Travel between India and SA made easier

2016-07-08 20:34
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. (Prakash Singh, AFP)

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. (Prakash Singh, AFP)

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Johannesburg - Travel between South Africa and India will soon be easier with South Africa relaxing its visa restrictions for travellers from India.

President Jacob Zuma announced this at a briefing at the Union Buildings on Friday during a state visit by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

"We would like to assure the Indian side that South Africa is a wonderful tourism destination, and that a simplification of South Africa's visa regime with India is underway. This will promote ease of travel to South Africa," he said.

It is believed that, among other things, Indians will be able to apply for 10-year visas, but officials said South Africa was reluctant to relax visa restrictions too much.

"Often, when people travel to South Africa from India, they tend not to come back," an official said.

This was because South Africa had more employment opportunities than the populous India.

There are also fears that terrorists will travel via India to South Africa if visa requirements were dropped.

Apply for visa from your living room

Modi said from February this year South Africans have been able to apply for e-visas.

He told the India-South Africa Business Forum on Friday that, since February, South Africans have been able to apply for visas with the click of a button.

"This is for tourist and business travellers," he said.

"You can now get your visa from India sitting at home in your living room."

He said he was thankful to South Africa for relaxing visa restrictions for regular business travellers.

In a joint press release following the official meeting between Zuma and Modi on Friday morning, the two countries said they both expressed "the desire to broaden people-to-people interactions and to increase two-way tourism which would include a redoubling of efforts to address challenges with regard to consular and immigration related issues".

"South Africa welcomed the e-tourist visa facility extended to South Africa.

"Prime Minister Modi appreciated South Africa for extending 10-year BRICS multiple entry business visa to business persons from BRICS countries."

Read more on:    india  |  tourism

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