Immigration in Rwanda

National Migration Policy
The policy is aimed at attracting skilled workers, promoting investment and tourism and enhances national security. Immigration policy was designed in an effort to merge Rwanda’s development strategies with the flow of people into the country.

Legal framework for Immigration in Rwanda

Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is responsible for establishing and maintaining quality relationships with other countries for peace, security and stability of Rwanda, the region and the world while participating in wealth creation through more efficient cooperation for development, promotion of investments and tourism, the transfer of know-how and technologies and more equitable worldwide trade regional integration.

Immigration Department
The immigration department follows Law No 17/99 of 16/08/1999

Immigration Law No O4/2011 of 21/03/2011
The law introduced a travel document for Border communities known as border pass. This travel document is to be issued free of charge and will facilitate cross border activities.

Immigration guidelines
A visitor can come to Rwanda for any of the following reasons

  • Returning residence
  • Employment
  • Medical treatment
  • Tourism
  • Short contract
  • Visiting a friend
  • Education
  • Conference
  • Trade

Restrictions of the things a visitor can bring or take out

  • Only carry items in your hand luggage that you really need for your journey, the rest should be checked in as hold luggage
  • Do not carry any liquids, gels, creams, pastes or aerosols in your hand luggage unless essential for your journey. If you do need to carry these items make sure they are in containers of less than 100 ml
  • Place any metal objects (mobile phones, MP3 players, keys, coins, watches, belts with metal buckles) inside your hand luggage
  • Take your laptop out of your bag and place it in a tray for screening through the X-ray
  • Do not carry any sharp items (prohibited items) in your hand luggage. These should be packed in your hold luggage

Prohibited items
Sharp items, or items which could reasonably be used as a weapon, must not be carried in hand luggage. This includes: scissors with pointed blades, knives, razor blades, tools, replica or toy guns, corkscrews and sporting bats.

Other dangerous goods which cannot be carried in hand or hold luggage is: fireworks, flammable liquids and solids, instruments containing mercury, non safety matches

Which countries do not require visas?

  • East African Countries do not need Visas to enter into Rwanda. That is Uganda, Kenya, Burundi and Tanzania
  • For a stay of less than 90 days, U.S. tourists can enter Rwanda with a passport and evidence of yellow fever vaccination. U.S. citizens entering Rwanda for matters besides tourism need to obtain a visa.

How does a visitor get a visa?
To apply for a Rwandan visa, one will require a visa application form and this can be obtained from Rwandan tourist visa form or Rwandan business visa form. You can also obtain sample visa cover letters which you can send it to the Rwandan embassy in your city for visa letter for Rwanda.

Types of Rwandan visas

  • Rwandan tourist visa is issued for a limited time of leisure travel and no business activities permitted in Rwanda
  • Rwandan business visa is for participating in short term commerce in Rwanda
  • Rwandan Transit visa is valid for 3 days or less for transferring through port in Rwanda to a third destination
  • Rwandan spousal visa or partner visa, given to the spouse, civil partner or de facto partner of a resident or Rwandan citizen

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