Foreigners who want to travel to Zambia may have to apply for a Zambia visa beforehand, depending on their nationality.
Zambia is a country in southern Africa known for its rugged terrains, safari areas, abundant wildlife and wilderness, and beautiful natural wonders. It is a generally safe place to visit and receives hundreds of thousands of tourists each year. If you are a lover of nature and wildlife, Zambia has a lot to offer.
And luckily, even if you do need a visa, the Zambian government has facilitated the visa application process by making it accessible online for everyone. Additionally, nationals of several countries are also eligible to get a Zambia visa on arrival.
This article will detail the Zambia visa, including the types, requirements, application process and who is exempt.
Who Needs a Zambia Visa?
Anyone who is not exempt from a Zambia visa or eligible to get a Zambia Visa On Arrival has to apply for a visa before traveling.
Countries exempt from Zambia visa
If you are from one of the following countries, you can travel to Zambia without a visa for up to 90 days for tourism purposes or for up to 30 days for business purposes:
|Angola||Antigua and Barbuda||Bahamas||Barbados||Botswana|
|Namibia||Nauru||Romania||Saint Kitts and Nevis||Saint Lucia|
|Saint Vincent and the Grenadines||Samoa||Serbia||Seychelles||Singapore|
|Solomon Islands||South Africa||Tanzania||Tonga||Trinidad and Tobago|
Additionally, you are also visa exempt if you have a passport issued by one of the following territories/jurisdictions:
- The British Virgin Islands
- Cayman Islands
- Falkland Islands
- Saint Helena, Ascension, and Tristan da Cunha
- Turks and Caicos Islands
- Isle of Man
- Cook Islands
- Norfolk Island residents
Who is eligible for a Zambia Visa On Arrival?
If you are from one of the following countries, you still need a visa before entering Zambia, but you can get one on arrival:
|European Union countries*||Albania||Andorra||Argentina||Australia|
|Belarus||Bhutan||Bolivia||Bosnia and Herzegovina||Brazil|
|Chile||Colombia||Comoros||Congo||The Democratic Republic of the Congo|
|Costa Rica||Cuba||Djibouti||Dominican Republic||Ecuador|
|Nauru||New Zealand||Nicaragua||North Macedonia||Norway|
|San Marino||São Tomé and Príncipe||South Korea||Saint Lucia||Suriname|
|Switzerland||Thailand||Turkey||United Arab Emirates||Ukraine|
|The United States||Uruguay||Western Sahara||Venezuela||Vietnam|
*Other than citizens of Cyprus, Ireland, Malta, and Romania who are exempt from visa requirements.
However, if you want to have a visa before you travel, you can still apply for one online (see below).
Types of Zambia Visas
The Zambia government issues the following types of visas to foreign nationals :
- Single-entry visa, which allows the holder to enter the territory of Zambia only once for the duration the visa is issued
- Double-entry visa, which allows the holder to enter Zambia twice for the duration the visa is issued
- Multiple-entry visa, which allows the holder several entries into the country for the duration of the visa
- Zambia Transit visa, which is issued to foreigners who will transit through the territory of Zambia on their way to a third country. The visa is valid for seven days
- Zambia Day-Tripper visa, which is issued to foreigners who want to visit Zambia for only one day. You can get a Zambia Day Tripper Visa at the Victoria Falls and Kazungula Border Controls, and you must exit through the same point you have entered.
- KAZA Visa, which is a universal visa for both Zambia and Zimbabwe, allowing the holder to travel between those two countries for a maximum of 30 days. Only certain nationals are eligible for the KAZA visa – see below.
Visas for Zambia are also categorized depending on the reason for which you’re traveling to Zambia. For example:
- Zambia Tourist Visa, for foreigners traveling for tourism and leisure
- Zambia Business Visa, for foreigners traveling for short-term business-related purposes
- Zambia Work Visa, also known as an Employment Permit, issued to foreigners traveling to Zambia for long-term employment
- Zambia Student Visa, also known as a Student Permit, issued to foreigners traveling to Zambia to study in one of its educational purposes
What are the Zambia Visa Requirements?
When you apply for a visa for Zambia, you must have several documents to support your application, such as:
- Photocopy of your passport, which must be valid for at least another six months
- Passport-size picture of yourself
- Copy of a return flight ticket
- For Zambia Tourist Visa:
- Hotel booking or other form of tourist accommodation
- A signed cover letter addressed to the Director-General of Immigration
- For Zambia Business Visa:
- An invitation letter from the company hosting you in Zambia
- A letter from your company addressed to the Director-General of Immigration and written in the company’s letterhead, stating the details of your trip, address and contact numbers
- A certified copy of the host company’s certificate of incorporation
- For Zambia Transit Visa:
- Proof of onward travel
- Visa for the final destination, if a visa is required
- A signed cover letter addressed to the Director-General of Immigration
- For Zambia Work Visa:
- An employment contract or letter of offer
- Your CV
- Cover letter from the employer addressed to the Director-General of Immigration
- Police clearance from your country
- Any previous qualifications
- For Zambia Student Visa:
- A letter of acceptance from your school
- Police clearance from your country
- Cover letter addressed to the Chief Immigration Office
Note: This is not an exhaustive list of requirements, as they may change depending on your specific circumstances. When you apply online, you will receive the full list of documents when you enter your nationality and the purpose of your visit.
