Man misses mother’s funeral because Home Affairs could not give him a visa
Tit-for-tat visa regulations between South Africa and New Zealand was introduced recently.
March 28, 2017 – TimesLive
reported on Tuesday that Kierane Apollos and his family missed his mother’s funeral because they could not obtain visas in time.
The paper said that Apollos and his family are now living in New Zealand and tried to apply for emergency visas to travel to South Africa in time for the funeral, but were told that there was “no criteria” for an emergency consideration.
TimesLive did not state how long the family has been living in New Zealand or when or how they gave up their South African passports.
Home Affairs introduced the tit-for-tat visa regulations after New Zealand introduced laws that required all South African citizens travelling to the Land of the Long White Cloud to apply for visa.
New Zealand publication stuff.co.nz‚ said that the SA High Commissioner to New Zealand‚ Zodwa Lallie‚ believed the government could do better to make allowances for emergency travel.
“Bilateral relations between countries are designed to enhance rather than impede‚” Lallie said.
“Immigration officials need to consider people’s circumstances in order to provide emergency services‚ consideration of emergencies is given as far as the client provides supporting documentation.”
Charlene Apollos, Kierane’s wife, also claimed that they had spoken to “many people” who were waiting up to a month and had still not received visas.
She said: “We are not disputing the decision to enforce the visa to travel to SA but find it a struggle to comprehend that it will take five to seven working days to obtain a visa in the case of an emergency. We cannot pre-empt death or any other emergency reasons to travel.”
According to TimesLive, Home Affairs spokesman Mayihlome Tshwete could not be reached for comment.