By Sana Elouazi
By Sana Elouazi
Rabat – After removing visa requirements for several African nationals, Rwanda has announced a new visa system that will issue a 30-day visa to citizens of all countries upon arrival without prior application.
The visa-on-arrival policy was approved in a cabinet meeting chaired by president Paul Kagame on November 8 and will take effect on January 1, 2018.
The measure follows the one already taken by Kigali regarding visa reciprocity policy with several countries. These include Senegal, Benin, the Central African Republic, Chad, Guinea, Ghana, Indonesia and Haiti, for which nationals do not need a visa to stay on Rwandan soil for a period of 90 days.
Nationals from the East African Community, Eastern and Southern African States, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo were already exempt from visas for a stay of no more than three months in Rwanda.
A Rwandan official said foreign residents will only have to display their resident cards at the border, whereas binationals will only need their identity cards, BBC Africa reported.
Rwanda has emerged over the years as a pillar of the free movement of people and goods in Africa.
According to the Africa Visa Openness Report 2016, Rwanda ranked ninth among African countries that facilitate entry into their territory.
In doing so, Rwanda hopes to further strengthen economic cooperation among African states, but also to “force” reciprocity with some promising markets for trade.
“The new visa regime opens Rwanda to the world and is good for business. Rwanda believes that the free movement of people fosters trade and tourism, and is good for the continent’s integration policy. We are aware of the challenges of open borders, but as a country, we also believe that the benefits of our policy outweigh the potential setbacks,” said the foreign minister of Rwanda, Louise Mushikiwabo.
— Immigration | Rwanda (@Rwandamigration) November 16, 2017