South Africa's new e-Visa system is live

whatwhat

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Finally.

Also it's about damn time that the South African passport adds biometrics to it. So many airports are fully automated, but it cannot be used because our passports never had it enabled. Then you with your SA passport have to go stand at the only booth that is still manned with a very, very long line of other **** hole country peasants.
 

Swa

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Another stuffup in the works. First fix your useless ID application system.
 

eg2505

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Then you with your SA passport have to go stand at the only booth that is still manned with a very, very long line of other **** hole country peasants.
so we can fit right in with the Uzbekistan and haiti of this world. I mean we are a 3rd world country after all.
 

whatwhat

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so we can fit right in with the Uzbekistan and haiti of this world. I mean we are a 3rd world country after all.
Uzbekistan is biometric, and Haiti is almost there if not already.

South Africa is on a very short and embarrassing list that don’t offer this.
 

eg2505

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Uzbekistan is biometric, and Haiti is almost there if not already.

South Africa is on a very short and embarrassing list that don’t offer this.
maybe because the tender process was over inflated massively to pay for all the cadres new Wheels.
I mean when one BMW runs out of fuel, just go buy another,

so of course we will be left far behind the rest of the world.
 

deweyzeph

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Finally.

Also it's about damn time that the South African passport adds biometrics to it. So many airports are fully automated, but it cannot be used because our passports never had it enabled. Then you with your SA passport have to go stand at the only booth that is still manned with a very, very long line of other **** hole country peasants.
Even if South Africa had biometric passports, my experience in most first world countries is that only biometric passport holders from other first world countries are allowed to use the egates. Citizens from high-risk third-world countries like South Africa will never be allowed to use egates because immigration officers will always want to assess them personally when they enter a country.
 

whatwhat

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Even if South Africa had biometric passports, my experience in most first world countries is that only biometric passport holders from other first world countries are allowed to use the egates. Citizens from high-risk third-world countries like South Africa will never be allowed to use egates because immigration officers will always want to assess them personally when they enter a country.
There is a lot of trust that comes with a biometric passport, as the user is not just identified by the photo. The machine compares what the passport says you are against what it scans.

I am lucky as I have residence cards for a few countries and being able to use eGates for trips is just such a pleasure.

Ofcourse that joy of 30 second immigration is short lived as you wait 30 mins for checked bags :)
 

deweyzeph

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There is a lot of trust that comes with a biometric passport, as the user is not just identified by the photo. The machine compares what the passport says you are against what it scans.
That's fine if all you want to do is confirm someone is who they say they are. But an e-gate can never assess a person's admissibility into a country or interrogate them as to the purpose of their visit. My feeling is that countries will use e-gates to allow citizens from other low risk countries to enter a country without ever having to deal with an immigration officer as many first world countries now do for their own citizens and travelers from other first world countries, but citizens of high-risk countries (who usually also require a visa) are always going to have to get the once over from a real immigration officer.
 

Kelerei

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If Home Affairs were smart, they'd be modelling this based on what Australia and New Zealand are doing.

Neither country issues physical passport labels any longer (NZ will, on request, but only after your visa has been approved, and you will need to fork up an extra $130 and courier your passport to Auckland). Instead, one is issued with a confirmation letter showing the details of the visa one holds (which is an electronic record in the immigration database), which one then prints out and presents at check-in and border control. INZ has a handy explanation of their eVisas here (together with sample letters).

That said, both countries often require some physical passport evidence. NZ requires South African passport holders to submit their passports for physical verification if it's a passport they don't have record of: for on-shore South Africans, this requires couriering or physically dropping off the passport at the Visa Application Centre in Pretoria (but they return it as soon as it's verified and scanned in, usually a day later). Australia requires the applicant present oneself in person with passport for both passport verification and biometrics capture.

The eGates work with biometric passports only (so Home Affairs should be looking at issuing those, if they aren't already), and only citizens and other trusted countries (usually visa waiver countries) get to use them (so, as other posters pointed out, expect South African passport holders abroad to still have to go through manual processing). I don't have first-hand knowledge of these things, but as the holder of a British passport (and with her NZ Resident Visa linked to that passport), Mrs Kel does, and goes straight off to retrieve our luggage while I languish in the manual processing queue (though, as the holder of a Resident Visa myself, I legally cannot be denied entry permission, and so once I eventually get to the head of the queue, it's 15 seconds processing and done). From what she's told me, the system scans your passport and the biometric chip, asks you some questions about yourself and your intended purpose (depending on what passport you have and if you already have a visa or are from a visa waiver country and are applying for a Visitor Visa on entry), then takes a photo of you and compares this with the digital photo from the biometrics chip. If the system is happy, in you come; if not, it refers you to manual processing.

Note that minors can't use eGates: children's appearances change quickly enough that the eGates are unable to do biometric matching. Hence, I'm usually lumped with families travelling together in the manual processing queue.

Unfortunately, I have little faith that Home Affairs is smart, and every expectation that South Africa will get a flaky, insecure, and tenderpreneured version of both eVisas and eGates instead.
 

Milano

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Do you still need Unabridged Birth Certificate for children?
Not sure of the exact latest specifics ITR but our baby's passport carries both parent's names printed in her passport which I believe is a fairly recent development (during the past two or three years?) All ports of entry that we visited both in SA and abroad were impressed and entirely satisfied to see that.
 

system32

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Just checked - seems still YES - for South Africans.
https://www.travelstart.co.za/lp/travel-tips/unabridged-birth-certificate-for-minors
Since 8 November 2019, the Department of Home Affairs in South Africa has changed the Unabridged Birth Certificate rule for foreign minors travelling to South Africa. Foreign children under the age of 18 can enter the country without carrying additional documents such as birth certificates and consent letters, if they’re accompanied by their parents. However, South African children still require the Unabridged Birth Certificate.
 

ngwenyas

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Feb 27, 2009
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Fix the basics first, fix your house first. South Africans are still suffering from long queues, stuffy offices and continuous downtime on systems and rude staff and useless IT support turn around times
 
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