CSI Repository

CSI Country Catalog


Country Name: Burundi
Official Country Name: Republic of Burundi
Country Code 2-Letters: BI
Country Code 3-Letters: BDI
Street: Suite 408, Avenue Des Etats-
Bujumbura, Burundi
Fact sheet: https://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/2821.htm
  • International Travel
  • Child Abductions
  • Intercountry Adoptions
  • Consular Notification
  • U.S. Visas
  • Contact
  • Quick Facts
  • Embassies and Consulates
  • Destination Description
  • Entry, Exit & Visa Requirements
  • Safety and Security
  • Local Laws & Special Circumstances
  • Health
  • Travel & Transportation
Embassy Name: U.S. Embassy Bujumbura
Street Address: Avenue Des Etats-Unis
Bujumbura, Burundi
Phone: +(257) 22-20-7000 (Monday - Thursday 2 p.m. – 5 p.m., Friday 7:30 a.m. – 12:30p.m.)
Emergency Phone: +(257) 79-938-841
Fax: +(257) 22-24-3467
Email: bujumburac@state.gov
Web: https://bi.usembassy.gov/

Embassy Messages


Country Map

Quick Facts
Passport Validity: Duration of stay
Blank Passport Pages: One page
Tourist Visa Required: Yes
Vaccinations: Yellow Fever
Currency Restrictions for Entry: None
Currency Restrictions for Exit: None
Embassies and Consulates

U.S. Embassy Bujumbura
Avenue Des Etats-Unis
Bujumbura, Burundi
+(257) 22-20-7000
(Monday - Thursday 2 p.m. – 5 p.m., Friday 7:30 a.m. – 12:30p.m.)
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(257) 79-938-841
Fax: +(257) 22-24-3467
Email: bujumburac@state.gov

Destination Description

See the Department of State’s Fact Sheet on Burundi for information on U.S.-Burundi relations.

Entry, Exit & Visa Requirements

Requirements for Entry:

  • Passport
  • Visa, obtain before traveling. In order for applicants to obtain a visa, Burundi requires a letter of invitation/sponsorship from an individual or organization within Burundi.
  • World Health Organization (WHO) card with yellow fever vaccination. For more details on immunizations go to http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/list.

Visit the Embassy of Burundi website or the nearest Burundi embassy or consulate for visa information.

Mandatory Registration:

All non-Burundian residents who intend to stay one year or more are required to register their presence at the main office of the Commissariat Général des Migrations in Bujumbura. Contact their office at +257 22 25 79 00 for more information.

  • Registrants (including children) must appear in person with their passports.
  • Failure to comply can result in fines.

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

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

Safety and Security

See the Department of State’s Travel Advisory for Burundi.

Incidents of violenceoccur country-wide, with a higher number in Bujumbura. Grenades and small arms may be used.

  • International borders may close without notice.
  • Cibitoke and Bubanza provinces are vulnerable to attacks by armed groups from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
  • Relations between Burundi and Rwanda are tense, and there is a risk of cross-border incursions and armed clashes.

Regional terror groups have threatened U.S., Western, and Burundian interests and are capable of crossing borders to carry out attacks.


  • Carry original and color photocopies of your U.S. passport and visa at all times.
  • Avoid large public gatherings. Even events intended to be peaceful can turn violent.
  • Be vigilant around city centers and cautious when traveling in rural and border areas.
  • Monitor news and consular alerts.

Searches: Security forces routinely search vehicles and homes (including those of foreigners and U.S. citizens). Residential searches are allowed between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m.; police must present identification and a warrant. Report improper searches to the U.S. Embassy.

Roadblocks: Police maintain checkpoints throughout the country. Travelers have reported harassment, bribe solicitation, intimidation, and (rarely) physical violence, especially during heightened security situations.

If stopped:

  • Be compliant, calm, and courteous.
  • Identify yourself as a U.S. citizen.
  • Provide copies of identification documents if requested; attempt to keep originals.
  • Do not leave until instructed to do so.
  • Report harassment to the U.S. Embassy.

Crime: Theft, robbery, and burglary are common; armed or violent crime causing injury or fatality occurs often. Petty crime occurs at all hours; serious crimes occur mostly at night. Although rarely targeted, foreigners should take precautions.

