The question from employers and individuals at present is when will the borders and immigration offices reopen?

Considering the above, we decided to provide information about what is happening within the African continent below

  1. Botswana

The borders I Botswana remain closed indefinitely, but residents with a long-term status may re-enter for emergencies, and in order to do so, they must obtain approval from the Botswanan mission in the individual’s country of origin or residence.

The Labour Department has reopened, so any extension applications needed are now possible, meaning everyone who has a visa that will expire soon can now apply for extension and maintain valid legal status within Botswana.

  1. Egypt

The borders in Egypt are to be reopened from 1 July 2020 and as such, entry visas will once again be issued.

The Ministry of Manpower has also reopened; however, individuals in need of a Work Permit will have to wait until 9 July 2020 when the Work Permit Department will commence operations again.

  1. Ghana

The borders in Ghana will remain closed indefinitely. The government did however implement an evacuation exercise to enable Ghanaians to return.

Ghana Immigration Services is open to all those within Ghana and such individuals can apply for extensions, as well as new Work Permits (first application for a Work Permit).

  1. Kenya

The borders in Kenya will remain closed indefinitely, but residents with long-term status are allowed to re-enter.

The Directorate of Immigration Services has reopened to allow submission of new applications, extensions and has recently also commenced issuing permits/passes, etc.

Furthermore, Alien ID Card applications, which require an applicant to undergo biometrics will also resume.

  1. Namibia

Namibian borders remain closed indefinitely and Walvis Bay is placed on complete lockdown (stage 1).

The Department of Home Affairs has reopened to allow submission of applications for those who are currently within the country and has recently also commenced issuing permits.

  1. Nigeria

The borders will remain closed indefinitely in Nigeria, except for domestic fights which were scheduled to commence operation as of 21 June

The Nigerian Immigration Service has reopened for submission of applications, so extensions are possible.

  1. Tanzania

The borders are open for international travel in Tanzania and the Department of Immigration is fully functional.


A virtual meeting consisting of foreign ministers and trade ministers was held in the week of 8 June 2020. The ECOWAS summary resulted in a decision to implement a phased reopening, which will be as follows:

  1. Phase 1 – open domestic air and land transport in the month of June and, in this regard, few governments already begun doing so.
  2. Phase 2 – open land, air, and maritime borders within the region, which is expected to take place by 15 July, for the latest.
  3. Phase 3 – open air and land borders to “countries with low and controlled levels of COVID-19 contamination rates”, which is expected to take place by 31 July 31, depending on the progression of the pandemic.


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By Bianca Nocholls