The PM Immigration Pty Ltd News page is used to circulate newsworthy items for individuals considering immigration to South Africa as well as individuals currently living in South Africa. These posts are aimed at keeping you informed about topics and issues related to immigration, immigration procedures, immigration applications, VISA updates and more as the information becomes available to us.
Children of immigrants born in SA can now get citizenship!
High Court finds Department of Home Affairs refusal of citizenship to six people unconstitutional
The Western Cape High Court found that children of immigrants who turned 18 before 1 January 2013 can apply for citizenship under the Citizenship Amendment Act. Photo: Masixole Feni
On Thursday, the Western Cape High Court created a pathway to citizenship for children born to non-South African citizens.
The South African Citizenship Act, 1995, initially contained two pathways for citizenship by naturalisation but neither applied to children born in South Africa to non-citizen parents.
The Citizenship Amendment Act, 2010 came into force in January 2013 and created a new pathway to citizenship by naturalisation for children born in South Africa to parents who are not South African citizens or permanent residents. Under the amendments, such a child may apply for citizenship when they turn 18 years old if they have lived in South Africa from the time they were born and their birth was registered.
The case was brought by six people – Mariam Ali, Aden Salih, Kanu Nkololo, Farieda Nsoki, Caroline Masuku and Murphy Ngaga. All six were born in South Africa, had their births registered and turned 18 after 1 January 2013. All of them applied for citizenship under the amended South African Citizenship Act, 1995, and their applications were refused by the Department of Home Affairs. The applicants were represented by the Legal Resources Centre.
The Department is of the view that the new pathway doesn’t apply to people born before the amendments came into force on 1 January 2013. The Department argued that people born before this date are not prejudiced because they are still able to apply for refugee status or permanent residence.
Acting Judge Derek Wille disagreed with the latter argument, finding that the issue of prejudice was relevant and that the prejudice involved the practical implications of the Department’s decision as well as fundamental constitutional entitlements. Specifically, the court stated that the Department’s decision was “‘effectively ‘ring-fencing’ the applicants as ‘non-citizens’ in the country that they have lived in since birth and which mostly likely [is] the only that they have ever experienced and known”. Wille found that the Department’s actions infringed on the applicant’s dignity and effectively relegated them to the status of second-class citizens.
The court then had to consider whether the Act applied to individuals born before 1 January 2013. The applicants argued that the new pathway should be available to anyone who qualified for citizenship after it came into operation, in other words people who turned 18 after 1 January 2013.
Ordinarily, legislation does not apply retrospectively i.e. to events that came before the legislation came into force. However, in this case, the court found that the legislation could operate retrospectively because it would not interfere with existing rights and obligations.
Also, the court held that a failure to interpret the law to apply retrospectively would draw an artificial distinction between children born before and after 1 January 2013, and violate a number of constitutional rights including the right to dignity and the right to equal protection and benefit of the law. Such a distinction would mean that children who were born and lived in South Africa until they were 18 would have no right to apply for citizenship. So the court found that any person who met the law’s requirements, irrespective of whether they were born before or after 1 January 2013, would have a pathway to citizenship under the Act.
However, Wille decided not to make an order granting the applicants citizenship because this would be judicial overreach. Instead, the court ordered the Department to accept the applications and decide on each of the applications within ten days of them being filed. The Department was also ordered to create the forms needed to allow applications under the Act to be filed within a year and, in the interim, accept applications by affidavit.
Zimbabwe Exemption Permit will not be for new applicants!
New permit is valid until end of 2021
On Friday, Minister of Home Affairs Hlengiwe Mkhize announced in Pretoria that the new Zimbabwe Exemption Permit (ZEP), which is valid until 31 December 2021, is only open to current Zimbabwe Special Permit (ZSP) holders.
Many undocumented Zimbabweans who are working in South Africa had hoped that the ZSP programme would be extended to new applicants when the Minister announced the conditions for the ZEP.
