Malawi in ‘tit-for-tat’ visa regime by Oct 1: Minister says UK, US, nationals to pay entry fee

Foreign nationals whose countries require Malawians to pay visa to enter their countries will now be required to pay visa to enter Malawi effective 1st October 2015.

Kalilani: entry fee’ for visitors from countries that require Malawian citizens to have a visa to visit their country

Kalilani: Entry fee’ for visitors from countries that require Malawian citizens to have a visa to visit their country

A US$75 ‘entry fee’ for visitors from countries that require Malawian citizens to have a visa to visit their country is payable upon arrival for visitors from the UK, the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and most Middle East countries, among others.

The announcement made in Lilongwe on Monday evening cuts a long time regime where Malawi government allowed foreign nationals from visa paying countries to enter the country without visa.

Minister of Home Affairs and Internal Security, Dr. Jean Kalilani when making the announcement, however, said the changes will not affect: Nationals from the Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries, except Angola; nationals from the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA); Diplomats and Government officials; and nationals from all countries that do not require Malawian nationals to pay visa fees when traveling to such countries.

“The validity of multiple entry visas (6 months and 12 months) shall reciprocate to the validity of multiple entry visa in the corresponding country,” said Kalilani

“This decision is normal for reasons of security matters; you cannot just have people just entering the country anyhow, there must be a control and one of them is this visa regime.” added the Minister when asked some of the reasons that necessitated government to implement the new visa regime.

The minister has therefore played down rumour that the decision was anything to do with increasing revenue source base as a result of the current economic situation.

But said, government wants to reciprocate visa regime its citizens are being subjected to when they travel to such countries.

Kalilani explained that the new regime was gazetted on 1st July this year, but implementation has been extended to 1st October this year in order to give adequate notices to travelling foreign nationals and the travel industry.

“Travellers are strongly encouraged to obtain their visas well in advance at their nearest Malawi Diplomatic Mission to avoid unnecessary inconveniences at the port of entry,” warned Kalilani

She also advised that visa applications can also be made through online requests using Immigration Department website (www.immigration.gov.mw) and that payments may be made through the same Malawi Embassies, Consulate Offices or at port of entry.

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66 thoughts on “Malawi in ‘tit-for-tat’ visa regime by Oct 1: Minister says UK, US, nationals to pay entry fee”

  1. guguh says:

    To concur with Chiwoko
    Yet there is a full ministry of tourism. One wonders what they are paid for.

  2. Clement Chiwoko says:

    Has Malawi got an idea of how many Foreigners come to Malawi on tourism. “Malawi is beautiful” what a load of Rubbish. This is delusional. There are more beautiful countries in Africa with far better things to offer to a tourist than Malawi. I have a friend whose entire life is travelling the world. He was very disappointed with Malawi. There is no tourist Office to get details etc He has visited over 15 other countries in Africa and over 40 countries worldwide. When he was in Malawi he found only met one other tourist at Makokola the rest were Malawians who came for a conference. He went to Climb Mulanje he had only the guide with him. The only people he met along the route were local people carrying logs of wood. He spent two nights at Liwonde pack saw a few elephants , crocodiles and some few other spicies. $75 Dollars is nothing to a tourist but you need to offer more if Malawi to compete in the world of tourism. The High Commissioner in UK has no tourist information about Malawi. MALAWIANS STOP BEING SELF CONGRATULATING.

  3. guguh says:

    It might be a good idea or it might not be a good idea. But what i see here is decisions made without research.

    Have they checked what other countries similar to malawi are doing with regards to visas?

    Have they considered the financial implications whether positive or negative and done a proper cost benefit analysis based on incoming travelers?

    Did they consider the balance between foreigners and mw travellers and made political and economical decision based on statistics?

    Anyway, I’ve lost hope in this rubbish of a country.. I haven’t seen anyone doing anything to change the miserable state we are in. Pathetic!

  4. Maggie Lucius says:

    @56 pathetic comment. Shame on you

  5. Maggie Lucius says:

    This is music to my ears. Malawians let us be patriotic and support this. Those who really wish to visit the country will visit. How does a Malawian, earning less than a dollar a day afford hefty visa fees to these countries? How much has Malawi developed with or without these fees anyway? The west (worst) are nothing but selfish. They only invest where they have smelt gold…….. wake up Malawi and stop being naive. Bravo to the Minister …bold move. After all are they not rich nations?

