intra-Company Transfer Visa, but the application has to be made in the permit holder's home country. Although this outcome is not ideal in that it does not allow permit holders to remain in the country to apply for an extension, it brings clarity and relief to many.
2. Critical Skills Visas
Another fairly recent directive addresses the problem of many professional bodies not being authorized, equipped or willing to issue confirmation letters. These are now no longer required, which brings relief, but also opens the doors to abuse. It may be for this reason that more and more critical skills visas are being issued for 12 months only, with the condition that they are renewable against proof of registration with the relevant professional body. Whether such extension will be simple or, as the case in similar scenarios, require a full new application, remains to be seen.
3. Spousal Permanent Residence Applications Being Investigated
It has been confirmed that, as a matter of course, all permanent residence applications which are based on a marriage or spousal relationship to a South African citizen or permanent resident are being investigated to ensure that they are not based on a marriage or relationship of convenience, but are genuine. This procedure has led to a backlog of thousands of cases, but a system has been put in place to reduce the backlog.
4. Challenges for Persons Applying as Parents of South African Children
5. Extension of Special Permits for Zimbabweans
Applications for the so-called "Zimbabwean Special Permit" or "ZSP" are being accepted by Home Affairs up until 31 December 2014. Persons with DZP permits will be allowed to leave the country and return even after their DZP permits have expired. On their return, they will be issued with visitor's visas for 90 days, which will allow them to collect the outcome of their application.
We would like to wish all our clients, partners, suppliers, friends and the IMCOSA team a blast of a festive season, quality time with family and friends, a good degree of rest and a cracker of a start to 2015 - be safe, be happy and see you on the other side.
Julia Willand and the IMCOSA Teams
IMCOSA - Immigration Consultants South Africa - Visa Services, Immigration Agents