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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am from the UK, I met my South African girlfriend here back in 2008, and we have been together since 2009.

We decided we wanted to make the move to SA with her family in Dec. 2011, and have tried to push through my visa application. She has relocated to South Africa, the plan being that she could get a job whilst I awaited my Visa to be approved, however, things have since gone horribly wrong.

On Jan 9th I handed in my application. The guy at the office skimmed through and gave me a few bits and pieces back he felt I didn't need, then gave me a date of 9th Feb to go back. He told me I may want to consider getting further proof of Co-Habitation. Upon explaining the circumstances, he shrugged and sent me away.

On the 24th of Feb I received an Email stating I needed Further proof of Co-Habitation and a letter of support from my girlfriend. Upon checking, He had handed me back said letter on the first visit, telling me I didn't need it. It stated that without further proof of co-habitation and the letter of support, the result could be the rejection of my application.

When I went back on the 9th of Feb, I politely handed in the letter of support and explained that we didn't have any proof of our co-habitation, for example, tenancy agreements, because we didn't have a place we rented - we stayed at her parents house due to financial constraints. I was told I could take in pictures, copies of conversations via email/facebook and so on, and letters of support from our family members stating our relationship and stating our living situation.

On Feb 17th I returned with the letters from her family, along with pictures and messages as requested, and handed them in. I was then (at this point) told that pictures weren't relevant to my application and had no benefit to it either. I was told I would be contacted with a date to return for collection (pending review).

I hadn't recieved an email until today, only after emailing in to ask for a date to return. Upon which I have recieved an email stating that I need to provide proof of joint finances. If I don't provide it by the 16th of this month, my application WILL be rejected.

The thing that frustrates me here is the amount of conflicting evidence I have been given over time, the money I'm wasting going back and forth to London, and furthermore, they've suddenly decided I need proof of Financial support, despite them having a photocopy of our joint Account cash book, and letters stating that due to our Living situation, we couldn't provide anythign further.

The whole thing seems to be going against me, I've done everything they have asked, only for them to suddenly decide they want something else. Is there some way I can appeal this? I have been given conflicting evidence on several occasions, and everything they have requested is stated and so on in the application.

I'm incredibly frustrated as I haven't been able to see my girlfriend since the end of Dec. due to the circumstances, and furthermore, all of my belongings are that side waiting for me!

I'm now out of a job and living with my parents, because I had nowhere else to stay once her parents had moved out of where we were all staying, so to keep funding something like this is incredibly difficult, even more difficult when all I can think about is the fact that my girlfriend is the other side of the world!!!
 

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I am from the UK, I met my South African girlfriend here back in 2008, and we have been together since 2009.

We decided we wanted to make the move to SA with her family in Dec. 2011, and have tried to push through my visa application. She has relocated to South Africa, the plan being that she could get a job whilst I awaited my Visa to be approved, however, things have since gone horribly wrong.

On Jan 9th I handed in my application. The guy at the office skimmed through and gave me a few bits and pieces back he felt I didn't need, then gave me a date of 9th Feb to go back. He told me I may want to consider getting further proof of Co-Habitation. Upon explaining the circumstances, he shrugged and sent me away.

On the 24th of Feb I received an Email stating I needed Further proof of Co-Habitation and a letter of support from my girlfriend. Upon checking, He had handed me back said letter on the first visit, telling me I didn't need it. It stated that without further proof of co-habitation and the letter of support, the result could be the rejection of my application.

When I went back on the 9th of Feb, I politely handed in the letter of support and explained that we didn't have any proof of our co-habitation, for example, tenancy agreements, because we didn't have a place we rented - we stayed at her parents house due to financial constraints. I was told I could take in pictures, copies of conversations via email/facebook and so on, and letters of support from our family members stating our relationship and stating our living situation.

On Feb 17th I returned with the letters from her family, along with pictures and messages as requested, and handed them in. I was then (at this point) told that pictures weren't relevant to my application and had no benefit to it either. I was told I would be contacted with a date to return for collection (pending review).

