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In my experience, the SMSs are on the whole very unreliable, and now it seems some of them are even fake. We go in to Home Affairs twice a week at least, so we check with them on applications directly. That way, you get the truth from the horse's mouth.
 

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Please note an update from Home Affairs:

Processing Times
The processing of both permanent and temporary residence applications is to be improved as it has slowed down again despite a steady flow of work during the beginning of the year. The Minister of Home Affairs, Naledi Pandor, assures us that the backlog of permanent residence applications should be completed by December 2013. She has put a project in place whereby she has mandated a task team to eradicate this backlog by December 2013 and she physically checks up on their progress therefore one hopes that these efforts will yield results and there will be no more backlogs and an application for permanent residence would revert back to the normal processing time of at least 3 to 6 months. With the implementation of the new Immigration Act and Regulations, which the Minister anticipates to be sooner rather than later, one hopes the beginning of the year will be a better experience for all at the Department of Home Affairs.
 

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Please note an update from Home Affairs:

Processing Times
The processing of both permanent and temporary residence applications is to be improved as it has slowed down again despite a steady flow of work during the beginning of the year. The Minister of Home Affairs, Naledi Pandor, assures us that the backlog of permanent residence applications should be completed by December 2013. She has put a project in place whereby she has mandated a task team to eradicate this backlog by December 2013 and she physically checks up on their progress therefore one hopes that these efforts will yield results and there will be no more backlogs and an application for permanent residence would revert back to the normal processing time of at least 3 to 6 months. With the implementation of the new Immigration Act and Regulations, which the Minister anticipates to be sooner rather than later, one hopes the beginning of the year will be a better experience for all at the Department of Home Affairs.
Transcript copy of Minister Naledi Pandor's comments during the Home Affairs weekly media briefing 26 September 2013

Today’s briefing will focus on four main issues: the permanent residence permit backlog.

EFFORTS UNDERTAKEN TO DEAL WITH PERMANENT RESIDENCE PERMITS BACKLOG

Home Affairs has undertaken to adjudicate permanent residence permits within eight months. I have appointed 20 full time staff to focus solely on adjudicating permanent residence. This team is currently undergoing training and is expected to assume their duties from the 1 November 2013.

I have also established a permanent residence backlog project to clear 23 945 applications for permanent residence over three months. This backlog dates back to 2009. At the moment, the focus is on 2009/2010 applications, followed by 2011 applications and concluding with 2012/2013 applications.

In addition to this yearly prioritization we are also focusing on permanent residence categories that are of national economic importance like work, quota skills, extra-ordinary skills and business permits. We will still be attending to urgent cases based on their specific merits. In this connection, the departmental website will be updated with contact details of the project manager and how clients can get in touch with the project office.

Questions and Answers

Question: How many South Africans have been arrested with false passports internationally in the last year?
Answer (Minister Pandor): There has not been any arrests with the new passports, none whatsoever.
 

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We got ours in 6 months.. applied in Cape Town - Barrack street - often referred to as the only functional Home Affairs office LOL
 

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Oh - I didn't mean to imply they made it faster - everything is processed in Pretoria and I believe the minister signs off on each one LOL. I just meant the office runs better ...
 

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The only thing that runs profitably in Barracks Street is the Mavericks strip club joint.

We do a great deal of applications at Barracks Street Home Affairs, and while the processing is done in Pretoria, the speed at which these applications return and the efficiency of the staff leaves much to be desired. For certain permits, we submit elsewhere, sometimes the client does so overseas.

Nevertheless, Barracks Street Home Affairs is not at the bottom of the pile by a long shot.
 

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Albeit frustrating to visit, home affairs hasn't been completely horrible. I actually think the staff there felt sorry for us. They even went to the lengths of giving us a direct number / email where we could inquire about our stuff arriving after our 4th post-SMS trip to their office. It seemed the hold up was in Pretoria...
 

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push up at the regional office

most of time, the application staying at the regional office for too long.
is there any way to ask them to send to PTA quicker?
 

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did she apply via herself or an agent?
which office was at?
she applied by herself and we always apply to pietermaritzburg since we are here in KZN.

By the way my work permit after 1 week it has beed approved and released after another week.. It means I only waited for 2 weeks for work permit. in Pietermaritzburg also.
 

