Reverse emigration twist for South Africa

Although many wealthy South Africans are packing their bags for the UK, new migration data shows that the inverse is also true. 

The latest Wealth Migration Report 2023 from Henley & Partners and New World Wealth shows that around 400 High Net-Worth Individuals (HNWIs)  those with a net worth of over US$1 million (roughly R18 million) emigrated out of South Africa in 2022 with a further 500 leaving the country in 2023. 

The UK is an emigration hotspot for South Africans with the 2021 UK census noting that over 215,000 South Africans live on the island. 

However, according to New World Wealth, the United Kingdom is also increasingly seeing an outflux of millionaires to other destinations including South Africa.

“The United Kingdom, and London especially, has traditionally been seen as one of the world’s top destinations for migrating millionaires and for many years (from the early 1900s to 2010), it consistently attracted large numbers of wealthy people from Europe, CIS, Asia, Africa and the Middle East,” New World Wealth said. 

“However, this trend began to reverse around a decade ago as more millionaires left the country and (fewer) came in.”

“Notably, during the five-year period from 2017 to 2022, the UK has lost approximately 12,500 more HNWIs than it has gained through migration, and it is expected to lose another 3,200 HNWIs to migration in 2023.”

Reasons for the outflux include poor performance of the London Stock Exchange (LSE) dropping from the largest stock market before World War 1 to 11th globally and Brexit, with many in the financial services moving to other nations in Europe. 

The UK health system is also deteriorating, whilst there are increasing safety concerns in major cities. 

Capital gains tax and estate duty rates in the UK are also the largest in the world, deterring wealthy retirees from living there. 

In addition, the growing power of the USA and Asia in the hi-tech space has led to several wealthy UK tech companies moving their base locations. 

Considering these issues, many HNWIs have left the UK for other destinations over the past decade and Cape Town, South Africa, is listed among the top receivers of UK wealth. 

New World Wealth said that other top destinations for migrating HNWIs include: 

• Paris, France

• Monaco

• Amsterdam, The Netherlands 

• Dubai, the UAE

• Sydney, Australia

• Singapore

• New York City, USA

• Frankfurt, Germany

• Silicon Valley, USA

• Toronto, Canada

• Marbella, Spain

• Geneva, Switzerland

• Miami, USA

• Palm Beach, USA

• Tel Aviv, Israel

• The Algarve in Portugal and

• The French Riviera

Cape Town is a popular destination in South Africa for wealthy expats, most notably for its good governance, natural beauty and relatively affordable luxury property market when compared to other international cities.

Ross Levin from Seeff recently noted that there has been an influx of international buyers into Cape Town due to the reasonably flat price at the top end of the property market and the weaker rand. 

It’s not only HNWIs that are buying property in Cape Town, with the below R10 million range far more affordable for UK buyers compared to their home country.

Sham doctor case leads police to fake identity syndicate within home affairs

The NPA is waitng on Interpol results on Kingsley Chele`s identity verification. 

More than 370 fraudulent documents issued by public servants 

An investigation into the two identity documents belonging to bogus doctor Kingsley Leeto Chele led to police cracking an alleged syndicate involving home affairs officials who are accused of selling documents to illegal immigrants.

A source close to the investigations has revealed how the syndicate had issued over 370 fraudulent documents and had been charging more than R2,000 per applicant.

It is alleged that the syndicate has been running since 2020, whereby IDs, birth, death and marriage certificates were produced at night and over the weekend without management’s knowledge and sold to undocumented immigrants.

Police have since arrested two officials from the home affairs branch in Randfontein  Mzamo Mbilini, 41 and Lebogang Sunduzwayo, 41  and former employee Charlotte Bens-Edward, 40.

The trio is facing charges of fraud and corruption.

Bens-Edward worked as an administration clerk for 17 years while Sunduzwayo and Mbilini were employed as public service clerks from September 2006 and July 2010, respectively.

Bens-Edward was responsible for capturing information on the department of home affairs system.

A source close to the investigation said, “The police are working with Sassa (SA Social Security Agency) and the human settlements department because it is alleged that these fraudulent IDs have or might have been used to obtain RDPs or might be used to get grant money by undeserving beneficiaries, and we cannot rule out the possibility that these IDs were used to scam people,” said the source.

Department of home affairs media manager David Hlabane said internal investigations were conducted but Bens-Edward resigned in January 2022, saying she was joining her partner in a business venture in Cape Town, Western Cape.

This was before she could face disciplinary processes.

