South Africa – Traveling to South Africa – Update

What has changed

Further to our alert from May 19, 2015  it has been announced that there will be changes to regulations on traveling with children, as a result of a recent decrease in travel to South Africa. Upcoming changes will ease stringent regulations including birth certificates no longer being required for children from visa exempt countries. Birth certificate requirements for visa restricted countries will not change and rules for children traveling unaccompanied by a parent will remain the same.

Additionally, applicants from Russia and China can now use accredited travel agencies to apply for tourist visas on their behalf. This will also shortly be introduced in India. Previously, applicants from China, Russia and India, among other countries, had to go in person to the South African missions abroad to apply for tourist visas, which was also harming the tourism industry in South Africa.

Who is affected?
What to expect

  • Families traveling to South Africa, business travelers, and tourists

In addition to easing laws on traveling with children, there are long term plans which are intended to increase travel to South Africa. These future plans include the following:

  • The introduction of a long term multiple entry visa for up to three (3) years for frequent travelers, business, and academics
  • Principals will issue letter confirming permission for children to travel on school trips
  • Extend the validity of parental consent affidavit to six (6) months
  • Add visa facilitation centers in Zimbabwe, UAE and Botswana
  • Possible visa waiver for India, China, Russia, and other countries
  • Visa on arrival for persons with valid visas in their passport for the UK, USA, and Canada and other countries that apply strict checks on visitors to their country

What you need to do
Planning ahead

  • Although birth certificates are no longer required for children from visa exempt countries, it is recommended to bring identification.
  • Contact your Emigra Worldwide attorney or representative for further details on how these updates may impact you or your client.

The information above was provided by Emigra Worldwide, our global network partners, and relevant government authorities. The information herein is for general purposes only and not intended as advice for a particular matter. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the global immigration professional with whom you work.