What is the change? South Africa’s Department of Labour has switched to a new online system that allows applicants for general work visas to know whether the DOL will provide a positive or negative assessment of applications before they are submitted for final consideration to the Department of Home Affairs.

What does the change mean? Under the new system, the DOL’s assessment will save employers significant time because they will know whether to move forward with applications. Previously, the DOL’s assessment was not revealed until after the DHA made a final determination.

  • Implementation time frame: Ongoing.
  • Visas/permits affected: General work visas.
  • Who is affected: Employers and foreign nationals preparing to submit applications for general work visas.
  • Business impact: The change will save employers time because they will know not to push ahead with applications that have received a negative assessment from the DOL. However, it is possible employers will experience delays as the new system is rolled out. 

Background: In recent years, DHA began soliciting DOL input on general work visa applications before making final determinations on them. The DOL portion of the application can now be completed online. Before the online system was implemented, the DOL did not tell applicants whether its assessment was negative or positive before applicants submitted their applications to DHA. With the change, applicants can move forward with applications that receive a positive DOL assessment and abandon applications, if they so choose, that receive negative assessments.

BAL Analysis: The DOL’s assessment of general work visa applications figures heavily into the DHA’s adjudication process. The change makes the application process easier for employers and foreign nationals because they will know before submitting their final application to DHA whether their applications are viable.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group. For additional information, please contact your BAL attorney.
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