Hard or soft Brexit?
For South Africans, the debate as to whether the UK leaves the EU with a hard Brexit (one with no deal in place), or a softer Brexit (one with a deal in place) is relatively immaterial to South African travel plans. If South Africans want to travel on holiday to the UK or Europe, they will still have to apply for the relevant travel visas. For South Africans travelling to the UK on holiday, this is usually the Standard Visitor Visa and will not be affected by Brexit.
South Africans can apply for a Standard Visitor visa if they want to visit the UK:
- For leisure, to see their family or travel through the country
- For business, or to take part in sports or creative events
- for another reason, for example, to receive private medical treatment
South Africans travelling to Europe
South Africans travelling to Europe on South African passports have always had to apply for visas, depending on which countries they are travelling to. The main visa that most South Africans apply for when travelling to Europe is the Schengen Visa, which covers 26 European countries. The only South African passport holders that are exempt from applying for a Schengen Visa are those that hold dual citizenship – South Africa and one of the Schengen member states. These people have to travel on their European passport to avoid applying for a Schengen Visa.
Brexit could make it easier to immigrate to the UK
For South Africans planning on making a more permanent move abroad, the good news is that the UK is facing a shortage of skills. The looming issue of Brexit has meant that fewer EU citizens are moving to the UK, which means that the UK Government is increasingly looking to attract skilled and highly skilled workers into the country to fill its growing labour gaps. This is good news for South Africans planning to move further afield and explore their opportunities abroad.