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

Victims of Crime:

  • Bujumbura’s emergency number is 112. To report a crime, however, it is best to do so in person.
  • U.S. citizen victims of sexual assault or domestic violence should first contact the U.S. Embassy.
  • Remember that local authorities are responsible for investigating and prosecuting the crime.
  • However, legal response and recourse can be limited.
  • 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

For further information:

Local Laws & Special Circumstances

Criminal Penalties: You are subject to local laws, regardless of your nationality. If you violate local laws, even unknowingly, you may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned. Convictions for possessing, using, or trafficking in illegal drugs are severe and result in long jail sentences and heavy fines. You may be questioned by the police if you are unable to produce an acceptable form of identification.

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 officials to notify the U.S. Embassy immediately. See our webpage for further information.

Power Outages: Power outages occur frequently and may affect public services such as access to potable water.

Photography: It is illegal to take pictures of government buildings, military installations, and key infrastructure such as airports and border controls. You could be detained or arrested, fined, and have your equipment confiscated. Do not take photos of Burundians without their permission.

Phone Service: Cell phones are used extensively. SIM cards can be purchased locally and used with a compatible cell phone. Your must present a copy of your ID and/or passport for registering your SIM card.

Currency: The Burundian franc (BIF) is the official currency. U.S. dollars and euros are accepted in urban areas. Most transactions are conducted in cash; credit cards are rarely accepted outside of Bujumbura. Most vendor and banking institutions will take only bills in near-mint condition, printed after 2009. Examine U.S. bills to ensure they are legitimate. Exchange currency only at reputable banks. ATMs are available at the international airport and in Bujumbura, but they dispense only Burundian francs. The U.S. Embassy does not exchange currency for U.S. citizens.

Faith-Based Travelers: See the following webpages for details:

LGBTI Travelers: Burundian law criminalizes same-sex sexual acts with penalties ranging from fines to imprisonment of three months to two years, but prosecutions are rare. People have, however, been detained based on their perceived sexual orientation.

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

Travelers Who Require Accessibility Assistance: Access to transportation, lodging, and public buildings is limited. There are few sidewalks and no curb-cuts, and most buildings lack functioning elevators.

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

Women Travelers: Sexual and domestic violence, including rape, is a widespread problem. In some cases, police and magistrates require victims to pay the costs of incarceration for the perpetrator. Center Seruka and Center Nturengaho provide shelter and counseling to victims of rape and domestic violence. Several international NGOs provide free medical care for victims, mostly in urban areas.

See our travel tips for Women Travelers.


Most medical facilities in Burundi are inadequate for even routine care. Emergency services are severely limited. If you do need medical care, you will be asked to pay cash in advance and may be denied treatment if unable to do so. Credit cards are generally not accepted; insurance companies are not billed. In an emergency, a medical evacuation would likely be necessary.

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

Medical Insurance: Make sure your health insurance plan provides coverage overseas. Most care providers overseas only accept cash payments.  See our webpage for more information on insurance providers for overseas coverage.

We strongly recommend supplemental insurance for medical evacuations.

Medication: If traveling with prescription medication, check with the government of Burundi to ensure the medication is legal in Burundi. Always, carry your prescription medication in original packaging with your doctor’s prescription.

Malaria is endemic. Anti-malarial chemoprophylaxis is recommended. Use CDC-recommended mosquito repellents; sleep with mosquito nets.

Food and water-borne illnesses are common.

The following diseases are prevalent:

Vaccinations: Remain up-to-date on all vaccinations recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Yellow fever vaccination proof is required before travel.

Further health information:

Travel & Transportation

Road Conditions and Safety: National highways are in fair to good condition, though large potholes are common. During the rainy season, February to May, many roads become impassable. Flooding and landslides also destroy bridges and block routes. Many roads in the interior are in disrepair. U.S. Embassy personnel are prohibited from driving outside of cities after dark.

There is a general lack of:

  • Lighting
  • Functioning traffic signals
  • Road signs
  • Road shoulders

These make driving dangerous, particularly outside of towns and especially at night. Poor driving standards and wayward pedestrians, cyclists, and roaming livestock create further hazards.

