Foreign nationals in South Africa with special skills, especially those on intra-company transfer visas have been given a green light to apply for an extension of their visas by another two years.
This is contained in the Immigration Directive no. 15 of 2020 issued by South Africa’s Home Affairs Minister, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi on Thursday.
He said the move was meant to contribute to an environment in which economic growth is promoted through the employment of needed foreign labour, foreign investment is facilitated and that the entry of exceptionally skilled or qualified people is enabled.
Dr Motsoaledi said he had made the directive in line with the neighboring country’s immigration Act.
Any further extension or modification or amendments to the terms of this concession, the Minister said will only be valid if communicated in writing.
South Africa is home to many registered migrant workers among them at least 200 000 Zimbabweans most of whom are their courtesy of the Zimbabwe Exemption Permit (ZEP) that expire on 31 December 2021.
Below is the full statement:
TEMPORARY VISA CONCESSION FOR HOLDERS OF INTRA-COMPANY TRANSFER VISAS CURRENTLY RESIDENT IN THE REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA.
In providing for the regulation of admission and departure of foreigners to and from the Republic, The Immigration Act, No 13 of 2002 directs the Department of Home Affairs to contribute to an environment in which economic growth is promoted through the employment of needed foreign labour, foreign investment is facilitated and that the entry of exceptionally skilled or qualified people is enabled.
I, Dr. PA Mostoaledi, MP, Minister of Home Affairs has, with the powers bestowed upon me in terms of section 31(2)(c) of the Immigration Act, 2002 (Act No 13 of 2002) decided to allow holders of legally issued Intra-Company Transfer(ICT) visas who are currently residing in the Republic of South Africa to apply for another term of 24 months for the ICT visa that they currently hold.
This waiver is applicable to holders of ICT visas that expired during the lockdown, including the current period and to those which will expire by 30 June 2021; subject to the following conditions:
- Proof that the local entity, branch or affiliate of the company abroad still requires the services of the ICT visa holder;
- Proof in the form of verifiable documents that the skill transfer to a South African or Permanent Residence was completed during the fours (4) years of the visas as per the initial undertaking;
- The ICT visa application will be considered as a new application with no accumulation nor continuation of the validity period of the current visa;
- The ICT visa shall not lead towards permanent residence; and that
- The ICT holder will remain in the employment of the designated employer for whom the initial and current ICT visa was issued.
- No change of employer, status or condition from current visa.
This temporary visa concession is only applicable to holders of legally issued intra-company visas and who are currently resident in the Republic during the lockdown. Any further extension or modification or amendments to the terms of this concession will only be valid if communicated in writing.
Dr. PA MOTSOALEDI, MP
MINISTER: HOME AFFAIRS