My Daniel Craig Moment

Home Affairs Torture Tactics

3 years in South Africa has flown by, however this momentous juncture is not a cause for celebration, but rather tribulation as with it comes the expiry of my Quota Work Permit mid April 2012. The date is just around the corner and it has been causing me a number of sleepless nights, due mainly to the centrality of Home Affairs in the proceedings. The delay to my permit processing has led to another major headache; come the date of my current permit’s expiry, ABSA will freeze my account and I will have to revert to trusty bed mattress banking until I can supply them with a new permit number! I am once again at the mercy of a system and a ‘computer says no’ mentality.

This time around I decided to pursue the route of the spousal permit since I was assured that it would be a much simpler and all-in-all quicker process (and by virtue of the fact that I am now married to a South African national). I’d do just about anything to numb the ball-ache (picture the Daniel Craig torture scene from Casino Royale…yes, the one with the chair!) which Home Affairs knowingly inflicts on all foreign nationals requiring a temporary resident permit. Even those who are considered ‘skilled’ labour and contribute to the economic growth of the country do not receive a slightly preferential treatment. And yet an organisation such as SARS will gladly accept your tax money without so much as a second thought as to your immigration status? Continue reading

Seeking Employment…South African Style

One of the things which prompted me to set up this blog was the process minefield which the Department of Home Affairs has set in place pertaining to a tertiary-educated foreigner obtaining a work permit, in order to be ‘legally’ employed within the country of South Africa.

I listen to Five FM in the mornings on the way into work along with the news bulletins and Gareth Cliff’s frank takes on current affairs in the country. It is entertaining to say the least and more often than not Gareth tends to vocalise exactly what I expect most of the nation has been thinking when it comes to certain goings-on,  political upsets,  crime and other fraudulent activities, and just about any other matter which ‘gets his goat’. Of course the level of his frankness all depends on which side of bed he falls out of in the mornings and how tempting it is to make another ginger joke about Sias’ gingerness.

My initial experiences of the work permit minefield began in January 2009 when I was looking to return to South Africa, after having completed a 6 month stint assisting a local engineering firm in the design of a of World Cup airport project at OR Tambo International Airport. I researched the various visa options available and contacted a South African immigration agency (Intergate) in order to assist with the process and provide a locally based contact with Home Affairs. They advised me that with my particular skill set I could apply for a ‘Quota Work Permit’, which is similar in nature to the highly skilled work visa variant in the UK. Continue reading