Presentation on theme: "Presentation to Portfolio Committee on Home Affairs – “Challenges encountered in the issuance of Permits” 10 AUGUST 2010 1."— Presentation transcript:
Presentation to Portfolio Committee on Home Affairs – “Challenges encountered in the issuance of Permits” 10 AUGUST 2010 1
OVERVIEW OF THE PRESENTATION 1. PURPOSE 2. BACKGROUND 3. MANDATE OF PERMITTING 4. LEGISLATIVE FRAMEWORK 5. PERMITTING ENVIRONMENT 6. VISAS AND PERMITTING SERVICES: Visa types Permit types 7. PROCEDURES FOR VISAS 8. PROCEDURES FOR PERMITS: Temporary Permanent 9. PROBLEM STATEMENT 2
OVERVIEW OF THE PRESENTATION CONT. 10. PROPOSALS: Short term Long-term 11. DEPARTMENTAL CHALLENGES 3
4 1. The purpose of the Presentation The purpose of this presentation is to: Brief the Portfolio Committee on the “Challenges Encountered in the issuance of Permits” by outlining the permitting products, challenges encountered in the processing of permits Provide proposals to address challenges in the permitting regime through amendments to the Immigration Act.
2. BACKGROUND South Africa is part of a global village and manages movement of people who travel for purposes of: Investing their financial resources in the economy; Contributing to social and cultural development; Investing their skills and experience in order to promote economic growth; Promoting tourism; and Facilitating academic exchanges within SADC. South Africa is also a member of the UN and a signatory to the UN Conventions and Protocols relating to Refugees. 5
6 3. MANDATE OF PERMITTING To issue Visas, Temporary and Permanent residence permits as expeditiously as possible, on the basis of simplified procedures and objectives, predictable and reasonable requirements and criteria, and without consuming excessive administrative capacity
8 5. Permitting Environment National Outcome: A safe, secure South Africa where all of its people are proud of, and value their identity and citizenship A skilled and capable workforce to support an inclusive growth plan Immigration Outcome: Immigration managed effectively and securely in the national interest including economic, social and cultural development. Strategic Objective: To manage migration effectively by enabling the movement of skilled workers into the country and effectively and securely facilitate the entry, stay and exit of visitors.
6. Visas and Permitting Services VISA TYPES 1.Visitor’s Visa: Is issued to a person who intends to visit the RSA for the following reasons: Holiday visits; Business visits; Attending Conferences; Entertainers; Study purposes not exceeding three months; Medical treatment not exceeding three months; Academic sabbaticals; Voluntary or charitable activities; and Research.
10 6. Visas and Permitting Services (Cont…) 2.Transit Visa: A transit visas is issued to a foreigner who is proceeding from a destination outside the RSA, through the RSA, to a destination outside the RSA, including making use of the transit areas of South African Ports of Entry (only to countries which are not Visa exempt). 3. Official Visa: An official visa is issued to a person who is the holder of an official passport and who is visiting the RSA for official purposes.
11 6. Visas and Permitting Services (Cont…) 4. Diplomatic Visa: A diplomatic visa is issued to a foreigner who is the holder of a diplomatic passport and who enjoys immunities and privileges in terms of the Diplomatic Immunities and Privileges Act. 5. Courtesy Visa: A courtesy visa is issued to a person who is deemed by the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation to be a distinguished visitor to the RSA. Visa Waiver Agreement The government enters into visa waiver agreements for diplomatic and or official passport holders on a reciprocal basis.
6. VISAS AND PERMITTING SERVICES PERMIT TYPES: 1. TEMPORARY RESIDENCE PERMITS: Visitors permit Study permit Treaty permit Business permit Crew permit Medical Treatment permit Relative’s permit Quota work permits General work permit Exceptional Skills work permit Intra-company transfer work permit Retired persons permit Corporate permit Exchange permit Asylum transit permit Cross- border and Transit permit 12
13 6. Visas & Permitting Services (Cont…) 2. PERMANENT RESIDENCE PERMITS 2.1 On Ground of Direct Residence A foreigner who has been resident in the RSA on a work permit for a continuous period of five years and who has received a permanent offer of employment. A foreigner who is the spouse of a South African citizen or permanent resident for a continuous period of five years. A child of a South African citizen or a permanent resident under the age of 21 years. A Parent or a permanent resident whose child is a South African citizen
14 6. Visas & Permitting Services (Cont…) 2.2 Residence on other grounds A foreigner who has been offered permanent employment, provided that satisfactory proof be submitted that no suitably qualified South African citizen was available to fill the position. A foreigner who has exceptional skills or qualifications, subject to the same criteria applicable to the exceptional skills work permit category. A foreigner who wishes to establish a business or invest in an existing business in the RSA, subject to the same criteria applicable to a business permit under temporary residence.
