New visa rules could cost SA R1bn

New visa rules could cost SA R1bn

2014-05-16 08:27

Cape Town - New visa rules issued by Home Affairs applicable to foreigners who need to execute short-term projects in South Africa, will put R1bn in investment and 1 600 local jobs in jeopardy.

According to Theresa Ryan-van Graan, head of production at Moonlighting Films SA, the new application procedure, which was changed without any consultation or notice, has put potentially jeopardised future investment in the film industry in SA.

Homeland, a US television series which is due to start production in Cape Town next month, may have to reschedule production days at great expense due to these changes.

”Many of these actors simply cannot leave their current locations and go back to the UK or the US and wait for an unspecified period in London, because the requirements and process are unclear to official and applicants alike. The previous process worked well,’ van Graan said in Cape Town on Thursday.

According to a directive issued on April 30 and distributed to local Home Affairs offices and missions abroad this month, the process of application for a visitor visa with permission to work has been changed.

In the previous process, the Home Affairs’ Head Office issued a letter of permission after an application was made, which was then attached to an application made at an Embassy or Port of Entry, which has since been completely overhauled.

All applications made by visa exempt or visa restricted applicants, will have to be made abroad at a mission.

Confusion all round

According to Leon Isaacson, managing director of Global Migration SA: "Ten South African missions abroad were contacted today, and only two of them were able to provide information on this process. In both cases, the information provided contradicted what was contained in the directive.

"The directive is not clear regarding whether the applicant must make a full application in person at the SA mission abroad for a visa exempt applicant, or whether an approval letter will be issued by the mission in such a case and presented at the Port of Entry on arrival.

"There is also no indication of how long the process will take and there is conflicting information about the requirements which creates confusion all round."

According to Isaacson, the travel and work schedules of many A-list actors and skilled experts in other fields like oil and gas are such that they cannot return to their home countries to submit applications, as this would create additional cost and inconvenience and severely hamper projects, investment and job creation required by the country.

"There needs to be a comprehensive policy review with a working, efficient system which facilitates much needed investment and growth. Immigration is a critical part of that process and should be responsive and efficient," said Isaacson.

  • oi - 2014-05-16 08:52

    I want to make a comment but then I will be accused of racism

      Brian Simpson - 2014-05-16 09:05

      It is nothing to do with racism but it is incompetence that is ruining the country and this leads nowhere, but downhill.

      John Loveland - 2014-05-16 09:38

      @ Brian. As long as there VISA requirements are also applicable to other African nations and those streaming accross our borders to come find work

      Mlungisi Botha - 2014-05-18 09:34


  • Leijn Tissink - 2014-05-16 08:55

    it common knowledge that politicians will do all the wrong things first before forced by painful reality to do the right

      John Loveland - 2014-05-16 09:39

      Just as they have done in the fishing industry..... and its taken a year for them to reverse their initial allocation.

      kmw13047 - 2014-05-17 14:08

      Nope they will do all the wrong things until the next election!

  • Geoffrey Hayward - 2014-05-16 09:00

    Ok, so what we have done is essentially ruin any chance of new potential foreign investors from coming over here (unless they are from China) to seek out potential investments if they weren't put off already by the strikes and political joke that is the ANC. Well done, another brilliant shot in the foot for SA economy.

  • Brian Simpson - 2014-05-16 09:03

    There are bunch of Cadres trying to justify their salary making up rules. SA needs to simplify rules not create cumbersome rules!

      Clifford Warren de Vries - 2014-05-16 17:34

      These are the same rules you need to follow to go to the UK. You need to go to their Embassy complete and application, get interviewed etc etc. Why is it good for them and not for us? I understand that the way in which it was implemented is wrong, but what makes it more difficult?

  • Nukki Green068 - 2014-05-16 09:11

    Trying hard to ruin business for this country because they have no idea about business

  • Naas Du Plessis - 2014-05-16 09:24

    So this is how zuma creates jobs while they steal sa's money. Big mistake for majority to vote zuma. Shame on you

  • Vernon Mathews - 2014-05-16 09:28

    You think any goat with a brain cell would try identify key employment segments in the industry and try make this easier to get more work opportunities rather than make it more complex. Anyway the people have spoken with their vote, all the current government is doing is messing their own voters up but it's cool we have 62% approving all this so good luck enjoy your journey people !

