Q1. What is a survey visa?

A Survey Visa" is a written authorization granted on request, by the National Institute of Statistics of Rwanda (NISR) to anyone wishing to undertake a statistical survey, stating that the methods to be used are standards, and lead to the production of high quality statistical data.

Q2. Who should apply?

Researchers, private individuals, state departments and Public Institutions, Private Institutions, research centers, consulting firms, non-governmental organizations, either National or International, who need to conduct any statistical survey at national level or covering at least a whole province, must request a prior approval of the National Institute of Statistics of Rwanda to conduct such statistical data collection activity. Statistical activities must be carried out according to the standards and methodologies agreed upon with the National Institute of Statistics of Rwanda.

Q3. When to apply?

The application should be submitted at least two months before the statistical data collection activity starts. However, the researcher who apply should allow NISR extra time if his application is very complex, because it could be possible that NISR needs to get clarifications and further information in order to properly process the application and if necessary a face to face meeting with the project manager.

In order to avoid any delay in application processing or the survey activities, the clients should be familiar with the Visa process that is uploaded at NISR website, by knowing exactly what kind of documents and information to be submitted to NISR, and schedule their survey’s activities accordingly.

Q4. Where to submit the application?

The application and required documents must be submitted at the National Institute of Statistics of Rwanda website with an official letter requesting for visa approval.

Q5. What are the required to request a survey visa?

More specially, the documents to be submitted to the NISR for visa request must clearly show:
- The objectives of the survey
Survey Methodology: indicating the following key points explained in details:

  1. The source of the sampling frame to be used for the sample selection

    1. The target population;

    2. The reference period

    3. Geographical coverage

  2. Sample distribution showing the area to be covered (the list of selected provinces, districts, sectors, cells and villages must be provided by showing clearly the corresponding number of households to be visited during the study).

  3. Sample Selection:

    1. The sample size and its calculations

    2. The sampling methods used ( Formula)

    3. Methods for weights calculation (Formulas)

  4. A list of all indicators to be measured and these should be in line with the questionnaire and the corresponding question numbers have to be mentioned for each indicator.

  5. Questionnaires translated into Kinyarwanda, unless the investigation is of interest to foreigners.

  6. Instruction manual(s) for interviewers and supervisors for national level studies should be provided.

  7. The training plan of interviewers and supervisors. Before starting the data collection, the training of enumerators must be done, in order to familiarize the interviewers on how to use the questionnaire and the instruction manual.

  8. The fieldwork plan specifying the number of supervisors, enumerators and the number of days that the study will be undertaken should be mentioned.

  9. Analysis plan:

    1. The researcher must also submit the plan of analysis (tabulation plan);

    2. It should show the formulas for calculating the precision of estimators (the calculation of sampling errors, the design effect )

  10. The calendar and the detailed budget for all activities of the survey have to be specified.

  11. The curriculum vitae of the researchers must be attached on the documents to be submitted to NISR.

Q6. What about the publication of the survey results

The publication of quantitative survey results shall require a prior approval of National Institute of Statistics of Rwanda.

The researcher is obliged to submit the survey’s report (supported by its validation report) together with the data set to NISR for publication approval. With reference to the law stated below, none is allowed to publish the survey’s report without NISR approval.

The submission of survey report and raw data should be done in a period not exceeding 30 working days after the analysis part is finished.

Q7. What to do and not to do during any statistical activity

  • Before starting the statistical activities in any selected area, the researchers have to inform the local activities in which they are going to undertake.

  • After receiving the NISR visa, the researchers must report periodically the progress of the study at NISR, this means the activities of the training of enumerators, data collection, data entry, data analysis and data dissemination.

  • In any statistical activity, it is advised to use the probability sampling which is a method that utilizes different form of random selection, which can allow setting up some process or procedure that assures to different units within a population, to have equal probabilities of being chosen.

  • The use of such methods can allow a statistical inference which is the process of drawing conclusions from data that are subject to random variation. More substantially, the terms statistical inference, statistical induction and inferential statistics are used to describe systems of procedures that can be used to draw conclusions from datasets arising from systems affected by random variation.

  • The National Institute of Statistics of Rwanda (NISR) as a public institution having in its attributions the statistics activities has undertake different studies, from which it hold several sampling frames, that should be taken as a reference by any researcher wishing to conduct his research, for that they are all asked to request at NISR, the available sampling frame related to the research they need to undertake.

  • This would facilitate the researcher to use reliable sampling frame which will help him to access the reliable data and at the same time reducing the cost that would entail if the researcher had undertaken the research for the first time. Again it will avoid the contradictions that may arise between this and the investigation undertaken by NISR.

  • On other hand for researchers undertaking statistical activities not covering at least whole province, the collected data must not be generalized for the whole country.

  • Researcher should avoid collecting similar indicators in the same period with NISR surveys especially for national representative surveys.


  1. Qualitative survey may apply for survey visa, but the findings shall not be disseminated as official statistics.

  2. When a survey is under designing process, the customized international standard classification manuals (ISIC Rev 4, ISCO 08, ISCED 97) that NISR has published must be used during the data processing stage to improve the quality of data.

  3. Any researcher, who will not submit the report from the quantitative study as agreed with NISR, shall not be granted any other visa to undertake a new study before the submission of the previous studies. This is applied for every round of the survey.

  4. To ensure the quality of collected data, the NISR reserves the right to verify whether the methodology, proposed by the applicant and approved by NISR, is properly implemented, this may require visits by NISR staff to the field and/or data processing places.

Click here to download the comprehensive list of Visas issued by NISR

>> Go to the visa application form