To make the process of applying for a South African visa simple, South Africa will introduce its long-awaited e-visa system next year. Picture: REUTERS/Mike Hutchings
To make the process of applying for a South African visa simple, South Africa will introduce its long-awaited e-visa system next year. Picture: REUTERS/Mike Hutchings

The latest on South Africa's e-visa system

By Clinton Moodley Time of article published Nov 15, 2021

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South Africa will introduce its long-awaited e-visa system next year in an effort to simplify the visa application process.

In the Medium Term Budget Policy Statement (MTBPS) last Thursday, Finance minister Enoch Godongwana revealed that the e-visa system will be rolled out to 15 countries by March 2022.

IOL Travel reported in 2019 that the country was in the process of introducing a "world-class e-visa system" in a bid to reduce the red tape that travellers face when visiting the country.

Speaking at the Africa Travel Indaba in Durban in May 2019, President Cyril Ramaphosa said at the time, “We must reduce the onerous and often unnecessary bureaucratic red tape that tourists who want to visit our countries face. This requires us to streamline our tourist visa regimes.

“As South Africa, we are committed to working towards the African Union’s goal of visa-free travel and a single African air transport market. We are in the process of radically overhauling our visa dispensation for the rest of the world and introducing a world-class e-visa system. The challenges are going to be ironed out."

By December that year, The Department of Home Affairs started with the testing of its e-visa.

Process

The department said at the time that the e-visa will become reliable, client-friendly and convenient for visa applicants, airlines, trade partners and Home Affairs officials.

It also revealed that travellers can apply anywhere - at home or work, to reduce administrative burdens. In some cases, you can complete the application in under 30 minutes.

According to southafricavisa.com, travellers will have to fill out "accurate information to the best of the applicant’s knowledge."

In the e-visa online application form, you will be asked for basic personal information, your passport number, and health and security-related questions.

Only a handful of African countries offer e-visas, including Botswana and Kenya.

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