  6. Real Patriot says:

    If somebody can afford to buy a ticket and have money to spend in Malawi,why should they fail to pay the Visa fee if they are really serious of coming down here?.Just because Malawi is not rich as US and UK,then it should be waiting for every decision from the West!Well done Kalirani.Its time you also improved the lives of Malawians.

  7. nankungwi says:

    Alex Likoswe youj are an examle of why Malawi is static! does it matter what the lady is wearing? do you not have enough brain to contribute usefully to this debate? for your information no it is not a school uniform it s expensive co-ordianted tire and it is none of your business thick head!

  8. Trevor Manyi says:

    Kunenepa ngati nkhumba… This will backfire badly

  9. mtochi says:

    $50 is just too little,malawi is too beautiful

  10. Chikulu ndinya says:

    Reading some comments here, I can see that Basic Economics has to be introduced at primary schools in Malawi. UMBULU okhaokha, Visa for tourists? Introduce taxes on mansions, high powered vehicles and alcohol.

  11. Steven Malamba says:

    I commend government for introducing a visa requirement for those who claim to be coming from rich countries. We need the money for development whether they come to visit or not. If they are rich why do they get money from the poor? After all our government should also be demanding health insurance from these western visitors. It’s hell on earth if you were to get a visa from their offices. And again a bank statement too that they will be able to survive instead of doing what they do along the lakeshore.

  12. Karl says:

    I have been to Malawi more than 20 times in the last 10 years. Beautiful country. Beautiful people. This new visa fee simply means I will spend US$75 less in Malawian businesses. It is a shame.

    1. Chenji ku Msika says:

      If you were really investing, Malawi would have developed by now.
      But the problem is that you come to Malawi to steal our resources. so you can stay with your money and leave our resources.

  13. mr-ivan says:

    A lot of people on here have no idea what tourism can bring, probably because its so undeveloped in Malawi. Tourism is the UKs BIGEST single forex earner.
    Malawi has only itself to blame for the high visa fees into the UK. These were deliberately introduced to make it difficult for Malawian passport holders to get into the UK. Despite warnings from the UK foreign office, NOTHING was done to stop the rampant corruption selling Malawian passports to all and sundry, resulting in a flood of unwanted economic migrants from all over Africa, many of whom came to take advantage of the generous benefits. VERY few were genuine tourists. Many were undesirables even in their own country
    I also bet there are many more Malawians working in the UK than there are English working in Malawi !
    I’m sad that there seems to be a belief that Malawians are not welcome at some of the lakeshore lodges, I never came across this myself, but if true, then its something that the government should look at.
    Ivan

  14. Dr. Godfrey Ganizani Mvuma says:

    Brilliant idea. Keep it up.

  15. katakwe says:

    No serious traveller can fail to visit an area because of visa. Bravo Malawi Government for the move. ITS been long over due.

  16. nankungwi says:

    Charge for it all! charge for passports! charge for visas! charge for hospital treatment! we are not leadrless we need to organise our houjse This is the way to go! very good and full marks Dr Kaliklani! I can see why gthey gave you this job!

  17. nankungwi says:

    That is the style! fumbi ndiwe mini! if you dont respect what you have why should anybody else respect it? Well done Dr Kalilani! overhaul the security system in malawi! it is archaic and needs cleaning! Dont listen to anybody who says good bye to tourism! All it means is that tourism has to sprice up and develop!We pay where evr we go whyh noty in malawi!

    DPP Oyeeeeee!

  18. The real ujeni says:

    This is long overdue, the bed tourist are your own people, if the locals cannot enjoy their own country, then something must be wrong wit the thinking of the people of the land. The idea that anybody who is white is a tourist is just stupid. This is the reason why some of the places along the lake owners prohibit black people, we have allowed it ourself to look inferior.

