COVID-19: Visa-free status for citizens of 11 countries and territories reinstated

22 Oct 20

SOUTH AFRICA

IMPACT – HIGH

South Africa has reinstated visa-free status for citizens of 11 countries and territories.

Key Points:

  • Visa-free status has been reinstated for citizens of France, Germany, Hong Kong, Iran, Italy, Portugal, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States. Travelers from these countries will be subject to entry testing requirements and health protocols when traveling to South Africa.
  • Individuals from COVID-19 high-risk countries, including those from visa-free countries/territories, who wish to travel to South Africa for business purposes are allowed to apply to the Minister of Home Affairs in writing. This list was updated on Oct. 19.  Other categories of people who can seek approval to enter are:
    • Long-term visa holders who visit the country for business purposes
    • Diplomats
    • Repatriated persons
    • Investors
    • People participating in professional sporting and cultural events
  • Applications must be sent to Covid19BusinessTravel@dha.gov.za and include the following:
    • a copy of a passport and/or temporary residence visa
    • proof of business activities to be conducted
    • proof of a travel itinerary
    • proof of address or accommodation in South Africa.
  • Visitors coming for three months or less from low-risk countries are allowed to enter as well, but they are subject to COVID-19 health protocols.

Background: South Africa announced last month that visa services resumed for the following visa categories: visitor, study, treaty, business, crew, medical treatment, relatives, general work, critical skills work, intra-company transfer work, retired person, corporate and exchange. They have also resumed for waiver of prescribed requirement, considered in section 31(2)(c); and appeals or reviews considered in section 8 of the Immigration Act.

Analysis & Comments: The reinstatement of visa free status for citizens of 11 countries and territories will allow greater movement of people into South Africa, though entry testing requirements and health protocols remain in place for inbound travelers. Business travelers from high-risk countries are allowed to apply for entry. The response to the COVID-19 pandemic continues to develop, and Deloitte will provide additional updates as information becomes available. Please check Deloitte’s COVID-19 Digital Map, available here, for information on travel restrictions and immigration changes in other countries.

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