Rwanda scraps visa in advance rule for African nationals


(eTN) – In a remarkable departure from common practice among African states, Rwanda just declared that come January 1 ALL African nationals will be issued visa on arrival, sparing them the often cumbersome, tedious, and at times intimidating process of having to apply weeks in advance to secure a visa.

Already Rwanda’s immigration is one of the most technologically advanced, using biometric data and fingerprinting to allow returning Rwandans back home without having their passport stamped, simply by swiping the read section of the passport through a scanner and confirming the identity with an electronic fingerprint.

Other nationals can get their visa online, equally making the process easy and in large part supporting the growth of visitor arrivals to the “Land of a Thousand Hills.”

RwandAir is also going to be a major beneficiary of this move as it will undoubtedly attract plenty of more passengers spared from obtaining a transit visa in advance as they can now even stopover in Kigali when traveling on RwandAir from one side of the continent to the other.

This remarkable development is only trumped in Africa by the Seychelles, which requires NO visa at all and thought to make a point, following the recent COMESA Summit in Kampala, where visa restrictions for travel within even COMESA was repeatedly critizised and countries urged to take immediate action to make it easier to travel across the region if not the continent.