The government through the Directorate General of Immigration and Emigration, on December 6, 2012, Revealed that African nationals from the African continent transiting to or through Rwanda will be issued with entry visa upon arrival at any Rwandan entry point, effectively January 1, 2013.
The decision was taken in a bid to remove formalities in visa acquisition from Rwanda’s respective embassies in the travelers’ countries of origin.
This will benefit applicants- no delays in acquiring a visa while removing the condition to pass by their respective embassies or the risk of missing all requirements while applying online.
According to Anaclet Kalibata, the director of immigration and emigration, this will help both the foreigners coming to Rwanda and the country itself.
“It’s not easy for African countries nationals to apply for an online visa, when the access to internet is limited. Others come without all the requirements, In spite of that, the online option remains valid,” Kalibata said.
For the country, Kalibata said, it’s very beneficial because it opens more doors to businessmen, tourists and workers who, upon arrival will understand that the country is hospitable indeed.
Richard Kabonero, Uganda’s High Commissioner to Rwanda as well as the Dean of Diplomats accredited to Kigali, said that this was within the spirit of integration that is being promoted under the East African Community.
Kabonero said our region is ahead in protocols of reintegration. We allow free movement of people, and I think this is what Rwanda keeps promoting.
“This is an advantage to promote education and trade, even the intra African trade will benefit from this facility,” he added.
Concerning the awareness of the new system, Kalibata said they are disseminating information on what is required to apply for an entry visa at arrival on their website and different social websites for the public to know what they need to apply for a visa.
Kalibata also said there will not be any risk for one to be sent back upon arrival in Rwanda and the decision to the change does not remove any existing payments.
The entry visa acquisition doesn’t concern residents from regional blocs like the East African Community, the Economic Commission for the Great Lakes Region (CEPGL) as well as individual countries like Mauritius, with which Rwanda has existing agreements.
Similarly, member states of Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa are already enjoying this facility.
The Rwanda immigration and emigration has previously scooped several national and international awards because of its efficiency in services delivery.
Currently the entry visa cost $30 and lasts for 1 month, except for the tourist’s visa that is valid for three months.