The Minister of Information and Communication Technology (MICT) , Staney Simataa informed a country at large during a media conference that Namibia will start issuing visas on arrival to a number of African, Asian, European, North American and South American countries.

Briefing the media this month, Simataa said Cabinet has approved that the Ministry of Home Affairs and Immigration launched the pilot project of issuing visas upon arrival at Hosea Kutako International Airport and second phase of implementation will take place at the border posts of Ariamsvlei, Noordoewer, Oranjemund, Trans-Kalahari, Wenela, Oshikango and Walvis Bay.

African countries to benefit from this new development include, Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cabo Verde, Cameroon, Central Africa Republic (CAR), Chad, Comoros, Cote d’ Ivore, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Gabon, Gambia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Madagascar, Mauritania, Niger, Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principé, Sierra Leone, Togo, Tunisia, Western Sahara Republic and Uganda.

Other countries will include Belarus, Bulgaria, Cambodia, Chile, Czech Republic, Hungary, Mexico, Moldova, Nicaragua, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, South Korea, Venezuela, Vietnam, Thailand, United Arab Emirates, Singapore and Ukraine.

An amount of N$1000 will be charged for the issuance of the visa upon arrival at Hosea Kutako International Airport.

Namibia has exempted nationals of certain countries from visa requirements in certain categories, such as holders of diplomatic, ordinary and minor ordinary passports from Jamaica, and holders of diplomatic and official passports from Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cabo Verde, Cameroon, Central Africa Republic (CAR), Chad, Comoros, Cote d’ Ivore, Djibouti, Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, The Gambia, Guinea, Liberia, Madagascar, Mauritania, Niger, Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principé, Sierra Leone, Togo, Tunisia, Uganda and Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic.

Foreign nationals exempted from visa requirements when travelling to Namibia on holiday, tourism purpose include Angola, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Belgium, Botswana, Brazil, Canada, Congo-Brazzaville (holders of diplomatic passport only), Cuba, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ghana (holders of diplomatic passport and service passport only), Hong Kong, Iceland, India (holders of diplomatic and official passport up to three months), Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Liechtenstein and Lesotho.

Others include Luxemburg, Macua (SAR), Malawi, Malaysia, Mauritius, Moldova, Mozambique, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria (holders of diplomatic and official passport up to three months), Norway, Poland (holders of diplomatic and official passport up to three month only), Portugal, Russian Federation, Seychelles, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Swaziland, Sweden, Switzerland, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Turkey (holders of diplomatic and official passport only), Turkmenistan, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States of America, Uzbekistan, Venezuela (holders of diplomatic and official passport only), Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

In 2016, the electronic African Union Passport was launched and issued to heads of state and governments, with the goal of expanding it to citizens. Already Ghana, Rwanda, Mauritius and the Seychelles issue visas on arrival to all African passport holders.

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by Hileni Hashipala