WALVIS BAY – Residents and visitors at the coastal towns of Swakopmund and Walvis Bay can now apply for visas on arrival as well as electronically apply for passports.
These services were rolled out last week by the Ministry of Home Affairs and Immigration.
The ministry expanded the visa on arrival pilot project on Thursday to Walvis Bay International Airport following its launch in September at Hosea Kutako International Airport.
Deputy minister of home affairs Maureen Hinda-Mbuende, when launching the project at the airport, said the initiative makes it easier for visitors who enter the country at the spur of the moment while it also assists the government in boosting the economy.
“One of the main reasons for this project is to show that government is committed to improve the country’s global rating while creating a friendlier and more relaxed approach to attract investors,” she said.
She added that government is cognizant that this can only be achieved by eliminating bottlenecks in operations and processes. Hence her ministry will continue to initiate smart approaches to support tourism and economic growth while maintaining the integrity and security of the country.
Currently 48 out of 60 countries have been selected for visas on arrival for three categories, i.e. ordinary, diplomatic and official/service passport holders, of which 27 are African countries.
As for ordinary passports, Hinda-Mbuende said that applicants no longer need to bring their own passport photos when applying. Instead, they will have photos taken at the premises, which will also improve the security features of the passports.
The e-passports consist of Namibian ordinary, diplomatic and official passports which will run concurrently with machine-readable passports until they outlive their lifespan of five years.
Applicants will be given an electronic receipt with a unique number to track the status of their applications.
The passports will henceforth be valid for 10 years while passports of applicants under 21 years will only be valid for five years due to changing facial features.
Eveline de Klerk
2019-10-28 06:51:36 | 17 days ago