• Immigration Reforms Take Effect May 26
  • May 28, 2014
  • Law Firm: Fragomen Del Rey Bernsen Loewy LLP - New York Office
  • In an unexpected move, the President of South Africa has determined that a package of immigration reforms that had been delayed for public consultation will now take effect on May 26, 2014. The reforms will make changes to immigration requirements, procedures and even terminology, and their sudden introduction is likely to lead to delays and other case processing issues as the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) works to implement the changes.

    Fragomen is reviewing the published regulations and accompanying forms to assess the impact of the reforms on clients and the extent to which the new laws vary from previous announcements relating to the changes. Those changes indicated that reform measures were likely to include new labor market testing requirements and new restrictions for General Work Permits, corporate permits and permits for accompanying unmarried partners; extensions of the validity of intracompany transfer work visas to four years; new restrictions on in-country changes of status; replacements for two work permit categories; and the introduction of new application forms, application fees, and penalties for non-compliance.

    What This Means for Employers

    Employers are advised to immediately work with their Fragomen representative to review how the reforms will affect both existing and upcoming immigration cases for South Africa. Employers should be aware that case processing for South Africa will likely be quite unpredictable for the next several months as consular and DHA officials adjust to the new processes, and should be prepared for significant delays.