South Africa's Department of Home Affairs is to issue special "event visas" for soccer fans coming to the 2009 Fifa Confederations Cup and 2010 Fifa World Cup, enabling fans to use dedicated counters at major airports around the world for pre-clearance before they arrive in the country.
South African immigration officials - who are able to speak in several languages - will be stationed at several of the busiest airports around the world, including in the UK, India, Dubai and Hong Kong, where fans will be able to go through a free pre-screening and pre-clearance process.
This will be the first time that such a visa is used by a country hosting a major world event.
The immigration officials will also be equipped with hi-tech devices for scanning passports or travel documents. By electronically capturing information from the documents, officials will save time by not having to type in information.