Most Popular Article in South Africa, November 2015
In response to the recommendations of the inter-ministerial
committee established by the President in August 2015 to consider
factors relating to the implementation of the Immigration Amendment
Acts (2007 and 2011) and Immigration Regulations, 2014, Cabinet has
decided to keep the existing legislation in place, whilst amending
certain procedures to facilitate implementation thereof.
Visa rules, such as the requirement for travellers to apply for
visas in person, will be relaxed in countries where there is no
South African mission, to allow for postal application. Biometric
details, such as fingerprints and photographs, will then be
gathered on arrival at ports of entry. Measures will also be put in
place to ease the process of application for tourist visas in
countries where the sparse location of offices may pose an
impediment to in-person applications.
For visa-exempt countries, the requirement of an unabridged
birth certificate and parental consent affidavits will likely be
lifted, but the Department of Home Affairs has already indicated
that a strong advisory will be issued encouraging travellers to
carry proof of relationship and consent from the absent parent(s)
or guardian(s), as the department will naturally retain discretion
to ask for this on arrival, particularly in suspicious
Child-travel requirements for outbound travel will remain. For
non-visa exempt children, original birth certificates and parental
consent will still need to be submitted during the visa application
Requirements regarding unaccompanied minors, such as the need to
produce copies of the identity document or valid passport and visa
or permanent residence permit of the person who is to receive an
unaccompanied minor, will remain. Parental consent affidavits will
have longer validity of six months.
In order to implement Cabinet decisions on this matter, the
Department of Home Affairs has been mandated to do the
In the next three months:
implement the capturing of biometrics
at ports of entry, starting with a pilot project at OR Tambo
International Airport, King Shaka International Airport and Cape
Town International Airport.
investigate the possibility of
introducing an Accredited Tourism Company Programme for countries
like China, India and Russia.
consider the issuance of a long-term
Multiple Entry Visa for a period exceeding three months and up to
three years for frequent travellers (for business meetings),
business people and academics. This visa is not expected to be
issued to first time travellers to South Africa.
school principals will be allowed to
issue letters confirming permission for children to travel abroad
on school tours.
extend the validity of the parental
consent affidavit to six months.
Within 12 months:
mandate additional visa facilitation
centres, including in Zimbabwe, the United Arab Emirates and
consider visa waivers for India,
China, Russia and other countries (presumably countries from which
tourism numbers are anticipated to be high).
consider visas on arrival for persons
who hold valid visas in their passports for the United Kingdom, the
United States of America and Canada, and other countries that apply
stringent protocols in their visa issuance processes.
consider granting a certain category
of frequent travellers (business and academic) from Africa a
10-year Multiple Entry Visitor's Visa.
open two Business Visa Facilitation
Centres in Durban and Port Elizabeth, in addition to the existing
centre in Sandton, Johannesburg.
print the details of parents in South
African passports, so that the birth certificate requirement will
In the long term (one year and beyond):
install systems for pre-flight checks
at international airports.
upgrade Advance Passenger Processing
systems and implement Passenger Name Records, to enhance risk
finalise automation of the visa and
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