The long-anticipated e-Visa system will officially launch later this year, in October.
As reported by eNCA, Acting Director-General of Home Affairs Thulani Mavuso said the new system will help South Africa garner more investment opportunities and make it easier for immigrants with sought-after skills to enter the country.
“We’re now at the stage where we’re doing functional testing, once that’s done we’ll do a proper pilot with a few countries,” he said. “Once that’s completed we’ll go into production.”
South Africa’s current visa regime is pegged as one of the main constraints on tourism, and the rollout of the e-Visa is predicted to be beneficial for both tourists and the local economy.
The system will also save time for visitors when they enter the country, as all their information will be readily available for relevant authorities, mitigating the need to spend extended periods of time at airports and waiting for administration approval.
A new e-gate service will also be piloted at several airports across the country in the latter half of the year, creating a self-service system.
Speaking to BusinessTech, a Home Affairs spokesperson said the first e-gate will be trialled at Cape Town International Airport.
OR Tambo and King Shaka International airports will also receive a rollout.
“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).”