New immigration regulations 'unconstitutional'

2014-05-27 12:42

Cape Town - The newly gazetted immigration regulations are unconstitutional, Global Migration SA said on Tuesday.

"These new regulations may trigger a raft of litigation with respect to obvious omissions and constitutional issues," Global Migration SA managing director Leon Isaacson said.

The regulations, which came into effect on Monday, introduce a new visa regime for South Africa.

The new regulations draw a clear distinction between short-stay visas and long-stay permanent residence permits.

It also stipulates that visa applications need to be made by applicants in person, and those wanting to change the status of their visa can no longer do so in South Africa but have to do so at missions abroad.

"It will be difficult to submit an application from Monday 26th May as the vast majority of the home affairs offices or missions abroad are not aware of their responsibilities," Isaacson said.

Requirement lists

"Most [missions] do not have complete requirements lists, they do not know what fees to charge, and neither do they have essential information like lists of critical skills, financial requirements and other elements essential for applicants to make a valid application."

Global Migration SA foresaw additional problems with the provision that the feasibility of prospective business ventures and the benefits for the South African economy would be assessed before a business visa was granted.

As part of such an application, the trade and industry department would have to make a recommendation.

"A key factor which impacts on investment inflows and foreign staff working in South Africa revolves around making it easier for them to conduct business in South Africa," Isaacson said.

"The additional administrative burden on applicants together with slow processing of applications, compulsory overseas filings, and a generally unfriendly set of rules will sadly make investors think twice about our country as their first choice in Africa."

The provision forcing foreign spouses to prove they had been in a relationship for two years was also deemed unconstitutional by Isaacson.

"We are of the view that the minister of home affairs in the new administration announced on Sunday 25th May will have a torrid introduction to office, as litigation is expected for various interest groups in the near future," he said.

  • jonas.Bnet - 2014-05-27 12:51

    Would it be cheaper to just build a better fence at our borders

      Nico Van Der Merwe - 2014-05-27 16:29

      Ask America about that one lol

  • Kosmonooit - 2014-05-27 12:53

    Tell me about it! Already waiting 5 months for a visa for my wife and daughter, with no information forthcoming! And el-presidente signed this act into law his good self this last Friday, the consequences were put forward in the brief period give for public comment. 3rd World Abyss here we come.

      SaintBruce Bruce - 2014-05-27 18:04

      Patrick - they don't have it , hence the problem. How's this one for size: India is invited to send 1000 travel agents to SA to promote tourism. They go back and promote SA enthusiastically. Foreign Affairs sets up 1 [one only ] official to process 134 000 visa applications! The Indian tourists never came nor spent their money here [ except the Gupta planeload] ! Get an idea of how badly the ANC Cadres manage important stuff?

  • John Khulubuse Hill - 2014-05-27 12:55

    starting to look more and more like an Apartheid state

  • Sleckza Rams - 2014-05-27 12:59

    Every country have strict rules when it comes to immigration. Why should we be lenient and put foreigners first and not this country, so we don't end up jeopardizing the future of our country.

      Compos Mentis - 2014-05-27 14:28

      yep... of course you are right. We want to get rid of those foreigners with valid documentation, but if you slip across the border between zimbobwe and the independent province of zimpopo without any papers then it is fine...

      Rieks - 2014-05-27 20:40

      I agree Sleckza, but unfortunately these new regulations will not hamper those slipping into the country illegally. Do the government really think they can manage illegal migration into our country - with or without regulations? The ability to enforce regulations is absent.

  • Sean O'Donnell - 2014-05-27 12:59

    ...and there are how many living illegally in South Africa? This move only affects those who are seeking to live in SA legally. Maybe greater emphasis should be put on keeping the illegal rif-raf out.

      Genevieve White - 2014-05-27 13:35

      Agreed Sean.

  • Denis De La Port - 2014-05-27 13:01

    What am i missing, is there an argument of "unconstitutional" within this article. if so please point it out?

