Namibia Proposes Visa Requirement for Citizens of the UK, 30 Other Countries

| June 17, 2024
Namibia Proposes Visa Requirement for Citizens of the UK, 30 Other Countries

British nationals and citizens of 30 other countries will soon need a visa to visit Namibia.

In May 2024, Namibia’s Ministry of Home Affairs, Immigration, Safety and Security announced that citizens from 31 countries must apply for a visa upon arrival.

These countries include the United Kingdom (UK), Germany, Italy, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Austria, Belgium and the United States (US).

Many of these countries are essential in Namibia’s sourcing markets and were previously on the list of visa-exempt nations.

According to the announcement, Namibia “has shown goodwill and provided favorable treatment to nationals from various countries.”

“However, despite these efforts, some nations have not reciprocated,” the Namibian Ministry stressed.  

The statement read: “In light of these disparities, the government has deemed it necessary to implement a visa requirement to ensure parity and fairness in diplomatic interactions.”  

The Namibian Ministry’s statement did not include a firm date for implementing the new visa regime.

Once it takes effect, citizens of the 31 newly affected countries will be issued visas upon arrival in Namibia.

However, they will need to make an online visa application and pay a fee.

Currently, Namibia charges a tourist visa fee of £95 per person for citizens of other nations visiting the country.

Countries whose citizens will soon need a visa to visit Namibia

Namibia is set to implement visa requirements for 31 previously exempt countries.

These countries also currently require Namibians to obtain a visa for short trips.

The citizens of these countries will need a visa to visit the country.

  1. Armenia
  2. Austria
  3. Azerbaijan
  4. Belarus
  5. Belgium
  6. Canada
  7. Denmark
  8. Finland
  9. France
  10. Germany
  11. Iceland
  12. Ireland
  13. Italy
  14. Japan
  15. Kazakhstan
  16. Kyrgyzstan
  17. Liechtenstein
  18. Luxembourg
  19. Moldova
  20. The Netherlands
  21. Norway
  22. Portugal
  23. Spain
  24. Sweden
  25. Switzerland
  26. Tajikistan
  27. Turkmenistan
  28. Ukraine
  29. United Kingdom
  30. United States
  31. Uzbekistan

The change will not affect countries with reciprocal visa agreements with Namibia.

These are countries like Angola, Botswana, South Africa, and Zimbabwe.

The UK and Namibia’s past visa reciprocity agreement

Namibia’s proposed visa for British visitors is a response to the UK’s recent policy change.

Previously, Namibians could travel to the UK for short visits without a visa.

However, in July 2023, the UK government imposed a new visa requirement for Namibian citizens.

Namibians visiting the UK for tourism, business, or family visits now face a more rigorous and time-consuming visa application process.

The new requirement has affected many Namibians, leading to increased travel costs and longer waiting times for visa approvals.

British High Commissioner to Namibia, Charles Moore, revealed this was due to a “significant increase in asylum claims” from Namibian nationals arriving in the UK.

“This constitutes an abuse of the provision to visit the UK for a limited period as non-visa nationals.,” read the UK government statement.

Since Namian nationals now require a visa to visit the UK, they are no longer eligible for the UK’s new Electronic Travel Authorization scheme.

Moore said the government accepts Namibia’s proposal to require visas for visiting British citizens.

“I respect the right of Namibia to impose a visa regime,” he told Namibian Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) on 5 June, as per The Namibian.

Moore acknowledges that every government has a responsibility to “protect the country’s borders and control who is coming in and out of the country.”

Potential impact on tourism and business

The new visa requirement for vital European countries could have several implications for Namibia’s tourism and business sectors.

A visa requirement could deter some tourists from visiting Namibia, impacting the local tourism industry.

Namibia Investment Promotion and Development Board (NIPDB) chief executive Nangula Uaandja says the timing of the decision was “less than ideal.”

She mentioned “unemployment challenges” and the need to speed up tourism recovery from the impact of COVID-19 could be affected.

The tourism sector is a priority in Namibia as it employs many of its citizens and contributes significantly to the country’s economy.

Namibia is a popular destination typically paired with South Africa, Botswana, or Zambia.

However, Uaandja stressed that she “understands where the cabinet is coming from.”

She said that despite the visa requirement, “I am sure tourists and investors alike will continue to flock to Namibia.”

Chris Mears, chief executive of the African Travel & Tourism Association (ATTA), said the extra administrative procedures and cost can be a hurdle.

“That is especially relevant when it comes to operators or airlines having special late deals because it can be a barrier to booking,” he told Travel and Gossip.

Ensuring a smooth and quick visa application process will be essential to mitigate any negative impacts on business travel.