South Africa Scraps Short-term Visas Requirements for Kenyans
Kenyan business and academia community travelling to South Africa
will now be issued with multiple entry visas valid for up to 10 years
while frequent travellers will be eligible for 3-year multiple entry visas
effective December 1, 2018.
The country agreed to ease visa application rules and entry conditions
for the above categories following extensive deliberations between the
Cabinet Secretary for the Ministry of Interior and Coordination of
National Government, Dr. Fred Matiang’i, and South Africa’s Home
Affairs Minister, Malusi Gigaba, in Pretoria earlier today.
Government officials travelling on official business to South Africa will
be granted 3 months free VISA with immediate effect.
The agreement reflects the doctrine of reciprocity after Kenya set up a
more responsive and straightforward online application process for
short-term visas for visitors from all African countries, a move that
H.E. President Uhuru Kenyatta envisioned would foster Pan-African
brotherhood and fraternity.
Discussions with South Africa on visa restrictions have been ongoing
and have seen both Presidents Uhuru Kenyatta and Cyril Ramaphosa
discuss the issue extensively.
Currently, Africans visiting Kenya for a period of less than 30 days do
not require Kenyan visas while those intending to stay longer are issued with visas on arrival at the point of entry or through the online
e-visa platform.
With Kenya Airways already doing an average of three non-stop flights
from the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) to South Africa
daily, the new arrangement is expected to enhance people to people
contact and unlock the two countries’ tourism and business potential.
The Kenyan Government’s proposal of issuance of study visas based
on the duration of studies and renewal on application when need
arises was also granted, a big win for Kenyans pursuing studies in
South Africa.
Technical officers from both countries were also tasked with finding
ways of reducing travel restrictions, with a view of completely
removing short term (180) days) and transit visa requirements for
nationals from the two countries with ordinary passports. The
technical teams have 3 months to complete their assignment.
The two countries have also agreed to step up joint efforts in
combating illegal immigration and also protect the integrity of each
other’s travel documents.
This move also comes as Kenya’s immigration department steps up
efforts to streamline immigration services through automation of
immigration services, digitization of immigration records, and the
establishment of the e-passport system. The governments are also in
consultation on the strategies to mitigate transnational crimes, especially
human trafficking and smuggling emanating from elsewhere in the continent
and beyond.
The Cabinet Secretary was accompanied by the Principal Secretary in
the State Department for Immigration, Border Control and Citizen
Services, Dr. Gordon Kihalangwa andKenya’s High Commisioner to
South Africa, Amb. Jean Kamau.
Ministry of Interior and Coordination of National Government


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