New visa changes have been introduced to address concerns raised by tourists, South African travellers and stakeholders in the tourism sector regarding revisions to regulations introduced over the last year.(Image: Department of International Relations and Cooperation)Brand South Africa reporterThe announcement was made jointly on Friday, 23 October by the Tourism Ministry and Jeff Radebe, minister in the Presidency for planning, monitoring and evaluation.#SouthAfrica to relax visa rules for visitors from #India, #China and #Russia, after tourism industry suffers pic.twitter.com/PisULYvinF— CCTV Africa (@cctvnewsafrica) October 24, 2015New visa rules, that came into effect in October 2014, required visitors to apply for visas in person at South African embassies to record biometric information. There was also a rule for children under 18 years old travelling in and out of South Africa to produce an unabridged birth certificate at entry ports, which included detailed particulars of the mother and the father of the child.While it has been noted by the government that these requirements were necessary to safeguard the best interests of children and prevent child trafficking, a recent Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC) on Immigration, spearheaded by Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, has now made several recommendations to deal with the security consideration and the unintended consequences of the regulations on various sectors, including tourism and investment.“In respect of South African children (outbound travel), the IMC accepted the implementation of the current child-travel requirements, including the parental consent affidavits as these seek to protect children,” Radebe said at a media conference on Friday. The new amendments will be implemented over the next three months to a year.The amended allowances now require South African children travelling through South African borders to have their parents’ identification and citizenship details printed in their passports, doing away with the requirement to carry unabridged birth certificates on entry or exit.For school tours and other group tours including under-age children, entry and exit regulations now only require confirmation letters from the school principals or a similar authority, along with the amended passport requirements. This authority will also be extended to include registered sports bodies on tour.“In respect of inbound travellers (international visitors), the IMC took the position that 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,” Radebe said.Travellers from visa-exempt countries travelling with children will be strongly advised to bring with them proof of the relation and consent from the absent parents or guardians.Concessions that will take effect within the next three months include allowing people in countries where no South African missions exist to post their application to enter the country to the Department of Home Affairs.Radebe said the Department of Home Affairs would implement the biometrics, including fingerprints and photos, at the pilot sites at OR Tambo, King Shaka and Cape Town international airports.Cape Town Tourism chief executive Enver Duminy said in a statement the tourism industry would benefit from the approved recommendations that travel agents be allowed to make visa applications on behalf of clients and that the birth certificate requirement for travelling minors would no longer include the word “abridged”.FAQs: Business Visa for South Africa Read more here: https://t.co/dOd8yWdnJu #SouthAfrica#Immigration#Visa pic.twitter.com/ewdWs5ELbj— Auswandern Sudafrika (@AuswanderungSA) October 26, 2015To aid investment by international companies into South Africa, the department will also introduce an Accredited Tourism Company (ATC) Programme for China, India and Russia, with possible extension to other visa requiring countries.Additionally, within the next three months to a year, the Department of Home Affairs will increase Visa Facilitation Centres (VFC) in China, India, United Kingdom, Nigeria Democratic Republic of Congo, Angola, Ghana, Kenya and Uganda, while VFCs have been fast-tracked for November in Zimbabwe, UAE and Botswana.Corporate travel advisers Grant Thornton Advisory Services told News24 the changes would streamline visa requirements for foreign tourists to South Africa and would make it easier to obtain visas, thereby ensuring a much simpler process for travellers to the country.“These changes will most definitely assist in getting the tourism industry back on track,” said Lee-Anne Bac, Grant Thornton director.Travelling to SA soon? #SouthAfrica has revised its #visa rules. Check out the changes: https://t.co/d9OOEm7dVL pic.twitter.com/2NIbrUMIfQ— LelaMobile (@LelaMobile) October 26, 2015According to a Statistics South Africa report released in September 2015, the impact of the previous visa requirements had a sharp effect on tourists visiting South Africa. A comparison between June 2014 and June 2015 showed that, with the exception of France, the number of tourists decreased for all the other nine leading overseas countries. China had the largest decrease of 28.4% – from 5 823 tourists in June 2014 to 4 167 in June 2015.David Green, chief executive of the V&A Waterfront, said tourism had a powerful economic impact, and his group strongly supported the removal of any hurdles that impeded ease of travel to South Africa. “These recommendations can only bring about positive results for the industry.”Enver Mally, chairperson of Cape Town Tourism, said: “This is great news, just the kind of boost to our morale that we need as we enter the holiday season.”“We really have turned a corner”, says Tourism minister @Derek_Hanekom. https://t.co/CyI3nug2jz— 702 (@Radio702) October 26, 2015Here’s what you need to know about the changes to South Africa’s visa rules:In countries with no South African mission or embassy, Home Affairs will accept applications by registered mail, applicable to tourist and medical visitors only.These postal applications will then be finalised with the capture of traveller biometrics: finger prints and photos at selected port entries to South Africa – OR Tambo/Johannesburg, King Shaka/Durban and Cape Town international airports.South African children travelling out of the country will still be required to submit the current child-travel requirements, including parental consent affidavits as a means to protect the minors. These documents are valid for six months.Full details and identification and biometric information of parents will also be printed in the children’s passports; therefore they will not be required to carry the birth certificates. Home Affairs, however, does advise that this form of identification still be carried as an additional form of proof.For inbound travellers, proof of original birth certificates or certified copies will only be required during the application process, as this is in line with practice in many other countries.The South African government has agreed to amend the law that includes the term “unabridged birth certificate”, changing it to “birth certificate containing parental details”.Home Affairs is currently considering the possibility of issuing long-term multiple entry visas for frequent business travellers.The Department of Home Affairs said that “the mandate issued by government to the department is to put in place the necessary legal instruments to give effect to this decision. The status quo will remain until such time the [department] has provided a legal instrument for this category of travellers. In the meantime travellers are encouraged to comply.”Source: South African Government News AgencyWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material.
