Botswana Launches New e-Visa System

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Botswana has launched its new online visa system, enabling foreign visitors to obtain permission to visit the African state via the internet.

This replaces the previous system of filling out paperwork and bringing the required documents to an embassy or immigration office.

This new Botswana electronic visa (e-Visa) platform makes applying for a travel permit faster and more convenient than ever before. Visitors to the country are now able to apply from their own homes or offices and will receive their e-Visa by email.

The e-Visa system was finally launched on Thursday 12 August 2021, with an announcement in the capital city of Gaborone.

This marked the culmination of the project, which has been in the works for some time. The Botswana e-Visa was expected to be launched in 2020, but was delayed as international travel was affected by coronavirus.

The digital platform is now live and travelers from around the world are now able to use it to submit their Botswana visa applications.

What Types of Visa Can Be Obtained Through the Botswana e-Visa Platform?

Botswana’s Ministry of Nationality, Immigration, and Gender Affairs has created a system which foreign nationals can use to apply for visas for a number of different purposes.

The e-Visa platform can be used to obtain the following types of travel permits for Botswana:

  • Tourist visas
  • Business visas
  • Transit visas
  • Employment visas
  • Investor visas
  • Study visas

Applicants can select the number of entries they wish their visa to cover, as well as their proposed length of stay in Botswana.

Quicker and Easier Botswana Visa Applications

The new digital visa platform is seen as a huge improvement over the old application process. It provides foreign nationals with a much more convenient way to obtain a visa. The forms are quicker and easier to complete and the e-Visa is received much more rapidly than before.

Anna Mokgethi, Minister of Nationality, Immigration and Gender Affairs, was quoted as saying the e-Visa system will “improve efficiency, customer satisfaction, and Botswana’s digital footprint”.

According to Mokgethi, the old system of filling out forms, attaching supporting documentation, and submitting them along with the fees at an immigration office or embassy was very time-consuming.

Those applying for a visa for the first time from outside the country would also need the assistance of aides to submit paperwork and process payments for them.

The electronic visa application system cuts out these problems by allowing travelers to complete and submit paperwork remotely.

The forms are now digital and streamlined, taking a matter of minutes to complete. Foreign nationals can type in their details and attach the required supporting documents without having to leave their own homes.

As well as being advantageous to travelers, there are also benefits to Botswana. The e-Visa platform is expected to reduce the time, money, paperwork, and manpower needed to run the old manual system of processing visa requests.

Who Will Need a Botswana e-Visa?

According to Botswana’s visa policy, citizens of some countries enjoy visa exemption for stays of up to 90 days. This is expected to continue with the new e-Visa system.

Passengers traveling with a passport issued by any other country will need to apply for a visa online to visit Botswana.

In addition, any foreign national seeking employment in Botswana or planning to travel to the country for reasons other than tourism or business will need to apply for the relevant type of e-Visa, regardless of their nationality.

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