COVID-19 | Addressing The New Scope of Business & How We Are Supporting Our Clients

We have been watching the world change in a myriad of ways in the last several weeks as governments and businesses across the globe try to respond to the Covid-19 global pandemic and control the spread of the virus.

On the 26th of March 2020, the Minister of Home Affairs in South Africa, gazetted directions in terms of the Disaster Management Act to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

These “directions” encapsulate the directive of the 17th of March.They clearly penalize passport holders from “high-risk” countries. According to the Minister’s directive, these “high risk” countries are the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, China, Iran Spain, Italy, Japan, and South Korea. Thereby stating that visa exemptions to be withdrawn and declaring any foreigner from these countries, who is not the holder of permanent residence, a “prohibited person” in South Africa. This means that any such foreigner is forced to apply to the Director-General of the Department of Home Affairs for a declaration of non-prohibition in terms of the Immigration Act.

Covid-19 has accomplished a significant reduction in labour migration. Lockdown has prevented the gathering of real-time data, but it is a reasonable assumption when international travel has stopped that net migration is currently happening at a rate well below 100,000 per year.

Whilst these are temporary measures in South Africa, that will be lifted by appropriate legislation in due course. The most frequently asked question, at the moment, by many of our clients is – when will these temporary measures be lifted?

As a result of the Covid-19 global pandemic, many countries have implemented restrictions on entry and exit, visa and work permit issuance, closed borders, tightened quarantine rules and taken other measures in an attempt to slow the spread of Covid-19, just like South Africa. Some countries have also introduced immigration concessions to facilitate applications. For example:

  • Moving to an online application process

  • Accepting soft copies of documents

  • Granting automatic extension approvals and more.

However, these concessions must be reviewed country by country, as the requirement to make a notification or other applications is often still in place.

As governments around the world continue to adapt and change their immigration procedures due to the pandemic, we understand there is a need for timely and accurate information about these changes to be given to our clients. We can offer assists and updates in English, German, Russia and French, to suit your needs and via multiple and accessible private and social channels. We strive to keep our client’s informed about the latest changes in real time to permit requirements, regularization procedures and available options for visa renewals and other prevailing immigration procedures you might need at this time.

The challenges related to border closures and general socio-economic lockdowns, followed by emergency measures regarding visa free entry, has strained the application and processing capacities of many governments. As a result, one of the central needs identified, is support for the development of adapted visa application processes and expedited processing assistance. We are able to guide our clients in the most efficient manner possible to resolve their immigration related delays, in a prompt and stress-free manner.

We strive to ensure that each individual clients needs are fully addressed, where you maybe in need of an assistance:

  • You are separated from your loved ones due to visa restrictions

  • You need to finalize a work visa application

  • You require remediation on an unresolved ban which requires urgent facilitation

  • You have decided to retire and have found the perfect home in South Africa

  • You require clarity as to your legal rights as it pertains to your visa

  • You would like to obtain permanent residence in South Africa, with the possibility of citizenship.

We are guided by the principles of law and as such, we continue to accommodate our clients in a confidential and professional manner in these times of uncertainty. We are proud to be able to offer Covid-19 responsive service via extended personalised hours and pricing to continue to accommodate our clients’ needs, so that we can make a meaningful difference to all their immigration matters.

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