Latest Immigration News

Big changes on the cards for South Africans looking to move to the UK

The UK has revealed its new skills-based immigration system for EU and non-EU nationals.

According to Sable International immigration expert, John Dunn, the new immigration system means that entry into the UK with a work visa will be based on skills and qualifications – rather than nationality.

“At present, there is a dual immigration system for EU and non-EU nationals who want to move to the UK to work,” he said

“A citizen from outside the EU must have a job offer for a skilled position from a UK-based company before they can apply to move to the country.

“EU citizens can apply for any job at any skill level and live and work in the UK unrestricted. This will all change once the UK leaves the EU and the new immigration laws are implemented.”

New system

According to Dunn, the new immigration rules will come into force in autumn 2020.

“There will no longer be a separate application system for EU and non-EU nationals,” he said.

“All nationalities will have to apply under the same skilled worker’s route and all applicants will have to have sponsorship from a UK employer before applying.

“Workers will still need to earn a minimum salary of £30,000 per annum to be eligible for this visa.”

According to Dunn, other notable changes to the worker’s route include:

  • The skills threshold has been lowered to intermediate level skills at RQF 3-5 level (A level or equivalent);
  • The Resident Labour Market Test for the Tier 2 (General) visa has been scrapped;
  • The cap on the number of work visas issued annually has been removed.

Short-term scheme coming?

Dunn said that the UK government has also proposed a new visa type that will allow workers of any skill level to work in the UK for a period of 12 months.

The new scheme was proposed specifically for sectors such as construction and social care, as these are most in danger of labour shortages post-Brexit, he said.

“UK Home Secretary Sajid Javid has stressed that this route will only be open to nationals from specific countries.

“These are low-risk countries with which the UK negotiates migration commitments and mobility proposals.

“What’s more, workers on this scheme will not have access to any benefits, will not be allowed to bring family members with them, cannot apply to switch to another visa or settle in the UK permanently.

“Once this visa has expired, workers will be subject to a cooling off period which prohibits them from returning to the UK for 12 months,” he said.

These 13 charts show what the world really thinks about Globalization 4.0

This article is part of the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting. Credit: World Economic Forum

The rise of populism, nationalism and protectionism are all associated with waning support for globalization, but a new poll for the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting 2019 shows high levels of support worldwide for international collaboration, immigration, and the personal benefits from globalization.

The survey, conducted in January by polling firm Qualtrics, was taken by more than 10,000 people in 29 countries who answered questions about globalization 4.0, including the impact of technology, the future of work, education, and social mobility. These are the main findings:


Travel rules relaxed for foreign parents travelling with minor children
September 2018

Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba announced that documentation proving parental consent for a minor to travel is no longer a requirement. However, it is strongly recommended that travellers carry this documentation, he said.

"Our immigration officials will only insist on documentation by exception – in high-risk situations – rather than for all travellers, in line with practice by several other countries," Gigaba said.

He added that instead of being denied entry where documentation is absent, travellers will be given the opportunity to prove parental consent.

Gigaba said these changes would be implemented before the festive season.

South Africans, however, will still be required to prove parental consent and have an unabridged birth certificate if they want to travel abroad with their minor children.

Gigaba also announced a passport for minors that will eventually see the end of unabridged birth certificates as the document will have the contact details of both parents.

Passports and Visas Are Mission Critical
May 2018


Article from Business Traveler Magazine May 2018.

Passports and Visas are oft-overlooked, but mission critical necessities for the business traveler.

With the looming rumors of trade wars, armed conflicts, fears of terrorism and increasingly isolationist stances by major world powers, the international business picture is anything but clear these days. Yet globalization marches on with very little signs of letup; the World Bank forecasts the global economy will grow 3.7 percent year over year in 2018, a rate of increase that's remained pretty consistent in the years since the Great Recession of 2008-09.


10 January 2018
Statement by Home Affairs Director-General Mkuseli Apleni at the media briefing to correct false reports on date of termination of green-barcoded ID books, held in Pretoria, on 10 January 2018
Article credit: RSA Home Affairs

Members of the media, I welcome all of you to our first briefing in the New Year. I trust you had a refreshing rest. We have convened this media briefing because we are deeply concerned about false reports on the lifespan of the green-barcoded ID books.

These reports, which first appeared towards the end of 2017, masquerade as a notice from the Department of Home Affairs (DHA), and claim that 31 March 2018 is the termination date for using the old green-barcoded ID books. This had an effect of driving citizens, in great numbers, to Home Affairs offices to apply for smart ID cards in panic.

