Home Affairs told by court to allow back banned immigrants

2014-06-30 13:42

Immigration lawyers are now your best bet. Yesterday, in the High Court in Cape Town, a judgement was passed on one of many cases involving immigrants who correctly applied for visas, yet were banned on exiting South Africa on regular travel. The judgement was seen as a successful outcome for those applicants involved, as heard by the loud sighs of relief in the courtroom.

The result of the judgement is that the applicants are allowed to enter and remain in South Africa subject to terms and conditions. The declaration of undesirability of the applicants has been suspended. In other words, the law has not (yet) changed, but those banned can look forward to taking legal action and being allowed back into South Africa

This case came about due to Directive 9 being implemented and Directive 43 being withdrawn. The latter allowed people to travel on their visa application receipts while waiting for the Department of Home Affairs to process their applications, especially due to the fact that people had to wait many months or even years for visas to be issued. The latter refers to the fact that Directive 43 is now removed and that if one travels out of the Republic of South Africa on an expired (or without a valid) visa. This, even if one is separated from family, jobs, running of companies, studies or anything else. In the court case, the applicants sought relief for this reason.

It is for this reason that many cases are now coming to the fore to allow these banned people back into SA and also receive an outcome to their permits or visas. The fact that these people applied within the correct time limits and that it was Home Affairs that has not processed visas in time, casts a long shadow of doubt on the legality and constitutionality of the banning of these immigrants.

Nevertheless, today's judgement could be the start of many such waivers and exceptions to allow the right people to stay and yet still keep the wrong people out. The time to have an immigration lawyer on your side has come. Home Affairs seems no longer able to successfully manage both the shutting out of undesirable or illegal immigrants, while at the same time keeping those beneficial to our citizens and economy in.

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