Mininfor ponders waiver on foreign press accreditation

Following the recent announcement by the directorate of Immigration to waive visa fees for regional nationals working in Rwanda, the Ministry of Information (Mininfor) is also set to do the same.

Following the recent announcement by the directorate of Immigration to waive visa fees for regional nationals working in Rwanda, the Ministry of Information (Mininfor) is also set to do the same.

The ministry has announced a possible plan to waive and slash accreditation fees for East African Community (EAC) and other foreign correspondents operating in the country.

Desire Bazimaziki, the in-charge of accreditation at Mininfor revealed this possibility Sunday afternoon, underscoring that there would be ‘no professional discrimination’ since foreigners’ work permit and visa fees have recently been waived and considerably slashed.

“It is not discrimination as such. You know it is a process and we will also look into the matter and possibly remove them totally for the East African journalists,” Bazimaziki said by telephone.

His response came following the announcement last Thursday by the Directorate General of Immigration and Emigration of new visa and work permit fee regulations that exonerated EAC citizens from the latter and, slashed those for “all other nationalities.” 

Effective March 9 citizens from the five East African Partner States are exonerated from resident visa or work permit fees. Non-EAC nationalities also see their resident visa fees slashed from Rwf 200,000 to 50,000 per year.

“For foreigners beyond the East African Community, we are also preparing to reduce the fees soon,” Bazimaziki pointed out.

By Tuesday this week (today), Bazimaziki noted, a clear-cut picture on the issue will have come out.

In an earlier phone interview with Innocent Niyonsenga, the Public Relations Officer of the Directorate General of Immigration and Emigration, underscored that the department had “no different or exceptional fees for journalists.”

Last year it was announced that professionals from regional countries would get visa waivers as part of the country’s goodwill towards regional integration and improving the service sector.

The Directorate also revealed that foreigners working or residing in the country and have paid for a work permit are exempted from resident visa fees.

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