I love Cape Town – the ocean, the mountains, the climate and the super-friendly people of all colours, both well-off and poor. I feel so totally at home here, that after a year and three visits, I have started the process of obtaining a temporary 4-year residence, to be immediately followed by an application for permanent residence.
In most parts, it is not a demanding process. I must provide apostilled (that was a new word for me) copies of my birth and divorce certificates. Then there is a basic medical examination and chest x-rays. I also must demonstrate that I have at least a net annual income of Rand 444,000 (c£26,000 or c$34,000). But the painful part is providing police clearance from every country in which I have lived since I was 18.
Now for most countries, the process is not very demanding – basic identification data plus a fee. But the US requires a set of fingerprints on ‘card stock’ plus a plethora of personal data, such as height, weight, colour of eyes, hair etc. And their northern poodle requires electronic fingerprints, which are not readily accessible outside of Canada. And neither of their embassies and consulates provide any assistance whatsoever. To complicate the process, the US has a minimum of a 10-week service level, before the end of which my application could be rejected – I just hope that I did not give my height and weight in metric, leaving me to start all over again… 😦
Once I get all the required documentation, I must book an interview at an RSA embassy, in my case London – there is currently a one month wait. And if my documentation is accepted, there is a further 33 working day delay until the permit is issued or rejected, during which time my passport is retained by the embassy. As I also have an Irish passport, the latter is no handicap.
So, if everything I goes according to plan, I hope to be a South Africa resident by the end of this year.
Wish me luck… 🙂