London, March 11, 2020 (AltAfrica)-Rwanda has started rolling out its new visa regime, a policy that scraps visa fees for hundreds of countries.
The new policy took effect on March 10 as the country takes steps to boost tourism and trade.
Per the new regime visa fees have been scraped for over ninety member states of the African Union, the Commonwealth and the Francophonie for a 30-day stay.
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Rwanda scraps visa fees for over 90 countries to boost tourism However citizens of the East African Community are exempted from paying entry visa fees while travelling on ordinary, service and diplomatic passports.
These citizens would be issued an entry visa to stay for up to six months, according to the new policy.
Meanwhile the policy also grants another batch of countries a 90-day valid visa free of charge with an ordinary passport.
Some of these countries are Angola, Benin, Central African Republic, Chad, Cote d’lvoire, Democratic Republic of Congo and The Federation of Saint Christopher and Nevis.
Other countries like Ghana, Guinea, Indonesia, Haiti, Mauritius, Philippines, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Sao Tome and Principe, Singapore and the State of Qatar are also on the list.
Rwanda also made another provision for holders of diplomatic and service (official) passports from countries that have entered into a Visa Waiver Agreement with Rwanda
Those passport holders shall be allowed a 90 day entry without visa requirements including visa fees.
Rwanda published list of those countries which covers Angola, Benin, People’s Republic of China (including Public Affairs passport), Côte d’Ivoire, Central African Republic, Chad, Democratic Republic of Congo, Djibouti, Ethiopia and The Federation of Saint Christopher and Nevis.
The rest are Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Indonesia, India, the state of Israel, Haiti, Mauritius, Mozambique, Morocco, Namibia, Philippines, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Seychelles, Singapore, South Africa, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates.
But Rwandan immigration office has revealed that citizens of all countries not covered by he waivers detailed above will continue getting a 30-day visa upon arrival without prior application at a visa fee.
In January this year, Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame told a gathering at the International School for Government at King’s College in London that his country wants to continue to transform and trade with the rest of the world.
He said at that event that his country would be “exempting citizens of the Commonwealth, as well as the African Union and the Francophonie, from paying visa fees when entering Rwanda.
Scrapping visa fees for Commonwealth nations of 53 membership and Francophonie of 54 member states could open up Rwanda to world.”
Kagame said Rwanda’s policies should pay of as it positions itself as an investment destination.
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