by Solly Msimanga Cllr – DA Gauteng Premier Candidate
Today I, together with Jacques Julius MP, DA Team One SA spokesperson on Immigration conducted an oversight inspection to the VFS Global offices in Rivonia, Sandton.
During our inspection we discovered that there are delays in processing visa and permit applications by the Department of Home Affairs.
The Department of Home Affairs outsources the processing of the applications to VFS Global.
Some of the applicants we interacted with, raised concerns about the long waiting period whilst waiting for their applications to be processed by VFS Global and the delays by the Department of Home Affairs in adjudicating and approving visa and permit applications.
The management of VFS Global explained that their duty is only to receive the applications and ensure that all the required documents are attached to the application.
The final decision lies with the Department of Home Affairs and not with VFS Global.
Furthermore, the applicants indicated that they prefer VFS Global as the system is more efficient than the Department of Home Affairs.
The delays in processing these permits by Home Affairs has resulted in many foreign nationals who were in the country legally, been classified as illegal immigrants.
VFS Global only caters to those who are able to pay for the services, while those who cannot are forced to use the Department of Home Affairs to process their applications. This means that those who use Home Affairs will be affected not only by the corrupt system but also poor service and incompetence.
This clearly indicates that despite Home Affairs having outsourced part of the services that they once offered, they are still failing to process visa and permit applications within the stipulated time frames.
This is unacceptable and raises concerns and questions about the competency of Home Affairs to properly enforce immigration control and ensure that all foreign nationals who enter the country legally are given the proper documentation.
The DA believes that this has a negative impact on the economy as we are losing people with critical and scarce skills needed to help grow the economy.