A few months ago Minister Malusi Gigaba of the department of Home Affairs announced the introduction of a so-called BRICS visa. Now several months later it seems the system has started processing these visas.
BRICS stands for Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, meaning that this type of visa is available to all BRICS country passport holders except for South Africans. At the moment most of these countries are so-called non-visa exempt, meaning that its citizens need to apply for a visitor’s visa to South Africa each time prior to their travels.
This tends to be a major obstacle in specific circumstances given the newly introduced measurements for applicants to apply in person. In large countries such as Russia or China applying in person could mean having to take a 4 hour flight to reach the nearest South African mission. For this reason the introduction of the BRICS visa is very welcome.
A BRICS visa is issued for a period up to 10 years at a time and allows the holder to visit (for business or leisure) South Africa for periods up to 90 days at a time. The visa is exclusively available for senior business managers and officials only.
Please note that BRICS visas are only issued at South African missions based in the BRICS countries. Practically some of the missions for instance in Calcutta, India seem to have not yet received any instructions. Therefore it is advisable to first check with your nearest mission whether they can issue BRICS visas.
In terms of documents to submit, the requirements are very similar to a short term work visa (90 days).
If you wish to apply for a BRICS visa contact us for assistance.