UPDATED – Entry Requirements for Malawi

This message is to remind U.S. citizens that Malawi has introduced a system of visas and entry fees for nationals of countries which require Malawians to pay visa fees. This applies to U.S. citizens. This message also contains an important update on the elimination of Malawi’s “visa letter” scheme.

According to the Government of Malawi, as of September 9, 2016, U.S. citizens may obtain a visa on arrival at a port-of-entry in Malawi.  There is no longer a requirement for a so-called “visa letter” or visa obtained in advance from a Malawian Embassy abroad. The announcement from Malawi’s Department of Immigration is attached for reference.

VISAS

Malawi has three types of visas for visitors:

–  Single Entry Visa:  These visas are subject to a fee of $75 USD when issued at a port-of-entry in Malawi or $100 USD when issued by a Malawian embassy or consulate. 

–  Multiple-Entry Visa:  These visas are valid for 6 or 12 months for a fee of $150 USD or $250 USD, respectively, when issued at a port-of-entry in Malawi or $220 USD or $300 USD, respectively, when issued by a Malawian embassy or consulate. 

–  Transit Visa:  These visas are valid for seven days and are available for a fee of $50 USD when issued at a port-of-entry in Malawi or $70 USD when issued by a Malawian embassy or consulate.

All visa fees are payable in U.S. dollars.  Please note that fees charged by Malawian diplomatic missions may vary from the figures cited above.  U.S. travelers should contact the Malawian diplomatic mission nearest them to arrange for visa issuance and confirm fees.

EXCEPTIONS TO VISA REQUIREMENTS

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 or “visa letter” once they have exited Malawi and wish to return.

Diplomats and officials traveling on government business are exempt from this visa requirement. 

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 does 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.