In a bid to bolster tourism and foster stronger international relations, Malawi has announced the lifting of visa restrictions for travelers from 79 countries.
The announcement was made by Homeland Security Minister Ken Zikhałe through a gazette notice on Wednesday, marking a significant shift in the country’s immigration policies.
Under the new regulations, citizens from a diverse range of countries, including the UK, China, Russia, Germany, Australia, Canada, and others, will no longer require visas to enter Malawi.
Notably, nationals from the Southern African Development Community (Sadc) and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (Comesa) are also among those exempted from visa requirements.
However, this exemption does not extend to countries that impose visa restrictions on Malawian citizens, maintaining a reciprocal approach to visa policies.
Furthermore, certain groups such as diplomats and government officials, along with countries with mutual exchange agreements for multiple-entry visas with Malawi, are also exempt from these regulations.
Additionally, the validity of multiple-entry visas in Malawi has been extended to up to 12 months, providing greater flexibility for frequent travelers.
This strategic move by Malawi is expected to have far-reaching benefits, not only in terms of boosting tourism but also facilitating trade and strengthening diplomatic ties with the affected countries.
Tourism Minister Vera Kamtukule expressed optimism about the decision, emphasizing its potential to showcase Malawi’s natural wonders to the world.
“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,” Kamtukule told local media.
The British embassy in Malawi has welcomed the relaxed visa restrictions and encouraged its nationals to take advantage of the opportunity to explore a variety of popular tourist attractions in the southern African country. With these changes, Malawi aims to position itself as a more accessible and welcoming destination for travelers from around the globe.