South Africa is planning to start a pilot scheme this month to test the effectiveness of its new e-visa scheme designed to attract more investors and individuals with the right skills to develop the country’s economy. According to officials from the Department of Home Affairs, the pilot scheme will be executed on a limited scale to test the efficacy of the new system. The pilot scheme will be open to Kenya first at the OR Tambo and Lanseria airports.
At the end of the month, the scheme will be evaluated to decide the other countries the e-visa scheme can be extended. The e-visa scheme is designed to be simple and quick and user-friendly. The application process will hardly take 20 minutes provided the supporting documents are available.
The Home Affairs Department is also reducing the processing time for critical work skills visas which are currently issued within four weeks. The department plans to reduce the processing time for general and work visa to eight weeks.
Apart from this, the visa requirements have become less complicated for citizens of China and India, who account for a major percentage of tourists to South Africa.
The country recently removed visas for travelers coming from the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Cuba, New Zealand, Qatar, Sao Tome and Principe, and Ghana. With this policy, the South African government is hoping countries such as the UAE and New Zealand provide visa-free or visa-on-arrival facilities to citizens of South Africa. It is making efforts in this direction.
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