Travel Lowdown: East Africa Visas

We’re back for another edition of The Travel Lowdown. Visas for East Africa can get a bit confusing, especially if you are visiting multiple countries. Should you get a visa ahead of time or wait until you arrive? Multi or single entry? One country or many? Read our guide below to get started.

 

I am traveling to East Africa. What are the visa requirements?
If you are looking to travel to East Africa, you may need a visa. Requirements and application methods vary by country. Please keep reading below for country requirements as well as some tips and tricks to make the process easier.

Please note that for some countries, it is easier to get your visa on arrival. We have noted where this is the case.

 

What if I am traveling to multiple countries in East Africa?
If you are traveling to multiple countries in the region, the easiest thing to do is obtain an East African Tourist Visa prior to arrival. This multi entry visa allows travelers entry into Rwanda, Uganda, and Kenya.  Please keep reading below to find out more.

 

Rwanda
Rwanda has recently released a new visa procedure. Effective January 1, 2018, all nationalities will be eligible to apply for a visa upon arrival at ports of entrance into Rwanda. Visas on arrival are valid for 30 days for a fee of $30.

Visas can also be obtained prior to arrival by submitting an application to the appropriate Rwandan embassy or consulate in the US. If you choose to apply prior to arrival, you should submit your application about 3 months prior to departure.

Requirements
Requirements include your U.S. passport valid for at least 6 months, 2 passport style photos, a completed visa application form, your flight itinerary, and hotel confirmation.

Please note that a Yellow Fever vaccination certificate is required for travel to Rwanda.

Tips and Advice
It has been observed that people who obtain their visas prior to arrival proceed through immigration faster.

 

Tanzania
Visas upon arrival are available in Tanzania or they can be obtained prior to arrival. Multi-entry visas to Tanzania can be obtained prior to arrival at Tanzanian consulates and embassies.

Requirements
Requirements include your U.S. passport valid for at least 6 months, 2 passport style photos, a completed visa application form, your flight itinerary, and hotel confirmation.

Tips and Advice
In Tanzania, visas upon arrival must be paid for with a credit card; cash is no longer accepted.

 

Kenya
Visas upon arrival are available in Kenya or they can be obtained prior to arrival. Multi-entry visas to Kenya can be obtained at Kenyan embassies and consulates, while single entry visas can be applied for online.

Requirements
Requirements include your U.S. passport valid for at least 6 months, 2 passport style photos, an application form to be completed online, and your flight itinerary.

Tips and Advice
In Nairobi it has been observed that those applying for visas upon arrival are proceeding through immigration faster than those with online visas.

 

Multiple Countries: East African Tourist Visa
The multi-country East African Tourist Visa allows entry to Rwanda, Uganda, and Kenya. The visa is valid for 90 days from the date of issue, so applicants should wait until 3 months prior to departure to apply. You will need to apply at the consulate or embassy of the country you are entering first. For example, if you are arriving in Kenya first, you will apply for your East African tourist visa at the Consulate of Kenya in the U.S.

Requirements
Requirements include your U.S. passport valid for at least 6 months, 2 passport style photos, a completed application form, and your flight itinerary.

Tips and Advice
Note that Tanzania is not included in the East African Tourist Visa, so if Tanzania is also on your itinerary you will need to fulfill those visa requirements as well.

The East African Tourist Visa is not available on arrival; you must apply before traveling.

 

What if I’m going to another country in East Africa?
Please contact your travel consultant at Esplanade at 800-628-4893 or our visa department at 617-266-7646 to get specific requirements for your trip.

 

What if I need more help?
If you are interested in getting your visas prior to arrival or would like to learn more about the East African Tourist Visa, contact our subsidiary company Visa Service, Inc. at 617-266-7646 or info@visaserviceboston.com.

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