The UK has confirmed that stories that people living in Commonwealth Nations would be permitted to travel to Britain without a UK visa are a hoax.
Numerous stories have recently been posted across social media and received hundreds of shares. They suggested that Prime Minister Theresa May had given the green light to a new system that would allow people from the 53 Commonwealth countries to travel freely to Britain without a visa.
It comes as the UK is starting to look at how it will deal with the visa-free travel arrangements that European Union citizens currently enjoy, following June’s vote to leave the EU.
However, it is unlikely that the UK will offer similar benefits to Commonwealth nations as EU citizens have at the moment. Bringing down migration numbers was a key issue in the EU Referendum and Mrs May, in her previous position as Home Secretary, was responsible for tough new regulations making it more difficult for people to obtain UK visas.
South African British High Commission spokeswoman, Isabel Potgieter, said: "We can confirm that no changes have been made to the UK’s visa regime for citizens of Commonwealth countries."
Ms Potgieter said that any South Africans who wanted to travel to the UK should check the information for their individual requirements.
The High Commission in South Africa unveiled a more straightforward UK visa application system for South African citizens earlier this year.
The Access UK online application service went live in May, to replace the old Visa4UK system. It has a shorter form and is simpler to complete because it generates questions based on the applicant’s previous answers. It is similar to new UK visa application systems that have already been rolled out in China and India to simplify the process.