Following the significant delays in adjudication of visa applications after a move to centralise the process,1 the Department of Home Affairs in South Africa has made an “about turn” and reinstated the powers of Diplomatic Missions abroad.2   


Since the centralisation of the issuance of visas, there have been significant delays in the finalisation of visa applications. Reverting to the previous position, where missions are able to process the application, will hopefully result in a better turnaround time for new applications.


In its new directive,3 the Department of Home Affairs appears to recognise the economic needs of the country and the possible harm done by the delays in the issuance of visas.  It, however, stresses the importance of credibility in the process and has therefore issued guidance to the officials on the relevant factors to consider during the adjudication of an application.  In addition, the missions will be required to submit a report on every visa issued, as well as daily statistics.

KPMG in South Africa welcomes the change and we are hopeful that the existing backlog will be cleared as a matter of priority.  Employers and employees will be able to plan their assignments to South Africa accordingly and meet the obligations of their assignments and organisational needs.


1  See GMS Flash Alert 2022-114, 15 June 2022.

2  Department of Home Affairs, “Immigration Directive No. 12 of 2022,” dated 31 August 2022.

3  Ibid.

* Please note the KPMG International member firm in the United States does not provide immigration or labour law services. However, KPMG Law LLP in Canada can assist clients with U.S. immigration matters.


The information contained in this newsletter was submitted by the KPMG International member firm in South Africa.


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