I hadn't recieved an email until today, only after emailing in to ask for a date to return. Upon which I have recieved an email stating that I need to provide proof of joint finances. If I don't provide it by the 16th of this month, my application WILL be rejected.

The thing that frustrates me here is the amount of conflicting evidence I have been given over time, the money I'm wasting going back and forth to London, and furthermore, they've suddenly decided I need proof of Financial support, despite them having a photocopy of our joint Account cash book, and letters stating that due to our Living situation, we couldn't provide anythign further.

The whole thing seems to be going against me, I've done everything they have asked, only for them to suddenly decide they want something else. Is there some way I can appeal this? I have been given conflicting evidence on several occasions, and everything they have requested is stated and so on in the application.

I'm incredibly frustrated as I haven't been able to see my girlfriend since the end of Dec. due to the circumstances, and furthermore, all of my belongings are that side waiting for me!

I'm now out of a job and living with my parents, because I had nowhere else to stay once her parents had moved out of where we were all staying, so to keep funding something like this is incredibly difficult, even more difficult when all I can think about is the fact that my girlfriend is the other side of the world!!!
So sorry to hear about your experiences. Unfortunately this is how it is when dealing with Home Affairs. You can ask 10 different people the very same question and you will walk away with 10 different answers. The thing is, you are always at their mercy and have to play ball with them, however stupid and unreasonable they are, otherwise you end up with a big fat nothing (you will eventually learn to live with this when you have lived here for a while). As I see it you have three options.

1. You can attend the embassy before the 16th and again provide copies of your joint account (maybe there are entries on the account which relates to joint finances like food purchases etc, I know it is a long shot but anything could help) and further letters from her parents etc regarding your living situation and why you do not have any bills etc. I know you have already done this but Home Affairs are notorious for losing paperwork so it may be that they have lost the stuff you provided which is why they are asking for it again.

2. You can instruct an immigration company or lawyer, I know there is an SA owned law firm in London called Breytenbachs which are experts on visas to SA. They will have the knowledge to deal with Home Affairs and query any stupid requests for paperwork and question any unnecessary delays. However, from your post you say that you are now out of a job and as such you might not have funds for a lawyer at this stage as of course lawyers always charge and arm and a leg (I know as I used to be a solicitor in the UK). Still if this is an option for you I know that this firm has got a really good reputation.

3. Your final option could be to just leave the application and travel to SA as a visitor and enter the country on the usual 90 days visitors permit. You can then apply for your permit whilst here in SA (as long as you do it straight away). This would allow you to leave your living situation at home, be with your girl friend etc etc. HOWEVER, the law is about to change here and when it is implemented (no one knows when but it will happen) the new Immigration bill will not allow foreign partners of SA citizens to arrive on a visitors visa and then change this visa to a temporary or any other permit, instead the partner will have to leave the country and go home and apply from the home country. As I said this is not law yet so if you would come here now and make your application this would still work. They say that as long as you have already made your application when the law comes in then you will not have to leave.

I do not know if the above is of any help and if you have any more questions please do let me know. I know it is frustrating, we all have or are going through this and they treat everyone the same so please do not take any of this personally.
 

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It absolutely astounds me at times.
SA desparately needs skilled expats to do a "skills transfer" and plug some fairly major gaps that AA has created yet they do everything in their power to dissuade people....

Its not as if the expats or Foreig spouses are going to be living on Sa's Social welfare, it has none to speak off,apart from a few Teaching Hospitals, its Govt Medical situatio is dire....

Its highly unlikely a foreign Spouse or partner is going to be unskilled and take some por waitresses r gardeners job... and tehre are something like 30,000 skilled vacancies in the Municipalities that cannot be filled as the applicants dont have the relevant skills.