At the time, we had responded swiftly to say such reports are false, and do not come from us. We are again confronted with the same incorrect reports, from the beginning of January 2018, circulating largely on social media.

We therefore call upon members of the public to ignore these mischievous messages. Responding with panic affects our systems negatively, thus making it very difficult for us to deliver services as expected, professionally and in the most humane of ways. Among others, our offices in the KwaZulu-Natal Province can barely cope with the numbers. As you will indeed understand, these false messages are putting our offices under extreme pressure, unduly, as people rush there in their numbers to get smart ID cards.

Our offices cannot, and will not turn people away, and therefore they have to battle with long queues, with people standing in the heat, fuming. This is a situation to which we do not want to subject citizens and officials. It is in our interest that citizens should apply for and receive their secured smart ID cards; it is in their interest and in that of the country. But this has to be done systematically.

When we rolled out the smart ID cards, in July 2013, our data showed that 38 million people were in possession of the green-barcoded ID books. As informed by studies we had conducted, we had then set out a strategy for a smooth roll-out.

For instance we knew that one workstation can handle 28 card applications per day. It takes 17 minutes on average to finalise the capturing of an application. On average, an office with 3 computers is expected to take in 84 applications per day. We were therefore able to estimate how many cards we could produce at a given time with the number of automated offices we had, that were equipped with live capture.

As a result, when we started, we had invited first time applicants and senior citizens to be the first to apply for smart ID cards, free of charge. This was based on our capacity at the time. For example, Centurion has only 5 workstations for this task, therefore in line with our norm, it can only produce 140 cards per day. With more offices, with automated systems, and reinforced by 14 bank branches on eHomeAffairs, we proceeded to extend coverage to other sections of the population, which sections, unlike first time applicants, had some form of identification, in the form of the green-barcoded ID books.

Of our 411 offices, 184 are currently with live capture, which can process applications for smart ID cards and passports; 227 offices are still to be modernized. We intend to continue rolling out additional smart ID card offices in order to cover the majority of our population in all provinces.

Discussions with participating banks are continuing to increase capacity, through additional bank branches. Participating banks are Absa, FNB, Nedbank and Standard.

Again we encourage those with access to the internet to apply for their smart ID cards and passports online, using the eHomeAffairs portal, which is accessible on the official Department of Home Affairs website –, however, they can only finalise their applications in 14 banks of which 13 are in Gauteng and only 1 in Cape Town as pilot sites.

With online applications, on eHomeAffairs, you do not have to queue. At DHA offices, we do not use a booking or appointment system, for reasons of access for all people. Our service delivery model is on ‘a first come first served basis’. We rely on historical facts to project the number of people who could potentially visit an office in a given day. Part of the challenge we face is that, at present, we are running two systems, namely:

A manual system – for births, marriages and deaths registrations, and
An automated system – for smart ID cards and passports.

We really cannot afford disruptions arising from false messages on termination dates.

We are working on getting our systems fully automated, and are also developing a mobile solution to support the rollout of smart ID cards. Between 2013 and 2017, we were able to reach the 7 million milestone on smart cards issued. With the 38 million people we had to cover, it should be clear these messages making the rounds, about March 2018, are devoid of truth, and should therefore be ignored.

On a related matter, we have also noticed a spike in the number of incidents wherein people use fake accounts to steal money from others. We urge people to be vigilant; they should not allow themselves to be conned, whether for tenders, IDs or other documents.

The department will continue to communicate its programmes, processes and timelines. In spite of setbacks that may arise from these false reports, we urge our people not to despair. They should continue to apply for their smart ID cards without the fear of the 31st of March, which date does not come from the Department of Home Affairs.

All the best in the New Year!

For media enquiries contact:

Thabo Mokgola

060 962 4982


8 September 2017 - Statement by Minister Mkhize on the closure of the zimbabwean special permit
© Department of Home Affairs
8 September 2017 Ladies and gentlemen, good day, and once more welcome, and thank you for attending. The purpose of the media briefing is to announce the expiry, on 31 December 2017, of the Zimbabwean Special Permit (ZSP) which started in 2014, and was issued for a period of three years. The total number of ZSP permits issued was 197 941. We hereby announce the opening of the new Zimbabwean Exemption Permit (ZEP). Learning from the wisdom of the finest son of the South African revolution, OR Tambo, we do this in the spirit of international solidarity, conscious of the political imperative to build peace and friendship in the continent and in the whole world.
07 September 2017 - Court victory for kids born in SA by foreign parents

Amanda Khoza, News24

Johannesburg - Children born in SA to foreign parents are entitled to apply for citizenship, the Western Cape High Court ruled on Thursday, the Legal Resources Centre said.

