SA visa regulations may create 'new black market'

2014-07-21 09:53

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Cape Town - Airlines have taken to posting South Africa's new visa regulations on their website, leaving the responsibility with passengers to familiarise themselves with the new requirement.

If not, airlines will be forced to deny them boarding or risk facing a fine and the financial responsibility of repatriating the passengers, June Crawford, CEO of the Board of Airline Representatives of South Africa (BARSA) has told Tourism Update.

This follows South African Minister of Home Affairs, Malusi Gigaba’s, statement that regulations under the new Immigration Act will not be changed

Head of Middle East and Africa for Virgin Atlantic Simon Newton-Smith says while the policy is well intended and the industry supports the bid to reduce child trafficking, it will do little other than to hurt the SA economy and create a new black market in fake birth certificates. 

Travellers will bear the burden of responsibility to ensure they have the right documentation and travel agents and airports with no regular connection to SA are expected to be familiar with the new requirements, particularly the need for passengers under the age of 18 to travel with unabridged birth certificates.

Newton questioned why all other countries recognised a valid passport as a legal travel document 
and said airlines would do everything to keep passengers informed - but ultimately it will be passengers’ responsibility to hold the correct documentation. 

Crawford advised airlines and travel agents can use the Iata Timatic, a global instrument, to verify travel documentation requirements for contributing countries, including SA.
 
Read more on:    visas  |  air travel  |  immigration
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