Visas on arrival

We have just arrived in Rwanda to work on the 4th edition of the Bradt guide and discovered that the situation with visas on arrival is not so straightforward as it used to be.

The exact rulings seem to be a little ambiguous. It now seems that officials are reluctant to issue any sort of visa upon arrival at Kigali Airport, and the best they will do is a Temporary Visas valid for a maximum of two weeks. This costs US$60. If you intend to spend longer that two in the country, then you’ll need to make several visits over several days to Immigration in Kigali and spend another US$50 on a proper non-temporary visa. 

The best option would seem to be to arrange a Visa in advance. This can either be done through an embassy, or online, by logging into, entering ‘public forms’ then filling in an online application form for an ‘entry visa’, which is valid for 15 days and may be renewable for up to 90.

If you need to spend longer than 15 days, best to download the ‘visa’ application form. So far as I can ascertain, this must be filled on in advance, and shown to immigration on arrival together with one passport photograph and a letter explaining your reasons for visiting the country and/or a letter of invitation – the latter should be forwarded to immigration before you arrive.

Further queries can be directed to an email address given on the website.

Worth noting that in view of  bilateral agreements, nationals of the following Countries may visit Rwanda without visa for a period of up to 90 days: USA, Germany, Canada, Tanzania, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Uganda, Mauritius, South Africa, Kenya, Great Britain, Sweden, Singapore, Hong Kong and Burundi.

Would be useful if travellers with illuminating experiences at the airport or who arrived overland could reply to this post…

Thanks, Philip Briggs


One thought on “Visas on arrival

  1. Heather Kidd says:

    Hi there,

    Just an update to your visa information. Canadians now require a visa to enter Rwanda, and need to go through the same process of applying online at least 3 days in advance prior to entering the country. The visa cost is $60.

    If you are not a resident of the countries listed in Phillip’s post, you MUST apply for a visa online 3 days in advance and receive a particular number to present to the immigration officials or you will be refused entry into the country. We live near a border crossing and see many Europeans (and now Canadians I’m sure) frustrated by this quite often.

    Heather Kidd

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