02 March 2009

Changes to South African travel to UK to take effect

As of tomorrow, 3 March, South Africans will have to have at least a visitor's visa in order to enter the UK.

The UK Home Office has changed the rules for a number of countries because of the security risk they pose to UK immigration, including South Africa.  South Africa was given many months to improve their immigration system after a warning from the UK government that it would introduce visa restrictions if no change occurred.

As of tomorrow, South African nationals will have to have a UK visa to enter the country unless they can prove they have entered the country beforehand, either using a passport entry stamp or gaining evidence that they have entered through the iris recognition immigration system (IRIS).  This temporary exemption will only be valid until mid-2009.

Previously, South African nationals did not need a UK visa to visit if they were in transit or entering the country for up to six months for non-work purposes.

The UK Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in UK visa and immigration services.

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