South Africans to visit UK without visa?

The South African government has announced renewed efforts to convince the UK government that South Africans should not need a visa to visit the UK.

The South African Department of Internal Affairs announced that they were in talks with the UK government about revising the UK visa requirements introduced five years ago.

South Africa enjoyed visa-free status with the UK until March 2008, when the UK revoked this status after a British court heard that at least 6 000 illegal Asian immigrants had been smuggled into the UK on South African passports.

The South African government has said that internal corruption has since been eradicated and that strict measures have been taken over the last five years to clean up the national population register and redesign the security features of South African passports.

According to a government spokesman, South Africa has followed best practice procedures to monitor movements at all entry and exit points. At OR Tambo International Airport, the fingerprints of every traveller using a South African passport are checked against the national population register to ensure that the passport holder is indeed a South African citizen.

A decision by UKBA to restore South Africa’s visa-free status will no doubt be welcomed by thousands of South Africans, who for the last five years have had to pay dearly and deal with a lot of red tape in order to visit the UK on business or holiday trips.

For any UK Visa queries, please visit or call 0800 003 163 (from South Africa.)

  • T Watt

    Please keep me up to date about this.

  • Simphiwe Sikhosana

    I totally agree South Africans should travell to UK without visa.I was refused visa for my daughter and grandson just last Dec after paying all those fees for application.

  • Taz

    I agree totally, we South Africans never needed a visa, and I use to go and visit my friends alot, but after the new policy it is always a pain to go and visit, I hope they can get it back for us to visit the UK again without visa, that would be great.

    • http://googlechrome Carol Mast-Ingle

      If one has married children permanently living in Britain and who have British passports, perhaps that could constitute a justification for being “exempt” for getting a Uk visa.. And as someone else on this post has commented… she has visited other countries instead of the UK… and is happy to do so, but to me they arent England ! Australia is such a grand place too.. and South Africans needs a visa for there too, as for other Commonwealth countries. And if ones family is living there – that could make the essential difference ! I know if one visits the USA.. I heard that there are about 200 different kinds of visas ! But it would be so great if parents visiting their married children who have obtained that country’s passport or permanent residence status… that could be a justifiable reason for granting those parents access to that country without a visa.

  • http://1stContactenews Brian


    As a Southa African whose children stay in the UK the fact that we will not have to have a Visa to go to the UK would be most welcome. However, in my opinion the level of coruption in home affairs is still too high and in addition the statement that every citizens fingerprints are checked at OR Tambo is a lie – my wife and I have been out the country at least 3 times in the last 5 years and our fingers were NEVER taken.

    • http://googlechrome Carol Mast-Ingle

      I do believe in response to what Brian has commented upon, that S A Home Affairs has vastly improved since I last was there 3 years ago ! My passport was due to expire in December this year … so I applied for a new one in June, and I received it 9 days later !!! Isnt that encouraging..?? Plus the level of competence was so much better … compared to a few years ago.. Corruption is still around.. but changes are in the air ! And of course it depends upon why one wants to visit the UK… for me my son and wife live there now, and he has his British passport. So I wouldnt wish to visit another country, and WW2 holds great memories about my father and uncle who fought there and survived …. and who Queen Elizabeth is ! none else like her anywhere else in the world…

  • Adam

    I must say I have the British government to thank for introducing the visa requirements. I was one of those South Africans who thought London was the centre of the universe but once the restrictions were put in place in 2009 I have never set foot in the UK again. (I refuse to pay for “permission” in order to spend my hard earned money in another country) That made me look at other travel options and, guess what, my eyes have been opened. There are many countries I now visit where I dont need to obtain any visa and I have found most of them to be far superior destinations to the European countries I used to visit – particularly the UK. I have met friendlier people, better weather, better service in hotels and restaurants and have experienced much richer heritage and culture. I feel for those who want to visit the UK to see friends or relatives but those who just want to go there because they have been wearing blinkers and believe the UK is the only destination to visit – think again. You WILL be pleasantly surprised.