  • Valerie Widmann - 2014-05-16 09:34

    SUCH a backward country! Seriously SA...get a grip...we need foreign money...we need ANY money and jobs these people can create!

      Mlungisi Botha - 2014-05-16 09:47

      Should sell our dignity because we need foreign money? C'mon!

      Valerie Widmann - 2014-05-16 16:12

      Mlungisi...I think you miss my point. Go back and read what I wrote.

      Clifford Warren de Vries - 2014-05-16 17:37

      Why is it backward? If you apply for a UK visa, you need to apply at their embassy here in SA, they put a visa in your passport. Then you are good to go. What makes it more difficult?

      Mlungisi Botha - 2014-05-17 07:30

      Valerie I have read you article - not once but many times. I'm saying any country which allows in people with deep pockets just because it needs money loses its dignity because its not doing what every respectable country in the world is doing - checking who they allow into their country. It's costly I know, but a necessary expense. Yes its irritating for those applying, but don't we all get irritated when we have to pay for visas to other countries and then experience long waits etc? Backward country? I thought backward countries are those that allow the likes of the Krecjirs, the Waluczs (fellow who murdered Hani) and Nigerian and Pakistani druglords because they've got deep pockets!

      Mlungisi Botha - 2014-05-17 07:35

      On the other hand Valerie, if yours is a tongue in cheek comment then we're on the same side and I agree with you 100%. Have a great day Valerie!!

      Mlungisi Botha - 2014-05-18 15:42

      @Heinrich: O Heinrich mate, you're missing the point. Every country everywhere from Antarctica to Zimbabwe or rather Zambia is tightening up. Even EU countries are putting some sort of restrictions on travellers from fellow EU countries. Working holidays in the UK? Dream on mate - that is so 1970s!!!! In 2014 the economic everywhere cake is smaller and the demand bigger so countries have to look after their own, the Al Qaida's, the Boko Harams and the like are causing havoc, the drug cartels have infiltrated every country on earth...and you still think there's a country out there that's going to keep its doors open? Its like asking why churches the world over are locking their doors after hours (in 2014) and going on about the good ol' days when church doors were open 24/7 and anyone could walk past brass statues and statuettes in church and kneel at the alter and pray. Those statues attract the wrong crowd my friend and so even churches have to lock their door and exercise access control. Any country worth its salt (like our dear ol' SA) would be foolish to open their doors while the likes of the UK (since you mentioned it) are quite rightly conducting strict entry checks on everyone (not just SAns).

  • Ben - 2014-05-16 09:46

    Yup. Sounds like our government.

  • Mlungisi Botha - 2014-05-16 09:46

    This is great news. What's the difference between these changes and the long delays we have to go thru when applying for visas in other countries? That's why we have so many criminals in SA because of our lax visa laws. Every other country is tightening up so why must we be lax? Next step shud be to come down VERY HEAVILY on corrupt Home Affairs officials.

      NoAbsolutes - 2014-05-16 09:55

      It's about "a visitor visa with permission to work" so it will have no effect on foreign national criminals establishing themselves in SA.

      Mlungisi Botha - 2014-05-17 07:20

      do you honestly think if I apply for a visitor visa with permission to work in any country I'll just be let in wiuthout thorough checks. The issue is that SA is expected to be a country whosoever wants to can waltz in and out without any hassle. That's a think of the past and we have to catch up with the rest of the world. The Krecjirs and that Polish fellow who killed Hani are beneficiaries of a lax system - not to mention our dear friends the Nigerian and Pakistani druglords. We need to wake up really quickly.

  • Robbie Crouch - 2014-05-16 09:47

    But at the same time we have illegals waltzing across the Limpopo???