AWA
 

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It absolutely astounds me at times.
SA desparately needs skilled expats to do a "skills transfer" and plug some fairly major gaps that AA has created yet they do everything in their power to dissuade people....

Its not as if the expats or Foreig spouses are going to be living on Sa's Social welfare, it has none to speak off,apart from a few Teaching Hospitals, its Govt Medical situatio is dire....

Its highly unlikely a foreign Spouse or partner is going to be unskilled and take some por waitresses r gardeners job... and tehre are something like 30,000 skilled vacancies in the Municipalities that cannot be filled as the applicants dont have the relevant skills.

AWA
I never thought I would say this but for once I totally agree with you.:clap2:
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Do you think that letters from her family stating (despite this already being done) that our financial responsibility was limited due to the living conditions, however, we did contribute House-keeping costs and helped to cover bills, food etc.?

I will get them to email me this anyway, however, I do feel that if this doesn't work then the number is up and I'm a little stranded.

Would getting her Auntie and Uncle to hire me at their Liquor store get me a work permit? It could do, surely, until I have a bit more to stick in my application, although I don't feel anything is required if I am to be honest.

I'm severely frustrated still at their lack of initiative, I truly don't believe they are reading my application with much attention, because it's clear that everything I have stated speaks for itself with evidence and support from several family members. If they read the application with a bit of conviction, then they will see that our living conditions wouldn't leave us the option for utility bills etc.

Also, what is the situation with them taking documents? I offered copies, but they were adamant they requied the original CRB checks etc. Will these be returned to me if the application fails? I don't have £72 to spend on another notary signing a piece of paper, nor is my girlfriend in the country to fulfil an affidavit, so you can see the problems here!
 

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Do you think that letters from her family stating (despite this already being done) that our financial responsibility was limited due to the living conditions, however, we did contribute House-keeping costs and helped to cover bills, food etc.?

I will get them to email me this anyway, however, I do feel that if this doesn't work then the number is up and I'm a little stranded.

Would getting her Auntie and Uncle to hire me at their Liquor store get me a work permit? It could do, surely, until I have a bit more to stick in my application, although I don't feel anything is required if I am to be honest.

I'm severely frustrated still at their lack of initiative, I truly don't believe they are reading my application with much attention, because it's clear that everything I have stated speaks for itself with evidence and support from several family members. If they read the application with a bit of conviction, then they will see that our living conditions wouldn't leave us the option for utility bills etc.

Also, what is the situation with them taking documents? I offered copies, but they were adamant they requied the original CRB checks etc. Will these be returned to me if the application fails? I don't have £72 to spend on another notary signing a piece of paper, nor is my girlfriend in the country to fulfil an affidavit, so you can see the problems here!
Ok will try to deal with your questions in turn:-

1. If you can get letters from family explaining that you lived with them but that you did not pay rent but that you jointly contributed towards food and bills that must be of some help. Get as many letters as you can with as much supporting information as possible. Even if something seems irrelevant, include this with your letter.

2. Not sure if the work would assist with your application. Remember as you are not married you are applying for a Life Partner permit (Temporary Residency). With such a permit you can enter SA and reside here with your partner. Once in SA you are allowed to look for work and obtain a job offer and once you have a formal job offer you can apply to get your permit endorsed for work which will then allow you to take up employment. Please note however that you cannot apply for the work endorsement from outside SA and you cannot get the endorsement before you have a job offer. A work permit in its own right (which you can apply for from outside SA) is very hard to obtain as there are a lot of impossible criteria that you must fulfill (for example you need to have a skill that there is a lack of in this country according to Home Affairs). As such I would definitely advise against you against applying for a work permit but rather get the Life Partner Permit and later obtain the endorsement when you have arrived here.

