Rwanda: New Visa Scheme and Relaxed Entry Rules Forthcoming

Effective January 1, 2018, the Rwandan immigration authorities will implement a new visa scheme which will expand the population eligible for visa-free travel, a visa-on-arrival, and entry under a residence identity card.

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Effective January 1, 2018, a new visa scheme will implement programs that will allow easier entry for foreign nationals into Rwanda. A closer look The following are the expected changes:

  • Visa waiver reciprocity. Rwanda will extend visa-free travel for up to 90 days to citizens of the following countries on a reciprocal basis: Benin, Central African Republic, Chad, Ghana, Guinea, Indonesia, Haiti, Senegal, Seychelles, and Sao Tome and Principe. Currently, visa-free travel is only available to citizens of the Democratic Republic of Congo, East African Community Partner States, Mauritius, the Philippines and Singapore.
  • Visa-on-arrival for COMESA member states. Citizens of Common Market for Eastern and Southern African (COMESA) countries will be eligible for a 90-day visa-on-arrival with the payment of a prescribed fee.
  • Residence identity cards for entry. Foreign nationals will be able to enter Rwanda using a valid Rwandan residence identity card, whereas previously foreign nationals were required to present a valid passport to enter.

Regular entry requirements for foreign nationals, including holding a valid passport, a return ticket, and proof of sufficient funds, will still apply for those entering under any of the above rules.

This alert is for informational purposes only. If you have any questions, please contact the global immigration professional with whom you work at Fragomen or send an email to

© 2017 Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen & Loewy, LLP, Fragomen Global LLP and affiliates. All Rights Reserved.


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