If you travel a lot then you will no doubt be familiar with the annoying visa requirements South Africans have to put up when visiting a foreign country. Foreigners though coming to our shores have had it easy for the most part, but 6 new major visa changes have made things a little more complicated and if you have friends or loved ones from abroad then best you let them read this because they could end up blacklisted from SA for up to 5 years. Already this week a woman, who is married to a South African citizen with whom she has a 14-month-old baby and has been living in the country for the past five years, was blacklisted and she may not apply for a visa to re-enter SA for another year.
If you know someone whose visa to SA is about to expire then give them a heads-up that if that visa does expire they now face a ban instead of a fine and they will be labelled an undesirable person for 1 year, 2 years or 5 years. Minimum of 1 year they can’t come back to SA.
And if they want to extend their visa then they must now do so 60 days prior to the exipry date as opposed to the previous 30 day period. They will have to leave SA and re-apply if they have less than 60 days left.
Here are some of the other visa rule changes:
- each child is now required to travel with his or her own passport
- parents travelling with children must present unabridged birth certificates
- a life partnership visa now requires partners to prove that they have been together for 2 years instead of 5, but both will have to attned an interview at the same time and place to prove that the relationship is genuine.
- if a visitors visa has expired, immigration officials have been advised to ban any foreigners for overstaying – by making them an undesirable person for 1 year, 2 years or 5 years
- the visa extension application period has been changed from 30 days prior to the expiry of the current visa to 60 days
- visitors cannot change from a visitor’s visa into another type of visa and these applications for change of conditions must be made at a abroad
There are also several changes to business visa, exceptional skills visa and intra-company visas, but you can go read more abut those HERE.