• Implementation of Immigration Reforms Delayed
  • April 1, 2014
  • Law Firm: Fragomen Del Rey Bernsen Loewy LLP - New York Office
  • The Department of Home Affairs (DHA) is delaying the implementation of a long-awaited package of immigration reforms. The regulations were scheduled to take effect on April 1, 2014, but the DHA has delayed implementation in order to review and respond to public comments on the measures. The DHA may amend the planned reforms once it completes its review of public feedback and has not yet announced the new implementation date.

    The proposed regulatory changes include new labor market testing requirements and new restrictions for General Work Permits, corporate permits and permits for accompanying unmarried partners. They would also: extend the validity of intracompany transfer work visas to four years; place restrictions on in-country change of status procedures; replace two work permit categories; and introduce new application forms, application fees, and penalties for non-compliance. The changes would apply to certain foreign nationals currently working in South Africa who would require permit renewals, as well as to new permit applicants.

    What This Means for Employers

    The proposed reforms mark the biggest change in South African immigration law in nearly a decade. Despite the delayed implementation, employers should continue to prepare for the changes.

    Because many of the changes will apply to renewal applications, employers should review their foreign national workforce in South Africa to identify any potential immigration issues with upcoming renewal applications and should contact their Fragomen representative to develop strategies for moving cases forward after the regulations take effect.