Updated on 07 September 2022
Enforcing visa regimes may not strictly fall under the mandate of the MFA. Nor is it a service directly provided to one’s own nationals. However, it is one of the most popular functions routinely performed in embassies and consulates.
Visa issues can grab the attention of the media especially when there are delayed caused by ‘nightmarish maze of bureaucracy’ sometimes resulting in tension between states. Some of these tensions are, of course, not a result of service delays, but many countries introduce e-visa programs to cope with the piling paperwork and reduce the level of consular presence overseas.
Australia and Bahrain are examples of countries that manage e-visa systems. Visitors to their countries can apply for visas online and monitor the progress of their application. The UNDP’s guide “Virtual Consulate Primer: How to design and implement an e-visa program” (pdf) describes its e-governance projects to develop e-visa programs in Armenia and Saudi Arabia.
What is your country’s experience of implementing e-visa systems?