The Department of Home Affairs has announced that the country’s new e-Visa system will launch in November 2019, and it has added new nations to the list of countries that can enter South Africa visa-free.
The minister of Home Affairs, Aaron Motsoaledi, confirmed that the following seven new countries will be added to the list of nations that are able to come to South Africa without a visa for a period of up to 90 days:
- United Arab Emirates
- New Zealand
- Saudi Arabia
- Sao Tome and Principe
The minister said that his office will immediately enter discussions with the abovementioned countries about how a visa-free regime will work, with “homework” still needing to be done for countries like China, India and Nigeria.
The department spokesperson said that the countries announced by the minister, only apply to inbound visas (citizens from the listed countries visiting South Africa), and that outbound visas (South Africans visiting the countries listed) need to be negotiated on a country-by-country basis, and some countries, such as Qatar and Ghana, already have visa-free or visa on arrival agreements with South Africa.
According to the latest Henley Passport Index, South Africans can visit 99 countries around the globe visa-free.
Also speaking at the department’s budget vote, deputy minister of Home Affairs, Njabulo Nzuza said that the department is moving forward with the implementation of the country’s e-Visa regime.
The e-Visa system will allow tourists and visitors coming to South Africa to apply for their visas online. These applications will then be sent to a central adjudication and approval office, while the prospective visitors “remain in the comfort of their own home”.
The new system will also open South Africa as a desirable destination through the ease of its visa systems, the deputy minister said, adding that it will have huge tourism growth implications for the country.