Gabon is described by a notable travel authority, LonelyPlanet, as an “undiscovered wonderland not to be missed”. The Central African nation of Gabon is blessed with beautiful rainforests and a fascinating display of wildlife. About 11% of the country’s territory was converted to serve as a national park. This was done to preserve the beautiful natural environment of the country, making it one of the largest natural parkland in the world.
Are you a nature enthusiast or one seeking grounds to explore or do business in Gabon? This article will guide you through the procedures involved in obtaining a travel visa.
Do I need one?
If you are a regular traveller, you should be aware of certain bilateral agreements that allow you to visit some countries without having to apply for a visa. This also applies to Gabon as some countries of the world can have visa-free entry to its territory.
Although Gabon offers twenty (20) countries visa-free access to its lands, only citizens from three (3) of these countries can visit this nation with their ordinary passports. Primarily, holders of diplomatic and service passports are granted visa-free access. Follow this link for the exemption list.
If you are not eligible for visa-free entry on the exemption list, this article is for you. Read on as we take you through the different types and procedures involved.
Categories of Gabonese Visa Available
Foreigners with intentions of visiting this country are required to state the type of visa they are applying for and their intended duration of stay.
Visa Types Based on Duration of Visit
- Single Entry permits
This type of permit gives visitors the option of staying in the country for durations of:
- One month
- Two months
- Three months.
- Multiple Entry permits
With this type of travel document, a visitor can have multiple entries into the territory for a total duration of six months.
Visa Types Based on Reasons for Visit
There are an array of options available for the different reasons a foreigner might visit the Gabonese territory. They are as follows:
Foreigners seeking to explore the beautiful nation of Gabon for recreational purposes are issued this permit. The validity of this permit is dictated by the type (single or multiple) and duration chosen.
- Family visitation
Individuals that are not natives of Gabon but have friends and family members living in the country can visit the country with this permit. Also, natives of Gabon in another country without a valid Gabonese national passport can reunite with their family members in the country with this permit.
Foreigners invited to do business by a ministry, company or organization in the country can gain entry with this travel document. The inviting institution is required to provide a letter of invitation.
Individuals with intentions of offering/performing a certain form of professional services in the country may gain entry to carry out their activities with this permit. This may require the submission of additional documents for approval.
- Medical Treatment
Visitors seeking to receive medical care in the country can do so using this document. The applicant will be required to provide a medical report stating the medical condition that needs to be treated.
This option is for visitors whose purpose of the visit is not found on the list. The applicant will be required to state his/her reasons for wanting to gain entry to the country.
Documents Needed for Visa Processing
Persons seeking to gain entry to Gabonese territory may be required to bring a combination of these items depending on their reasons for visit. The commonly requested items are as follows:
- Valid National Passport
Foreigners are required to provide a national passport with a validity of a minimum of 6 months beyond the expected date of departure. It must contain at least two blank pages to attach your approved visa.
- Passport-sized Photographs
It is mandatory that you provide two recent colored photographs. The photographs should meet the following requirements:
• Not more than 3 months old and print quality should be high
• The preferred background color is white
• Dressing accessories like glasses or headbands should not be used in the passport.
• Full frontal angle of your head with centralisation of your face. The expression on your face should be neutral
- Application Form
This document should be filled in appropriately and signed. All mandatory fields should be filled with relevant information. Make sure the name included in this form is the same name that appears on your passport.
- Evidence of Travel Plans
It is required that you provide evidence that you have made arrangements for your trip. This includes your travel itinerary, proof of secured accommodation and other papers that may serve as proof.
- Cover Letter for Business
It is necessary that you provide a letter from your company stating your purpose of visit. If a company in Gabon has requested your presence, then the company is required to address an invitation letter to the consulate processing your application.
Procedures for Gabonese E- Visa Application
In order to make the application process easier for visitors, an electronic platform was created.
The entire application process is broken down into four simple steps:
This kicks off the application process, requiring applicants to select the type (single or multiple) and duration of intended stay.
This phase requires intending visitors to provide correct personal and contact details in order to fill the application form. The applicant’s purpose of the visit is stated in this form.
After relevant information has been provided in step two, the next step requires submission of all relevant documents. This includes a scanned copy of a valid national passport, letters of invitation, passport-sized photographs and other documents relevant to the applicant’s purpose of visit.
This is the final step. At this point, the applicant is allowed to review all information initially inputted and all documents will be uploaded. This is to ensure that there no errors were made during the process. When the review is done, the applicant can then submit and wait for approval.
To begin the registration process, applicants can access the e-platform with this link.
Applicants seeking to obtain permanent or temporary residency in Gabon can check the Gabonese immigration webpage for more information or contact a consulate/embassy close by.
It is required that all payments are made upon arrival at the airport. The amount charged is as follows:
|Single Entry (1-3 months)||70 Euros|
|Multiple Entry (Six months)||185 Euros|
Note: Applications attract a processing fee of 15 Euros.
These fees apply to electronic visas. If you are not making use of the e-platform please contact a Gabonese consulate for more information.
Covid-19 Guidelines for All Intending Travellers to the Central African Nation of Gabon
In order to reduce the further spread of the Covid-19 virus, certain travel restrictions have been made by the Gabonese government.
At the time of writing, the country is not yet open for tourism purposes. However, its borders are partially open for foreigners and returning citizens.
It is pertinent that all intending visitors display a negative PCR-test result for immigration officials to see. This certificate must be issued at most, five (5) days before arrival at the port of entry.
Another PCR test is conducted after which the visitor is required to isolate himself/herself for a total of 48 hours (time taken to obtain result). If the result comes out negative, the visitor is issued a certificate with a validity of fourteen (14) days. After this validity period, another test is to be conducted.
However, a negative result will require the visitor to be quarantined. Health authorities in the country will see to it that appropriate medical attention is administered while symptoms persist.
The use of face masks within the city is mandatory and social distancing measures are enforced. Failure to adhere to laid down rules may attract payment of a fine.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who is eligible to apply on the Gabonese e-visa platform?
The online application platform is open to all intending visitors from all over the world.
How long does it take to process an application?
The minimum time taken to process an application after submission is 72 hours.
Can I arrive before the date stated?
No, applicants are advised not to arrive before the date specified. Arriving earlier than the date stated will lead to the applicant being sent back. Please, endeavour to arrive on the specified date.
Can I have a visa extension?
Yes, it is possible to get an extension if an application is filed before the expiration of the original visa. However, there are some conditions attached. A one month visa can receive a two months extension; a two-month visa can receive a one-month extension; three months visas do not get extensions; six-month visas do not get extensions.
Can I apply for an electronic visa if I travel by land?
No, the electronic platform cannot be used for transportations means other than air. Also, the only airport currently accepting e-Visas is the Leon Mba international airport situated in Libreville.
Do holders of valid US national passports have a visa-free entry?
No, natives of the United States, United Kingdom and other regions not stated in the exemption list need to apply for a visa to enter the country.