Malawi Entry Requirements

Malawi Entry Requirements are the set of rules which travelers need to familiarize themselves with before going to Malawi. These requirements specify the necessary documents that one must prepare and obtain prior to departure.

One of the most essential documents to enter Malawi is a valid passport. Every traveler should make sure that their passports will not expire for at least 6 months.

The Malawi visa policy distinguishes different types of visas. Depending on the traveler's nationality, traveling purpose, and desired duration of stay in the country, they may need to apply for various visas. Travelers can choose between Malawi Tourist Visa, Official Visa, Courtesy Visa, Transit Visa, and Diplomatic Visa.

The Malawi Tourist Visa can be issued for short-term tourism, business, transit, or medical purposes. Eligible travelers can obtain a tourist visa by applying online.

In addition, particular nationalities can alternatively apply for a Visa on Arrival. Nevertheless, this visa option entails some drawbacks as, most often, it means waiting in long lines at border control.

Some countries cannot obtain a Malawi visa either online or on arrival. That is why they need to visit the nearest Malawi embassy or consulate to get a visa in person. Moreover, there are some Malawi visa types that require visiting the embassy regardless of the individual's nationality. For example, a work visa must be obtained directly at the Malawi diplomatic mission.

Finally, a few nationalities can enjoy visa-free entry to Malawi. However, they are allowed to visit the country without a visa only for short-term tourism and leisure-related activities.

The Covid-19 pandemic also forced Malawi authorities to introduce some protective measures to minimize the risk of further spread of the virus within the country. Most of these restrictions have already been lifted. However, to enter Malawi, all travelers still need to provide either an electronically verifiable vaccination certificate or a negative test (PCR test taken 72 hrs earlier).

Important: Due to the still-evolving coronavirus situation around the globe, entry regulations are subject to rapid changes. Make sure that you are always up-to-date with the latest ones.

Who can enter Malawi?

Malawi welcomes all international travelers. Depending on their nationality and Covid-19 vaccination status, they may need to meet different entry requirements.

Documents check-list for entering Malawi

  • valid passport
  • Malawi visa
  • electronically verifiable Covid-19 vaccination certificate (if vaccinated)
  • negative PCR test taken 72 hrs before arrival (only if unvaccinated)
  • travel insurance (optional)

Testing, Vaccination, and Quarantine Requirements

Testing requirements

All incoming travelers, including Malawi citizens, who have been fully vaccinated and can provide electronically verifiable vaccination proof no longer need to take a Covid-19 PCR test before departure. Those who are non-fully vaccinated are still required to produce a PCR test no earlier than 72 hours before the planned arrival in the country.

Vaccination requirements

Malawi allows entry both for fully vaccinated and unvaccinated travelers. Nevertheless, those who are able to provide the vaccination certificate will not need to produce Covid-19 pre-departure tests.

Quarantine requirements

Malawi allows entry both for fully vaccinated and unvaccinated travelers. Nevertheless, those who are able to provide the vaccination certificate will not need to produce Covid-19 pre-departure tests.

Quarantine requirements

Currently, no quarantine requirements are in place in Malawi. Travelers should, however, monitor their health for Covid-19 symptoms after arriving in the country.

Traveling from Malawi

On 1 May 2022, the previous requirement for travelers departing Malawi to produce a negative coronavirus test (PCR) was lifted.

At the moment, the testing and vaccination requirements for departure are determined by the country of the next or final destination that a traveler plans to travel to from Malawi.

Traveling to Malawi

Travelers to Malawi must familiarize themselves with the latest entry and exit requirements. These requirements include coronavirus restrictions as well as other rules introduced long before the pandemic. One should arrange all necessary travel documents, including a passport and visa.

Most of the covid-related regulations were already dropped. Since the beginning of June 2022, entry to Malawi is possible either with a vaccination certificate or a negative Covid-19 test (PCR) taken within 72 hours prior to the planned arrival in Malawi. These regulations apply to all travelers, including arriving Malawi citizens aged 12 and older.

Please remember to consult the latest travel advice for Malawi. The entry regulations, especially those related to Covid-19, may change at short notice.

