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What is a visa ?

Visa means an endorsement in a passport or other travel document by an Immigration Officer or any official of Government so authorized, indicating that the bearer has been granted permission to enter or re-enter Malawi. ( See types and classifications of visas)


The visa gives permission to enter Malawi and apply for a visitors permit. If one has a valid visa, the department will not normally refuse anyone entry into Malawi unless your circumstances have changed, or you gave false information or did not disclose important facts when you applied for your visa.

When you arrive in Malawi, you should present all relevant documents to an Immigration Officer. This may include a printed version of your return flight itinerary or evidence of funds e.t.c.

Do I need a Visa ?

For any category of entry (including as a visitor), you must have a visa if you:
»  are a national of one of the countries listed in the visa and non visa nationals
»  are stateless (you do not have a nationality)
You do not need a visa if your country is listed in the no visa nationals page on this website.

How do I apply for a visa?

You can apply in person at our Malawi foreign missions or through a sponsor in Malawi.

What will I need to make my application?

This will depend on which category you are applying for entry under. In all cases you will need to fill in an application form.
You will also need the following.
»   Valid passport or travel document (for at least 6 months) ( ICAO passport photograph specification, on passport page).
»  The visa fee. This can only be paid after approval.
»   Supporting documents relevant to your application.

Where to apply for a visa
You can apply at Malawi’s foreign mission or at our Regional Offices in Mzuzu and Lilongwe and Immigration Headquarters in Blantyre.

What will happen when I make my application?

The visa officer will make a decision using your application form and the supporting documents you have provided. If this is not possible, they may need to interview you. Once a decision is made they will formally notify you.

Can I get a Visa on arrival?

Following the introduction of the new Visa Regime for the Republic of Malawi, The Department wishes to clarify that as in all cases, travellers coming from countries whose nationals are required to have visas prior to entry into the Republic of Malawi they are strongly advised to obtain their visas well in advance at their nearest Malawi Diplomatic Mission abroad before travelling. However, where it is not possible to get the visa in advance, a visa can be obtained at the port of entry in Malawi upon getting prior authorization by the Immigration Department of the Republic of Malawi. This authorisation is in form of a Visa Letter, which is issued by the Immigration Department to the traveller before he/she travels.

However, to make it seamless the Government of Malawi is considering introduction of an Electronic Visa issuance system. But in the interim these Visa Letters can be applied for using the email address "permitcounter@gmail.com".

What privileges does Visa give you in Malawi?

A Visa in Malawi, only grants permission to someone to enter into the country. Once it has been issued, it has to be used within the validity period from the date of issue. However, the validity of the Visa is not the same as the authorized period of stay in Malawi.

The validity of the Visa indicates the time period when entry is permitted into the country. Depending on the purpose of visit, a traveler who has a valid Visa is granted a Visitors Permit (VP) or Business Visit (BV) at the port of entry valid for 30 days and can be extended up to a maximum period of 90 days.

Which nationalities require visas to enter Malawi?

Any person coming from a country that require Malawians to obtain a Visa when going there except for;

  1. Nationals from the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) countries, except for those countries that subject Malawians to a Visa within SADC;
  2. Nationals from the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) countries, except for those countries that subject Malawians to a Visa within COMESA;

  3. Diplomats accredited to Malawi; and

  4. All Diplomatic and Service/Official Passport holders

What are the categories of visas in Malawi
  1. Transit Visa
  2. This is for the purpose of passing through Malawi to a destination outside Malawi. Validity of transit visa is limited to 7 days in Malawi.

  3. Single Entry Visa
  4. In Malawi, Single Entry Visa means the traveler is granted permission to enter Malawi and apply for a visitors permit and the visa is canceled as soon as the holder enters Malawi. However, if a traveler leaves Malawi just after making an entry, it means he has to buy another visa if he intends to enter Malawi again.

  5. Multiple Entry visa
  6. This visa allows travelers to make multiple entries into Malawi with the same visa depending on the validity, whether it is six months multiple entry visa or twelve months multiple entry visa.

  7. Gratis visa
  8. This is the visa which is issued for free to those fitting the exceptions provided for above.

What are the Visa fees in Malawi?

CATEGORYWITHIN MALAWI (US Dollars)MALAWI DIPLOMATIC MISSIONS (US Dollars)
Transit valid for 7 days5070
Single entry (to be used within 3 months from date of issue)75100
Multiple entry valid for 6months150220
Multiple entry valid for 12months250300
Gratis FreeFree

Can I appeal if you refuse my visa?

You can appeal to the Chief Immigration Officer if your application is rejected . You can get information about appeals from the office which processed your application.

Note : You should not travel to Malawi before a visa has been obtained/issued.