Earlier this year, Lesotho joined the growing list of nations around the world that have implemented an electronic visa program. The e-visa program was created by the government of Lesotho in partnership with a privately owned IT company based in the United States.
The only nation in the world with its entire land mass above an altitude of 1,000 meters, Lesotho is also completely landlocked, as it is completely surrounded by South Africa. Given its extremely diverse wildlife, exotic flora, and its colorful culture, Lesotho has long been a popular tourist destination for Africans and people all over the world.
To help encourage tourism and at the same time stimulate the economy, the government of Lesotho has launched an e-visa program, making it the 9th country on the African continent to implement this kind of system.
How the E-Visa Program Works
The e-visa program in Lesotho eliminates most of the challenges that the country had regarding issuing visas. Questions about the visa’s availability, paperwork, and general complications hindered the tourism economy. Moreover, a disorganized promotional advertising program also did not help tourism grow.
Under the new e-visa program in Lesotho, tourists can apply for travel authorization online and receive their approved e-visa within 48 hours. Visitors then print this out and present it upon arrival in Lesotho.
Currently, the nationals of 49 countries and jurisdictions do not require a visa to enter Lesotho for visits up to 90 days, including the United States, South Korea, and a host of African countries. And citizens of 22 countries don’t require a visa to visit Lesotho for visits of up to 14 days, including the United Kingdom, Spain, France, and most other European countries.
T'sepiso Mosasane, acting director of the Immigration Department of Lesotho, was optimistic about the effect that the new e-visa program would have on the country. She was especially excited about the newfound benefits.
“With this, we know how many people have come into our country and which countries they are from – for what purpose that they came to our country and how long they stayed,” said Mosasane. “This will help us plan what to anticipate, where to develop our infrastructure.”