South Africa’s Home Affairs Minister, Aaron Motsaledi, said that The South African Department of Home Affairs will do everything in its power to make it easier for non-nationals to apply for their South African visas
New statistics showed that nearly 30,000 visa applications were unsuccessful this year and almost 40,000 were denied last year. The Minister said that these figures were evident of a visa system which was not operating as it should be.
According to the statistics most of the denied visas were filed by Nigerian citizens followed by Zimbabweans. Pakistani’s were third least successful at obtaining their visas. The situation encourages illegal border crossings and undocumented foreigners living and working in South Africa.
While Motsoaledi did not say why these applications were typically rejected it seems that bureaucracy, some entry requirements and paperwork (mostly absent or completed incorrectly) were the top reasons for these visa denials.
Home Affairs indicated that it is aware of these issues and is giving priority to a number of changes to the country’s current visa regime which will make South Africa more accessible and welcoming to visitors.
Minister Motsoaledi added that the visa changes were needed to cope with the increase in interest from foreign investors but to also become more attractive to foreign investors. He added that the visa will also help employers find and hire professionals who, by bringing their skills to South Africa, will contribute to, and help build the South African economy.
One of the aspects hampering visa applications is the extended visa processing turnaround time. The department plans to address this issue first starting with applications for Critical Skills Work Visas.
“In November, the Department of Home Affairs will embark on a pilot scheme for the issuing of e-visas, which applicants will be able to access online, eliminating the need for applicants to visit South African missions abroad,” said Motsoaledi. “The department has also located visa services within the offices of various investment facilitation agencies around the country. In addition, visa requirements have been simplified for countries such as China and India, which are key markets for tourism to South Africa.”
Source: Eye Witness News and South African Department of Home Affairs