Rural areas: When travelling outside of Bujumbura, be aware of increased risks of ambush and highway robbery, which usually happen at night. Motorists in Burundi should be careful to keep their doors locked and windows closed when driving around the capital. Service stations are scarce and fuel shortages are common. Professional roadside assistance is not available outside the capital. Carry with you:

  • Spare tires
  • Food and water
  • Satellite phone
  • Maps and navigation equipment
  • A first aid kit

Traffic Laws: An international driving permit and third-party insurance is required. Long-term residents can apply for a Burundi driver’s license. Use of cell phones while driving is illegal. Give buses and taxis a wide berth as they start and stop abruptly, often without pulling to the side of the road.

In the case of an accident, call and attempt to have police respond. If a hostile mob forms or you feel your safety is in danger, leave the scene and proceed to the nearest police station or gendarmerie to report the incident. Do not stop at the scene of an accident.

Public Transportation: Public transit is unregulated, unreliable, and generally unsafe due to overloading, reckless driving, inadequate vehicle maintenance, and the risk of petty crime. U.S. Embassy personnel are prohibited from using public transportation, including taxis. Fatal collisions occur frequently. Hire private transport from a reliable source.

If you use a taxi, negotiate the fare before beginning your journey. Taxis are not metered, so confirm with your hotel what fare you should expect on trips.

See 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 Burundi, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has not assessed the government of Burundi’s Civil Aviation Authority for compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization aviation safety standards. Further information may be found on the

FAA’s safety assessment page.

Foreign Consular Office Contact Information
Use Style in the Text Component to tag city names and to tag phone numbers, fax numbers, and emails with the respective Style icon.


Washington, DC

Telephone (202) 342-2574; Fax (202) 342-2578

  • General Information
  • Hague Abduction Convention
  • Return
  • Visitation/Access
  • Retaining an Attorney
  • Mediation
Hague Questions | Learn More Links
Party to the Hague Abduction Convention? No
U.S. Treaty Partner under the Hague Abduction Convention? No
Learn why the Hague Abduction Convention Matters: /content/travel/en/International-Parental-Child-Abduction/for-providers/laws/important-feat-hague-abdtn-conv.html

General Information

For information concerning travel to Burundi, including information about the location of the U.S. Embassy, the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program, entry/exit requirements, safety and security, crime, medical facilities and health information, traffic safety, road conditions and aviation safety, please see country-specific information for Burundi.

The U.S. Department of State reports statistics and compliance information for individual countries in the Annual Report on International Parental Child Abduction (IPCA).  The report is located here.

Hague Abduction Convention

Burundi is not a signatory to the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction (Hague Abduction Convention), nor are there any bilateral agreements in force between Burundi and the United States concerning international parental child abduction.


Legal systems and laws pertaining to custody, divorce, and parental abduction vary widely from country to country. 

Parents are encouraged to consult with an attorney who specializes in family law in Burundi and who can provide accurate legal guidance that is specific to their circumstances. 

The Department of State’s Bureau of Consular Affairs, Directorate for Overseas Citizens Services, Office of Children’s Issues provides assistance in cases of international parental child abduction.  For U.S. citizen parents whose children have been wrongfully removed to or retained in countries that are not U.S. partners under the Hague Abduction Convention, the Office of Children’s Issues can provide information and resources about country-specific options for pursuing the return of or access to an abducted child.  The Office of Children’s Issues may also coordinate with appropriate foreign and U.S. government authorities about the welfare of abducted U.S. citizen children.  Parents are strongly encouraged to contact the Department of State for assistance.

Contact information:

United States Department of State
Bureau of Consular Affairs
Office of Children's Issues
SA-17, Floor 9
Washington, DC 20522-1709
Telephone:  1-888-407-4747
Outside the United States or Canada: 1-202-501-4444
Fax:  202-736-9132
Website:  childabduction.state.gov
Email: AfricaIPCA@state.gov

Parental child abduction is not a specific crime in Burundi.  

Parents may wish to consult with an attorney in the United States and in the country to which the child has been removed or retained to learn more about how filing criminal charges may impact a custody case in the foreign court.  Please see Possible Solutions - Pressing Criminal Charges for more information.


