Cote d’Voire (Ivory coast) Visa helpBack to Forum
Anonymous6 Feb 2014
Am hoping to get to the Cote d’Voire later this month, but having real problems with Visa application. No one answers the phone at the Ivorian Consulate/Embassy in London, and unless I am being really dense the on-line process ,( for which I have recieved a registration receipt) does not tell me what to do next? The process keeps using the phrase “in person”but I am not sure if that means attend the embassy in person or the airport in Abidjan. Any guidance appreciated.
Thanks everyone for the feedback and advice. Yellow fever jab arranged for today and am hopeful :-), that we now have the right process for the Visa. It seems to have chsnged in January of this year to the online process, and I have been mailed a ‘bar-code’ type receipt. So we will see what happens.6 Feb 2014
I haven’t been for a few years so my info may be out of date and someone else on the forum may be able to add more up to date info…
However, whilst I can’t help with the embassy, from my experience I would strongly advise against trying to get a visa on arrival. I inadvertently did that once as my previous visa had expired and I spent a couple of hours in a holding room at the airport waiting for my local contact to grease some palms and get a visa arranged.
Additionally you used to need to present a vaccination certificate on arrival without which they would try to insist that the local “doctor” (the qualification for which I think was simply that he wore a white coat) vaccinate you there and then, which again required greasing of palms to avoid.
So in summary, get a visa and vaccinations BEFORE you travel!
Good luck.6 Feb 2014
I’d always suggest using a good visa agency. It makes life much simpler. We usually use CIBT. However, I see that their site says that Cote d’Ivoire now requires that applicants apply in person at the embassy. Like@please_turn_left, I haven’t been for several years and this is new. It’s probably reciprocal: the UK doubtless requires Ivoirians to apply in person at our embassy. Fair is fair. It’s worth calling CIBT to get their recent experience.
PTL is right about the immunisations too. Make sure that you have a valid Yellow Fever vaccination certificate. The WHO now recommends that any certificate be accepted as evidence of lifetime protection but some countries still insist on a vaccination every ten years. If you don’t have a certificate, they will try to immunise you at the airport.
A word of caution about “greasing palms”. Bribery is, of course, illegal. It happens everywhere (the UK has been slipping down the Transparency International index) but most officials are not corrupt and if you start assuming they are, you could end up in big trouble. I have never been asked for a bribe in Cote d’Ivoire and I have never offered one (With the exception of $10 to a soldier who was holding a gun to my head in Kinshasa, I’ve never paid a bribe anywhere in Africa. I find it easier to stick to the rules and — if I’ve done that — to explain that I have abided by the laws of the country and that I expect others to as well. It works)6 Feb 2014
One more thing. The Cote d’Ivoire foreign ministry website now says that they issue an e-visa on arrival at Abidjan but that you must arrive with evidence of authority to travel and of pre-approval for an evisa. In short, it looks like the Australian system6 Feb 2014
I went to Abidjan last summer and got my visa from the Embassy in London personally. It was all pretty straight-forward, but like all of these things it pays to check that you’ve done all the prerequisites beforehand (like having proof of a booked return flight, yellow fever cert etc).
BTW, if you are thinking of driving into London there are parking meters in Belgrave Square about 2 minutes away. I dropped my application off one morning and picked it up the next afternoon with very little hassle.6 Feb 2014