Rwanda – How to get a residence permit?

Rwanda – How to Get a Residence Permit?

Are you planning on moving to Rwanda? Whether it’s for work, study, or simply to enjoy the beautiful landscapes and friendly people, you will need to obtain a residence permit. In this article, we will guide you through the process of getting a residence permit in Rwanda.


Rwanda is a fast-growing economy in East Africa, attracting more and more foreigners each year. A residence permit is an essential document that allows you to live and work legally in Rwanda. Without one, you risk facing fines, deportation, and other legal consequences.

Types of Residence Permits

There are various types of residence permits available in Rwanda, depending on your situation:

1. Work Permit

A work permit is required if you plan to work in Rwanda. It is issued to employees who have secured a job with a Rwandan company or organization. To apply for a work permit, you will need a letter of invitation from your employer, a copy of your employment contract, and proof of your qualifications.

2. Investment Permit

An investment permit is required if you plan to invest in Rwanda. It is issued to entrepreneurs who wish to start a business or invest in an existing one. To apply for an investment permit, you will need to provide a detailed business plan, proof of funding, and a certificate of incorporation.

3. Student Permit

A student permit is required if you plan to study in Rwanda. It is issued to students who have been accepted by a Rwandan educational institution. To apply for a student permit, you will need to provide a letter of acceptance from your school, proof of financial means, and proof of accommodation.

4. Family Reunification Permit

A family reunification permit is issued to foreign family members of Rwandan citizens or residents. To apply for a family reunification permit, you will need to provide proof of your relationship with the Rwandan citizen or resident.

Application Process

Once you have determined which type of residence permit you need, you can begin the application process. Here are the steps:

1. Gather the Required Documents

Make sure you have all the required documents for your specific type of residence permit. The list of required documents will be provided to you by the Rwanda Directorate General of Immigration and Emigration.

2. Submit Your Application

You can submit your application online through the Rwanda Directorate General of Immigration and Emigration website or in person at their offices. You will need to pay an application fee and provide biometric data (fingerprints and a photograph).

3. Wait for Approval

The processing time for residence permits varies depending on the type of permit and the workload of the immigration office. It is best to apply well in advance of your planned move to Rwanda.

4. Collect Your Permit

Once your application has been approved, you will receive a notification to collect your permit. You will need to provide identification and sign for the permit.


Obtaining a residence permit in Rwanda is a necessary step for anyone planning to live and work in the country. By following the steps outlined above, you can ensure a smooth and successful application process. Remember to start early, gather all the required documents, and be patient throughout the process. Good luck on your journey to Rwanda!# Living in Rwanda: A Guide for Expats

Congratulations, you have successfully obtained your residence permit and made the move to Rwanda! Now what? In this article, we will guide you through everything you need to know about living in Rwanda as an expat.

Cost of Living

Rwanda is one of the most affordable countries in East Africa. The cost of living is generally lower than in western countries, but prices can vary depending on where you live and what your lifestyle is like. Housing, food, transportation, and healthcare are all reasonably priced in Rwanda, making it an attractive destination for expats.

Finding Accommodation

When it comes to finding accommodation in Rwanda, there are several options to choose from. You can rent an apartment, a house, or even a room in a shared flat. Websites like Jumia House, Zoopla, and Airbnb are helpful resources for finding accommodation in Rwanda. It’s important to note that rental prices can vary greatly depending on the location and the condition of the property.

Employment Opportunities

If you haven’t already secured a job before moving to Rwanda, don’t worry. There are many employment opportunities available for expats in Rwanda. The country has a growing economy and a thriving private sector, which means that there are plenty of job openings in various industries. Some of the most popular sectors for expats include banking, telecommunications, and tourism.


Healthcare in Rwanda has improved significantly in recent years. The government has implemented universal health coverage, which means that everyone living in Rwanda has access to basic healthcare services. There are also several private hospitals and clinics in the country that offer more specialized care. It’s important to have comprehensive health insurance when living in Rwanda, as medical costs can add up quickly.


Rwanda has made significant strides in improving its education system in recent years. Primary education is free and compulsory, and there are several private and international schools in the country that offer high-quality education. If you’re moving to Rwanda with children, it’s important to research the different schooling options available and choose one that best fits your child’s needs.


Getting around Rwanda is relatively easy, thanks to the country’s well-maintained road network. Taxis and buses are widely available in major cities like Kigali, and motorcycle taxis (known as moto-taxis) are a popular mode of transport in rural areas. It’s important to note that traffic can be heavy in some parts of the country, especially during rush hour.

Cultural Differences

Rwanda has a rich cultural heritage, and as an expat living in the country, it’s important to be respectful of local customs and traditions. Greeting people with a handshake is common in Rwanda, and it’s also customary to remove your shoes when entering someone’s home. Rwandans place a strong emphasis on community and family, so building relationships with the locals is an important part of integrating into Rwandan society.

Safety and Security

Like any country, Rwanda has its share of safety concerns. However, the country has made significant progress in improving its security situation in recent years. Petty crime, such as pickpocketing and theft, can occur in tourist areas and crowded places, so it’s important to be vigilant and take precautions. Additionally, it’s important to stay up-to-date with the latest travel advisories from your embassy or consulate.


Living in Rwanda as an expat can be a rewarding experience. The country’s friendly people, beautiful landscapes, and affordable cost of living make it an attractive destination for many. By following the tips outlined above, you can ensure a smooth transition into Rwandan life. Remember to be respectful of local customs and traditions, stay safe, and enjoy all that Rwanda has to offer!We hope this guide has provided you with valuable information about living in Rwanda as an expat. Whether you’re moving to the country for work, study, or adventure, it’s important to be well-prepared and informed about what to expect. By following the tips outlined in this article, you can make the most of your experience living in Rwanda and create lasting memories. Good luck on your journey!

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