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Home Affairs Considering Removing Visa-free Status for UK Visitors

by admin,  May 23 2013 06:59 AM

Frustrated by Britain's apparent reluctance to lift its visa requirements for South Africans, the government is considering playing tit-for-tat and demanding the same from UK visitors. This is just speculation at this point, but the UK makes it difficult to obtain visas for South African Passport Holders. This comes against the backdrop of the British government’s decision to halt development aid to South Africa worth £19m (R271m) from 2015.

Currently UK passport holders are visa exempt, so they can enter SA and receive 90 days upon entry. It’s not the case with SA nationals. They must go through quite the process to secure a visa. Back in 2009, the UK decided that due to fraudulent activity and ease of obtaining SA passports, that it was too risky to offer a visa-free status. Tourism experts worry that this would be damaging to South Africa’s tourism economy. The UK is the largest tourism market currently for SA. In 2012, the number of tourists here surpassed the 9 million mark. Most are from Europe, but visitors from China and Brazil have more than doubled.