Message for U.S. Citizens: Entry Fee for Malawi as of October 1, 2015

The Government of Malawi has informed the United States Embassy that effective October 1, 2015, Malawi intends to introduce a system of entry fees and visas for nationals of countries which require Malawians to pay visa fees. This will apply to U.S. citizens.

According to the notification, Malawi is introducing three types of visas:

–  Single Entry Visa:  validity duration of three months for a fee of $75 USD;

–  Multiple-Entry Visa:  validity duration of six or 12 months for a fee of $150

or $250 USD, respectively;

–  Transit Visa:  validity duration of seven days for a fee of $50 USD.

Visas should be obtained from Malawian diplomatic missions abroad well in advance of travel, although no details have been provided regarding application or appointment procedures. U.S. travelers planning arrivals on or after October 1, 2015, should contact the Malawian diplomatic missionnearest them to arrange for visa issuance.

Initially, all visa fees will be payable in U.S. dollars although this is subject to change once Malawi introduces an electronic visa issuance system that will enable visa electronic payments.

Foreign visitors or residents possessing  long-term residential, employment, student, or business permits such as the two-year validity “Temporary Employment Permits” (TEP), five-year validity “Business Residence Permits,” one-year validity “Students Permits,” and “Permanent Residence Permits” are considered holders of long-term permits and are exempt from the visa requirement as they are considered returning residents.

Persons holding 30-day (extendable for an additional 60 days) “Visitors Permits” or “Business Visit Permits” are considered holders of short-term permits. Holders of short-term permits will be required to have a visa once they have exited Malawi and wish to return.

Diplomats and officials traveling on government business will be exempt from this visa requirement.  Malawi will issue a “Gratis Visa” without charge to diplomats and government officials who require a visa to enter Malawi.

Based upon the experiences of travelers who arrived during a premature rollout of the entry fee earlier this year, visitors may be able to pay the entry fee upon arrival at points of entry such as border crossings or at the international airports in Lilongwe and Blantyre.  Interested persons such as tour operators or relatives may be able to make advance payment within Malawi at offices of the Immigration Department on behalf of the arriving travelers, but this is not confirmed at this time.

The entry fee will not apply to nationals from either the Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries, not including Angola, or to nationals from the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) countries.

The U.S. Embassy will update this announcement as more detailed information becomes available regarding specific guidance or procedures related to the new entry fee.