  19. mr-ivan says:

    When Ethiopian and Kenyan begin to see half empty planes arriving in Lilongwe and Blantyre, they will cut flights. When this happens less visitors will come.
    Zambia is $50, for better wildlife than Malawi will ever have.
    UK has high visas because Malawi was a route into UK for many who used fraudulently obtained Malawian passports. Up till then Malawians could travel visa free, but the fraud got out of hand, with people from all over Africa buying passports.
    A family of four from the UK will now pay $300, it wont happen. say goodby to your tourism industry. Why go to Malawi, when Tanzania, Kenya, Zambia, Zimbabwe Botswana, Namibia are ALL cheaper, and have MUCH better wildlife
    The lake is great, but people who have never been to Malawi wont be impressed until they have been. Tanzania and Zambia have their own lakes that can compete with Lake Malawi.
    A product can only be sold for what the market can stand, make it too expensive, and it wont sell
    $50 is plenty, and for some, even that will be too much for what is on offer.
    Ivan

  20. howard chiks says:

    No doubt, that’s a good move though on the payments its too litle. May its for experimental basis. There should also be total accountability in th process.

  21. out the door says:

    it’s fair it seems as i imagine the Malawi government will also reciprocate by providing millions of dollars in foreign aid to the US and UK so their government leaders can steal the money just as they do here. cry my beloved planet earth.

  22. Peter Chiumia says:

    Put proper systems in place. Otherwise it will be just one of those embracing innovations to the country. Proper control systems is must otherwise another forex cashgate

  23. Alex Likoswe says:

    Madam, is that a school uniform?

  24. Cassim says:

    In SA there already crying with regards to higher visa fees. Their are tourism industry is suffering a huge blow. While I commend the minister to have the visa fees to be favourable compared to our counterparts in SADC, but have we done a proper assessment on how the changes will impact our tourism industry. Have we done a proper cost and benefit analysis. The decision should not based on the “eye for an eye principle” Can we also improve the process of applying for visa.
    One more question minister, when are you allowing dual citizenship. We have heard stories of big bosses (former presidents, ministers, some businessmen) holding dual citizenship. Surely we can’t be living in an animal farm situation where “all animals are said to be equal but some animals being more equal than others”.

  25. sarah says:

    Ouch! This is very bad for tourism. My family is thinking of coming to Malawi for a holiday but $300 for four of them to stay for two weeks is too, too much. We are not so rich in the UK that we will give away this money freely. There are lots of beautiful countries nearby where you do not have to pay this. Why should we go to Malawi and pay more?

    I think the difference with having a fee for visas in the UK is that so many people want to go there. There are so many tourists in London it is difficult to walk along the street! If the fee puts people off from visiting the UK it does not matter because there are so many other people that will still go. Malawi does not have enough tourists to risk putting people off. There is also a lot of competition from other countries nearby that we do not have in the UK.

    Charging countries just because they charge you is not a good reason to introduce fees. In the end I think it is Malawi that will suffer because it will lose tourists.

  26. Hangman Mtambo says:

    Just wasting time. Think of innovative and other proper ways of raising forex. There was a reason Kamuzu designed that free visa entry system for western countries. Now fiddle with the system, effects will be worse. It’s like playing with the hand that feeds you.

    Have you ever asked yourselves one simple question, who needs the other is it a British or a Malawian? And you folks in tourism industry are you sure you will just watch these less intelligent politicians destroy your source of livelihood without stopping their crazy ideas?

  27. Njegame Syaosimo says:

    I agree with number 28. The amount of visa is too little. Imagine when a Malawian visits D.R. Congo, we are asked to pay USD300 for 3 months. When a Congo national visit our country he would only pay USD75 for the same period. Kodi mwina a Malawi ndi olemera eti. Malawi Government wake up

  28. gwizima says:

    Let us wait and see, otherwise Malawi need these people than these people need Malawi. You are talking of boosting tourism and free VISA was one of the incentive for our under-developed tourism sector.

  29. namarokoro says:

    That’s the way to go my minister. Good news

  30. Nanyoni says:

    This is a good start and eventually we will charge same price as those countries charge our nationals for visa to enter their countries. Malawi needs this and it is a very good move bravo Honourable Minister

  31. QueenB says:

    John, we don’t want you in our country anyway. It’s people like you who come to steal our resources. How much does your country charge Malawians for the visa? I wish you were charged $500. Crying over $100? Hehehe! Please, tell everyone you know never to come to any country in Africa.

  32. Bikiloni Nachipanti says:

    Nanga ma Malawians of Asian origin mukuti nawo bwanji? These people come in the country, lose or hide their passports, come in Malawi and get Malawian passports, externalize our money. These people need stiffer restriction requirement other than mere entry VISA.

