The Emmy award winning American drama series Homeland, which is due to start filming in Cape Town this month, has had to reschedule because of new visa regulations issued by the Department of Home Affairs. Complex new visa regulations threaten to disrupt the growth of South Africa’s booming film industry, which has created thousands of jobs in recent years and boosted the nation’s economy.
The immigration regulations, which came into effect recently, introduce a new visa regime. The regulations stipulate that applications must be made in person, and those wanting to change the status of their visa may no longer do so in South Africa, but must do so at missions abroad.
“The travel and work schedules of many A-list actors – and skilled experts in other fields – are such that they cannot return to their home countries to submit applications, as this would create additional cost and inconvenience and severely hamper projects, investment and job creation required by the country”, says Leon Isaacson, the managing director of Global Migration SA.
Previously the Department of Home Affairs’ head office issued a letter of permission after an application was made, which was then attached to an application made at an embassy or port of entry. This has now changed. All applications made by visa-exempt or visa-restricted applicants, must be made abroad.
“The directive is not clear regarding whether the applicant must make a full application in person at the SA Mission abroad for a visa-exempt applicant, or whether an approval letter will be issued by the Mission in such a case, and presented at the port of entry on arrival,” says Isaacson.
For the full article visit FilmmakerAfrica