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I'm almost up for my PR now and have been on South African immigration information and they give all the details on what you need to prepare to submit your own stuff, even downloaded the forms. Is this site legit?

Honestly I must have got 4 different answers from 4 people at the same Home Affairs number. I'ts ridiculous.
 

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Just thought i would add the rest of my experience from my first post on 28-Mar-2013 (post #30).
My basic timeline...

Aug-2011 - Applied for PR (spousal) at Paarl
Sep-2011 - PR acknowledged as received in Pretoria
...
May-2012 - Started calling Home Affairs monthly/ bi-monthly. Application escalated multiple times.
...
Feb-2013 - PR moved into a final stages for finalisation
Apr-2013 - Home affairs called to request copies of my documents. I had to source them from Paarl. Paarl unable to help as they would have been in storage.
- Came to the conclusion that my docs were lost. Call centre would neither confirm or deny this. Not really sure why I had to source the docs.
- Emailed the copies of my application that i had made (lucky I had them).
Jun-2013 - Applied for Temp Residency as my TR was due to expire (again)
- No acknowledgement of receiving my emailed documents
Jul-2013 - Discovered that the Home Affairs email address only accepts attachments less than 2Mb. Sent docs again spread over several emails.
Sep-2013 - Got my replacement TR permit
- Pretoria acknowledged that my emailed documents had been received.
19-Dec-2013 - Got a call to say my PR had been finalised and granted (still no SMS though).
2-Jan-2014 - Collected my permit from Paarl. Yay me.

Only 28 months. What a mission. At least i finally got it.

For the record. I found the staff in Paarl to be very useful. The Call Centre staff were very helpful though their hands appeared to be tied in terms of what they can do.
From what I understand they do not have any communication with those doing the processing. They just submit notes and hope for the best. Its a bit of a failure in their system.

Anyway. Now i have a new PR issue.
During that 28 months and against my wishes. The missus decided to leave me (It kind of makes a mockery of the spousal affidavits that were required).
As i'm on the spousal PR i'm thinking i really should have applied using my kids because with spousal PR in 2 years time i have to prove that my good faith spousal relationship still exists or the PR becomes invalid.

From a divorce perspective nothing is finalised/ started. I have 50% custody of the kids (100% would be ideal) and no intention of leaving SA. At the moment it's all quite amicable with the ex though she knows my residency and employment is contingent on the permit.

After living in SA for six years getting my PR was supposed to make life a little bit easier. Clearly not.

Has anybody had a similar experience or have advice on that front? I really don't want to move back onto a relatives permit or apply for PR again. Jumping through hoops if i want to change jobs is not something that is high on my list of things to do. Hopefully there is a way to easily change the category of my PR.

Cheers
 

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I'm not 100% sure what you are explaining, but if you received PR on the basis of your relationship, this is a concern as you have to prove this again to Home Affairs in 2 years time.

Are you divorced on paper yet?
Are your children South African? If yes, you can re-apply for PR through them.
 

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Website

I'm almost up for my PR now and have been on South African immigration information and they give all the details on what you need to prepare to submit your own stuff, even downloaded the forms. Is this site legit?

Honestly I must have got 4 different answers from 4 people at the same Home Affairs number. I'ts ridiculous.
Yes, this site is 100% legit and currently up to date.
 

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I'm not 100% sure what you are explaining, but if you received PR on the basis of your relationship, this is a concern as you have to prove this again to Home Affairs in 2 years time.

Are you divorced on paper yet?
Are your children South African? If yes, you can re-apply for PR through them.
Thanks for the quick reply.

Yes - I applied for PR under the spousal category.
That is my concern. The PR conditions spell it out quite clearly. I just wondered if there was a way around it.

Not divorced on paper. Those discussions haven't taken place yet - but I can't stay in limbo forever - so i'm just kicking off the thought process.
The kids were born here. They have SA citizenship and passports.

Does that mean my best bet is to apply again for PR using the kids?
Is it possibly to change the PR conditions? - Ie to change the category from spousal to relatives without a full PR application?
Do you know if I can apply directly for PR without going via a temporary permit?
 

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I would be concerned to apply based on the kids as should your ex get full custody I don't know what the situation would be, and divorces have a nasty habit of turning nasty. If you have a job, is it not possible to get your PR based on that or your period of staying in RSA?

LegalManwould be best to advise on this.
 
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