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Travel Living in Kigali Forum / Travel /

Penalty for Overstaying My Rwandan Visa

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#1 | Posted: 29 Mar 2011 09:59
Hey... I planned a bit poorly and will be overstaying my tourist visa just by three days. I'm leaving through the airport. Does anyone know what the likely penalty will be or if there will be one?

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#2 | Posted: 1 Apr 2011 12:51
I think the penalty is 50000RWF, but you might be refused to leave the country by the Immigrations officers at the airport without a valid visa. It is possible to extend the visa in country, just visit the Immigration office in Kacyiro (Kigali) and request an extension. But also please note that this might take a week, so you need to do it in time.

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#3 | Posted: 1 Apr 2011 19:14
You should extend it coz you might be able to leave but never able to enter the country again. So better be safe than sorry.
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#4 | Posted: 2 Apr 2011 21:02
Crap. Not the answers I was hoping for, but thanks! I fly this week so no time to extend. Guess I should have thought of this sooner. I didn't even know it was possible to extend so I guess that's good news for next time.
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#5 | Posted: 5 Apr 2011 17:34
Good news! I got through and the customs guy didn't look at me twice. I didn't even need to cry or flash my boobs! I did write '3 months' on the departure card instead or '93' days... so maybe that helped? Either way it was no big deal. But again, it might depend on who you get and what sort of mood they're in.

I'd be interested in hearing about any other visa overstayer's experiences.

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#6 | Posted: 11 Dec 2013 12:52 | Edited by: NepoleonComplex
You can stay 5 days over and it is a verbal warning, day 6 and the fines start at 15,000 RWF. Be careful, especially EAC members, Rwanda likes to play games with their words "visitor" and "resident" possibly to line their pockets or just show off how much trouble they can cause you. There is nothing in the law that states what these terms mean, so if you stay too long, even within the 6 months you are allowed, the border agents can just accuse you of being a resident, confiscate your passport, delay a week or two, and fine you 300,000 for being 6 - 9 months over for not applying for a resident visa within 15 days of becoming a "resident." When and how you became a "resident" is up to them, not any written description of what a "resident" is. Be careful how you answer where you have been staying, "lots of friends and guest houses" is a better answer than "oh, I rented a house as a base to travel from." Rwanda's pervasive Napoleon complex is alive and well, speak softly, any sign of escalation and little Napoleon will materialize before your eyes.
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