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I am not a South African citizen but I grew up there all my life. My whole family are South African citizens but I was born in Ireland but moved to South Africa when I was 6 months old. The home affairs in South Africa refused to let me apply for citizenship or a visa (they wanted bribes or they kept saying they lost my birth certificate).

I travelled to Ireland in early 2015 and then travelled back to South Africa in early 2016 where I stayed a year for my schooling (grade 9), my family then were going to move to Ireland in early 2017 (I was 15) but when we got to the airport they had placed me as an “undesirable person” banned for 5 years even though I was a minor traveling under my father's passport. We explained that we had tried my whole life to get me a citizenship and of documents of my schooling in South Africa.

Do I have any recourse? Can I get this ban lifted?

closed as off-topic by bytebuster, Traveller, cHiEf Immigration vIoLaTer, Giorgio, David Richerby Feb 4 at 18:40

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  • It’s hard to understand what you’re asking. Are you saying SA banned you from leaving the country although you’d previously been refused citizenship? – Traveller Feb 4 at 14:42
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    @Traveller - being labeled as an "Undesirable Person" means that the OP has been banned from re-entering ZA for that 5-year period. What the immigration officer at the airport did was probably perfectly normal and legal, since the OP is, at least superficially, an Irish citizen who had been living illegally in ZA for a number of years. The circumstances leading up to that are clearly debatable and probably not the OP's fault though. – brhans Feb 4 at 15:30
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    @DJClayworth: ZA is the ISO-3166 two-letter code for the Republic of South Africa, used for e.g. Internet domain names. (Zambia is ZM; the erstwhile Zaire was ZR but is now CD). – Henning Makholm Feb 4 at 16:10
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    Given that you were 15 in early 2017, I'm going to assume you are still a minor here. You should, with the aid of your parents, engage a South African immigration lawyer. This is a potentially serious legal matter (particularly if it means separating you from family and friends). Strangers on the internet, though often well-intentioned, are unlikely to have the subject matter expertise to make a reliable contribution. – Richard Feb 4 at 16:14
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    ISO-3166 is not that well known. I would suggest spelling out the name in full for general readers. – DJClayworth Feb 4 at 16:17