The initial permit of this kind was approved in April 2009 to document Zimbabwean nationals who were in South Africa illegally. The current ZSP expires on 31 December 2017. On 1 August 2017, Cabinet gave the green light to the Department of Home Affairs to open a reapplication process for current ZSP holders under certain conditions.
Chairman of the Zimbabwe Community in South Africa Ngqabutho Nicholas Mabhena said, “We want to extend our gratitude to the Minister and the South African government for allowing us to remain in South Africa for the next four years. We would have wished that the Minister would have considered the many undocumented Zimbabweans who are working in South Africa. We hope the Minister will at some point attend to this request.”
“We call on all the holders of the Zimbabwe Special Permit to apply in time for the ZEP,” he said.
Implementation of the ZEP
The ZEP application process will begin online on 15 September 2017 through the VFS website. The deadline for application submissions is 30 November 2017. Administrative fees are R1,090 per application. Applicants will be allocated appointments for the required submission of fingerprints and supporting documents to VFS offices from 1 October 2017. Applicants need to submit a valid Zimbabwean passport, evidence of employment in the case of a work permit, evidence of business in the case of an application for a business permit, and evidence of admission letter from a recognised learning institution in the case of a study permit.
In her media statement, Mkhize said that the condition of the ZEP entitles the holder to work, study and or conduct business, but does not entitle the holder to the right to apply for permanent residence irrespective of the period of stay in South Africa. It will not be renewable or extendable and does not allow a holder to change the conditions of his or her permit while in South Africa.
A ZSP applicant will be allowed to travel using the ZEP receipt and the expired ZSP permit until such time as the ZEP permit is issued without being declared undesirable.
The minister also said, “We believe that migrants play an important role in respect of economic development and enriching social and cultural life.”
ZSP holders may apply for the ZEP in various provinces. Below are the places and addresses:
Durban: Musgrave towers, Musgrave Shopping mall, 5th Floor Musgrave.
Cape Town: 2 Long street, 7th Floor.
Port Elizabeth: Office 7C, 1st floor, Corner 17th Avenue and Main Road.
Johannesburg: The link, Old Pretoria Road, Halfway House, Midrand.
Rustenburg: Corner of Boom and Fatima Bayet Street.
Kimberly: Unit 3, Building 2, Agri Office Park, N12.
Polokwane: Thornhill Shopping Centre, Veldspaat and Munnik Avenue, Bendor Park.
Nelspruit: Office 5F, Nedbank Building, 30 Brown Street.
Bloemfontein: Suit 4, The Park, 14 Reid Street, Westdene.
George: Unit 5 Eagle View, Progress Street.
Positive and Negative outcomes with Immigration
There are a number of arguments about the positive and negative impacts of migration. The Impacts on host countries are both positive and negative regarding immigration. On the positive side migration helps withjob vacancies and skills gaps can be filled, economic growth can be sustained, services to an ageing population can be maintained when there are inadequate amounts of young people locally, as well as, the pension gap can be filled by the assistance of new young workers and they also pay taxes, immigrants bring energy and innovation, host countries are enriched by cultural diversity, failing schools and those with falling numbers can be transformed.
Although, there is a negative impact of migration such as, having workers willing to work for relatively low pay may allow employers to ignore productivity, training and innovation, migrants may be exploited, and the increases in population can put pressure on public services, the chance of unemployment may rise if there are unrestricted numbers of incomers, there may be assimilation difficulties and friction with local people, huge movements of people can lead to the requirement of more security monitoring, ease of movement may facilitate organized crime and people trafficking.
Impacts on countries of origin when it comes to migration also have positive and negative factors.
Positive impacts such as, thedeveloping countries benefit from remittances that now often outstrip foreign aid, unemployment is reduced and young migrants enhance their life prospects, returning migrants bring savings, skills and international contacts.
