Visas on arrival a boon for tourism

Immigration initiatives applauded
Visitors from 58 countries are now eligible to receive visas upon arrival in Namibia at multiple border posts and airports.
Ellanie Smit
Online visa applications and visas on arrival in Namibia have proven to be a boon for tourism in the country.
Home affairs and immigration minister Albert Kawana said this at the launch of the visa-upon-arrival initiative at Oshikango, Mohembo, Oranjemund, Ariamsvlei and Noordoewer border posts.
The minister said that in 2019, nationals from 45 countries began benefitting from the visa-upon-arrival programme. By 2023, the list had been reviewed and expanded to include 11 more countries.
Presently, 58 countries are eligible to receive visas on arrival.
Three categories of passports – ordinary, official/service and diplomatic – are accommodated for visas on arrival.
"I wish to make it clear that this arrangement excludes people coming to Namibia for work or employment purposes, which obliges such persons to apply for and acquire employment permits in advance," the minister said.
No visa hassle
On 25 September 2019, Hosea Kutako International Airport was designated for visas on arrival, followed by Walvis Bay Airport and the Katima Mulilo, Ngoma, Impalila Island and the Trans-Kalahari border posts.
Kawana said the Oshikango/Santa Clara border posts will also soon operate on a 24-hour basis since preparations with Angolan colleagues are at an advanced stage.
“With today’s launch, I have no doubt that the Ohangwena and //Kharas regions will experience increased tourist arrivals through the five border posts mentioned earlier.”
He said that visitors pay for their visas upon entry into Namibia via installed speed points at designated border points.
The money is paid directly into the state revenue account, eliminating any temptations of handling cash.
“From today, tourists from countries where Namibia has no diplomatic representation no longer need to apply in advance before departing their countries of origin for tourism, a visit or transit through Namibia," he explained.
More to come
The countries selected to benefit from visas on arrival are among those where Namibia does not have diplomatic missions such as embassies or high commissions.
“This is an ongoing process that will see more countries brought on board in future, as was done last year.”
The procedure for visas on arrival will require a visitor to complete a visa application form as they arrive at the border post and submit the completed application form together with their passport to an immigration officer, who will process the application on the spot.
Upon approval of the application, the immigration officer will request that the applicant make the N$1 200 visa processing payment.
Immigration officials are still obliged to conduct the usual background checks.