THE Republic of South Africa is one African country currently accommodating the highest number of Nigerians both illegal and legal immigrants.

The reported cases of crime wave in the cities of South Africa, however prompted a visit to South African High Commission here in Lagos to find out the reasons Nigerians travel to South Africa and the
available types of visas.

By Vera Samuel Anyagafu
The embassy is not without its own challenges as intending travelers from time to time are dissatisfied with the services of the embassy which merely stem from lack of proper knowledge on its operations and visa requirements.

Just like some other embassies, failure to provide all the required documents for your visa application means visa denial. For instance, Nigerians who have been granted scholarship by organizations or cooperate bodies must among other documents required, present a valid insurance from an insurance firm APPROVED by the South Africa High Commission otherwise, the visa application would be turned down.

In other to tackle the numerous challenges the embassy encountered in the previous years, the South Africa High Commission in Nigeria, Kingsley J.N. Mamabolo recently announced the outsourcing of the embassy’s visa processes in Nigeria to a Lagos based commercial firm VFS global services.

According to Mamabolo, the final decision to move visa application matters away from the Consular offices in Lagos and Abuja, came in the heel of mounting criticisms leveled against the High Commission by Nigerians who are daily frustrated by the slow and ineffective pace at which the Commission work at the Consular offices, as well as the incessant cases of over-crowding, stampede and illegal practices by embassy touts in collusion with the Consular staff of the High Commission.

However, the Commissioner said that the Diplomatic and official Passport holders will continue to present their application at the High Commission, just as all applications for permits to South Africa for study, work, and medical.

The visa application centers which will be managed by VFS,  opened to prospective Nigeria travelers to the Republic of South Africa in Lagos since December 14 2010, while the second phase was thrown open monday 17th 2011 in Abuja. With the new development, Nigerians henceforth, are expected to direct all future visa matters to the visa application center [VAC] of the VFS Global Services  Ikoyi.

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