So, you want a visa for Mozambique, eh?

I’m going to Mozambique soonish. For my trip, I was told I needed a visa. I was also told that this visa should be acquired prior to arriving in Mozambique. I did what any normal visa seeking person does, which is Google “Mozambique Visa”. Got a lot of weird sites this way, and ended up spending a bunch of time figuring out what I actually needed to do. In an attempt to save fellow Canuks the effort of figuring out what’s legit and what’s not (yes, an embarrassing amount of time and effort was spent on this issue) I decided it was time to come out of hibernation for a quick post.

Now for the useful information:

  • When you Google Mozambique Visa, virtually the whole first page of results is useless (at least at the current time). It’s for embassies in London England, and for third party sites that charge service fees to fill out/send the forms in for you
  • There is no embassy for Mozambique in Canada. You need to work through the Embassy in Washington DC. Here is their Consular Services site
  • When you send in your Visa application, you will need to provide them a return shipping label. Getting this shipping label is surprisingly difficult because shipment is from the US to a Canadian address, and the label is being created in Canada. I went through UPS and they were able to create me the label for around $26. Despite telling us otherwise over the phone, FedEx could not provide me with what was required (they did, however, waste more than an hour of my time).
  • I didn’t find the Visa instructions terribly clear as to whether or not we needed passport photos. We included 2 of them.
  • We paid for three day visa processing (the cheapest possible option). My passport was delivered to the Embassy on a Monday. The following Monday (4 business days if we’re being conservative) it had not been mailed back.
  • I had included a cover letter with my contact information like email and phone number so that if something was wrong they could get hold of me. I did not hear anything from them.
  • We started to call multiple times a day and left voice-mails. We also sent emails. No call or email was returned. On Thursday someone answered a call. We were told that the “system was down” and they’d process the visa once it came up, probably around the end of the month. We told them we needed our passport back ASAP and to please put it in the mail without the Visa. Our names were taken, and we were told they would try and find the passport to mail back. Was delighted our UPS return labels were scanned as picked up on Friday afternoon.
  • My passport arrived Tuesday – with a Visa! And the boy’s arrived today also with a Visa! I guess they managed to get the system up! What a pleasant surprise.

And that’s my little visa adventure.

A few notes:

  1. While the visa is now in my passport, I haven’t used it yet. Fingers crossed they let me into the country!
  2. When I spoke to someone from the Embassy on the phone they said that it’s possible to get a 1 time tourist visa at the airport. Our travel agent had told us to get it before we left Canada. I don’t know what’s correct.
  3. Since the visa site did not say anything about processing multiple passports together, and I was worried about them being separated, we sent each of our passports with its own return envelope/shipping label. The boy’s visa came back with a form in the envelope (mine just had the passport in the envelope) that had fields for # of passports received. So it might be possible to send 1 return shipping label for multiple passports/applications. But I don’t know for sure, just thought it was worth noting.
  4. This is our experience. YMMV. Don’t sue me if things go wrong!

I hope someone finds this post useful – or its helpful to me for my next Mozambique visit 🙂

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