RWANDA – Plans set for worldwide visa waiver

The worldwide visas on arrival will ease travel for non-business purposes

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IMPACT – MEDIUM

What is the change? Rwanda has announced that it will offer visas upon arrival to all foreign nationals visiting for tourism. Previously, visas on arrival were only available to African nationals and a few select countries.

What does the change mean? Beginning Jan. 1, all nationals may use the visas on arrival. Business travelers, however, should be aware that all travelers who intend to engage in business activities are advised to obtain a visa before travel.

  • Implementation time frame: Jan. 1.
  • Visas/permits affected: Visas on arrival.
  • Who is affected: All foreign nationals traveling to Rwanda for tourism.
  • Impact on processing times: Eligible travelers will not need to apply for visas before travel.
  • Business impact: BAL continues to recommend that business travelers obtain an appropriate business visa at a Rwandan consulate.

Background: The Directorate General of Immigration announced the changes Nov. 16. The visas on arrival will be valid for 30 days, while the validity will be 90 days for COMESA member states (Burundi, Comoros, Dem. Rep. of Congo, Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Rwanda, Seychelles, Sudan, Swaziland, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe).

BAL Analysis: The worldwide visas on arrival will ease travel for non-business purposes, but travelers intending to conduct business activities must apply for a business visa appropriate for their intended activities (T6 visa for conferences, T7 visa for short-term single entry/T8 visa for long-term multiple-entry trips for business meetings, trade shows and other designated activities). Those intending any productive work activities must apply for a work permit.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group and our network provider located in Rwanda. For additional information, please contact your BAL attorney.

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