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South African tourist visa - applying again after rejection last time

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Apr 17th, 2013, 08:26 AM
  #1
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South African tourist visa - applying again after rejection last time

Hi everyone,

Need your advice regarding the below:

I live in India but have a sibling working in SA. Last year July I applied for a Visitor visa of 1 month to SA (category: Holiday) and got it. I was on a professional break (ie not working) at that time. I had a really really great trip, but due to the vast number of things to see and do in SA, I could not manage to visit all the places I had wanted to.
Since the normal time limit for tourist visa for SA is 3-months and I had only asked for 1 month the first time, and also since I could not visit other places (like Cape Town) on my visit, I applied for another Visitor Visa after 2 months of the first trip (this time the category was mentioned as :Family Visit), in order to avoid having to book hotel accomodation etc since I wouldn't need it (could stay with my sibling). However, my visa this time was rejected with the foll. reasons quoted:
a) that i was currently unemployed
b) that I'd just returned from SA trip
c) that it was unclear why I wanted to go there again
I think maybe my cover letter was not good enough, since I did not mention that I wanted to visit more places that I couldn't on my first trip - I merely mentioned that I wanted to visit my sibling.

Now I am employed, and wish to go for a short 2-week trip to SA with my parents (it is now 6 months since the visa was rejected). I am confused and anxious about how to apply after the last rejection. My parents are senior citizens and don't have any letter of leave as required by the Visitor Visa regulations. Will that matter? Also, should I apply as Family Visit (to save having to book hotel unnecessarily), or is it better to apply as Holiday category (ie will Family Visit category make it more likely for visa to get rejected)?

Sorry for the lengthy post, but would sincerely appreciate any help/advice on this.

TIA
RevK
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Apr 17th, 2013, 02:18 PM
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Rev...these sound like questions for an Embassy representative to answer. Is there somewhere you might go in person to speak on the matter?

I am guessing here but if you are employed, but on holiday, I would say on the application that you are employed and state your employer. It seems that you should be able to state your reason for going quite simply -- your brother is living there and you "NEED" to accompany your elder parents so that they might visit. That response might also satisfy the question of why you want to return so soon.

Good luck.
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Apr 17th, 2013, 09:33 PM
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Thanks @TC for the helpful response!

I was quite confused about how to write the cover letter to avoid rejection this time. But now that you pointed out I realize the mistake I made last time - in not mentioning about the need for me to accompany my parents in my cover letter... Actually the embassy people don't help with these kind of queries at all ...they say that they cannot help in deciding the type or category of visa....so i posted in this forum.

thanks once again...

RevK
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Apr 18th, 2013, 05:42 AM
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Rev, I live in the US, so have quite a different set of circumstances. However, I know that many times we are required to show that we are gainfully employed in our home country or have sufficient finances to return. I believe this is to protect the visited country (in this case SA) from people who might arrive without enough money to return (or a desire to return) to their home country. Thus causing a burden on SA society. Its a silly requirement, but I think that is the mind-set as they process your application.

You want to make it appear that you are very well grounded in your home country -- employed, own a home, family, etc. So that there is no mistake that you might seek a more permanent status once in SA.

Thus, I would list an employer - even if you are on "professional break". Could you write that you have taken a sabbatical in order to accompany your parents and must return to work on a particular date?

I might also add a note regarding the advanced age of your parents - that this could be their last or only opportunity to see the son who is living in SA. Write that they have selflessly saved in order to visit their son and will be unable to make the trip without your assistance. A little sympathy from the processing agent can go a long way.

I am sorry to hear that that SA Embassy will not offer assistance. However, do not give up on that avenue if turned down again. Sometimes, showing up, face to face, gets more compassion than one would get otherwise.

Good luck and post back.
TC
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Apr 21st, 2013, 01:48 AM
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We are very fond of the Cape, and as Europeans, entitled to a 3 months visit with just a tourist visa issued on arrival. However, we sometimes want to stay longer. (Winter seems to last longer in the Northern Hemisphere these days.) So, last year, we applied for an extension to the tourist visa so that we could stay for 4 months. (It was very unclear from the government website, and from telephone calls, what would be needed to do this.)

In fact it entailed showing copies of our ticket back to France, but also bank account information, and information on residence in SA. Luckily we could download bank information, and had a rental agreement for the place we were staying. This was all sent off to Johannesburg and the extension was issued with no problem.

I know this is not exactly your situation, but you might also mention in your application that you can provide bank information and confirmation of where you will be staying.
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May 11th, 2013, 04:50 AM
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Hi @TC. Thanks again for more help and suggestions for my cover letter. Sorry I could not post back earlier - I have joined a new job since I posted last and was neck deep in work, and only just visited this page again (strangely I did not get an email from the site saying there were more posts on this thread).

I will try to show more proof of my intention to come back to my country, as you suggested. But it seems sad to me that it should be made so hard for people to visit such a beautiful country like SA, even when they have saved up enough to have the money to be able to visit. Frankly I fell in love with SA on my first trip, and would love to be able to visit whenever I can, even for short trips. But if it is that difficult to get a visa each time, this seems like an impossible dream to me. Anyway, now my focus is on at least getting a visa for the upcoming 2-week trip that I am planning - I want very much for my parents to be able to enjoy the beauty of the Indian Ocean and the beautiful beaches.

I will mention about my parents' age and the necessity for me to accompany them, and show my employment letter and bank statements, etc., just like you suggested. But I'm thinking that I will perhaps not mention about it being the only chance my parents could get, etc, since what if I want to visit one more time some time later? Then I wont have any reason left to give....not that I'm at all hopeful of being able to visit a third time, but still...don't want to close any avenues. Anyway, right now, am about to apply for visas for the 3 of us to visit in June, and have to see that through first.

Thanks once again for the help!! It helps very much to talk to someone.

RevK
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May 11th, 2013, 05:00 AM
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Hi Carlux. Thanks for your reply and help! Sorry I saw your reply very late - as I mentioned in my above post, I could only just come back to this site after my last visit here, so saw your reply now. However, since I'm just about to apply for visa (in the next 2-3 days), I saw your post just in time.

I had actually given my bank statements (showing more than sufficient funds), my place of residence in SA as well as my return tickets back to India, the last time. But still my application got rejected, seemingly just because I was unemployed at the time. Its really very unfair, because in my profession, its very hard to get leave when you are working. So the only way one could spend a decent amount of time visiting a place would be if one is on a break. And then the embassy rejects your application precisely because one is not employed! Sort of like a chicken-and-egg situation. You are really lucky that you get tourist visas on arrival - I really do envy you

-RevK
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Jun 17th, 2013, 10:10 PM
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Hi @RevK

Im also planning to go SA for family visit,i want some suggestions can you please give me ur personal email id
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