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Working in Kigali?

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Vladimir Rostev

Living in Rwanda, from Russia

"Moving abroad can be very difficult, particularly when it comes to Rwanda. But this supportive and trustworthy community is just so helpful."

Cathleen Sapiro

Living in Rwanda, from the USA

"My brother recommended InterNations to me before I moved to Kigali. I can only forward this recommendation to any expat around the globe."

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Kigali at a Glance

Working in Kigali

As the capital of Rwanda since its independence in 1965, Kigali is a vital economic hub for the nation as a whole. This section takes a closer look at some of the main concerns you'll have as an expat building a career here: the economy, job market and income taxes.

You’ll find a thriving service sector in Rwanda, and a huge boom in infrastructure building and foreign investment means that things are only going to get better for a city that is often considered the best capital in the region.

The Local Economy

While agriculture is big business in the rest of Rwanda, in Kigali the real cash cow is tourism. The sector rebounded from the global economic crisis in 2010, becoming the country’s largest sector by economic output – it currently contributes 43.6% of the country’s GDP. 

Not many tourist attractions are physically present in Kigali, but most tourists – many of whom are on their way to see the mountain gorillas – will come through the city on their travels. As a vital economic hub, Kigali is home to many booming industries related to tourism, including banking and finance, wholesale and retail trading, hotels and restaurants, transport, storage, insurance and government. 

Expats are commonly employed by non-governmental organizations, charities, and as teachers.

Job Hunting in Kigali

All job searches are easier when present in the country, but in Rwanda particularly, take up of online job postings has been low. Finding work, unless you’re limiting your search to global organizations, will be easier once you have your feet on the ground. 

Work Visas and Permits for Kigali

Rwanda is relatively easy to relocate to. The Rwandan government, unlike many Western governments, allows expats to enter the country on a standard tourist visa and then transfer into another category that permits work. Many current expats recommend entering the country on a tourist visa – which is valid for 90 day and can be extended – and then starting the search for employment.

Once you find work, your employer may well help you apply for a visa. These are valid for either one year or two; they, like a tourist visa, can be extended. You may need to obtain a work permit in addition to your visa. These can be either temporary or permanent. Don’t forget, you as a foreign national will also need to carry an identification card.

Income Taxation in Kigali

Personal income tax is progressive in Rwanda, which means that the more you earn the more you’ll pay. As a fiscal resident, you’ll be taxed on all of the income you earn worldwide. The top rate is for personal income tax is 30%.

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