Amended Immigration Regulations Not In SA’s Best Interests, Says DA

The newly gazetted immigration regulations have ripped apart families, discouraged investors, and led to the suspension or cancellation of multi-million rand film and tourism ventures, said the Democratic Alliance (DA) Shadow Minister of Home Affairs, Haniff Hoosen, on Monday.

Last month, newly appointed Minister of Home Affairs, Malusi Gigaba, outlined the Immigration Regulations for 2014. Gigaba said the new regulations are in the best interest of the security of South Africa and will contribute to economic development and prosperity of the country.

The regulations, which came into effect on 26 May, introduce a new visa regime for the country which draws a clear distinction between short-stay and long-stay permanent residence permits.

It also stipulates that visa applications need to be made by applicants in person, and those wanting to change the status of their visa can no longer do so in South Africa, but have to do so at missions abroad.

“The regulations’ various omissions and lack of definitions and criteria raise serious concerns and will be subject to misappropriation and abuse by the department and its officials,” said Hoosen.

“Furthermore, the full cost of these regulations to our local economy and country’s reputation remain to be seen.”

Hoosen said he will approach the Portfolio Committee on Home Affairs and request that these regulations be reviewed and debated by the committee as soon as possible.

He plans to submit parliamentary questions to determine the cost surrounding the new regulations, the list of skills eligible for the newly instituted Critical Skills work visa, what is considered a business in terms of ‘national interest’ and what is considered ‘undesirable business’ by the Department.

“These regulations suggest that Home Affairs is trying to ‘remedy’ problems within the department such as its rampant permit backlogs and poor vetting by imposing autocratic legislation instead of addressing the department’s internal disarray,” said Hoosen.

“The DA will not sit back while these regulations and the department continue to compromise our economy and kill jobs.”

photo credit: Sem Paradeiro via photopin cc

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