South Africa is working towards introducing several changes to its visa rules. The new visa rules will help make the country more accessible to investors, visitors and skilled people who are crucial for the economy.
Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, Minister of Home Affairs, said that the turnaround time for the Critical Skills Work Visa had been lowered. 88.5% of visa applicants receive the visa within 4 weeks of applying.
98% of General Work Visas and Business Visas applications are processed within 8 weeks.
The Dept.of Home Affairs will launch a new pilot scheme for issuing e-Visas in November this year. Applicants would be able to apply for the visas online instead of visiting the South African missions in different countries.
Visa services will also be located within the offices of different investment facilitation centres around South Africa.
India and China are the key markets for tourism for South Africa. The Dept.of Home Affairs plans to simplify the visa rules for both these countries.
The South African Govt. has also approved a visa-waiver for the following countries:
The Dept. will also initiate discussions with several countries to allow visa-free travel to South African citizens.
Countries like Ghana and Qatar already have visa-free or visa-on-arrival facility in South Africa. It will be an added bonus if South Africans also could travel visa-free to countries like New Zealand and the UAE.
Siya Qoza, spokesperson for the Dept., that South Africa is already in talks with the UAE and New Zealand for a visa-free regime. The priority is to set a date to initiate visa-free travel for South Africans. Once the date is set, the Govt. will work on reciprocity.
Qoza said that so far the discussions with these countries have been positive. The Dept. plans to extend the discussions to other countries as well.
The Govt. is planning to initiate talks with several countries which will benefit South Africa through tourism and trade.
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