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The list of countries South Africans can visit without having to get a visa is getting shorter by the minute.

In a shock twist, Ireland has now added South Africa to the list of countries who need visas to visit. And it's coming at a cost.

For South Africans wanting to visit the Republic of Ireland, a single-entry visa will cost R1,200. A multi-entry visa will cost R2,000.

The news was announced by the Irish Immigration Service through a statement.

For travellers with existing plans, there is a month-long grace period if they travel before 10 August. This will only be allowed if travellers can show proof of paid-for flights and a valid passport.

If you’re travelling to Ireland after 9 August, even though you’ve booked your flights before the announcement was made on 10 July, you’ll have to get a visa.

Even if you’re just passing through Ireland, you’ll need a transit visa.

Ireland’s ambassador to South Africa, Austin Gormley, explained his country’s decision on social media.

He said the new requirements align with the Schengen area and the UK, and Ireland will continue to facilitate legitimate travel to the country.

“Ireland, of course, enjoys very strong politics in Africa, including political, economic, people-to-people and, of course, sport. Not least, probably, this will not change.”

The rules now applying to South African passport holders are also applicable to people travelling with passports from Botswana.

Image credit: Citizen

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