visa backlog

There’s a huge VISA backlog at home affairs that’s stifling the country. Picture: File.

There’s a huge VISA backlog at home affairs that’s stifling SA

The visa backlog has nothing to do with people getting out, but rather workers who can’t get into South Africa to fill skills shortages.

visa backlog

There’s a huge VISA backlog at home affairs that’s stifling the country. Picture: File.

It’s ironic that with so many South Africans trying to leave the country, it’s a visa backlog for people trying to get INTO the country that’s stifling economic growth.

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According to a report from Business Tech, the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) has a visa backlog of 62 000 applications. These are for people and workers trying to get into the country to fill critical skills shortages.

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Now, visa agent Xpatweb, says the DHA are rejecting applications out of hand to simply try clear the huge visa backlog. The agent specialises in work permits for people coming to South Africa. It says individuals, HR professionals and businesses face lengthy delays and a needlessly complex application process.


visa backlog
Minister of Home Affairs, Aaron Motsoaledi. Picture: DHA.

Since COVID, there have been a number of changes to rectify problems within the DHA. And Xpatweb believes these administrative processes have led to mounting rejections for frivolous reasons.

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“While the Minister of Home Affairs, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, has announced several mitigation measures. Such as various concessions extending the validity of long-term visas. The deployment of more departmental resources has not solved the problem,” Xpatweb said.


visa backlog
The visa backlog in SA will only resolve itself by mid-2024. Image by

The agency said it had seen several rejected visas stating that applicants had filed the application incorrectly, despite this not being the case. The company believes these challenges are hurting the economy as many businesses and applicants are left frustrated and have to turn their back on South Africa.


visa backlog
Picture: Xpatweb.

Navigating the work-visa application process will continue to be a challenge for individuals until the visa backlog is cleared. But understanding the difficulties of the process, the qualifying criteria and being fully prepared for every aspect of the application process will help.

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If this fails, another way to speed up the process is to consult with Xpatweb and follow a Legal Escalation Process. This places the DHA and Embassy under pressure to ensure a reasonable outcome.

The current visa backlog is only expected to be resolved by mid-2024 at the earliest.