South Africa plans to implement a new visa regime for India and China later this month.
South Africa will make it easier for tourists, businessmen, and academics to travel to South Africa. This announcement was made by Malusi Gigaba, the Minister for Home Affairs.
Business travelers from India and China would also be eligible for a visa-on-arrival. They may also be issued a 10-year multiple-entry visa.
Speaking to The Business Standard, Jitin Bhatia said that it is a positive step in the right direction. Jitin Bhatia is the Chairman of the India-South Africa Business Forum.
Mr. Bhatia said that the Forum was asking for a relaxed visa regime for quite some time. He also said that this move has been welcomed by Indian businesses in South Africa.
Mr. Bhatia also said that they have suggested other Visa changes too which will boost the current trade. Easing visa requirements for Indian businesses who want to bring their top executives to the country was one among them. He said that at present only inter-company transfers are allowed in South Africa. The maximum stay on such visas is just 4 years. He believes a new Visa regime which allows CEOs and COOs to stay longer will help build up the companies.
Ruchira Kamboj, High Commissioner for India, also welcomed the new Visa regime. A meeting with the Ministry of Home Affairs is also planned soon to sign a bilateral agreement on visa arrangements. She also added that plans are also on to reintroduce direct flights between India and South Africa. Lengthy travel time has often been cited as a barrier to trade and investment.
Local travel agents hope that due to the relaxation in visa rules, more Indians would now travel to South Africa.
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