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Visa free travel to Europe on the cards for South Africans

Travelling to Europe could soon be an effortless experience for South Africans, as Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba has officially entered into negotiations with European Union Ambassador Marcus Cornaro on immigration-related issues between South Africa and Europe.

Recent discussions involved the addressing of feasibility of multiple-entry visas for SA business travellers to the EU, as well as full exemptions for South African leisure travellers.

Speaking at the Home Affairs Ministry, Gigaba said that future arrangements for visa exemptions for ordinary SA passport holders in the EU are on the cards.

The Minister pointed to the following 6 immigration-related issues in relation to RSA and the EU:

* Information and data sharing in relation to migration

* Multiple-entry visas for SA business people intending to travel to the EU

* Long-term multiple-entry visas for students, academics, trusted travelers and other categories further to be identified

* Reciprocal visa arrangements for diplomatic and official / service passport holders between RSA and the EU

* Work permits for certain categories of South Africans in the EU to address brain-drain and brain-gain

* Future arrangements for visa exemptions for ordinary SA passport holders in the EU

According to Gigaba, “We have mandated the SA-EU bilateral dialogue to work on timeframes for such a discussion and target 2017 March, the period of the Summit to review the 10th anniversary of the SA-EU bilateral special agreement.

“We made it clear that this was our top prize, but we are prepared to have a gradual approach,” the Minister said.

Source: www.traveller24.news24.com

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