For the last few months, Ashlee and I have been gathering the needed documents to submit our applications to renew our current visas here in South Africa.
The first time, we submitted our application in Washington, DC on a Thursday, then the following Tuesday, had them in hand; approved! It was super easy! Well, things have changed!
- The boys’ passports expire 2/1/2021 and new regulation is that the visa cannot over stay the passport. So we need to renew their passports before applying for their visas.
- According to the SA Website, we cannot apply for visa renewal until 3 months out from expiration date. Our current visas expire July, 2019. This may or may not be entirely accurate, we aren’t sure. 🙂
- As of now, we can sign an affidavit to allow a third party to pick up our approved visas with actual passports without having to be physically present. (Which was our plan while on furlough.) However, that process has ended for Permanent Residence and appears to be ending soon for the temporary visas we are applying for.
So, this leaves us with two possible options in our visa renewal process:
- Ashlee and I attempt to renew ours any way before we leave, then apply for the boys new passports and visas in the States.
- Stop the process entirely until we are in the U.S. and attempt to renew the whole family’s visa on that side at the same time.
Neither one is a guarantee as the process has become increasingly more difficult in recent years. We just learned of a family in Johannesburg that was denied visas. We are hopeful and trusting the Lord for His will in this matter! We would ask that you all make this a special matter of prayer with us!
The need here in South Africa is great, and we are willing laborers for His Harvest! Please pray that the door remains open for the gospel to be preached here in South Africa!
Your Missionaries in South Africa,
Stephen, Ashlee, Peyton, Eli, and Neyland
The Underwood Family