Explore Africa: Getting an East African Tourist Visa

Getting an East African Tourist Visa

As of recently, Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda have made it easier for prospective visitors to obtain a visa. Instead of getting three separate documents for your travels, now you can get a joint travel permit to explore East Africa. 

Scroll down to learn how to get it for your trip.

How to Apply

Getting a combined visa is beyond convenient. But it is even better when you can do it electronically. While other countries pose certain limitations on what nationals are eligible to use e-services, the EATV is available to everyone. Citizens of any county are allowed to apply online using a passport valid at least 6 months after crossing the African borders.

Visa in 3 Steps

1. Decide to which one of these 3 countries you’ll travel first. Then go to the online visa portal of that country to launch the application process:

  • Rwanda
  • Kenya
  • Uganda

2. Prepare the documents before filling in the form. The list may vary, depending on the country you pick. But you’ll most likely need the following:

3. Fill in the form at one of the online portals listed above. Check everything before submitting the application and pay $101 as a processing fee. The visa is usually issued within 3 working days. It allows you to travel to Kenya, Rwanda, and Uganda and stay there for 90 days. However, there are certain restrictions:

  • You can’t cross the borders of these states more than once a day
  • You can’t study or work there, the visa is for visitor purposes only
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The Type of Photo You’ll Need for a Visa

If the image you provide fails to comply with the requirements, your application will be rejected. Here are the basic ones:

  • Colored, high resolution image
  • High quality (no scans of the hardcopy is allowed)
  • 500×500 pixels
  • A white background
  • A neutral facial expression

Additionally, the person should look right into the camera and wear no sunglasses or headwear. 

Using the Services of Online Photo Booths

The easiest way to get the picture is to use your smartphone. However, you can’t apply with the image right after taking it. It just won’t meet the requirements. Try using an online tool to have the photo adjusted automatically:

  1. Upload the file to the online photo editor.
  2. Pay $7USD for the online program to edit it. The service includes cropping, improving the background, making sure the eye line is in the middle, as well as compressing the picture to the right sizes, etc. The procedure doesn’t compromise the quality in any way.
  3. Download a digital photo. It’s ready to be attached to the EATV application. If you need to print it, use the template that goes along in the download link.

Protect Yourself While Traveling

Follow the tips to make the trip as smooth as possible:

  • Complete the COVID-19 vaccination with one of the WHO-approved vaccines
  • Consider getting vaccination against the following diseases: hepatitis A, typhoid, yellow fever, cholera, hepatitis B, meningitis, rabies
  • Take meds against malaria just in case
  • Wear a mask and gloves in public places
  • Buy a good insurance policy to cover all medical costs, including COVID-19 treatment
  • Never travel on foot at night, even in big cities. The governments take measures to lower the crime rates, but you can still become a victim of street robbery. Order a cab if you need to go anywhere at night
  • Don’t withdraw big sums of money from your card. It is better to have enough cash to spend in a day or two
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The best way to see more of Africa is to visit several countries per trip. Luckily, you can easily do it with the new East African joint visa. Apply online, pay the fee and start packing bags for the flight! Your dream vacation is closer than you think.

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