“The counter corruption branch of the department investigated and finalised three cases concerning Bens-Edward and two cases against Sunduzwayo and after finalisation they were referred to disciplinary hearings. [The] Bens-Edward matter was referred to the SAPS [and] with regards to Mbilini, there was no case investigated [initially]. However, he now faces an internal investigation,” he said.

“This means that the department could not finalise the enquiry [on Bens-Edward]. However, a misconduct marker was placed on the government payroll system. [This means] the department would be aware if she attempts to re-enter the public service system and we would then alert the employer to finalise the disciplinary hearing as per amended Section 16B(4) of the Public Service Act 1994.

“Meanwhile, Sunduzwayo was still undergoing the disciplinary hearing process [conducted] by human resources management and is now facing another investigation based on the information presented by police,” Hlabane said.

Hlabane emphasised that the department had removed the fraudulent documents on the National Population Register.

`They will never be usable by anybody... In line with the department’s zero tolerance for fraud and corruption, the department is ready to pursue all allegations brought to its attention,` he said.

Bens-Edward was arrested on October 26 and is out on R500 bail.

She implicated Mbilini and Sunduzwayo, who were then arrested at their workplace on November 9.

Chele was arrested on October 2 for posing as a medical doctor who used his Facebook page to lure health workers to invest in his nonexistent pharmaceutical business.

According to a police insider, he has allegedly taken more than R1.2m from his victims.

Chele is facing numerous charges of fraud as well as car theft and escaping from police custody.

In his previous court appearance, the state said it was in possession of two SA identity documents belonging to Chele.

He has presented himself as a 17-year old but a district surgeon test done about two weeks ago estimated him to be in his early 20s.

The National Prosecuting Authority is still waiting for Interpol results on his identity verification.

Sunduzwayo and Mbilini are expected to apply for bail this week, while Chele’s matter will be heard on December 1.

How much does a tourist visa cost for the UK, USA, Australia, and most Schengen Zone countries?

The visa application process in South Africa includes a load of paperwork, appointments made way in advance and a heavy fee. 

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• South Africa has one of the world`s `weakest` passports.

• This means we often need to buy pricey visas to visit foreign countries.

• Here`s how much you`ll pay for several popular tourist visas and how long they take to process.

South Africa has one of the world`s weakest passports when it comes to visa-free travel. Depending on which global passport ranking system you use, the South African passport sits in around 50th position. This means about 86 countries, including several popular holiday destinations like the USA, UK, and Europe, require travellers to apply for sometimes onerous and expensive pre-departure visas.

Although there are a few visa-free destinations for South Africans and some e-visa options, many countries still require South Africans to pay upwards of R3 000 for a short-stay holiday visa.

The process is also seldom easy. Visa applications usually require an appointment, made long in advance, to visit a consulate or agency in person.

Then, you`ll likely need to collate a raft of paperwork specific to the destination, including but not limited to proof of accommodation, travel insurance, personal financial history, employment details, proof of residence in South Africa, and at least two non-smiling photographs with dimensions correct to the millimetre.

This all goes into an encyclopaedic-sized pile that you`ll lug to your appointment and shift across the table with nervous anticipation to a dispassionate official.

And despite your application containing everything short of a hair sample, having only the best intentions of spending too many of your hard-earned rands, and filling your Instagram feed with only glowing accounts of your destination country, the process is almost always unnerving.

Remarkably, the process is also one you`ll have the pleasure of paying for - often, a lot.

The amount depends on the destination, the type of visa, and the length of your stay.

If the country has appointed an agency to handle applications, you`ll almost certainly have to pay a premium in addition to the standard visa rate - and face a raft of unnecessary upsells, like more comfortable seating and expedited processing.

If your destination country uses an agency to handle applications, you`ll probably have no choice but to use that channel - although some offer a cheaper fee for going direct. Agency fees vary according to the destination, even within the Schengen Zone, and you can typically expect to pay between R150 and R1 000 on top of the standard visa fee.

Still, many of us are willing to pay the above price to experience the joy of travel. And if you follow the instructions, it should all go off without too much hitch. 

Here`s how much popular visas cost for South Africans in 2023:


Note: Visa fees, processing times, appointment wait times, and requirements are subject to change frequently. Check consulate or agency websites for the latest details.

The Procedural Flaw in the Asylum Seeker Application Process

Although South Africa has one of the most progressive asylum laws and exceptional refugee protection frameworks in the world, the disunion between law and practice has allowed the blatant disregard of the law to thrive. The safety and security of the refugees who come to South Africa in the hopes of escaping the injustices of their homeland is internationally regulated by The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (“UDHR, 1948”) which is the foundation of international human rights, and, more directly, by the 1951 Refugee Convention (1951 convention) and its 1967 Protocol.

