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After 22 months of not accepting any permanent residency permit (PRP) applications, the Department of Home Affairs has announced that it has reopened.

According to the Department, it closed due to the pandemic and also to give it a chance to deal with the tremendous backlog that’s been building up over the past 10 years. At the time there were some 10 000 outstanding applications.

Business Insider reports that prior to the pandemic, PRP applications were generally resolved within two to three years, as a conservative estimate. The only applications which were prioritised and processed sooner, generally within a year, included those submitted on grounds of business and critical skills.

Those that were eligible to apply for a PRP in March 2020 have had to wait for almost two years to submit their applications.

With the backlog seemingly not sorted and the new influx of applications already received by the Department since its reopening, it seems as if those who have been waiting for 22 months simply to apply, will probably have to wait another five years before they get an answer.

Immigration firms believe that this massive backlog isn’t only frustrating to those wanting their PRP, but also to investors who want to invest in the country. It’s feared that they might take their money somewhere else, and the country could lose out on investments.

Image credit: Daily Dispatch 

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