Dozens of young South Africans are stranded in China due to a visa scam. In an attempting to bring them home, the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (Dirco) is working with Chinese authorities.
A statement by the minister of Dirco, Lindiwe Sisulu, states she is aware of young citizens’ situation. She instructs the department to work with Chinese authorities in order to have their passports released so they can return home as soon as possible.
In regards to legal proceedings, Sisulu says,“We are very much aware that the Chinese authorities will follow their own legal process when such a violation occurs and deal with the matter accordingly.”
According to the South African embassy in Beijing, a total of 51 young South Africans were deceived by a travel agency. The agency led to them to believe that they would have the opportunity to work as English teachers on a study visa. However, upon arrival, that promise of a work visa never materialized. While in China, they began working anyway, which is in contraventions to the immigration laws in China.
“Our embassy in Beijing is liaising with the Chinese authorities in addressing this matter,” Sisulu says, “We are also in touch with the Chinese Ambassador to South Africa to have their passports released. The Chinese Ambassador to South Africa has made an undertaking that he will expedite the matter.”
Sisulu has plans to engage the ministers of police and home affairs about the scams. Educating citizens on the dangers and warning signs of scams like these is the best way to prevent crimes like these from happening again.
“We appeal to all South Africans to be cautious of these scams and to check with the relevant authorities before travelling to other countries. Dirco will continue to provide consular assistance to those South Africans in distress and also to keep those affected families informed of the latest developments,” said Sisulu.