Rwanda announces global visa free regime starting January 2018

Rwanda has announced what could be termed a global visa-free entry for travelers from everywhere in the world starting January 1, 2018.

A communique released by the Directorate of Immigration and Emigration said citizens of all countries the world over could enjoy 30 days visa on arrival under the regime. With some entrants required to pay a fee where applicable.

Rwanda already has such a system in place for all African countries and a number of countries outside the continent. The country is reputed as one of the most open in visa openness index publications.

November 16, 2017, the document read in part: “30 days visa upon arrival – Citizens of all countries to get visa upon arrival without prior approval, starting 01 January 2018. Before that, only African countries and few others were getting visa upon arrival.”

The new visa regime also touched on other areas like visa reciprocity for specific countries whose citizens get free visas with 90 days validity. The countries in question are Benin, Central African Republic, Chad, Ghana, Guinea, Indonesia, Haiti, Senegal, Seychelles and Sao Tome and Principe.

This is in addition to the Democratic Republic of Congo, East Africa Member Community Partner States, Mauritius, Philippines and Singapore. This takes immediate effect.

“Nationals of Australia, Germany, Israel, New Zealand, Sweden, United Kingdom, and United States of America will be issued with entry visa valid for a period up to 30 days and pay for a visa ($30) upon arrival without prior application,” according to a government portal.

It also addresses the area of visa waiver for particular diplomatic and service passport holders, another directive that takes immediate effect. There is also a 90 day visa on arrival for travelers from the COMESA (The Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa) region subject to payment of visa fees.

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