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Immigration Law

Jobs and Visas in South Africa | A Guide | Immigration Law

The new immigration law has had a profound effect on the thousands of foreign nationals already living in South Africa, and those looking to come to South Africa and secure employment.

Although change in the immigration legal framework was necessary for a number of reasons (marriage of convenience, child trafficking, and corruption at Home Affairs) the processes which the Department of Home Affairs has chosen, have proven to be greatly misguided. This has repeatedly been seen over the past 2 weeks and has fortunately also been picked up by the media.

Once these issues have been resolved, however, it will be more important than ever for immigration consultancies to provide a sensible, honest and transparent service.

A number of immigration agents will not be able to cope with the changes and their claims that the laws are unconstitutional are based mainly on the fact that they will not be able to adapt. “Making a plan” by making false claims in applications, abusing legal loopholes, or worse by misinforming clients knowing full well that these do not qualify for a visa, will be less likely and immigration service providers will need to start adding real value instead of exploiting the system.

So, what should candidates do who are looking for a job in South Africa and who will require a visa?

1st. Step:

Update your CV. Also ensure that it looks professional. If you require templates of professional looking CVs contact us at

2nd. Step:

Visit the Initiate International website and confirm whether you fall within one of the specialist fields. If so, submit your CV on the website and our recruitment department will review your CV and will contact you of any openings.

3rd. Step:

As soon as you have submitted your CV, contact Initiate Immigration to discuss your visa options (

You will find that many companies in South Africa do not know what the requirements are to apply for a work visa. What we offer is to prepare an overview for you of your options, what the company would need to provide, and how Initiate Immigration (Pty) Ltd would guide and assist all parties through the visa process.

4th. Step:

Our consultants will also advise which steps you can take to make your job application more attractive and increase the chances of securing a job offer.

Having a recruitment and immigration department allows our (prospective) clients to be advised by experts that have experience in both fields.

For any additional information or assistance in your visa application process, feel free to contact us.

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Repatriation Deposit: How to get your money back

We are fast approaching the deadline for the repatriation deposit claim. In fact you have this week until Saturday the 28th to be exact (keep in mind the Department of Home Affairs is closed on a Saturday).

Now who can claim their repatriation deposit back in South Africa? The Gazette of October 2014 clearly states: Any person who prior to coming into operation of the Immigration Amendment Act 2011 on 26 May 2014 paid a deposit as a guarantee of return to his or her country of origin to approach in a period up to 28 Feb 2015 any South African mission for a refund of his or her Deposit. The Department of Home Affairs offices within the republic will issue refunds only in exceptional circumstances where a person has required a permanent residency permit or has changed his or her status in the republic prior to 26 May 2014.

As someone who has claimed the deposit back without the help of an immigration agency, I can speak from experience and recommend come well prepared. Here is how.

For a successful repatriation claim application the following documents are required:

  • Repatriation deposit application form. This form can be downloaded on the Department of Home Affairs website. If you have changed status in South Africa don’t be put of by the fact that there is no field for “change of status”. The Gazette clearly states you do not have to be a permanent resident to get your repatriation deposit back.
  • Dated letter from client stating the reason for the repatrition refund request, with full address, contact details and email address.
  • Original receipt of deposit and a certified copy thereof.
  • Proof of resident bank account, in form of a correctly filled in Entity Maintenance Form. This form is only available at the DHA counter. I have scanned mine and uploaded it here. Feel free to use it. Please note that only if you have a resident bank account, you will be able to to have the funds transferred into your account. If the status field on your entity maintenance form says “Non-resident account”. You will have to find someone with a resident account to fill in the Entity Maintenance form. If you go down this route, you will be required to fill in a special power of attorney form, which requires a commissioner of oaths.
  • Certified copies of current passport, current visa, as well as the visa before and after the repatriation deposit was paid are also required.

The transfer I was told can take anything up to six months.

Yes, its not as straight forward as going there and opening the wallet.
On a positive note. I got my repatriation deposit application sorted within 2 lunch breaks with very little queuing.

If you go to Barrack Street in Cape Town you will find the Finance Department on third floor of the building. That’s where you hand in your application.

Good luck!

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Spousal, Life Partner & Relative Visa | Immigration Law 2014

Relative Visa South Africa (Temporary and Permanent Residence):

  • Letter of financial support –  the South African citizen/Permanent Residency holder must now include/show that the person has a minimum of R8500 available to sustain the relative’s stay. This can be done in the form of bank statement or a salary slip. Those documents must not be older than 3 months.
  • In some cases, it may be required that a paternity test will be done.