  • Nyama Ted - 2014-05-16 09:50

    When we, South African go and work in other countries, we must go thru a straineous visa processes to those countries. South Africa must do the same to control the high numbers of illegal foreigners in our country. Those who are not presently working or completed their jobs, must be send back to their countries. There Is a high number of recorded criminal activities by foreigners in this country. This process must be instituted immediately.

      NoAbsolutes - 2014-05-16 09:58

      Criminals aren't going to bother with "a visitor visa with permission to work", are they?

      Paul Vincent - 2014-05-16 10:21

      Another sterling example of the ANC education system at work.

  • Claude Ferrière - 2014-05-16 09:57

    While thousands of illegal immigrants pour over our borders, unabated. Home Affairs find it necessary to introduce stumbling blocks,in he case of those seeking to bring revenue making projects into the country. Africa logic ??

  • Zaakir Hoosen - 2014-05-16 10:09

    While I agree 100% that its a major inconvenience for people already here to go back to the country they from and go through the process, also agree that the Govt should be clear as to what the process is and the requirements. But at the same time the Govt has the right to put in place such processes and policies if it feels it will help and promote better security for people entering the country. In the same way us South Africans have to pay high prices and spend extra time in acquiring Visas for Schengen, UK or US. South Africans traveling abroad, whether VIP, Celeb or a regular person has to go through a long process to enter the UK and US, which we accept as their policies. Why do we South Africans then have an issue when our Govt applies such processes for visitors, and why do visitors feel its a burden. Regardless of how our Govt goes about all other affairs, we have to be able to separate issues.

      Lehlogonolo Mukhola - 2014-06-10 07:45

      Too much negativity in the minds of South African. Obviously the drug lords and human traffickers won't be pleased.

  • Masela Dima - 2014-05-16 10:33

    i believe in the leadership of Naledi Pandor and the ANC.......before they pass something into law or bill...they would have done proper tighten the borders and whatever cos it is not easy for us to go to london as well.............

  • Boris Hayday - 2014-05-16 10:41

    OMW.... Its not even worth laughing about anymore!

  • Charles Chivalry - 2014-05-16 11:06

    I find the article very confused in itself. Whoever wrote it was not thinking straight. All he/she wanted to do was to put a blame on someone. I don't think the person even know what those changes/amendments are. They are not mentioned in the article. And those who are emotionally irrational started pointing fingers at ANC. Can we please try to understand what those changes are? Why they were made? Then we can start spilling bile on this Fin24 platform.

      Tony van Niekerk - 2014-05-17 19:01

      Charles, as you will see from the article. The problem is not so much the changes as is the process they followed. This is always the problem with bureaucratic systems. There are people who are not in their home country, working on projects, who are now required to go back to renew their permission to come here. If they gave notice and set future dates, notifying everyone, there would have been time to plan.

  • Kurt Kutz - 2014-05-16 11:14

    [insert emotional comment here]

  • munich.ipcc - 2014-05-16 13:52

    Global Immigration throwing tantrums again. They are very good in bringing in foreigners into the country which take employment from you South Africans. Don't let them bluff you!

  • munich.ipcc - 2014-05-16 13:52

    Global Immigration throwing tantrums again. They are very good in bringing in foreigners into the country which take employment from you South Africans. Don't let them bluff you!

  • Peter Mansfield - 2014-05-16 13:59

    The madness continues

  • Mandla Hermanus - 2014-05-16 14:31

    why is it always okay for other countries to put in travel requirements that are a burden to SA, and we have to accept them. and yet everytime south africa does the same, then we are chasing away investors etc. try applying for a visa to USA / Canada etc. and see what hell you have to go through.

  • Norbert Rossel - 2014-05-16 15:03

    Proudly brought to you by the incompetent officials put in place by the ANC. It would be nice to see some brains in the department of Home Affairs- but this is just wishful thinking.

  • Sheda - 2014-05-16 16:26

    Its racist. No African countries that I know of have this problem. In fact most black people just walk across the border or pay a small"fee"and drive through.

  • Daniel du Plessis - 2014-05-16 16:48

    Well helllooooo We need visas for UK USA Canada Europe, Australia and they are expensive and to get a work visa is a heck of a thing - I know because I've gone through those processes to do short-term assignments in UK, France, Netherlands and Germany. So why is the SA Government castigated and these northern hemisphere (and Aus) may do it?

