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Cote d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast)
Official Name:

Republic of Côte d'Ivoire

Last Updated: May 16, 2017
Further Safety and Security Information

Travel Warnings: Issued when Protracted situations make a country dangerous or unstable. Defer or reconsider travel.

Travel Alerts: Issued when short-term conditions pose imminent threats. Defer or reconsider travel.

Embassy Messages: Issued when local security issues arise.

Assistance for U.S. Citizens

Assistance for U.S. Citizens

U.S. Embassy Abidjan

Cocody Riviéra Golf,
01 BP 1712 Abidjan 01
Côte d'Ivoire

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Quick Facts
PASSPORT VALIDITY:

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6 months validity upon entry

BLANK PASSPORT PAGES:

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1 page required for entry stamp

TOURIST VISA REQUIRED:

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Yes

VACCINATIONS:

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Yellow fever required

CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR ENTRY:

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 None

CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR EXIT:

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May not leave with more than $1,000

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U.S. Embassy Abidjan

Cocody Riviera Golf,
01 BP 1712 Abidjan 01
Côte d’Ivoire

Telephone: +(225) 22-49-40-00

Emergency After-HoursTelephone: +(225) 22-49-44-50

Fax: +(225) 22-49-42-02

See Department of State's Fact Sheet on Côte d'Ivoire for additional information on U.S.-Côte d’Ivoire relations.

Visit the Embassy of the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire website for the most current visa information.

A passport, visa, and proof of vaccination against yellow fever are required for entry into Côte d’Ivoire. For additional immunization information, visit the CDC’s Health Information for Travelers to Côte d’Ivoire.

Travelers should obtain the latest information and details on entry requirements from the Embassy of the Republic of Côte d'Ivoire, located at 2424 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, D.C. 20007, telephone (202) 797-0317.

Although e-visas are available at the airport upon arrival, they must be requested online prior to arrival in Côte d’Ivoire. You can find more information online at Côte d’Ivoire evisas.

An exit permit issued by the National Museum is required for all high-value pieces of art being removed from Côte d'Ivoire. The export permit costs 2,000 CFA plus 500 CFA per object.

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

The U.S. Department of State is unaware of any HIV/AIDS entry restrictions for visitors to or foreign residents of Côte d’Ivoire.

Find information on dual nationality, prevention of international child abduction, and customs information on our websites. 

Côte d’Ivoire has undertaken security sector reform actions, and, as a result, its national police and gendarmerie are in a transitional period. The military often performs what might be considered as traditional civilian law enforcement functions for which it is not properly trained.

Peaceful demonstrations are tolerated by the government to a varying degree, with tear gas frequently being employed to disperse protests. In January 2017, elements of the armed forces staged public strikes and mutinies demanding back pay and benefits, temporarily paralyzing transportation in Abidjan and regional capital cities. The mutinies were resolved with payment to certain elements of the armed forces, but widespread grievances remain among the military and civil servants.

The threat of violent extremism across the region includes Côte d’Ivoire. In March 2016, a terrorist attack targeting foreigners led to 19 deaths in the beach resort city of Grand Bassam. Côte d’Ivoire remains under threat by extremist organizations in the region, though the country is not considered a base of operations. 

Embassy personnel are prohibited from driving outside of major cities after dark, including between Abidjan, Grand Bassam, and Assinie. The Embassy’s ability to provide consular services, including emergency assistance, outside of the Abidjan area is limited. Many areas of Côte d’Ivoire are difficult to access, and travel in these areas is hazardous. Outside the major cities, infrastructure is poor, medical care is limited, and there are few facilities for tourists.

Swimming in coastal waters is dangerous and strongly discouraged, even for excellent swimmers. The ocean currents along the coast are powerful and treacherous, and several people drown each year.

Crime:

Crime continues to be the major public security concern in Côte d’Ivoire. Armed carjackings, robberies of businesses, and home invasions target residents, including expatriates, who are perceived as wealthy.

U.S. citizens should exercise caution when visiting Abidjan’s Abobo, Adjame, Angre, Koumassi, Marcory, and Yopougon districts as well as popular neighborhoods for nighttime entertainment, including Plateau, Treichville, and Zone 4.

Carry identification at all times to minimize the risk of harassment at police checkpoints.

See the Department of State and the FBI pages for information on scams.

Victims of Crime:

If you or someone you know becomes the victim of a crime abroad, contact the local police and the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate.

The local equivalent to the “911” emergency line in Côte d’Ivoire is 170.

Other Police emergency numbers that can be called include:

  • National Police Command Post (Abidjan): 20-22-16-87 / 20-22-16-33
  • National Police Information and Command Center (CRIC) Centrale 6: 20-21-35-01 / 20-21–00–70
  • Abidjan Police Prefecture/Emergency Number: +225- 20- 25-87-88
  • National Police General Command Post +225-20-22-16-33 and +225-20-22-16-87
  • National Police Information and Command Center (CRIC) Centrale 6: 20-21-35-01 /20-21-00–70

See our webpage on help for U.S. victims of crime overseas.

