With the exception of nationals of the East African Community and the DRC, all foreigners wishing to visit Burundi must have a visa. The application for a residence visa is made at any Embassy of Burundi or at the International Airport of Bujumbura. For people already in the country, the steps are made directly to the Police of Air, Borders and Foreigners (PAFE). Different types of visas can be obtained:
- Tourist visa: This type of visa has a duration of 30 days (90 US $) or 60 days (180 US $) and can be with single or multiple entries. It is granted to foreigners visiting the country, with the exception of nationals of the East African Community (who benefit from free movement). A visitor who wishes to extend his stay must obtain an extension before the expiry of the visa and pay an additional US $ 2 per day. Special provisions are provided for citizens from the Economic Community of Great Lakes Countries (CEPGL), thus facilitating access to nationals of the DRC (as Rwanda is already part of the EAC).
- A 2 year renewable visa: This visa is granted to foreigners wishing to stay in the country for a long time. Its cost of US $ 500 is to be paid into a government account opened at a Commercial Bank of Burundi. An additional deposit of US $ 1,500 (or US $ 5,000 when the applicant comes with his family) is required.
- A Permanent residence visa: This visa can be obtained after being resident in Burundi for at least 10 years. It costs US $ 600 and a payment of a deposit of US $ 1,500 (already deposited if the foreigner had a 2-year renewable visa) is required.
- An Exit-return visa: Foreigners holding a residence visa or a long-term visa who wish to leave the country, even for a very short period, must apply for an exit visa costing US $ 30.
Documents required for obtaining a residence visa
Documents to be provided to the Embassy of Burundi for obtaining a tourist or business visa are:
• A valid passport for at least 6 months;
• 3 identity photographs;
• A copy of the return tickets or a confirmation of itinerary;
• A copy of the yellow fever vaccination certificate;
• A booking confirmation for the hotel;
• A letter from the company to the Burundi consulate confirming the invitation, in case of a business visit.
Any foreigner employed in Burundi must have a work permit. This document is obtained from the Immigration Office. The required procedure is as follows:
• Send an application for a work permit to the General Commissioner of PAFE;
• Once the authorization has been issued, send the employment contract and an extract of the criminal record to PAFE;
• Make payment of US $ 500 and deposit an amount of US $ 1,500 to a Commercial Bank of Burundi to obtain a 2-year renewable visa (see above) and the work permit.