  • Andile Zondi - 2014-05-27 13:05

    Many countries expect you to renew your VISA at a foreign mission in your home what is the fuss all about.

  • Thomas Mwatsera Chitaka - 2014-05-27 13:06


  • MM - 2014-05-27 13:07

    sounds like good news... departments working together.. looking at home before granting visas ect sounds good.

      Genevieve White - 2014-05-27 13:36

      MM - you are missing the point. "The additional administrative burden on applicants together with slow processing of applications, compulsory overseas filings, and a generally unfriendly set of rules will sadly make investors think twice about our country as their first choice in Africa.". The focus is all wrong here.

  • Annalisa Naude - 2014-05-27 13:26

    BY time that they tightened the visa regulations

  • Ras Jah Moolka Mokwena - 2014-05-27 13:28

    Buzy telling us bout Visa, what about those people in Hillbrow n Sunnyside, are they having Visas or they came throu back doors via SA officials on boarder gates? SA Gov must sort them 1st before concentrating on Peole from Europe who uses Visa, cause those popeople from Europe, Uk, US, n ada parts of the world come in a right way, throu OR Tambo airport, now what about those who cross from country to country, an ended up entering our country with the holes on de boarder fence?

      Tatenda Mai Makanaka Mlambo-Mahleko - 2014-05-27 15:21

      NIgerians come thru OR Tambo as well

      Andile Zondi - 2014-05-28 09:37

      Even if you marry a US citizen,they will tell you to go home after your visa expires and apply again as a spouse in your home country before you re-enter and that takes a very long can be years before you get residency or a long term visa.just that now people have a problem with ANC decisions.I didn't vote for ANC but atleast they won in a democratic and fair manner,so let's give them a chance to govern.

  • Nwobi I. Smart - 2014-05-27 13:29

    Kindly contact me if intend filling a suite against the department.

  • Sydney Horn - 2014-05-27 13:52

    Always the guy trying to follow the rules that gets screwed in this country ! Dodge the law and you become the ruler !

      John Stoltz - 2014-05-27 16:47

      Yip, in the land of the blind the one eyed is King!! Does that ring a bell ?? (or a shower head)

  • Charles Booyzen - 2014-05-27 14:28

    I understand why Global Migration SA have an issue with this. They wont be able to make any money as they will no longer be able to fill in applications for clients as the client will need to file it in person.hmm unconstitutional? i don't think so.

      Emile Myburgh - 2014-05-27 15:36

      Let's say you're a foreigner transferred from Mercedes Benz to South Africa, married for only a year, and they tell you you cannot bring your wife because you haven't been married for two years. Will you like that?

  • Martin F Mathonse Mathonse - 2014-05-27 15:16

    Amarican they come here n still our million dollar company..then we blame our african people.tht z joke..if we can b educated ,our brother from another country,i can't take our don't blame u guys,i blame level of education tht u have guys...

      Sten Klasson - 2014-05-27 18:18

      Eish go back to school u can't even spell properly, do ur homework and then comment

  • Kenneth Maimane - 2014-05-27 15:24

    That is why we need a 2/3 majority and we will get it in 2019

      Kenneth Maimane - 2014-05-27 20:16

      We need to change a bit of this and that.soon these people will be taking our govt to court citing the constituition.with the help of da of course.

  • Tapiwa Ndudzo - 2014-05-27 15:32


  • gift.sibiya3 - 2014-05-27 15:53

    I hope these tough rules-especialy the part of filling and fixiing everything every thing at home and then comming-will not back fire on us should need to go.

      Sten Klasson - 2014-05-27 18:14

      Huh what r you trying to say?

  • Willem Proost - 2014-05-27 15:58

    Iris easy for illegals to get into S. Africa they take jobs from local people and are major perps with regard to drugs and crime.However it is important for home affairs to keep out legal immigrants That bring in money ,open businesses and above all create JOBS. N

  • Israel - 2014-05-27 16:15

    What about the thousands of illegals staying in SA presently???? - Zumakie and his new administration will f*ck-up as usual - what the the hell is new???

