LESOTHO (May 31, 2017) – E-Visa program to aid nationals not eligible for visa waiver

Visa-required nationals can apply and receive approvals online instead of making appointments

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IMPACT – LOW

What is the change? Lesotho has introduced a new E-Visa program that will make traveling to the landlocked country easier for visa-required nationals. The impact of the program will be limited, however, because nationals of 71 countries already enjoy one form of visa exemption or another.

What does the change mean? Visa-required nationals traveling to Lesotho will be able to apply for E-Visas rather than scheduling appointments and applying for visas at Lesotho’s embassies and consulates. There will be no change in process for foreign nationals traveling to Lesotho on a 90-day or 14-day visa waiver.

  • Implementation time frame: Immediate and going.
  • Visas/permits affected: Visit visas.
  • Who is affected: Visa-required nationals traveling to Lesotho.
  • Impact on processing times: Affected travelers will save significant time because E-Visas are issued within 72 hours, a significantly faster process than applying for a visa at an embassy or consulate.
  • Business impact: The change will make business travel to Lesotho easier for visa-required nationals.

Background: Lesotho, a small country surrounded on all sides by South Africa, introduced an E-Visa program this month for visa-required nationals. Applicants will no longer need to make appointments and instead may complete applications, submit supporting documentation and receive approvals online. Upon receiving confirmation, travelers should print out the approval notice and be prepared to provide it to authorities when entering the country. Additional information is available on this website.

The program will likely have limited impact because of existing visa exemptions. Lesotho provides 90-day visa exemptions to nationals of 49 countries, and 14-day visa exemptions to nationals of 22 countries. A complete list of visa-waived countries is available here.

BAL Analysis: While Lesotho already provides visa-free travel to nationals of 71 countries, the E-Visa program will make travel to the country easier for travelers from countries for which a visa is required.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group. For additional information, please contact your BAL attorney.

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