Rwanda’s New Visa Policies – Updated the June 21, 2019, Regime
On March 6, 2020, President Paul Kagame approved a waiver of entry visa requirements to the citizens of member States of African Union, the Commonwealth and Francophonie countries to foster the implementation of Rwanda’s openness policy in a cabinet meeting. President Kagame revealed that Rwanda intended to make it easier for Rwanda safari travellers to visit Rwanda, by exempting citizens of the African Union, the Commonwealth, and the Francophonie from paying visa fees.
Fast as possible, on March 10, 2020, The National Intelligence and Security Service of Rwanda through the Directorate General of Immigration and Emigration sector issued out Rwanda’s New Visa Policies updating the one of June 21, 2019. This new visa regime indicates which countries will benefit from Rwanda’s new visa policy.
The Directorate General of Immigration and Emigration informs the public that the existing Visa Regime of June 21, 2019, is hereby updated as follows and it will take immediate effect;
Rwanda’s New Visa Policy; Latest – March 10, 2020
- Citizens of countries members to the following international organizations; African Union, Commonwealth and La Francophonie will get the visa upon arrival and are waived visa fees for a stay of 30 days.
These countries include– Albania, Algeria, Antigua and Barbuda, Armenia, Austria, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belize, Belgium, Botswana, Brunei Darussalam, Burkina Faso, Bulgaria, Cameroon, Canada, Cape Verde, Cambodia, Comoros, Congo, Cyprus, Dominica, Djibouti, Egypt, Eswatini, Equatorial Guinea, Guyana, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Fiji, France, Gabon, Grenada, Greece, Guinea- Bissau, India, Kiribati, Jamaica, Laos, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Malaysia, Malta, Mauritina, Moldova, Monaco, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Nauru, New Zealand, Niger, Nigeria, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Principality of Andorra, Romania, Republic of Macedonia, Saharawi Republic, Somalia, South Africa, Sudan, Switzerland, Togo, Tunisia, The Bahamas, The Gambia, Tonga, Tuvalu, Trinidad and Tobago, Saint Lucia, St Vincent and Grenadines, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Sri Lanka, United Kingdom, Vietnam, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.
- Citizens of countries that do not pay entry visa fees while travelling on ordinary, service and Diplomatic passports shall be issued a pass/ entry visa to stay for the period of six months.
This policy applies to citizens of East African Community Member States (Burundi, Kenya, Uganda, the United Republic of Tanzania and South Sudan).
- Citizens of countries that do not pay entry visa fees while travelling on Ordinary Passports will be granted 90 days valid visa free of charge.
This applies to the following countries: Angola, Benin, Central African Republic, Chad, Cote d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, The Federation of Saint Christopher and Nevis, Ghana, Guinea, Indonesia, Haiti, Mauritius, Philippines, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Sao Tome and Principe, Singapore and the State of Qatar.
- Citizens of countries that don’t pay entry visa fees while travelling on diplomatic and service/ official passports will have a visa will be valid for 90 Days.
The following countries have entered into Visa Waiver Agreement or made unilateral decision to allow holders of Diplomatic and Service/Official Passports to enter without visa requirements – including to pay for visa fees: Angola, Benin, the People’s Republic of China (including Public Affairs passport), Cote d’Ivoire, Central Africa Republic, Chad, Guinea, Indonesia, India, the State of Israel, Haiti, Mauritius, Mozambique, Morocco, Namibia, Philippines, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Seychelles, Singapore, South Africa, Turkey, and the United Arab Emirates.
- 30 Days Visa upon arrival
Citizens of all countries not mentioned above to continue getting visa upon arrival without application and pay a prescribed visa fee.
- Rwandans living abroad with dual nationality allowed to use national 1Ds on entry
Rwandans living abroad are waived with the visa fees while travelling on foreign passports in possession of a Rwandan Identity Card.
- Foreign residents to use their resident ID Cards for entry
Returning residents holding valid residence permits with corresponding residents cards will continue to be allowed to use them on entry, including using electronic gates (Automated Passenger Clearance System) at Kigali International Airport.
- Children below the age of 16 years old travelling with their parents
Children below the age of 16 years travelling on a foreign passport with their parents travelling on a foreign passport in possession of a Rwandan Identity Card will not be required to pay for the entry visa.
Rwanda has made the above changes in order to make it easy for travellers interested in visiting Rwanda for Rwanda safaris. “We want more people to visit us. I was going to say, we don’t want more money but no, we want it. We are going to exempt only visa fees; the rest we want it. Of course, citizens of all other countries will continue to be eligible to obtain a visa on arrival, which has already been operational,” President Kagame told diplomats during a luncheon on January 29.
In the wake of the New Coronavirus outbreak, please note that Immigration follows directives of the Ministry of Health and the openness does not in any way expose the country to a possible Coronavirus breach.
Rwanda is also set to host the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM 2020 this coming June.
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