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South Africa Immigration: How to deal with arrests and detentions?

It could be unacceptable if you get arrested or a loved one has been detained in a foreign country. It could turn out to be rather unsettling if you do not know what are your rights and the correct reaction to an event. While you may be applying for a South Africa Travel visa, make sure you also know about what needs to be done during situations that are unfavorable. This discussion will get through the appropriate actions to take at the time of arrests and detentions. Also, you could consider different reasons for so.

Arrests and Detentions - South Africa Immigration

With the South African Immigration act into force, the officials had been granted the extreme superior power to arrest individuals who have been suspected for contravention of prevailing laws. Generally, the contraventions for which foreigners are arrested include the following:

  • No possession of the visa or permit.
  • Having a visa or permit that is expired.
  • Possessing a visa or permit that has been suspected to be fake or forged.
  • Not following the conditions mentioned along with a visa or permit while studying, pursuing a business or working in South Africa.

South Africa has been emerging as one of the most preferred holiday destinations and even for business investments. Most of the visitors will always be welcomed with warm smiles and polite behavior. They won’t be asked to produce their passports or other visa documents for the purpose. The inspectorate officials can, however, call any foreign visitor to prove their identity and visa rights. When asked so, the visitors must be able to prove their identity and present the required documents to the officials “on the spot”. However, no officials are allowed to make unworthy use of their rights regarding arrest and detention.

Why would you get arrested?

The immigration officials are not bound to have any warrants to arrest someone; they can do so if they have a strong case for the same. Although the “good cause” has been mentioned very clearly in the criminal law, the immigration law is far different and does not allow the officials to take up any actions so easily. Visitors may have to face problems because of the following reasons:

  • If they have committed a criminal offense.
  • If they have overstayed a visa.
  • The combative or abusive approach towards immigration officials.
  • Involuntarily admitting to the contravention or disobedience of the Immigration Act.
  • Working without a general work visa South Africa or other probable work visas.

Some tips that would prove handy

While you’re new at the place, the below-mentioned tips would surely help you well enough to deal with situations like this.

  • Always carry a copy of your passport, visa and other basic documents that would support your identity.
  • Keep in mind in advance, the person you would call if you have been arrested.

Also, provide that person with the following documents:

  • A copy of your permit and passport.
  • The contact details of your family.
  • The ability to access your funds and make payments on your behalf.

What to do if you’ve been arrested?

The most important thing to consider is to never get aggressive or abusive with the officials since this will only make the situation worse and may make the detention even longer. On being arrested, the suspect would be taken to a nearby police station. At most of the police stations, immigration offenders are kept separate from the general offenders. It would be suggestible to consider the following points:

  • Keep a copy of the visa/ permit and passport so that it could be handed over to the immigration attorney.
  • Offenders could be detained for about 30 days without any probable warrants.
  • An attorney can help you with an instant release however, this is never guaranteed.
  • If the court does not confirm detention within 48 hours, the detainee is supposed to be released.
  • Upon being released, the detainee would be asked to prove why they should not be deported.
  • They may also be asked regarding security for the costs of deporting.

Make sure to consider the above-mentioned guidelines when you’ve already applied for the South Africa Travel Visa and make your experiences even better.



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