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My children and I are Swiss expats living in Botswana.

Easter holiday, April 2017, we went to Durban and, unfortunately, were only given 7 days but stayed for 10. The immigration officer stamped our passport and gave us a Section 30(1)h notice.

I did appeal but never got a reply.

This week, October 2018, we were refused entry and our passports were stamped 27(3), with no explanation given.

I have tried all numbers and emails found on the internet with no success at all.

I need help as I need to renew our Swiss passports in Pretoria.

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Contact the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA) for advice. Their helpline is available around the clock, 365 days a year. Contact details are available from the FDFA web site and include international phone numbers, an email address and a Skype contact address.

The regional consular office that covers Botswana is in South Africa, but under the circumstances the FDFA might allow you to renew through some other consulate, or direct with their offices in Switzerland.

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The best option for you is to get an attorney. It will cost you however that is to be expected. Naturally it is not easy to reach anyone on the numbers and emails provided. This is the civil service after all, naturally inefficient.

IMMIGRATION ACT 13 OF 2002

(3) A person who overstays after the expiry of his or her visa, as contemplated in section 30(1)(h) of the Act, may - (a) in the case of a person who overstays for a period not exceeding 30 days, be declared undesirable for a period of 12 months;

Without an attorney you will be stuck with the ban for a long time. You can follow the following steps

  • Immediately submit a well-crafted appeal to the Director-General or the Minister of Home Affairs and make proper legal submissions and would put the Department to terms in making a decision.

  • Should the Director-General or Minister fail to make a decision within the stipulated timeframe as what is construed as a reasonable timeframe i.e. 5-10 days, approach the Department’s internal section that manages the appeals for an urgent response.

  • Should the appeal section of the Department fail to co-operate, threaten legal action in the High Court on an Urgent or Non-urgent basis depending on the circumstances of the case.

  • The Department would now be under severe pressure to make a decision and lift the ban or face court pressure where the case would receive objective ventilation before a Judge of the High Court.

  • My edit was just a tweak of the format; you might want to add a citation on the what-to-do portion, and a non-affiliation disclaimer, as the content is from the web site of an immigration attorney in South Africa. – Giorgio Nov 1 '18 at 22:51
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    That's an option if the OP actually has to go to South Africa. There might be other options, and I'm not sure this is necessarily the 'best' one. – user79658 Nov 2 '18 at 1:02

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