The Department of Immigration has introduced an online visa payment system that is aimed at reducing queues at the country’s ports of entry and enhancing efficiency within the department.
This will naturally complement the visa application and processing system that was introduced four years ago.
Formerly, payments were usually made at Zimbabwean embassies in the visitor’s countries of origin.
In an interview yesterday, Department of Immigration principal director Mr Clemence Masango said the previous arrangement was inconvenient for travellers.
“In 2014, the department introduced the online visa application and processing system, which enables those nationalities who require visas prior to entering Zimbabwe to apply online and also for the department to also process those visas online.
“Before that, all such clients would go to our nearest Zimbabwe embassy in their countries or countries close to them, which was quite an inconvenience since we are not represented in every country, yet our catchment for investors and tourists is worldwide,” said Mr Ma- sango.
“Then recently, about two weeks ago, we introduced another facility of online payment. This facility allows the applicants for visas to, over and above, apply for the visas online and to also pay for the visa fees online for as long as they have got the participating electronic payment facilities, which is the American Visa and Mastercard. We found this to be quite popular,” he said.
Mr Masango said most of the countries were able to do that, except for China which does not use the American Visa card.
“Those (Chinese) will continue to apply online and pay on arrival until maybe we are able to arrange with the bank to accept their cards, but again, they are happy with that arrangement. We will continue to monitor since it’s something and also to respond to whatever our clients are experiencing,” he said.
According to Mr Masango, the department will also avail residence permits, student permits, permits for foreign spouses and investors’ permits online.
“We want to upload the application, application forms and the application begins online so that again there won’t be any need for people to physically come here to headquarters.
Government’s online visa payment facility is part of the ease of doing business reforms.
Source: The Herald