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2016 Update on South Africa’s Visa Rules

South Africa’s Department of Home Affairs has recently issued a statement outlining the progress achieved to date concerning last year’s proposed visa concessions. The report identifies  several key areas for discussion, including:

Unabridged Birth Certificates

While South African minor children travelling out of the country still require an unabridged birth certificate (UBC) to do so, the Department of Home Affairs have advised that South African passports are set to be revised so as to include both parents’ details. The change however, is only earmarked to be rolled-out over the next 3 – 12 months. Travellers are therefore advised to continue making use of the unabridged birth certificate system till such a time where their children’s passports are up for renewal under the new format.

The DHA have also made allowance for children travelling on international sports and academic outings by allowing school principals to give consent by way of a standardized template document. The DHA have also extended the validity of parental consent affidavits from 4 to 6 months.

International visitors to South Africa who have applied and been granted a visitor’s visa will not have to produce an unabridged birth certificate when travelling with minor children (provided both parents are with the minor), as the initial visa security checks are deemed sufficient. Travellers from visa exempt countries however, are still “strongly advised” to travel with an unabridged birth certificate.

Biometric data collection at ports of entry & Transit visas

According to the Department of Home Affairs, the pilot project for South Africa’s electronic Movement Control System has been launched successfully. As a result, travellers transiting through Lanseria, King Shaka, Cape Town and OR Tambo airports will no longer require Transit visas in order to do so.

Introduction of Accredited Tourism Company Programme

Chinese tourists travelling to South Africa can now have their visitor’s visa applications submitted by certain accredited tour operators, and no longer have to do so in person. The Department of Home Affairs is working in collaboration with the National Department of Tourism to identify similar accredited organisations in Russia and India; however at the time of writing, all other nationalities were still required to submit their visitor’s visa applications in person.

Long-term multiple entry visas

On the 29th of January 2016, the Department of Home Affairs approved the granting of 10-year multiple entry visas to business people and academics from Africa.

Should you have any queries or concerns regarding the aforementioned visa amendments, be sure to contact our offices.

South Africa's Visa Rules

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