In South Africa, The Refugee Act 130 of 1998 (“The Refugee Act”) was enacted to give effect to the 1951 convention, while some rights enshrined in our Bill of Rights, such as the right to equality, human dignity and just administrative action are afforded to all persons within South Africa

Applying for Asylum

When refugees legally cross the border, they must seek asylum from Department of Home Affairs (DOH) officials at the border who will then issue them with an asylum transit visa that will allow them 14 days to report to the Refugee Reception Office (RRO). If a refugee enters the country illegally, they must immediately report to the RRO. Once at the RRO, the first step is for the refugee to apply for an asylum seeker permit (section 22 permit) which requires that the refugee applicant (“the applicant”) must fill in the application form and be interviewed by the refugee reception officer before having their biodata and photos captured. Once this is done, the applicant will be issued with a section 22 permit (Asylum Seeker Temporary Visa) which is valid for six months.

Before the section 22 permit expires, the refugee is expected to return to the RRO for a second interview with the Refugee Status Determination Officer (RSDO). After this interview the RSDO must issue a written decision to either grant the applicant refugee status or reject the application as unfounded or manifestly unfounded, abusive or fraudulent.

The RSDO Rejection

The RSDO is obligated to provide the applicant with a written decision that sets out the reasons for rejecting the application. If the application is rejected as “unfounded” (section 24(3)(c) of The Refugee Act) it may be because the applicant’s reason for leaving their country is in line with the Refugee Act and therefore affording them refugee status, but the RSDO needs further motivation. In such a case the applicant is afforded an opportunity to appeal the decision within 30 days. If the application is rejected as “manifestly unfounded, abusive or fraudulent” (Section 24(3) (b) of The Refugee Act) it may be because the refugee mentioned a reason for applying for asylum that is not recognised in The Refugee Act. This rejection is automatically referred to the Standing Committee for Refugee Affairs (SCRA) within 10 working days to either confirm, set aside or refer it back to the RSDO for reassessment. Additionally, if the applicant’s application is rejected as manifestly unfounded, the applicant is entitled to be furnished with written reasons within 5 working days from date of rejection by the RSDO or referral to the SCRA.

The “manifestly unfounded” procedural flaw

It is a common occurrence that applicants are not fully informed, if at all, about the asylum application procedure. They are unaware of the fact that even after the RSDO has formally rejected their application on the basis that it was manifestly unfounded, the RSDO is obligated to renew the applicant’s temporary asylum seeker permit until the SCRA has reviewed the decision.

In some recent cases, clients have come into the refugee clinic at ProBono.Org seeking assistance after being furnished with a letter from both the RSDO and the SCRA that informs the clients of their decision to reject their application on the basis that it was manifestly unfounded. The letter does not set out the reasons for that decision and further expresses an expectation for the applicant to appear within 14 days for the purpose of deportation because they are now considered to be staying in the country illegally. The RRO does this with a blatant disregard of the fact that it has taken the SCRA years to review the decision by the RSDO and in some cases that the RSDO do not even furnish the applicants with the said decision and reasons before furnishing them with a letter for their deportation. They fail to consider that due to their delay, most of the applicants have already started building a life for themselves in the country with them securing jobs and their children having have started school. Furthermore, the RSDO and the SCRA neglect to inform the applicants of their right to apply to the High Court for a judicial review within 180 days after the date that they received such a rejection.


A refugee, like any citizen of South Africa, is acknowledged by the rights enshrined in the Bill of Rights. This therefore creates an expectation and an obligation on the Department of Home Affairs to ensure a procedural and substantial fairness in how they process each asylum application. This entails providing the applicant with the necessary information so that they can follow all the laws and rules that regulate their application and their stay in South Africa. Every applicant has a right to be furnished with the reasons why their application was rejected, to have the decision made by the RSDO over their application sent to the SCRA for review within 10 working days and the right to apply to the High Court within 180 days for a judicial review of their manifestly unfounded rejection on their application for refugee status..

Asylum Seekers & Refugees Good News !! 

If you have been in South Africa for 10 years as a Refugee did you know there is a path to permanent residence . 

Apply Now for Temporary Residence even with EXPIRED LOCKDOWN PERMITS 

The Constitutional Court handed down a judgement in the Ahmed matter as well as a Court Order opening the door for Asylum Seekers and Refugees to apply to change their status to  temporary residence visa . Contact us now before this fantastic opportunity is lost .

