South African slates tit for tat over visa rules

Published:  16 Oct at 6 PM
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A South African would-be visitor to the UK has fired off a written shot to David Cameron, complaining about the difficulty in getting a visa to visit his UK family.

Most British expats living outside the EU find time to moan about unfair visa regulations in their chosen country without considering that many non-EU nationals attempting to spend time in the UK are getting an even worse deal. The 60-year old South African, who is remaining anonymous in case his application is refused due to his speaking out, had lived and worked in Britain before relocating to South Africa.

His two aunts and his daughter and son still live in the UK, and his regular trips to see them ended when immigration rules for South Africans changed for the worse three years ago. The changes, it seems, were bought about as a result of South African immigration’s laxity in issuing passports and carrying out terrorism checks.

UK security officers feared the country was becoming a hub for Al Qaeda terrorists on their way to the UK, with the regulations tightened in response. The disgruntled South African, however, considers this is unfair, stating his antecedents were British and his father fought for his country during WWII.

He adds that the new rules display discrimination against South Africans, especially as the country is still a member of the British Commonwealth. It’s not right, he told the media, that South Africans should be regarded as second-class citizens.

Under the new regulations, all South Africans need a visa to enter the UK, which necessitated a visit to a Visa Forwarding Service centre, often hundreds of miles distant. Other requirements include high fees, and biometric date including retinal scans, fingerprints and digital photos.
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