Where there is a positive impact, there is almost always a negative impact such as, economic disadvantage through the loss of young workers, loss of highly trained people, especially health workers, social problems for children left behind or growing up without a wider family circle, this is just a hand full of many more negative impacts regarding migration.
It is clear that immigration can be beneficial for migrants, but only if their rights are protected properly. It can also be economically beneficial for both countries of origin and host countries; however, with present economic and trading structures it is the rich and powerful countries that benefit most. Migration seems to sometimes bring social and cultural pressure that need to be taken into account in planning for future services.
The effects of increased migration locallyfacilitated growth in the economy; brought benefits to the tourism industry through the development of new air routes; had a positive influence on the output and effectiveness of local workers; this also contributed to new ideas and a fresh approach to firms; greater cultural links with developing nations that will prove useful in growing international trade. In addition to these economic benefits, migrants have helped the health and care services to continue functioning; contributed to cultural diversity; and increased the vitality, especially of some rural schools.
Migration also has the potential for bringing people together culturally but friction occurs if efforts are not made to dispel the myths held by local people. It is also important to provide proper information about the local way of life to newcomers and ensure opportunities for people to mix and integrate.
To find a good immigration service in South Africa go to PM Immigration, they can help you with all your immigration needs.
Zim special permit application process to reopen
Cabinet has approved the reopening of the application process for the current Zimbabwean Special Permit holders, under certain conditions.
The initial Special Dispensation for Zimbabweans was approved in April 2009 to document Zimbabwean nationals who were in South Africa illegally.
Their permits expire on 31 December 2017.
The ZSP allows applications from Zimbabweans with a valid Zimbabwean passport, evidence of employment, business or accredited study and a clear criminal record and if successful grants them a permit to stay and work, study or run a business in South Africa.
About 200 000 Zimbabweans in possession of the special permit are currently working or studying in the country.
The cut-of date for receiving ZSP applications was December 2014. The applications were received by VFS Global and adjudicated over by the Department of Home Affairs.
The special permits were introduced to allow Zimbabweans a three-year residency in South Africa.
A similar initiative was granted for the Basotho nationals who were in the country illegally. The LSP allows for Lesotho nationals to live in South Africa legally.
At the time of the introduction of the LSP, the Department of Home Affairs said the special permits were only for those Lesotho citizens registered in the National Population Register of Lesotho.
South Africa granted an amnesty to Basotho in possession of fraudulently acquired documentation, so that they can surrender such documents, without the fear of arrest or deportation. Applicants receive amnesty letters as proof. – SAnews.gov.za
Immigration to South Africa
Immigration to South Africa
First things first, after determining that South Africa is your chosen target, is to confirm whether or not you meet the necessities to apply for a visa or permit for South Africa. Like majority of the other countries globally, the Republic of South Africa is very cautious about whom they allow into the country, for what reason and for how long you will be in the country.
Before you even contemplate long-term immigration, make sure to see whether your nationality needs you to apply for a visa to enter South Africa for leisure or whether you are a citizen of a country that may allow you to be in a country for 90 days without obtaining a visa.
Foreigners that want to enter South Africa must be in ownership of at least a temporary residence visa or you may have a temporary residence permit.
Temporary residence is the approval that a foreign person is provided with, by means of a visa or permit, to authorise that person to stay in South Africa for a set period of time and for a specific reason.
Whilst temporary residence is issued to a person for a set period, certain categories allow the temporary residence to be extended for further terms as long as the requirements related with that category are still met and kept in order.
A few temporary residence categories allow a foreigner to ultimately qualify, by meeting more requirements, to finally apply for permanent residence.
Under majority of the categories of the South African Immigration Act a few requirements can be met to enable a person to apply for permanent residency in The Republic of South Africa.
Once a Foreign national has applied for and received permanent residence this person is given all the rights and privileges of a South African citizen other than those rights reserved solely for citizens such as the privilege to vote and to hold a South African passport.