How to Enter Cote d’Ivoire

Do I need a passport or visa to enter?

The Ivoirian government requires U.S. citizens to have a valid visa for entry into Côte d'Ivoire, as well as a passport with more than six months of remaining validity. U.S. citizens traveling to Côte d'Ivoire should check with the nearest Ivoirian embassy or consulate for details regarding the latest visa procedures and fees. Please note that visas are not available at the airport upon arrival, and that airport immigration control officials in Abidjan have both detained and denied entry to U.S. citizens arriving in Côte d’Ivoire without a visa. In addition to visa and passport requirements, an international health certificate showing current yellow fever immunization is required for entry into Côte d’Ivoire. Without proof of yellow fever immunization, the traveler may be required to submit to vaccination at entry before clearing immigration, at a cost of 7,000 CFA (approximately $14).

An exit permit is required for all art objects being removed from Côte d'Ivoire. The export permit costs 2,000 CFA plus 500 CFA per object (approximately one to four U.S. dollars). Only the National Museum has the authority to issue the permits.

Foreign travelers are sometimes approached at ports of entry by individuals with offers to expedite passport control and customs, and are then asked to pay an exorbitant fee, both for the service and for the passport and customs officers. Travelers to Côte d’Ivoire are advised that there is no need to pay a police officer or customs officer for any service rendered during an arrival or departure, and that they should not surrender their passports or other important documents to anyone except easily identifiable government officials in uniform.

U.S. citizens intending to establish a residence in Côte d’Ivoire must apply for a residency permit “carte de séjour” at the Office d’Identification Nationale. (Note: "Cartes de séjour" are not issued to children under the age of 16 who are documented on their parents' visas.)

Travelers may obtain the latest information and details on entry requirements from the Embassy of the Republic of Côte d'Ivoire, 2424 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20007, tel. (202) 797-0300. Côte d’Ivoire has a Consulate in Los Angeles located at 3550 Wilshire Blvd, Ste 1728, Los Angeles, CA 90010, tel. (310) 358-3339. There are honorary consulates for Côte d’Ivoire in San Francisco, Stamford, Orlando, Houston, and Detroit. If you are currently overseas, you should inquire at the nearest Ivoirian embassy or consulate.

Special Travel Circumstances in Cote d’Ivoire

Ivoirian customs authorities encourage the use of an ATA (Admission Temporaire/Temporary Admission) Carnet for the temporary admission of professional equipment, commercial samples, and/or goods for exhibitions and fair purposes. ATA Carnet Headquarters, at the U.S. Council for International Business, 1212 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10036, issues and guarantees the ATA Carnet in the United States. For additional information, call (212) 354-4480 or e-mail ATA Carnet Headquarters.

If traveling to another West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU) country, expatriate residents leaving Côte d’Ivoire must declare the amount of currency being taken out of the country. Residents traveling to countries that use the CFA franc currency, but are not WAEMU members, are prohibited from taking CFA francs out of Côte d’Ivoire and are authorized to carry up to the equivalent of 2,000,000 CFA francs (approximately $4,000) in any other currency. You can take funds in excess of that amount out of the country in the form of travelers or bank checks. If going to any other non-WAEMU country, tourists are prohibited from taking more than 500,000 CFA francs (approximately $1,000) and business operators are prohibited from taking more than 2,000,000 CFA francs (approximately $4,000) without government approval.

Carry a photocopy of your U.S. passport, visa, and entry stamps. You should also carry an international driver’s license, especially if you plan to drive anywhere in Côte d’Ivoire. U.S. driver’s licenses are not valid in Côte d’Ivoire. Government corruption remains a serious problem in Côte d’Ivoire, and has an impact on judicial proceedings, contract awards, customs, and tax issues. Uniformed security forces (police, military, and gendarmes) routinely stop vehicles for traffic violations and security checks. If you are stopped, politely present your identification. Police and security officials rarely speak English. If you are stopped at one of these checkpoints and asked to pay a bribe, politely refuse and present your photocopy of your U.S. passport, visa, and entry stamp.


You are responsible for ensuring that you meet and comply with foreign entry requirements, health requirements and that you possess the appropriate travel documents. Information provided is subject to change without notice. One should confirm content prior to traveling from other reliable sources. Information published on this website may contain errors. You travel at your own risk and no warranties or guarantees are provided by us.

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