Rwanda Visa Requirements - Things you need to know before applying

By Dhruvalakshmi Paithankar on Feb 25, 2019
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Rwanda, a tiny country in East Africa, is becoming a popular tourist destination. With numerous travelers coming specifically to explore its national parks and witnessing mountain gorillas in their natural environment, Rwanda has started generating revenue through tourism. In order to boost Rwanda tourism trend, the Government has declared that nationals of all countries will be granted a visa on arrival at all the official entry points including Kigali International Airport. Here is everything you need to know about new Rwanda visa requirements and how you can apply for it -

1. Which countries do not require a visa to enter Rwanda? 

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Nationals of the following countries are visa exempt and can stay in Rwanda for up to 90 days -

Angola, Benin, Burundi, Central African Republic, Chad, The Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ghana, Guinea, Haiti, Indonesia, Kenya, Mauritius, Philippines, Saint Kitts and Nevis, São Tomé and Príncipe, Senegal, Seychelles, Singapore, South Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda.

Apart from these countries, diplomatic and service category passport holders from China, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Gabon, India, Israel, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Turkey, and the United Arab Emirates also do not need a visa while entering Rwanda.

2. Who else can enter Rwanda without a visa?

Rwandan citizens who have a dual nationality can visit the country with an official ID card.

Foreigner citizens who are residing in Rwanda and have obtained a resident card, do not need a visa to visit Rwanda. Such foreigners are allowed to enter Rwanda on the basis of this resident card only.

3. Which countries are offered visa-on-arrival in Rwanda? 

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Even though Rwanda has started issuing visa on arrival for tourists from all around the world, the permitted time duration is different for each country. Even the list of countries eligible for Rwanda multiple entry visa and single entry visa is different.

Following countries are part of the Common Market of Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) but are not exempted from free visa travel and are issued visa on arrival, valid for 90 days -

Comoros, Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Sudan, Swaziland, Zambia, and Zimbabwe

If a Rwandan embassy or consulate is not established in your country, then you are eligible for a single entry visa on arrival.

4. How to apply for a Rwanda tourist visa?

If your country is not visa-exempted, you can get a visa online. The option of applying at a Rwandan diplomatic mission is also available. This type of visa is issued directly while you are entering Rwanda from any of the official points.

If you are interested in visiting Rwanda, Kenya, and Uganda together on your trip, it is suggested to apply for the East Africa Tourist Visa (EATV) online. If you choose to stay in any of these countries, then EATV is valid for 90 days and allows multiple entries.

5. What are the requirements for a Rwanda visa? 

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visa requirements for Rwanda related to documentation -

  • A passport valid for at least 6 months from the day of entry in Rwanda and with a minimum of 1 blank page.
  • 2 passport-sized photographs on a white background.
  • A signed letter of purpose for visiting Rwanda.
  • An original police clearance certificate.
  • A vaccination certificate, mainly in case of yellow fever or disease outbreak, may be required depending upon the country you are coming from.  
  • Proof of enough funds to cover all costs during Rwanda visit.
  • Citizens of Kenya and Uganda may use an ID card instead of a passport while entering Rwanda.

If you are wondering what vaccinations you need for Rwanda, then keep in mind that vaccinations for Tdap (tetanus, chickenpox, cholera, diphtheria, and pertussis), hepatitis A, hepatitis B, measles, meningitis, mumps and rubella (MMR), pneumonia and influenza, polio, rabies, shingles, typhoid, yellow fever are recommended by the CDC and WHO. Rwanda entry requirements rarely ask for all the vaccination proofs.

6. What is the procedure for extending the Rwandan visa?

When applying for a visa extension, make sure that your current visa will still be valid during the extension procedure.

In case the visa is expired, there is a grace period of 5 days where you can either depart the county or renew your visa without paying penalty. After this grace period is over, the chances of getting your visa extension refused are higher and you will also be subjected to a heavy penalty.

7. How much is the Rwanda visa Fee?

In case of a single entry Rwanda visa, the fee usually does not exceed 30 USD.

If you have applied for the East Africa Tourist Visa, the fee will be 100 USD.

This amount is charged for application processing and is non-refundable in case your application is refused or if you have withdrawn the application.

Keep in mind that all the information is applicable for tourist visas only and is subjected to change. It is advisable to check official websites while applying for a Rwanda visa.

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