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JLIA Blog

Latest updates and interesting news from us

Navigating an Application for a Critical Skills Visa

A critical skills visa is ideal for an individual who has both academic and work experience which fall under a set list of critical skills issued by the Department of Home Affairs. If you are a first time applicant and currently do not hold a long term visa for South Africa, you must make your critical skills application abroad in your country or citizenship and/or residency. From start to finish an application for critical skills can be as short as three months and take up to six months to finalize. This is an important timeline to keep in mind, especially if you have a job waiting for you in South Africa. 

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Some Kenyan passports to be rendered invalid from 31 August 2019

For Kenyan citizens living in South Africa who have not yet updated their passports to an 'E-Passport' must make arrangements to do so as soon as possible. Passports that are not updated will be rendered invalid from 31 August 2019.

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Obtaining temporary or permanent residency based on a relative

A foreigner who has a relative in South Africa that is either South African or a South African permanent resident, may be eligible for temporary and/or permanent residency. But there can be long turn-around times to receive an outcome, especially for permanent residency permits. 

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Submitting a visa application from abroad

Any first time applicant who wishes to have a long term visa in South Africa must first apply from their country of citizenship or residency.

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How can I get Home Affairs to finalize my application?

With the number of visas that are applied for and issued each year, it is no surprise that there is a backlog with processing of applications. Even though the VFS Global website  (who accepts applications on behalf of the Department of Home Affairs) states that a temporary residency application can take between 8 and 10 weeks, appeals 8-10 months and permanent residency 8-10 months, these timelines are often not adhered to.

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Medical Treatment in South Africa

South Africa has some of the best medical practitioners in the world, so it is no wonder that many foreigners choose to have treatment with the backdrop of beautiful South Africa for their physical or mental ailments. 

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Travelling with a Minor into or out of South Africa

With an increased number of kidnappings taking place in South Africa, it is no surprise that the Department of Home Affairs has increased security and immigration matters when travelling with a minor to or from South Africa.

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Marrying as a Foreigner in South Africa

There is hardly a more picturesque place in the world to marry than South Africa. Before tying the knot with a local, there are certain formalities that need to take place before you're able to officially marry.

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Spouses & Children of Work and Business Visa Holders

In nearly all circumstances, a visa which is valid for a period longer than three months must be applied for in person at the South African Embassy/Consulate of the applicant's country of residency. There are, however, certain circumstances where this is not the case. 

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Is permanent residency based on financial independence right for me?

An applicant can apply for permanent residence on the basis of their financial situation if they can show a minimum amount of assets to the Department and are willing to pay a once-off lump sum for their residency.

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Resignation of Director General - Mkuseli Apleni

In the news today, it was announced that Mkuseli Apleni has resigned from his position as the Director General of Home Affairs. What does this mean for the day-to-day administration of the Department of Home Affairs?

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My child was born in South Africa - are they South African?

Despite what one may be told or believe, if your child is born in South Africa they are not immediately South African citizens, unless of course, you are. In fact, any child born in South Africa begins their journey into this world as an illegal person – as they do not have a visa to reside in South Africa.

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Rights and Obligations as a South African Permanent Resident

You've finally received your permanent residency - after months or possibly years of waiting for an outcome. What does this mean for you now?

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Travelling as a South African Permanent Resident

An unspoken discretion has been given to immigration officials at the ports of entry and exit in South Africa to ask a permanent residency holder to 'prove' their status in whichever way they see fit, if at all. Find out how to avoid hassle whilst travelling in and out of South Africa as a permanent residency holder.

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Getting down to the 'nitty-gritty' of applying for a business visa

In 2016, no new applications for start-ups were approved for South Africa (48 total applications were submitted) and only 25 of 148 applications for business visa renewals were approved. In our latest blog, we discuss what can be done to avoid the rejection of a business visa application.

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Study Visas for South Africa

South Africa has some of the top institutions on the African continent. Add in gorgeous weather and opportunity for travel, it has become a leading destination for continuing studies. So, what do you need to know when considering studying here, from an immigration perspective?

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Permanent Residency on the basis of 'Exceptional Skills'

If you fall within the critical skills list and have five years work experience, you may be eligible for permanent residency in South Africa, even if you don't have an offer of permanent employment.

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How to protect yourself from being detained as an illegal foreigner

The 'crack-down' on illegal immigrants continues, with a new operation which has taken place in Cape Town this past week. Read more about what you should do to protect yourself from being detained if you are questioned by Home Affairs or the police.

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How do most people get permanent residency in South Africa?

Statistics released by StatsSA give us insight into how many permanent residency applications are being approved annually - and according to which category of submission.

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Can I change from a visitors visa to spousal visa?

A new court case has been handed down in the Western Cape High Court which leads to further confusion regarding the changing from a tourist visa issued in terms of section 11(1) to spousal visa in terms of section 11(6) of the Immigration Act. 

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Police Clearances

For either temporary or permanent residency (eg; a stay longer than three months) it is essential to provide a police clearance, if not multiple police clearances. However, when and what is needed can be confusing, so it is often best to seek professional advice. 

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Verifying your qualifications from abroad through SAQA

If you intend on applying for a critical skills or general work visa, it is highly advisable to immediately begin the SAQA process. In our years of experience applying for visas, it has been seen time and time again that one of the longest processes in compiling essential paperwork is obtaining a SAQA certificate.

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E-Visas seek to increase tourism, but fails to address quality in the adjudication process itself.

South Africa seeks to enter the modern age of technology with E-Visas in a hope to increase tourism in South Africa. But, the issue of quality of adjudication of applications still remains.

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Open letter to Malusi Gigabi hits home with locals and foreigners alike

With a minister who is more interested in Candy Crush than parliamentary debates, it comes as no surprise that Home Affairs continues to fall behind with basic services.

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