Labour, waivers, CCMG, SAQA, visa processing times and long-term multi-entry visa for business people and academics
To start with the bad news, the situation regarding the Department of Labour's (DOL) involvement in visa matters is becoming unbearable. As if the seemingly intentional processing delays, the capricious decisions, the complete lack of transparency or recourse were not enough, DOL now seems to be applying pressure on Home Affairs to restrict the issuing of "waivers" (which allow for applications without the letter from DOL). As a consequence, the general work visa category is currently all but defunct.
Some professional bodies (such as CCMG) are frequently introducing new membership requirements, which are costly to comply with. SAQA applications are less and less predictable in their timing due to issuing institutions not responding to their requests for verification.
On the upside, the local processing times for temporary visas have been consistently short at an average of 3 weeks. Also, the newly-introduced long-term, multiple-entry visa for trusted travelers such as business people or academics may open up an additional avenue for certain individuals.