We have received a number of concerned emails from members about perceived “changes” to the way in which visas are issued. After confirming with various embassies and the national immigration office, in fact there has been no change to the immigration legislation. What is happening is that the legislation, which was applied in a somewhat relaxed manner before, in respect of border visas, is now being applied according to the letter of the law.
Border visas are those visas which may be issued at airports and land borders on arrival.
Therefore, passport holders and travelers coming from countries which do not have visa exemption (most SADC countries have a visa exemption) need to be aware of the legislation, particularly in respect of border visas (those visas which can at times be purchased on entry into the country). Border visas are only issued to people travelling for purposes of tourism, and only for people coming from countries where there is no Mozambican consular representation.
Therefore if a person is travelling for work purposes they must obtain a work or business visa before travelling.
If a person is travelling from a country which has a Mozambican consulate which issues visas then a work, business or tourism visa must be applied for before travelling.
People travelling for tourism purposes and coming from countries which do not have a Mozambican consular representation must present on entry: a passport with at least 6 months validity and several blank pages; a return air ticket (for air travelers); an invitation from family / friends that they are visiting or a confirmed hotel reservation.
There is room for approval of a border visa for someone coming from a country with a Mozambican consulate who has not had time to apply for a visa if they can demonstrate that they have an urgent need for the visa, for example on compassionate grounds. However the issue of a visa in this case is discretionary.
The application for a border visa more than three times in one year may be subject to question and applicants may be asked for additional documentation.
For full details of the different types of visa and the legislation which applies please go to www.acismoz.com on the services – publications page and download our guide to employment and immigration which explains visa application procedures.