Legal systems and laws pertaining to custody, divorce, and parental abduction vary widely from country to country.  Parents are encouraged to consult with an attorney who specializes in family law in Burundi and who can provide accurate legal guidance that is specific to their circumstances.

The Office of Children’s Issues may be able to assist parents seeking access to children who have been wrongfully removed from or retained outside the United States.  Parents who are seeking access to children who were not wrongfully removed from or retained outside the United States should contact the U.S. Embassy in Burundi for information and possible assistance.

Retaining an Attorney

Neither the Office of Children’s Issues nor consular officials at the U.S. Embassy in Burundi are authorized to provide legal advice.

The U.S. Embassy in Bujumbura, Burundi posts a list of attorneys, including those who specialize in family law.

This list is provided as a courtesy service only and does not constitute an endorsement of any individual attorney. The Department of State assumes no responsibility or liability for the professional ability or reputation of, or the quality of services provided by, the following persons or firms. Professional credentials and areas of expertise are provided directly by the lawyers.


Under the laws of Burundi, mediation is a possible remedy for both abduction and access cases.

  • Hague
  • Hague Convention Information
  • U.S. Immigration Requirements
  • Who Can Adopt
  • Who Can Be Adopted
  • How To Adopt
  • Traveling Abroad
  • After Adoption
  • Contact Information
Hague Questions
Hague Adoption Convention Country? Yes
Are Intercountry Adoptions between this country and the United States possible?
Is this country a U.S. Hague Partner?
Hague Convention Information

Burundi is party to the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption (Hague Adoption Convention). Intercountry adoption processing in Hague countries is done in accordance with the requirements of the Convention; the U.S. implementing legislation, the Intercountry Adoption Act of 2000 (IAA); and the IAA’s implementing regulations, as well as the implementing legislation and regulations of Burundi.

Burundian courts may issue guardianship orders, but not for the purpose of immigrating to the United States for adoption. Prospective adoptive parents therefore should expect to finalize the adoption in Burundi and for the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi to only issue IH-3 visas to Burundian children who are legally adopted in Burundi.

Note: Special transition provisions apply to adoptions initiated before April 1, 2008. Read about Transition Cases.

Last Updated: April 6, 2015

U.S. Immigration Requirements For Intercountry Adoptions

To bring an adopted child to the United States from Burundi, you must meet certain suitability and eligibility requirements. USCIS determines who is suitable and eligible to adopt a child from another country and bring that child to live in the United States under U.S. immigration law.

Additionally, a child must meet the definition of a Convention adoptee under U.S. immigration law in order to be eligible to immigrate to the United States with an IH-3 or IH-4 immigrant visa.

Who Can Adopt

In addition to the U.S. requirements, prospective adoptive parents need to meet Burundi’s to adopt a child from Burundi:

  • Residency: There is no residency requirement in Burundian adoption law.
  • Age of Adopting Parents: Prospective adoptive parents must be at least age 30. The minimum age does not apply when adopting the child of a spouse. Prospective adoptive parents must be at least 15 years older than the prospective adoptee(s). Age requirements may be waived by the local High County Court (Tribunal de Grand Instance) with jurisdiction over the adoption.
  • Marriage: Spouses may apply for adoption after being married for a minimum of five years. Spouses should not be separated, and both must give consent unless one is incapable of giving consent. Gay marriage is illegal in Burundi.
  • Income: Prospective adoptive parents must demonstrate sufficient material resources for adoption and support of the children.
  • Other: The presence of biological children in the home does not prevent prospective adoptive parents from adopting. Although Burundian adoption law is silent on the issue of same-sex couples and adoption, in practice, singles and unmarried partners are not allowed to adopt.

Who Can Be Adopted

Because Burundi is party to The Hague Adoption Convention, children from Burundi must meet the requirements of the Convention in order to be eligible for adoption. For example, the adoption may take place only if the competent authorities of Burundi have determined that placement of the child within Burundi has been given due consideration and that an intercountry adoption is in the child’s best interests. In addition to Burundi’s requirements, a child must meet the definition of Convention adoptee to be eligible for an immigrant visa that will allow you to bring him or her to the United States.

