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Attention employers: Here's how the new immigration regulations affect your business

by , 02 June 2014
Government is introducing new regulations once again. This time on immigration rules.

Last Monday (26 May), the Immigration Regulations of 2014 officially came into effect.

According to the new Home Affairs Minister, Malusi Gigaba, the new rules are a bid towards 'strengthening security elements' in South Africa, as immigration rules in the past have been open to 'abuse'.

If you're wondering how the new Immigration Regulations will affect your business, here are the five changes you need to know about.


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Immigration Regulations 2014 will affect your business in the following five ways

iAfrica reports that the following will be applicable under the new regulations:

#1: Under the new regulations, the word 'visa' replaces the word 'permit', except for the permanent residence 'permit'.

The site explains that a visitor's permit will now be called a visitor's visa, a work permit will now be called a work visa and a study permit will be called a study visa.

This change will ensure there's a distinction between short-stay visas and long-stay permanent residence permits. This means you'll have to be extra careful if you employ foreign employees. They'll need work visas, not permits.

In addition, under the new rules, using agents or lawyers as representation for visa applications is prohibited. The applicant has to make the application for himself. You can't apply on your employee's behalf.

#2: The new regulations state that a business visa won't be issued or renewed to a foreigner who intends to establish or invest in a business that's listed as an 'undesirable business undertaking.'

There are three more critical changes you have to know about…


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Three more changes to the Immigration Regulations 2014 that'll affect you as an employer

#3: The quota work permit and exceptional skills work permit are no more. But government has introduced a critical skills work visa into the Act. You'll have to tread carefully if you hire foreigners because of their skills. Government will want to know if the country really needs those skills.

#4: In terms of the new regulations, government will issue an intra-company transfer work visa for a period of four years. This means your employee won't have to renew his work visa every two years as was previously the case.

#5: If you're a South African corporate, you'll get a corporate visa to employ a number of foreigners for a period not exceeding three years. In your application, you'll have to show there's a need to employ foreigners.

The regulations also state that any company with a business visa must employ or prove that 60% of the total staff complement is South African citizens or permanent residents.

There you have it. If you employ foreigners, you'll have to make sure you're in line with these Immigration Regulations. It's the only way to avoid penalties. If you have questions about these regulations, ask our experts at the Labour & HR Club.

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