An immigration consultant admits a lengthy and expensive process to get a visa to visit South Africa will be “inconvenient”.
Changes effected on January 16 mean all New Zealanders now need three-month holiday visas when visiting South Africa and these must be obtained in person at the South African High Commission in Wellington.
The new rules mark the end of a 20-year visa-free travel arrangement between the two countries.
North Shore Immigration Services senior immigration advisor Simona Woodberg said South Africa has simply recreated what New Zealand has already done.
Woodberg said applicants are expected to have all the documents required at the high commission, including the application fee in cash or cheque, and proof of both savings and three months’ regular income.
According to the South African High Commission website, the new visas have a $95 fee attached, with a $300 fee for work permit.
Woodberg said the changes affect both Kiwi travellers, and South African immigrants who have taken up New Zealand citizenship without informing the government.
“There’ll be lots of Kiwis that will be travelling. It will make it inconvenient because you can’t do it online,” Woodberg said.
She said she knows some immigrants who have taken up New Zealand citizenship without informing the South African government, and that could also cause issues at the airport if they don’t enter on a South African passport.
Woodberg said, at this stage, applicants should allow at least four to six weeks for the process, if not longer.
“They say that it takes five to 10 working days but, if it takes longer, don’t be surprised,” she said.
“You can also check with us at North Shore Immigration Services, or check with certain travel agents who are dealing with the South African market.”
Source : Stuff