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 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 bulls**t 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.