South Africa: visa waivers for Saudis, Emiratis, Qataris

South Africa has removed visa requirements for seven countries including Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Qatar in a move to boost business and tourism.

The visa waiver will enable holders of the three Gulf countries’ passports to visit the African giant for 90 days, for business or tourism purpose.

“Tourism will soar if we relax visa requirements for entry into South Africa. We know that tourism is very important for job creation,” Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, South Africa’s Minister of Home Affairs stressed.

The waivers also applies to Ghana, New Zealand, Cuba, and Sao Tome and Principe.

Saudi Arabia and UAE pledged last year to pump $10 billion each into the South African economy.

As it looks to attract more visitors, the rainbow nation is about to introduce e-visa to ease travels.

“E-visa will make it easier for tourists to visit, and for companies to hire employees with critical skills. It will be an online application with a risk-based adjudication and issuance of your visa electronically, as opposed to a hard copy. On receiving the electronic message by email, you just continue straight to your airport and head on to South Africa,” Dr Aaron said.

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