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Ireland considers halting visa-free travel for South Africa



According to the Irish Times, the decision to revoke visa-free travel for South Africans follows reports of alleged abuse of the arrangement by individuals entering Ireland to seek protection.

Warnings have been issued regarding the use of South African passports by nationals of Zimbabwe and the Democratic Republic of Congo to gain entry into the country.

According to Ireland’s Department of Justice, 198 asylum seekers arrived in Ireland this year using South African passports. This number represents more than three per cent of the total number of applicants so far this year.

South African passport holders currently enjoy facilitated entry to 108 countries, according to Henley and Partners. This could change if Ireland decides to exclude South Africa from its visa abolition agreements.

In 2009, the United Kingdom implemented visa requirements for South African passport holders, citing concerns about safety due to the misuse of South African passports.

However, the Republic of Ireland maintained its visa-free entry scheme for South Africa. This privilege could be in jeopardy if Ireland decides to revoke the visa-free entry arrangement.

Over 5,000 people have applied for asylum in the Ireland so far this year.

The country expects to see a higher number of arrivals in the coming months, and for this reason, it wants to tighten the existing measures.

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