One-stop premium visa service center to launch for approved companies

23 Apr 15

SOUTH AFRICA

IMPACT – MEDIUM

What is the change? The Department of Home Affairs is launching a Premium Visa Application Service in partnership with the Gauteng Growth and Development Agency and Gauteng Investment Centre for qualifying corporate companies and businesses.

What does the change mean? Companies and businesses that are selected, based on a qualifying points system, will be given “Corporate Account” status, which will then allow them to benefit from streamlined visa service.

  • Implementation time frame: To be confirmed.
  • Who is affected: Companies and businesses requiring foreign employees and expatriates, particularly employers with current or anticipated high-volume requirements.
  • Impact on processing times: The Department of Home Affairs has said that the new one-stop shop is intended to provide a “shorter, more efficient process” for visa applications.
  • Business impact: Companies and businesses that employ or anticipate employing large numbers of foreign nationals or expatriates can benefit from a streamlined and efficient visa service.
  • Next steps: Companies and businesses wishing to apply for Corporate Account status must do so within 10 days of publication of a notice in the Government Gazette. The date of publication is still not known.

Background: The one-stop premium service center will only serve select corporate applicants who have been approved for Corporate Account status. Applications for this status must be made in writing within 10 days of the Gazette notice. An advisory committee will select companies by awarding points based on the following criteria:

  • Numbers of visas required in key positions over the coming three years (20 points).
  • Amount of capital expenditures over next three years (20 points).
  • Relevance of visas to national development and infrastructure (20 points).
  • Percentage of visas that are for critical skills (20 points).
  • Efforts by the company to transfer skills to South African workers (20 points).
  • Proof that 60 percent of the company’s local workforce are South Africans or permanent residents employed in permanent positions (20 points).

BAL Analysis: Companies that want to apply for Corporate Account status must address all of the selection criteria in their application, which should not exceed two pages and must be signed by the corporate applicant or human resources director. The Department of Home Affairs will make the final selection and will advise applicants of the outcome.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group and our network provider located in South Africa. For additional information, please contact your BAL attorney.

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