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Here is a list of countries that a South African citizen can enter without a visa. Not a real exciting list for sure but there are a few good places such as New Zealand, Ireland, and I’d consider Costa Rica too which has become a popular place for Americans to retire to. It could prove good to know this in an emergency.


I would otherwise seriously look into lining up some kind of visa so as to have somewhere to go. For kids, student visas are a good bet in that it would let them legally stay in the US or wherever for years. I know that in the US most colleges have very inexpensive health insurance for students too which solves that problem as well. Tourist visas to the US let you stay for up to 6 months at a time, but they don’t let you legally work and you’d still have the issue of health insurance. I don’t know how that works in countries that have socialized medicine.

The immigration system in the US seems to be in utter disarray currently and my guess is that it would take years for them to catch up with anyone who overstays their visa, and that assumes they know where you are. That doesn’t solve the matter of health insurance and being able to legally work. Though it is illegal to hire those not in the US legally, the unskilled and often illiterate Mexicans and Central Americans work at the bottom of the labor pool using stolen social security #’s and both govt and employers for the most part look the other way. For skilled workers however it is much tougher in that employers generally don’t look the other way and middle class people don’t tend to go around using stolen social security #’s.

Despite the seeming difficulty of getting into the US legally, there are about a million legal immigrants each year. And uncounted numbers of illegals that for the most part don’t get deported, though that seems to mostly favor the unskilled and uneducated.