Today's Labour News

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southafricalogoEngineering News reports that government is changing the way the SA visa system works and immigration law experts have lauded this as a positive step to enable more foreign skilled labour into the country.

However, they stress that some clarifications are still needed. In a webinar on 25 April, law firm Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr (CDH) pointed out that the historical visa system had been cumbersome for many businesses looking to appoint skilled foreigners into their organisations. The Department of Home Affairs (DHA) recently introduced changes to the manner in which visas were granted in SA, including by introducing a point-based system. However, CDH’s Imraan Mahomed noted that the manner in which points were to be allocated still needed to be gazetted for public comment. Moreover, the DHA was putting in place regulations for digital nomad visas by amending the law to allow foreigners earning more than R1-million a year to take out a digital nomad visa. CDH’s Taryn York indicated that it was unclear whether the R1-million requirement related to gross or net salary, which would impact on the number of people who could qualify for these visas. A further comment on the digital nomad visa was that it would not be practicably implementable unless the Income Tax Act was also amended. The experts were also unsure of the DHA’s capability to process new visa applications alongside those that have been backlogged for months. Another uncertainty was that draft amendments to the immigration regulations were published before the public comment period had lapsed and so government had to withdraw the regulations for later publication.

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