Did you know I almost skipped Mozambique because a tourist visa is required for US Citizens? But after seeing photos of how stunning their beaches are, I couldn’t back out.
I searched on google for answers and found that it is possible to obtain visa upon arrival but the consensus was “U.S. citizens have been denied entry for not having obtained a visa in advance.” I didn’t want to be that person.
Below is my experience from October 2017.
The process of obtaining a visa at the Mozambique consulate in Joburg (95 Oxford Rd, Randburg, 2132) took me 3 hours of deliberating what I should do since I was unprepared.
Issue #1: I was unaware that having pre-booked accommodation was necessary.
I had to be fast and smart because I didn’t want to return on another day. As more people came in, I realized that my original choice (Airbnb) would have been a waste of time. One of the clerks said Airbnb properties are not an option because they are not legally licensed to operate.
I thought of booking with a hostel in Maputo but wasn’t sure how long it will take them to send me a copy of their license.
Issue #2: Finding a hotel legally licensed to operate but has a good cancellation policy.
After many searches, I found Tsogo Sun. What did I do? Booked a one-night stay for the sake of a visa and canceled my reservation some days later.
Moral of the story: Don’t be like me and waste 3 hours.
What You Need For A Same Day Mozambique Tourist Visa
You have the choice of a single-entry or multiple-entry visa. I opted for single-entry:
- 4 passport photos (size: 1.5 in by 2 in)
- You can get a photo taken by the gate guard for R50 ($4) if you have none
- Your US passport
- Valid for at least 6 months and you have three unstamped pages at the time of entry
- Completed Visa Application form
- A printed copy of your confirmed hotel booking and commercial license
- If you’re staying with someone, you must provide a copy of their passport and a written invitation letter. This applies to Airbnb bookings.
- Only cards are accepted
- R750 ($63) for a single entry visa
- R3 (less than $1) for any print-outs
Make sure your application is submitted between 8 am-12 pm to guarantee a same-day visa. You can pick it up between 3-4 pm.
Visa on Arrival
Recently discovered an article pointing out that since last year, US citizens can obtain a visa from the border or at the airport. You fill out a form, they take your picture, create the visa sticker and put it in your passport. If there is a short line, it can take up to 20 minutes.
Border Crossing By Car
The day I was crossing from South Africa into Mozambique, I was driving from Kruger National Park. The nearest border was Lebombo (Ressano Garcia).
Thanks to Google reviews of Lebombo and speaking with a border/customs employee, I was prepared for the Mozambique border. You should watch out for anyone trying to pressure you to buy some BS insurance. No insurance is compulsory.
Initially it was super confusing because I didn’t know what precisely to look out for. Besides that, the customs and immigration was quick and simple. No long queues.
Tip: Not all rental agencies allow their cars to be driven into Mozambique. One example is Bidvest.
If you will be driving a rental car from South Africa, you will need an authorized letter from the rental agency stating the rented vehicle is permitted to cross the border.