The KAZA Univisa is a joint tourist visa for Zambia and Zimbabwe, which can be obtained on arrival. Holders of the KAZA Univisa can spend up to 30 days between Zambia and Zimbabwe.
However, you can only get the KAZA Univisa at the following border crossings: Livingstone Airport, Victoria Falls, Kazungula and Lusaka Airport.
You are eligible for a KAZA Univisa if you are from one of the following countries:
|Belgium||Bosnia and Herzegovina||Brazil||Brunei||Burundi|
|Sao Tome and Principe||Serbia||Slovakia||Slovenia||South Korea|
|United Arab Emirates||United Kingdom||United States||Uruguay|
How to Apply for a Zambia Visa?
There are two ways through which you can apply for a Zambia visa:
- Online, through Zambia’s eVisa application system
- Through a Zambia embassy or consulate abroad
Find the two methods of the Zambia visa application detailed below.
Applying for a Zambia visa online (Zambia eVisa)
As of 2014, anyone who needs a visa for Zambia (including those who are eligible for the Visa On Arrival) can apply online. The process is as follows:
- Submit the Zambia eVisa application here. You have to create an account and complete the online application form.
- Upload electronic copies of the required documents. (See the required documents for a Zambia visa below)
- Pay the Zambia visa fee. You have to pay online through a debit or credit card like Visa, American Express, MasterCard, Discover, Maestro UK, Visa Electron and Maestro Int. You will receive a receipt on your email, which you must print and show to the immigration officers upon entry to Zambia.
- Wait for the visa application to be processed. If your application is approved, you will receive a Zambia e-Visa approval letter, which you must print and bring with you when you travel to Zambia. Also keep an electronic copy of the visa in a phone, laptop, or tablet, just in case.
Applying for a Zambia visa at an embassy or consulate
You can also apply for a Zambia visa at one of the embassies or consulates of Zambia abroad. You will have to contact the embassy or consulate of Zambia in your country and learn about the opening hours, working days, and any specific requirements they have regarding visa application submissions.
You may be able to apply online or you’ll have to apply by post. If there is no Zambian representation in your country, you can always apply online.
How long Does it Take to Process a Zambia Visa?
The processing time for a Zambia visa depends on your nationality as well as the method through which you apply.
When applying online
If you are from one of the countries which are eligible for a Zambia Visa On Arrival, the processing time is three days.
If you are from a country that is not eligible for a Zambia Visa On Arrival, the visa processing time is five days.
When applying at an embassy or consulate
It depends on the specific consular office or embassy, but you should expect a minimum of 5 days from the time they receive your completed application.
How Much is the Zambia Visa Fee?
The fees for a Zambia visa change depending on the duration of the visa:
|Visa Type||Zambia Visa Fee (In USD)|
|Zambia Single Entry Visa||50|
|Zambia Double Entry Visa||80|
|Zambia Multiple Entry Visa||150|
|Zambia Transit Visa||50|
|Zambia Day Tripper Visa||20|
What is the Duration of a Zambia Visa?
Single-, double-, and multiple-entry visas issued for tourism purposes are valid for ninety days within a 12-month period, whereas visas issued for business are valid for 30 days within a 12-month period.
You can enter Zambia within 3 months from the approval date of the eVisa.
Can you Extend a Zambia Visa?
Yes, you may be able to ask for an extension of your Zambia visa. You have to apply for a 30-day Zambia visa extension from an office of the Department of Immigration in Zambia.
The visa extension is free of charge, and you can apply twice for a total of 90 days.
Zambia Residence Permits
Foreigners who want to take up long-term residence in Zambia have to apply for a residence permit, which is issued by the Zambia Immigration Department. There are different types of Zambian residence permits, depending on the reason for your travel to Zambia:
- Zambia Employment Permit (Work Visa) for foreigners wanting to take up long-term employment in Zambia
- Zambia Spouse Permit (Zambia Student Visa) for foreigners wanting to study in a Zambian educational institution
- Zambia Spouse Permit, issued to the foreign spouses of Zambian citizens or residence permit holders
- Zambia Residence Permit, issued to:
- Family members of other Zambia residence permit holders
- Foreigners who have had an Employment Permit for at least 10 years
- Foreigners who have had an Investor Permit for at least 3 years
- Foreigners who have had a Spouse Permit for at least five years
You can apply for a Zambia residence permit through the eService of the Zambia Immigration Department.
Zambia Work Visa
The Zambia Work Visa, also known as an Employment Permit, is issued to foreign workers who want to work in Zambia for a period longer than six months. The Zambia Immigration Department is in charge of issuing Employment and Residence Permits to foreign expatriates.
You can apply for a Zambia Employment Permit online, through the eServices server of the Immigration Department (the same server in which you apply for an eVisa).