3. I understand your frustration and you are probably right that they do not pay each application much attention. However, at least you are in constant contact with them. If you were applying here in SA you would have submitted your application and then heard nothing for months. Most people's (especially partners and spouses of SA citizens) applications are straight forward but that does not help. The back log at Home Affairs for Temporary and Permanent Residence permits at the moment is over 47,000 applications and that is why we all have to wait so long. It is an absolute mess and until they change the system (that all applications must go to Pretoria) I do not see the back log being cleared any time soon. The turn around time for TR here should be 30 days but it is more like 6 months (if you are lucky). At embassies abroad the turn around time is around three weeks. I have waited since May 2011 for my work endorsement:) and I do not expect it any time soon.

4. Whenever you submit an application you should always bring originals and certified copies. The certified copies that should be accepted at the embassy can be done by any solicitor (they should only charge 5 pounds per document). A notary public should only be necessary if some of your documents are foreign. I know that they usually want some originals but most of the time as long as they have seen the original and you give them a certified copy then that should be sufficient as they can make a note that the original was presented on application. If they do take the original, keep your certified copy as you might be able to use it later on (provided that the original has not expired).

I repeat what I said in my previous post. If you do not have any luck at the embassy then I would travel here on the 90 days visitors visa and apply from here instead but do it before the law changes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Ok will try to deal with your questions in turn:-

1. If you can get letters from family explaining that you lived with them but that you did not pay rent but that you jointly contributed towards food and bills that must be of some help. Get as many letters as you can with as much supporting information as possible. Even if something seems irrelevant, include this with your letter.

2. Not sure if the work would assist with your application. Remember as you are not married you are applying for a Life Partner permit (Temporary Residency). With such a permit you can enter SA and reside here with your partner. Once in SA you are allowed to look for work and obtain a job offer and once you have a formal job offer you can apply to get your permit endorsed for work which will then allow you to take up employment. Please note however that you cannot apply for the work endorsement from outside SA and you cannot get the endorsement before you have a job offer. A work permit in its own right (which you can apply for from outside SA) is very hard to obtain as there are a lot of impossible criteria that you must fulfill (for example you need to have a skill that there is a lack of in this country according to Home Affairs). As such I would definitely advise against you against applying for a work permit but rather get the Life Partner Permit and later obtain the endorsement when you have arrived here.

3. I understand your frustration and you are probably right that they do not pay each application much attention. However, at least you are in constant contact with them. If you were applying here in SA you would have submitted your application and then heard nothing for months. Most people's (especially partners and spouses of SA citizens) applications are straight forward but that does not help. The back log at Home Affairs for Temporary and Permanent Residence permits at the moment is over 47,000 applications and that is why we all have to wait so long. It is an absolute mess and until they change the system (that all applications must go to Pretoria) I do not see the back log being cleared any time soon. The turn around time for TR here should be 30 days but it is more like 6 months (if you are lucky). At embassies abroad the turn around time is around three weeks. I have waited since May 2011 for my work endorsement:) and I do not expect it any time soon.

4. Whenever you submit an application you should always bring originals and certified copies. The certified copies that should be accepted at the embassy can be done by any solicitor (they should only charge 5 pounds per document). A notary public should only be necessary if some of your documents are foreign. I know that they usually want some originals but most of the time as long as they have seen the original and you give them a certified copy then that should be sufficient as they can make a note that the original was presented on application. If they do take the original, keep your certified copy as you might be able to use it later on (provided that the original has not expired).

I repeat what I said in my previous post. If you do not have any luck at the embassy then I would travel here on the 90 days visitors visa and apply from here instead but do it before the law changes.
I would in fact be living in pretoria if I move to SA, so would this improve the turnaround?

Can I also ask, what is the law regarding applying for the visa, what if it takes longer than 90 days to come through or be approved?
 

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Fas answer,
you want to get there, pay someone like breytenbachs.
aint going to happen easily otherwise, you dont have a job, you dont have enough money to support you and 200 beggars at the traffic lights
they will stall till you change yur mind.
 

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I would in fact be living in pretoria if I move to SA, so would this improve the turnaround?

