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Cape Town - Scores of people are being affected by South Africa’s new immigration regulations with some being told they won’t be allowed back into the country for up to five years.
Immigration consultant Claude Adams said British student Nicky Wallace, who applied for permanent residency in December, was declared “undesirable” when she recently returned to England to go back to school.
Wallace came to South Africa with her father in November, but her application was rejected after it was mistakenly labelled as a “spousal application,” although Wallace is neither married, nor had she applied for such a visa.
“We’re trying to get hold of the embassy in London because repair can only be done on that side. The Department of Home Affairs wouldn’t even consider any applications for review,” said Adams.
German medical doctor Rebbeca Pargner, who has been living in West Beach with her South African fiancé Devan Pulliah, both pictured, said she was declared an undesirable person on May 30 when she was leaving the country on her way to Germany.
She was informed she could be “banned from the country” for five years. Pargner said her visitor’s visa had expired in January, but she had applied for temporary residence in December.
She said she visited the Department of Home Affairs in Bellville on May 29 and was told she would be able to travel to Germany and back with the receipt, which showed that she had applied for temporary residence and would simply receive a fine.
“I also double-checked this with Home Affairs in Pretoria.”
“On May 30, I went to Cape Town International Airport, prepared to be fined, when the lady at the passport control told me that the regulations had changed and I would now have to face a ban for five years.”
Meanwhile, Shaun Fitzhenry, chairman of Education SA, which represents 20 language schools in South Africa, said several students had also been affected by the new regulations.
The Department of Home Affairs didn’t respond to repeated requests for comment.