The government of Botswana has announced the development of an eVisa system for the country, to be integrated by Isreal-based firm Pangea IT.
Pangea specializes in the digital transformation of government and business services and has already undertaken several projects in Botswana in the last few years, including installing the current digital birth and death registration system in use in the country.
The company also deployed Botswana’s digital immigration and citizenship system (ICS) in 2010, and has since been contracted to update the system with the latest operating systems.
The fact that the government has re-hired Pangea to develop the Botswana eVisa is a major show of confidence in the company, as the new system is a key part of the county’s initiative to encourage foreign travel to the country and boost the growing economy.
Like other eVisa systems being implemented around the world, the Botswana visa online application will eliminate the need to visit an embassy or consulate of Botswana to obtain a travel document for the country.
Instead, the entire application process will become digitized and eligible citizens will be able to obtain a visa for Botswana from the comfort of their own homes.
One the country’s eVisa portal is activated, applicants will be able to complete a simple digital form with passport and travel information, upload any necessary supporting documents, and pay the visa fee online to complete the process.
Once approved, the traveler will be able to download and print a copy of the eVisa to carry with them to present upon arrival in Botswana to gain entry to the country.
Once the system is live, travelers around the globe will be able to check worldwide visa requirements for Botswana to see if they are eligible to apply for the visa online.
Botswana is just the latest in a long line of countries across the world to implement an online visa application, as authorities and travelers alike begin to embrace the benefits of the digital age.
The trend is only expected to continue following the COVID-19 pandemic, as eVisa systems greatly reduce psychical contact required when applying for a visa from a government diplomatic office.
In addition to removing the need for travelers to apply at an embassy in person, the new online application for a Botswana visa will greatly benefit the country’s government, as it will minimize the investment of money, time, paperwork and manpower allocated for the current processes.
It is also expected to greatly boost tourist arrivals to the country, which have already increased substantially in recent years to over 1 million annual visitors, as travelers have flocked to Botswana to experience the country’s world-class safari parks.
The general manager of the government division of Pangea, Uzy Rozenthal, said: “The eVisa will dramatically speed up the entry process in Botswana and translate into substantial savings in both administration costs and time needed without compromising border security,”
He also added that the Botswana eVisa is expected to be fully implemented by the end of the year, once the worldwide tourist industry has begun to recover and travel to Botswana is more of an enticing prospect.