Nemali & family – South Africa

We are permanent residents in a strange situation

We had planned to emigrate a while ago but I had my second son while we were planning to emigrate, so we chose to wait to have him first and add him on his own visa as we didn’t know how our financial situation would be in Sydney with two small kids.

I work on commission so I was on two unpaid maternity leaves in 2016 and 2018, we had financial and family support here. So we got him added on a child visa 101 which came through eventually in October 2019. So we put our home on the market and started to plan our emigration. The property market in SA is terrible, so we said we will go anyway even if the house doesn’t sell.

Then suddenly covid arrived and South Africa went into a strict lockdown in March, the agents couldn’t sell houses, the deeds offices closed, all borders closed. We were stuck and covid had completely destroyed our economy. My husbands work announced retrenchments and his one colleague was pregnant so he nominated himself as we he knew we are moving to Australia ASAP and didn’t wish any of his colleagues to lose their job. So he is out of work and my job had been affected as well as most countries are strict on dentistry and covid.

I had my Australian Dental exams postponed in March so I couldn’t write that either. We handed our home over to the bank for a distressed sale as now we had no stable source of income. We booked a commercial flight with Emirates which got cancelled and I understood as borders as international borders in South Africa remain closed until today. They have many repat flights though and no cap on South Africans allowed in. We scrambled and eventually managed to find a repat flight with Emirates that we booked in July for 24 August. I resigned and we got a move cube with seven seas because my children have some things they love. I didn’t want to leave it.

The moment our move cube was being fulled I had seen my repat flight booking wasn’t showing on my skywards profile. They had kicked us off the flight 4 days before departure. Now we are sleeping in an empty home on air mattresses with a 2 and 4 year old with no jobs, no means of transport and no confirmed flight. We are broken and have put our last bit of money on a flight with South African airways to New Zealand and a possible connection to Australia which is battling with approval due to the cap in place. We just want our small children to be 100% Aussie.

Our Australian dream has become our nightmare as we sit in an empty house waiting on a flight that maybe cancelled. Our home sold with the bank at a loss and we are awaiting for transfer. We have nothing now, no jobs, a home that is empty and soon will belong to someone else and my younger sons initial entry is going to expire in October. Thanks Pieter. Sorry for the long story.