Kenyans to enjoy Visa Free 90 day travel to South Africa
President William Ruto has announced a 90-day visa-free travel annually to South Africa for Kenyan passport holders starting January 1, 2023.
The breakthrough is a result of bilateral talks between President Cyril Ramaphosa and Ruto at State House Nairobi on Wednesday, November 9.
“Kenyans holding ordinary passports will be allowed to enter South Africa on a visa-free regime for up to 90-days per calendar year,” announced Ruto.
The two presidents also agreed on a return policy when immigration laws are breached.
As part of an agreement to loosen strict visa requirements for Kenyans, South Africa signed a deal last year to deport all Kenyan illegal immigrants.
According to the agreement reached by President Ramaphosa and retired President Uhuru Kenyatta after a State visit to the nation last year, Nairobi will now be in charge of preventing all illegal immigrants from leaving Kenya and entering South Africa.
The responsibility for reducing the flow of illegal migrants is now placed on Nairobi, which must also accept back the deported illegal migrants from South Africa who enter the country through Kenya.
Visa restrictions, which continue to be a contentious issue for the two nations, include a KES 5,350 processing fee and a minimum processing time of five working days.
In addition to other requirements, Kenyan visa applicants must also show sufficient proof of funds and return air tickets. On the other hand, South African nationals have it simpler because they can obtain a Kenyan visa for nothing when they arrive in the nation.
“President Ramaphosa and I have also agreed to develop a sustainable mechanism to identify, monitor, and resolve non-tariff barriers that limit trade barriers between our two countries,” said Ruto.
The two heads 0f state presided over the signing of four instruments of cooperation set to play a critical role in improving the relationship between the two countries.
The two countries agreed on three memoranda of understanding and one agreement of cooperation in the fields of correctional services, housing, and human settlement as well as cooperation between Kenya’s School of Government and the National School of Government, South Africa.
They also agreed to encourage cooperation on audio-visual productions.