Article by: Charlotte Beauvoisin
What is the East Africa Tourist Visa?
The East Africa Tourist Visa allows you to travel for up to 90 days in and out of Uganda Kenya and Rwanda. It is available to tourists, expats and nationals of the three countries.
Without an East Africa Tourist Visa, you would currently spend a minimum of $130 in visa fees to visit the three countries: Kenya ($50) + Rwanda ($30) + Uganda ($50).
Originally launched in 2013, the East Africa Tourist Visa has come of age and is widely available. Here is a quick guide on how to apply for the EATV, and a few restrictions.
Which countries does the East Africa Tourist Visa cover?
Uganda, Kenya and Rwanda.
How much is the East Africa Tourist Visa?
The EATV costs $100 for tourists. The EATV is free of charge to citizens of Uganda, Kenya and Rwanda and to foreign residents / expats with valid work permits.
What is an Interstate Pass and how do I apply for it?
Citizens and expats simply need to request an Interstate Pass when you show your ID / passport and exit one of the three countries. The Interstate Pass is free of charge and issued at the border. You do not have to apply in advance. You return the Interstate Pass when you cross back over the border.
How long is the East Africa Tourist Visa valid for? Can I extend it?
90 days. The East Africa Tourist Visa is a multiple entry visa so you can travel in and out of the three countries unlimited times during that period. It cannot be extended.
How do I apply for the East Africa Tourist Visa
The application process for the East Africa Tourist Visa varies according to the country where you enter the EATV zone. However, in all cases, you now have to apply in advance.
You can only get the EATV when you FIRST enter the EATV zone, either in advance online or at an embassy / diplomatic mission in your home country.
The fact that you can only get an East Africa Tourist Visa when you first enter the EATV countries is a bit of a drawback for those who may arrive in one country, without having made firm travel plans. I have heard of one or two exceptional cases where EATVs have been issued in Kampala, however generally they are not issued once in country.
How do I apply for the East Africa Tourist Visa if I’m entering Uganda first?
If Uganda is your first point of entry to the EATV zone, you can request your East Africa Tourist Visa at your local Ugandan embassy.
Advice from Immigration is that all visa (and work permit) applications should be done online at https://www.visas.immigration.go.ug/ Launched in July 2016, feedback is that the system is working well. Generally, it takes two or three days for your visa application to be approved. You then bring your visa approval letter with you to Entebbe and pay for the visa at the airport. The same applies if you are travelling through one of the land borders.
The Muzungu’s recommendation: if you have applied for an East Africa Tourist Visa, bring a copy of ‘an itinerary proving onward travel in East Africa’ if you can. Strictly speaking, this is not a requirement of the East Africa Tourist Visa, however, immigration at Entebbe airport have been known to make this demand.
If Kenya or Rwanda are your first point of entry, apply using their respective online visa application systems or contact your local embassy.
For the Definitive Guide on how to apply for the East Africa Tourist Visa, and the Uganda tourist visa, please visit www.diaryofamuzungu.com Diary of a Muzungu | Uganda travel blog.