Don’t crack open the bubbly yet, because we are dealing with an ANC minister here – but reports suggest EU countries may ease visa regulations for South Africans (in the long run).
BusinessTech.co.za quotes Home Affairs minister, Malusi Gigaba, as saying EU member states may relax visa requirements for South Africa at some stage in the future. The minister held discussions with European Union Ambassador Dr. Marcus Cornaro on immigration-related issues between South Africa and Europe earlier this month. He said after the meeting they have decided to set a time frame for future discussions on visa related matters so that it does not become an open ended process.
We all know how laborious it can be to apply for a Schengen visa to enter most EU countries. In many cases South Africans even try to avoid EU countries when travelling, opting for visa free destinations such as South American countries or Thailand.
Gigaba said: “Obviously South Africa’s own interest in the long term is a full visa exemption for ordinary South African passport holders. In our view there is a need for passport holders who travel at their own expense.”
He also referred to the cutlet situation the UK visa and said it is ‘exorbitant’ for most South Africans. “To fork out R10,000 applying for a visa is quite an exorbitant fee for anyone. We want in the long term for those people to be exempted.”
A visa for a visitor to the UK starts at R1,790 currently, and depends on your entry requirements, while a Schengen visa costs €60.00 (R920).