Immigration Amendment Bill [B5-2016]

Call for comments opened 26 July 2016 Share this page:

Submissions are now closed (since 08 August 2016)

NCOP Health and Social Services

The Select Committee on Social Services (National Council of Provinces) invites you to submit written comments on the Immigration Amendment Bill [B5-2016].

Objective of the Bill:
The purpose of the Bill is to provide for an adequate sanction for foreign nationals who have overstayed in the Republic beyond the expiry date on their visa. The Bill therefore seeks to amend section 32 of the principal Act in order to more clearly provide that foreign nationals who have overstayed in the Republic beyond the expiry date of their visas, do not qualify for a port of entry visa, a visa, admission into the Republic or a permanent residence permit during the relevant prescribed period.

Comments can be emailed to Marcelle Williams at mawilliams@parliament.gov.za by no later than Monday, 8 August 2016 at 16h00.

Enquiries can be directed to Marcelle Williams on tel (021) 403 3799 or cell 083 709 8451

Issued by Ms LC Dlamini, MP, Chairperson of the Select Committee on Social Services.

Background

The Immigration Act, 2002, prior to its amendment by section 25 of the Immigration Amendment Act, 2011, provided that foreigners who left the Republic after the expiry of their permits (now referred to as ‘‘visas’) would be liable to an administrative fine. However, administrative fines were not serving as a deterrent and so a proposal was made to amend section 30 of the principal Act to declare such foreigners who overstayed as undesirable.

However, the amended section 30(1)(h) provides that a foreigner may be declared undesirable where he or she has overstayed the prescribed number of times. In practice, this wording has created many interpretation challenges as some have interpreted it to mean that foreigners must have overstayed on more than one occasion in order to be declared undesirable.

However, it had always been the intention to declare a foreigner undesirable even upon one instance of overstay. Hence, regulation 27 of the Immigration Regulations (May 2014) provides for a person who overstays after the expiry of visa (even where the person has overstayed for the first time) to be declared undesirable for a certain period of time depending on the length of overstay