  • Nico Van Der Merwe - 2014-05-27 16:36

    Have you ever tried getting a visa to go work and eventually live in Australia? They don't want us taking their jobs as much as we don't want outside corporate interests taking big money out of this country like they already do... ideally But who are we kidding. Hey at least by containing the corruption locally keeps the money inside our borders even if it is in a minister's upscale Sandton house safe. Honestly though most comments now on anything the ANC does immediately jump the gun towards being offended or wronged in some way. I don't know how I feel about that yet.

  • John Stoltz - 2014-05-27 16:45

    Why bother with the law abiding coming into the country?? It is the 20 million aliens that are in the RSA without papers/permits that is the worry. They cannot legally be employed so they revert to crime!! But it is too much to expect from the ANC to obviate that problem !!

      Sten Klasson - 2014-05-27 18:44

      Do you put mi in that category?

  • Chris Stuart - 2014-05-27 16:46

    And in between the zim people just walk across our borders...

  • Sten Klasson - 2014-05-27 18:02

    I'm married to a South African woman and have been that for seven years. We returned to joburg after seven years overseas where my wife had no problem to get a work permit or a citizenschip without any question asked. We been here since June last year and still my permanent visa is still not in place. I have lived in Europe my entire life and seen how Russia where ruling the eastern block and this is where you South Africacans are aiming.. I'm sorry to say but it's all about skin color in this country, yes you had a past that everyone should forget a strive forward instead of looking in your rear mirror for excuses for hatred and revenge but get gent over it Isn't it all our goal to live happily without worrie about our rights in the society and be able to live with the ones we love? Me as a foreigner can't understand why you are talking about race when you have a far bigger problem on your hands, which is the economy of this country. To the cANCer people, just because I'm white you not allow me to live with my wife. What's next. Let me just remind you where we stood during apartheid. Sweden put embargoes against a apartheid also remember which country Madiba went after his release. Yes right Sweden and this is the way you skelm cANCer are treating us. F....k Off ANC I trained the illitruate but enough is enough.. Bye bye RSA

      Kosmonooit - 2014-05-27 19:55

      That's the problem Sten - they are so off-target with making visa's difficult for bone fide spouses, one can only speculate if its gross incompetence, covert policy about keeping immigrants out, oblique racism, or all of the above. Either way I feel as a South African who has lived here and contributed to society substantially in many ways, my country is failing me with my wife's visa problem. And it's just about to get worse with this legislation: more bureaucracy, more random requirements, more scope for sad individuals to exercise power to make others lives miserable. Hello 3rd world abyss.

  • khumzaz - 2014-05-27 20:48

    South Africans struggle with tight visa regulations all over the world but now we are fussing about the government making regulations stricter for foreigners. Can the government ever do right?

      Kosmonooit - 2014-05-27 21:57

      I've travelled a fair amount, Visas are the bane of any traveller life, but with most countries that require Visas, you submit the required docs and its processed expediently thereafter. Certainly not so with SA Visa services, and that's before this new legislation which makes it all more tricky. Not only for Tourists, but multinationals trying to get key staff in to work here and skilled/professional people in general.

      Andile Zondi - 2014-05-28 09:31

      @pussmonwhatever how do you know that it takes a long time to get an RSA visa since you are South African.have you ever tried to get an American visa and see if they just welcome you with open arms.when I got my visa I had to prove that I have something to come back for in RSA and I had to have an american family to sponsor my visa application and then a letter promising me a temporal job while I'm there.why don't you go to the US embassy in capetown and watch the hundreds of people whose visa application is rejected everyday.

