Media Statement

21 June 2018

DIRCO is working with Chinese authorities on stranded young South Africans in China due to visa scam

The Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Lindiwe Sisulu is aware of South African citizens who are stranded in China as a result of a visa scam and she has instructed the department to work with the Chinese authorities to have their passports released so that they can come back to South Africa as soon as possible.

According to SA Embassy in Beijing fifty one (51) young South Africans were enticed by an agent to travel to China on a study visa, while planning to work as English teachers. The promise was that they would get their work visas upon arrival in the country which never materialised. While in China on study visas they started working, which was in contravention of the immigration laws of the Republic of China.

“Our Embassy in Beijing is liaising with the Chinese authorities in addressing this matter. 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”, said Minister Sisulu.

“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”, added Minister Sisulu.

“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 Minister Sisulu.

Minister Sisulu will engage Ministers of Police and Home Affairs about these scams so that individuals involved are taken to task.

It is a priority of the Minister that all 51 currently stranded young South Africans in China return back home as soon as possible.

Enquiries: Mr Ndivhuwo Mabaya, 083 645 7838

ISSUED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND COOPERATION

OR Tambo Building
460 Soutpansberg Road
Rietondale
Pretoria
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