Quickest way to get an SA Visa- Become a Sheep Shearer
The new immigration rules just published by the Department of Home Affairs have caused a lot of stir and great inconvenience to foreigners in South Africa. Stories of people being stranded abroad having to wait for visa application to come through have been reported. Families are being separated unnecessarily as spouses have to leave the country t make applications in their home country. These rules are xenophobic and infringe on peoples basic human rights to live as families.
There is no need to delve into the details of how far South Africans go with their xenophobia, and it is not only against Zimbabweans. South African xenophobia is aimed at mostly African countries north of South Africa.A couple of years ago, South Africa deported 125 Nigerians on-board Arik and South African airlines for having fake yellow fever certificates. They have also deported a Senator and a top executives from large multi national companies, for petty reasons. How can a whole flight, have fake yellow fever certificates. When investigation was carried out, it turned out that non of the certificates were fake. Zimbabweans have been known to spend days at Beitbridge border post as South Africa immigration officers have a go slow.
Unfortunately, South Africa has failed to realise that the world is now a global village. Travel, immigration and relocation are normal in today’s business environment. Scarce skills dictate that countries have to recruit suitable candidates from all around the world. Harsh immigration laws ultimately cause damage o the economy.
I lived in South Africa for a few years and have had a taste of South African xenophobia. I take great interest in the new Skilled Visas because I applied for a quota permit and got denied. As an aviator, my industry is not regulated by the Engineering Council of South Africa, but by the Civil Aviation Authority. The immigration officer adamantly demanded that I register with ECSA, yet this requirement was not necessary for my permit. ECSA on the other hand, refused to have me register, even as a junior! So I was told that I couldn’t obtain a quota permit. The application process was a mess, at one point the immigration officer demanded to feel my hands, so she could verify if I was really an engineer. She then declared my hands were too soft to be an engineer. Gees, they have created creams that you use to stop your hands from getting hard. Eventually I had to take the matter to higher levels and that is when I eventually got some resolve, a good two years on. I know many people in my field who have had the same experience, needless to say that we have all moved to greener pastures to other countries that value our skills.
Having had first hand experience of the process, I hate to imagine how this new system will work with an agent in the middle. My suspicion is that most visas will be denied and the appeal process will be very cumbersome, especially when you are appealing from your home country. Preference will be given to nationals of various nations and probably the Africans will face the brunt of the new law.
Interesting enough, the new list of skills seems to have grown longer. It seems that no profession has been left out. Even sheep shearers are on the list, one would never have thought that that is a specialized profession that requires expats, especially in Africa. It looks like most trades and engineering occupations are covered together with the medical field. Sadly however, the Department would rather give a sheep shearer a visa, than to give it to a Phd trained in their own country. Unlike most other countries where Phd graduates are given an opportunity to work and carry on conducting research in the country. Maybe they do not value or trust their own education system.
Maybe the South African Phd graduates must watch this youtube video on shearing sheep and apply for a sheep shearing visa in order to stay in the country. My advise would be, do your Phd somewhere else, unless you have good reason to want to do it South Africa.
I hope that the department will also educate its staff on all the different classes of skills. Each visa should be dealt with individually. Every case is different, but with the way they have dealt with applications in the past, there hasn’t been any flexibility in the application of the regulation.