SA to ease visa regulations

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The inter-ministerial committee set up to review the visa requirements for travel to South Africa has withdrawn some of the regulations and ammended others.

South Africa will scrap the need for in-person biometric visas in favour of biometric visas on arrival for travellers from countries where there is no South Africa mission.

The requirement for people travelling with children to carry original birth certificates and letters of consent from absent parents was also relaxed for countries from which visas are not required, including key traditional tourism markets in Europe and North America.

However, South Africans taking children out of the country will still have to produce parental consent affidavits and birth certificates “containing parental details” – a shift from the unabridged birth certificates that had been required – to help prevent child trafficking.

The IMC was appointed in August 2015 to assess the ‘unintended consequences‘ that arose as a result of the implementation of new immigration regulations by the Department of Home Affairs.

Tourism arrival statistics from most of South Africa’s key source markets have reported significant declines since the new immigration regulations came into effect, with losses to the South African economy estimated to be over $5.5 million.