"The LRC are pleased with the judgment which affirms the rights of our clients to be treated with dignity and not to be rendered non-citizens through the wrongful interpretation of statutes," said LRC spokesperson Claire Martens in a statement.

Martens said the ruling applied even if the children were born before the 2010 Amendment, which came into effect in 2013.

Re-application for PRP for those who applied prior to 02 June 2014

The Department of Home Affairs received permanent residence applications prior to 02 June 2014 utilising the Track and Trace system. The Department has noted that it does not have 4 616 applications on hand as per Track and Trace system.
In this regard, Mr Mkuseli Apleni, the Director-General of the Department of Home Affairs, under the powers vested in him under Sections 26 and 27 of the Immigration Act, 2002 (Act no. 13 of 2002) as amended, hereby gives notice that persons whose particulars appear in a list published in the National Government Gazette No 40691 on 17 March 2017 ( who applied for permanent residence prior to 02 June 2014, at their earliest convenience and without delay, re-submit their permanent residence applications online through the Department of Home Affairs Contact Centre. The persons whose particulars appear on the published list will be afforded a period starting from 15 May 2017 to 31 July 2017 to re-submit the applications. The Department of Home Affairs will not accept any applications submitted after the stipulated period.
Applications may be re-submitted by e-mail to:
Application forms, general guidelines and requirements for specific categories in terms of Sections 26 and 27 of the Immigration Act may be downloaded from the following website: All applicants who are eighteen (18) years of age and older must also submit a South African Police Clearance Certificate not older than six (6) months or approach the Afiswitch office to submit an application for a South African Police Clearance Certificate. Afiswitch can be contacted on 012 679 2900 or visit for more information.
Those applicants who already received their permanent residence permits and whose names appear on the list are advised to provide a copy of the permanent residence permit to: and applicants need not re-apply.
Failure to re-submit your permanent residence application will render the application closed.
For your ease of reference you may check the progress of your application by calling the department's call centre on 0800601190

The case for immigration - April 2017


Current policy could be improved, but American greatness depends on welcoming foreigners.


Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images

George Washington set in motion a strategy so radical that it made this country the wealthiest and strongest on Earth — it made America great.


He embraced a vision for an open America that could almost be read today as a form of deep idealism or altruism. “America is open to receive not only the opulent and respectable stranger, but the oppressed and persecuted of all nations and religions,” he told newly arrived Irishmen in 1783. He assured them they’d be “welcome to a participation of all our rights and privileges, if by decency and propriety of conduct they appear to merit the enjoyment.”

But Washington’s vision wasn’t primarily about charity or helping others. It was about building the kind of country that he wanted the United States to become. Greatness would require great people. America would need more than it had.

The contemporary debate around immigration is often framed around an axis of selfishness versus generosity, with Donald Trump talking about the need to put “America first” while opponents tell heartbreaking stories of deportations and communities torn apart. A debate about how to enforce the existing law tends to supersede discussion of what the law ought to say.

All of this misses the core point. Immigration to the United States has not, historically, been an act of kindness toward strangers. It’s been a strategy for national growth and national greatness.

Washington and his fellow founders could have established America as a kind of exclusive club. The present-day United States undoubtedly would still be a prosperous and pleasant nation. But our cities would be smaller, our global influence would be reduced, and many fewer of the world’s cutting-edge companies would be based here. We would suffer, as small countries tend to, from our talented and ambitious young people seeking their fortunes in bigger places abroad. With many fewer people, it wouldn’t be the great nation it is today.

While a lot has changed since Washington’s time, two fundamentals have not. The United States is still a country with a mission and a desire for greatness on the world stage. And America’s openness to people who want to move here and make a better life for themselves is fuel for that greatness.

Few of our problems can be solved by curtailing immigration. Many could be solved by welcoming more foreigners to our shores.

Read More:

Closure of ports of entry due to flooding 03 March 2017

Pretoria – The Department of Home Affairs wishes to confirm the closure of three ports of entry in the Limpopo province due to over flooding. These are the Zanzibar, Platjan and the Pontdrift ports of entry.

At Platjan, water has been covering the nearby bridge since 24 February 2017 and travellers are not able to cross the border due to the high levels. At Zanzibar, the river has been flooded since 16 January 2017 and travellers are thus prevented from crossing to reach the port of entry.

