The Department of Home Affairs confirmed that South Africa’s new e-Visa system will launch in November 2019, and it has added new nations to the list of countries that can enter South Africa visa-free. Minister of Home Affairs, Aaron Motsoaledi, announced that seven new countries will be added to the list of nations that are able to come to South Africa without a visa.
Out of the 193 countries who are member states of the United Nations, the Home Affairs Department has granted visa-free status to 75 countries. Of these 16 are in our continent and are SADC members and 59 are from all over the world.
The department announced that the following countries will now be able to enter the country, visa-free:
- United Arab Emirates
- New Zealand
- Saudi Arabia
- Sao Tome and Principe
The minister said that his office will immediately enter into discussions with the countries about how a visa-free regime will work, with “homework” still needing to be done for countries like China, India and Nigeria.
A department spokesperson said that the countries announced by the minister only apply to inbound visas (citizens from the listed countries visiting South Africa), and that outbound visas (South Africans visiting the countries listed) need to be negotiated on a country-by-country basis.
The department noted that some countries, such as Qatar and Ghana, already have visa-free or visa on arrival agreements with South Africa. According to the latest Henley Passport Index, South Africans can visit 99 countries around the globe visa-free.
Also speaking at the department’s budget vote, the deputy minister of Home Affairs, Njabulo Nzuza said that the department is moving forward with the implementation of the country’s e-Visa regime. This regime will place technology at the centre of their operations by making it easy, yet secure, to enter South Africa.
The e-Visa system will allow tourists and visitors to South Africa apply for their visas online. These applications will then be sent to a central adjudication and approval office, while the prospective visitors sit at the comfort of their own home.
The new system will also open South Africa as a desirable destination through the ease of its visa systems, the deputy minister said, adding that it will have huge tourism growth implications for the country. The e-Visa regime is anticipated to be fully introduced in November 2019.
If you need any more information or help with obtaining a visa or permit, our Immigration consultants are here to help. Make sure you get in touch today for a seamless immigration process.
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