The Rwandan authorities are planning to scrap off visa fees for over 90 world countries, in a bid to lure more people to visit the country and boost economy through tourism.
The President of Rwanda Paul Kagame announced the news during a gathering at the International School for Government at King’s College in London, explaining that such a step is being taken because Rwanda wants to continue to transform and trade with the rest of the world.
“We are soon considering exempting citizens of the Commonwealth, as well as the African Union and the Francophonie, from paying visa fees when entering Rwanda,” he said during the gathering.
Currently, only 17 countries are exempt from paying Rwandan visa fees.
If the Commonwealth nations, as well as Francophone and African Union countries join this list, the of nationalities that can apply for visas to Rwanda without paying fees, would be over a hundred, as the Commonwealth has 53 members while Francophonie has 54 member states across the world.
Yet, some of these countries have already established a visa-free regime with Rwanda, therefore the changes do not affect them.
So far, nationals of the following countries can travel to Rwanda visa-free for tourism purposes: Angola, Benin, Burundi, CAR, Chad, DR Congo, Ghana, Guinea, Haiti, Indonesia, Kenya, Mauritius, Philippines, Saint Kitts and Nevis, São Tomé and Príncipe, Senegal, Seychelles, Singapore, South Sudan, Tanzania, and Uganda.
Since January 2018, visitors of all nationalities are eligible for a visa-on-arrival, for which they need to pay a moderate fee. These visas are valid for a maximum of 30 days, except for citizens of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa, who can stay for up to 90 days.
E-Visas are valid for all world nationals as well, and they can be obtained online. It takes only three days for an e-Visa to be processed. Travelers have the opportunity of applying at a Rwandan consulate in their country of residence as well if they wish to.