Woman told to go to Zimbabwe to get her South African-born child’s visas

Published: 22/Feb/2019
Source: GroundUp (Cape Town)

She faces prohibitive costs and may lose her job

By Bernard Chiguvare

Since 2008, Melody* has been living and working in South Africa. She is legally in the country with a Zimbabwe Exemption Permit (ZEP), but her two children need legal status. The South African authorities say she has to return to Zimbabwe in order to apply for what is known as an “accompanying visa” for her children.

She is a domestic worker and it will be very expensive for her. It may also mean she has to break up her family, at least temporarily. She might even risk losing her job altogether as she only gets three-weeks annual leave in December.

“It takes six to eight weeks for the visas to be processed. I cannot leave my children in Zimbabwe,” she says.

Melody’s two-year-old was born in South Africa but he accompanied her to Zimbabwe on her annual leave last year. Her seven-year-old was born in Zimbabwe and she has applied for his birth certificate and passport at the Zimbabwean Consulate in Cape Town, a costly and bureaucratic process in itself.

David Hlabane, media manager at the Department of Home Affairs, confirmed that Melody must apply through the South African Embassy in Zimbabwe.

Read further: https://www.groundup.org.za/article/zimbabweans-told-go-back-zim-legalise-children-born-south-africa/

Themes: Acquisition by children, Birth Registration
Regions: South Africa, Zimbabwe
Year: 2019