Tuesday, 27 October 2015

South African immigration regulations


Immigration regulations: South Africa

The South African Cabinet has agreed to amend the immigration regulations so that within the next three months, travel to South Africa will be made easier.

Visa applications by post
The Department of Home Affairs (DHA) will accept visa applications by post from countries that require a visa to visit South Africa but do not have a South African consulate or embassy. Recommendations for accredited travel agents to make visa applications for their clients have also been approved by Cabinet.

Biometrics captured on arrival at port of entry
The DHA will capture and implement biometrics of travellers, including fingerprints and photos, on arrival at ports of entry, doing away with the need to apply for visas in person. Pilot sites will begin with OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg, King Shaka International Airport in Durban and Cape Town International Airport.

Child travel and unabridged birth certificates
With regards to inbound child-travel where visas are required, original birth certificates or certified copies of required documents will still need to be submitted during the visa application process. For visa-exempt countries, travellers are strongly advised to carry proof of the relationship and consent from the absent parents or guardians. (South Africans under the age of 18 still need to travel with an unabridged birth certificate.) 

Accredited Tourism Company (ATC) Program
The DHA will also look at introducing an Accredited Tourism Company (ATC) Program, initially for countries such as China, India and Russia. This means that these companies will be able to make visa applications on behalf of their clients, thus addressing the issue of tourists having to travel long distances to apply for their visas.