      Siegfried Walther - 2014-05-16 17:31

      Er...perhaps because our economy needs them. As for them needing us, they would first need to be informed of our existence.

  • Alexandrea Kim Roberts - 2014-05-16 16:49

    All good and well to tighten up in this area. But when almost nobody knows what the new procedures are, it's just embarassing! What do these immigration companies tell their clients, our potential investors? And Please! This is not racist! Although it sends out a message that White westerners are not welcome, this should be implemented accross all borders.

  • Siegfried Walther - 2014-05-16 16:54

    We detest SKILLS. We love incompetence. We resent the hardworking, even if they are refugees from other parts of Africa. We love mindless red tape & long queues (Because these don't apply to our beloved leaders whose time and whose importance warrants it!) Now, instead getting our economy going by having foreigners contribute to our wealth, let's rather play the Victim card and seek out those things we can milk....the taxpayer, agriculture, cricket, rugby... Such fun!

  • Rene Kilner - 2014-05-16 21:37

    Exactly why a new government is needed in this country. One which has the economy and the education of our youth as a priority rather than lining its own pockets. Our youth who did not register to vote and those who did not vote, its time to take responsibility for your own lives and future instead of waiting for hand-outs from a corrupt and useless government.

      John Volsteedt - 2014-05-18 06:40

      So, open borders and slack requirements boost the economy? What does the long term overall picture look like beyond just the localized short term advantages for certain industries?

  • Richard Lemmer - 2014-05-17 07:49

    A joke ..... And the ones without the visas just stream uncontrolled into the country from up north .....

  • Paul Verhoeven - 2014-05-17 07:53

    I wonder why they always want to make things so complicated. They do not even understand it themselves. Oh boy!

  • kmw13047 - 2014-05-17 09:58

    How much more do they want to ruin this country???

  • Tony van Niekerk - 2014-05-17 18:53

    Amazing that we block people who add real value and create jobs, while they are here on projects, from entering the country smoothly, while we allow millions, with no skills and simply looking for employment, to cross over the borders without any problem. When someone has the capacity to create employment for us by bringing something like a filming project into the country, we should fall over our feet to make it easy for them! As a country, these people are our clients. We need them to choose us to bring their projects to. Does our government not realise that we are just one of hundreds of options for most of these guys. Like the car manufacturers, the film industry will start looking towards Nigeria and othe African locations as better alternatives. Our competitive advantages are fast waning while we do not strengthen relations with those who can assist with our unemployment problems.

  • Fanie Gerber - 2014-05-17 20:47

    Now if you could just shutdown the borders tightly.....

  • Johan Cape Town - 2014-05-17 21:53

    I see the right wing choir is still singing loudly here. If one looked at these pages you would swear the DA won the election. Bad news for you ladies and gents: you've lost. Racists will never again run this country. Not in ten years. Not in 100 years. Not in a thousand years.

      Berkold Enderstend - 2014-05-18 07:52

      Erm .. JohanCapeTown: You need to realize that your entire premise is INCORRECT. The DA did win (in the Western Cape) and RACISTS have been ruling your country for the last 20 years. Just get over yourself and accept the truth. Or do you subscribe to the usual cANCer supporter *head in sand* affliction? **eish**

  • René McEvoy - 2014-05-18 03:56

    I have no problem with the new procedures! As a SA citizen, we have to have the same when applying for the UK and the USA and we are not complaining.

  • Gerald du Rand - 2014-05-18 05:46

    As long as you are black, you do not need a visa to visit or settle in South Africa. Look at all these millions of Zimbos, Congolese, Nigerians etc. that walk over our borders without documentation.

  • John Volsteedt - 2014-05-18 06:37

    Is this not just aligning with practices in the rest of the world? I have just been exposed to a training program attended by a mix of people from a wide range of African countries. The general comment from them is that they cannot understand, given the wide spread of "social/religion/ethnic/other problems" migrating globally, that it is so easy to access and do business in South Africa, and that this policy is going to one day bite. Is Kenya now happy with the Somali population living in its country? Ask yourself, what prevents similar from happening in South Africa in the future? A Billion lost due to visas will be peanuts lost through the social/economic and security cost. I realise the article is about short term contracts, but our current system is open to abuse. Change is never easy, but we need to just get out of the comfort zone and adapt to the changes.

