South Africa has relaxed visa rules for Kenyans travelling to the country following an agreement reached between the two countries in Nairobi on Tuesday.

The agreement will remove visa hurdles for business people, students and academics.

Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba says the decision will allow easier movement for Kenyans into South Africa. He spoke after meeting Kenya’s interior cabinet Secretary Joseph Nkaissery

“We agreed to extend a 10 year multiple entry visa to South Africa for Kenyan business people and academics. We also informed our colleagues that Kenyan students studying in South Africa will be offered a long term visa which will be aligned to their course of study, and that those who are completing their high school studies in South Africa will be offered a long term visa so that they are able to transit to South Africa without any bureaucratic hindrances,” says the minister.
The big winners in the reviewed visa rules will be African students studying in South Africa

The two countries also agreed that South Africa will waive the requirement for transit visas for travellers passing through the country into neighbouring nations.

“All of these decisions are taken so that we continue to cement relations between our two countries; we believe very firmly that Africa is the future and therefore we must do everything to ease travel of bonafide travellers across the continent,” says the SA Home Affairs minister.

The big winners in the reviewed visa rules will be African students studying in South Africa.

“South Africa has decided that students should get critical skills visas, and those who desire immediate permanent residency in South Africa so that they can continue to contribute to the economy of our country and that of the region. Data from Higher Education in South Africa indicates that there is an 8% increase in the number of international students in South African universities most of whom are from African countries,” says Gigaba.

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