Repatriation deposits 35 days to zero hour

Repatriation deposit refund deadline 28 February 2015
Repatriation deposit refund deadline 28 February 2015

You have 35 business days before you forfeit your repatriation deposit!

There 50 days in total of which 35 are working days before February 28th 2015 – the cut off date to claim back your South African repatriation deposit.

Those who have paid repatriation deposits and qualify to reclaim it, need to act immediately to ensure those funds are not forfeited.

The South African Home Affairs Director-General encourages any immigrant/foreigner who, prior to the implementation of the Immigration Amendment Act, 2011 on 26 May 2014, to submit a claim to recover these funds before the cut off day 28 Feb 2015

Read more Repatriation deposits 35 days to zero hour

VFS role in Immigration to South Africa

VFS role in immigration SA
VFS role in immigration South Africa

Many people have started to question the role of the VFS in immigration to South Africa. As background, the Department of Home Affairs made the decision to outsource certain parts of the application process for obtaining a visa or permit for South African immigration.

The decision to outsource, was in line with that of governments all over the world, but with one big difference – whereas the international trend was to seek a third party provider only for applications made OUTSIDE of their borders, the South African DHA made the decision to outsource these functions INSIDE their borders. Read more VFS role in Immigration to South Africa

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Intergate attends public hearings

Intergate attends public hearingsLast week the Western Cape Provincial Parliament’s standing committee on agriculture and economic development held public hearings on the regulations in the schedule to the immigration act.

Intergate Immigration Director, Monya Flier, addressed the committee and stakeholders on behalf of Intergate Immigration.

Key speakers included Minister of Economic Opportunities Mr Alan Winde, Cape Town Tourism CEO Mr E Duminy, and International School of Cape Town’s Principal Mr Hunter among others.

The public hearings were held over Thursday and Friday with many disapproving the new visa regulations as it would affect their various industries negatively resulting in job losses.

Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba, failed to arrive for the final round of public hearings on Friday, nevertheless the examining of the impact of the new immigration regulations continued.  Read more Intergate attends public hearings

Zimbabweans in SA can renew permits this week

ZSP PermitsThe Department of Home Affairs has issued a deportation warning just days before the Zimbabwe Special Permits programme is set to launch.

The Zimbabwe Special Permits programme has been implemented for Zimbabweans who obtained permits under the Dispensation for Zimbabwe Project (DZP) in 2010.

Approximately 245 000 Zimbabweans who benefited in 2010 under the dispensation project will be eligible to apply for work and study permits under the new Zimbabwe Special Permits (ZSP) programme.

Undocumented foreigners without proper travel documents or permits will be deported in line with the new immigration laws the Department of Home Affairs implemented earlier this year.

The Dispensation of Zimbabweans Project will expire on the 31st of December 2014. Read more Zimbabweans in SA can renew permits this week

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Travelling with children South Africa: New rules challenged

The new travel regulations profoundly affect the travelling of parents with children.
The new travel regulations profoundly affect the travelling of parents with children.

We have written much in the last few weeks regarding the controversial new regulations concerning the new requirements for minor children (classified as under 18’s) travelling both in and out of South Africa.

There has been a number of challenges to the Department of Home Affairs that has included representation from airlines, the Department of Tourism and other stakeholders in the tourism industry. Some claim the new rules could cost the economy up to 10 billion rand per annum and others that the Department of Home Affairs is simply not yet ready to cope with the new practises Read more Travelling with children South Africa: New rules challenged

Lawsuit against Department of Home Affairs

Intergate has filed lawsuit against DHA
Intergate has filed lawsuit against DHA

Intergate Immigration has filed another lawsuit against the South African Department of Home Affairs.

More than 900 immigrants have filed an urgent application to force the Department of Home Affairs to do its job. They claim, in a 48-page document, that the department has failed to process and determine various applications for permits within a “reasonable or lawful” time period.

Stuart James, Director at Intergate Immigration Service, the organisation behind the court case, said it was receiving “literally thousands of calls and e-mails” each week from confused immigrants or prospective immigrants. Read more Lawsuit against Department of Home Affairs

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New Deadline – New South African regulations for traveling with children

South African Department of Home Affairs
South African Department of Home Affairs

The Department of Home Affairs has provided a grace period to allow children to travel with parents or guardians without an unabridged birth certificate until end of September 2014.

This means that families will be able to travel with children even for the coming school holidays as some would have made the necessary arrangements ahead of the commencement of the Immigration Amendment Acts of 2007 and 2011 and the new Immigration Regulations. The Amendment Acts and the new Regulations came into effect on 26 May 2014.

From 01 October 2014, the requirement for an unabridged birth certificate for children travelling with parents will come into effect for the safety of children, including their protection from child trafficking, abduction and kidnapping.

The Department urges citizens and foreign nationals to heed the call to apply for unabridged birth certificates for children. An unabridged birth certificate of the child reflecting the particulars of the parents is required in terms of the Immigration Regulation 6 (12)(a) for children travelling with parents.

Enquiries: David Hlabane, 071 527 9463 and Thabo Mokgola, 071 712 9710.

See also http://www.dha.gov.za/index.php/statements-speeches/471-home-affairs-extends-date-for-requirement-of-an-unabridged-birth-certificate-for-children-traveling-with-parents

Department of Home Affairs no longer taking applications

Department of Home Affairs no longer taking applications
Department of Home Affairs no longer taking applications

Yes, you read the headline correct, the Department of Home Affairs are no longer taking applications for temporary and permanent residency.

We have been aware of the planned outsourcing of the permit and visa submission process for some time and indeed have been vocal in welcoming them.

It is still our belief that the Visa Application Centres (VAC’s) ultimately bring with them a host of benefits but the implementation of these VAC’s is not being carried out in a very efficient manner.

Lets start at the beginning

In March of this year Immigration Practitioners were invited to attend roadshows held by VFS (the chosen outsourcer to run the VAC’s), and the DHA. Read more Department of Home Affairs no longer taking applications

Department of Home Affairs outsourcing to VFS for immigration to South Africa

Visa South Africa 2014
Visa South Africa 2014

In Pretoria today a meeting was called by VFS and the Department of Home Affairs for all immigration consultants to learn more about the outsourcing function for certain immigration processes.

Below we report on the highlights of the meeting but we also stress that as yet this has not been gazetted so some information may well be altered or clarified:

The role of VFS

Seeking greater efficiency for the processing of visa applications, the Department of Home Affairs has appointed as their outsourcing partner a company called VFS.

VFS will be opening (reports suggest maybe in June) 11 offices around South Africa, these offices are commonly known as VAC’s – Visa Application Centres.

At these VAC’s applicants will be welcomed to submit their applications as well as their biometric data.

Once the application has been checked for completeness and the biometric data captured, VFS will then scan the application and forward the same to the Head Office of Home Affairs in Pretoria. Read more Department of Home Affairs outsourcing to VFS for immigration to South Africa

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Interview with Minister of Home Affairs Naledi Pandor

On March 04. you could listen on SAFM.co.za to an interview with Minister of Home Affairs Naledi Pandor and our Intergate group chairman Nico Le Roux.

The topic was “Are we closing the stable door on immigration, after the horse has already bolted?”.

In the interview the upcoming changes in South African Immigration law are discussed. If you missed it you will be able to listen to it here. Read more Interview with Minister of Home Affairs Naledi Pandor