News Articles

Family`s visa horror

Source: Mail & Guardian, 08/08/2015

SA`S NEW travel rules prevented our minor children from attending a family funeral. My wife and children were on holiday in Florence, Italy, and I had returned early to our home in Singapore when we received the tragic news that our three-year-old niece had passed away. We wanted to return to SA immediately, in time for the funeral last Friday. The problem: for my children to fly directly from Europe to SA with my wife, they needed their birth certificates, a (certified?) copy of my passport and an affidavit (signed by me in the presence of my wife) granting permission for them to travel without me. I could think of no way to get this done in time. Some government websites that set out the confusing list of requirements (and frankly I`m still not sure I understand them correctly), state that you can contact your local High Commission, embassy or the Department of Home Affairs. Good luck. At 5.03pm local time on Tuesday last week (regular hours end at 5pm), I called the main number for the South African High Commission in Singapore. There was no reply after several attempts. I then called the "after hours emergency number", and there was also no reply after several attempts. I went to the High Commission in London`s website and found a phone number on the home page. An automated recording from a British telephone company told me the number did not exist, and I dialled several times. I found another number and failed to get any answer after more than a dozen attempts during normal working hours. I then called the Department of Home Affairs headquarters in Pretoria. Again, no one answered during several attempts. We gave up on taking our children with us to SA for the funeral, left them in the care of friends in England, and made our separate ways to Durban without them. Need I say more? Have we enjoyed all our rights as citizens? Reinie Booysen Singapore


Search

  •    FLAWS: ANC treasurer-general Zweli Mkhize says elitist business models and a sluggish economy are limiting jobs.... Read more...
  •    A family travelling to South Africa for Christmas was turned away at the gate despite the country recently relaxing its strict rules on travelling with children. Paul Denning, his wife, son and daughter arrived at the check-in desk at Heathrow last week for flights to Johannesburg - booked at a cost of £3,000 - only to be told by Virgin Atlantic staff they did not have the required documentation and would therefore not be able to fly.... Read more...
  •    South Africa has successfully launched into space the continent’s most advanced nanosatellite to date ` the ZACube-2. The ZACube-2 will provide cutting edge remote sensing and communication services to South Africa and the region. “This satellite will help us monitor our ocean traffic as part of our oceans economy and also monitor veld fires and provide near real-time fire information ensuring a quick response time by disaster management teams.... Read more...
  •    The recent re-hashing of South Africa’s immigration regulations providing ‘clarity’ on the requirements for foreign minors to gain entry to the country has done nothing to help the destination market itself as a family-friendly destination.... Read more...
  •    HARARE (Reuters) - Several people were killed and some 200 arrested during protests in Zimbabwe on Monday, the government said, two days after it raised the price of fuel in an attempt to tame the worst economic crisis in a decade.... Read more...
  •    Statistics SA`s analysis of tourist arrivals between 2013 and 2014 fails to take into account that 2013 tourist arrival figures included transit passengers, while for 2014 these were excluded.... Read more...
  •    Microchips are a fact of modern life. They are in our washing machines and coffee makers, our cars, credit cards, even our cats and dogs.... Read more...
  •    South African Parliament‘s Home Affairs Committee wants Home Affairs officials working in the front line to be prohibited from using their cellphones during working hours.... Read more...
  •    Kenya records significant increase in 2018 tourist arrivals when compared with 2017. Kenya’s 2018 tourist arrivals surpassed the two-million mark, with a growth of 37.3%, reaching 2.025 million with the majority of the travellers visiting Kenya for holiday purposes.... Read more...
  •    SA`S NEW travel rules prevented our minor children from attending a family funeral. My wife and children were on holiday in Florence, Italy, and I had returned early to our home in Singapore when we received the tragic news that our three-year-old niece had passed away. We wanted to return to SA immediately, in time for the funeral last Friday.... Read more...

Get the latest Immigration News