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Alina Smith
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Trouble getting a spousal visa

24 June 2014, 07:18

Dear News24,

Thank you for your article about the Immigration laws which draws the public’s attention to the problems it causes to ordinary South Africans. Also, I am sure that anyone that has ever dealt with Department of Home Affairs will confirm that huge service delivery problems have existed there even before the recently introduced changes. Slow or ineffective and not transparent processes, as well as a lack of competence of DHA employees make it almost impossible to receive a visa.

 Our family now also faces serious challenges to live a normal family life because of the gaps that exist in the processes in Department of Home Affairs. I am Ukrainian by nationality and my husband is a South African citizen, I am fully eligible (under SA law) to receive a spousal visa. In March 2014 the DHA accepted my package of required documents and promised to issue my spousal visa in 1-1.5 months. It is now 3 months since the DHA received my application, but till today we still haven't received neither a visa nor a reasonable explanation when it will be issued.  Every time we call the DHA customer support line we receive feedback that our application is “in process and we should call back in two weeks”.  In the meantime, all these months we are forced to live on a single income (my husband's income) and I have to stay home whilst I have international work experience and a good education. I could work for the good of SA and our family.  Moreover, recently my uncle, who lives in Ukraine, got very ill and I cannot travel out of SA to visit him, all because I have under the new law overstayed my original visa awaiting the DHA to process my spousal visa and as a result I will not be allowed back into SA and will be labeled a unwanted person and face a ban of up to 5 years. I think you can imagine how wonderful it feels to have to deal with these obstacles. They simply rob me and my husband from normal family life without any empathy. Shame on you DHA!

Looking forward for your support.

PS I wish good luck a family from Cape Town and their advocate Mr.Smith on Wednesday.

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