We can:

  • Help you find appropriate medical care
  • Assist you in reporting a crime to the police
  • Contact relatives or friends with your written consent
  • Explain the local criminal justice process in general terms
  • Provide a list of local attorneys
  • Provide our information on victim’s compensation programs in the U.S.
  • Provide an emergency loan for repatriation to the United States and/or limited medical support in cases of destitution
  • Help you find accommodation and arrange flights home
  • Replace a stolen or lost passport

Domestic Violence: U.S. citizen victims of domestic violence may contact the Embassy for assistance.

For further information:

Abidjan has privately-run medical and dental facilities that are adequate, but do not fully meet U.S. standards. Good physician specialists can be found, although few speak English. While pharmacies are well-stocked with medications produced in Europe, newer drugs may not be available. If you plan a lengthy trip to Côte d’Ivoire, you should bring enough medication to last the entire stay in your carry-on luggage. Medical care outside of Abidjan is extremely limited.

We do not pay medical bills. Be aware that U.S. Medicare does not apply overseas.

Medical Insurance: If your health insurance plan does not provide coverage overseas, we strongly recommend supplemental medical insurance and medical evacuation plans.

The following diseases are prevalent:

*Extremely high malaria transmission occurs thoughout Côte d’Ivoire year round and in all areas, including large cities. Malaria prophylaxis is highly recommended for even short visits.

Vaccinations: Be up-to-date on all vaccinations recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

Further health information:

Criminal Penalties: You are subject to local laws. If you violate local laws, even unknowingly, you may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned.

Furthermore, some laws are also prosecutable in the U.S., regardless of local law. For examples, see our website on crimes against minors abroad and the Department of Justice website.

Arrest Notification: If you are arrested or detained, ask police or prison officials to notify the U.S. Embassy immediately. See our webpage for further information.

Customs: 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 USD) 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 traveling to any other non-WAEMU country, tourists are prohibited from taking more than 500,000 CFA francs (approximately 1,000 USD) and business operators are prohibited from taking more than 2,000,000 CFA francs (approximately 4,000 USD) without government approval.

Corruption: 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.

Faith-Based Travelers: 

LGBTI Travelers: There are no legal restrictions on same-sex sexual relations or the organization of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender, and Intersex (LGBTI) events in Côte d’Ivoire. The only mention of same-sex sexual activity in the laws is as a form of public indecency that carries a penalty of up to two years’ imprisonment, the same prescribed for heterosexual acts performed in Côte d’Ivoire that contravene the law. Antidiscrimination laws exist, but they do not address discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

However, societal stigmatization of the LGBTI community is widespread, and police, gendarmes, and members of the armed forces reportedly beat, imprison, verbally abuse, extort, or humiliate members of the LGBTI community. The few LGBTI organizations in the country operate freely, but with caution.

See our LGBTI Travel Information page and section 6 of our  Human Rights report for further details.

Travelers Who Require Accessibility Assistance: While in Côte d’Ivoire, individuals with disabilities may find accessibility and accommodation very different from in the United States. Individuals with disabilities should be aware that there are almost no accommodations made for individuals with disabilities in Côte d’Ivoire.

Students: See our Students Abroad page and FBI travel tips.

Women Travelers: See our travel tips for Women Travelers.

Road Conditions and Safety: Abidjan has a poor public transportation system. If you choose to travel by bus, the “Express” line is believed to be the safest and most reliable service. Taxis are readily available and inexpensive; you may be able to negotiate a better rate. They are, however, poorly maintained and notorious for not respecting the rules of the road. There have been reports of robberies in metered or orange taxis, though they are still widely thought to be the most secure form of public transportation.

Communal taxis (“woro-woros”), used only within the limits of each commune, are not metered and may be dangerous. Do not use local vans ("Gbaka") because they are frequently involved in accidents. Always travel in groups and avoid driving on roads outside of Abidjan at night.

Carjackings: Carjacking incidents have been reported in Abidjan, including vehicles with diplomatic plates. While stopped in traffic, allow enough room between your car and the one in front to maneuver out if needed. Before getting into your car, look around to see if there is anyone paying unusual attention and, if someone appears to be watching, do not go to your vehicle. If confronted, remain courteous and calm and, if threatened, do not resist. Please report any incident to the U.S. Embassy.

Ambulance Services: Emergency services such as ambulance service (SAMU) exist in Abidjan and larger towns, but such service is unreliable. Call 185 or 2244-5553. In smaller towns, there is usually no ambulance service available, but ambulances may be dispatched from larger towns.

Please refer to our Road Safety page for more information.

Aviation Safety Oversight: As there is no direct commercial air service to the United States by carriers registered in Côte d’Ivoire, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has not assessed the Government of Côte d’Ivoire’s Civil Aviation Authority for compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards. Further information may be found on the FAA’s safety assessment page.

Maritime Travel: Mariners planning travel to Côte d’Ivoire should check for U.S. maritime advisories and alerts at the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Maritime Security Communications with Industry WebPortal. Information may also be posted to the U.S. Coast Guard homeport website and as a broadcast warning on the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency’s website.

 

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