According to the statement issued by the DGIE, the directive refers to the Cabinet Meeting of November 8, 2017 that approved the establishment of new visa regime for the Republic of Rwanda.
Before the new regime, only nationals of African Countries and few others were getting visa upon arrival.
Effective from the date the statement issued, Rwanda will grant visa free of charge with 90 days to residents of Benin Central African Republic, Chad, Guinea, Indonesia, Haiti, Senegal, Seychelles and So Tome and Principe.
“This is in addition to the Democratic Republic of Congo, East African Community Partner States, Mauritius, Philippines and Singapore” reads the statement.
Also the Government of Rwanda has entered into a visa Waiver Agreement for holders of Diplomatic and Service Passports with Djibouti, Ethiopia, Gabon, Guinea, India, Israel, Morocco and Turkey, a move which takes immediate effect.
Citizens from The Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) member states will get 90 days visa on arrival (on payment of the prescribed fee) as provided by Article 4 of the COMESA Protocol on Free Movement of Persons, Labour, Services, Right of Establishment and Residence.
Rwanda ratified this protocol on 13th July 2016. Currently, citizens of COMESA member states were getting 30 days on arrival as other holders of African Passports.
Rwandans living abroad with dual nationality are allowed to use national Identity Cards on entry
This waive visa fee goes to Rwandans travelling on foreign passports in possession of a Rwandan Identity Card for countries that permit dual nationality only. Initially Rwandans travelling on a foreign passport in possession of a valid Rwandan passport were the only granted visa free on arrival.
Foreign residents will also be able to use their Resident ID cards for entry –where returning residents holding valid residence permits with corresponding resident cards will be allowed to use them on entry, including using electronic gates (Automated Passenger Clearance System) at Kigali international Airport.
Since January 1st 2013, Rwanda is among the few countries that allow African citizens to obtain a visa on arrival.
Since then, all African nationals were allowed to acquire entry visa upon arrival and pay the subsequent fee; the cost of an entry visa reduced from $60 with 15 days in 2011 to $30 with 30 days.
From 2013 when Rwanda decided to issue visa upon arrival to all Africans to 2016, the statistics of African nationals that were issued with visa on arrival at Rwandan entry points increased from 31,054 to 77,377 approximately 149, 1%.
Foreign nationals with work or residence permits in Rwanda, Uganda and Kenya can travel within these countries without paying visa fees as per the Northern Corridor Integration Project. Eligible residents are issued with interstate pass.