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South African Home Affairs Implements Visa Waivers for Top Tourist Countries

The Minister of Home Affairs Dr Aaron Motsoaledi is pleased to announce that nationals from four of the seven countries he granted visa-free status during his Budget Vote speech will be able to travel to South Africa without visas from today.

He said the Department would implement visa waivers for Ghana, Cuba and Principe and Sao Tome after negotiations with these countries have been concluded. The Department is scheduled to complete these negotiations by the end of August 2019 and the implementation will follow soon thereafter.
“As from today, 15 August 2019, travelers from Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and New Zealand will no longer require a visa to visit South Africa for holidays, conferencing and business meeting visits. We took this decision unilaterally but we are engaging these countries to see how they can relax entry requirements for our citizens. I am glad to say that Qatar has already waived visa requirements for South Africans and this will enable our people to attend Qatar FIFA World Cup 2022 easier,” said Minister Motsoaledi.

The Department of Home Affairs is continuously reviewing its operations to contribute in growing the economy, facilitating the creation of jobs and securing our borders.

“The Department of Home Affairs has an important contribution to make in growing tourism and by extension growing the economy and creating jobs. We are constantly reviewing our operations to ensure that we relax entry requirements without compromising our responsibility towards the safety and security of our citizens,” said Motsoaledi.

Already, South Africa has waived the visa requirement for 82 of the 193 countries who are members of the United Nations. Eighteen of the countries enjoying a visa free status in South Africa are on the continent with all Southern African Development Community countries enjoying this status, except for the Democratic Republic of Congo.

These countries which are enjoying the visa free status are among the nations which account for the majority of the international tourist sending states on the continent, Europe and the Americas.

“The Department has already sent directives to ports of entry, airlines and our missions abroad informing them of the removal of visa requirements for nationals of these countries who wish to visit our beautiful country for tourism or business meetings,” said Minister Motsoaledi.

 

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Sources: SA Department of Home Affairs [1], [2]. Image sources: [1], [2].

Kenya announces visa on arrival for all Africans

Nairobi – Kenya’s newly sworn-in president has announced that all Africans will be able to obtain a visa on arrival at a port of entry as he seeks to improve continental ties.

President Uhuru Kenyatta spoke to a cheering crowd of tens of thousands at his inauguration, which ends months of political turmoil that included a nullified election and a repeat vote.

 A growing number of African nations are making moves toward easing travel restrictions for people across the continent.

Kenyatta also is urging Kenya’s people to reject hate and divisiveness after the election unrest that left dozens of people dead.

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Immigration changes in Angola, Mozambique and South Africa

MOZAMIBIQUE | DIRE Residency Document No Longer Required for New Foreign Hires
Effective immediately, foreign nationals entering Mozambique with a work visa will no longer be required to obtain an Identification and Residency Document for Foreigners (DIRE). Instead, their work visas will be extended up to one year based on the length their employment contracts.

This change only affects new hires going forward. Current DIRE holders will continue to use their DIRE until their current work visa expires. Also note that this change only applies to the work visa holder, and dependent family members of work visa holders are still required to obtain a DIRE.

 

SOUTH AFRICA & ANGOLA | New Reciprocal Visa Waiver
Effective December 1, the South African Department of Home Affairs (DHA) will implement a reciprocal visa waiver for Angolan citizens for stays of up to 30, to a maximum of 90 days per year. Angolan passport holders will no longer require Port of Entry Visas in advance of travel to South Africa for the purposes of general business, tourism, or family visits and will be issued a 30-day Visitor’s Visa at the Port of Entry upon arrival in South Africa. Reciprocally, Angolan authorities are expected to no longer require visas for South African citizens to enter Angola for the same purposes and periods of stay.

Note, however, that this visa waiver does not include visits for the purposes of work, study, or self-employment. Angolan nationals who are conducting short-term work in South Africa are still required to obtain a Port of Entry Visa with authorization to conduct work under Section 11(2) of the Immigration Act prior to travel. These may be applied for at the VFS Visa Application Centers of the South African Embassy in Angola or at the appropriate South African overseas diplomatic missions for Angolan citizens residing abroad.

 

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