By: Fransina Nghidengwa
The Minister of Home Affairs, Immigration, Safety and Security Albert Kawana launched the online application for passports and Short-term Employment Permits (work visas) under the theme ‘Moving to Digital World,’ in Windhoek on Wednesday. .
Kawana said the launch of the online application is to embrace technology as a catalyst and enabler to achieve global best practices and reduce wasteful costs to the clients by achieving more with less and adding more services online to enable clients to access some of the services with ease.
The Minister further said applicants have the advantage of completing all relevant forms online and uploading all the required documents by the press of a button, adding that payments will also be done online via Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) or in cash.
However, the Minister pointed out that EFT is the most preferred method of payment to avoid tampering with cash. He further argued that the online platform will reduce corruption, as all payments made on the website will be directly deposited into the State revenue account.
“The Short term Employment Permits will be valid for a maximum period of 6 months and soon will be extended to more than 6 months,” he said, adding that the work visa is normally issued to non-Namibians (foreigners) who seek approval to work temporarily in Namibia for donor-funded projects, multinational companies, and Namibian companies under certain conditions.
“The online application will allow applicants to apply, book an appointment as well as track and trace the application status.”
Regarding passports, applicants will have the advantage of only completing the application form, while all other required documents, such as IDs and birth certificates, will automatically be imported through system integration.
He further said applicants will be informed via SMS where to collect their document.
“We remain confident that the greater public will derive immense benefits by utilising the online web-based application from the comfort of their homes, whether in Namibia or abroad, through desktops, laptops, and other mobile devices,” he said.
The Minister added that with the newly introduced system, applicants will choose their booking times for the collection of biometrics data and the process will make work easier, reduce the high volume of papers, and create effective accountability through direct service delivery to cut the middle person dealings and save clients from scammers and unscrupulous individuals.
Kawana stated that if citizens have the necessary documents and they urgently need the passport they can apply and get the passport within three hours.