Visa waiver for EAC to commence Monday

• Other foreigners’ charges slashed The Directorate General of Immigration and Emigration Thursday announced new visa and work permit fee regulations that exonerate East African Community (EAC) citizens from the latter and, slash those for all other nationalities.

• Other foreigners’ charges slashed

The Directorate General of Immigration and Emigration Thursday announced new visa and work permit fee regulations that exonerate East African Community (EAC) citizens from the latter and, slash those for all other nationalities.

This comes after it was announced last year that professionals from regional countries would get visa waivers as part of the country’s goodwill towards regional integration as well as improving the service sector. 

According to a press release from the Directorate, this came in force Monday this week.

“Citizens from East African Partner States shall be exonerated from resident visa or work permit fees upon application,” part of the release reads.

“For all other nationalities, resident visa fees will drop from two hundred Thousand Rwandan Francs (200,000) to Fifty thousand Rwandan Francs (50,000Rwf) per year.”

A cabinet meeting last month endorsed several resolutions, including decrees relating to foreigners’ employment and entry and stay in the country.

Also clarified in the communiqué is that work permits are in two categories – A and B, foreigners whose monthly gross remuneration is “at least” Frw 500,000 and others whose monthly wage falls “below” Frw 500,000.

Annual work permit fees will change from Frw 200,000 to Frw 50,000 for category A and Frw 10,000 for B.

Outlined in the new regulations as well is that foreigners “coming to work or reside in Rwanda” and have paid for a work permit are exempted from resident visa fees.

In addition, resident foreigners “shall no longer be required to pay any deposit fee,” the Directorate underlines, besides cautioning all country employers to “follow these regulations.”

President Paul Kagame first announced this waiver in 2007 during the Commonwealth Business Summit that preceded the Commonwealth Heads of State and Government Meeting (CHOGM) that took place in Uganda that year.

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