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This month we interview our client manager Mark Wilkes on the topic of “Homecoming Revolution 2014”.
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You can read the transcript of our interview with Mark below.
Intergate Immigration Service – Podcast December 2013 Edition
Hi I am Claus Lauter from Intergate Immigration, and as always thanks for joining me on our monthly podcast.
Once again we have the pleasure of welcoming Mark Wilkes one of Intergate’s Client Managers to our studio. Welcome Mark and how was your UK trip?
Hello Claus its good to be back and the trip was very good thanks but its always nice to come home.
So Mark today we are looking at homecomers and some of the challenges they face.
Yes that’s right Claus, its a subject we are very passionate about and I also want to share some information on the up coming Home Coming Revolution exhibition that we will be attending.
Lets start there Mark – what is the Home Coming Revolution and how does that fit in with Intergate?
Well we have been involved with Home Coming for a number of years and its basic ideal is that Africa deserves her skills back.
On a freezing cold morning in 1999, Madiba stood on the steps of the SA embassy in London’s Trafalgar Square and looked over a sea of South African faces. “I love you all so much”, he said, “I want to put you in my pocket and take you home.” And so the idea for Homecoming Revolution was born.
Now in its 10th year, Homecoming Revolution is expanding its one-stop offering to attract not only South Africans back home, but East and West Africans back to their respective homelands too.
We are the appointed partner to Home Coming Revolution and handle all the enquiries that come in their website for both South Africa and other various African countries.
And the exhibition Mark?
Next years exhibition is in London and runs over the weekend the 15/16 March 2014. As the immigration partner we are delighted to be taking part and encourage all South Africans and Africans to come along.
What can they expect if they attend Mark/
Many companies exhibiting jobs, schools, property, products, services, investments and entrepreneurial opportunities in Sub-Saharan Africa
1. Inspirational video content and story-telling of returnee case studies
2. High-profile guest speakers who will update, inform, educate and inspire the diaspora on various issues relating to African business, economics, politics, and future scenarios in South Africa, Nigeria, Ghana, Uganda and Kenya
3. Practical relocation, career and entrepreneur workshops
4. An overall fun cultural experience with music and food
And what do the exhibitors gain from it?
Businesses operating in Africa that need talent and customers will find some great exposure and also some superb candidates for vacancies they may have and of course networking opportunities. The public sector organisations that attend also benefit from a great chance to connect with the diaspora.
And will you be in there in person Mark?
Absolutely its one of my favourite events and it also gives me the chance to meet lots of people who are thinking of returning home, help them with concerns or queries and of course give them a lot of information.
I will also be offering them the chance to meet with me one on one so we can chat through their own individual circumstances.
Mark it sounds a great initiative – where can companies and attendees find out more?
They can of course contact me directly on mark at intergate hyphen immigration .com or visit the Home Coming website on www.homecomingrevolution.com
So Mark people always discuss the brain drain but are we seeing any signs of a reversal of this?
Claus the landscape has definitely changed over the years and we year on year see an increase in the amount of returnees. There has been a combination of push and pull factors that have contributed to that but you say that there is a huge amount of South Africans that want to come home.
What are those pull factors Mark?
Topping the list is normally children and lifestyle. We are very lucky with the lifestyle we enjoy here in Africa and sometimes it is only when we are not in the country we really appreciate it. With regards to children many parents want their children to grow up in their home country and enjoy the benefits of the culture, education, lifestyle and family around them.
And what’s some of the issues they face?
We mainly get involved where there is a foreign partner accompanying them back home and with individuals unsure of their residency status. Of course for these people its about how they get their families, and loved ones the appropriate permits and resolving citizenship issues.
And Mark can partners and children return with them?
Yes they can although it does differ from African country to African country in terms of the methodology, some are easier than overs.
What about South Africa as an example Mark?
There’s no doubt South Africa is one of the more transparent processes for Homecomers. Our immigration rules account for spouses, life partners (those unmarried) and also same sex couples.
And is the process fairly easy?
Well that’s where we come in Claus. Those with the time and knowledge can of course make all the applications themselves but many prefer to use the services of Intergate. We guide them through all the processes and also a number of issues relating to their return.
The process can be quite daunting especially for those with foreign partners who intend to work, set up business or study.
Whys that Mark?
The spousal or life partner permit in itself does not allow the foreign partner to undertake any of these activities – a further endorsement is required. So it can be a two stop process and differing missions often treat such applications in different ways. This can be frustrating and quite time consuming.
So does the foreign partner need a work permit or similar?
No Claus they don’t – its an endorsement which is great news for the foreign partner as this means they bypass all the normal rules and regulations associated with these permit applications.
Is this a busy time of year for you with homecomers?
Oh yes, the festive season sees many people returning back home and many take that chance to explore their options and cement their plans.
And will Intergate be open all over the holiday period for those interested in finding out more?
Yes we will Claus and not only that but every Tuesday we will be holding a free work shop from 5pm on our offices in 199 Loop Street, Cape Town.
Do people need to book for that?
Yes they do, we purposefully keep it to small groups of 10 – 12 so we can ensure we have enough time to cover everything people want us to.
And how can they book.
Simply call us on 021 4242460 and reserve a spot – we look forward to welcoming them.
Mark once again thanks for your time can you just remind us of your details once again please
Sure Claus its mark at intergate hyphen immigration .com or just google intergate immigration to find us.
I would just like to say a big thank you to all our clients this year for their support and wish all the listeners a fantastic festive season and a successful 2014.
Thanks Mark and I hope you will visit us again next year and share some more of your insights.
It would be a pleasure.
Well that’s all from me for not just the month but the year. So let me please add my own best wishes to those of Mark and wish you an enjoyable festive season as well.
As always thank you for tuning in and you can find to more but simply typing intergate immigration into google to find us.
Next year we start off with a look at the other countries Intergate provide immigration services to and we will welcome Tammy Price our Africa Operations Manager into the studio to pass on some her knowledge.
Until then this is good bye from Claus.