Burundian adoption law specifies that local adoption by Burundian nationals, including dual U.S.-Burundian citizens, is preferred. Preference is given to Burundian nationals resident in Burundi. However, if no such adoption is available for a child, intercountry adoption is possible. The law does not specify what efforts must be made or how much time must elapse to determine that the child could not be placed with Burundian nationals.


  • Relinquishment: Consent to adoption must be given by either birth parents or the legal guardian(s). The consent of only one parent, or legal guardian, is accepted when the other parent is deceased or incapable of giving consent. Birth parents, or legal guardians can withdraw consent for a period of three months or until the child is placed with prospective adopting parents.
  • Abandonment: The local High County Court can deem a child “abandoned” if the child was obviously neglected by the biological parent(s) for a period of more than one year.
  • Age of Adoptive Child: Children under age 15 are eligible for adoption. Children aged 13 or older must consent to the proposed adoption.
  • Sibling Adoptions: Burundian authorities encourage keeping siblings together when possible. However, no specific exceptions to adoption procedures apply.
  • Special Needs or Medical Conditions: Not addressed in Burundian law.
  • Waiting Period or Foster Care: Burundian law only specifies a waiting period in cases of relinquishment and abandonment. A child must be unclaimed by a parent or family member for a period of 12 months to be considered relinquished. An abandoned child may only be adopted after reaching one year of age.

How To Adopt

Warning: Burundi is party to the Hague Adoption Convention. Do not adopt or obtain legal custody of a child in Burundi before a U.S. consular officer issues an “Article 5 Letter” in the case. Read on for more information.

Burundi’s Adoption Authority
Ministry of Solidarity, Human Rights, and Gender

Note: If any of the following occurred prior to April 1, 2008 (the date on which the Hague Adoption Convention entered into force with respect to the United States), the Hague Adoption Convention may not apply to your adoption: 1) you filed a Form I-600A identifying Burundi as the country where you intended to adopt; 2) you filed a Form I-600; or; 3) the adoption was completed. Under these circumstances, your adopted child’s visa application could continue to be processed in accordance with the immigration regulations for non-Convention adoptions. For more information, read about Transition Cases. Similarly, if the Hague Adoption Convention entered into force in Burundi after April 1, 2008, and you have an approved, unexpired Form I-600A or filed a Form I-600 before the entry into force date in Burundi, your adoption may be considered a transition case. Please contact adoptionusca@state.gov with the details of the case if this situation applies to you.

The Process

Because Burundi is party to the Hague Adoption Convention, adopting from Burundi must follow a specific process designed to meet the Convention’s requirements. A brief summary of the Convention adoption process is given below. You must complete these steps in the following order to meet all necessary legal requirements. Adoptions completed out of order may result in the child not being eligible for an immigrant visa to the United States.

  1. Choose a U.S. accredited or approved adoption service provider
  2. Apply to USCIS to be found eligible to adopt
  3. Be matched with a child by authorities in Burundi
  4. Apply to USCIS for the child to be found eligible for immigration to the United States and receive U.S. agreement to proceed with the adoption
  5. Adopt (or Obtain Legal Custody) of child in Burundi
  6. Obtain a U.S. immigrant visa for your child and bring your child home

1. Choose a U.S. Accredited or Approved Adoption Service Provider

The recommended first step in adopting a child from Burundi is to select an adoption service provider in the United States that has been accredited or approved to provide services to U.S. citizens in Convention cases. Only accredited or approved adoption services providers may act as the primary provider in your case. The primary adoption service provider is responsible for ensuring that all adoption services in the case are done in accordance with The Hague Adoption Convention and U.S. laws and regulations. Learn more about Agency Accreditation.

Additionally, Burundian law requires that U.S. adoption service providers providing services in Burundi be authorized by Burundi’s Ministry of Solidarity, Human Rights, and Gender. Prospective adoptive parents can obtain a current list of authorized U.S. adoption service providers from the Ministry by calling +257 22 216 303 or emailing solidaritegenre@yahoo.fr.

2. Apply to USCIS to be Found Eligible to Adopt

After you choose an accredited or approved adoption service provider, you must apply to be found eligible to adopt by the responsible U.S. government agency, the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), by submitting Form I-800A. Read more about Eligibility Requirements.

