Cape Town - New travel regulations for both South African and New Zealand travellers have changed quite a bit over the festive season, as both countries' citizens now need visas to enter the respective destinations.
This after New Zealand announced in October this year that South African visitors to New Zealand will require a visitor visas from 21 November 2016.
Shortly after, in a move labelled by SA's Minister of Home Affairs Malusi Gigaba as 'reciprocity', SA changed its visa regulations for Kiwi visitors, who now also need visas to enter SA.
SEE: New Zealand travellers now need visas to enter SA - DHA
These changes for Kiwi travellers will come into effect from 16 January 2017.
Here are some critical documentation notifications for both South African and New Zealand passport holders:
South African passport holders are not required to apply for transit visas to New Zealand.
Similarly, New Zealand passport holders transiting through OR Tambo International Airport, Lanseria, Cape Town or King Shaka airports, do not need transit visas, but if transiting through other ports, transit visas are required.
Where can South Africans apply for New Zealand visas?
South Africans can apply for their New Zealand visa online through the VFS global site, after which an in-person appointment will be required.
Applicants in South Africa can schedule an appointment and submit their applications in person at the New Zealand Visa Application Centre (VAC) in Pretoria.
Turnaround time for visa issuance is between 20 and 25 working days, and cost around R1 951, according to VFS global.
The VAC can be contacted on email@example.com.
Alternatively, follow the instructions below for your New Zealand visa:
Temporary exceptions for New Zealand passport holders
South African Tourism says New Zealand passport holders who enter the country before 16 January, and who will be departing SA after 16 January 2017 need not worry about obtaining documentation while in SA.
New Zealand passport holders departing the Republic of South Africa after 16 January 2017 will not pose a problem as there will be no requirement of a visa when departing, they say.
Similarly, New Zealand passport holders with booked flights travelling before 16 January 2017 are exempt from visa application and can travel to South Africa.
IMPORTANT: Those travelling from and after 16 January 2017, regardless of whether or not they have already booked their flights, will need to apply for visas amidst existing plans.
Where can Kiwis apply for SA visas?
New Zealand passport holders wanting to apply for a South African visa must do so in person at the South African High Commission in Wellington, New Zealand as per the South African Immigration law and regulations.
Turnaround time for visa issuance is between five and seven working days.
New Zealanders living anywhere else in the world (including Australia) that do not have permanent residency in that country, have to go back and apply from the country of origin.
The South African High Commission in New Zealand, Wellington, can be contacted via email using the email addresses: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
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