Applying for or renewing a work visa in Rwanda can cause stress if you’re not prepared. Understanding the correct documents, asking questions, and putting together all required paperwork ahead of time can save you stress, money, and time. However, not all companies undertaking an expansion have the time to figure out how to get a Rwanda work visa for every employee.
Types of Work Visas in Rwanda
Rwanda has several visa classes, including:
- Class V-1 Single Entry visa: This visa applies to foreigners from certain countries wishing to visit Rwanda for any reason besides work, or a person from any country wanting to enter Rwanda to find work and obtain the appropriate visa.
- Class V-1 Multiple Entry visa: A class V-1 multiple entry visa applies to the same people listed above but allows for multiple trips into the country.
- Class Q1 – Transit: People coming through Rwanda for 72 hours or less should apply for this visa.
- Class T2 Tourist: This visa applies to individuals from certain countries coming to visit Rwanda for a holiday, sightseeing, visiting relatives, and other short-term non-work purposes.
- Class T3 Tourist – Family: A visa for people visiting a family member or another close relative living and working in Rwanda.
- Class T4 Visiting Diplomat: This visa applies to visiting diplomats coming to Rwanda for official purposes.
- Class T6-1: Single-Entry – Conference: This visa is for eligible people speaking at a conference, meeting, workshop, or seminar.
- Class T6-2 Multiple-Entry – Conference: The class T6-2 multiple-entry is for the same people listed above but allows multiple entries into the country.
- Class T7 Business: Prospective investors, entrepreneurs, or traders can get this visa to explore business opportunities in Rwanda.
- Class T8 Tourist – Medical Treatment: Anyone who needs medical treatment/consultations in Rwanda can obtain this visa.
- Class L9 Tourist – Group Tourist: Anyone traveling as a member of a group with four to 10 tourists, either individually or with a tour operator.
- Class T12 – East Africa Tourist visa: A foreigner who wants to visit Kenya, Rwanda, and Uganda in one trip.
Requirements to Obtain Rwanda Work Visas
Almost all foreign nationals are required to apply for a visa to enter and stay in Rwanda. They also need a work permit, as a visa only allows entry to the country but not employment. Work permits are split into categories just like visas, but the two main options are temporary or permanent. Five types of permits describe the different natures of employment, such as:
H1: Skilled workers in an in-demand occupation
H2: Skilled workers sponsored by an organization
H3: Journalist or media
H4: Semiskilled or artisan workers
H5: International organization employees
There are additional Rwanda work permit categories for other purposes, such as students or investors. Applicants will need relevant documents in either French or English to complete their work permit application.
Additional requirements to get an initial visa include:
- Color passport photo
- Completed application form
- Application letter
- Curriculum vitae (CV)
- Employment contract
- Business registration certificate
- Trading license
- Notarized degree and diploma
- Police clearance
- Copy of green card
Applicants should have a valid passport or another type of travel document with at least six months’ validity on the day they enter Rwanda. Your employees can apply for the visa upon arrival or submit an application online before leaving their home country. The visa fee is either due online or upon arrival. The other option is applying at the Rwanda Diplomatic Mission in their country of residence.
If your employees need to extend their visas, they can apply with the Directorate General of Immigration and Emigration. They should submit all visa extensions while the initial visa is valid.
Other Important Considerations
Rwanda has agreements with many other countries that allow citizens to obtain a free 90-day visa upon entering the country. Angola, Benin, the Central African Republic, Chad, Singapore, Sierra Leone, and more are all countries with these agreements.
Partner With Globalization Partners
Globalization Partners will help you expand to Rwanda. Contact us today to learn more about how you can benefit from our Global Expansion solution.
THIS CONTENT IS FOR INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY AND DOES NOT CONSTITUTE LEGAL OR TAX ADVICE. You should always consult with and rely on your own legal and/or tax advisor(s). G-P does not provide legal or tax advice. The information is general and not tailored to a specific company or workforce and does not reflect G-P’s product delivery in any given jurisdiction. G-P makes no representations or warranties concerning the accuracy, completeness, or timeliness of this information and shall have no liability arising out of or in connection with it, including any loss caused by use of, or reliance on, the information.