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My wife has been working in Swaziland for the last year and she's getting ready to come back to the US. She just found that her passport was mis-stamped on her last South Africa–Swaziland crossing: the border agent mistakenly gave her only 7 days (apparently they missed her work permit or something, I wasn't there). She didn't notice that it was off until just now; she's now a day over the 7 days and one day from her flight home.

At the moment she's labeled (apparently) as "undesirable" and can't re-enter South Africa for a year, at least until she appeals this. She has 10 days to file paperwork for that. She will do that, of course, because she'll want to travel there again. But the concern at the moment is being able to get home. Will they let her connect through Swaziland on her trip back to the US? There is only one airport in the country and it flies only to Joberg, and the country is bordered on three sides by South Africa (and on the other by rural Mozambique... which I guess is a last-ditch possibility.)

Edit: I now have the "DECLARATION OF FOREIGNER AS AN UNDESIRABLE PERSON" form. It matches what I said above: all but "(h) You have overstayed by 1 days, at a time." and "(i) Your undesirability status will be lifted and will expire on 24/06/2018 (DD/MM/YYYY), at which date you will only be allowed to re-enter the Republic." are struck out.

Fortunately the appeals can apparently be emailed. But I'm sure they can't process them in a day, can they? So the fundamental issue remains.

  • What are you asking? She did overstay, correct (regardless of how it occurred)? Is it whether she will be denied boarding her flight? – Giorgio Jun 24 '17 at 23:37
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    @Dorothy How to get her back to the US, given that her flight goes through South Africa. – Charles Jun 25 '17 at 1:33
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    When it's sorted out, successfully I hope, come back and answer your own question. It adds value. Good luck. – Giorgio Jun 25 '17 at 2:05
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    @Dorothy That's a good suggestion, and I appreciate the advice and kind words. – Charles Jun 25 '17 at 2:06
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    How did it go?? – Crazydre Jul 28 '17 at 13:58
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+50

The question is rather confusingly phrased. If I'm following it, your wife entered South Africa from Swaziland, at which point her passport/visa was stamped incorrectly. Now, I believe you're saying that she wishes to return to the US from Swaziland.

If that is the case, there should be no problem. She may have overstayed her visa to Swaziland, but overstaying by a day or two, while not technically legal, is usually not considered a serious offence. And, since she came from Swaziland, and is now returning/returned there, she must have possessed a long-term visa that allowed her multiple entries into Swaziland. As long as that is/was still valid at the time of travel, Swaziland has no reason to object to her returning. Nor does the US. The "injured party" in this case is South Africa. So, I assume she's home, safe and sound, by now.

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    As I interpret the question, South Africa thinks she overstayed in South Africa, and she would have needed to fly back through South Africa to catch her flight to the US. I agree it is confusing however. – Zach Lipton Aug 10 '17 at 23:20
  • @ZachLipton Correct, she needed to go through South Africa to get to the US. (The only flight destination from Swaziland is South Africa, there's really no option to fly out another way.) – Charles Aug 11 '17 at 0:43
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    @Charles You're back! If you can tell us how this worked out, I know people are curious and you can answer your own question. Sorry nobody was able to answer here. – Zach Lipton Aug 11 '17 at 0:44
  • @ZachLipton Working on it now! – Charles Aug 11 '17 at 3:07

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