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.
Ramaphosa: We are prioritising immigration reform to attract skilled foreigners
The government has prioritised immigration reform to attract skilled workers to the country, president Cyril Ramaphosa confirmed in his latest newsletter, released on Monday morning.
This has been an important part of finance minister Tito Mboweni’s growth plan, which proposed friendlier immigration regulations for foreigners with tertiary qualifications from accredited institutions.
In order to attract investment that will boost the SA economy, government is also working on improving business conditions through reforms such as an e-visa process and an electronic deeds registry system, Ramaphosa said in the newsletter.
He stressed the importance of attracting foreign direct investment and he shared government’s plans to improve the ease of doing business in the country. The president is currently in London, where he will be addressing the Financial Times Africa Summit 2019 – a gathering of business people and investors.
Ramaphosa highlighted government’s aim to make SA the “destination of choice” for foreign direct investment.
He explained that growing the economy requires more investment – from both local and international businesses. “We are using every available opportunity to reach out to investors to talk about the great business potential both in South Africa and across the African continent,” he said.
“To attract investment we need to make it easier to do business in South Africa. In a competitive global environment, investors are looking for countries that can provide stable and sustained returns, while minimising risks and cost,” he added.
In November, the second SA investment Conference will be held – as part of the plan to attract R1.2trn over five years. Last year the summit raised R300bn in committed investment. “We know that we need far-reaching reforms to achieve our target,” Ramaphosa commented.
As for the reforms being introduced — they include helping start-ups or entrepreneurs set up their businesses by making it easier to access funding through the use of a common application form across different development funding institutions. “We are working to make business easier for both the person starting out in their garage and for the multinational looking to open a new factory,” Ramaphosa said.
The president also recently signed into law the Electronic Deeds Registration System Act – which will make it easier to register and process deeds.
- READ: From simpler property sales to crackdown on revenge porn: Ramaphosa praised for ‘progressive’ bills
“We are making it easier to start a business, register a property, deal with construction permits, pay taxes and trade across borders.
“To promote greater efficiency, we are reducing the time it takes to grant licences and permits. We are working with business to ensure that the conditions attached to licences are not too onerous or costly,” Ramaphosa said.
Ramaphosa added that he meets with leaders in business, labour and communities monthly to discuss how to make the SA economy more competitive.
“These measures are important not only to business, which is seeking decent returns on investment, but also to unions, who want more jobs and better working conditions, and to communities, who want to see living standards rise,” Ramaphosa said.
As he concluded his newsletter, he gave his assurance that SA is “steadily” becoming a better place to do business. The World Economic Forum recently ranked SA 60th among 141 economies, in terms of global competitiveness. SA has climbed seven places from its previous ranking and even surpassed India’s ranking of 68, Fin24 previously reported. Ramaphosa commented that this is a “noteworthy” achievement within a “relatively short period of time”.
New visa changes coming to South Africa
The Department of Home Affairs is working on a number of changes to South Africa’s visa regime, in an effort to make the country more accessible for visitors, investors and people with skills that are critical to building the economy.
Presenting at the monthly Presidential Working Committee on Monday (7 October), Home Affairs minister Dr Aaron Motsoaledi said that his department has lowered turnaround times for critical work skills visas, which are now issued within four weeks in 88.5% of applications.
By comparison, business and general work visas are issued within eight weeks in 98% of applications.
“In November, the Department of Home Affairs will embark on a pilot scheme for the issuing of e-visas, which applicants will be able to access online, eliminating the need for applicants to visit South African missions abroad.
“The department has also located visa services within the offices of various investment facilitation agencies around the country.
“In addition, visa requirements have been simplified for countries such as China and India, which are key markets for tourism to South Africa,” he said.
New countries can now visit South Africa visa-free
Motsoaleid added that the government also recently waived visas for travellers from Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, New Zealand, Cuba, Ghana and Sao Tome and Principe.
In July, a spokesperson told BusinessTech that the Department of Home Affairs will also enter into talks with their counterparts in a number of countries to allow visa-free access for South African travellers.
While countries such as Qatar and Ghana already have visa-free or visa on arrival agreements with South Africa, it would be considered a serious boon if South Africans could travel visa-free to countries such as the UAE and New Zealand.