Spousal Visa & Life Partnership Visa South Africa (Permanent Residence):

  • If you are married to a South African Citizen or Permanent Resident holder, you have to be married for a continuous period of 5 years before such application for permanent residence can be made.
  • Please note that in the case of permanent residency applicationsbased on life partnership, you have to prove 5 years continuous life partnership. The life partner ship can either be with a South African citizen or a permanent resident holder. Along with your life partner affidavit and other proof to support your 5 year life partnership, it is now also required that you submit a notarial contract between yourself and your life partner.

If you have any questions or queries, please feel free to contact us on:

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Immigration Law South Africa 2014 – DA calls for Debate

The South African Democratic Alliance (the governing party of the Western Cape Province), calls for South Africa’s new immigration laws to be reconsidered and debated by Parliament’s home affairs portfolio committee.

“Media reports and public outcry suggest that in less than a month the new law has already ripped apart families, dissuaded investors, and led to the suspension and even cancellation of multi-million rand film and tourism ventures.” – DA MP Haniff Hoosen

According to Hoosen, Minister Malusi Gigaba’s assertion that the Department of Home Affairs’ new immigration law of 2014 is in the best interest of South Africa’s security, is an insufficient excuse for inefficient policy.

In the past few weeks there have been multiple cases of families being ripped apart. As per the new regulations, anyone travelling on an expired permit can be declared undesirable/ banned from returning to the South Africa for up to five years.

So too, the tourism and film industry, which contributes an average of R84 billion to South Africa’s GDP is suffering at a great cost. For instance, business investments, such as the multimillion rand TV series, Homeland has been put on hold due to the new immigration law.

Furthermore, companies looking for workers with skills they cannot find locally are having difficulty with their employees entering South Africa. The outsourcing of the specific professionals, some of which are in the health sector, could have dangerous consequences on people’s lives.

Just a few weeks in and the effects of the new South African immigration laws are already vast, but “the full cost of these regulations to our local economy and the country’s reputation remain to be seen,” Hoosen said.

For any permit assistance or immigration enquiries, please feel free to contact Initiate Immigration at

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Malusi Gigaba Interview | New Immigration Act on SABC 2

Cape Town – This morning’s interview with the Minister of the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) of South Africa, Malusi Gigaba, sparked more questions than answers when he joined SABC2 live at the Gallagher Convention Centre. The interview was conducted in an attempt to answer questions and eliminate concerns surrounding the implementation of the new immigration laws that were passed on 26th May earlier this year.

Since the implementation of the new immigration laws, the South African tourism industry are expected to suffer from great economic losses, families have been split in half and South Africa could be losing opportunities to employ foreigners that are needed to fill the positions on our critical skills list.

Minister Gibaba


During the interview a member of the audience asked Gigaba about the removal of Directive 43, which gave foreigners with pending visa submissions the ability to travel freely in and out of South Africa provided they were holding a visa submission receipt. Gigaba answered that the Directive was removed in order to eliminate the abuse of the system. According to the Department of Home Affairs, visa submission receipts were illegally shared among foreigners.

This morning was one of the few instances that the microphone turned to the crowd, since the implementation of the new immigration laws, which was more than a month ago. A woman in the audience stated that the new VFS centres, which were particularly put in place to fast-track the visa application process take an average of 4 hours to submit applications. Gigaba explained that the systems are still new and need time to adjust and operate smoothly.

One woman mentioned that she had been and still is waiting for her pending Permanent Residency Permit for the past 6 years. She stated that the woman who had been ‘helping’ her was unable to answer her questions or provide her with the necessary help and guidelines needed to receive her visa. Gigaba encouraged her to submit a complaint and raise these issues with him personally.

Whilst the public raised many concerns pertaining the new South African immigration laws, they also mentioned their understanding of the necessity of the implementation and their appreciation of the intentions behind them. One person tweeted that, while they agree with the new law regarding travelling with children and tackling the issue of child trafficking, they were very disappointed when they finally received their child’s unabridged birth certificate and it had a spelling error on it.

The issue is not the new immigration laws, as Minister of Home Affairs Gigaba mentioned in the interview. The issue is the waiting period for the documentation, the lack of skills and training among the Department of Home Affairs officials and the implementation of the immigration laws.

Gigaba admitted that new laws are always imperfect when first implemented and he expressed his appreciation of the public participation in the discourse surrounding the new immigration laws. However, the one and a half hour interview was more of a justification of the implementation of the new laws, rather than a plan forward to combat the issues raised.

Minister of Home Affairs, Malusi Gigaba invited the public to email him directly with any queries regarding the new immigration laws. You can reach him on:

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South African Visa Financial Requirements | Immigration Law 2014

Financial Assurance For Relatives Visas

The financial assurance which a South African Citizen or permanent resident has to prove in respect of a foreign applicant applying for a visa to accompany the individual in South Africa, shall be an amount of no less than R8 500.

