Namibia Extends Visa-on-Arrival Program to Boost Tourism and Facilitate Business

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    In a significant move to stimulate tourism and foster economic development, the Government of Namibia has announced an expansion of its Visa on Arrival program, extending its reach to major border posts and incorporating more countries into the scheme. This initiative is set to make Namibia more accessible to international tourists and business visitors, amplifying its appeal as a prime destination in Africa.

    Expanded Points of Entry

    Previously restricted to just the international airports in Windhoek and Walvis Bay, the Visa on Arrival program now includes five additional major border posts. These are strategically located on the main road corridors that connect Namibia to its neighboring countries:

    • Oshikango
    • Mohembo
    • Ariamsvlei
    • Oranjemund
    • Noordoewer

    Additionally, starting from April 18, 2024, visas can also be obtained upon arrival at the Walvis Bay Harbour, a move aimed at facilitating smoother entry for both tourists and business travelers.

    Who Benefits?

    The expanded policy now allows visitors from over 58 countries worldwide to benefit from the Visa on Arrival facility. This list includes diverse nations spanning from African neighbors like Benin and Uganda to countries as far afield as Argentina, Singapore, and the United Arab Emirates. The eligibility criteria cater to bona fide tourists, potential investors, attendees of various meetings and seminars, and those visiting for medical or family reasons. However, those seeking employment in Namibia will still need to secure a work permit in advance.

    African Countries: Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cabo Verde, Cameroon, Central African Republic (CAR), Chad, Comoros, Cote d’Ivoire, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Gabon, The Gambia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Madagascar, Mauritania, Niger, Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe, Sierra Leone, Togo, Tunisia, Uganda, Western Sahara Republic.

    Other Countries: Argentina, Belarus, Bulgaria, Cambodia, Chile, Croatia, Czech Republic, Ecuador, Estonia, Greece, Hungary, Israel, Latvia, Lithuania, Mexico, Moldova, Nicaragua, Paraguay, Peru, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, South Korea, Singapore, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, Uruguay, Vatican/Holy See (Vatican City), Venezuela, Vietnam.

    Economic and Strategic Benefits

    The decision to widen the Visa on Arrival program aligns with Namibia’s strategic objectives to boost its tourism sector and attract foreign investment. The policy revision is part of a broader ambition under the African Union’s vision for a visa-free continent, aiming to enhance mobility and foster economic integration. By simplifying the entry process, Namibia hopes to:

    • Increase the number of international visitors and investors.
    • Maximize the economic and social benefits derived from tourism.
    • Maintain national security while promoting openness.

    In addition to these benefits, the introduction of online visa fee payments directly into the State Revenue Account is anticipated to enhance financial transparency and prevent mismanagement.

    Implications for Visitors

    For tourists and visitors, the changes mean a more straightforward and welcoming entry process. The Visa on Arrival is valid for a maximum stay of 90 days and is priced at N$1200 (approximately $50 USD). With more entry points and a streamlined process, Namibia is set to offer an enhanced travel experience, showcasing its rich culture, breathtaking landscapes, and wildlife.

    The Namibian government has emphasized the importance of maintaining a high standard of service and professionalism among immigration officials. Friendly and efficient processing at borders is critical to ensuring the success of the initiative and making a positive impression on visitors.

    Conclusion

    Namibia’s expanded Visa on Arrival program represents a significant step forward in its tourism and economic development strategies. By making the country more accessible to a broader spectrum of international visitors, Namibia aims to position itself as a leading destination in Africa for tourism and business. The move is expected to contribute positively to the country’s economic growth and international image, drawing more visitors to its stunning landscapes and vibrant cultural heritage.

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