As the highly-anticipated visa-waiver Agreement between the Republic of Ghana and the Republic of South Africa comes into effect on November 1, 2023, there are crucial details that Ghanaians planning to travel to South Africa should be aware of. While this Agreement undoubtedly simplifies travel, there is a catch that travellers must consider.
Under this new Agreement, Ghanaians holding ordinary passports will have the privilege of entering South Africa for visit, business, and transit purposes without requiring a visa. This is excellent news for tourism, trade, and easier movement between the two nations. However, it’s important to emphasize that this Agreement does not extend to individuals planning to work, study, or stay in South Africa for an extended period beyond 90 days.
Here are the key aspects to consider:
- Visa-Waiver Limited to 90 Days: Ghanaians can stay in South Africa without a visa for up to 90 days within a year. This means that for every 12-month period, you can enter South Africa without a visa, and your stay can accumulate to a maximum of 90 days. After staying for a cumulative 90 days in a year, you will be required to obtain a visa if you plan to visit South Africa again within that same year.
- Effective Date: The visa-waiver Agreement takes effect on November 1, 2023. Therefore, persons travelling to South Africa before this date are still required to obtain a visa prior to their travels.
- Immigration Requirements: It’s crucial to understand that a visa-waiver Agreement does not eliminate other immigration requirements. Ghanaians visiting South Africa must continue to meet the usual immigration requirements. This includes having a valid Yellow Fever Vaccination card, making proper accommodation arrangements, holding a return or onward ticket, and having sufficient funds to cover their expenses while in South Africa.
The introduction of this Agreement marks an exciting and progressive development in diplomatic relations between Ghana and South Africa. It aims to boost tourism, business interactions, and cultural exchange. However, it’s important for travellers to recognize the limitations of the Agreement, particularly regarding work, study, and long-term stays.
Ghanaians planning to stay in South Africa for work, education, or an extended visit should initiate the visa application process to ensure a smooth and legal transition. It’s also advisable to keep abreast of any updates or changes related to the visa-waiver Agreement and immigration requirements.
While this Agreement simplifies travel for many purposes, it’s essential to approach your travel plans to South Africa with full awareness of its specific terms and conditions. This will ensure a seamless and enjoyable experience in the Rainbow Nation.