Travel to South Africa Made Easy via Electronic Visa for Kenyans

Travel to South Africa Made Easy via Electronic Visa for Kenyans

Kenyans traveling to South Africa has now been made easy as the country reforms its visa system with the introduction of a new electronic visa system.

The system will eliminate the need to go to a South Africa embassy or consulate to obtain a visa. Tests on the new electronic visa system began in November.

“South Africa currently requires visitors to have a visa for South Africa from Kenya before travel. However, by introducing the electronic visa, South Africa greatly simplifies the process of getting a visa for Kenyan citizens,” reads the platform.

Applicants would need a valid passport, an email address and a debit or credit card. 

Siya Qoza, a spokesperson for the Department of Home Affairs, said that the trial would allow the government to test the resilience of the system. The department has already had successful trials in controlled environments. Qoza said, “the pilot will be conducted with Kenya first at the OR Tambo and Lanseria Airports.” He added, “at the end of the month (November), we will evaluate the project and look at which other countries to expand the e-Visa system to.”

Since Nov. 2018,  Kenyans travelling to the Rainbow Nation was made easy with the issuance of multiple-entry visas valid for up to 10 years. Frequent travelers are eligible for 3-year multiple entry visas.

The e-Visa is expected to contribute to growth in the tourism sector. However, besides the online visa, improving different visas processes would make it more accessible for foreign investors to come to South Africa, as well as people with skills that are critical to building the local economy.

The 2019 Africa Visa Openness Index published by the African Union Commission and African Development Bank, ranks South Africa 35. In the report, South Africa does not require visa from 15 African countries, does not issue a visa on arrival to any country in the region and requires visa procedures from 38 African countries.