Government has relaxed visa requirements for Chinese nationals visiting Zimbabwe, while scrapping visas for all Sadc countries.
Speaking at a Press conference in Harare yesterday, immigration department principal director Clemence Masango said there were, however, conditions Chinese nationals have to meet before being granted visas.
“The eligibility for Chinese nationals is that only Chinese tourists travelling as a group (two or more people) cleared by tour operators and travel agencies in China can qualify. Chinese business persons and other citizens of China as approved by their government will continue to apply for visas online,” Masango said.
“Zimbabwe is removing all visa controls in respect of Sadc countries in line with and fulfilment of the spirit and objectives of the Sadc protocol on the facilitation of the movement of persons.”
Thirty-seven countries, including China, Equatorial Guinea, Iran, Algeria, Turkey and Cuba, were moved from Category C to Category B under the new measures announced yesterday.
A measly 6 000 Chinese tourists visited Zimbabwe last year, the worst in the region, as Botswana had an estimated
43 000, Zambia 55 000 and South Africa 158 000, to name a few.
The visa regime consists of three categories A, B and C.
Under category A, foreign nationals are exempt from visa requirements, B states that visas must be obtained upon entry and C requires nationals to apply for visas prior to travel.
Chinese Federation of Zimbabwe deputy president Steve Zhao said the new visa regime was a positive step.