Business & Economy

Tuesday, 25 September 2018 18:50

Visa reforms announced on 25 Sept 2018 do not go far enough in promoting economic growth


Visa reforms announced on 25 Sept 2018 do not go far enough

The visa reforms announced today by Minister Gigaba with respect to Tourist visas, Business visas and Critical Skills visas, do not go far enough, according to Leon Isaacson, MD of Global Migration Group, a Visa and Investment Promotion company based in Cape Town and Johannesburg.

Minor children and travel documents
According to Isaacson, while the changes may have been necessary to protect children entering and leaving the country, the implementation has been a consistent problem.” The changes have historically been made with little or no consultation, no upgrade to implementation capacity and at short notice. Upgrades to capacity may have been delayed due to budget constraints, as these new systems and equipment, together with required training, would have significant costs attached, said Isaacson. South African parents will still have to carry an unabridged birth certificate and possibly a letter of consent, and foreign parents will still have to carry some documentation which links them to the child.

Critical Skills List
The current list is incomplete and registration with professional bodies remains a problem as many of the skills do not have professional bodies yet. The country has lost many skilled people due to the obstacles involved in some processes. Applicants are currently subjected to arbitrary decisions with respect to requirements and processes for these visas such as in cases where people apply as Corporate General Managers. The new list should be thoroughly researched and tested for implementability and include Maths and Science teachers as well as skills required to assist South Africa to meet the challenges of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

Decision making, Appeals and Reviews, Litigation
The DHA is currently overwhelmed with appeals due to poor decision-making , many of which lead to litigation and unnecessary delays and expense for all involved. Many of these cases are clear violations of the Constitution and family rights are not being protected and economic and other rights are being violated. There are inordinate delays of up to three years, in the finalisation of appeals and Permanent Residence applications, which deters investors. Much of the frustration is due to non-transparent policy, as well as obstructive practices by the department towards legal representatives of applicants. This is true of both foreign missions and offices in South Africa. This causes delays and deters investment.

Border Management Agency The BMA is essential to proper management, but this legislation will run into Constitutional problems as the functions specified are already within the mandate of other departments like the Defence Force, Police Force, Customs and Home Affairs. The Constitution will have to be amended to accommodate this legislation.


Isaacson says that he is of the view that Home Affairs requires a separate and independent Ombudsman to deal with many of these issues as the existing channels of recourse do not offer a timely solution.

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For any enquiries please contact Leon Isaacson on 082 499 4535
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Global Migration SA

Our Company provides advisory services for companies and individuals wanting to obtain work, investment, study visa for South Africa and African countries, the UK, US and Australia. We have offices in Cape Town, Johannesburg and Cairo, Egypt

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