Last week saw the announcement of a special visa dispensation for business people from any of the BRICS member states. BRICS is the acronym given to the association of countries made up of the 5 major emerging national economies, namely: Brazil, Russia, India, China & South Africa.
Reason for new Visa Relguations
The announcement comes after reports were published evidencing a drastic decrease in the number of tourist arrivals in South Africa from the aforementioned countries. This is largely due to the implementation of the new immigration regulations which have put in place multiple onerous requirements which make travelling to South Africa more difficult.
Response to new Visa Relguations
The uproar in response to the new regulations has been well-documented, as has Minister Gigaba’s refusal to budge on most issues raised, but this special dispensation indicates a concession on the part of Home Affairs and a slight willingness to address these issues as they arise. According to Minister Gigaba, this dispensation will allow business people from BRICS countries to obtain port of entry visas that would be valid for 10 years and would allow multiple entries of 30 days at a time throughout this period.
The Minister went on to state that the above mentioned category of people would be able to obtain a valid visa within 5 days of applying. This move came after discussions took place between the South African Department of Trade & Industry and the BRICS Business Council. It is hoped that this will facilitate direct investment in South Africa by BRICS nations.
The Minister concluded by noting that the special dispensation could potentially be extended in the future to include other countries making significant investment in South Africa.
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