Asta la Visa, baby

Asta la Visa, baby

On the visa front, the news is good for some and bad for others

The British High Commission announced this week that, from 3 March, all South African passport holders would require visas to visit the UK. However, South Africans who’d travelled to the UK previously would not require a visa until mid-year, according to officials.

The visiting visa expected to cost about £65, and a transit visa will cost about £45. Security was cited as a reason for introducing the visa, as officials were concerned that South African passports can be bought on the black market.

Institute of Strategic Studies director Michael Hough told reporters corruption in the Department of Home Affairs contributed in the main to this move.

“The fact is that South African passports are not that difficult to obtain owing to corruption… Many people enter the UK, and then claim refugee status,” he said.

Meanwhile, Australian Working Holiday Visas are up by 20 percent.

Brits, it seems, can’t get enough of Australia. Twenty percent more young Brits are heading to Australia on a Working Holiday Visa than last year, according to the latest statistics released by the Australian Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC).

Nearly 21,000 Working Holiday Visas were granted between July and December 2008, compared to just over 17,000 that were issued in the same six months in 2007.

The Australian Working Holiday Visa is available to British citizens between 18 and 30 years old, and allows participants to work and travel in Australia for one year with the option to acquire a second Working Holiday Visa if certain criteria are met.

Tourism Australia General Manager UK/Europe, Rodney Harrex said: “Tourism Australia has been investing in the promotion of the visa for 12 months now, so it is encouraging to see more Brits are heading to Australia to experience the Aussie lifestyle for an extended period on the back of our marketing campaign,” he said.

“Whether you want to pick fruit in a country area or pull beers in a city pub, the Working Holiday Visa is a great way to meet people and use the money you earn to travel extensively throughout the country.”

Australian Times

Australian Times

For, by and about Aussies in the UK.