WINDHOEK - Namibia have selected 47 countries for visas on arrival. All three categories of passports, being ordinary, diplomatic and official or service passports are accommodated for purposes of the visa issuance on arrival.
This was revealed by Home Affairs and Immigration Minister Frans Kapofi yesterday during the launch of the tourist or visitor visas on arrival project.
Kapofi made it clear this arrangement excludes people coming to Namibia for employment purposes which obliges such people to apply and acquire employment permits in advance.
Visas on arrival will benefit the certain categories of visitors, which include bona fide tourists (excluding tour guides who are required to obtain employment permits or work visa in advance).
Other categories include potential investors coming to explore business opportunities; visitors coming to attend meetings, seminars, workshops (excluding those coming to perform pay related jobs which still requires one to obtain an employment permit or work visas).
The other category includes friendships and family related visits; or medical related visits.
The current 27 African countries selected are Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cabo Verde, Cameroon, Central Africa Republic (CAR), Chad, Comoros, Cote d’Ivoire, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Gabon, The Gambia, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Liberia, Madagascar, Mauritania, Niger, Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe, Sierra Leone, Togo, Tunisia, Western Sahara Republic and Uganda.
Other countries include Belarus, Bulgaria, Cambodia, Chile, Czech Republic Hungary, Mexico, Moldova, Nicaragua, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, South Korea, Venezuela, Vietnam, Thailand, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, Singapore and Ukraine.
Kapofi maintained Namibia does not have a far-reaching diplomatic representation and network across the world.
“Thus, our visitors from specific countries no longer need to apply in advance before departing their countries of origin for tourism, visiting, or transiting through Namibia. Along with this principal decision by the government, Namibia exempted over 60 countries from visa requirements when their citizens are to visit Namibia for tourism purposes,” he noted.
He said these are not the only countries to include on the list for visas on arrival, but this is an ongoing process, which will see more countries brought on board in future.
“In this spirit, we ask other countries to reciprocate or offer Namibia similar visa relaxed benefits for the good of all of us,” he said. He explained the procedure will require a visitor to complete a visa application form as he or she arrives at Hosea Kutako International airport, submit the completed application form together with one’s passport to an immigration officer who will process the application.
Upon approval of the application, the immigration officer will request the applicant to make a payment of N$1080.
To facilitate the payment process, Kapofi said passengers are encouraged to carry credit or debit cards, as speed points are available.
When credit or debit cards are not functioning, provision will be made for exchange of foreign currency at bureau de changes at the airport.
He emphasised that for a visitor to be admitted in Namibia, the immigration officials are still obliged to make the usual background checks, including whether the individual is not a prohibited immigrant in Namibia or do not appear on other watch lists.
It is also required that his or her passport is at least valid for a period of not less than six months from the date of arrival and there should be sufficient pages for endorsement of visas, at least not less than three blank pages.
The period for tourism or visits in Namibia per year is 90 days, which may be granted at once or as per the discretion of the immigration officer at the entry point depending on information provided. The tourist or visitor may apply for extension while in Namibia, which may be granted subject to the payment of a fee of N$580 (including N$80 handling or administrative fee) and reasons advanced.
Hosea Kutako International Airport is being used for visas on arrival as a first pilot Phase of this project.
The next phase is Walvis Bay International Airport that will be issuing visas on arrival by end of October 2019; Katima Mulilo Border Post will start by end November 2019; and, Noordoewer, Ariamsvlei, Oshikango, Trans Kalahari and Oranjemund will start in the first quarter of 2020.
2019-09-26 07:37:08 | 3 months ago