Although the water levels at Pontdrift have dropped, travellers are still unable to cross the border. Travellers using these three ports of entry are advised to use the Groblersbridge port of entry.

On the Botswana Border, the Bray port of entry is also affected by the high levels of the river and travellers are advised to use the Makopong Port of Entry.

Which countries have the most immigrants?

One of the biggest mass movements of people in recent history continues to dominate news headlines and political discourse.

The defining images of the refugee crisis have been those showing hundreds of flimsy boats arriving on the beaches of southern Europe. Each one disembarks a human cargo of desperate and frightened people with a turbulent past and an uncertain future.

The political reaction to the crisis has been mixed. Germany, at least initially, warmly welcomed the new arrivals. In Britain, concern over immigration played a major role in the vote to leave the European Union. Anti-immigration sentiment is also expected to play a significant role in upcoming elections in France, Germany and the Netherlands.


Workplace: 60% staff inspections in pipeline – Gigaba

Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba has clarified that all businesses – not just those in the hospitality or construction sectors – were required to have a workforce of at least 60% SA citizens in their employ, says a Cape Argusreport.

Gigaba said his department was preparing for a ‘mass inspection’ of businesses countrywide to ensure they complied. He added: ‘The risk of not employing South Africans is that it endangers the lives of foreigners and the property of companies. If you look at the (xenophobic) violence that erupted in 2015, it started precisely because of a company at Isipingo in Durban that employed non-South Africans, and South Africans attacked the company.’

He said the regulation was not new, but had been tightened to flush out companies that were flouting the law. ‘What happened was that we changed a regulation, which in the past said that only a minimum of five South Africans needed to be employed by a company for it to obtain work visas.’ Gigaba said non-compliant companies would be fined heavily and have their licences reviewed, while managers and owners could be jailed for up to two years if the department decided to take legal action against them.

Full Cape Argus report (subscription needed)

'We are coming for you' - Gigaba to businesses employing illegal immigrants

Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba (Jenni Evans, News24, file)Cape Town - Unethical businesses that employ illegal immigrants are going to be dealt with harshly and managers will be arrested for not adhering to the law, Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba warned on Thursday.

"Companies, businesses: Be warned. We are coming for you. We will charge them, there’s no doubt. The manger will be charged. Often times, we focus on the undocumented employee and not the company," he said.

They would deport the illegal immigrants, he said, but the businesses would not be left unscathed.


It's time to restate the business case for migration

(Copyright World Economic Forum


Last Friday, America's President Trump issued an Executive Order, temporarily banning the entry of Syrian refugees, suspending the entire US refugee admission programme for 120 days, significantly reducing the number of refugees to be resettled in the US this year, and stemming all migration to the US from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen for 90 days.

The Executive Order has been criticized by allies, human rights advocates, and business leaders, most prominently Google CEO Sundar Pichai.


A special exemption to allow graduate international students in critical skills areas to qualify for permanent residence permits upon graduation.

Read more:

Government has announced changes to the controversial visa regulations.

Tourism minister Derek Hanekom made the announcement at a Cabinet press conference earlier today. Hanekom says the concessions will be made to limit the impact the current regulations have had on tourism and economic growth.

Read More:

SA shows it is open for business despite turmoil

Pretoria News, 4 September 2015

Department of Home Affairs - MEDIA STATEMENT: on Angolan Cessation processes

The Department of Home Affairs has noted with concern misleading media reports in relation to the Angolan Cessation process and wishes to correct certain misrepresentations that seek to paint the South African government in a negative light.

Read More:

PRETORIA – A Zimbabwean couple has approached the South African embassy in Harare, seeking a reversal of the one-year travel prohibition imposed on them by Home Affairs officials at the Beitbridge border post.

With new visa regulations being implemented on Monday 1st June 2015, the department of Home Affairs has a backlog of around 4,000 applications for unabridged birth certificates.

From 1 June 2015, children under the age of 18 will be required to have an unabridged birth certificate or equivalent document if they are entering or leaving the country as part of South Africa's new immigration regulations.

Home Affairs Director-General Mkuseli Apleni said applications take six to eight weeks to process.

“The backlog which Home Affairs has is 4,000 as of yesterday.”

However, parents who are planning to travel and who are still waiting for their documents to be issued, will be able to get a letter from the department that will allow their children to travel.

Apleni said several other countries around the world have similar requirements and are not recognising the abridged birth certificate because it does not have details of the parents.

