Immigration rakes over $300 000 weekly in visa application fees

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The Department of Immigration is raking in more than $300 000 weekly in visa application fees, it has emerged.

An official in the department, Steven Museki, told visiting Namibian Home Affairs minister Pendukeni Livula-Ithana that the government was steadily increasing its revenue collection due to the digitalisation exercise that had seen all prospective visitors making their visa applications online.

by XOLISANI NCUBE

He said the process had minimised corruption and revenue leakages, while also improving service delivery.

“Before we moved to the electronic visa regime, we used to collect on average $250 000 monthly. But now we are collecting an average of $300 000 weekly,” Museki said.
“This is because we have managed to close all leakages. Now applications are processed online and the attendant has no time to interface with the applicant. It is easy to track the entire process and you can’t cheat the system.”

Livula-Ithana is in the country on a familiarisation exercise and to exchange notes with her counterpart, Ignatius Chombo, on how the two countries can improve trade and enhance the free movement of people.

“Zimbabwe has moved fast in the aspect of computerisation, starting with the visa processing system, but Namibia is still struggling to get to that level,” she said.

Chombo took the visiting minister to Harare International Airport and showed her the visa processing system.

“If you look at the benefits of computerisation, the department here has increased its revenue generation because there is less corruption. This is something we will copy from and try to do back home,” the Namibian minister said.

“Our thrust is to have a standard visa processing mechanism so that it can be easy for our people to travel. We would want a situation where all countries in the Sadc region have standardised requirements for visa applications as this will help us in increasing business in the region. Currently each country is doing its own thing and we hope soon we will agree on standardised visa requirements.”
From Zimbabwe, Livula-Ithana will head to South Africa on a

similar mission, while Chombo is heading to Botswana, where he is expected to exchange notes and familiarise himself with improved immigration policies.