Leaving on a jet plane

In April, 2014, I applied for a job in far-off Stellenbosch, having first heard of the city from the job posting.  In April, 2015, I received an appointment letter from Stellenbosch University to join its Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.  On November 20, 2015 (my 42nd birthday!), I received my visa to emigrate to South Africa!

FedEx delivered my passport this morning, and there it was on page twelve, my Temporary Residence Permit.  I was in for a surprise when I saw it.  Instead of being for thirty-six months (the websites claim that TRPs can only be issued for three years), my TRP was issued for sixty months (the full five years of my appointment).  Unlike my Brazilian visa, my photo does not appear on the TRP.  The visa proclaims itself to be an “Exceptional Skills Work Permit,” which is strange given that the 2015 immigration law change merged the ESWP with the Quota Work Permit to create the “Critical Skills Work Permit.”

Of course, if it lets me into the country to begin my new job, I am content!  My flight to Dulles airport leaves at nine A.M. on Sunday, but I am already over the moon!


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