South Africa has introduced an e-visa system that will kick-start this April. According to the Communications Director of the country’s Tourism Department, Blessing Manale, the e-visa will be issued in New Zealand this month.
South Africa’s president, Cyril Ramaphosa, first announced this visa system in February in his State of the Union address where he revealed that applicants for the e-visa would be able to apply online.
Successful applicants can print their visas anywhere including their homes once it’s granted. At the moment, tourists who want to visit the country will have to visit a South African embassy to get their visas.
According to Manale, the new e-visas will first be available to New Zealanders before it would be rolled out to the whole world.
South Africa hopes to give its international tourism industry a boost with this new e-visa system together with the visa rules that were relaxed for minors in December.
The aim is to improve the statistics of tourists visiting the country from 10 million in 2018 to 21 million by 2030.
A biometric visa system is also coming
Manale further revealed that South Africa is putting the finishing touches to the creation of a new system that will be based on the use of biometrics to control movement in and out of the country. This biometric system will first be used in Cape Town and at Lanseria International Airport.
Other immigration changes include the long multiple entry visas that have been introduced for trusted travelers who frequently travel to the country as well as reduced visa requirements for Chinese and Indian visitors.
The Head of Research at Wesgro revealed that between April 2018 and April 2019, the bookings of visitors from New Zealand coming to Cape Town improved by 7%. He’s positive that these new visa changes will bring even more visitors to the country.
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