As of yesterday South Africans planning a Christmas holiday or visit to family in New Zealand will have to make sure they are in possession of a special visa before they will be granted entry into the country. Those planning on travelling to the country on business or work will also have to present the applicable visa.
This new requirement came into effect at midnight and was, according to Immigration New Zealand, necessitated to control the movements of South Africans entering the country. New Zealand Immigration said the system was put in place to manage South Africans overstaying their welcome.
Six weeks since the announcement by the South African Department of Home Affairs D-day is here. The New Zealand Embassy in South Africa 6 weeks ago cited the issue of an increased number of individuals trying to enter the country with either "counterfeit or fraudulently obtained South African passports".
"We are committed to creating an immigration system that actively welcomes and encourages legitimate visitors to New Zealand, but at the same time is able to prevent those who do not meet immigration requirements", Immigration New Zealand (INZ) General Manager Peter Elms said at the time of the announcement.
“These changes bring New Zealand into line with countries such as Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States of America. People who have booked tickets prior to today’s announcement for travel on or after the 21 November should visit the Immigration website to find out how to apply for their visa.”
Commenting on the new requirements imposed by New Zealand spokesperson for the Department of Home Affairs, Mayihlome Tshwete, said the visa requirements came out of the blue and at the time of the announcement added that the new rule is unfortunate especially in light of the fact that South Africa’s border security systems have been improved.
Besides this visa all travellers, students, migrants and temporary workers will have to meet specific entry requirements before being eligible to apply for a visa. Professionals are in agreement that travellers, students, business men and workers should consult a recognized New Zealand Immigration consultant when applying to travel to the country.