  33. chimwemwe says:

    Malawi needs tourists i hope this will not frusttate tourist with families coming here for holidays

  34. Kwangwagwa says:

    Ofuna kubwera ku Malawi ndani? A Malawi alipo angati angakane kupita ku America kapena ku England mwayi utapezeka? The question here is who need who?

  35. chiwa kogoya says:

    The VISA fee is just too little why USD75.00??? plz increase it to USD150.00 since we pay a lot when obtaining their visas.

  36. truevoter says:

    No. 7 and 8 zidzete dzete dzosakonda dziko lao. Mxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

  37. Nthubu Goroso says:

    One thing I would like our government to do is to limit the number of foreigners coming here in the name of “tourists” only to end up working for foreign owned companies and staying for long periods than they are supposed to. An example would be mota-engil where there are so many foreign nationals in the name of expatriates but doing simple jobs which a Malawian would simply do. The funny thing is that our government is well aware of all this but turns a blind eye to this just because some big bosses are benefiting from this. how can we continue to say most locals are failing to find jobs here yet we allow some foreigners with expertise similar to those of the locals (sometimes without any expertise at all) to come and work here. Maybe this is a beginning on dealing with such issues. I don’t hate the foreigners but I just want what is best for the locals. MY MALAWI, MY COUNTRY, MY LAND.

  38. John says:

    I don’t mind paying visa fee when i come to Malawi, but please, three county should join the world community but upgrading the services with appropriate technology. Create a system that will help you to overcome the congestion of line up at immigration offices. Last time i was in Malawi, i had to get an extension which took me a while day of line up to get the stamp. I was so disappointed and frustrated when i was leaving the country at the airport when officers said i can’t leave if i don’t show the receipt of payment. Really people, if you can see the immigration stamp of extension, why would you also need the receipt? As if i stamped the passport myself? They asked me to pay $100 for me to leave. Do you think i sound ever come back to Malawi? I don’t think so! This country is a joke.

  39. Wapyona says:

    I think $75 I way too little .countries llike Zimbabwe charges $100 visa fee for non Sadc members. Good move tho

  40. Mapwevupwevu says:

    Thats a very good development, they should not just come here; eat our food for free

  41. truevoter says:

    Zikomo osamawayengelela atambwali amenewa. Amayi visayo ife USD150.00

  42. zoona NAWOSO AMAFUNA TIZITENGA MA VISA YES GOOD MOVE

  43. Ndinunkha! says:

    What does the Minister mean she is reciprocating when Malawians are charged far much more than the US$75.00 she will be charging for visas? The fee is not reflective of what we are charged out there especially by the Western countries.

    For instance, an application for 3-month visa into Belgium costs a Malawian Euro 180 and a local charge of MK14,000. Worse still if you apply for a longer stay you will pay an extra Euro 180 to make it Euro 360.

    This does not in anyway compare to the lenient US$75 they want to charge these foreigners. If she is reciprocating then let for instance Belgians pay the very same Euro 360 Malawians pay. That is reciprocation.

    Also why is she affording these foreigners the luxury of applying for visas at our airports? Let them also apply through our embassies, wait and have it processed before flying into Malawi like we all do. That is reciprocation.

    No wonder a lot of Asians simply come into the country uncontrolled and the next thing they are bribing our systems and officials at Immigration and getting permanent residence statuses. We need to be serious if we want to control immigration into the country otherwise we will remain a sanctuary for Asian and Western criminals who simply come and reside in our country as our immigration laws are lax.

  44. masa masina says:

    Next move, every adult Malawian should pay tax.

  45. Themba says:

    Good move. Charge the countries the same price they charge us. Learn the Nigeria way. Visa refusal these embassies must refund osamangotikana ma visa nkumangotidyera ndalama.

    It would also have been a good idea just to put it at $100 to avoid kuvuta kwa chenji mma entry points! Otherwise the entry point visa collection guys adzingoti alive chenji nkumatiyalutsirapo dziko.

  46. nyotso says:

    the First lady minister to head internal security koma kwavutatu amene mumanyoza mayiwa milibe manyazi ulemu wanu mayi.

