Visa made easier

Centres to help the visa application process go smoothly are set to open across the country.
Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba on Thursday announced that his department will open visa facilitation centres in all nine provinces.
The Pretoria (Gauteng), Rustenburg (North West) and Kimberley (Northern Cape) centres were the first to open on Monday, 2 June. It is envisaged that the last office will be opened on 23 June.
VFS Global -- a worldwide outsourcing and technology services specialist for diplomatic missions and governments -- has been appointed to receive and manage visa and permit applications in South Africa.
Making the announcement in Pretoria, Minister Gigaba said VFS Global has been given the mandate to automate the application processes, develop a solution for biometric intake in line with the immigration regulations, manage a dedicated permitting call centres and deliver outcomes to clients efficiently and timely.
Minister Gigaba said through the introduction of VFS in South Africa, clients will now be required to apply online, set up appointments and visit the visa facilitation centres for biometric intake.
“This is a radical departure from the existing mode of manual application processes that are responsible for inefficiencies within the permitting environment,” the minister said.
Although VFS Global will be responsible for visa applications, the decision to either approve or reject applications will still lie with the department.
“We will be able to exercise full control over the decision-making processes to ensure that our national interests and security imperatives are served at all times.
“The approach we are taking is informed by none other than our commitment to improve efficiencies and turnaround times,” Minister Gigaba said.
The minister also said that the current measures being introduced in the country add impetus to similar ones the department made in high volume missions such as Nigeria, China, Ghana, DRC, Angola and Kenya.
According to Minister Gigaba, the new visa application system will also reduce corruption,
VFS Global will establish the 11 visa facilitation centres in all provinces.
In KwaZulu-Natal, the centre will be in Durban, Limpopo in Polokwane, Mpumalanga in Nelspruit, Western Cape in George and in Cape Town, Free State in Bloemfontein, Northern Cape in Kimberley, Gauteng in Johannesburg and Pretoria and in the Eastern Cape in Port Elizabeth.
Meanwhile, Minister Gigaba said the department remained on course in implementing the

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