October 22, 2013

The aftereffects of mid-year upgrades to the South African Department of Home Affairs’ (DHA) online Track-and-Trace system continue to be felt as processing delays for temporary and permanent residence applicants persist. First implemented in 2009, the system is used to keep temporary and permanent residence applicants apprised of their application status.

Even with the measures taken by South African officials to alleviate the delays (appointing a backlog-reduction taskforce, increasing immigration officers’ work hours), processing times throughout the country remain at an extended 4-5 months. Due to these lengthy backlogs, primarily in permanent residence applications, the DHA has recently transferred 20 full-time staff members from processing temporary residence permits to assisting with adjudications of permanent residence applications.

It is expected that they delays will continue for several weeks to come: while the additional officers processing permanent residence applications should help reduce the backlog, the subsequent reduction in officers handling temporary residence applications will most likely prolong delays for those applicants.

Pro-Link GLOBAL continues to monitor the situation closely and will issue further notices as they become available.