Govt decentralises VISAs to Embassies

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  • Considers provision of VISAs at port of entry like other countries
  • The move is meant promote investment, tourism and relations with other countries

LETLHOGILE MPUANG

The Minister of Nationality, Immigration and Gender Affairs Dorcus Makgato says they have taken a decision to decentralise the issuing of VISAs to Embassies as Botswana looks to promote investment, tourism and relations with other countries.
Makgato was speaking in Parliament last week where she was addressing Members of Parliament on various reforms currently being undertaken by her ministry through the Departments of Civil and National Registration, Immigration and Citizenship and Gender Affairs Department.
She revealed that they have identified impediments to delays in the issuance of VISA as well as the Work and Residence permits and hence the decision to let Embassies deal directly with VISAs. “Mr Speaker in addition, my ministry commits to facilitate movement of people across borders to promote investment, tourism and relations with other countries.
To this end we have identified impediments to the delays in the issuance of VISA as well as Work and Residence permits. My ministry has since decided to; Decentralise of VISA to Embassies, Consider provision of VISAs at the port of entry like other countries, Automatically grant VISA to applicants who have been granted Work and Residence permits so that it is one process, it is not three separate processes,” reads Makgato’s statement.
“Delegate certification of documents to Commissioner of Oaths , that is you can take your Omang and go to Commissioner of Oath wherever in the country to have it certified, Increase wind up period from.30/days to six months, because it was a considered view that if anybody to leave anytime to wind up their business and so forth, “ she ended in regards to VISAs.
Meanwhile she expressed concerns on expired Omang Cards that have not been renewed from 1998 to date. She told Parliament that more than 100, 000 National Identity Cards have not been renewed.
“As at the end of May 2017, the National Identity (Omang) Register stands at 1 634 294. This notwithstanding, my ministry is concerned about expired Omang Cards that have not been renewed from 1998 to date, stands at around 195 844.
The production of Omang cards, currently we produce around 1500 per day, our intention is to move that production to 3000,” said Minister Makgato. “This would enable the ministry to have cleared the backlog by 31st of August 2018 in preparation for registration for the General Elections which I know is preoccupation of a substantive majority of Members in this House and Batswana at large,” she concluded.

 

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