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 www.1stcontactvisas.com or call 0800 003 163 (from South Africa.)