The Department of Tourism welcomes the recent Cabinet announcement on immigration regulations and is working with the Department of Home Affairs and tourism stakeholders in implementing the changes.
The Cabinet announcement follows recommendations made by the Inter-Ministerial Committee established by President Jacob Zuma to find a better balance between South Africa’s security and economic development needs.
The recommendations will be implemented in a phased approach, and will make it easier for tourists to travel to South Africa without compromising national security or the safety of children.
The following concessions will be implemented in the next three months:
The following concessions will be implemented in the next 12 months:
In the longer term, the Department of Home Affairs will install systems for pre-flight checks at international airports. Advance Passenger Processing systems will be upgraded and a Passenger Name Record will be implemented to enhance risk assessment.
The Department of Home Affairs will finalise the automation of the visa and permitting system within the next few years.
In respect of children from visa-exempt countries, the Cabinet approved a dispensation in terms of which travellers will be strongly advised to bring along proof of the relation and consent from the absent parent/s or guardian/s. This means that Immigration Regulations may require that such documents be produced on arrival in SA. Currently, the status quo remains, until such time that the Department of Home Affairs has facilitated a legal instrument to implement this recommendation.
Travelers from countries where visas are required, provision of original birth certificates or certified copies of required documents should continue during the visa application process as this is in line with practice in many other countries.
South African children travelling abroad are still required to carry Unabridged Birth Certificates as well as parental consent affidavits from non-accompanying parents or guardians.
In addition Cabinet approved the following concessions:
The process of establishing administrative mechanisms to give effect to the revised regulations has begun, with the focus on the measures which must be implemented within three months.
The Department of Tourism continues to support all measures and efforts to protect the safety of children and the security of our national borders.
The department is confident that these concessions will successfully balance the interests of national security and economic growth.
The Department of Tourism welcomes Cabinet’s extension of the life of the IMC in order to deal with any issues that may arise whilst implementing the Cabinet decision.
Mr Trevor Bloem - Chief Director - CommunicationsNational Department of TourismTelephone: +27 (0) 12 444 6607Cell: +27 (0) 82 771 6729Email: firstname.lastname@example.org