Minister Busingye: Visa waiver a reciprocal gesture

The passport control section at Kigali International Airport. Rwanda has continued to open up to the world to make it easier for people from different countries through visa waivers. File Photo.

The cabinet meeting on Wednesday approved the waiver of visa requirements to holders of diplomatic and service passports from Angola, China, Namibia, Mozambique, the Federation of Saint Christopher and Nevis and the United Arab Emirates.

During the post cabinet brief held yesterday, Justice Minister and Attorney General, Johnston Busingye, said that the move was on a reciprocal basis.

According to Busingye, Angola and Saint Christopher and Nevis will on top of diplomatic and service passport holders, have their citizens with ordinary passport enjoy the waiver.

Busingye said that besides the two countries mentioned above, the status of ordinary citizens seeking to travel to Rwanda from those countries remains unchanged, and visas will apply.

“It is all about reciprocity,” Busingye said.

He added that, “Ordinary passport holders from China and other countries underlined will continue to travel the same way as ordinary passport holders from Rwanda travel to those respective countries.”

Last June, Angola announced that with effect from July 1, 2018, Rwandan citizens travelling to Angola will no longer be required to have visas to enter Angolan territory.

The decision for Rwandans to be exempt from visas to Angola is contained in a presidential decree no. 150/18 of 19 June.

Also, African nationals are not required to apply for a visa to enter Rwanda, but get it on arrival while travellers from across the world receive a 30-day visa upon arrival following the establishment of a new visa regime that was passed by a cabinet resolution in November 2017.

As part of the Cabinet resolutions at the time, travellers from across the world would effectively from January 1, 2018, receive a 30-day visa upon arrival in Rwanda.

The move was aimed to increase Rwanda’s openness and accessibility to the rest of the world.

Busingye noted that, “Sometimes Rwanda does it first and other countries reciprocate. But this time, these countries waived visa requirements for diplomatic and service passport holders before we did. What the cabinet did yesterday was to reciprocate that move.

In 2013, government allowed for all citizens from African countries travelling or transiting through Rwanda to be able to get visas on arrival.

editorial@newtimes.co.rw

 

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