RESOLUTIONS that were decided upon at the Namibian Economic Growth Summit in Windhoek to ease the they way people do business with the country earlier this year have been made more tangible with the introduction of instant visas at points of entry.
The introduction of electronic visas at entry points at a nominal fee, is now available at the Hosea Kutako International Airport as well as the Walvis Bay International Airport.
The new visa upon arrival system will give easy access for highly skilled and professional people with sought after skills with temporary work visas. People on business visits and tourists from countries that need visitor’s visas from Namibia will also benefit from the new system.
The Ministry of Home Affairs and Immigration (MHAI) launched The Visas Upon Arrival pilot project at the Hosea Kutako International Airport during September.
The Deputy Minister, Maureen Hinda-Mbuende launched the system at the Walvis Bay International Airport on Thursday and said entry points at Katima Mulilo, Trans Kalahari, Oshikango, Ariamsvlei and Noordoewer will follow soon.
“The decision by Namibia to implement a visa on arrival system is in line with the African Union’s drive to promote a visa free Africa as well part of Namibia’s plan to improve the economy through tourism,” she said at the launch in Walvis Bay.
Hinda-Mbuende said one of the fundamental purposes which gave rise to the project is Government’s commitment to improve amongst others; Namibia’s Global Competitive Ratings.
“We should therefore be cognizant that this can only be achieved by eliminating ‘bottlenecks’ in our operations and processes. Furthermore, our Ministry will continue to deploy smarter approaches to support tourism and economic growth while maintaining the integrity and security of our country,” she said.
According to the deputy minister Namibia does not have a far reaching diplomatic representation and network across the world. The new system means visitors from specific countries no longer need to apply for visas before departing their countries of origin for tourism, visiting, or transiting through Namibia.
Hinda-Mbuende said the procedure will require a visitors to complete a visa application form as they arrive at Walvis Bay Airport, submit the completed application form together with their passports to an Immigration Officer, who will process the applications. Upon approval of the application, the Immigration Officer will request the applicant to make a payment of N$1 080.
“To facilitate the payment process, passengers are encouraged to carry credit or debit cards as speed point machines are available. When credit or debit cards are not functioning, provision will be made for exchange of foreign currency at the various Bureau de Changes at the airport.”
The deputy minister said the Ministry of Home Affairs and Immigration in consultation with relevant Government stakeholders and other non-governmental actors will continue to spearhead the process of the relaxation of Namibia’s visa regime so that it will enable the tourism sector to gain maximum benefits for the country’s economic and social development.