Everything about Burundi visa

Ieva Miltina02 May 20211106 views8 min. read
Everything about Burundi visa

Burundi is a country with lots of bad fame and thus a travel destination not many will consider for their annual holiday trip. However, there are definitely some of those thrill-seekers and globetrotters that plan their journeys well off the beaten path. This blog post will therefore be dedicated mainly to the latter ones.

The most experienced travelers know - even some of the most adventurous trips start with a bit of planning and ensuring that you are allowed to enter the country at all. That is why I will try to reveal as much information as possible about the Burundi visa policy, including a rather detailed account of how to apply for a visa to Burundi. You will encounter tips for the Burundi visa application process, but first things first. A short introduction to the situation in this country so you know what you are getting into.

Is it safe to travel to Burundi?

bujumbura

This is a question many will first ask before considering all the travel options and start applying for a Burundi immigration visa. To be honest, that is a legitimate question, because safety comes first. Always! According to BBC, Burundi is one of the world's poorest nations and is currently struggling to emerge from a 12-year, ethnic-based civil war.

This African country, similar in size to Belgium, has seen a long-lasting struggle and unrest which explains the concerns of the international public about going there for tourism purposes. There was a hope that the prevailing human rights crisis will go away after the new president is elected in 2020, but the situation remains relatively unchanged. The international organization Human Rights Watch in its profile about Burundi mentions that Civil society and independent media are still unable to effectively function. Then again, the Burundi embassy in Germany states that none of these threats are specifically targeted at tourists and foreigners. 

So what is the answer to the all-important question? Is it safe to even consider travel and information on how to apply for a visa to Burundi? It is rather a complicated one. Unfortunately, I can not unanimously say that it is completely safe to travel to Burundi. The political forces are still creating some tension and taking revenge on the opposition. This means that just about anyone in Burundi should be careful and mindful about their personal safety. If you are a seasoned traveler and sure about your ways, not many sources online mention tourists being especially vulnerable. With that said - weigh out the risks carefully and enter at your responsibility! So now that I have gotten this off my chest, let’s assume you have decided to jump onto this adventure train and are curious about Burundi visa requirements and all the remaining information that will help you get in the country.

Who is required to acquire a visa for Burundi?

burundi flag and passport

The situation is rather simple. Only nationals of 6 countries and diplomats of a few others are exempt from acquiring a visa to be able to enter Burundi. It means that if you are from DR Congo, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania, or Uganda - no need to worry about filling a Burundi visa application form. All you need is a valid passport issued by their respective countries (minimum six months of validity before the expiration date). 

However, a Burundi visa for Indian national will be required as much as one for a French national - if you have a passport from any other country than one of the six above, get onto the following information to figure out the steps to make it happen.

What type of visa for Burundi is available?

documents on office desk

Generally, the Burundi visa policy is not extremely complicated if we are talking about the types of visa for Burundi specifically. Let me tell you right away - there is no such thing as a Burundi e visa for anyone besides the nationals of UAE. However, there are a few other considerations to keep in mind though. Here is an overview of them.

Short and long-term visas. If you intend to travel for business, tourism, culture, or any other reasons for up to 30 days then you should apply for a short-term visa. No need to look for a Burundi tourist visa specifically, because the short-term one works for all types of non-permanent travel. If you intend to stay in Burundi for a longer period of time (for example, to study or work), you will have to apply for a residency permit. By that I mean - a long-term visa concept does not exist there, which is why I will only talk about the former one from now on.

Single entry and multiple entry visas. If you are acquiring a short-term Burundi visa, please consider carefully if you will travel in and out of the country over and again. The difference between both types will cost you about 20 USD

Burundi transit visa. If you are traveling to a different destination, you will require a Burundi transit visa that is valid for 72 hours (3 days). Also if you are on a diplomatic mission, you will need to arrange a visa, but it will be free of charge and on different terms than the usual visas.

What are Burundi visa requirements?

man working on laptop

Here is a list of documents you will need for your Burundi visa application:

  • Two completed and signed application forms;
  • Two recent (less than 6 months old) colored passport-sized photos;
  • A valid passport (validity minimum of six months beyond the date of your arrival from Burundi);
  • Copy of your ID card;
  • Documents that confirm the travel itinerary: a round-trip ticket or a letter from a travel agency, as well as a valid hotel/accommodation booking/reservation;
  • A copy of a yellow fever vaccine certificate;
  • Documents that confirm the reason for your trip. For example, if you are traveling for business, you will need confirmation from the government or company. If you are traveling for tourism purposes then an accommodation confirmation with all the required information will be needed, etc.;
  • Confirmation about your visa fee (please check the details about this one with the institution you are applying to);
  • Photocopies of: the main page of your passport, previous visas, visa for the final destination (if any).

Additional documents can be required by the embassy. To find out the particular requirements of each of the positions mentioned above, please check our page about the Burundi visa policy.

How to apply for a visa to Burundi?

flag of burundi

First, find out where the nationals of your country are eligible to submit their application. It might be a Burundi visa application center, embassy, or consulates. Usually, you would find this information in the webpage of your Foreign Ministry or a similar entity governing the matters of travel among countries. According to the webpage of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Development Cooperation of the Republic of Burundi, in the whole of Europe, there are just 9 diplomatic missions (6 in the EU). I am saying this just to emphasize - it is very unlikely you will find an embassy in your own country, so make sure you apply to the one that deals with applications from your respective country.

Acquiring the visa for Burundi itself requires standard procedures. As I mentioned before, there is no option to apply for a Burundi e visa, unless you come from UAE. That means you either visit an embassy in person or send them the required documents by post or another courier service. Just as I mentioned above - first check where your application should land and make sure you have the newest information on the requirements and procedures.

Alternatively, you might as well contact an intermediary like Pickvisa, to deal with all the formalities for you.  

How much does a Burundi visa cost?

dollars

The fee can vary from 40-90 USD depending on your country and nationality. When planning how much does a Burundi visa cost, please keep in mind that there might occur additional administrative fees depending on the consulate you are submitting your Burundi visa application to (e.g. courier service fee, visa application center fee, etc.).

Here is a short comparison of different visa fees and durations of the allowed stay with each one of them:

  • Single entry visa valid for 1 month (30 days): 70 USD/EUR
  • Multiple entry visa valid for 1 month (30 days): 90 USD/EUR
  • Transit visa (single entry) valid for 3 days: 40 USD/EUR
  • Courtesy/diplomatic visa valid for 1 month (30 days): free of charge.

All the fees are non-refundable also in cases of unsuccessful visa applications.

How long does it take to process a Burundi immigration visa?

Depending on your application country, the average processing time for a Burundi visa is 10-15 working days. There are no express visas available.

I hope that this article was useful in figuring out all the basic information about acquiring a Burundi tourist visa. After all, being prepared is at least half of the success if not more! If you are interested in finding out more detailed information about your visa to this unique destination, just check out this page on our site.

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