Home Affairs announce changes to South African visa regulations
The South African minister of Home Affairs, Malusi Gigaba made some announcements earlier this week, that will be implemented to make it easier for tourists, business people and academia to come to South Africa.
Travelling with Minors
At present, the SA Home Affairs requires that minors traveling in and out of South Africa do so with the consent of both parents.
It was announced that an international travel advisory will be issued before the end of October 2018, that will henceforth only recommend that travellers should carry documentation providing parental consent for the travelling minor. Immigration officials would thus only insist on documentation by exceptions, such as in high risk situations.
Travellers will thus not be denied entry where documentation is absent, but given the opportunity to prove parental consent.
However, please note that South African minors will still be required to prove parental consent when leaving the South African borders.
Visa Waivers and Simplification of Visa requirements for South Africa
It was announced that negotiations are being finalised to conclude visa waiver agreements for ordinary passport holders from a number of countries.
This inter alia include; Algeria, Egypt, Morocco, Sao Tome & Principe, Tunisia, Ghana, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, State of Palestine, Iran, Lebanon, Oman, Kuwait, Belarus and Georgia, and Cuba.
Visa requirements for countries such as China and India are being simplified. This will include taking biometrics on arrival in South Africa, allowing visa applications via courier and issuing 5-year multiple entry visas.
Long Term Multiple Entry Visas
Home Affairs has introduced long term multiple entry visas for frequent travellers to ease movement for the purposes of tourism, business meetings and academic exchange.
This will be in the form of; a three-year multiple entry visa for frequent trusted travellers to SA, and
a ten-year long term multiple entry visa for academics and business persons.
Home Affairs – Critical Skills Review
Home Affairs also announced that they are finalising consultations with other government departments , academics, business and organised labour to implement a new critical skills list. They hope to implement this by April 2019.
Foreign students who graduate at South African institutions of higher learning within critical skills categories will be offered the opportunity to apply for permanent residence upon graduation.
Breytenbachs will update clients on further announcements regarding the above, as more information is released.
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