Gigaba Spells Out Visa-Related Reforms

Department of Home Affairs

The rules on travelling minors who are foreign nationals are being simplified.

The homes affairs minister, Malusi Gigaba, announced this during a media briefing on visa-related reforms in Pretoria.

The minister added that the process is designed to “minimize disruption to legitimate travellers without compromising the safety of minors and the rights of their parents”.

An international travel advisory will be issued before the end of October 2018 following consultation with the Immigration Advisory Board.

“The key changes will be that rather than requiring all foreign national travelling minors to carry documentation proving parental consent for the travelling minor to travel, we will rather strongly recommend that travellers carry this documentation.”

Immigration officials will only ask for documentation in high risk situations.

The minister also announced that South Africa’s visa regime for African countries is being reviewed in line with the “African free movement agenda”.

“Where we are unable to waive visas for objective risks, we will implement other measures to ease travel.”

Visa requirements for countries such as China and India are being simplified.

Changes, to likely be in place by October 2018, include making provision for taking biometrics on arrival in South Africa, allowing visa applications via courier and issuing 5-year multiple entry visas.

The minister also pointed out that business travelers from China and India are issued, within five days of application, a ten-year multiple entry visa.

Other developments include the implementation of a reviewed critical skills list by April 2019, the setting up of an e-visa by April 2019 and the piloting of e-gates at OR Tambo, Cape Town and King Shaka International Airports by 2019.

Sabinet Cape Town Office