Joe McClain - Mar 16, 2009
South Africans need visas from now on. Taiwanese citizens are relieved of their visa responsibility. Fingerprinting to occur for all visa applicants.

The UK is to introduce new visa requirements for certain countries, most controversially South Africa. It has been claimed that it is too easy for non- South Africans to obtain a South African passport, thus gaining entry to the UK.

Around 300.000 South Africans come to the UK each year and the new regulations will come as quite a surprise.  On top of this, fingerprinting schemes are set to be introduced for all visa applicants into the UK and electronic identity tests are going to test travellers’ patience once on UK territory.

The new rules do not apply to South Africans who have already visited the UK, as their identity has already logically been tested. This new approach will certainly mean that any visit to the UK by a South African citizen will be more expensive. Visas are certainly not cheap, mostly averaging 100 GBP in cost price. A key aim of the British authorities is to count incoming and outgoing tourists from non-EEA countries.

The new visa rules also apply to citizens of Lesotho, Swaziland, Venezuela and Bolivia. Countries such as Jamaica are also bracing themselves for the new legislation, as transit visas will now be required whereas they never used to be. Transit visas are going to set Jamaicans back around 70 GBP per time.

The news is not only bad for those wishing to visit the UK from outside the EEA. Taiwanese citizens have indeed been relieved of their visa obligations and will now be able to freely travel to Britain. It has been said that Taiwan is the EU’s largest trade partner so logic must apply.


  1. I am a South African and I think the latest Visa requirements on the part of the British government are absolutely despicable, nothing but a money-making scam...and I do hope that the South African government will impose likewise Visa requirements on British citizens wishing to visit South Africa, which will indeed make their 2010 Soccer World Cup travel all that more difficult, Tit-forTat, that would only be fair!

    (South Africa)
  2. Totally agree with Ross. I hope the South African government will be brave enough to use the opportunity of 2010 cup.

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