My husband accidentally used my passport to enter South Africa

edited January 2010 in Visa and Passport
I am a dual South African and US citizen. The rules for retaining SA citizenship is to always use the SA passport when entering and exiting the country - which I have done diligently. Upon presenting our passports to immigration to leave South Africa recently my husband was missing an entry stamp and 3-month visa-on-arrival. We were able to talk our way out by presenting boarding passes and other documentation showing that he did indeed enter SA with me (in the US line, while I was in the RSA residents line). Only after leaving South Africa did we realize that he had accidentally presented MY US passport to SA immigration, and not sure how it happened, they accepted and stamped it complete with 3-month visa and entry stamp - what to do? What I am afraid of is 'overstaying' that visa should I not make it back to SA within the three months, any way in which I can cancel that visa, possibly get a new passport?

My first instinct is to write to South African Home Affairs and clarify the matter, hopefully they can cancel the visa, has anyone ever had something like this happen?


  • edited 5:59AM
    Only in South Africa!!!! That's why I love being a South African - always ready with an excuse - it's our immigrations department... ha ha ha ... my President said so!!!
  • edited 5:59AM
    Sukipolit - I wouldnt bother writing to home affairs. They are so disorganised they will have no idea what to do with your letter. Better to contact the SA consulate/Embassy in the states and ask them to comment on the problem. To be honest it is unlikely the discrepancy will be noticed by immigration next time you visit SA but having a letter from a consular official might be handy.
  • edited 5:59AM
    From what I hear, if you have an overstay when you come back you are penalised. Zimbabweans are being fined anything from R3000 to R10000. thats a lucky scenario, otherwise your are banned from entering South Africa for a period of 5 years. Not sure if these rules only apply to ZImbabweans tho. These days they do check. So you have two options to visit the embassy there in the states and explain your case. Hopefully they can write you a letter that Home Affairs will understand. Or when you visit next time, carry some extra cash, but make sure you give it to the guy with the stamp noone else.
  • edited 5:59AM
    Ok, the above is very bad advice indeed. Do not attempt to bribe a customs or immigration official. If you're caught you can get arrested - which is a bit worse than having a visa anomaly in your passport.
  • edited 5:59AM
    I totally agree with you on that. The sad thing is that that's the situation on the ground. So option 1 the one David also suggested would be the best.
  • edited 5:59AM
    David - thanks for the advice - I talked with a friend who works at the US Consulate and she agrees, it is highly unlikely it will be noticed, particularly since I will not be entering SA with my US passport...bribing, definitely not a good idea - I don't even do it in Kabul (where that is the way everything is done here) - definitely won't attempt it in SA. Many thanks for the responses though!
  • edited 5:59AM
    So my question is when you leave the U.S.A. Leave with the U.S.A. passport or permanent residents card.And when you get to South Africa present your S.A passport is that correct?
  • edited 5:59AM
    my passport has overstayed for 6mnths what cbn b my fine o penalty .al ths because l my in hospital because l was in an accident.
  • edited December 2011
    I have a Spousal Visa, I am married to a South African Citizen living part of this year in RSA and part in the USA. I would like to Know If My wife and I are Invited as International Guest Speaker from the U.S.A. to a church, can i do it on the visa i have or do i need authorization from Home affairs for such or what? Please Note my wife is pretty much the head of it all and we are probably gonna go non-profit, So from time to time Churches may invite us to Speak to there people as well as Motivational Speaking to be more productive in the community or business or cultural. PLEASE HELP!


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