Less hassles for foreign academics, students

The Department of Home Affairs aims to speed up visa applications for the 2012 academic year to make life a little easier for foreign academics and students.

In line with the department’s commitment to efforts to recruit “critically skilled” foreign nationals, it will assist foreign academics and students who require work and study visas, said Home Affairs Director-General Mkuseli Apleni.

“The department has implemented a number of measures through the Work and Study Visa Project to speed up visa applications for the 2012 academic year,” said Apleni.

These include:

  • The establishment of a dedicated adjudication hub to focus solely on work and study visas for educational institutions.
  • Separation of all outstanding study visa applications from 2012 applications in order to eliminate a backlog. All 2012 study visas will be adjudicated daily and outstanding applications will receive special attention.
  • The activation of Home Affairs provincial and regional offices to assist academics and students to apply for work and study visa applications.
  • Linkages with educational institutions to assist in the verification of supporting documents accompanying work and study visas.

The department urged all educational institutions to complete all work and study visas by 15 March.

Turning to the Zimbabwe Documentation Project, Apleni said the department hoped to have the process completed by the end of the current financial year.

The department received 275,762 applications from Zimbabweans wanting to regularise their stay in South Africa.

“To date and having undertaken various measures to communicate with all the applicants, both in terms of the submission of outstanding documents as well as the collection of permits, we are pleased to say we have issued 255,282 permits.

“We are therefore left with 20,480 outstanding permits. We reiterate our commitment to ensuring that these are issued speedily so that this project can be brought to a close,” he said. – BuaNews