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The East African : May 12th 2014
The EastAfrican NEWS MAY 10-16,2014 LINKING EAST AFRICA Foreigners living in EA land special visa deal Non-citizens ≥esident in Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda get six months By CHRISTABEL LIGAMI Special Correspondent F oreigners living in Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda will from next month get a sixmonth East African tourist visa under a preferential deal agreed on last week as the states sought to fully implement the issuance of a joint visa for the region. According to a report on last week’s Northern Corridor Integration Project Summit held in Nairobi, the visa will be issued by the country where the foreigner resides, subject to the validity of the work/residence permit taking into account the visa regimes. The deal will give non-citi- zen residents an edge over their travelling counterparts, who get a 90-day visa. Since its launch in Kam- pala last month, officials say, tremendous progress has been realised in the implementation of the joint visa, which is expected to sell the East African region as a single tourist destination. The ministers’ report says the countries have opened special visa fees accounts and agreed to transfer revenue from the joint visa to each partner state by July 15. The meeting directed Ken- ya to develop a sample application form for the visa and share it with partner states. Working like the Schen- gen visa for European Union countries, the East African visa is expected to allow tourist to enter any of the three countries and move freely within the other two. It is issued as a multiple-entry visa at $100 instead of $150 at the diplomatic offices of Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda, immigration offices of the respective countries or online. Annual audit “The national audit agen- cies of the partner states will conduct the auditing of the accounts of the East African visa on an annual basis,” said the ministers in their report. The design of the appli- cation form has also been completed and, according to the ministers, tourists can start applying for their visas as from May 15 from all the partner states. To enhance the use of the visa in the countries, the ministers mandated Rwanda to lead the coordination of an awareness drive. The three East African countries participated jointly at the Indaba Fair in South Africa and World Travel Market in London. At the Berlin International Tourism Fair in March, Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda shared a pavilion, at which they launched the single tourist visa. On national identity cards and student IDs as travel documents, the partner states have resolved that travellers coming from outside the three countries will use standard travel documents. Partner states have therefore been directed to issue interstate passes by July 1. The states also agreed on the format of a standard student ID card to be in use by July 1. Uganda will co-ordinate the sensitisation of immigration officials on the operationalisation of IDs as travel documents by May 15. Tourists buy artefacts at a curio stall in Nakuru, Kenya. Foreigners living in Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda have been offered an East African Tourist Visa deal. Picture: File 9 RENAMED The cluster on IDs, voter’s cards and student cards and the establishment of a joint visa, the ministers said, will be renamed the Cluster of Immigration, Tourism, Trade, Labour and Services. Kenya and Uganda will implement a secure domestically hosted system for immigration control. Save for Kenya, the states will continue issuing visas to holders of passports for a fee upon arrival.
May 5th 2014
May 19th 2014