  47. soldier says:

    Its a good move timavutika mma boarder mu nkhani ya ma visa more especially UK nawonso alilipira visa nothing for mahala

  48. watchfuleyes says:

    Another brilliant decision!

    Investors and tourists should go through the bureaucracy and payment for a visa? Get real Malawi.

    The warm heart of Africa no more.

  49. Sake Chilling says:

    Good policy indeed Minister.
    Tourism will not be affected by this policy, as being touted by some of the commentators. USA, UK, Indonesia, Australia etc are doing it. As long as the policy is posted on the relevant website/s so that a potential visitor is aware of it, there should be no negative effect. Obtaining a visa on arrival works very well in a lot of countries.

  50. daniel samarakunjuta says:

    Mayiko amene atchulidwa apawa ndi mayilo aanthu ozikonda heavy moti inu amene simudayendeponu takhalani chete!!!
    Bravo awesome dession

  51. hippo says:

    Good move and please just dont issue the Visas anyhow some of them adziakanira esp Australians.Good job minister

  52. Akimu says:

    How many Malawian embassies are there in the world???

    It’s gonna be fun getting a Malawian visa

  53. Truck says:

    GOOD MOVE MINISTER WE NEED FOREX KEEP IT UP

  54. Dr Kaunde says:

    Stiffling tourism

  55. guta says:

    Zomveka

  56. Zakeyo says:

    It’s like putting visa restrictions for entry into hell!!! Hahahahahahahaha!! My Malawi, my pathetic home!!

    1. Charlie Hebdo says:

      Where blackouts is the order of the day and its national electricity company is still moving “towards power all day everyday”. Why pay to experience this unless the reason for your visit is to see what a night without lights looks like. Let’s develop our country. Most roads to beautiful beaches are in a pathetic state. I have been to Mlowe in Rumphi and Usiska in Nkhatabay. Their natural beauty is second to none in this country. Their view is breathtaking. Why put such God given resources to waste. We talk of beautiful beaches of Madagascar when we have our own right here. Hydro is not the only source of electricity. We are blessed with abundant coal in this country not to speak of the scorching sun we are experiencing this time of the year. What about the wind that blew off Police Houses near Ntandire. We need to have something that should draw people to this country. Blackouts, poor road infrastructure certainly won’t do this. At KIA, our busiest airport how many flights do you see arriving or departing every hour. And of the few flights arriving, most of the passengers are residents returning just like the 115 plus Malawians in New York for UNGA will be doing in a few days.

  57. Malawiyano says:

    WHO NEEDS WHO ? WHO IS TO LOOSE BETWEEN MALAWI AND THE COUNTRIES WHICH YOU HAVE IMPOSED VISAS ?

    IT WILL KILLS THE TOURISM INDUSTRY WHICH IS ALREADY VERY POOR .

  58. Jamison Lungu says:

    Ma rubbish business causing insecurity in Malawi. Deal with the big fish of cash gate and get donors returning with sacks of money. Poor country poor.

  59. Nyau Chinde says:

    Very good move. Congratulations Dr Kalirani for taking this bold step. We are proud of you Mama!

  60. Nyachikadzi says:

    It’s a good development

  61. Zatha says:

    I like this decision! Koma musakanenso kuti we would like to broaden our revenue Base! Ndi zoona ndithu and mdizimene tikufuna.

    Maiko enawa akubowa ma visa kwambiri. One month or more chasing a visa! The same should apply to them so that they also feel the pinch! Bravo

    1. Fingo says:

      How can they feel the “pinch” when they don’t really need to come here in the first place? In life it is important to know your strengths and weaknesses, otherwise you shoot yourself in the foot.

      South Africa recently introduced strict visa restrictions for families travelling with little children and has seen a marked drop in tourists in this category. If this can happen to South Africa, what more about poor Malawi? You only apply tit for tat if you are on fairly equal terms…

  62. ... says:

    Ministala uyu akamalankhulq zimakhala za zi zopanda chikoka ngati za bwana wake, za zi.
    Paja analephera ku ministry of health a dotola wa and she is failing already ku ministry alikoku.

  63. Alarm says:

    Thumb up Malawi Government. Its normal. We must be civilised just as UK, U.S.A. etc but for those that doesn’t need visa from us please spare them as you just have done

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