21 May 2015 -?The department's launched a premium visa and permit centre in Johannesburg.?
JOHANNESBURG - The tourism industry is bracing, as new visa regulations come into effect today.
There has been widespread resistance to the move. There are widespread jitters that the regulations will have a detrimental effect on tourism.
The new requirements stipulate that foreigners who want to visit SA must apply for visas in person at South African embassies abroad.
Visitors will also need to have their biometric data captured at an embassy.
Parents and guardians travelling in or out of the country with minors, must be in possession of an unabridged birth certificate showing both parents’ details.
This condition applies to children 17 years old and under.
If both parents are travelling with valid passports and visas, an unabridged certificate is not required. That&39;s because it would have been presented on application for a passport.
CEO of the Association of Southern Africa Travel Agents, Otto de Vries is not happy with the new restrictions, "The one side is the where unabridged birth certificates and the other side is the biometric visas. Biometric visas are indeed best practice, however, in order to implement it, you have to have the machinery in place."
"In terms of the unabridged birth certificates, this is a unique requirement. SA is the only country in the world where SA will be the only country in the world that requires children under the age of 18 to carry with them above and beyond passport and a visa, should they be required, an unabridged birth certificate."
*Watch a discussion as eNCALive speaks to Megan Harrington-Johnson, a senior associate at Schindlers Attorneys, and Matthew Fubbs of the Holiday Factory, on the implications and ramifications of the new regulations.