Currently we are experiencing inconsistencies in the processing of Permanent Residence (PR) applications. In a recent article in our blog and newsletter, we shared the information gazetted by the Department of Home Affairs (DHA), that over 4.600 old applications might be lost.
This refers to PR applications submitted prior to the introduction of VFS in June 2014, a private company now handling the submission and collection of applications on behalf of DHA, as well as their safe transport to DHA Pretoria.
IBN can proudly confirm, that we have no applications left outstanding on this list, which were still submitted directly to DHA. We have checked the entire list for familiar names. Found a few, but those clients have all long had their PR’s issued. So we don’t know what happened to the remaining old applicants, but believe that many have either been solved or moved on.
However all is still not good with DHA. A new backlog is currently created, as we have indeed PR applications outstanding since December 2014. Those have of course been submitted via VFS and can be tracked. All VFS confirms though is that they were handed to DHA typically a day or two after submission.
No further updates are available. We are currently pressuring DHA to process these long overdue applications, as common practice expects DHA to make decisions within 8 month. Continue reading
South Africa seems to have abounded the global standards of carrying a passport. And internationally it is not regarded as safe. Whereas other countries constantly improve the security features of its passports, SA seems to have given up completely.
The entire drama started in July 2009, when suddenly the United Kingdom required South Africans to apply for visas, mostly as a result of terrorism fears. Most importantly, that terrorists could obtain passports which allow them to travel into Europe.
And there are 2 elements to it, the passport itself as well as the control over its production system. Apparently many blank passports simply disappeared at the government printers.
Things have since improved, but not yet to the extend that South Africans can travel without having to apply for a visa in order to enter the UK and Europe. Effectively a visa is another (upfront) passport verification process.
As per the new immigration law that was issued on 26 May 2014 it was stated that the turnaround time for Permanent Residence Applications would take approximately:
8 – 12 months.
This processing time is not necessarily being adhered too and currently having the applicants easily wait up to 2 years for their Permanent Residence application to be finalized regardless of the outcome.
What should happen?
Permanent Residence applications as stated should take 8 – 12 months however over the past 2 years Permanent Residence applications that have been submitted are being issued much slower than the expected time frame.
These applications now in practice have easily been taking 18 – 24 months regardless of the outcome. Continue reading
As we all know it has unfortunately become more stringent to travel in and out of South Africa.
What does this mean for you?
If you have been issued with permanent residence under the new immigration law you must travel with their original permanent residence certificate.
Those who already have a permanent residence permit that was issued with a stamp in their passports, have to travel with their original permanent residence certificate at all times.
Please note: Certified copies will not be accepted at the border control. Continue reading