Reasonable period of time to finalise temporary & permanent residence permit applications

Finalising permit applications – Our specialist immigration law firm is constantly being contacted and mandated to assist and advise on long outstanding temporary and permanent residence applications that have been submitted with the Department of Home Affairs without resolution.

For an applicant in such a situation there is a deep-seated frustration in the sense of a pending employment or business opportunity or the need to take up studies or simply to obtain permanent residence to enjoy additional residency benefits in South Africa.

There is ongoing frustration in appreciating what can be done to finalize such troubling matters. The good news is that much can be done to expedite and finalise outstanding permit applications.

As a point of legal principle any application that is submitted by an applicant carries a legally enforceable right against the Department of Home Affairs to have such matter adjudicated within a reasonable period of time.

As a matter of law the Department of Home Affairs is like any administrative state department, who are legally obliged to comply with two pieces of law – namely, section 33 of our Constitution and the Promotion of Administrative of Justice Act 3 of 2000 – that oblige such Department to provide just administrative justice.

In essence, it carries supreme rights to enforce the Department of Home Affairs to finalise any permit application – both temporary or permanent residence within a reasonable period of time.

What is a reasonable period of time?

Temporary Residence Applications

The Department of Home Affairs is obliged to adjudicate all temporary residence applications within 30 days, which means that upon submission and the issuance of a receipt of submission to the applicant, such application ought to be finalised 30 days from date of receipt.

Typically, an application is often not finalised in such period and it then remains the decision of the applicant whether to pursue his or her rights of administrative action to finalise such pending application or not – or just wait.

The current dilemma faced by many applicants is that our Department of Home Affairs is unable to provide a specific period wherein an applicant can expect an outcome only to be advised that it is pending and this remains the most debilitating angst for most applicants.

Permanent Residence Applications

Permanent residence is somewhat more confusing than temporary residence since there is no legislated timeline contained in our immigration laws save for court precedent and practise.

However, we have successfully sought and created legal precedent in our many High Court matters with the Minister and Director-General of Home Affairs wherein they have conceded in writing that eight months is envisaged to be the acceptable and reasonable period in which to finalise such permanent residence applications.

Of course, our Home Affairs will never disclose this to the public as it will literally open the floodgates of so many desperate applicants demanding that their pending matters be finalised.

Court Litigation

Our method employed in finalising any such temporary and permanent residence applications is based on our ability as experienced immigration lawyers and litigators to launch High Court litigation against the Department of Home Affairs to effectively compel the Department to adjudicate pending permit applications.

Depending on the circumstances we would either launch urgent, semi-urgent or normal High Court applications to compel the Department to adjudicate within a reasonable period of time.

We bring vast relief and enjoy major success in this area of law and take instructions from large corporate entities, individuals and immigration consultants to expedite pending temporary or permanent residence applications in a turnaround of literally weeks.

National Immigration Law Firm

With offices in Cape Town and Johannesburg, Craig Smith & Associates is South Africa’s only national immigration law firm.

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“Craig is your man when it comes to immigration. His team is real helpful, extremely efficient and professional. Certainly the best service you can get. Thanks guys.”

– Gabor Lukacs

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Cape Town

Craig Smith

Contact Details
(021) 418 3810

Physical Address
Immigration Chambers
10 Pepper Street,
Suite 8
Cape Town, 8001

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