South Africa’s e-visa goes live

South Africa’s commitment towards opening of the country was given boost today when the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) confirmed the piloting of the electronic visa application system – e-Visa.

The President of South Africa Cyril Ramaphosa in his address to parliament and Africa’s Indaba revealed the rainbow nation’s ambitious plan to reach the 21 million tourist mark by 2021. The introduction of e-visa and the waiving of visa for some countries will help achieve the target.

The Minister of Tourism Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane in an interview with SABC on the sidelines of the Africa Investment Forum reemphasized on how the move will boost the tourism sector.

Earlier on Sunday December 1, travellers and members of travel and tourism industry were given another hope of ease of travel to South Africa. The DHA in a news briefing announced that, the Department has started with the testing and piloting of the electronic visa application system – e-Visa. It added that, once the service is fully rolled out, prospective visitors would apply online for visas, at home, office of work.

The statement said ‘’Currently, the department is testing the new system with Kenya. As part of the pilot, a team of DHA immigration and IT officials visited Kenya. This team is scheduled to return to Kenya next week, on 09 December 2019. The first Kenyan tourist who applied for the visitors’ visa on the new e-Visa system arrived yesterday afternoon and more are expected this week as part of the pilot.’’

The Department will continue to monitor the pilot process to ensure that user experience is not compromised. Prospective travellers from China, India and Nigeria will be included on the pilot in early 2020 to run until March 2020.

Below is the full statement from the Department of Home Affairs on the E-Visa Pilot

e-Visa pilot
The Department of Home Affairs (DHA) has started with the testing and piloting of the electronic visa application system – e-Visa.

The decision to introduce e-Visa was informed by observable benefits of this system. It is reliable, client-friendly and convenient for visa applicants, airlines, trading partners and Home Affairs officials.

Once fully rolled-out, prospective visitors will apply online for visas, at home, office or place of work. It will lesson administrative burdens, including those involved in receiving applicants at visa offices, printing visa stickers and returning passports to applicants.

Currently, the department is testing the new system with Kenya. As part of the pilot, a team of DHA immigration and IT officials visited Kenya. This team is scheduled to return to Kenya next week, on 09 December 2019. The first Kenyan tourist who applied for the visitors’ visa on the new e-Visa system arrived yesterday afternoon and more are expected this week as part of the pilot.

We are continuously monitoring this pilot process to ensure that user experience is not compromised.

In early 2020, we’ll include China, India and Nigeria to the pilot which will run until March 2020.

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