The Irish government has stretched its visa-free travel ban for persons arriving from South Africa and various South American countries due to concerns around COVID-19.
Ireland’s Minister of Justice, Helen McEntee, said that the ban would be extended “until it is no longer needed for public health reasons”.
She revealed that the decision – which was initially supposed to continue until March 5th – was made following advice from the National Public Health Emergency Team.
McEntee said she decided to extend the visa restrictions on persons arriving from South America and South Africa under Section 17 of the Immigration Act 2004 following a review of the measures.
Section 17 of the Act states that “The Minister may, for the purposes of ensuring the integrity of the immigration system, the maintenance of national security, public order or public health or the orderly regulation of the labour market or for the purposes of reciprocal immigration arrangements with other states or the promotion of tourism, by order amend or revoke an order under this section.”
Since January 27th, South Africa, along with Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname and Uruguay, have been subject to visa restrictions imposed by Ireland due to the spread of COVID-19 variants.
There are exceptions
The Irish Embassy said only South Africans who fall under the “priority” or “emergency” categories should at this time apply online for a visa. It also stated that the measure would be reviewed in consultation with the relevant authorities in the coming weeks.
South Africans face other international barriers
Several other countries have also indicated that South African travellers will be barred from entering – a sign that the country could be facing reputational damage because of the 501Y.V2 variant of COVID-19, which has been referred to as the “South African variant” overseas.
South Africans look to second citizenship for mobility
The coronavirus pandemic has struck many nations like South Africa hard. With a new virus variant, tax hikes, and high crime rates, interest in second citizenship has increased in the region.
When it comes to investing in a second citizenship, South Africans want a lifestyle they are already comfortable with, says CS Global Partners’ CEO Micha Emmett.
“The pandemic has left many individuals feeling shaken and insecure by the global response. Many people are now looking to relocate their families to a safe and secure location that offers all the perks,” Emmett said in an interview with Lotus FM.
Citizenship by Investment: A reliable option
For many South Africans, global mobility means more business opportunities. Second citizenship creates access to major international financial centres and allows families to curate the best possible future, one filled with safety, access to the best education and work opportunities.
Although other popular paths to second citizenship like naturalisation and ancestry exist, citizenship by investment is the fastest and most efficient route for time-poor businesspeople.
The concept started in the Caribbean in 1984 when St Kitts and Nevis began the world’s first Citizenship by Investment programme. The Programme gives foreigners a win-win investment opportunity wherein one can contribute to a nation’s betterment and, in exchange, receive citizenship for life.
Emmette commends the citizenship by investment programmes of St Kitts and Nevis or the Commonwealth of Dominica for those willing to invest in attaining safety and mobility.
“It’s about expanding horizons and opening a whole global platform. You are able to travel to more than 75 percent of the world,” she said.
Get in touch with one of our citizenship experts at CS Global Partners to start your second citizenship journey.