SA Visa Reform: Home Affairs Creates One-Stop-Shop For Business Applications

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SA Visa Reform: Home Affairs Creates One-Stop-Shop For Business Applications
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The SA Department of Home Affairs has created a one-stop-shop for businesses that wish to apply for visas to employ foreign nationals as part of its visa reform programme.

Announcing the development on Tuesday, the department said the one-stop shop gives effect to the recommendations of its visa reform initiative.

The one-stop-shop, the Trusted Employer Scheme (TES), was created to streamline the visa regime and the speedy processing of visa applications.

The TES was launched last year on 11 October 2023.

To qualify for membership, an employer, investor, or business needs to demonstrate that it has the financial strength to employ a foreign national, that it runs training programmes for South African citizens, and is a good corporate citizen.

The one-stop shop was one of the latest developments in the review and streamlining of South Africa’s visa regime to attract skills for the South African economy and to promote tourism.

“With the Trusted Employer Scheme, the 22 weeks’ average visa process will be reduced to an average of 20 days thereby making it easier for employers to plan their recruitment and on-board expats into local operations within a shorter time,” said Home Affairs Minister, Dr. Aaron Motsoaledi.

“This is one scheme that will allow South Africa to more easily attract skills and manage immigration, particularly in the processing of applications for senior executives, technical personnel, corporate employees, and investors.

“This will happen while we continue to observe and respect existing immigration laws.”

The TES brings the Department of Trade, Industry, and Competition, the Department of Employment and Labour, and the Department of Home Affairs under a single system to finalise applications for companies that apply for critical skills through the TES.

Within the new scheme, businesses would qualify for priority processing of their visa applications due to the reduced requirements and supporting documents, in contrast to the previous process.

A total of 108 qualifying companies have submitted representing diverse sectors including commerce and finance, consultancy, energy (power generation and renewable energy), services and advisory, automotive, advanced manufacturing, resourced-based industries, and food and beverages.

The department said it has approved 68 applications.

The department said all local applications will be processed through the Corporate Accounts Unit, established in February 2010, to facilitate work visa applications for large companies and corporations.

Applications submitted abroad would also be expedited due to the reduced requirements.

The TES is one of the eight recommendations that were initiated by the department in partnership with the Operation Vulindlela team.

The recommendations followed the work visa review conducted to identify inefficiencies in the application process.

This article was originally published by TheBulrushes. It is republished by TechFinancials under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International Licence. Read the original article

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