New visa rules forces Homeland to reschedule shooting 4th season in SA

2014-05-30 13:09
Thinus Ferreira
Cape Town – Strict new visa rules issued by the department of home affairs for foreigners coming to work in South Africa is already causing damage to South Africa’s TV and film industry struggling to compete internationally.

The American drama series Homeland, which is due to start filming in Cape Town next month, had to reschedule production days at great expense due to sudden visa changes.

“Many of the actors simply cannot leave their current locations and go back to the UK or US and wait for an unspecified period in London – the requirements and process is unclear to officials and applicants alike. The previous process worked well,” says Theresa Ryan-van Graan, the head of production at Moonlighting Films SA.

The visa application procedure was changed without any notice or consultation with South Africa's TV and film industry, and is jeopardising future investment in South Africa with foreign companies considering where to do location shoots and film movies, TV series and commercials.

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.

“There is also no indication of how long the process will take, and there is conflicting information about the requirements, which creates confusion all-round.”

“There needs to be a comprehensive policy review with a working, efficient system which facilitates much-needed investment and growth. Immigration is a critical part of that process and should be responsive and efficient,” says Isaacson.

For all your TV news join Channel24 on Facebook!


  • Stewart Ridgway - 2014-05-30 13:23

    South Africa failing hard

      John Smith - 2014-05-30 14:35

      Bloody Clowns !!!

  • Charles Brink - 2014-05-30 13:38

    And yet, the ANC Government allows millions of Black people from ALL OVER AFRICA to just walk into our country without ANY visa or passport....

      PointBlank - 2014-05-30 14:01

      They not allowed, thousands are deported every year. As much as thre are millions of illegals the government doesn't just allow them to come here. Sometimes you just believe your own nonsense.

      Buzzbar - 2014-05-30 15:54

      The problem is that the people mentioned above take money OUT of the country / economy while the ones arriving by aero plane bring foreign capital IN....

  • charonw - 2014-05-30 14:02

    That the officials can't think is clearly showing. Arrogant I tell you what I want Not what the country wants or needs. Money flowing into this country creating jobs does not mean a thing to the arrogant officials

  • Daneil Van Den Berg - 2014-05-30 15:16

    Bananna republic!??

  • Cheryl Pyper - 2014-05-30 18:16

    What next? The goal posts change by the minute! They are not helping to show South Africa is a good place to be, by allowing them to film here is great, the story will spread amongst the over rich actors to come over to see our country. The government shoot themselves in the foot once again!

  • Brian Peters - 2014-05-31 22:00

    Once again goverment depriving the country of foreign income as well as work for the film industry.

  • Jan Chrzciciel - 2014-06-01 15:08

    Why doesn't the anc come clean? The only people allowed to work in RSA are black africans as defined in the anc racist policies. The rest aren't needed or wanted. On the other hand if they cut off their donations or move their business elsewhere they will be classified as racist colonialists. I wonder why qualified intelligent South Africans are emigrating? I wonder why businesses are investing anywhere but South Africa? Well done clowns.

  • Bruce Phillips - 2014-06-01 15:13

    Why should the Dept of Home Affairs consult with the film industry before making a change to visa procedures? I have zero to do with govt...but please do explain to me all those who have so much to say why such consultation should have taken place? I wonder if all these wise people with comments themselves consult widely before making changes in their businesses...and believe me I am willing to criticise where it is due but to preface your comment with "as per usual" indicates you are an expert in such consultation Jo...perhaps you are

  • Gerrit Janse Van Rensburg - 2014-06-02 12:24

    It is amazing that one side of Government try to get visitors and then Investment (direct - indirect) into the country, but the others side prevents same. The contradictions is amazing ... reading the conditions for compliance. We need investors ....!

  • Neil Malan - 2014-06-02 17:48

    Another BAD move by the ANC government damaging foreign investment and again depriving us the opportunity to get work as background artists.

  • Jennifer Bradley - 2014-06-03 09:59

    We are waiting for Homeland with baited breath hoping to get on as Extras..... This visa problem could mean that SA citizens go without work!

  • Michelle Ward - 2014-06-03 11:01

    So typical of the people who are placed in positions in this country that are not qualified for the jobs they're in.

  • Karl Schmidt - 2014-06-03 15:03


  • Kirk Blunt - 2014-06-03 15:45

    Has the anc not stuffed this country up enough. Can't wait to see what is the next level of stupid they can achieve. From 1 thing to the next it just blows my mind how we just accept it. Absolutely pathetic government we have.

  • Goitsy Freeverse Lehmann - 2014-06-07 12:04

    lol These comments are funny. I say GO SA these people bring no capital to our country they are all opportunists. South African Actresses and actors can never just fly to the US or UK and be given work VISAs. This is South Africa joining the entire world in tightening our borders especially from Europeans who take managerial or higher positions which could have been taken by a South African...The problem with any immigration policy in the world is it usually favours the West as assets and the rest of the world becomes a liability. All of you who are the economics of our country first before you trash talk. How will our own film industry survive if we base it on very expensive skills from overseas? How will our own artists survive...

  • pages:
  • 1