Are you flying via the United Kingdom? We’ve got great news for you!
Frequent travelers will be relieved to know that their international travel has been made easier as transit visas for the UK might not be needed anymore, depending on which country you are traveling to. South Africans traveling to Australia, Canada, New Zeland And The USA need not apply for transit visas, if they have visas for these countries. These rules apply to residents of Lesotho and Swaziland as well. This rule applies only if you are traveling through the UK and arrive and depart on the same day.
From 1 December, there will be some welcome changes to transit visa regulations. British High Commission spokesman Hooman Nouruzi said following a global travel review, the commission had found the visas of the listed countries to be compliant with UK visa regulations.
“Following a global review, (the UK) is satisfied that South Africans who have an existing visa with those countries may transit through the UK to anywhere in the world without obtaining a direct airside transit visa. We hope this would encourage more people to travel through the UK,” Nouruzi said.
Transit Visas Will Not Be Need In Specific Situations
If you are travelling to Canada, New Zealand or the USA and have a valid visa for that country and it’s less than six months since you last entered that country with a valid entry visa you do not need a transit visa. If you are travelling to or from Australia and you have an Australian visa sticker in your passport you do not need a transit visa.
Australian e-visas and paper confirmation slips aren’t accepted by UK border control
so visas will be required. Any other situation or travel to any other country via the UK means you probably still need a visa. This includes travel to other countries via the UK, whether or not you are passing through border control.
It just won’t cost you as much. The visa fee is now £30 pounds (about R550) the routine validity has increased to two years. You need to apply for the Direct Airside Transit Visa.
Natalia Rosa, spokeswoman for the Association of Southern African Travel Agents (Asata), said when the requirement for South Africans to have a transit visa was implemented three years ago, a significant number of people requested alternative flight routes. Asata had been in lengthy discussions with the UK consulate about the issue.