Long-term visas will become available for South Africans wanting to travel to Kenya and Kenyans wanting to visit South Africa as of the 1st of December 2018. The announcement was made by former Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba and his Kenyan counterpart Interior Minister Fred Matiang’i.
In September Gigaba announced that South Africa would be easing some immigration rules including agreeing to visa waiver agreements with more countries in an effort to boost investment and tourism as part of a broader economic turnaround programme. The two leaders said both countries would continue working on ways to maximise their cooperation and allowing for passport holders to have long-term multiple entry visa arrangements for business people, academics and frequent travellers between the two countries. The arrangement is said to benefit both countries tremendously.
This is intended to improve trade and interaction between the two countries, as well as to support the people between the two nations engaging in various economic activities of mutual benefit.
Kenyan Minister Fred Matiang’i told journalists at the briefing that the East African country viewed its relationship with South Africa as critical and that the presidents of both countries – Ramaphosa and Uhuru Kenyatta – had instructed both ministers to work towards removing barriers and impediments to the growing relationship.
The Kenyan minister said he believed relaxing visa requirements would lead to the most seamless interaction between South Africa and Kenya in history. South Africa’s former home affairs minister, in turn, thanked Kenya for its efforts in preventing illegal immigrants from making their way to the country.
Gigaba said the partnership would contribute to tourism in the two countries and support the visions shared by both Ramaphosa and Kenyatta for free movement of people between the countries.
He said academics and business people would be able to get ten-year visas, while frequent travellers would be able to apply for three-year multiple entry visas, a feat Gigaba said would also alleviate administrative pressure on their respective home affairs departments.
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