Cape Town – A trip to the embassy is not exactly anyone’s idea of fun when you plan their holidays; especially when you live in a smaller city or town and have to trek the distance to get your paperwork stamped, sealed and delivered.
Not to mention that – depending on your choice of a destination – your life, financial situation and employment whereabouts – come under the magnifying glass of officials with surly faces making you doubt the status of your criminal record.
Recently, Home Affairs Minister, Malusi Gigaba has entered into negotiations with European Union Ambassador Marcus Cornaro on immigration-related issues between South Africa and Europe. And while the ministers and ambassadors are having their legal official conversations, South Africans are sitting on the edge of their seats with the possibility that they might be able to travel visa-free to Europe soon.
But on the other hand, South Africans are now facing major changes from the one down under with regards to the decision New Zealand made to enforce a visa restriction for South Africans.
New Zealand is closing its visa-free doors to South Africans and if you want to visit the All Black territory after the 21st of November you need to apply for a visa. The cost of the visa is not a pretty number; if you apply for a visa before 21 November 2016 you need to bid NZ$165.00 (about R1 637.07 at R9.92/NZ$) farewell. If you apply after 21 November 2016 you will have to pay $184 for paper applications, while the online cost remains $165.
The good news is that, if your travelling heart is not set on New Zealand, there are still quite a handful of countries to visit around the world that will grant your official green book of travel visa-free or visa-on-arrival access.
Here’s a quick glance of where you can go, visa-free or get a visa on arrival, with your South African passport:
Before you make any travel decisions, make sure what the exact visa regulations are for the country that you are planning to visit and if you don’t need a visa, or can get a visa on arrival, double check to see how long you may stay in the country.
Most visa-free and visa on arrival destinations won’t allow you to work while visiting and you are in the country strictly as a tourist.
For more information, and to see how your passport matches up with the passports of other countries, visit the Passport Index.
African countries we can enter without visas:
Benin, Botswana, Gabon, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Saint Helena, Swaziland, Tunisia, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
African countries we can enter with a visa on arrival:
Mauritius, Rwanda, Seychelles, Burundi, Cape Verde, Comoros, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Guinea-Bissau, Madagascar, Mauritania, Tanzania, Togo, Tunisia and Uganda.
South and Central America
South and Central American countries we can enter without visas:
Argentina, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Grenada, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and Grenadines, Uruguay and Venezuela.
No way around this one, you will need a visa.
European countries we can enter on our passport:
Reunion Island… But let’s see what the future holds.
Asia and Middle East
Asian and Middle Eastern countries we can enter on our passport:
Indonesia, Israel, South Korea, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Hong Kong and Macau.
Asian and Middle Eastern countries we can enter with a visa on arrival:
Armenia, Cambodia, Iran, Jordan, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Maldives, Nepal, Oman, Tajikistan and Timor-Leste,.
Oceanian countries we can enter on our passport:
Cook Islands, Fiji and Vanuatu.
Visa-free entry to New Zealand will no longer be valid after 21 November 2016.
Oceanian countries we can enter with a visa on arrival:
Samoa, Federated States of Micronesia, Marshall Islands, Niue, Palau and Tuvalu.
This article was originally posted here.