• Client Feedback to Policy Paper on Changes to Immigration System Encouraged
  • August 3, 2016
  • Law Firm: Fragomen Del Rey Bernsen Loewy LLP - New York Office
  • The South African government’s policy paper on changes to the immigration system marks the start of a policy-making process and should not be interpreted as an amendment to any current immigration laws or regulations. Any proposed changes would not become law until multiple legal stages are completed, which may take up to two years or more depending on the various stages of review. Immigration is only one aspect of the overall document.

    Stages of Review

    The policy paper must go through the following stages of review before a formal change can occur:
    • Stakeholders comment on the policy paper;
    • The government releases a more refined discussion document or White Paper containing a broad statement of government policy;
    • The White Paper undergoes the necessary parliamentary processes to be passed as a draft bill;
    • The draft bill is subject to further review and public consultation before the President can sign it into an Act of parliament; and
    • The Department of Home Affairs issues Regulations stipulating the implementation of the provisions of the resulting South African Act on International Migration.
    What This Means for Employers and Foreign Nationals

    Fragomen is assessing possible impacts of the policy paper. Although there is no immediate impact to business or immigration at this stage, this does not preclude the fact that existing regulations can change at the discretion of the minister at any time outside of the purview of this document review process.

    Fragomen will contact clients next week with a summary of the policy paper, including information on how to provide feedback. Clients are encouraged to prepare input on issues most pertinent to their business to enable Fragomen to formulate a holistic response to the proposed changes.