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I am a Zimbabwean citizen. I was denied boarding as I was getting on a plane to visit my family, and was told by airport staff that South African Immigration won't allow me to enter South Africa, that they "don't need to give a reason why" and sent me away. This made my life very difficult. I eventually was able to contact an immigration official OR Tambo who informed me that I was V-listed on 13 August 2016 due to a "fraudulent visa". (Please note that this while I was still living in South Africa on a study permit that was valid until 31 December 2019). I then realized upon further inspection of the visa in question, that my institution was listed as "Cape Peninsular University of Technology" by the Department of Home Affairs, when I attended Cape Town Creative Academy and provided the documents to show this. I assumed that they had done their job and read the documents I submitted when applying for the visa, so didn't read every word on it when I picked up my passport with my new visa from Home Affairs. I have been unable to contact anyone at Home Affairs or Immigration, and I remain banned indefinitely despite acquiring a study permit legitimately and legally and leaving a full year before it expired.

I would really appreciate any help or advice you could offer me as this has been a total nightmare. I have all the documents needed to prove this in about 30 seconds, but getting them in front of the right eyes is the tricky part. I believe I deserve compensation for this, in addition to my v-listed status being lifted ASAP. What do you think the likelihood is?

Thanks in advance

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    Sounds like you will need the help of an immigration lawyer to sort this out – Traveller Feb 13 at 17:54
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    I can't speak for the South African case specifically, but I've never heard of a country where you'll get compensation for the inconvenience in a case like this. Hopefully you can get your status fixed, and, if you can, I'd take that as a win. (This is not fair, perhaps, but...) – mlc Feb 13 at 19:09
  • I'm not in a position to pay for an immigration lawyer, unfortunately. I didn't even break the law - how frustrating :( ANY suggestions welcome – Emily Byrne Feb 13 at 19:59
  • @Emily Byrne You could try contacting the institution where you studied, they may be able to help or suggest a contact route for Home Affairs / Immigration. Are you 100% certain that the mix up over the two institutions is the reason why your visa was deemed fraudulent? Did you apply for it yourself or did you use an agent? – Traveller Feb 14 at 8:14
  • Thank you for your answer! I spent 2 months in air bnb's researching and thinking very hard about how I could possibly be v-listed as I had never overstayed or had any problems with the law. My entire family/everyone was bewildered as well because Home Affairs could just not be bothered to give us the actual reason. I was told by an immigration official OR Tambo that I was "v-listed due to a fraudulent visa" and the institution is blatantly just wrong, so it's the only real explanation. I will get in touch with the institution, good idea! – Emily Byrne Feb 14 at 11:23
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The Department of Home Affairs has a website that you can visit to appeal any entry prohibitions http://www.dha.gov.za/index.php/immigration-services/prohibition-appeals

When applying for upliftment after being found in possession of the following.

Fraudulent visas
Fraudulent Permanent Resident
Foreign nationals who were deported
Appealing deportation or order to depart from Republic of South Africa
Good cause rejections
Who has submitted fraudulent documents in support of their application to the Department
 
We require  the following documents .
a detail letter / affidavit of representations
copies of passports
good Cause rejection letter
a copy of the document found to be fraudulent
any other supporting documents in support of the request for an appeal process
 
The following should be  included in an appeal:
email address
contact details
and other references
The appeal must be e-mailed to: prohibitionappeals@dha.gov.za

I would stress that any request for compensation will be seen in a negative light by the South African authorities and your only alternative to the appeal would be to seek legal advice, at great cost and time. Ask any South African - dealing with Home Affairs is a nightmare - and we are their primary customers.

Remember, visa's are a privilege to foreign nationals, and not a right.

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    Thank you for this! I'll get on this right away. Yeah to be honest I thought the compensation was a long shot. I don't believe a visa is my right at all, but the lack of humanity in not even giving the reason WHY and leaving people high and dry just baffles me. How unnecessary... – Emily Byrne Feb 14 at 11:36
  • The airlines would not be able to actually see the reason. Home Affairs, well, they don't have to give you a reason - just that you are on the prohibition list. Not being able to travel / work / study in South Africa can be difficult considering the close ties between the two communities. I am sorry, I wish it was a better experience. – Rodney Hawkins Feb 14 at 11:41
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    @Emily Byrne Picking up on the comment about the visa agent’s incompetence, if you haven’t got it already I would ask to see the actual visa application submission and accompanying papers. Without that, you can’t be sure what document(s) the agent submitted on your behalf and consequently which one(s was deemed fraudulent. Good luck with your appeal! – Traveller Feb 14 at 13:05

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