A 15 year long love story between Norway and South Africa about to be crushed..........
My name is Toini Van Rensburg and here is my story.
In 1999 I went travelling around the world having no intentions of meeting and marrying a man from another country than Norway. Finding myself stranded in Cape Town because my Visa card was stolen and I had to change all my plans on a Tuesday. I met my husband to be that following Friday. Somebody would say that it was destiny......
After a lot of travelling back and forth we married in 2002 and moved to Norway. I love my country and family very much but my husband was not so happy there, he missed the sun and after a few years the decision was made that it was better to live in South Africa. In the meantime we had a son, his name is Daniel and he is now 8 years old and attends primary school in Benoni. Our son has dual citizenship as he was born in Norway and lived there as well.
Since we had been married already for 9 years in 2011 before my spouse visa (temporary visa) expired I wanted to apply for permanent residence, I was told that I could not because that takes a long time and I that I would have to apply for an extension first and that it would take 3-6 months. All the papers were submitted correctly at the Home Affairs office in Springs and we thought all was well.
After numerous visits to the office in Springs (waiting for hours just to be told that your application is still pending) I starting calling the customer care centre in Pretoria instead. I was not to worried because they assured me that I can still visit my family in Norway as long as I have my original receipt of submitting the application for an extension of my temporary spouse visa. I have been making several trips to Norway because my mother is sick and I am very close to her.
Then this year in March I was told to send a new application but I did not have to pay anything since my application already was paid and submitted in 2011, of course I still had to pay for another medical, new x-rays, police clearance etc. etc. I did this because they promised that if I did that then it would be processed quickly. I was given no explanation for this, if they lost the papers or if there was another reason for this.
My husband is now in a state because I am leaving next week with our son to visit my sick mother for the school holidays. According to the new legislation I will be banned as an undesirable person for 5 years even though I have done nothing wrong.
Since we found out about this I have been phoning the Customer Centre every day and they just say sorry for the INCONVENIENCE that you are still waiting for an answer after 3 YEARS but your application is still being processed.
I do not see this as an inconvenience I see this as splitting a happy family and for what, I can see no justice.
All I want is an ANSWER to my application and if for any unknown reason they see me as an unfit citizen of South Africa then we will leave and go and stay in Norway. Even if my husband is not happy there because we love each other and want to be together but I cannot be held a “prisoner” either.
Toini Van Rensburg