Work visas among top agenda items for South Africa’s new Home Affairs Minister

SA's Leon Schreiber wants faster visa processes

One of the focus areas of newly appointed Minister of Home Affairs Leon Schreiber is to improve the processes for work visas, which he says are critical for economic growth.

Business has repeatedly complained about the long delays companies experience in obtaining work visas for senior personnel. This it says acts as a constraint on economic growth. Schreiber says addressing the visa backlog would be high on his agenda.

“We absolutely have to look at visa processes. We have to take the visa issue very seriously as this is an economic catalyst for SA. We need to have a process whereby people who want to contribute skills or capital to SA are actually able to do that,” he said.

The inability of skilled people to get visas was a huge loss to the country, he said. He expressed excitement about the recent move towards a remote working visa, which would make a huge difference when implemented. “That is the first opportunity to signal to the world that SA is actually serious about attracting what we need for our economy.”

The interface with the Department of International Relations & Co-operation would have to be examined because embassies were involved in getting visa applications processed. The energetic 35-year-old Schreiber will bring fresh ideas to addressing the mountain of challenges faced by the department that includes frequent system downtime causing long queues at home affairs offices.

(Business Day)