International Relations Minister Ronald Lamola and his counterpart in Home Affairs, Leon Schreiber, are tackling the newly imposed visa requirements by Ireland for South Africans with the Irish Government.

News24 reports that the Irish Minister for Justice Helen McEntee yesterday announced that nationals from SA and Botswana would now be required to obtain a visa before travelling to Ireland.

‘In recent years, a significant number of International Protection (asylum) applications have been received from nationals of Botswana and SA. Both countries are designated as safe countries of origin for International Protection purposes and are the only countries on that list which are not currently visa required,’ the Irish Justice Department said in a statement.

McEntee said the decision was carefully considered to bring Ireland into closer alignment with the Schengen area's approach to SA and also into line with the UK's stance.

Lamola's spokesperson Crispin Phiri said: ‘Both Dirco and Home Affairs will engage with the Republic of Ireland to comprehensively address the concerns raised.’

The Dublin Visa Office will establish a dedicated SA desk to process applications from SA nationals.

Three visa application centres will also be established in SA to be managed by visa service provider, VFS Global.

Full News24 report

See also full Business Day report