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DREAM TEAM: (From left) Dravid, Kumble, Akram and Younis will represent AsiaThe stunning millennium stadium in Wales, originally meant for soccer and rugby, is becoming an increasingly popular venue for another unlikely sport: international indoor cricket or power cricket.The retractable roof allows play in England’s unpredictable weather, which is why,DREAM TEAM: (From left) Dravid, Kumble, Akram and Younis will represent AsiaThe stunning millennium stadium in Wales, originally meant for soccer and rugby, is becoming an increasingly popular venue for another unlikely sport: international indoor cricket or power cricket.The retractable roof allows play in England’s unpredictable weather, which is why DP Cricket, a sports marketing agency, is planning a power cricket tournament on January 25 and 26 between Asia and the Rest of the World.Asia will comprise six Pakistani and six Indian players, including Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis, Inza-mam-ul-Haq, Azhar Mahmood and Shahid Afridi from Pakistan, and Anil Kumble, Rahul Dravid, Mohammed Kaif, Yuvraj Singh, Dinesh Mongia and Virender Sehwag from India.The Rest of the World team will include Courtney Walsh, Stephen Fleming, Nathan Astle and Lance Klusener. It doesn’t get better than this. Last year’s match – when it was held for the first time – lived up to expectations.Says Walsh, former West Indies captain: “I am delighted to play in the international indoor matches at the Millennium Stadium. I have fond memories of playing Test and county cricket in England – but not the time spent in pavilions waiting for the rain to stop. Indoor cricket guarantees action for players and fans alike, and is an exciting way forward.”Exciting or not, the shorter version of one-day cricket is certainly gaining popularity. Each game lasts approximately five hours and in power cricket rain never stops play.
Trump campaign, GOP groups attack Google’s new ad policy Ernestine Tiamzon scored 10 points for La Salle which also got inspired performances from rookie Jolina Dela Cruz and and May Luna in the absence of injured leader Desiree Cheng.The Lady Warriors took a 10-3 lead in the second frame but soon found the Lady Spikers hitting their marks and with a spate of errors yield the set and the momentum. They slumped deeper in the standings with a 1-5 card.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSUrgent reply from Philippine football chiefSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption charges De La Salle Lady Spikers. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netRegaining some of the sharpness it lost the past matches, La Salle snapped a rare two-game losing streak by beating University of the East, 25-18, 25-20, 25-18, Saturday in the UAAP women’s volleyball at FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan.The three-time defending champion Lady Spikers, smarting from defeats at the hands of University of the Philippines and University of Santo Tomas, jumped back into the top spot with four wins in six matches.ADVERTISEMENT View comments SEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. 1 dead, 3 injured in Quezon road crash Mike Krzyzewski: Zion Williamson ‘doubtful’ for Duke’s game at UNC Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting LATEST STORIES Lacson backs proposal to elect president and vice president in tandem P2.5 B shabu seized in Makati sting, Chinese national nabbed MOST READ Hong Kong tunnel reopens, campus siege nears end P2.5 B shabu seized in Makati sting, Chinese national nabbed PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next
Two days after saying he would play in the London Olympics despite a serious eye injury, San Antonio Spurs star guard Tony Parker recants that prediction and says not playing is very much a possibility.Parker was caught in the middle of the now-infamous fight involving singer Chris Brown and members of hip-hop star Drake’s entourage.Parker’s cornea was scratched in the fight, and he had surgery to remove a shard that had ”penetrated 99 percent” of his left eye.”I almost lost my eye,” Parker said in an interview posted on his website Sunday.He did not join the rest of France’s team Wednesday and will see a specialist in New York when he is cleared to take long-haul flights after July 5.”I’m seeing a specialist in New York with the hope of being given the all clear to play in the Olympic Games,” Parker said. ”Spurs are very worried.”Anything can happen, including me being out of the Olympics. The decision doesn’t belong to me anymore. It’s in the hands of the doctor and San Antonio.”Parker said he has been having hallucinations and been unable to leave his hotel room for eight days because of the risk of infection. He also has to apply five different products into his eye every two hours.”Fear sets in,” Parker said of being told he would have to undergo surgery. ”An eye is so fragile. … I couldn’t believe it. But that’s life. I was in the wrong place at the wrong time.”I didn’t have luck, but I came out well from my misfortune. It could have been worse. The rest of my career is not in question. I just have to wait for the injury to heal itself.”Chris Brown, his girlfriend and his bodyguard were among eight injured during the fight inside the W.i.P club in SoHo on June 15. Police say members of Drake’s entourage stopped Brown as he was leaving. The fight escalated and bottles were thrown.Parker is suing the New York City club for $20 million.