The Department of Home Affairs will expand its e-Visa system in the coming months, making it easier for tourists to enter the country thanks to the online capture of visa applications and biometric information.
In a parliamentary presentation on Tuesday (18 February), the department indicated that it has successfully piloted an e-visa in Kenya, with plans to extend the pilot to India, Nigeria and China over the course of this quarter.
After addressing a number of ‘teething issues’ it is expected to conclude the piloting stage with the aim of introducing the programme.
South Africa began trials on a new e-visa system in November 2019. Speaking to BusinessTech at the time, Department of Home Affairs spokesperson Siya Qoza said that the pilot aims to test the resilience of the system, with the department already holding successful trials in a controlled environment.
“The pilot will be conducted with Kenya first at the OR Tambo and Lanseria airports,” he said. “At the end of the month, we will evaluate the project and look at which other countries to expand the e-visa system to.”
Qoza added that the system is quick and has been designed to be as user-friendly as possible.
He estimated that the entire application process would take around 20 minutes, provided the applicant has all of the necessary supporting documents ready for submission.
Should one of the required documents be missing, applicants can resume the process exactly where they left off at a later date, he said.