Now, tourists who wish to explore the wonders of African nations Kenya, Rwanda, and Uganda can apply for a single visa. An East African tourist visa (EATV) is a joint travel permission to visit these nations. The EATV was introduced in 2014 as a joint initiative to boost the tourism industries in these countries.
The EATV is an electronic visa that offers international travelers an opportunity to explore diverse and exciting locations in these countries. It also gives a seamless travel experience as tourists do not need to go through immigration and customs checks multiple times.
An East African tourist visa is an electronic travel authorization granted to foreign travelers to enter Rwanda, Kenya, and Uganda. The EATV is a short-term multiple-entry visa. The visa application process is simpler and online. It is also cheaper and financially viable than a regular embassy visa.
Applicants are not required to apply for three separate visas, and this reduces the visa processing time considerably.
This joint visa has also helped the tourism ministries of all these countries work in tandem and collectively showcase three tourism industries as a single product to potential international tourists. The EATV has also improved border crossing and paved the way for better opportunities in cross-border collaboration between these African nations.
A foreigner who holds an EATV can be called an East African tourist. He/she can visit East African countries multiple times during the visa validity period. An East African tourist can remain in the above-mentioned countries for a maximum of 90 days. Note that an EATV holder must enter the country through which he/she applied for an EATV.
A foreigner can become an East African tourist after getting an EATV. Foreign nationals can apply for the East African tourist visa at the official websites of Kenya, Rwanda, or Uganda. The application process is simple, straightforward, and online. To begin the application process, applicants will have to create an account. They have to log in with this account and download the application form.
Once the application form is downloaded, the applicants will have to fill in the fields with correct information that matches the details on their passports. Once completed, they have to submit the application form. Following the submission, applicants are required to upload the documents. They include the biodata page of their passport, photograph, travel itinerary, and a copy of the yellow fever vaccination certificate (mandatory for travelers from certain countries).
If they need to submit any additional documentation, the authorities will inform them following verification. All documents must be in English. If not, applicants are required to translate them into English by a notary or by an embassy official. After submitting the documents, applicants should pay the visa fee (100 USDs) digitally. This fee is not refundable in case of visa rejection. Once an applicant agrees to the terms and conditions of the visa, they can submit it to the authorities.
Once approved, applicants will receive an approval letter at their registered email address. Applicants from some countries may be asked to pay a top-up charge as service tax. Foreign travelers should carry a printed copy of their EATV while traveling to these countries. They have to show this copy along with the original copies of their identity and other travel documents to the immigration officials at the port of entry.
Any foreign national who wishes to visit Kenya, Uganda, and Rwanda simultaneously can apply for this. An EATV is applicable only for tourism. They can apply for it online or at the immigration offices of the country that they want to visit first. If a foreigner wishes to start their trip in Kenya, they can apply for an EATV at the official portal of the Kenyan immigration department.
Similarly, if they want to land in Rwanda first, they have to apply through the website of Rwandan immigration. Likewise, foreign tourists who plan to touchdown in Uganda first need to apply through the Ugandan immigration department. The holder of an EATV must enter the country that issues the travel document first. They can travel to other countries without applying for another visa.
The application and processing of an East African tourist visa are completely online and hence faster than an embassy visa. It takes only a few hours to verify and process an online application. In most cases, the EATV will be delivered within two working days. It can be delayed for a few days if the authorities require additional documents from an applicant.
There are many benefits to an EATV. The application process is very easy, simple, and online. Applicants do not need to schedule an appointment with the embassy to get a visa. They need only a single visa to visit three foreign countries. This saves them a lot of time and paperwork.
An EATA is a financially viable option. Applicants need to pay for a single visa instead of three visas. This special visa also allows the governments of these countries to boost their tourist industries. They can market three industries as a single product.
Foreign nationals cannot get an EATV on arrival in Kenya since the Kenyan government has suspended all visas on arrival. However, travelers from eligible countries can get an EATV on arrival in Rwanda. Note that citizens of countries that do not need a visa to visit Kenya too should get an East African tourist visa if they plan to explore Rwanda and Uganda.
International travelers must check with the Rwandan consular mission in their country to know more about the procedure to get an EATV on arrival at an international airport/seaport in the country.
An East African tourist visa is simpler travel authorization granted to foreigners who wish to explore three African nations of Uganda, Kenya, and Rwanda. However, it does not guarantee entry. If immigration officials at the port of entry find something amiss with the documents and information provided by the applicants, their EATV can be denied. They will have to leave the country immediately.