Everything you need to know about the e-visas

Posted by Lucinda Dordley on 9 April 2019

South Africa is preparing to roll out its new electronic visa system (e-visa system) in an effort to make life easier for tourists to enter the country. The online capture of biometrics and visa applications will be less time consuming for travellers, and make entering the country smoother.

According to BusinessTech, the e-visa system was first unveiled in March 2018, and will now be trialed and tested in New Zealand.

The system software is currently being tested for its data security and integration.

“They provide predictability, people will be able to stay longer in South Africa, people will be able to study etc. The realisation of the visa regime will literally allow us to double our tourism numbers internationally,” a Department of Home Affairs spokesperson told BusinessTech. “Most countries operate under the principle of reciprocity meaning that if a country gives certain visa privileges, they must be returned. However, it is part of the department’s strategy to relax these rules for countries such as New Zealand and Australia because South Africa stands to benefit more from tourists from these countries.”

New e-gates will also be piloted at several South African airports throughout the year.

The first gate will reportedly be tested at Cape Town International Airport, and will form part of the implementation of the Biometric Movement Control System (BMCS).

“The broad objective of the project is the facilitation of movement of low-risk travellers through a self-service solution, hence freeing capacity for the assessment of high-risk categories by an immigration officer,” the spokesperson said. “In line with the risk-based approach to managing migration, the first phase will focus on South African passport holders (excluding minors).”

With the e-gate pilot at Cape Town International Airport, South African passport holders travelling internationally will proceed to e-gates for self-service immigration clearance for the following:

– Biometric verification

– Passport authenticity and validity checks

The e-gates project will help address the key issue of traveller identification management, which is at the heart of security both locally and internationally.


Picture: Pixabay

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