News Articles

Corporate visas can fix seasonal farm labour shortages

Source: DHA, 09/07/2021

South African farmers who operate their businesses close to the country’s borders with neighbours such as Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Swaziland and Lesotho, where sources of labour including semi-skilled workers abound, can apply for a bulk visa to import labour when required.
“It is crucial that farmers who want to apply to the Department of Home Affairs (“DHA”) and the Department of Labour (“DOL”) for a Corporate Visa, can prove that they first sought out unemployed South Africans for the positions”,
Bulk approval to import skills
The DHA’s Corporate Visa allows farmers to obtain bulk approval for groups of between 50 and 1,000 labourers or more to enter and work in South Africa for a period of up to three years at a time after which a renewal is required. Once this visa has been approved, workers are issued with a certificate which allows them, on presentation, to have their passports endorsed with the relevant corporate visa.
“The farmer may only need the workers on a seasonal basis but the three year validity of this visa ensures that they do not have to reapply every season when the labourers are needed on the farm,” Jacobs explains.
The visa is particularly useful for the agricultural sector, which often struggle to find local labour to fill temporary posts as seasonal workers, as many people may take the job for a month or two but then resign for personal reasons, or at times because they have found a more permanent position elsewhere.
Neighbouring country’s labour pool
There are generally large communities of people living outside towns in neighbouring countries who are seeking seasonal jobs on farms. This visa allows the farmer to apply and bring them to SA to fill specific posts of pickers, packers and sorters, for example, using a single bulk visa application. The labourers themselves do not have to worry about the application as it is entirely handled by the farms’ human resources department, which will usually outsource the process to a reputable immigration specialist with experience in the process.
Farmers have historically handled the visa application in-house, but in recent years many have opted to outsource it to a specialist to ensure a smooth and swift process.
“It is a cumbersome process, so farmers prefer to focus on their core business and to leave a specialist to handle the paperwork, which involves liaising with both the Department of Labour and the Department of Home Affairs,” Jacobs says.
As part of the process, the DOL will inspect the farm to ensure that the business is compliant with labour laws and minimum wage requirements, to ensure there is no exploitation or attempt to attract cheap labour. The DOL will also require evidence from the farmer that there has been an attempt to seek out and employ local labourers, before turning to neighbouring countries as well as an ongoing attempt to increase their local labour count.
Apply now to avoid delays
The Corporate Visa takes as long as six to 12 Months months to obtain, from initial submission of the paper work to approval. It is advisable to consult an immigration specialist in advance to obtain the best advice and practical assistance regarding filing an application.
“This is a very attractive visa because it helps farmers solve their labour shortage challenges with one application and it provides peace of mind that they are compliant for at least three years. The visa is renewable after three years so if the farm has grown, and there is still no local labour available, or the business has expanded and still needs the workers to complement its local workforce, the departments will assess the situation and renew the visa,” Jacobs concludes.
If you are looking for advice on Agricultural Corporate Visas, please feel free to contact us


Search

  •    Nigerian diaspora works to dispel negative image created by rogue actors such as Boko Haram, drug dealers and Hushpuppi While it is important to debunk negative stereotypes, we should not fall into the trap of denialism and ignore or downplay the criminal activities of some unscrupulous Nigerians in the diaspora who are partly responsible for the country’s image crisis. On Sunday, 25 July, Nigeria celebrated its 15th National Diaspora Day under the theme: “Diaspora Integration for National Peace and Development”.... Read more...
  •    Local and international investors are pumping billions into South Africa’s fintech scene, which include large investments in local start-ups over the last few weeks. In July, South African fintech start-ups raised over R1.3 billion from notable investors, including Naspers, Vunani Capital, Old Mutual, and the Dragoneer Investment Group. The largest investment came from the Dragoneer Investment Group, which invested R1.23 billion in Yoco.... Read more...
  •    *The short answer* You can apply for the child /parent/child_7-12 support grant if your partner> is a refugee or permanent resident. *The long answer* If you are a South African citizen, or a refugee or a permanent resident, you can apply to SASSA for a child support grant. It is a means-tested grant, so SASSA will take into account both your own and your husband’s income. These are the SASSA rules:... Read more...
  •    Deciding on moving to another country isn`t a choice you make overnight. While South Africa offers vast travel options and has some of the most welcoming people, many South Africans migrate to other countries for better opportunities and travel options. Here are three countries popular within the South African market:... Read more...
  •    Do you have a Long Outstanding Permanent Residence ` What are my options Is Legal Action the way to go ` Class Action vs individual Court Action Class Action appears cheaper way but has more consequences to applicant than individual court action .... Read more...
  •    Reclassification will make it possible for others to travel to Germany, subject to proof of vaccination or a negative test result. Germany no longer considers South Africa and eight other African countries as so-called ‘virus variant’ areas, the Health Ministry said on Friday, in a move that will ease strict travel restrictions. The change, which takes effect on Sunday, comes after the Delta strain of Covid-19 became dominant in both Germany and South Africa, displacing the Beta strain originally found in the southern African nation.... Read more...
  •    HOME AFFAIRS - ONLINE APPLICATION FOR ENABLING DOCUMENTS (IDENTITY & TRAVEL DOCUMENTS) FOR REFUGEES. 1.1 In an effort to restore critical services to recognised refugees online services have been extended to include applications for either Identity & Travel Documents in a manner that contributes to limiting the spread of Covid-19 and ensure excellent service delivery. 1.2 The online service referred to in paragraph 1.1 is only limited and applicable to the dependants of recognised refugees:... Read more...
  •    • South Africans have been among the most restricted travellers in the world during the pandemic. • And restrictions for those wanting to travel or return to the United Kingdom have been particularly onerous. • But wily travellers have found loopholes in the system - mostly by choosing to stop over in countries not on the UK`s red list. • Mexico and West Africa quickly emerged as viable options. • But it`s the Balkans, and in particular Montenegro, that seem to be winning out at the moment.... Read more...
  •    Indications are that the billionaire Gupta brothers and their wives have pipped South African law enforcement to the Interpol post with a preventive strike that is likely to stall the issuing of red notices. Interpol red notices are a vital tool in South Africa’s quest to definitively locate members of the Gupta family for possible extradition. It therefore makes sense that blocking efforts to secure such notices would be a priority for the family ` four of whom are fugitives from justice.... Read more...
  •    ... Read more...

Get the latest Immigration News