In the past, it was costly and difficult for tourists who wished to visit Kenya, Rwanda, and Uganda (all in one safari) to obtain an East Africa tourist visa. The implementation of the East African Tourist Visa has alleviated the obstacles and expenses. An international visitor can now enter Uganda, Rwanda, and Kenya with a single East African tourist visa. It is less expensive to apply for a multiple entry visa rather than separate visas for each of the participating nations.
What is an East African Tourist Visa?
With an East African tourist visa, travelers are granted ninety days to freely and simultaneously visit all East African nations that have consented to join the scheme. It is necessary for a traveler to start their tour from the nation where they obtained their East African visa. Reentry visas to any of the three countries are free of charge for visitors. A tourist visa to East Africa costs $100 USD. It is noteworthy that an extension of the East African tourist visa is not possible.
Tourists had to spend roughly $50 for a visa each time they wanted to enter any of the three East African countries prior to the introduction of the single entry visa. If you want to obtain a visa quickly or if you just intend to visit one of the countries, this option is still available. Without requiring an advance application, any border crossing or airport can simply provide a standard tourist visa.
In 2014, the East Africa Tourist Visa was established. The presidents of Rwanda, Kenya, and Uganda met and determined that selling East African nations as a single travel destination would be aided by the introduction of a single entrance visa. In addition to facilitating simple travel to East African nations, the visa would strengthen diplomatic ties. Regretfully, Burundi, South Sudan, and Tanzania have not yet enrolled in the single visa program. It is just a matter of time until they do the same.
How to apply for the East African Tourist visa
As we will see in the upcoming chapters, there are various processes involved in applying for an East African visa. Making an application submission is the initial step. The application can be submitted in person or online via the websites of the embassies and immigration offices in each of the participating nations. While applying for a visa at the airport is an option in certain countries, it is always advised to apply in advance. Because you can apply immediately through an online form, the East African tourist visa application process is quicker and simpler in Rwanda. You might have to apply for it online or straight from the closest consulate or embassy if you are traveling from Uganda or Kenya.
Eligibility and requirements when applying for the tourist visa.
You will need to upload a scanned copy of your colored passport photo while completing the online form. There cannot be a headscarf in this picture. Images with white backgrounds, hats, or spectacles will not be accepted either. Along with these documents, you will need an application letter and evidence of your ability to pay for your safari. Additionally, they can require you to upload the itinerary, which contains information on the activities you will be participating. Lastly, in order for them to record the dates of admission and departure, they might ask you to present your return airline ticket. This is also to prevent instances of undocumented migration.
You do not require this specific visa if you are a citizen of any of the three East African nations (Uganda, Rwanda, or Kenya). To enter these nations for a maximum of six months, all you need is your passport or National Identity Card. 2014 saw the implementation of the National Identity card requirement for travel to the three East African nations.
You could require a visa if you are a foreign visitor planning to visit two or three of the nations. It is significant to remember that the visa is valid for ninety days. If your goal with an East African tourist visa is to obtain employment, you cannot use it. Expats and inhabitants of non-Eastern African nations who have temporarily resided in the three countries are not required to travel with a tourist visa. They receive an interstate pass that gives them a six-month window of travel to any of the three nations. All they require to enter any of the three East African nations is a passport and residency permit.
How to apply for the East African tourist visa
The East African tourist visa application must be submitted either manually or online. You may need to fill out the EATV Form 1 and send it to the consular office of the nation where your tour will begin if you plan to fill it out by hand. You can apply online in advance or in person at any of the locations where the service is being offered. Additionally, you may apply through any of the three nations’ embassies.
Acquiring the East African Tourist visa in Uganda
You can apply for the visa online in advance of your trip or request one when you arrive at Entebbe International Airport if Uganda is your first port of entry. The Uganda online visa application system allows you to apply for an East African visa online.
You can print an E-visa that you will show to immigration officials at the airport or Uganda border crossing after accurately filling out all the essential information and turning it in.
If you have all the necessary paperwork, you can also obtain an East African visa at the main border crossing sites. While obtaining the visa at the airport eliminates the need for passport photos, less paperwork, and no mailing of documents, it is not advised.
The East African tourist visa is not required if your trip is limited to Uganda. You only need to pay $50 for the standard visa. Please be aware that even if your visa has been accepted, you will still need to present your yellow fever vaccination card. Please visit, get in touch with, visit the closest Ugandan embassy for additional information regarding obtaining an East African visa through Uganda, or visit their official website.
How to acquire the East African tourist visa in Kenya?
Although it is possible, the procedure of obtaining an East African tourist visa at the airport in Nairobi or Mombasa may be lengthy due to the increased number of visitors to the nation. Applying for it online prior to arriving at the Kenyan airport is your best option. Contact the closest Kenyan embassy or visit their website for information on how to obtain a visa. You can visit the Kenyan online visa application page directly. It may not function and can be challenging to use this portal. The authorities will request more information from you once you reach the nation, including your passport, proof of yellow fever vaccine, and your purpose for traveling, regardless of whether you apply online or obtain it at the airport.
Acquiring the East African tourist visa in Rwanda
If you choose to use the online portals, obtaining an East African tourist visa in Rwanda is simpler than in Uganda. The East African visa is not issued by Rwanda at the airport. Utilizing the Rwanda Online Visa Application System is the exclusive method of application. For information on how to obtain the visa, get in touch with the closest embassy of Rwanda in your nation. Compared to the other three nations, applying for an East African visa online has been very simple. Approvals are completed faster.
Always avoid fraud and spending money on individuals and some untrustworthy websites that tend to be helping you apply for the East African Tourist Visa. Always do apply for yourself on the official websites of a nearest Embassy.