  • Michael Du Toit - 2014-05-18 11:07

    Will this apply to all Nigerians, Zimbabweans, Somali's and Ethiopians?

  • Roger Pacey - 2014-05-18 11:34

    I would have thought it would have made sense to make things easier for skilled people to come to South Africa through official channels, even temporarily, and more difficult for people to come here illegally.

  • Roger Pacey - 2014-05-18 11:40

    This isn't the first time Home Affairs has dropped in new rules out of the blue. About 10 years ago, they issued new regulations stating that South Africans with dual citizenship must leave and enter South Africa on their South African passports. The first anybody knew about this regulation was when people were turned back at the airport. My family was affected by this (we managed to get an SA passport issued in double-quick time). We complained to the travel agent but they said they were kept in the dark by Home Affairs. I also complained to ASATA, who told me the same thing.

      Berkold Enderstend - 2014-05-18 12:33

      @Roger: No idea why you find this a problem. I fly out of SA using my SA Passport and present my *other* passport depending on my destination. No queues anywhere. In the UK/EU just presnt the burgany passport and get waved through. Same when I leave. When I enter SA I just present my SA passport and get waved through. What a doddle.

      Roger Pacey - 2014-05-18 13:22

      @Berkold It's not a problem for me. It WAS a problem when this rule came into force a few weeks before we were due to take a much-needed holiday and nobody knew about it, not even my travel agent.

      Berkold Enderstend - 2014-05-18 15:23

      @Rodger: OIC. Your SA passport was not current or you did not have one. Handy things to have, just for those circumstances. A tad pricey but I keep all mine current. Next date for that is Jan 2018.

  • Gwilym John Howes - 2014-05-18 14:15

    What is wrong with this? We have to get visas for almost every country in the world. I have long wondered when SA will catch on and return the favour. Good for them! Maybe now the foreigners that want to work here will experience the same expense and frustration!

  • Connie Ibbetson-kennedy - 2014-05-18 16:46

    There was a program on Channel 4 in the UK showing 1000's of Somali's and Malawians on buses heading to SA and they all said they do it because when they get to SA they are given visas to work and get into South Africa NO PROBLEM

      Jennifer Brooks Sparks - 2014-06-10 20:47

      very funny...

  • munich.ipcc - 2014-05-18 21:18

    Why do you South Africans wait for skilled foreigners to help you with your economy? It's been 20 years and you are still depending on foreigners. They are not helping but exploiting you and taking your jobs. Especially the Europeans who open up companies and employ their own nationals. It should read, " New visa rules could cost foreigners R1bn". Home Affairs requested the public to comment on new regulations, where were you??

  • Tshepo Ntoane - 2014-05-20 00:43

    Ever tried applying for a Schengen Visa lately? This is nothing! Calm your tits!

  • Maida Selloane Lebohang Maema-Koyana - 2014-06-10 08:58

    What is wrong with this? There's a huge influx of East European foreigners illegally over staying their welcome in our country - (drugs,human traffiking, sex workers and undermining our legal system on top of that) There's a lot and I mean lot of East, West Africans illegally staying and conducting illegal business' (drugs, robberies etc). When the likes of US and Soviet Union implement changes like that it is regarded acceptable. There's nothing as worse as applying for an American visa and one gets treated like a terrorist (and rightfully so). Can we for once be #proudlysa

  • Jennifer Brooks Sparks - 2014-06-10 20:41

    this is cray though.. they are messing up the economy instead of sanitizing their justice system, bring back death penalty, give a long term jails for drug dealers, life sentences for people in possession of unlicensed guns, create job opportunities to the Mass... the new law should start from the Justice System though

  • Dirk Hattingh - 2015-05-16 09:02

    Some of the new rules are crazy

  • pages:
  • 1