News Articles

New Zealand, SA in visa tit for tat

Source: – Star, 14/12/2016

Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba Johannesburg - Travellers from New Zealand will, from January 16, need a visa to enter South Africa, Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba said on Tuesday.

The announcement followed that of the New Zealand High Commission that South Africans would need visas to enter that country.

“We have taken the upcoming festive season into consideration, and so I have decided to implement visa requirements for New Zealand passport holders only with effect from January,” he said.

“New Zealand introduced visa requirements for all South African nationals wishing to travel there with effect from November 21.”

Gigaba said the New Zealand government attributed certain factors which led to the decision to withdraw the visa waiver arrangements.

Among them was that South Africans exploited the arrangement and visited family and friends instead of travelling for tourism or business.

He said New Zealand authorities also mentioned that a number of travellers had been refused entry due to counterfeit or fraudulently obtained South African passports.

South Africa had, for some time now, adopted a visa policy based on the principle of reciprocity. “Therefore, in view of the aforementioned, a decision was taken to reciprocate by withdrawing the visa exemption which New Zealand passport holders enjoy,” Gigaba said.

New Zealand diplomatic, official and ordinary passport holders arriving at a South African port of entry without a visa after January 16 would not be allowed entry, Gigaba stressed, saying travellers should contact the department’s website to apply.

“This will allow them to acquaint themselves with the supporting documents needed to accompany a visa application before visiting the South African High Commission in Wellington.”

Gigaba said the fee applicable to an application for a New Zealand visa was almost four times the amount South Africa required as payment. “I decided not to reciprocate on that matter.”

He said South Africa’s visa fees were the lowest in the world, and had for the past 14 years remained at R425 for most of the categories and R1 520 for permits and work, business and corporate visas. He said the department would, in due course, increase its fees to align with inflation.

Gigaba said the country’s policy was never to deter foreign visitors or to reduce the flow of tourists, businesspeople and other travellers.

“Immigration, particularly for development, is high on our agenda, and thus the current endeavour is to comprehensively review our international migration policy.”

He said to that end, South Africa had improved security systems, including features on passports issued, and the introduction of biometric capturing at the four main international airports. The Star


Search

  •    FLAWS: ANC treasurer-general Zweli Mkhize says elitist business models and a sluggish economy are limiting jobs.... Read more...
  •    A hearing on a new directive that threatens to entrench the power of Germany’s dominant tour operators, will take place later this month A hearing on the revised EU Package Travel Directive (PTD), which prevents independent travel agents from compiling customised travel arrangements with products sourced from different suppliers, takes place in Germany on January 23.... Read more...
  •    OR Tambo International Airport immigration queues have been managed by an additional 92 staff members this past festive season. Following the deployment of 92 additional staff at OR Tambo International Airport between December 9 and January 14, Tourism Update understands that the temporary solution to the long queues has been managed effectively.... Read more...
  •    Concerns have been raised about British propensity to travel to South Africa due to price increases. While local tour operators are expecting increased arrivals in 2017, the overseas trade suggest that price increases may deter tourists to certain destinations.... Read more...
  •    Statistics SA`s analysis of tourist arrivals between 2013 and 2014 fails to take into account that 2013 tourist arrival figures included transit passengers, while for 2014 these were excluded.... Read more...
  •    SA`S NEW travel rules prevented our minor children from attending a family funeral. My wife and children were on holiday in Florence, Italy, and I had returned early to our home in Singapore when we received the tragic news that our three-year-old niece had passed away. We wanted to return to SA immediately, in time for the funeral last Friday.... Read more...
  •    The refugee reception office in Port Elizabeth will have to be reopened, following a court judgment this week.... Read more...
  •    THE media and the public will now be allowed to attend asylum seekers` appeals when conducted following the adoption of the Refugee Amendment Bill.... Read more...
  •    THE media and the public will now be allowed to attend asylum seekers` appeals when conducted following the adoption of the Refugee Amendment Bill.... Read more...
  •    THE media and the public will now be allowed to attend asylum seekers` appeals when conducted following the adoption of the Refugee Amendment Bill.... Read more...

Get the latest Immigration News