Visa regime for non-reciprocal countries a disappointment – Hospitality association

Hospitality Association of Namibia chief executive Gitta Paetzold says the announcement by the government to impose a visa regime on all countries that have not reciprocated the gesture granted to their nationals is disappointing.

Namibia currently grants visa exemptions to about 55 countries, but only 18 of these reciprocate the gesture.

Countries with reciprocal visa arrangements, such as Angola, Botswana, South Africa and Zimbabwe, will not be affected by the upcoming changes.

However, approximately 37 nations could face new visa requirements. These include: Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong (SAR), Iceland, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Macau (SAR), Mauritius, Moldova, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Russia, Seychelles, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Tanzania, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States of America and Uzbekistan.

The proposal was submitted by home affairs minister Albert Kawana.

This was announced by information and communication technology deputy minister, Modestus Amutse, on behalf of minister Emma Theofelus on Thursday while presenting Cabinet’s eighth decisions.

In addition, Cabinet also authorised the minister of justice to make amendments to the policy for the proposed amendments to the Legal Practitioners Act, 1995 (Act 15 of 1995) to revamp the regulation of the legal profession, and submit the proposed new bill for consideration to Cabinet.

Cabinet has also approved, in principle, the amendment of section 77(4), A of the Electoral Act, 2014 (Act 5 of 2014), to allow members of the public service to take leave from their employment upon being nominated by their political parties to be members of the National Assembly, and for such members who have attained or would have attained the age of 55 years on or before the date of announcement of the election results, to have the choice to resign from their employment or take early retirement.

“Cabinet directed the minister of urban and rural development to submit the amendment bill to the cabinet committee on legislation for scrutiny, before it’s tabling in the National Assembly,” Amutse said.

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