Companies turning a blind eye to the validity of employee visas are putting themselves and their businesses at risk.

Note from Mr Etienne van Wyk of Cofesa Helpline- It is a challenge to verify work permits with little DHA help.

With unemployment figures at an all-time high and South Africa facing numerous economic challenges, the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) and the Department of Labour are taking steps to curb the employment of illegal foreign nationals living in South Africa, says Jo-lene Da Silva-Vergottini, expatriate solutions advisor at Xpatweb – 14 August 2021.

Department of Home Affairs (DHA)

With a spotlight on corruption in the form of falsified visas and bribery, the DHA has established an anti-corruption unit comprising of immigration experts, lawyers and forensic investigators, to scrutinise employment practices towards foreigners.

What the law says

Violation of the Immigration Act and the Employment Services Act will result in the immediate deportation of the foreign national and can also leave the South African employer facing a hefty fine or even imprisonment and the bill for repatriating the individual to their home country.

Shockingly regardless of being a foreign national without a valid working visa, employees are still afforded legal protection from an unfair dismissal under the Labour Relations Act, especially if they can prove negligence on the part of the employer.

It could also lead to the regulatory bodies conducting regular audits on the company’s employment records.

When employing foreign nationals updated vetting processes and records are imperative.

Contact the Cofesa 24-hr helpline for advice: 011 679 4373