FIRMS WITH FOREIGNERS DOING WORK INCOMPATIBLE WITH VISAS CAN BE FINED

FIRMS WITH FOREIGNERS DOING WORK INCOMPATIBLE WITH VISAS CAN BE FINED

Institute for Race Relations CEO Frans Cronje said it was always a good thing to attract highly skilled migrants, particularly those who start businesses.

The head of immigration at Immigration & Business Solutions, Sue-Allan Mehl, told The Citizen there was a serious skills shortage in South Africa in a number of fields.

Yet it seems from the Gupta e-mails that the Department of Home Affairs barely understands its own paperwork, issuing visitors visas for people coming to work here and work visas for people in one capacity who are ultimately employed in another.

Mehl agreed that if the company was raided and the paperwork – as issued by Home Affairs – was at odds with the employee’s reason for being here, this would create a problem for the company.

“The company can be fined and a representative can be jailed as the business would need to prove that they had no knowledge of the person being on the wrong visa. The first thing the human resources department should check is the validity of the foreign national’s visa.”

Mehl noted the time it generally took to issue a visa varied widely, even if the paperwork was in order.

“It depends on where the submission takes place. Some SA submissions abroad take five to 10 working days, others take six to eight weeks. Home Affairs itself takes approximately six to eight weeks to process temporary residence visa applications. We find that critical skills work visa applications usually go quicker.”

Speaking in general terms, Institute for Race Relations CEO Frans Cronje said it was always a good thing to attract highly skilled migrants, particularly those who start businesses, invest or have experience a country cannot reasonably produce itself.

“The example we always quote is that of welders who worked on some of the big power station projects, which were technical artisan type people. We could quite reasonably have trained them ourselves, but we didn’t. For instance, some of the welders who worked on Medupi (power station) were imported from Asia,” Cronje noted.

“In the community around Medupi and Kusile (the other mega Eskom power station project) as well, where you have unemployment rates which approach 50% of the local population, it’s a problem.”

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Nigerians in South Africa
Nigerians in South Africa 1703 posts

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