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Zimbabwe Entry Requirements

A passport, Zimbabwe visa, return ticket, and adequate funds are required.  U.S. citizens traveling to Zimbabwe for tourism, business, or transit can obtain a visa at the airports and border ports-of-entry, or in advance by contacting the Embassy of Zimbabwe at 1608 New Hampshire Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20009; telephone (202) 332-7100.  American citizens considering travel to Zimbabwe to visit tourist destinations, including eco-tourist sites or hunting safaris, or for business purposes, are advised that the Government of Zimbabwe has declared that American visitors with proper documentation will be allowed entry without difficulty.  However, the Government of Zimbabwe has also signaled an intention to refuse entry to Americans who are believed to have a bias against the Zimbabwean government.  Visit the Embassy of Zimbabwe web site for the most current visa information.

Americans entering Zimbabwe for tourism can expect to pay $30 for a single-entry, 30-day visa upon entering the country.  Extensions are possible, but normally require a personal visit to the Zimbabwe Immigration Office's public window, located in the center of Harare.

Americans intending to reside or work in Zimbabwe must obtain prior approval by the Zimbabwean Chief Immigration Officer.  Such applications typically take a minimum of six weeks and should be made through the Embassy of Zimbabwe in Washington, DC.  Since January 2008, several American citizens applying for or renewing residency or work permits have had their applications denied without explanation and have been forced to depart the country.

Upon arrival in Zimbabwe, travelers should keep all travel documents readily available, as well as a list of residences or hotels where they will stay while in Zimbabwe. Travelers to Zimbabwe must carry some form of identification at all times. Americans traveling to Zimbabwe to work in aid and development projects should ensure that they have proper permission and documentation from the Zimbabwean government before entering the country.

U.S. citizens who intend to work in Zimbabwe as journalists must apply for accreditation with the Zimbabwean Embassy at least one month in advance of planned travel. The Government of Zimbabwe uses an extremely expansive definition of journalism and any formal interviews, filming or photography may be considered “presenting oneself as an accredited journalist,” a crime punishable by arrest or detention. If you are in doubt about whether or not your purpose of travel constitutes journalism, please seek clarification from the Zimbabwean Embassy in Washington BEFORE you travel. It is no longer possible to seek accreditation after arrival in Zimbabwe. Journalists attempting to enter Zimbabwe without proper advance accreditation may be denied admission, detained for questioning, arrested or deported. Journalists seeking to file stories from Zimbabwe must comply with the requirements of the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act, which requires that journalists seek accreditation by paying a $500 (U.S.) application fee and, if accredited, a $1,000 (U.S.) accreditation fee.  U.S. citizen students and faculty at educational and other institutions who wish to do research in Zimbabwe should contact a host educational or research institution for affiliation prior to applying for a visa.  Despite fulfilling all such requirements and receiving appropriate permission, legitimate researchers have been detained in the past by the police because the subject of their research was believed to be sensitive.

Zimbabwe has become a cash society, with few establishments accepting international credit cards.  Check cashing facilities are effectively nonexistent.  Visitors are required to declare the amount of currency they are bringing into and out of the country.  While there is no set legal limit on the amount of foreign currency that a person can carry into Zimbabwe, the maximum foreign currency that can be taken out of the country is U.S. $5,000.

Travelers transiting South Africa should ensure that their passports contain at least two completely blank (unstamped) visa pages each time entry is sought. These pages are in addition to the endorsement/amendment pages at the back of the passport.  While South African statutes require one completely blank visa page, this rule has been applied inconsistently by South African immigration officials.  South African immigration authorities routinely turn away travelers who do not have enough blank visa pages in their passports.

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