International Medical Aid Accepted for Certain Study Visas

Persons with school going minor children who have medical aid in place for them by an international medical aid provider (e.g. BUPA) no longer need to take up an additional South African medical aid for the children as is required in the law.

SAQA Process More Onerous

The South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA), which is responsible for evaluating foreign academic qualifications, has started including the documents' verification in its process. This means that foreign qualifications are now only being evaluated once the issuing university (or institution) has confirmed in writing that they have in fact issued the certificate and that it is genuine. This process is already being followed for qualifications from the DRC, Ghana, Lesotho, the UK and the USA. Such a verification process takes time and it is costly. The new process will be implemented for all countries from 1 June. Major delays are to be expected.

BRICS Multi-Entry Visa, New Visa Centres Opened in India and China

South Africa is intent on ensuring that its BRICS partners are accommodated under the new visa rules. Home Affairs has created a new 10-year multi-entry visa allowing a stay of 30 days per visit, available to business visitors who are BRICS citizens (Brazil, Russia, India, and China). Seven additional visa centres have been opened in India and 2 in China to ease the burden of traveling long distances to visa centres in order to make visa applications.

Business Permit / Visa Conditions, DTI Monitoring Compliance

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has developed fairly sophisticated procedures to checks on business permit or visa holders for compliance with their visa or permit conditions. Starting with in-depth desktop research to verify location and appearance of business premises, company registration, SARS compliance etc., the DTI establishes whether the business is up and running and, in fact, conducting the type of business described in the investor's business plan. The officials also conduct site visits in order to get an impression of the feasibility and success of the business, the staff complement etc. Investors should not be surprised if they receive a call from the DTI and should accommodate the officials as much as possible. It is important that the DTI gets to see the many legitimate and successful businesses run by non-South Africans as the officials have been quite frustrated at the poor quality of businesses they have been visiting, which can have a negative impact on their recommendation policies and attitude towards investors.

Spousal Permanent Residence Applications Being Investigated - Procedure in Practise

Permanent residence applications which are based on a marriage or spousal relationship to a South African citizen or permanent resident are being investigated to ensure that they are genuine and not based on a marriage or relationship of convenience. Longer than average processing times should be expected.

Registration of Birth Process - Update

From 1 January 2016, the procedure around registering a child's birth more than 30 days after having given birth will become considerably more onerous. Parents who have not yet registered their child's birth with Home Affairs including children of South Africans born outside the country, should do so before the deadline of 31 December 2015.


With effect from the 1st of May 2015 a holder of a valid temporary residence visa issued for the categories mentioned below will be allowed to register and undertake part-time studies with Institutions of Higher Learning as defined by the Immigration Regulations of the Immigration Act, 2002 (Act No. 13 of 2002) during the validity period of their respective visas.

(a) General work visa;
(b) Critical skills work visa;
(c) Intra-company transfer work visa; and
(d) Business visa;

The holders of the above-listed categories of temporary residence visas will no longer be required to submit requests to the Department for “endorsement” of study as a secondary activity. This provision allows for part-time study only. Institutions of Higher Learning registered with the Department of Higher Education are advised not to allow these categories of applicants to study full time on these visas.

The duration of the course qualification must not exceed the period of validity of the primary visa. A register of such learners must be kept by the institution of learning and be made available to the Inspectorate of the Department of Home Affairs for inspection when required.

Old visa and permit outcomes must now be collected at Provincial Offices.

ProvinceAddressProvincial Manager/Telephone
GautengMineralia Building, 3rd floor70 De Korte StreetBraamfonteinMr A Matsaung011-242 9003
Western Cape56 Barrack Street,Faircape Building, 4th floorCape TownMr Y Simons021-4881400/03
Eastern Cape11 Hargreaves Avenue,King William’s TownMs G Mabulu043-642 2178
Free State40 Victoria Road,WillowsBloemfonteinMr B Mayekiso051-430 1130
Northern Cape69 Du Toitspan Road, 2nd floorABSA CBD BuildingKimberleyMr A Mvula053-8076700/01
Kwazulu- Natal181 Church Street, 4th floorUnited BuildingPietermaritzburgMs N Shandu033-8455012
Mpumalanga29 Bester StreetNelspruitMr R Zitha013-753 3100
Limpopo89 Biccard StreetPolokwaneMr F Motsitsi015-287 2800/30
North WestCnr Shippard & Carrington StreetMafikengMs I Mantlhasi018-397 9919

It is requested that clients must only go to the Provincial Office once notified through the SMS system.