South Sudan has launched a new electronic visa (eVisa) system as part of its upgrades to public services.
South Sudanese authorities have introduced a number of online “e-Government Services”, hoping to balance the country’s economic needs with the health requirements under the COVID-19 pandemic. These new digital systems aim to simplify administrative procedures by moving them online.
The global health crisis is changing the way government authorities have to work. Online platforms allow government agencies to continue to work at a safe distance, avoiding unnecessary contact that could spread the virus.
The eVisa for South Sudan is an example of this. The online application system allows foreign nationals to obtain a visa to visit the country without having to apply in person, which involves traveling to an embassy to attend an interview.
Now that various airlines have resumed flights to Juba International Airport, it is once again possible to visit South Sudan and the new eVisa will facilitate this, while minimizing risk.
Who Can Apply for the New South Sudan eVisa?
Most travelers will have to obtain their South Sudan visa online, as the system has replaced in-person applications at a South Sudanese embassy. Citizens of the majority of countries will not only be eligible to use the system, but will be required to do so.
Only nationals of Egypt and Tanzania are exempt from applying for a visa to enter South Sudan, while visitors from 6 other African countries may opt to apply for a visa on arrival. However, it is highly recommended that travelers from these 6 countries apply for the eVisa in advance to avoid any potential problems at the South Sudanese border.
The new South Sudanese eVisa portal will allow international travelers to apply for a number of different types of visas, including those that grant visits for tourism, business, medical treatment, and even employment.
Applying Online for a South Sudan Visa
The ability to apply online for a visa for South Sudan is a huge advantage to foreign visitors to the country. Not only is it safer to apply from home during the COVID-19 pandemic, but the new electronic system is streamlined and simple to use, making the process of obtaining a visa quick and easy.
Applicants must fill in an online application form with their personal details, information about their intended visit, including the length of their stay in the country, and provide necessary supporting documents. These include the traveler’s passport, a recent photograph, and a yellow fever vaccination certificate.
It is also currently a requirement to submit a copy of a negative test result for coronavirus taken recently. This will likely be a necessity until the pandemic is over, after which it will probably be removed from the list of compulsory documents.
South Sudan’s New e-Government Services
The new eVisa system for South Sudan is not the only new service that the country’s authorities have launched.
Similar online e-government portals have been launched for South Sudanese passports and immigration services.
Due to the continued spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) around the globe, South Sudan has made the switch from applications made in embassies and centers to digital platforms as part of measures to curb the pandemic. This move means less person-to-person contact and therefore a lower risk of transmitting coronavirus.
Advantages of e-Government Services
There are a number of other advantages that come with the digitalization of South Sudanese visas, passports, and other services besides helping to prevent transmission of COVID-19.
Maker Bona Nyang Madut, Chief of e-Government Services, has said that it will “reduce red tape, eliminate corruption, enhance transparency, provide safe and convenient delivery of services to the people, and encourage citizen feedback and participation.”
Moving public services online is expected to help South Sudan’s economy. Most developed countries with large digital economies have strong G2B (Government to Business) and G2C (Government to Citizen) systems in place.
It is hoped that this accessibility will help make the process of doing business in South Sudan easier and that this will, in turn, attract foreign investors.