Can I also ask, what is the law regarding applying for the visa, what if it takes longer than 90 days to come through or be approved?
Applying in Pretoria does not necessarily improve the waiting time. The reason being that the place where you apply and the place were there permits gets dealt with are different departments. It might help a little and at least you will cut out any time that it takes for an application to be sent to Pretoria.

In relation to your application, once you have arrived in SA you should go to Home Affairs straight away. The law states that you must have at least 30 days left on your current permit when you apply for the new one. Once you have submitted your application you must get another form from Home Affairs, I can't remember what it is called now but I can check at home as I had one of those. The form basically allows you to remain in SA whilst awaiting the outcome of your application. It needs to be stamped by Home Affairs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Applying in Pretoria does not necessarily improve the waiting time. The reason being that the place where you apply and the place were there permits gets dealt with are different departments. It might help a little and at least you will cut out any time that it takes for an application to be sent to Pretoria.

In relation to your application, once you have arrived in SA you should go to Home Affairs straight away. The law states that you must have at least 30 days left on your current permit when you apply for the new one. Once you have submitted your application you must get another form from Home Affairs, I can't remember what it is called now but I can check at home as I had one of those. The form basically allows you to remain in SA whilst awaiting the outcome of your application. It needs to be stamped by Home Affairs.
Thanks for your help, any tips you can give me to help? this may be my best option.
 

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Thanks for your help, any tips you can give me to help? this may be my best option.
Just be prepared for dealing with Home Affairs here. You will probably get a bit of a shock when you arrive there. The offices are usually pretty run down (not all of them but a lot of them). The place will be filled with hundreds of people if you are unlucky. The officials working there are usually very unhelpful and sometimes quite rude. But do not be discouraged. This is just the way things are and it is nothing personal. Make sure you get there when they open (it is usually 8am) otherwise you might be queuing for hours (you might anyway but arriving early usually helps). Just make sure that you bring ALL of your documents, including Certified Copies of everything. Make sure you get a submission receipt before you leave as this is your sole evidence of application. Also make sure that you have an SA mobile number to give them when you apply as they will want to send confirmation of application via sms (this is really important). As you are in Pretoria, apply at the Pretoria Home Affairs, avoid Joburg HA at all costs as they are all pretty bad. As you are applying for an immigration matter you must apply at a Regional Office (rather than a local one) but Pretoria is a Regional Office so that's not an issue. Can't think of anything else at the moment but let me know if you have any more questions.
 

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partnership permit issue

yeah , not only getting partnerdhip permit is the problem, but generaly SA home affairs has become a disaster to every foriegner who applies for any kind of temporary permits ,because your complain issue is a usaul to every applicant these days. same as i have heard the same to more than 10 people already in same area which is the fact hat home affairs has failed to be straight forward on what they want and what no, i think it would be better to every foriegn countries to start elerting their citzen about no staying in south africa or start stamping a warning stamp in the passport of no residing in south africa otherwise people will continue getting problems and wasting their time when applying for endless waiting period of permits. i jointly ague to south african immigration department to stop playing game with people ,tell them that we dont issue or renew temporary permits or put a big board on airports and boarders that "Enter but No residence" so that people stop wasting time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Well, my Visa got turned down, allegedly due to a lack of Joint financial proof and no proof of co-habitation...

The thing that has irritated me the most is that at one point, there was never a mention of an issue with the finances, and then they sprung it up later.

They complained about the Co-Habitation from the start, then accepted that I had sufficient evidence.

So I don't really think they know what they are doing at all! I am furious because if they had said "This won't be enough" then I could've gotten around it, but they just changed their mind over and over...How can you apply correctly if they don't know what is or isn't sufficient themselves?

They recommended I go that side and apply, something which we are now looking at.

A quick question is when I book my flight am I expected to have a return ticket booked for within the 90 days? It's not too much of an issue, more just wanted to double check.

Also, When I asked, they said normally they would stop me from applying again but on this occasion they have not: is there any truth, reasoning to this? What are the implications etc?
 

