South Africa is on course to become one of the easiest countries to visit with its newly introduced e-visa system.
What is the e-visa system?
The Department of Home Affairs first piloted the online visa system in 2019, using the testing period to iron out the creases and fine-tune a process that is notoriously agonising for travellers seeking access to our shores.
Home Affairs Minister Aaron Motsoaledi confirmed, earlier this year, that the virtual application system’s piloting had concluded and that short-term e-visas would be issued to 15 countries, namely:
- Kenya and Cameroon;
- Democratic Republic of the Congo, Philippines and Rwanda;
- Ethiopia, Iran and Egypt;
- India, Uganda and Mexico;
- Pakistan and Nigeria;
- China and Saudi Arabia
In his 2021 Medium Term Budget Policy Statement, Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana confirmed that South Africa will officially launch the e-visa system in March 2022.
“To boost tourism and attract skills, the now completed e-Visa system will be rolled out to 15 countries by March 2022,” he revealed.
From what we understand, this new method of applying for a South African visa takes about 15-20 minutes to complete – that’s if applicants have all the required supporting documents.
However, an encouraging development from the rollout of the e-visa is that, in the event that applicants don’t have all the documents, they can always resume the process from where they left off at a later stage.
Not only does this clear up a lot of the bureaucratic red tape, but it also offers prospective travellers a sense of convenience. News of the e-visa launch was welcomed by Tourism Minister Lindiwe Sisulu who, in a tweet, quoted the announcement made by Godongwana.
“To boost tourism and attract skills, the now completed e-Visa system will be rolled out to 15 countries by March 2022.”— Lindiwe Sisulu (@LindiweSisuluSA) November 11, 2021
– Minister Enoch Godongwana, Minister of Finance #MTBPS2021