Rwanda East Africa visa application, requirements, price, and processing time

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The number of visitors to Rwanda annually has increased significantly in recent years, and this trend shows no sign of stopping despite the 2020 pandemic. Many people who visit Rwanda do so on a Rwanda East Africa Visa because of the cross border opportunities it provides. Are you planning to visit Rwanda soon?

This post contains vital information about this tourist visa and the requirements necessary to successfully apply for one.

What Is The Rwanda East Africa Visa?

The East African visa is a special tourist visa created under a regional agreement between the governments of Rwanda, Kenya, and Uganda. This travel document is issued to visitors for tourism purposes. The multiple entry visa allows the holder to enter and exit any of these countries at will for as long as the visa remains valid. The visa is valid for 90 days.

Ever since the east African visa was introduced, the application process to get a Rwandan visa has become much easier. Applicants looking to spend a short time in Rwanda or any of the other countries no longer have to visit their embassies in person to apply for a visa. They can use their smartphones to apply for a visa online by completing the application form and attaching the relevant documents.


The East African visa Is a special tourist visa created under a regional agreement between the governments of Rwanda, Kenya, and Uganda. This travel document is issued to visitors for tourism purposes. The multiple entry visa allows the holder to enter and exit any of these countries at will for as long as the visa remains valid. The visa is valid for 90 days.

The East African visa is not extendable, so an existing one has to expire first before the holder can apply for a new one.

Why The East Africa Visa is Ideal?

Applying for an east African visa is ideal if you plan to stay in Rwanda for only a short while. This visa offers multiple entry advantages to three countries, so you don’t have to apply for separate visas and spend more money on them. Furthermore, countries like Tanzania and Zimbabwe also offer holders of this visa easy access to their own visas as well; for instance, Zimbabwe still offers visitors a visa on arrival.

So having access to multiple countries is the biggest benefit of applying for an East African visa.

When Not To Get a Rwanda East Africa Visa?

This visa is not suited for the following

Non tourism visits: If you are visiting for non tourism related activities like work or business trips, this visa is not for you. The East Africa Visa is issued on the condition that the holder is coming to Rwanda, Uganda, and Kenya for tourism and nothing else.

Long Stays: If you know you are going to stay for more than ninety days, we recommend a different visa, not this one. This visa is only valid for 90 days; staying for much longer will be a violation.

East Africa Visa Requirements

To apply for this tourist visa, you need to provide the following documents to complete the application form.

Valid Passport

You need a valid passport issued by your home country no less than six months before it expires. The expiry date starts counting from the first day of your planned arrival. Passports should have at least two blank pages, and applicants must upload the first land last pages.

Return Flight Ticket

Visitors flying into Rwanda from far off countries must upload a copy of their return flight ticket to show that they plan to return to their countries at the conclusion of their visit.

Travel Itinerary

They must show their travel Itinerary, which must include details about locations they plan to visit

Hotel Bookings

They must provide proof of hotel bookings. If they are staying with family and friends, they must provide the house address

Proof of Funds

Proof of funds is required to show they can cover their living expenses while in Rwanda.

Bank Card

A bank card to pay the visa fee online.

The Rwanda east African tourist visa takes about 1-5 working days to be approved and will be sent to the designated email address you provide, so ensure you only provide a valid email.

Once you receive it, print it out and bring a copy with you. Rwandan immigration officers will request it alongside your passport before they stamp the latter and allow you into the country. Note that the visa becomes operational the moment your passport is stamped and the countdown to its expiration begins.

Did you know that you can apply for a Rwanda east Visa online? Visit VisaHQ to apply today. The application form is easy to fill out in a few steps.

Rwanda Visa Policy

The Republic of Rwanda is a sovereign nation and a member of the East African Community with an expansive visa policy that covers the requirement, eligibility, and duration of stay for foreign nationals who wish to visit the country. All foreigners coming to Rwanda must obtain a visa before they will be granted access unless they are from any of the approved countries on the visa waiver list. Visas are issued in three ways; through any of Rwanda’s foreign missions, visa on arrival, or online.

All visitors are advised to hold valid passports for at least six months, and the passport must contain at least a blank page. However, Ugandans and Kenyans may enter using a valid ID card if they don’t have passports.

Rwanda Visa Exemption

Citizens of selected countries who qualify for visa exemptions may enter Rwanda without paying fees, and they can stay in the country for different durations depending on their nationality. The length of stay ranges from 90 days to 180 days.

