South Africa is all set to implement the biometric regulation by the end of this year in India. The new regulation will be implemented soon after the right infrastructure will be created. Last year, despite the e-bola outbreak in West Africa and terrorist attacks in the East, South Africa did not witness any significant drop in tourism numbers from India.
Malusi Gigaba, minister of home affairs, South Africa said, “This year we will be introducing new visa regulations. Firstly, we want to meet every visa applicant in person, so we will be implementing a biometric system in India. We won’t allow a third party to apply for visa. Secondly, we had a policy that in case of a child we used to demand for the birth certificate also as an ID proof, but specifically for India we have decided that we will only accept the passport and have waived off the latter criteria.”
Also, the ministry of external affairs, South Africa are looking at rolling out e-visa facility for the Indian travellers. According to the latest reports, India ranks 15th in their top 20 source markets.
Speaking about the further developments for the year he said, “I am also considering to roll out e-visa facility for the Indian travellers and all the top 20 source market for us. We are also seriously considering to create a three years multiple entry visa for the frequent travellers. We have already asked our Indian offices to create a list of all the frequent travellers and this list will include all those travellers who have relatives in South Africa. This visa will be exclusively for the tourists and not business travellers.”
Gigaba added, “South Africa and India enjoys a longstanding relationship. India is a strategic business partner and one of the most important source markets for us. It is important for us to cultivate and strengthen the relationship and promote tourism in this country. During this visit to India, we had a discussion with minister Rajnath Singh and we have already announced that we will issue the BRICS nation business travellers with a 10 year multiple entry visa. During the meeting I have requested for a reciprocity from my Indian counterpart and minister Singh is positive about it.”
Also the ministry of home affairs, South Africa is also working on another type of visa which is the ‘Trusted Traveller Visa’. This type of visa will be specially given to travellers who have a clear record and the ministry is yet to decide on the specifics.