Local couple’s costly fight for a spousal visa

2018-01-18 15:11
Wendy Kessman and Nomfundo Ngidi.

Wendy Kessman and Nomfundo Ngidi. (Supplied)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

A Pietermaritzburg couple cannot work out why they have had two applications for a spousal visa, and subsequent appeals, denied by the Department of Home Affairs.

Wendy Kessman (29), a U.S. national who married Nomfundo Ngidi (25), originally from Durban, in January last year, said she is considering taking the matter to the high court if another appeal they submitted recently is knocked down.

A month after their marriage, Kessman sought to change her visa status from visitors’ status to one for accompanying spouse visitors. She said Home Affairs was furnished with the proper documents.

Kessman claimed her application was rejected on account of her physically being in the country at the time of the application.

She said she had thereafter appealed the decision, but to no avail.

Kessman told The Witness that she faces losses of job offers and a restricted right to move between countries because of the visa problem.

She has even had her studies, pursuing a PhD in the University of KwaZulu-Natal’s media and gender studies department, delayed an entire year because of this, and fears she will be losing another year as the university academic year begins next month.

Home Affairs spokesperson Thabo Makgola did not respond to a detailed query on Wednesday. He also did not answer calls or SMSes.

The couple met while doing volunteer work in Swaziland in 2014. Kessman lived in Swaziland at the time and Ngidi in Durban, and they enjoyed a long-distance relationship.

They moved in together in August 2016, and currently reside in Pietermaritzburg.

Ngidi said they were constantly worried that Kessman could have to leave the country. “It has been a very stressful process … we can’t be like normal couples who get to relax and enjoy life.”

Ngidi said she would consider moving if Kessman was sent back to the U.S. “We’ll have to move from fighting here to fighting there,” she said.

“These appeals take so much money, just to walk inside … the Home Affairs visa processing centre costs R1 370. We’ve had to do that three times so far, let alone having to pay for … the background checks, lawyers’ fees, the loss of income — endless expenses with no income,” Ngidi said.

Read more on:    home affairs  |  pietermaritzburg

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24


Enter the examination number or search by province or school (NSC Students) to view results.

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.