The current delays in the renewal of visas can be attributed to a need for thorough investigation into applicants, according to Department of Home Affairs (DHA) official, Ronney Harhule. Since the introduction of new visa regulations at the start of this month, complaints have flooded in over the slow nature of the process. This has been couple with new requirements stipulating that children under 18 have to be in possession of an unabridged birth certificate when submitting visa applications.
VOC has also received several complaints on the matter, with listeners revealing that they have yet to receive feedback from the department since applying for renewal. But Marhule stressed that any delays would not be long term, with the department taking the extra time to ensure proper screening of individuals. This is particularly in the case of spousal related applications.
“What we have found is that people will apply for these visas on the basis that they are married to somebody. When we investigated, it was found that a number of applicants were actually not married, or they were married but were not residing together. In that regard we will take time to finalise applications because we have to confirm whether there is a good faith spousal relationship,” he said.
Despite the claims, he said the delays were not nearly as lengthy as had been the case in prior years, largely due the departments systems now being automated. In the case of those who still experience issues, due assistance would be given.
In relation to work related applications, visas are applied at the South African embassy in the individual’s country of origin. These come in the form of a general work visa, an interim company work visa, and a critical skills work visa. In such cases, applications will need to provide some proof or confirmation from the company of employment. Those who do are issued with a visa for the duration of their contract, and those unable to will be given a temporary 12 month visa.
In addition, all application will need to be registered with the South African regulatory body in their specific field of expertise.
“If you want to apply for a general work visa your company must apply at the department of labour and show proof that they have tried to solicit the services of a South African, and they couldn’t find a qualified person (local),” added Marhule.
For more information on regulations visit the http://www.home-affairs.gov.za/index.php/applying-for-sa-visa. VOC (Mubeen Banderker)