Malawi lifts visa restrictions for 79 countries to boost tourism

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In a bid to boost tourism and trade in the country, Malawi has removed visa restrictions for travellers from 79 countries.

  • Visa restrictions were lifted for citizens from the UK, China, Russia, Germany, Australia, Canada, Belgium, Ghana, Gambia, Sierra Leone, France, and others.
  • The exemption extends to nations that do not impose visa requirements on Malawian citizens.
  • Under the new visa regulations, multiple entry visas in Malawi now have a validity period of up to 12 months.

Homeland Security Minister Ken Zikhałe announced the amendment of immigration regulations, revealing that visa restrictions were lifted for citizens from the UK, China, Russia, Germany, Australia, Canada, Belgium, Ghana, Gambia, Sierra Leone, France, and others, BBC reported.

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The Malawian government has identified these countries as crucial source markets for international tourism and business travellers in a bid to alleviate the current scarcity of foreign currency.

Citizens from the Southern African Development Community (Sadc) and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (Comesa) are also free from visa requirements.

The exemption extends to nations that do not impose visa requirements on Malawian citizens.

The revisions also include exceptions for specific groups, including diplomats and government officials, and countries that have mutual exchange agreements for multiple entry visas with Malawi.

Under the new visa regulations, multiple entry visas in Malawi now have a validity period of up to 12 months.

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“This monumental decision isn’t just about visas; it’s about unleashing the untapped potential of our beloved Malawi and inviting the world to experience its wonders first-hand,” Tourism Minister Vera Kamtukule told local media.

The British embassy in Malawi encouraged its nationals to seize the opportunity of the eased visa restrictions and explore a variety of popular tourist attractions in the southern African country.

Visa-free Africa

Countries throughout Africa are recognizing the importance of removing longstanding obstacles such as trade tariffs and visa bans that have hindered interactions within the continent.

Malawi now joins the growing list of countries that are easing visa restrictions in the continent. Last month, Ghana announced plans to implement a policy enabling visa-free entry for all African visitors to the country by the close of 2024.

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While 48 African countries grant visa-free travel to the citizens of at least one other African nation, only 5 of 52 African countries can boast of complete visa-free entry.

Currently, Seychelles, Gambia, Kenya, Rwanda, and Benin are the only countries where every African can visit without a visa.

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