How long will it take for your waiver to be approved?

Waiver Applications – What are they, how are they used and how long do they take

Waiver Applications

Immigrating to a new country can prove to be a tricky and often convoluted process. The figurative “hundreds of checkboxes” need to be ticked – even if there’s no guarantee that you will be eligible for obtaining your Visa. If you are applying for a visa and you fail to produce favourable results or a meet a specific requirement, a waiver application may just be your best bet.

What exactly is a “waiver application?”
A waiver application functions as a formal request written to the DHA to overlook specific requirements within any given category. This will allow the applicant to be excused from set requirements when applying for their Visa.

This means that if you fail to produce a document or desired results required to proceed with the process, the waiver functions as permission to let you pass through said requirement. This is up to the DHA’s approval, so ensure that all information provided is correct and relevant. Your goal is to prove that you are worthy of exemption – so do not hold back on selling your skills and merits or reasons why a requirement must be waived.

Under which circumstances would a waiver be applicable?
A waiver is used to fill a requirement if you fail to meet one. Through the process of applying for a Visa, there are many crucial documents to be submitted and requirements to be met. This is also dependant on the type of Visa being applied for.

A great example would be the scenario of a foreign citizen currently residing in South Africa on a tourist visa with no option to change condition within the country. Their temporary residence Visa is not too far from expiring, however, for them to return to their home country would create a tangible threat to their health or well-being.

A waiver would be ideal in declaring that the foreigner cannot return to their country, and once approved, they would be able to change condition in the country – as long as they still have a valid underlying visa.

Here is a list of common scenarios in which a waiver application is viable:

  • An applicant cannot produce a police clearance certificate
  • An applicant is unable to return to their home country to apply for a temporary residence Visa
  • Apply to reduce required investment amount of R5 000 000 for a business Visa. Only done if a positive outcome is received from the department of Trade and industry
  • An applicant does not have the NQF level needed for a particular critical skills category but can make up for it through experience
  • Businesses applying for a blanket waiver for an identical requirement for the corporate Visa

Can a waiver help me if you are banned or deemed an “undesirable citizen?”
If you have violated any terms or agreements during your stay in South Africa, you will need to apply to have the ban on your name uplifted and a waiver will not assist with this.

How long will it take for your waiver to be approved?
Once your waiver has been submitted, it will take up to one year to be processed and approved or rejected by the DHA. While this may be a very long time to process, ensure that you apply long before your visa is scheduled to expire.

*Applicants must hold a valid form of residence in order to submit the application

If you would like any assistance or further advice throughout the process of applying for your waiver – do not hesitate to contact June Luna Immigration Attorneys.