Section 30 of the South African Immigration Act stipulates that a “foreigner” may be declared undesirable and refused admission into South Africa for numerous reasons, the most common of which is the overstaying of one’s visa. The draconian implementation of this section has, however, given rise to certain anomalies. One such anomaly is the declaring of South African citizens to be undesirable.
When can a South African be refused entry as undesireable
The above anomaly is most likely to occur in instances where a South African holds dual citizenship with another country and has travelled to and from South Africa using their foreign passport. This in itself in an offence under the South African Citizenship Act, but it should not automatically result in a declaration of undesirability. In stipulating the grounds for a declaration of undesirability, it is clear that such declarations apply exclusively to “foreigners”. A foreigner is defined in the Immigration Act as an individual who is not a South African citizen, thus citizens are effectively precluded from being declared undesirable.
Undesirablity status can be overturned
It is evident that immigration officials declaring South African citizens to be undesirable, have erred in their interpretation and application of the Immigration Act. Nevertheless, a visa overstay appeal for South Africa will need to be submitted in order to rectify the situation. If you require assistance with an overstay appeal, feel free to contact our offices.
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