The Home Affairs Department wants to fast track the rollout of e-visas to increase the number of tourists visiting the country. This will also be in an attempt to boost tourism and promote economic growth by easing visa access for top SA source markets. The Departments of Tourism and Home Affairs also aim to curb permit fraud with the new e-visas.
As South Africa awaits the implementation of the e-visas pilots, the DHA is looking to make it easier for travellers to enter South Africa if they have already been vetted through rigorous visa process abroad. It intends to allow travellers with an active US, UK, Schengen, Canadian or Australian visa to be able to enter South Africa with a visa-on-arrival approval process.
The pilot phase will initially cover temporary residence visas, adjudication of temporary residence visas, applications for waivers, applicant notifications and biometric details. Electronic visas will boost the tourism industry by cutting turnaround times for the issuing of travel documentation while ensuring the information of applicants is secure.
e-Visa will introduce the online capture of visa and permit applications and capture the applicant’s biometrics in South Africa and abroad. An application will be captured and submitted online together with the required supporting documents that will be scanned and attached to the application.
Home Affairs says that the department will prioritise the e-visas to ensure that they make a very concrete announcement as to online visa applications as well as the issuance of e-visas by the end of this financial year.
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