KIGALI - After more than 20 years of free entry into Rwanda, Canadians travelling into the country will be required to apply and pay for visas prior to entering any of the country’s border points, the Directorate General of the Immigration and Emigration has revealed.
The Directorate’s Public Relations Officer; Innocent Niyonsenga told The New Times that Canada would, with effect from November 1, be taken off the list of 14 countries that have previously been exempted from entry visa requirements.
“Canada has been on the list of the 14 countries that are exempted from entry visas into Rwanda, but after reviewing our policies, we decided that it’s time we took them off,” he said
Niyonsenga said that the development was not very unusual since every year, the Directorate General of the Immigration and Emigration reviews the policies and adjusts whenever it’s necessary. Singapore was last year added to the list of visa exemptions.
Canadians interested in coming to Rwanda will be required to apply for visas online, get an entry document and travel with it to any entry point where they will pay $60 and immediately be issued with an entry visa.
Niyonsenga explained that for one to stay on the list there were benefits that had to be reaped from the bilateral agreement and so far, there wasn’t much to gain from the Canadian agreement.
“We consider so many things, and in the case of Canada, we realised that there wasn’t much we were benefitting,” he said
In view of bilateral agreements, Niyonshuti says that the nationals of the United States of America (USA), Germany, Tanzania, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Uganda, Mauritius, South Africa, Kenya, Great Britain, Sweden, Singapore, Hong Kong and Burundi are allowed to visit Rwanda without a visa for a period up to 90 days.