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The Fox 5366
 
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Global Love and the South African Visa Conditions

17 June 2014, 09:13
Anybody who doesn't see the problem with the new South African immigration laws has never considered the possibility of online relationships.
I'm referring specifically to this story (http://voices.news24.com/jesse-green/2014/06/new-south-african-immigration-law-changes/) and the following quote: "For example, people would enter SA on a visitor’s visa and quickly find a willing South African to be their “life partner”, thereby qualifying for a type of Relative’s Permit (permits now referred to as visas, with the exception of the Permanent Residence Permit)."
All around the world, foreign couples can generally only get together when they're allowed to marry, because it is only through marriage that the impossibly onerous employment restrictions are lifted for the foreign spouse. Absorbing the costs of relocation and one spouse completely giving up their life abroad can only be absorbed if both are allowed to work to support themselves once together, and the only path to that (a trial by fire) is marriage.
The new immigration law is CRAZY, because it requires a couple looking to get married and wanting to live together in South Africa to rather get married overseas (in the foreign spouse's home country) so that they can easily apply for the South African temporary residence permit and then join their spouse in South Africa. If the couple rather tries to marry in South Africa (with the foreign fiance arriving on a visitor's visa) they have to then send the newly-married foreign spouse back to their home country to apply for the change of visa from outside South Africa.
This law doesn't protect South Africans, it HARMS South Africans. Every South African who wants to marry a foreigner will either have to travel outside of their home country and be isolated from all their friends and family (who will not be able to join them overseas), or will have to endure the huge financial expense and emotional pain of having to be separated from their new husband/wife (when other couples are enjoying a honeymoon) as they are stranded in their home country to apply and wait for an indefinite period for a visa.
Is prohibiting the exploitation of the system by thousands of people worth the emotional and financial hardships to hundreds of South Africans who're genuinely in love with foreign partners and stripped away from them? What about where these regulations make it so onerous (for example on younger couples without the resources to afford multiple trips overseas - especially where the foreign partner doesn't even live in their 'home' country anymore) that these relationships are effectively aborted by the State?
My heart goes out to young couples on other sides of the world with a dream and love, who now have this additional wedge driven between them.
Maybe an alternative would be for South Africa to introduce a visa category that the UK has: the fiance visa. When I last researched that you could enter the UK on this (but not work), marry within a fixed short period, and then convert your visa (without having to leave) to the equivalent of the temporary residence visa (with working privileges). Just figure out some way for young couples who're in love to prove their love and their intention to marry, and then give them a path to that which doesn't entail them being split up.
These immigration laws aren't in my name, and don't represent the South Africa I want as a citizen of this country.
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