Home affairs launches online passport application

Jemimah Ndebele
The Ministry of Home Affairs has launched an online application platform for passports and six-month work visas.
According to minister Albert Kawana, this digital milestone will result in service efficiency and overall improvement as it will allow locals to apply for their passports using mobile devices, and track the progress of their applications via SMS. The newly launched platform will also allow residents to apply for a passport without the hassle of scanning the required documents, as the ministry has access to these through the national population register.
For work-visa applicants, required documents can easily be uploaded onto the system, with all relevant fees payable via electronic funds transfer. Passport applicants will be able to select a date for face-to-face biometric verification at their nearest home affairs office, while work-visa applicants will receive a soft copy of their permit with a QR code. This is expected to reduce long queues at home affairs offices.
‘No more corruption’
Kawana highlighted the benefits that will come from the ministry’s efforts to advance digitally. “Some of you who have interest in the private sector, particularly tourism. I want to inform you that before the end of this year, you will see a difference. I can guarantee you 100%, you will see a difference in terms of the number of tourists who will come to Namibia,” he said.
He added that the online platform will reduce corruption, as all payments made on the website will be directly deposited into the state revenue account. “No more handling of cash. No more corruption. No more stealing money from the state. This is an achievement on its own!” he said.
The platform - which took eight months to develop under the leadership of the Namibian Correctional Service's ICT directorate head, Ankur Kathuria - will also provide information to prospective tourists who do not have access to Namibian embassies. “By embracing this technology, we will be able to improve Namibia’s global ranking in terms of processing visa and passport applications. In future, we will be possible to link it through the Namibia Single Business Portal and use it for business. This is also very important,” he said.