On Thursday, 29 November, new Home Affairs Immigration regulations was released in South Africa. An immigration expert said that the latest release came as a surprise to many and it should be welcomed with applaud given the relaxation of visa regulations surrounding travelling with children it offers. She, however, cautioned that some other major changes may be brewing.
In previous regulations, tourists coming into South Africa with non-native minors must present a complete birth certificate in order to be allowed into the country. This regulation has caused major controversies in the country – it has cost South Africa a lot, in the range of R7.5 billion, as a result of lost business from blocked tourists according to a 2016 report by the DA.
Stakeholders commend the passing of the new amendment before the summer holiday lesson but are worried and curious about other major changes spoke about by the Minister of Home Affairs in September. They seek to know why the changes have not been implemented yet, considering the fact that a chief holiday season is around the corner.
Some Expected Changes
One of the expected changes is the negotiation of visa waiver agreements for ordinary passport holders with several countries including: Tunisia, Iran, Ghana, UAE, Kuwait, Cuba, Algeria, Morocco, Qatar, etc. Also, South Africa is working on making visa requirements for countries such as India and China simpler.
Likewise, according to De Saude Darbandi, a new Immigration Act draft will be available for comments come March next year. New critical skills list is also to be implemented in April 2019.
The new regulation will also address some changes in Permanent Residency.
However, she is of the opinion that considering major changes expected, the time ‘wasted’ in the latest minor amendment draft could have been used to finalize long due visa/permit application.
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