Once USCIS determines that you are “eligible” and “suited” to adopt by approving the Form I-800A, your adoption service provider will provide your approval notice, home study, and any other required information to the adoption authority in Burundi as part of your adoption dossier. Burundi’s adoption authority will review your application to determine whether you are also eligible to adopt under Burundi’s law.

3. Be Matched with a Child by in Burundi

If both the United States and Burundi determine that you are eligible to adopt, and the central authority for Convention adoptions has determined that a child is available for adoption and that intercountry adoption is in that child’s best interests, the central authority for Convention adoptions in Burundi may provide you with a referral for a child. The referral is a proposed match between you and a specific child based on a review of your dossier and the needs of a specific child in Burundi. The adoption authority in Burundi will provide a background study and other information, if available, about the child to help you decide whether to accept the referral or not. Each family must decide for itself whether or not it will be able to meet the needs and provide a permanent home for a particular child. If you accept the referral, the adoption service provider communicates that to the adoption authority in Burundi. Learn more about this critical decision.

4. Apply to USCIS for the Child to be Found Eligible for Immigration to the United States and Receive U.S. Agreement to Proceed with the Adoption

After you accept a match with a child, you will apply to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for provisional approval for the child to immigrate to the United States (Form I-800). USCIS will make a provisional determination as to whether the child meets the definition of a Convention Adoptee and will be eligible to enter the United States and reside permanently as an immigrant.

After provisional approval of Form I-800, your adoption service provider or you will submit a visa application to the Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi, Kenya that is responsible for issuing immigrant visas to children from Burundi. A consular officer will review the Form I-800 and the visa application for possible visa ineligibilities and advise you of options for the waiver of any noted ineligibilities.

In order to request the Article 5/17 letter, you’ll need to submit the following documents to the consular section immigrant visa unit at the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi, Kenya:

  • DS 260 visa application form
  • Copies of Prospective Adoptive Parent/s (PAPs) passport
  • Copies of PAPs birth and marriage certificates
  • Two passport size photos of the child to be adopted
  • Fee of $325.00 or the equivalent of Kenyan sh. 29,250.00 and
  • Copies of birth certificate and passport (if available at this stage) of the child to be adopted

Please note: all documents not in English, or in the official language of the country in which application for a visa is being made, must be accompanied by certified English translations. Translations must be certified by a competent translator and sworn to be before a Notary Public.

Once you have the above stated documents, please give the consular section at the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi a call on 020 363 66 22 or send them an email at NairobiAdoptions@state.gov to request a filing appointment. You, your agency representative, or other designated agent will need to appear in person at the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi to file the DS-260 to initiate the Article 5/17 letter request. Following the appointment, you will receive notification from the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi that the Article 5/17 letter has been electronically transmitted to the Burundi Central Authority. The Burundi central authority will then file the appropriate documents with the courts to continue the adoption proceedings. Your representative in Burundi should follow-up with the central authority for any processing updates.

WARNING: The consular officer at U.S. Embassy Nairobi will send a letter (referred to as an “Article 5 Letter”) to the Burundi’s Central Authority in any intercountry adoption involving U.S. citizen parents and a child from Burundi where all Convention requirements are met and the consular officer determines that the child appears eligible to immigrate to the United States. This letter will inform the Burundi’s Central Authority that the parents are eligible and suited to adopt, that all indications are that the child may enter and reside permanently in the United States, and that the U.S. Central Authority agrees that the adoption may proceed.

Do not attempt to adopt or obtain custody of a child in Burundi before a U.S. consular officer issues the Article 5 Letter in any adoption case.

Remember: The consular officer will make a final decision about a child’s eligibility for an immigrant visa later in the adoption process.

5. Adopt (or Obtain Legal Custody) of Child in Burundi

Remember: Before you adopt (or obtain legal custody of) a child in Burundi, you must have completed the above four steps. Only after completing these steps, can you proceed to finalize the adoption or grant of custody for the purposes of adoption in Burundi.

