On Sunday, December 1, 2019, the South African Department of Home Affairs (DHA) announced that it has begun testing its electronic visa application system (e-Visa) on an international scale with Kenya.
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Once it is fully rolled out, visitors from eligible countries will be able to apply online for their South African e-Visa.
“As soon as the e-Visa to South Africa will be [sic] approved, the traveller will be allowed to stay in South Africa for tourism purposes for a maximum period of 30 days for a single entry,” reads the e-Visa South Africa website.
The online application process, said to take about 20 minutes, is aimed at reducing administrative burdens. It will also save prospective travellers the stress of going to the South African embassy or consulate to obtain a visa.
The test with Kenya has reportedly been deployed at the O.R. Tambo and Lanseria airports in Johannesburg.
Speaking on the pilot test, Aaron Motsoaledi, the Minister of the DHA, revealed that a team of DHA immigration and IT officials visited Kenya and is expected to return to the East African country on December 9.
“We are continuously monitoring this pilot process to ensure that user experience is not compromised. In early 2020, we’ll include China, India, and Nigeria to the pilot which will run until March 2020,” he added.
The South African DHA has also confirmed plans to start testing e-gates at the country’s airports.
Even though the timeline for the test was not revealed, the DHA reportedly said that the e-gates project would be “introduced in a phased approach.” And it will be tested first with South African passport holders, with the exception of minors.