Department spokesperson Siya Qoza said that Home Affairs was currently in talks with these countries on two main issues.
“We have entered negotiations with these countries with the first priority being an implementation date for visa-free access to South Africa.
“Once this has been confirmed, our second priority is reciprocity.”
Qoza said that initial conversations held with these countries have been positive, with talks expected to be concluded by September.
He added that Home Affairs may expand these negotiations to other countries.
“We are consistently looking at which countries would be of a trade and tourism benefit to South Africa,” he said.
Choosing the perfect company to assist with your immigration process
Immigrating can be tough, from the amount of paper work to decisions that need to be made. Having a company assist you in your move from start to finish without missing a step will most definitely make the transition an easy one. We take a look at some tips and tricks to assist you.
What to look for in an immigration company?
Deciding on a company to assist in a life changing event like immigrating will require a whole lot of trust. You ultimately will be spending thousands to get all you stuff in order for a smooth transition and dealing with a company you can trust who won’t miss any steps is a necessity. The process can be lengthy and stressful so deal with a company who has a good reputation in customer service, someone who will return your calls and answer any questions you may have.
What are some immigrating tips?
Immigratingcan be a lengthy process so plan for delays, there may be one or two hick ups or extra documents needed so be patient during the entire procedure. Be on time for every appointment, dealing with the embassy can be tricky and arriving late may cause delays. Keep copies of all your applications just in case. Don’t violate any lawns or immigration visa provisions and you should be good to go.
Why are you immigrating?
Always know the clear reason why you are immigrating. Not only will you be asked this question but remember the grass isn’t always greener on the other side. Have a clear vision and open mind or the reason for relocating.
For more info, contact PM Immigrations.
The benefits of studying abroad
Having a qualification from a foreign country ensures you’ll have a step above the rest when companies are going through cvs as many people who apply to jobs in South Africa have studied in South Africa and there’s not much that differentiates them from the res. An international qualification can also help you with international migration in the future.
You are guaranteed to learn a thing or two about new cultures, languages and religions. You will also experience what it’s like being part of a new society because studying or working in a foreign country are completely different experiences therefore you’ll have more to work with if you ever consider immigrating to that country. Along your journey you will meet a diverse group of people who could develop into lifelong friends or turn into business associates through the power of networking.
International Immigration with the intent of studding may seem costly however in some cases you may find it more affordable to study in a foreign country than in South Africa and the quality of education will almost always outrank that of South African tertiary education. This is possible because some foreign universities offer international bursaries to a lucky few.
As Immigration specialists, PM Immigration can help you with the entire process. The Study Visa is a temporary residence visa which can be applied for by any applicant who has been accepted as a full time student at any recognised University, college or school in South Africa.
Contact PM Immigration to make your Immigration process a smooth one.
What is Financial Emigration
You may recently have read our article about a new South African tax law affecting South Africans living abroad. According to it, any South African living and working abroad for an extended amount of time, is liable to pay tax on their foreign income, to SARS. In addition to this, South Africa has a standing double taxation agreement with many other countries, meaning that immigrants in these places will pay a percentage of their income not only to SARS, but also to the country in question.
This, understandably, brings about a number of concerns to South Africans living and working abroad, and if you have found yourself begrudgingly in this bracket of earners, there are a few things you can do. You can either tie your money up in elaborate investment funds that offer tax benefits, or you can file for financial emigration with SARS and the South African Reserve Bank. But what does this mean?
Financial Emigration in a Nutshell
Financial emigration involves informing SARS and the South African Federal Reserve Bank that you no longer pay tax to the South African government. When informing them of it, you should know that there will be some degree of investigation involved in their part, and so it needs to be done thoroughly and properly. Bare in minds, however, that you need to have no financial assets in South Africa, and should have been working and living abroad for a period in excess of 5 years.
The process is as follows:
- Complete an MP336 form
- Obtain an emigration tax clearance certificate from SARS.
- Submit your application to the SARB.
- Once financial emigration is confirmed, you will need to pay a once-off capital gains tax on certain assets, both locally and abroad.
Contact PM Immigration for Assistance
The procedure isn’t always as clear cut as this, and is largely dependent on your unique situation. For assistance with all things related to immigration, be sure to contact a representative from PM Immigrationtoday, or visit our website for details on our services.