The process for finalizing the adoption (or obtaining legal custody) in Burundi generally includes the following:

  • Role of Adoption Authority: All adoption cases are submitted to the Central Authority in the Ministry of Solidarity, Human Rights and Gender. The Central Authority is responsible for finding children eligible for intercountry adoption after reviewing documentation on each child’s identity, status as an orphan or ward, socio-economic background, medical history, education, and existing family situation/family consent. The Central Authority also is responsible for proposing matches of children in need of placement with prospective adoptive parents, and for providing the Article 16 report on a proposed child along with the proposed match to the U.S. adoption service provider. Once a match is proposed and accepted at the Ministry level and they have received the Article 5/17 Letter from U.S. Embassy Nairobi, it must then be approved by the local High County Court with jurisdiction. The Central Authority is also responsible for authorizing accredited U.S. adoption agencies to provide services in adoptions from Burundi.
  • Role of the Court: Once approval is received from the Central Authority, and the Central Authority confirms receipt of the U.S. Article 5/17 Letter, the case will be transmitted to the local High County Court with jurisdiction for ruling.

    The High County Court is also responsible for determining that a child was abandoned by his/her parent(s), if he/she was neglected for a period of more than one year.
  • Role of Adoption Agencies: The adoption service provider facilitates the pre-adoption counseling, submission of application for adoption, home study, child assignment, and application for child's overseas adoption to the Burundian Government. The adoption service provider also transmits the Central Authority’s report on the child and proposed match to the prospective adoptive parents, and if they accept the match, transmits the prospective adoptive parents’ consent to the Burundian Central Authority.
  • Time Frame: Intercountry adoptions can take between six (6) months and two (2) years to complete in Burundi. There is also a 30-day waiting period between the High County Court’s ruling and issuance of the Certificate of Non-Appeal. The certificate must be presented when adoptive parents apply for the child’s new birth certificate and Burundian passport.
  • Adoption Application: To start the Burundian adoption process, prospective adoptive parents or their adoption agency must contact the Burundian Central Authority.

    Application: The prospective adoptive parents file an application with the Burundian Central Authority through an accredited U.S. adoption service provider that is also authorized by the Burundian Central Authority. This application will include a home study on the prospective adopting parents and documentation of their eligibility to adopt (Form I-800A and approval notice).

    Acceptance of Match: To indicate they accept the proposed child, the prospective adoptive parents must file a Deed of Acceptance and an Act of Consent to Adoption with the Burundian Central Authority.
  • Adoption Fees: The Department of State discourages the payment of any fees that are not properly receipted, such as "donations," or "expediting" fees, that may be requested of prospective adoptive parents. Such fees may be perceived as “child buying", may violate the Convention and U.S. law, and may jeopardize all future adoptions in Burundi.

    In the adoption services contract that you sign at the beginning of the adoption process, your agency will itemize the fees and estimated expenses related to your adoption process.

    The Ministry of Solidarity charges 3000 Euro, payable once adoption procedures are finalized. This may be subject to change.
  • Documents Required:
    1. Letter of adoption request addressed to Burundian Central Authority,
    2. A deed of support from the prospective adoptive parents,
    3. Consent to the adoption by the prospective adoptive parents,
    4. Birth certificates of prospective adoptive parents,
    5. Law enforcement background checks of prospective adoptive parents,
    6. Copies of passports or travel documents of prospective adoptive parents,
    7. Medical reports of prospective adoptive parents,
    8. Certificates of good conduct of prospective adoptive parents,
    9. Psychological reports on prospective adoptive parents,
    10. Certificate of family composition of the prospective adoptive parents,
    11. Marriage certificate of the prospective adoptive parents,
    12. Certificates of annual income of the prospective adoptive parents,
    13. A favorable notice on adoption by the Burundian Central Authority,
    14. The medical records of the child,
    15. Written consent from the child, if the child is older than 13 years
    16. Written consent of the family members of the child, if applicable
    17. A legal notification of abandonment of the child, if applicable,
    18. A birth certificate for the child, and
    19. A social report of the child by the Burundian Central Authority.

    Note: Additional documents may be requested.
  • Authentication of Documents: You may be asked to provide proof that a document from the United States is authentic. If so, the Department of State, Authentications office may be able to assist. Read more about Authenticating U.S. Documents.

