home affairs extend hours
Home Affairs will extend their hours on election day. Image: Supplied.

Home » Home Affairs clarify reason behind delay of spousal visas

Home Affairs clarify reason behind delay of spousal visas

Often exceeding a wait time of two years, Home Affairs has clarified its process for awarding spousal visas.

16-04-24 11:59
home affairs extend hours
Home Affairs will extend their hours on election day. Image: Supplied.

The Department of Home Affairs is going through a torrid time. As The South African reported earlier this year, naturalised South Africans are being refused smart ID cards. This is despite having the same constitutional rights as every other South African citizen. Now, Home Affairs minister Aaron Motsoaledi has decided to clarify the reasons behind lengthy delays for spousal visas.


Home Affairs
The legitimacy of spousal and relative visas need to be adjudicated upon. Image: File

Business Tech reports that some spousal (and relatives) visas are taking up to two years to process. The minister of Home Affairs says this is because documentation and claims need to be verified. Replying to a parliamentary Q&A session, the minister says the issue is being addressed by the Home Affairs ‘Backlog Eradication Plan’.

As part of its efforts, 117 additional officials have been pulled in to work through the backlog of applications. The minister also says his department is looking for skilled partners in the private sector to help speed up these proceedings.


Home Affairs
A lack of contact details can make verification of spousal and relative visas difficult. Image: File

Applicants for spousal and relative visas are waiting as long as two years. This is due to notarial agreements and documents such as birth certificates, bank statements and marriage certificates that need to be verified. In order to establish the legitimacy of any relative and/or spousal relationship, a stringent adjudication process is required.

Adding insult to injury in spousal visa downtime, says the Home Affairs minister, contact numbers of the purported spouses/relatives are often not provided. Moreover, Home Affairs is jointly developing an Application Programme Interface (API) to further manage and streamline this labour-intensive data verification process, confirmed Motsoaledi.


Home Affairs
Home Affairs is extended its opening hours to weekends for April and May 2024. Image: File

Motsoaledi says the department hopes to expand its service channels. This includes more service kiosks, mobile offices, new offices at banks and shopping malls and connectivity through online and mobile apps. This includes the modernising of five new offices with the adoption of live-capture systems.

A reminder that Home Affairs is also opening its offices for five extra hours on Saturdays, from 6 April to 25 May 2024. They will be open from 08h00 to 13h00 for ID collection services, new applications and Temporary Identity Certificates. You’re encouraged to book appointments online to collect ID documents before visiting offices in person. This can be done at the link HERE through the Branch Appointment Booking System (BABS).

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