Thulani Mavuso, director-general of Home Affairs of South Africa, recently shared important information in regards to the online visa for South Africa. Mavuso stated that the new online system is nearing the end of its functional testing period During an announcement by the Department of Home Affairs on July 10th, Njabulo Nzuza, deputy minister said that the electronic visa for South Africa is expected to launch on November 2019.
Mavuso explained that the government is introducing the new online system to boost tourism by making it easier for foreign visitors to obtain a visa to travel to South Africa. The eVisa is also intended to boost the South African economy by allowing foreign investors to visit the country, and is also expected to allow South African companies to more easily acquire foreign employees with specialized skills.
Echoing Mavuso’s comments, South African president Cyril Ramaphosa praised the implementation of the new system in his latest State of the Nation Address, stating his belief it would lead to a ‘renewal of the country’s brand’ and double tourist arrivals to the goal of 21 million by 2030.
Applying for a South Africa Online Visa
In his address, president Ramaphosa described the new eVisa system as a ‘world-class visa regime’ which would place a significant focus on key markets. The eVisa is expected to increase the efficiency and convenience of the visa application process, and facilitate the movement of visitors through South Africa’s international airports.
The Department of Home Affairs previously announced that the eVisa system will allow frequent foreign visitors to obtain 10-year South African visas within five days of submitting their application, replacing the current visa processes which are considered inefficient by many business insiders in the country.
South Africa Department of Tourism spokesperson Blessing Manale has previously stated his belief that the country’s visa regime had been one of the main constraints for tourism, and that the implementation of the eVisa system would inspire more confidence in potential visitors to South Africa.
An applicant for the eVisa will simply need to meet the South Africa visa requirements which include having a valid passport. Eligible travelers will be able to complete the online application form in just a few minutes with personal and passport information, and answer a few security-related questions, to receive an approved eVisa via email.
South Africa E-Visa to be Piloted in Several Countries
Home Affairs Minister Mavuso shared that the new South Africa visa application will first be implemented as a pilot scheme in a few countries in mid-2019, with the objective of improving the visa application process before the full launch in November. Once any glitches identified during the pilot phase have been fixed, the eVisa will be rolled out to other countries. The full list of eligible countries for the eVisa has not yet been made available, but is expected to be announced soon.
To complement the introduction of the eVisa system, South Africa is also finalizing the development of a new Biometric Movement Control System, which is to be piloted at a number of South African airports in 2019. The first step is the implementation of e-gates at Cape Town International airport, with the scheme to be expanded to other airports once the initial trial has concluded.
South African Home Affairs have confirmed that the main objective of the e-gates project, like that of the eVisa system, is “the facilitation of movement of low-risk travelers”, demonstrating that the government is fully committed to making it easier for visitors to experience the country and contribute to its growth.
The ministry is taking several steps to opening up South Africa and making it easier for foreigners to visit. Besides introducing the electronic visa system, on July 10th, Aaron Motsoaledi, Minister of Home Affairs, declared that citizens of seven countries will be able to travel to South Africa without applying for a visa. The 7 countries that will be able to travel visa-free to South Africa are: Qatar, Ghana, New Zealand, Sao Tome and Principe, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates.