Immigration Law: The developments that every migrant should know about

immigration lawOn 28 July 2017, the South African Government gazetted the White Paper on International Migration for South Africa (“the Paper”) for comment. The Paper is aimed at providing a policy framework that will guide the comprehensive review and development of immigration and related legislation. South Africa’s international migration policy was set out in the 1999 White Paper on International Migration, which was implemented through the Immigration Act No. 13 of 2002 and the Refugees Act No. 130 of 1998. The Department of Home Affairs (“DHA”) found that the policy was outdated, and that it seriously affected South Africa’s ability to adequately embrace global opportunities while safeguarding our sovereignty and ensuring public safety and national security.

While amendments were made in the recent past, in an attempt to address the lacunae in the outdated legislation, the DHA acknowledged that what is required is a comprehensive review of the policy framework that can initiate systematic reform of the legislation. To achieve the above, the DHA developed a new White Paper on International Migration. The process of amending the legislation has begun and is expected by March 2019 with the submission of the amended legislation to Parliament for public consultation and approval.

The process of amending the legislation has begun and is expected by March 2019 with the submission of the amended legislation to Parliament for public consultation and approval.

These developments will have an impact on both emigrants and immigrants.

South African citizens will benefit from the increase in economic growth and development resulting from effective emigration management. Moreover, the mandatory registration of South African expatriates will enable the country to better understand the spread and profile of its expatriates globally. It is suggested that this will also enable government to provide assistance to them in cases of security threats.

Whether you are planning to immigrate or emigrate, it is important to be aware of the proposals the White Paper on International Migration to avoid unnecessary difficulties or disappointment.

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