Companies have been urged to be proactive about employee worker and permit applications for international workers ahead of the easing of lockdown restrictions.
“For many foreign workers, work permit and visa applications are often a rushed administrative task that happens at the last minute,” says Tarissa Wareley, an immigration specialist at Xpatweb which recently launched a survey to measure the impact of Covid-19 on the immigration industry.
The survey is being distributed to multi-national companies with operations in Africa who specifically employ overseas workers for both short and long-term assignments.
“Once the survey is complete, we could potentially show different countries’ immigration departments what type of spike in work permit and visa applications they can expect in order to help these departments find a way to streamline these applications and get people into the countries they need to be as efficiently as possible,” says Wareley.
A more proactive approach will help avoid bottlenecks that will likely exist at many immigration departments after lockdown, in her view. He suggests that all the paperwork be prepared while waiting for the travel restrictions to be lifted.
“Many African infrastructure projects, such as those in the oil and gas sector, for example, have been put on hold due to Covid-19. Making sure that companies have the right people to get projects back up and running as soon as possible is a top priority for both the public and private sectors.”