Minimum Net Worth

A foreign applicant who would like to apply for permanent residency under the category of ‘minimum net worth’ will have to provide proof of his/her net worth to the amount of R12 million, and the amount to be paid to the Director-General upon the permanent residency being approved is R120 000.

Proof Of Finances For Visa Applications

The proof of finances which one has to provide for your visa application must be in the form of a 3 month bank statement, confirming that you have R3 000 available. Should you wish to prove cash available, this must then be a minimum of R3 000.

Financial Undertaking By Corporate Companies

When a corporate holder submits a financial undertaking (repatriation undertaking) for its corporate workers, the amount which has to be confirmed as the financial undertaking will be R30 000 per corporate employee that will be employed by the corporate holder.

Retired Persons Visa

A foreign applicant applying for the retired persons visa has to prove that he or she receives a minimum amount of R37 000 per month, this is for a pension fund, irrevocable annuity or retirement account.

New Administrative Fines:


  • Should one produce incorrect certification through negligence, you will be fined R7 000.


  • A person who is in charge of a conveyance, and through negligence contravenes the provisions, will be fined R15 000 per person.


  • The owner/person in charge of a prescribed conveyance entering into, or departing from or in transit through the Republic of South Africa, shall comply with the provisions by enabling electronic transmission and receipt of the prescribed information to the Director-General in the prescribed manner, failure to comply with this provision will be liable to an administrative fine of R10 000 per movement of conveyance.


  • The owner/person in charge of a conveyance entering into, departing from or in transit through the Republic of South Africa, shall within the prescribed period prior to boarding persons onto his or her conveyance, electronically transmit the prescribed information to the Director-General in respect of each person, failure to comply with this provision will incur an administrative fine of R5000 per person.


  • The owner/person in charge of a conveyance shall act in accordance with a boarding advice issued by the Director-General in respect of each person contemplated, failure to comply with this provision will incur an administrative fine of R50 000 per person.


  • The owner/person in charge of a conveyance entering into, departing from or in transit through the Republic of South Africa by air or conveying persons on domestic flights within the Republic of South Africa, shall comply with the provision by enabling electronic transmission of the prescribed passenger name record information in respect of all person booked to travel on his or her conveyance to the Director-General, failure to comply with this provision will result in an administrative fine of R15 000 per person.


  • The owner/person in charge of the conveyance mentioned above shall, within prescribed period and prior to the scheduled time of departure of his or her conveyance, electronically transmit the prescribed passenger name record information to the Director-General; transmission of inaccurate information shall result in an administrative fine of R5000 per person.


  • Transmission of inaccurate information from the conveyance, which will hinder the achievement of the objectives by the Director-General will incur an administrative fine of R15 000 per person.

Updated according to the Immigration Act as amended in 2014

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Immigration Act South Africa 2014 – Travelling With Kids

In the light of the growing issue of kidnapping in South Africa, the Department of Home Affairs has implemented a new law as per Section 6 (12),regarding travelling with kids.

These are as follows:

a.) In the case of both parents accompanying a kid, an unabridged birth certificate must be provided

b.) In the case of one parent accompanying a kid, an unabridged birth certificate must be provided


i.) An affidavit from the other parent authorising the parent travelling with the kid to either enter or depart from the South Africa

ii.) If relevant, a death certificate of the other parent

c.) In the case of a person who is not a kid’s biological parent accompanying a kid, an unabridged birth certificate must be provided


i.) An affidavit from the parents or legal guardian authorising the person travelling with the kid to either enter or depart from the South Africa

ii.) ID copies of both parents or the legal guardian

iii.) Contact information of both parents or the legal guardian

d.) In the case of an unaccompanied kid, an affidavit from both parents or legal guardian (if there is only one parent’s affidavit – a court order authorising full custody from the relevant parent or a death certificate)

i.) A letter of address and contact details from the person who is to receive the kid in South Africa

ii.) An ID copy of the person who is to receive the kid

iii.) Contact details of the kid’s parents or legal guardian

For any enquiries about the new regulations or assistance in acquiring permits for South Africa, please feel free to contact us at:

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Study Visa | Immigration Law South Africa 2014

A study visa is issued to a foreign national who wishes to commence studies in South Africa.

When the individual wants to study, the intended institution has to confirm that he/she will be studying there, that arrangements for the fees have been made and also confirm that the place of a South African citizen is not being taken.

