Rwanda finally reciprocates visa deal with Ghana

Two years after Ghana made a reciprocal visa deal with Rwanda which meant that Rwandan citizens didn’t need visas to enter Ghana, the east African country has finally fulfilled its side of the deal.

The deal which Ghana effected in 2015 was following a letter issued on November 22, 2015, by the Honorary Consular of Ghana in Rwanda, Dennis Kerrera to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation indicating that;

“The Government of the Republic of Ghana, in a reciprocal act has waived the visa requirements for Rwandese travelling to Ghana. Rwandese citizens will now go to Ghana visa free.”

While, like all other holders of passports of African countries, Ghanaians didn’t have to apply for visa prior to travelling, they were required to pay for it. But since the deal, Rwandan citizens travelling to Ghana entered the country without requiring a visa. Ghana has similar visa waiver agreements with other African countries like Uganda, Zimbabwe and Kenya. Citizens from these countries do not need visas to enter Ghana, and Ghanaians can travel to these countries without visas – all they get are immigration entry stamps in their passports.

A press release from the Directorate General of Immigration and Migration has announced that the country’s Cabinet on November 8, 2017 approved a New Visa Regime for the country which among others includes reciprocity, Visa waiver for holders of diplomatic and service passports.

The new visa regime also, now grants citizens of all countries visa on arrival without prior application. Hitherto, only holders of African passports were granted visa on arrival.

The release indicates that “Rwanda will grant visa free of charge with 90 days validity to the following countries on reciprocal basis: Benin, Central African Republic, Chad, Ghana, Guinea, Indonesia, Haiti, Senegal, Seychelles and Sao Tome and Principe. This is in addition to Democratic Republic of Congo, East African Member Community Partner States, Mauritius, Philippines, and Singapore. This takes immediate effect,” it said.It further states that 30 days visa upon arrival will be granted to citizens of all countries to get visa upon arrival without prior

application, starting January 1, 2018. Before that, only nationals of African countries and few others were getting visa upon arrival, it added.

Citizens of COMESA Member States will however 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 the protocol on July 13, 2016. Currently, citizens of COMESA member states were getting 30 days on arrival as other holders of African Passports, it said.

According to the release, Rwandans living abroad with dual nationality allowed to use national IDs on entry – waive visa fee 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,” it said, adding that returning foreign 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.

By Emmanuel K. Dogbevi
Copyright © 2017 by Creative Imaginations Publicity
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