Do I need a passport or visa to enter?
A passport, visa, and evidence of yellow fever vaccination are required for entry. Visitors to the Republic of the Congo should also have a letter of invitation and/or written proof of a hotel reservation for presentation to immigration officials upon arrival. In some cases, invitation letters must be endorsed by local immigration authorities prior to the bearer’s arrival in the country. Possession of a valid visa is often not sufficient for admission to the Congo as immigration requirements are unclear and arbitrarily enforced. Additionally, local law prohibits exiting the country with the local currency, known as the Central African Franc or CFA. Travelers are advised to limit the amount of CFA they travel with to avoid any unnecessary forfeitures upon departure. See Currency under Special Circumstances below for more information. Until January 2010, Congolese embassies and consulates issued unique visas for entry to the Republic of Congo. Visas should be identical regardless of where they are issued; however, some embassies and consulates have not started issuing the new universal visas. The new Congolese visas are a passport-page-sized sticker with a map outline of the Republic of the Congo in the background. If you attempt to enter Congo with one of the old visas, you may be denied entry.
Additional information on entry requirements may be obtained from the Embassy of the Republic of the Congo, 4891 Colorado Ave., N.W., Washington, D.C. 20011, telephone (202) 726-5500, or from the Permanent Mission of the Republic of the Congo to the United Nations, 14 E. 65th St., New York, NY, 10021, telephone (212) 744-7840. Overseas inquiries should be made at the nearest Congolese embassy or consulate.