15 6. Visas & Permitting Services (Cont…) A foreigner who has been a recognised refugee in South Africa for a continuous period of five years. A foreigner who intends to retire in the RSA, subject to the same criteria applicable to the retired category under temporary residence. A foreigner who is considered to be financially independent and produces proof of a minimum net worth of R7.5 million. A foreigner who falls within the first step of kinship of a South African citizen or permanent resident, i.e. parents and children.
16 6. Procedures for Visas An application for a visa must be made prior to departure to the Republic at a South African Mission in the applicant’s country of origin or of normal residence. In terms of the Department’s Service Delivery Standards, a visa application is processed within a period of 5 days. In order to qualify for a visa the applicant’s passport must be valid for at least 30 days after the expiry of the intended visit to South Africa.
17 7. Procedures for Permits - Temporary In respect of temporary sojourn in the RSA, other than those for which a visa may be issued, an application for a temporary residence permit must be lodged at a South African Mission in the applicant’s country of origin or of normal residence. It is a prescribed requirement that the temporary residence permit must commensurate with the activities to be undertaken whilst sojourning in the RSA.
18 7. Procedures for Permits - Permanent The Immigration Act makes provision for a foreigner to apply for permanent residence status in various categories. All applications are subject to payment of an administrative processing fee of R1520.00, except in respect of spouses and dependent children of South African citizens and permanent residents. Once permanent residence status has been granted to a foreigner, such foreigner has the same rights, privileges and obligations of a South African citizen, except those rights, privileges and obligations which the South African Constitution or any other law explicitly ascribe to South African citizen. The exclusion of rights to permanent residents are, for example, the right to hold a South African passport and the right to automatically vote in elections.
19 8. PROBLEM STATEMENT Lack of policy and legislative framework to differentiate the management of economic migrants and asylum seekers. (Absence of a permit to facilitate the movement of economic migrants). Perception created on the recipient of the status of a permit vis-à- vis a visa. Permits are generally, in other countries, for longer stays and visas for shorter stay. Poor management of risks associated with the adequate screening foreign nationals who seek to enter South Africa. Securing our borders and ports of entry against major risks and threats while facilitating the flow of persons and trade. The Act legislate for the existence of immigration practitioners, which poses a risk to the Department.
8. PROBLEM STATEMENT (Cont…) The legislation and system allow foreign nationals to change their status within the country and this leads to them entering the country under false pretence, for example as tourists instead of their true intentions. The Relative’s Permit and Permanent Residence Permit spousal category is abused, in particular by foreigners entering into marriages of convenience / bogus life partnership agreements with South African citizens and permanent residents. Requirement to process residence permit on ground of direct residence: A child of South African citizen and a parent whose child is a South African citizen without paternity or DNA test. 20
9. PROPOSALS – SHORT/LONG-TERM SHORT-TERM Amendments to the Immigration Act, with specific focus on the following: Definitions and terminology. Revise provisions relating to the Immigration Advisory Board. Provide for the designation of the ports of entry. Revise provisions relating to visas for temporary sojourn in the Republic and for the procedures with regard thereto. Revise provisions relating to Permanent Residence. 21
9. PROPOSALS – SHORT/LONG-TERM Cont. Immigration Practitioners to be removed from the Act. Immigration Act to have offences against citizens or residences knowingly entering into marriages of convenience / bogus life partnership agreements with foreign nationals. Act to provide for paternity or DNA test to check the relationship of a child and a Parent. Rationalising the permitting regime by grouping the types of permits into three categories i.e. economic, social and cultural development to achieve simplification of application procedures. 22
9. PROPOSALS – SHORT/LONG-TERM Cont. LONG-TERM To conduct a policy and legislative review to address all issues around immigration, amongst others: -Differentiation of Economic Migrants from Asylum seekers -Harnessing Immigration proactively in support of National Development -Establishing a risk based approach to Immigration that will enhance National security -Management of Asylum seekers and Refugees ( Stakeholders engagement, in this regard have already commenced) 23
10. DEPARTMENTAL CHALLENGES Huge backlog on permit adjudication. Curb corruption and inconsistent decision making. (Adjudication has been Centralization to Head Office and capacity is being improved ) 24