South African Visa Regulations

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SOUTH AFRICAN VISA RULES

Although the intention of the new regulations instituted by the minister of home affairs was surely not to cause harm to the country or to the tourism industry, there were many negative unintended consequences for the South African economy.

THE OLD VISA REGULATIONS

  • Children travelling in and out of South Africa needed to produce an unabridged birth certificate as well as their passports which detail the particulars of both the mother and the father of the child.
  • Foreign travellers seeking to obtain visas to South Africa must apply in person and provide biometric data.
  • The changes extended to the provision of work permits for foreign workers. 

CONSEQUENCES

  • According to the South African Reserve Bank, preliminary estimations suggested that travel receipts dropped by 9% in the second quarter of 2015. There was a decline in tourists among visitors travelling with minors.
  • Local airlines have noted a marked decrease in passenger numbers on its regional routes.
  • A study showed an estimated total net loss of R4.1 billion to South Africa’s gross domestic product.
  • Some international corporations are reportedly considering basing some of its key personnel in other African countries because it is so difficult to obtain work permits for its management staff. 

THE NEW VISA REGULATIONS

  • The demand for unabridged birth certificates to be brought with children coming here is dropped but these will still be necessary when applying for visas.
  • Biometric information will be captured at international airports as they arrive.
  • The department of home affairs will accept visa applications by post in instances where there is no SA mission and biometrics of travellers, including fingerprints and photos will be taken on arrival at ports of entry.
  • South African children travelling out of the country will still have to submit the current child-travel requirements, including parental consent affidavits as a means to protect the minors. 
  • For inbound travellers, the proof of original birth certificates or certified copies would only be required during the application process, as this is in line with practice in many other countries.  

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