South Africa’s Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba held talks with the European Union Ambassador on immigration-related issues between South Africa and Europe on 27 September 2016. The issues that were discussed included a proposal for EU member states to relax visa requirements for South Africa.

The Minister told the media that he wanted reciprocity from these member states, because South Africa had already given them visa exemption when travelling to the country.

Another topic discussed was looking to make the Immigration rules easier for South Africans who wanted to work in EU countries.

Impact of this proposal

  • Should the visa free proposal be considered this will mean that South Africans can travel to Europe without applying for a visa before travelling.
  • This will make travelling into Europe more affordable and accessible and will eliminate the administrative burden and costs of applying for visas.
  • It will further boost tourism to the EU and make travel far easier to Europe.

When will this change be implemented

  • Diplomats, officials and students will be given first preference and the visa exemptions will be issued by the end of the year.
  • For the rest of the country the implementation will happen at the end of March 2017.

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