Kenyan business people and students traveling to South Africa has been made easy with the removal of short-term Visa requirements. Kenyans will now be issued with multiple entry visas valid for up to 10 years.
Frequent travelers will be eligible for 3-year multiple entry visas starting December 1, 2018.
Government officials traveling on official business to South Africa will be granted three months free visa with immediate effect.
The country agreed to ease visa application rules and entry conditions for the above categories following deliberations between Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i and South Africa Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba in Pretoria.
A statement by the Interior ministry notes that “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 President Uhuru Kenyatta envisioned would foster Pan-African brotherhood and fraternity.”
In 2016, South Africa agreed to extend a 10-year multiple entry visa for Kenyan business people and academics. Further, Kenyan students studying in South Africa are currently offered a long-term visa which is aligned to their course of study, and upon completion, they are offered a long-term visa so that they are able to transit to South Africa without any bureaucratic hindrances.
Currently, Africans visiting Kenya for less than 30 days do not require a Kenyan visa. Those intending to stay longer are issued with visa on arrival at the point of entry or through the online e-visa platform.
Kenya Airways operates three weekly flights between Nairobi and Cape Town, the new arrangement is expected to enhance people to people contact and unlock the two countries’ tourism and business potential.
Currently, the airline operates seven weekly flights to Cape Town via Livingstone, Zambia, and Victoria Falls.
Technical officers from both countries were 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 three months to complete their assignments.