Home Affairs reaches new level of irony with Immigration practitioners

South African immigration practitioners
South African immigration practitioners

No one sensible can dispute that some of the decisions that the Department of Home Affairs sometimes makes are occasionally hard to fathom.

The latest little gem surrounds the proposed repealing of section 46 – which covered whom could represent a client and the regulatory control that the Department had over such a representative.

The new regulations have seen this clause deleted in effect meaning no regulations over immigration practitioners. This I suppose was obvious as far back as 2010 when the DHA stopped offering immigration exams for budding immigration practitioners.

We have of course made our feelings known that the way forward is for the industry to be more regulated not less, but these points are for an other article.

Today we received an invitation from the DHA, to meet with VFS, the governments appointed outsourcing partner.

This appointment, is ironic in itself, as they have selected a non South African company as their partner. This whilst proclaiming the need to protect South African jobs and businesses. Apparently no South African company was up to the job.

The ultimate irony however was contained in the invite and we quote:

“Immigration Practitioners must bring their registration certificate and South African Identity Documents for registration and identification.” for the purposes of a compulsory registration.

Recap:

The DHA has not allowed exams for the qualification of Immigration practitioners since 2010
It is now proposing to deregulate them – in effect meaning there will be no immigration practitioners

BUT

the invitation is for and we quote:

“The Chief Directorate: Permitting is meeting all registered Immigration Practitioners to share with them the management of application processes within the context of the appointment of VFS by the Department.”

So please DHA what is going on?

You only invite immigration practitioners for the introduction to the new process, but after the new regulations we don’t exist?

There may also be a few immigration attorneys who feel a little left out?

The truth is that the Department and more importantly the public need a healthy regulated immigration industry to represents their interests and give them advice. A point that the Department, albeit in this indirect method, seem to admit.