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Well, my Visa got turned down, allegedly due to a lack of Joint financial proof and no proof of co-habitation...

The thing that has irritated me the most is that at one point, there was never a mention of an issue with the finances, and then they sprung it up later.

They complained about the Co-Habitation from the start, then accepted that I had sufficient evidence.

So I don't really think they know what they are doing at all! I am furious because if they had said "This won't be enough" then I could've gotten around it, but they just changed their mind over and over...How can you apply correctly if they don't know what is or isn't sufficient themselves?

They recommended I go that side and apply, something which we are now looking at.

A quick question is when I book my flight am I expected to have a return ticket booked for within the 90 days? It's not too much of an issue, more just wanted to double check.

Also, When I asked, they said normally they would stop me from applying again but on this occasion they have not: is there any truth, reasoning to this? What are the implications etc?
So sorry to hear that your application was rejected. Sounds like they've messed your around big time (but what's new). If you really want to come here then yes you should come over and apply from here, just don't wait too long in case the law changes.

I have never been asked about my return ticket but yes if they do ask you then your return ticket should be within the 90 days according to the law. However, your best bet is to get a ticket that you can change the date on so in case you need to apply for an extension on your 90 days visitors permit then you can change the date of your ticket as you must show the return ticket if you apply for an extension on your visitors permit.

I am not sure about stopping you from applying again. I know that on the application forms they usually ask if you have applied before and what the outcome was but I am not sure what the implications of your answer would be.
 

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It absolutely astounds me at times.
SA desparately needs skilled expats to do a "skills transfer" and plug some fairly major gaps that AA has created yet they do everything in their power to dissuade people....

Its not as if the expats or Foreig spouses are going to be living on Sa's Social welfare, it has none to speak off,apart from a few Teaching Hospitals, its Govt Medical situatio is dire....

Its highly unlikely a foreign Spouse or partner is going to be unskilled and take some por waitresses r gardeners job... and tehre are something like 30,000 skilled vacancies in the Municipalities that cannot be filled as the applicants dont have the relevant skills.

AWA
Daxk - Can you believe that my husband is a Chartered Mechanical Engineer and PRINCE2 Project Manager with 16 years in one company and 5 in another (where he did his apprenticeship and gained first class honours degree) - he has had his CV on loads of job websites in SA and hasn't had a glimmer of interest from any of these companies or municipalities needing skilled expats! Very strange indeed. We have been told to take the plunge and go without a job to go to and look for work once there but my husband isn't prepared to give up everything incase he doesn't get a job (especially in a country which has no social welfare if you do land on hard times) as my job would only bring in about R15,000 per month. We had considered me going over first with my daughter and then my husband following but I would only go once he actually has his Perm Res Permit in hand especially since having read this thread - what a nightmare

TheHostPlayer. I do feel for you - Hope it works out for you. Do what Saartjie says and go over and sort it out there - you have nothing to loose really! Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Ok, I think that may be an option.

Do you know how I go about securing tickets that I can change the return date on?

Does anyone know about the implications of having a visa rejected?
 

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Ok, I think that may be an option.

Do you know how I go about securing tickets that I can change the return date on?

Does anyone know about the implications of having a visa rejected?
Best bet is to speak to a travel agent directly first rather than booking on the net. They can then advise you which tickets that are available that are changeable. However if you do book on the net, check the small print about changing dates, sometimes you can do it if you pay a fee. I changed the date on my internet booked ticket the other day and it cost me around 40 pounds to do it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Best bet is to speak to a travel agent directly first rather than booking on the net. They can then advise you which tickets that are available that are changeable. However if you do book on the net, check the small print about changing dates, sometimes you can do it if you pay a fee. I changed the date on my internet booked ticket the other day and it cost me around 40 pounds to do it.
What's another £40 considering the costs of tickets anyway? :p

Ok, thank you, I will see what can be done.
 
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