What is the change? In January, South Africa will eliminate visa-waiver status for New Zealand nationals in reciprocation of New Zealand imposing visa requirements on South Africans in November.

What does the change mean? New Zealanders planning to travel to South Africa will need to obtain a visa at a South African embassy or consulate before travel. Additionally, other nationals currently enjoying visa-free travel to South Africa should be aware that the South African government plans to review all other countries that do not provide reciprocal benefits to South Africans.

  • Implementation time frame: Jan. 16, 2017.
  • Visas/permits affected: Visit visas.
  • Who is affected: New Zealand nationals traveling to South Africa as visa-exempt nationals.
  • Impact on processing times: Affected travelers will need to apply for and obtain a visa before travel.
  • Business impact: The repeal of the visa waiver will add administrative steps to short-stay visits between New Zealand and South Africa.

Background: Last month, New Zealand withdrew visa-waiver status from South African nationals because of an increase in the number of South Africans who had been refused entry. On Tuesday, South Africa’s Department of Home Affairs announced that it will reciprocate and repeal the visa exemption for New Zealand nationals as of Jan. 16. In making the announcement, DHA Minister Malusi Gigaba also confirmed that South Africa will review all other countries that impose visa requirements on South Africans with the intention of ensuring additional reciprocity.

BAL Analysis: New Zealanders planning to visit South Africa on or after Jan. 16 must hold a valid visa or will be denied entry. BAL is following South Africa’s review of other countries that currently enjoy visa-free travel to South Africa and will report any additional changes in the country’s visa-waiver policies.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group. For additional information, please contact your BAL attorney.

Copyright © 2016 Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP. All rights reserved. Reprinting or digital redistribution to the public is permitted only with the express written permission of Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP. For inquiries please contact