  • Lephutsi Setsompa - 2014-05-27 23:28

    You cant expect foreigners to come in and out of our country as they wish. Stringent border control measures are required as we have too many foreigners in our country hence an increase in organised crime. In countries like UK it is not easy to obtain a visa even if it is for your children or relatives. Immigration it is a big isue in Europe at the moment that it is why the Right wing political parties have done well in the recent European election as they are against Immigration. We need only skilled immigrants and business people in our country and not criminals. All those people who are queuing every day at our home affairs offices every day should be deported back to their own countries as they do not qualify for asylum (Nigerians, Somalians, Romanians, Bulgarians etc etc).

      Souls Alie - 2014-06-03 10:58

      You say crime...As a foreigner here when you refer to crime ..Is it foreigner that rape kids or elderly or beat up their mothers...Have you forgotten SA is the rape capital of the world.. Lagos, new york, Cairo, Dakar have more foreigners that any city in SA but with much reduced crime rate. Why would you want to rub you inadequacies on foreigners.. Students are dropping out of schools, violence, alcohol and drugs, and some many vices are very common here... Even if a child beats up his mother or fails an exam or rape an elderly you blame foreigner..Please tell that to the rivers and look in mirror...Your problems are within and from home..not foreigners.. Talk about sustainable and fair immigration rules and do link foreigner to your home grown problems..pls. Afetrall we are all foreigners on earth. We will die one day and take nothing out of it.

  • Nkosomzi Speelman - 2014-05-28 03:59

    Why UK citizens gets in our country without visa but south african citizens needs a visa in UK even if they will stay for less than 30 Days? This is unfair treatment for south africans

  • Andile Zondi - 2014-05-28 09:21

    We like to complain,my younger brother got a j1 visa to go to the USA back in 2009 and he got a job in a ski-resort in Oregon.his employer was willing to give him a permanent job,but the department of homeland security told him to come back to South Africa and apply for a longer visa.Also,he would be allowed if there were no other americans available for the job.So why can't we also do the same?I think that was fair enough,because if they allowed him,the whole world would be flocking to the USA.Now that would cause a nightmare,from health to education.rather we should also removed all illegals and put our army on the borders and then only allow in tourists and business people who want to invest until we have full-employment for our citizens first.

      Souls Alie - 2014-06-03 11:10

      The great USA has enough skills to solve their problem. If you don't want people to come in don't go around the world begging for skilled individuals..Before you know it they will come running legally or illegally to your country. Why do you people always want to model yourselves after God know what. Its just a case unmitigated inferiority complex. From what I can infer from your statement, I can see you will kill or throw out all foreigners legal or illegal if you have a chance..Pls remember SA is a growing tree it may soon start to shed it leaves and others will use the leaves as manures to grow their farmland and be greater if you continue like this. Remember empires will go and come. No condition is permanent. Before I forget I have very great SA friends who do not share you myopic sentiments.

  • Bobby Singh - 2014-05-28 11:43

    I am leaving this country once my visa and contract finishes, i dont wanna stay with this nonsense.

  • Oscar Mthembu - 2014-05-28 12:10

    So...they want to move in and out of SA (or the underdeveloped Africa) as if we are their "outpost" to exploit and plunder while they have the strictest migration laws! They won't see that!

  • UncleDee - 2014-05-28 19:19

    Xenophobia starts from the government. Why introduce such harsh regulations without going through the normal constitutional process?

  • Mbutu Mbutu - 2014-06-01 21:42

    RSA issued almost more than a million quota permits because they were no skils in SA - FACT. Things are changing and more SA are getting skills and hence time to protect their locals for foreign competition on jobs and especially given employers prefer foreigners who are often more competent and hard working. I am a foreigner on critical skills and would pack my bags to anywhere in the world without a problem and YES do agree with the new regulations except in case of spouses. GOOD LUCK SA

  • Twistar Real - 2014-06-09 21:52

    This is all about 666 how come man treat another man through this way God he did creat the world so that his people gona stay free

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