VISA FACILITATION CENTRE FOR DURBAN
By: Nomvula Ndlovu
Centres to help the visa application process go smoothly are set to open across the country this month.
Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba made the announcement in a press conference in Pretoria on Friday afternoon.
He said that his department will open visa facilitation centres in all nine provinces.
Durban will house the KwaZulu-Natal’s first visa facilitation centre.
The centre which will be in Musgrave and is one of 11 that are being opened countrywide.
VFS Global, a worldwide outsourcing and technology services specialist for diplomatic missions and governments has been appointed to receive and manage visa and permit applications in South Africa.
“VFS Global has been given the mandate to automate the application processes, develop a solution for biometric intake in line with the immigration regulations, manage a dedicated permitting call centres and deliver outcomes to clients efficiently and timely,” Gigaba said.
He said the facility will help get rid of manual application processes that are inefficient.
“The approach we are taking is informed by none other than our commitment to improve efficiencies and turnaround times,” said Gigaba.
Gauteng and the Western Cape will have two centres each due to their high volume of applications.
The new facilities are being opened to help implement country’s new Immigration Regulations.
The current measures being introduced add impetus to similar ones the Department made in high volume missions in Nigeria, China, Ghana and the DRC.
“The digital application process will also help prevent fraud in the issuing of visas,” said Gigaba.