“Armstrong’s rough ride into South Africa” was the IOL headline today and Lance was almost denied entry into South Africa last night.
The rationale for his initial refusal to entry was caused by the fact that he did not have sufficient blank pages in his passport.
In terms of Regulation 2(1)(e) of the Immigration Regulation promulgated under the Immigration Act 27 June 2005 and which came into operation on 1 July 2005, it is required that:
“2.1 A passport shall contain: ….
(e) at least one unused page when presenting a passport for purpose of endorsing a visa or permit; and ….”
Accordingly, the refusal of entry to a visitor would have been justified if the holder of that passprt only had one clear unused page in their passport.
However, the immigration officials at ports of entry in South Africa are generally applying a “two page” rule.
In line with the international best practice, it is a principle in immigration law worldwide that a person arriving at a country should present a passport with sufficient unused pages to bear the entry and exit stamps of that country. In this regard, at least one clear page appears to be the norm.
On a brighter note Lance Armstrong was admitted ultimately into the country and will now take his place in the starting line-up for the Argus Cycle Tour on Sunday, 13 March 2010.