The Benin Republic, formerly known as Dahomey, is a francophone (French-speaking) country located in Africa’s Western part. The administrative capital city is Porto-Novo. The largest economic and commercial city is Cotonou. Benin became an independent country on the 1st of August 1960.
Any person meaning to sojourn to Benin republic must obtain a visa from the Benin embassies and consulates or apply for an online visa (E-Visa), except they are from countries that do not need to have a visa.
Countries with exclusion from visa procurement have the grace of a free 90 day or 14-day stay. The 90-day free visa countries include the entire African states, Haiti, Indonesia, Macau, and Israel. The 14-day free stay countries are Hong Kong and Singapore. Furthermore, Chinese nationals on official duty have a free ninety-day stay.
Individuals that possess authorized documentations of Brazil, China, Cuba, France, India, Italy, Mexico, Russia, South Korea, Switzerland, Turkey are not in requirement of a visa. Iranians can only stay a month.
Electronic Visa (E-Visa)
Members of Countries that need a permit to enter into the Benin Republic can get one online.
The E- visa is a digital system that allows travellers to acquire visas by completing a form online. It is easier to gain permission without having to endure the long and tedious method of waiting at the Benin embassy.
The Benin E- visa allows tourists and visitors to gain entry and stay in the country on a 30 day after issuance basis or 90 days after issuance basis.
Once established that the reason for travel is Personal, Leisure, or Work, the e- visa can be made available for all and sundry. It is known as a
- One time Entry
- Multiple Entries visa – 30 days
- Multiple Entries visa – 90 days
The one time visa can only be made use of once. Anyone who possesses multiple visas can make more than one trip to the country depending on the number of days of validity of the visa obtained.
In order to purchase the visa, there must be a submission of correct individual details. You must also disclose why you are about to visit. Before applying, though, you must have a ratified flight ticket.
To obtain the E-visa, travellers have to prove their ability to financially sustain themselves during their stay (usually a bank statement) and the proof of a return flight ticket.
Necessary documents that are essential to apply for the electronic visa :
- A legal passport
- A payment card
- An E-mail address
Once the visa has been successfully processed, it is issued and sent to the e-mail of the applicant.
Visa Application for Brits
Brits who own passports require a visa to gain entry into the Benin Republic. They can apply for a single stay or multiple stay visa online. The issuance of the visa though, is carried out upon arriving at the Cotonou Cadjehoun International airport.
Visa Application for Nigerians
All citizens of Benin fellow ECOWAS member countries have the freedom of entering Benin without a Visa. However, they must possess a legitimate passport of their respective countries, the ECOWAS travel certificate, or the ECOWAS passport.
Requirements for other nationalities.
United States Of America: Americans require a passport and a visa. There is no requirement for a return flight ticket.
Canada: Canadians looking to seek entry into Benin have must their passports and visas.
European Countries: Europeans do not require return flight tickets. They, however, need their passports and visas.
Australia: Australians require a valid passport and also a visa to enter Benin republic. Evidence of a return flight ticket is not compulsory.
United Kingdom: Brits are to provide their visa and passport. A return ticket is not required.
Individuals from different nationalities should contact their embassy or consulate to get the latest price of the visa.
Testing for new arrivals
Travellers arriving at the Cadjehoun international airport in Cotonou are screened upon arrival. It is highly compulsory for passengers arriving to undergo the COVID-19 test. They are tested as soon as they get off the plane. They are also tested fourteen days later, of the result of the first test is negative.
New arrivals must submit their passports with the Benin Immigration police for three days (72 hours) until the reception of the first COVID-19 test results.
Individuals leaving the country must also get tested at Palais de Congres or Cadjehoun International airport. There is a French explanatory system online that fully encompasses arriving to and leaving the country.
Arrivals who are discovered to have the coronavirus will observe the standard COVID-19 protocol and go on an obligatory self separation measure. Infected individuals will also get gratis health care.
In a move to completely guarantee the regulations of the quarantine are followed precisely, the isolation areas and units are to be watched by and supervised by the defence and security personnel. The passports and travel documents of those who test positive for the virus will be held by the Benin Republic government until all testing and protocols are made in compliance with the standard rules.
The validity of passports.
Passports, either a short stay or multiple types, have to be authentic for the entire duration of one’s stay. The passport becomes invalid once it passes the day on the passport.
Work visas for foreigners in the Benin Republic
There are predominantly three types of visas an outsider could obtain to visit Benin
Most employees require to procure a business visa and a work permit. A lot of the visas are relevant through a 30 day or 90 day period. The visa application must be carried out before coming into the country, as visa procurement can’t be done after arriving in the country.
Requirements for the attainment of a Work visa in the Benin Republic
The prerequisites for acquiring a working visa primarily rely on the type of visa to be acquired; Single or multiple entry type.
The documents are:
- A passport-style photograph
- One copy of the scanned passport
- A duplicate of the Individual’s itinerary
- Proof of yellow fever vaccination
- Company business letter
- A complete and correctly filled application form.
The business letter must contain a letterhead. It must also contain the following details about the petitioner; The full name, birth details, number on the passport, employment status, and reason for the intended visit to the country.
The company’s employer must also be ready to be financially accountable for the petitioner and furnish accurate and specific details on how to contact him (the employer) in Benin.
How to get a Benin work permit
After successfully obtaining work visas, it is also compulsory to have a work permit. As the permit can take up to ninety days to get, it is advisable to begin the processing before the required time.
Employees and employers of companies need to apply for:
- An expatriate quota approval
- A Subject to Regularization
- A Combined Expatriate Residence Permit and Alien Card
For the second stage, Employers will need copies of their company’s expatriate quota grant, the job proposition, the employee’s letter of acceptance, and the applicant curriculum vitae.
To however apply for the CERPAC, employees must be in possession of an appointment letter, acceptance letter of the job offer written by the employee, a copy of the applicant’s passport, and SRT documentation.
It is highly imperative to take note that employers cannot acquire work permits for their employees only if they have been legally registered as an entity in Benin.
They also have to option of purchasing e-visas through the online visas system. They must, however, possess:
- A passport that will still be valid even after six months of entry
- One empty visa page in their passports
- Adequate proof of financial capability
- A return flight ticket
They must act in compliance and fulfil all necessary conditions on the application.
Applicants are urged to avoid errors of any kind when filling out application forms. Incorrect information can lead to a delay in the processing of information. When there is an emergence of a defect or blunder of any kind, applicants have to begin a new application from the very beginning.
Applicants can also choose to extend the duration of their time in the Benin Republic by visiting the Immigration and Emigration agency.
The visa processing cost is nonrefundable.
It is crucial to note that Immigration Officials present at the point of entry reserve the authority to deny an individual access to enter the country if he deems the Individual an apparent threat to the nation’s security or fails to meet up with all immigration obligations.
The embassies and consulates furnish helpful advice, giving visa tips to complete extensive details of trips, arrivals, and departures.