Contact us now and ask me HOW CHANGE TO TEMPORARY RESIDENCE . Travel abroad from South Africa , get a Canada , Schengen Visa afterwards .

please contact us on :

Sa Migration International

 Whatsapp  Tel No : +27 (0) 82 373 8415

Tel No office : +27 (0) 82 373 8415 ( Whatsapp ) 

Tel No admin : +27 (0) 64 126 3073

Tel No sales : +27 (0) 74 0366127

Fax No : 086 579 0155

Foreign firms race to open Saudi offices before deadline

A wave of ribbon-cutting ceremonies is sweeping the Saudi capital as multinationals face a January deadline to open regional headquarters in the Gulf kingdom or lose out on government contracts.

In what has become a common scene, executives in suits and Saudi officials in white robes gather to inaugurate the new offices, sipping Arabic coffee in a haze of incense smoke while singing the praises of last year`s fastest-growing G20 economy.

Announced in February 2021, Saudi Arabia`s regional headquarters (RHQ) programme is widely seen as a bid to compete with Dubai in the neighbouring United Arab Emirates, a favourite base for global firms with business in the Middle East. 

Despite complaints from some executives that there remains a lack of clarity on key details of the Saudi programme, the January 1 deadline is holding, the Saudi investment ministry told AFP in a written response to questions. 

`Multinational companies that are part of the RHQ Program will be well positioned to bid for projects funded by the Saudi Government,` it said. 

`Only multinational companies with regional headquarters in the Kingdom will be eligible for tenders and contracts floated by government entities.` 

So far, 162 regional headquarters licenses have been granted in sectors including pharmaceuticals, IT and construction, `with many others being processed`, the ministry said. 

The big question, analysts say, is whether participating firms are merely ticking a box to retain access to Saudi funds or genuinely embracing the government`s vision of Saudi Arabia as the centre of the region. 

The programme is `an early litmus test of the degree to which foreign businesses are prepared or willing to comply with and buy into Saudi initiatives, or whether they will seek workarounds that see them retain the majority of staff in the UAE and delegate a select few to Saudi,` said Kristian Ulrichsen, a fellow at Rice University`s Baker Institute. 

It should also offer clues about the implementation of flagship projects such as a new airline and airport, and the $500 billion (about R9.2 trillion), futuristic mega-city known as NEOM, Ulrichsen said.

`Jumping through hurdles` 

Riyadh defines a regional headquarters as an office that provides `strategic direction, management, and support services for company subsidiaries, branches, and affiliates in the (Middle East and North Africa) region`, the investment ministry said. 

One firm, IHG Hotels & Resorts, placed its new office on the 12th floor of a skyscraper in the capital`s financial district, staffing it with 25 employees from departments including revenue management, sales, marketing, design and engineering.

IHG has been present in Saudi Arabia for nearly 50 years, actively bids for government projects including developments along the Red Sea Coast and plans to open 20 hotels across the kingdom in 2024 and 2025, Haitham Mattar, managing director for the Middle East and Southwest Asia, said during the office`s ribbon-cutting ceremony in October.

But the company also has offices in Dubai and elsewhere in the region, and `we will continue with those offices`, Mattar told AFP. 

As for the process of establishing a Saudi regional headquarters, he acknowledged there were some kinks to work out. 

`It took us a bit of time and jumping through hurdles to achieve our licence for this office. However we are there now which is great and that`s what we`re happy and positive about,` he said. 

`This is all new to Saudi Arabia, right? So we have to really be conscious of that. There`s a lot of trial-and-error, there`s a lot of perfecting some of the processes, and sometimes some of the processes have maybe one too many steps.` 

`Ambitious` targets

The investment ministry has touted benefits for firms setting up regional headquarters in Saudi Arabia, including the ability to apply for unlimited work visas and a 10-year waiver on quotas for hiring Saudi nationals.

But it has not specified what kind of tax relief the firms might receive, a major question for executives. 

Laurent Germain, CEO of French construction engineering firm Egis Group, nevertheless told AFP he had no regrets about establishing a regional headquarters in Saudi Arabia last year, and that he advised other French firms to do the same. 

`We`ve come into a situation where now it is in Saudi Arabia that we have the most activities in the Middle East, and probably so for the next 10 years. It was a natural step,` he said. 

Germain added that he did not necessarily see the regional headquarters programme in the context of a budding Riyadh-Dubai rivalry, but rather as a broader bid to hit `very ambitious` foreign investment objectives.

`They are taking all the measures they can to increase the attractivenes