Visa On Arrival

Under the country’s visa policy is a special visa on-arrival class for eligible visitors. This program is open to Southern and Eastern African citizens, including a few other non-African countries. These nationals who do not qualify for visa-free access will get valid visas at the port of entry for 90 days of visits, while others get the same for 30 days. Nationals from Commonwealth Nations and the African Union are exempted from visa fees on arrival. Also, citizens from La Francophone countries are exempted from paying fees for arrival visas.

East African Tourist Visa

Under a joint agreement between the government of Rwanda, Uganda, and Kenya, the East African visa is issued to tourists who wish to visit all three countries. The visa is valid for 90 days and is issued to the visitor in advance. The visa is strictly for tourism and commands a visa fee. The visa is a multiple-entry visa that can be used several times for entry, but it is not renewable at expiry or upon your exit. Holders are also expected first to enter the country that issued the visa before traveling to another country.

Rwanda Electronic Visa

Still, the visa policy of Rwanda is the electronic visa (e-visa). This is an online visa for foreigners who do not qualify for visa-free entry due to their nationality. The visa is a single entry document for visits for at least 30 days. The processing time is fast in three working days or less and issued via email to the applicant. The applicant must fill out and apply online after paying an application fee. E visas are issued for tourism and business, but you may get one for transit as well; it is not a work or study visa, and you can’t use it for residing permanently in Rwanda.

Note: Only eligible nationals may apply for e-visas or visas on arrival. If your country still needs to be added to the eligibility list, kindly submit your visa application to the nearest Rwandan foreign mission.

Key Information About Rwanda e Visa

Before applying for an electronic visa or traveling to Rwanda, here is some vital information to note.

Travel With The Same Passport: Ensure that the passport you used for the e-visa application is the same one you travel with. Note that the visa is linked to your passport, so a different passport will not generate any data if checked by the immigration officers. If you discover that your current passport will not qualify you for the trip, endeavor to get a new one and use it to ally for the visa.

Print A Copy: Once the visa is delivered to your email address, please print out a copy and travel with it. The authorities will request for before stamping your passport to let your through. The visa will also come in handy during your stay in the country.

Application Fee: Also note that the application fee is an important requirement. Without paying the application fee, you will not be allowed to submit the application form. This fee is solely for processing and is not a certainty that you will get the visa if you don’t meet the requirements.

Apply Early: You want to apply for your visa at least 4 days before your planned departure date to get at least a 24-hour headstart. The process takes only three working days, so apply for it at the start of the week so you are on time by the weekend.

Apply Outside Rwanda: You can only apply for this visa outside Rwanda. If your visa is fast approaching the expiration date and you wish to reapply, you must leave the country first before submitting another application. Applications within Rwanda are prohibited.

You Cannot Extend The East African Tourist Visa: You can’t extend the East African tourist visa before it expires. To stay much longer, you must leave Rwanda, Uganda, and Kenya before applying for a new one.

Rwanda Visa Online – Get your Rwanda e-Visa with VisaHQ

If you are planning a trip to Rwanda in the Eastern part of Africa, you should consider applying for an online visa if your nationality qualifies you for one. E visas take less time to apply for and are approved in just a few days, which is much better than applying for a visa at the Rwandan foreign mission.

How To Apply For A Visa With VisaHQ

If you have been looking for a faster way to get a visa for Rwanda, you are in luck because of the opportunity we offer. You can complete the online application form from the comfort of your office or home as long as you have an internet connection and a device like a computer or a smartphone. Just follow these simple steps.

Complete the form: Start by completing the online application form and make sure each section is filled with accurate information.

Upload your documents: Depending on the specific documentary requirements you are applying for, scan and upload the documents in the boxes provided. After uploading, you will need to pay the application fee using a credit or debit card and then submit it for approval.

Get your visa: After 24-72 hours, the visa will be forwarded to your email.

Why Use VisaHQ?

There are so many reasons to use VisaHQ for your online visa applications. We offer

  • 24-hour technical support
  • The opportunity to apply for multiple online visas to save time
  • Access to online application tracking
  • Save your data for future use

We have the experts and resources to help you complete your application in record time. Navigate to the application page now to get started.

To read about Rwanda Visas

Other available visas to Rwanda
Other requirements for Rwanda visas

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