Entry Rules for Children

Children between 12 and 17

They should follow the entry rules applicable to adult travelers - they need to provide either a valid vaccination proof or a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours before arrival in Malawi.

Children below 12

Children younger than 12 can enter Malawi unconditionally (without vaccination proof or a negative Covid-19 test certificate) when accompanied by vaccinated parents or guardians.

Transit through Malawi – rules during the Covid-19 pandemic

Transit through Malawi is allowed for travelers who are able to present valid proof of vaccination status or a negative PCR test result taken no earlier than 72 hours before the intended departure time.

If considering transiting through Malawi, make sure to check the requirements of your airline. Also, consult the entry requirements introduced in the country of your final travel destination.

Malawi visa requirements

Malawi eVisa

In 2019, the Malawi Government introduced the electronic visa system allowing certain travelers to obtain a visa without a single embassy visit.

There are four types of electronic visas that differ in terms of the travel purpose, allowed number of entries to the country, permitted duration of stay as well as the validity period of approved visas. Malawi eVisa can be issued for tourism, business, transit, or even medical purposes.

Read more on the Malawi electronic visa and check your eVisa eligibility here.

Malawi Visa On Arrival

Malawi offers the Visa on Arrival service to 8 different countries whose citizens can obtain a visa at the border control.

The Malawi VoA is issued as a single-entry permit that allows staying in the country for a maximum of up to 30 days. There are two types of visas on arrival in Malawi - Visitors Permit (VP) or Business Visit. VP holders cannot engage in any tourism-related activities. In turn, BVs are dedicated only to business purposes. You shouldn't use these visas for other purposes than permitted.

Travelers who must obtain a Visa on Arrival in Malawi should arm themselves with patience as, most often, they will need to wait long hours in the immigration line. The process of getting a VoA will require providing some supporting documents, including a valid passport and a yellow fever vaccination certificate.

If you are eligible for Malawi eVisa, you should choose this option to avoid wasting time on visa formalities upon your arrival in Malawi.

Citizens of the following 8 countries must obtain a Visa on Arrival in Malawi:

  • Benin
  • Congo
  • Haiti
  • Indonesia
  • Madagascar
  • Philippines
  • Sao Tome and Principe
  • Singapore

Malawi Embassy or Consular Visa

Citizens of some countries are required to obtain a visa for Malawi only from an embassy, even if they travel for short-term stays of tourism character.

There are only 7 such nationalities requiring an embassy or consular visa for Malawi, including:

  • Angola
  • Burundi
  • Chad
  • Ghana
  • Palestinian Territory
  • Senegal
  • South Sudan

Additionally, certain types of Malawi visas are issued only at an embassy or consulate, e.g., a work visa. Every traveler who plans to travel to Malawi for other purposes than those covered by the electronic visa will need to book an embassy appointment and obtain a relevant visa in person, regardless of nationality.

Malawi diplomatic missions are located in many capital cities worldwide. If no Malawi diplomatic representation is present in your country, you will need to visit the nearest country where you can apply for an embassy or consular visa.

Please note that application for a regular visa may take several weeks. Remember to apply for your visa well in advance to obtain the document approved on time. Contact the nearest embassy in your home country for more detailed information.

Visa-exempt countries

According to the Malawi visa policy, some countries can enjoy visa-free entry to the country for a maximum stay of 90 days. The visa-exempt stay is permitted for tourism and leisure-related activities only.

A traveler who wishes to stay in Malawi for longer or has different travel needs, e.g., work or non-tourist activities, will need to obtain a relevant visa.

The full list of visa-exempt countries for Malawi includes:

  • Israel
  • Kenya
  • Lesotho
  • Mauritius
  • Saint Kitts and Nevis
  • Seychelles
  • Tanzania
  • Uganda

Malawi Passenger Locator Form

The Malawi authorities no longer require travelers to complete the Passenger Locator Form before arrival in the country.

Travel Insurance

There is no travel insurance mandate in Malawi. However, every traveler is always advised to purchase a comprehensive travel insurance policy that will best match their travel needs. Nowadays, it's wise to consider choosing a policy with Covid-19 coverage.

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