Tanzania is a magical and relatively simple country to visit as a tourist. However, a common question tourists ask is what is the difference between a Tanzania eVisa and a visa on arrival.
It is obligatory to have a visa to enter Tanzania unless you are from one of a few countries which are visa exempt. When traveling to the country this normally presents you with two options. You can either enter with a prearranged Tanzania eVisa or get a visa on arrival.
In the case of the Tanzania eVisa, it is approved before traveling so you can enter the country quickly and easily when you land. It is open for members of the UK, the US, Germany, and citizens of nearly 150 other countries. The visa on arrival, however, requires you to submit a visa request on arrival at the airport or port in Tanzania. Although this may seem pretty simple, it can oftentimes be a lengthier, more inconvenient process.
Which is the best option for your trip, then? We’re going to look at both and explore which of these documents is a better choice for your vacation to Tanzania.
Main Characteristics of the eVisa for Tanzania
Tanzania introduced its new electronic visa system in 2018 to streamline the process of foreign tourist arrivals into the country. It was launched by the government with the hope of increasing prospects for tourism and making entry into the country quicker and more secure.
It is not compulsory to have a Tanzania eVisa before arrival in the nation, however, in many ways, it is a much simpler option. The new eVisa is easy to fill out at home online and is valid for up to 3 months.
The biggest advantage the eVisa offers is convenience because it allows quicker entry into the country when you come to a port of entry compared to getting a visa on arrival. As we’ll soon see, visas on arrival can sometimes be a slightly more complicated process.
What you will need to get your Tanzania eVisa?
You only need a few items to get your Tanzania eVisa approved. These include:
- A valid passport (with at least 6 months validity at the time of application)
- Copy of passport
- Submitted and completed visa application form
- Proof of payment for visa
What to Know About the Visa on Arrival in Tanzania?
Anybody who is eligible for a Tanzania eVisa is also eligible for a visa on arrival. So there’s no need to panic if you’ve not planned ahead and got a visa in advance. Additionally, it’s possible to get either a tourist visa or a business visa on arrival into the country.
However, while the visa on arrival can seem a little more convenient it also has a few disadvantages. Firstly, it can slow your movement through your port of entry. Passengers arriving with eVisas will often be fast-tracked through immigration, while every visitor requesting a visa on arrival will have to be screened individually.
In addition to being a slower process, it can also run the risk of denial of entry if your documentation isn’t in order or you don’t meet the criteria for entry during screening. This could lead to you having to arrange immediate travel out of the country at great personal expense.
Of course, being denied entry is a risk with the eVisa too. However, this is less likely as all your documents are preapproved before travel, meaning you won’t run into any unpleasant surprises once you land in Tanzania.
How to get a Visa on Arrival in Tanzania
When you arrive at one of the ports of entry into Tanzania you will need to go through a few steps to be granted a visa on arrival. These include:
- Have a valid passport with over 6 months before expiry
- Meet the entry requirements for Visa on Arrival
- Provide proof of onward travel
- Pay a fee of $50-$100
Getting a visa for your trip Tanzania is, thankfully, a relatively straightforward and stress-free experience. Although, making the right choice between a preapproved eVisa and a visa when you arrive can make some difference to your arrival into the country and to your peace of mind.
Be aware that a visa on arrival and Tanzania eVisa are intended purely for touristic purposes. If you are traveling for a different reason, such as medical or business purposes, you may need a different type of visa for Tanzania.