Rwanda’s New Visa Policy

Rwanda’s New Visa Policy RegimeLast week on March 6, 2020, a cabinet meeting chaired by 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. President Kagame said that Rwanda intended to make it even easier to visit Rwanda, by exempting citizens of the African Union, the Commonwealth, and the Francophonie from paying visa fees.

Famous as the land of a Thousand Hills, Rwanda is one of the most beautiful destinations you should visit in Africa. With three national parks and several forest reserves, Rwanda has lots of things that amaze tourists during their tour in Rwanda including amazing landscape rich characterized by mountains, lakes and savannahs. Rwanda is home to a varied range of habitats that act as home to wildlife that attracts travellers for Rwanda wildlife tours, as well as home to more than 704, confirmed different species of birds that you would see on a Rwanda birding safari.

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 Regime.

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 Rwanda’s New Visa Policy Regime will take immediate effect;

Rwanda’s New Visa Policy Regime; 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.

Rwanda’s New Visa Policy Regime

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.

Rwanda’s New Visa Policy RegimeThe 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’s New Visa Policy Regime was tailored in that way 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.

Rwanda as an Africa Safari Destination

The biggest public secret is that Rwanda is the beautiful home of mountain gorillas, given the fact that Rwanda is home to close 200 gorillas that are found in Rwanda’s Virunga ranges, Rwanda has positioned itself as the destination of choice for a stunning gorilla experience. Amazingly Rwanda has more to offer to you on top of your spectacular Rwanda gorilla safari tours experience in Volcanoes National Park. Rwanda is also home to the shy golden monkeys that are in Nyungwe Forest National Park and wildlife in Akagera National Park. However, when you crown up your short Rwanda safari experience in those parks never miss out a Lake Kivu safari on your safari Rwanda.

Popular Rwanda Safari Packages

Best Time to Visit RwandaBest Time to Visit Rwanda

Every time can be the best time but then there is always the best time for Rwanda gorilla trekking safaris, but then how do you know. Right here is the response to that. Volcanoes National Park -the Rwanda gorilla safaris destination is open all year round for tourists who come in for quality gorilla trekking safaris. Although Rwanda gorilla tours are regarded as a year-round activity, the best time to visit Rwanda for a Rwanda gorilla tour is during the short dry season in Rwanda. However, take note that the gorillas are present all year round, with a great record of sightings that give you a chance to interact with these gorillas for a maximum of an hour.

Best Time for Rwanda Gorilla Trekking Safaris

Rwanda gorilla safarisThe dry season is the best tome for Rwanda gorilla safaris and the country has two seasons.

June to September

This is the peak season and the longest dry season in Rwanda. It is apparently one of the best times for Rwanda gorillas trekking safaris. Getting to the park is easy because the roads are often dry and the hiking trails are not muddy and slippery as it is in the wet season. Tourists interested in gorilla trekking in Rwanda during this time must book their gorilla permits in advance as there is a very high demand for permits, so if you book late, you may miss out. This can be done through your Rwanda Gorilla trekking tour operator.

December to February

This is the short dry season in Rwanda and also one of the best times to trek the endangered mountain gorillas in Rwanda. Gorilla trekking trails are also easy to access in this period and birding safaris in Rwanda are perfect because migratory birds are present. Since it’s a dry season remember to carry along sunglasses, a hat and sunscreens alongside all of the other necessary safari equipment.

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.

Read more: Rwanda Issues a Travel Advisory in Response to the Global Outbreak of the Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Rwanda is also set to host the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM 2020 this coming June.