Tourists from 47 countries no longer have to apply for visas in advance before leaving their countries for tourism, visiting, or transiting through Namibia.
This was announced yesterday by home affairs minister Frans Kapofi at the launch of the ‘Visa on Arrival’ pilot project held at Hosea Kutako International Airport (HKIA).
This project aims to improve Namibia’s global competitive ratings and progress towards liberalising Namibia’s visa policy framework for all Africans.
Kapofi said the project further aims to improve Namibia’s diplomatic representation and network across the world.
“Our ministry will continue to deploy smarter approaches to support tourism and economic growth while maintaining the integrity and security of our country,” he added.
According to the Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Index 2019 report by the World Economic Forum, Namibia ranks 81st out of 140 countries. An index used for the rating shows the country’s international openness and tourism facilitation.
Namibia is also ranked 38th out of 55 African countries on the 2018 African Visa Openness Index, which measures how open African countries are when it comes to issuing visas by looking at what they ask from citizens of other African countries when they travel.
Kapofi said 47 countries, 27 of which are African, have been selected for the visa on arrival project.
“Namibia exempted over 60 countries from visa requirements when their citizens visit Namibia for tourism purposes. This time, 47 countries have been selected for visas on arrival,” he noted.
Kapofi said visas on arrival will benefit bona fide tourists (excluding tour guides), potential investors coming to explore business opportunities, visitors coming to attend meetings, seminars, workshops (excluding those coming to perform pay related jobs), friendships and family-related as well as medical-related visits.
He clarified that people who wish to come to Namibia from the approved countries for employment purposes will still need to apply and acquire employment permits in advance. Applicants will be required to pay N$1 080 on the approval of the visa application.
Kapofi said the launch at HKIA was the first phase of the project, and the ministry intends to expand the project to seven more entry points around the country by the first quarter of next year.
Speaking at the same event, home affairs executive director Etienne Maritz stated that the ministry is taking steps towards improving the experience for tourists to Namibia, and achieving the country’s development aspirations.
“Through this project, we are confident the piloting of the issuing of tourist and visitors visa upon arrival project will support the seamless service we envision as a country for visitors and tourists entering Namibia,” said Martiz.
“We are confident that through our collective efforts, our stakeholders will contribute to our common objective of enhancing economic growth,” he continued.