Friday, June 5, 2015

Rwanda increases tourist visa fee to $50; requires application in advance of travel

Rwanda's Virunga Volcanoes
Update, June 12: Please see this blog post with the latest on Rwanda visa procedures: $30 entry visa for Rwanda reinstated

Rwanda has revised their visa procedures and fees effective June 1st, 2015. As is often the case, the changes were made with little notice and a lack of clarity. Classic Africa Safaris has been working  to verify the specifics of the new visa policy and fees with their contacts in the Rwandan immigration. They have confirmed the following details:

Effective June 1st, 2015:

  • Any person who is NOT a citizen of Hong Kong, Philippines, Mauritius, Singapore and Democratic Republic of Congo visiting for holiday, sightseeing, social or recreational purpose or other short term non work purpose, must apply for a T2 Tourist visa and this application must be made in advance. 
  • A letter of invitation is required and this will be provided to all CAS passengers. The online visa is usually processed in 2-3 days. Once the visa is approved, a facilitation letter will then be issued and emailed to the applicant. This letter must be printed and presented upon entry in Rwanda. Payment of $50 will be made upon arrival and the visa will be issued. The T2 visa is valid for 90 days.
  • NOTE: Unfortunately the updating of the Rwandan immigration website has not been completed. The online visa application currently reads V1, which is a non-tourist entry visa. However, in the application, it does ask for reason of travel and this is where clients will enter "tourism," which then automatically qualifies them for a T2 tourist visa.
  • It has been suggested by Rwandan immigration that until everything is updated on the immigration website (perhaps 1 week), that the following countries will still be able to get their visas on arrival but regardless, the cost will be $50: USA, UK, South Africa, Germany,  Australia, Israel,  New Zealand and Sweden.
Classic Africa Safaris advises ALL clients to go online and apply for their visa in advance.
  • Regarding the new East Africa Tourist Visa . . . if Rwanda is the first point of entry then the visa has be applied for in advance from a Consulate / Embassy of Rwanda. However, if the first point of entry is either Uganda or Kenya then the East Africa Tourist Visa can be obtained on arrival in these two countries and it will also cover entry into Rwanda. The East African Tourist Visa costs $100 and is valid 90 days. 

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