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Thursday, 16 January, 2020, 16 : 00 PM [IST]

South Africa to roll out e-visa application process in India on pilot basis next week

The rainbow nation of South Africa is set to roll out an online visa application process in India next week and in China by February on pilot basis. On successful completion of the test run, the online visa application process will come into effect on April 1.  

“South African Tourism wanted a visa-free waiver for Indian nationals. Instead, the Ministry of Home Affairs has permitted us to launch an online visa application system, and we have identified India and China as markets to begin with. The first phase of the pilot was launched in Kenya; we have received feedback and are making improvements in the system. In terms of population Kenya and India are different. Therefore, depending on the implementation of technology and its ability to access documents, if there are no glitches during the pilot run; the full implementation of the process will be on April 1, 2020. This will help us respond to the demands of the Indian market with the turnaround time being five days,” said Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane, Minister of Tourism, South Africa.

Moreover, South Africa has done away with the requirement of unabridged birth certificates for children travelling with parents. She stated, “It was a good policy, but ended up with unintended consequences. It made travelling difficult and required extra documentation. We have removed that barrier; now when families are travelling to South Africa they don’t need to carry the child’s unabridged birth certificate.”  

On the multiple-entry visa front, a Memorandum of Agreement has been signed between the Home Ministers of India and South Africa. “We are waiting for the South African Parliament to ratify the agreement. Once that happens, it will allow us to accord tourists and business travellers multi-entry visa to South Africa. This we believe will go a long way in changing the travel patterns to South Africa, and enhancing bilateral traffic,” Kubayi-Ngubane added.  

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