The individual also has to provide proof of medical cover in South Africa, if by any unfortunate accident, the person has to be admitted to hospital or see a doctor the necessary medical cover is in place for medical expenses.

For all study visas it is required that a repatriation fee be paid to the Department or South African Mission. This is a cash deposit which is kept by the Department of Home Affairs should the need ever arise for the department to have to repatriate the individual back to his country of origin. The amount to be paid by the applicant varies from country to country.

The study visa allows the student who is taking up studies at a higher educational institution to undertake part time work for a period of no more than 20 hours per week.

According to Section 12 of the Immigration Law:

  • Study visas are to be issued for duration of the course for learning institutions (higher learning institutions)
  • Study visas to be issued for maximum 8 years for primary school
  • Study visa to be issued for maximum 6 years for secondary schooling

For further assistance, please feel free to contact us on:

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South African Visas For IT Professionals

Are you an IT professional? Have you always dreamed about moving to sunny South Africa, but you don’t know where to begin looking for a job or applying for a visa? Lucky for you, Initiate International specialises in recruiting for Information Technology AND has its very own in-house immigration service, Initiate Immigration. Initiate is the one-stop-shop to a brighter future in South Africa.



South Africa has a great shortage of skilled workers in Information Technology and Analytics, which is why as many as 15 IT careers are on the South African Critical Skills List. Careers listed on the Critical Skills List are careers that have been deemed scarce and critical in South Africa. Foreign professionals who fall into any of the categories mentioned on the list are in great demand and can thus apply for a Critical Skills Work Visa to move to South Africa.

Critical Skills Work Visas are valid for 5 years and do not require secured employment in South Africa prior to application. Holders of these visas are free to travel to South Africa and experience and explore all of its glories for up to 12 months before having to start work. It is the best work visa the country has to offer and it is available for 15 careers in IT, which are as follows:

  • AV Specialists (Anti-virus)
  • CISCO engineers
  • CISCO solutions specialist
  • Data Centre Operations
  • Database Specialists
  • Desktop support Engineer
  • Enterprise Architecture
  • Integrated Developers(PHP, Perl, Java )
  • IT Security Specialist
  • Microsoft System Engineers
  • Network Analyst
  • Network Controllers
  • Network Specialists (Security)
  • Solution architects in Telecommunications and ICT
  • System Integration Specialist

If you recognise your specialisation in the list above, you can start with your application for a Critical Skills Work Visa. In order to apply for a Critical Skills Work Visa, you need to provide proof that your career field is on the Critical Skills List. The proof that is needed for this, requires that the following:

  • A confirmation, in writing, from the professional body, council or board recognised by the South African Qualifications Association (SAQA) or any relevant government department confirming the skills or qualifications of the applicant and the appropriate post qualification experience
  • Proof of application for a certificate of registration with the professional body, council or board recognised by SAQA
  • Proof of evaluation of the foreign qualification by SAQA and translated by a sworn translator into one of the official languages of the Republic
  • Proof of employment within 12 months after obtaining the Critical Skills Work Visa in the form of an employment contract
  • Proof of post qualification experience i.e testimonials or reference letters

Initiate Immigration will guide you through the entire immigration process and will make sure that no stone is left un-turned. Once you have your Critical Skills Work Visa sorted, you can speak to our specialist IT recruiters and start looking for the perfect IT job in South Africa. Our recruiters will ensure that you get the best salary possible, the most comfortable culture fit and the greatest job benefits.

With an immigration and recruitment consultancy in one, immigrating to South Africa has never been this easy. Let us do the paperwork and you do the travelling. Contact Initiate Immigration to start your immigration process.

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Travelling With Children | Home Affairs Backs Down


The new immigration law introduced by the South African Department of Home Affairs contains a section pertaining to the documentation required by children and their parents/guardians when travelling.

The new law states that both local and foreign parents who travel internationally with their children will be requested to provide unabridged birth certificates containing the father and mother’s details.

In the case of guardians who are travelling with children, these individuals will, in addition to the unabridged birth certificates, be required to provide affidavits from both parents (or a death certificate where relevant), granting permission to travel.

The new law and the travel requirements were initially said to take effect immediately, but following public outcry and media attention surrounding the matter, highlighting the short notice period as well as the lengthy waiting time for Home Affairs to issue an unabridged birth certificate, the South African Department of Home Affairs decided to extend the implementation date till the end of September.

However, despite the commencement date moving back, there are still various concerns concerning the new law. The unabridged birth certificate, for instance, is not a document that is automatically issued to parents.

If this law applies to you, we recommend that you get all the necessary documentation in order before the next big school holiday in December.

Initiate Immigration is here to help assist you through this time of change.

Feel free to contact us at:

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