Malawian Rice Vendor

Thursday, 29 September 2011

visa issues

When we re entered South Africa at the trans frontier park, we encountered a bit of an unexpected issue. A custom official would only give us a visa for 7 days. We aren't exactly sure why as we had been told that 30 days was the norm. Since we were leaving South Africa in about 11 days, we had to extend our visa for just 4 extra days. Despite trying to rationalize with him and tell him that the advice we had received before that it would not be a problem to receive 30 days, he would not relent. Not only could we prove that we had sufficient funds and a return ticket home, it didn't seem to matter. He informed us that we would have to go to the home affairs office in Pretoria. We arrived Monday morning at the home affairs office only to find a long line! When we finally got to the front of the line an hour later, we were told that they were not exactly sure of the procedure. The lady at the front desk told us to wait so that she could ask her supervisor. After waiting for more than a half hour she finally returned only to realize that she forgot to ask her supervisor. When she finally did get around to asking him, he had no answer. He told us that we should come back the following day and talk to HIS boss. Needless to say, with most of the day wasted, it was very frustrating indeed. We came back the following day and were told that sure enough the only two options were to A. extend our visa at a cost of over $30 a day each or B. leave the country and return again. At this point we were so angry with South African immigration, we decided to leave the country. They did not make it easy on us even though we were ready to spend our hard earned money in their country. We rented a car and headed to Swaziland where we find ourselves, now and we will stay here until our current visa runs out and then return back to South Africa and hope they let us in....

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