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Quicker Permits for Foreigners
Source: The Good News
Source Date: Monday, November 22, 2010
Country: South Africa
Created: Nov 23, 2010

Need for scarce skills
These backlogs had a negative impact on the operation of businesses that wanted to import scarce skills from abroad, and created hardships for foreigners who had apply for their permits to be re-issued annually.

As a result, South Africa was losing out on critical skills that could contribute to the growth of the economy and the development of the country. For foreign students, delays in receiving their study permits often meant that they lost their positions at academic institutions.

"This is totally unacceptable and has become unbearable for business, students and foreign workers," said Home Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma.

Dlamini-Zuma said she also wanted permits to be valid for three to five years, doing away with the need for annual re-applications for permits. To achieve this, the department was looking into introducing changes to its current operating procedures.

Zimbabwean nationals excluded

Home Affairs Director-General Mkuseli Alpeni stressed that the centralisation of the process of issuing permits did not apply to Zimbabwean nationals, who were required to regularise their stay in South Africa following a Cabinet decision.

So far, the department had received 73 407 applications from Zimbabweans wanting to regularise their stay in the country, Apleni said, adding that 20 966 of these applications had been approved and 5 486 rejected, with the rest awaiting adjudication.

The deadline to document all illegal Zimbabweans by 31 December 2010 had not changed, he added.

 

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