The Department of Home Affairs issues new Immigration Directive

​​​​​A new Immigration Directive issued by the Minister of Home Affairs (DHA) aims is to reduce certain burdens on foreign nationals applying for South African temporary residence and South African permanent residence.

On 11 April 2023, the Minister of the DHA issued Immigration Directive No. 5 of 2023 granting two waivers in respect of certain requirements of the Immigration Regulations. The following will apply with immediate effect as from 11 April 2023:

Waiver towards the Radiological Reports

Previously, foreign nationals were required to produce a BI-806 Radiological Report with an additional letter from the Radiologist in both South African temporary residence and South African permanent residence applications; this is no longer required. Foreign nationals are however still required to produce a BI-811 Medical Certificate with each South African temporary residence and South African permanent residence application.

Partial Waiver towards Police Clearance Certificates

A requirement placed on foreign nationals to produce police clearance certificates has also been partially relaxed. Previously a police clearance certificate was required from every country in which the foreign national had resided for a continuous period of twelve months from the age of 18, including their country of origin.

It has, however, noted that foreign nationals struggle to obtain all the police clearance certificates from countries with challenging administrative systems, particularly in circumstances where such individuals left that country a very long time ago. The DHA acknowledges that a partial waiver will alleviate the strain faced by applicants whose applications have been delayed or rejected as a result of these challenges. Accordingly, the requirement to produce a clearance certificate has now been partially waived in that foreign nationals are only required to produce police clearance certificates from countries they have resided in for a continuous period of 12 months for the last five years.

We encourage individuals seeking temporary or permanent residence to take advantage of the favourable waivers. While the new waivers certainly alleviate the administrative burden placed on those applying for permits, immigration processes are nevertheless complex with frequent changes in the application criteria. Our experienced team of immigration law specialists monitor these changes to ensure that our clients are informed and are kept up-to-date on the latest developments in this field.


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