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58% of e-visas rejected due to expired travel dates, reports show

During a recent National Council of Provinces meeting, the National Department of Home Affairs disclosed that a whopping 58% of the 6,329 e-visas that were rejected were due to expired travel dates. In other words, the applications were not processed in time, causing the rejection. This comes on the heels of an earlier announcement by the Department that only 48.7% of all e-visa applications had been processed, and of those that had been processed, only 3.2% were approved.
Source: 123RF

The South African government introduced e-visas as a more convenient option for visitors to apply for visas online instead of having to visit a South African Mission. Currently, 14 countries are eligible for e-visa applications, including Cameroon, China, DR Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya, India, Iran, Mexico, Nigeria, Philippines, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and Uganda.

This option was implemented to streamline the visa application process and improve accessibility for international visitors. However, recent reports have highlighted challenges with the e-visa system, including significant delays and a high rejection rate due to expired travel dates.

The Department of Home Affairs has acknowledged these issues and is working to address them to ensure a smoother process for future applicants, it says.

However, inefficiencies in the e-visa system continue to pose a challenge to the tourism industry's recovery. Mireille Wenger, Western Cape provincial minister of finance and economic opportunities, expressed deep concern about the barriers the visa system adds to attracting more African tourists and increasing connectivity within the continent. "This should be fully enabled by our visa regime, and not restricted, as is currently the case," she said.

Wenger welcomed President Cyril Ramaphosa's recent commitments to address visa system issues but emphasized that decisive action is necessary. "Words no longer count," she said. "Timelines must be put in place to address the well-known challenges."

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