From the news desk

New child visa regulations reviewed

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Minister of Tourism Derek Hanekom is reviewing the new visa regulations regarding children which came into effect on 1st June to ensure that South Africa does not have a loss of existing and potential tourist markets. The regulation states that children under 18 who are travelling with both parents are required to have an unabridged birth certificate with full details of both parents as well as a passport, visa and other documents.

“It is required that even if both parents are travelling with the child an unabridged birth certificate is required. We welcome this regulation to create an enabling environment for South Africans and tourists,” says mayoral committee member of tourism Gareth Bloor.

This has been a frustration as countries vary with the issuing of birth certificates. This requirement could hinder the flow of economic growth and job opportunities created by the tourism market.

The minister has stated that he will reconsider the regulation to ensure there is no negative effect on the tourist market.

“The review is needed to prohibit the loss of existing or potential tourist markets,” says Bloor.

The regulation is required to regulate and monitor South African borders and ensure economic growth.

Visitors to South Africa need to go in person to a South African embassy in their home country to apply for a visa.

“Air China is reconsidering flights to South Africa. One of their reasons was the visa requirements,” Hanekom told the Sunday Times.

Airline bookings from Asia had dropped 40% for the next three months since the introduction of the regulations, said aviation expert Linden Birns. This is due to the laws requiring travellers to apply in person for a visa at an embassy meant paying exorbitant costs for their visa and the trip.

“Sometimes the trips to apply for and pick up a visa could cost as much as a trip to South Africa.” VOC

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