With its wealth of fantastic places to visit and diverse scenery to explore, it's no wonder that Malawi captivates visitors. But before you go, you may well need to get a visa.

Visas are required for visitors from all countries that Malawians need a visa for, which includes the US, the UK and most of Europe. Fortunately, the visa application process is relatively easy and affordable. Here’s how to get one.

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A baby elephant wanding across a road with a four-wheel drive vehicle in the distance
Apply online for an e-visa as visas on arrival are not always available © Maximum Exposure PR / Shutterstock

What you need to know about visas in Malawi

If you’re planning to visit Malawi, you should apply in advance for an e-visa. You will need a passport valid for six months from your arrival date in the country, and you may need to show a yellow fever vaccination certificate on arrival. Your doctor will provide this document as part of your pre-trip vaccinations; pack it just in case.

Ensure you have a valid visa for Malawi before you travel. As of September 2022, a visa on arrival has been introduced for some nationalities, including people from Belgium, Norway, Sweden and the US. However, applying in advance for an e-visa is still recommended.

Malawi’s multiple-entry visa is valid for six months – but pay attention to the permit element, which dictates how long you can stay in the country for a single visit. The permit is for 30 days, with a possible extension of two additional lots of 30 days. Extensions cost about MK10,000 (US$12.25) each time and can be obtained at local immigration offices. Get the extension before your initial permit expires, or you run the risk of deportation. The permit allows you to visit on vacation, see family, do volunteer work or make a short work visit.

Visas cost US$50 for a 7-day transit period (for people traveling through Malawi within a week) and a single entry; US$150 for multiple entries over six months; and US$250 for multiple entries over 12 months.

If you plan to work for an NGO in Malawi, your organization will need to apply on your behalf for a two-year employment permit.

This article was first published Mar 15, 2022 and updated Apr 18, 2023.

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