6. Obtain an Immigrant Visa for your Child and Bring Your Child Home

Now that your adoption is complete (or you have obtained legal custody of the child for the purpose of adopting the child in the United States), there are a few more steps to take before you can head home. Specifically, you need to apply for three documents before your child can travel to the United States:

Birth Certificate

If you have finalized the adoption in Burundi, you will first need to apply for a birth certificate for your child so that you can later apply for a passport.

If you have been granted custody for the purpose of adopting the child in the United States, the birth certificate you obtain will, in most cases, not yet include your name.

Changing the name of the child to acquire the surname of the adoptive father is done at the Ministry of Justice in the Department of Legal Affairs and of Litigations. This can be initiated through the Ministry of Solidarity in coordination with the Agency representative.

Burundi Passport

Your child is not yet a U.S. citizen, so he/she will need a travel document or passport from Burundi.

Passports can only be obtained at the government agency Police of Air, Frontiers, and Foreigners. The fee for a passport is 235,000 Burundian Francs (approximately 160 USD), and applications take approximately two days to process.

U.S. Immigrant Visa

After you obtain the new birth certificate and passport for your child, you also need to finalize your application for a U.S. visa for your child from the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi, Kenya. After the adoption (or custody for purpose of adoption) is granted, visit the U.S. Embassy for final review of the case, issuance of a U.S. Hague Adoption Certificate or Hague Custody Certificate, final approval of Form I-800, and to obtain your child’s immigrant visa. This immigrant visa allows your child to travel home with you. As part of this process, the consular officer must be provided the “Panel Physician’s” medical report on the child if it was not provided during the provisional approval stage. Read more about the Medical Examination.

The Government of Burundi requires U.S. adoptive parents to inform the Burundian Embassy in Nairobi, Kenya that the child received his/her immigrant visa before departing to the U.S. The Burundian Embassy in Kenya can be contacted at:

Embassy of the Republic of Burundi
Muthaiga Road, No. 37
Coop Trust Plaza, Upper hill (off Bunyala Road)
P.O. Box 61165 – 00200, Nairobi
Tel: (+254) 20 310 826 / 8
Fax: (+254) 20 310 827
E-mail: embunai@yahoo.frJ


For adoptions finalized abroad prior to the child’s admission into the United States: An adopted child residing in the United States in the legal and physical custody of the U.S. citizen parent pursuant to a lawful admission for permanent residence generally will acquire U.S. citizenship automatically if the child otherwise meets the requirements of the Child Citizenship Act of 2000, including that the child is under the age of eighteen.

For adoptions finalized after the child’s entry into the United States: An adoption will need to be completed following your child’s entry into the United States for the child to acquire U.S. citizenship.

*Please be aware that if your child did not qualify to become a citizen upon entry to the United States, it is very important that you take the steps necessary so that your child does qualify as soon as possible. Failure to obtain citizenship for your child can impact many areas of his/her life including family travel, eligibility for education and education grants, and voting. Read more about the Child Citizenship Act of 2000.

Traveling Abroad

Applying for Your U.S. Passport
U.S. citizens are required by law to enter and depart the United States on a valid U.S. passport. Only the U.S. Department of State has the authority to grant, issue, or verify U.S. passports.

Getting or renewing a passport is easy. The Passport Application Wizardwill help you determine which passport form you need, help you to complete the form online, estimate your payment, and generate the form for you to print—all in one place.

Obtaining a Visa to Travel to Burundi
In addition to a U.S. passport, you may also need to obtain a visa. A visa is an official document issued by a foreign country that formally allows you to visit. Where required, visas are affixed to your passport and allow you to enter a foreign nation. To find information about obtaining a visa for Burundi, see the Department of State’s Country Specific Information.

Staying Safe on Your Trip
Before you travel, it is always a good practice to investigate the local conditions, laws, political landscape, and culture of the country. The Department of State provides Country Specific Information for every country of the world about various issues, including the health conditions, crime, unusual currency or entry requirements, and any areas of instability.

Staying in Touch on Your Trip
When traveling during the adoption process, we encourage you to enroll with the Department of State. Enrollment makes it possible to contact you if necessary. Whether there is a family emergency in the United States or a crisis in Burundi, enrollment assists the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in reaching you.

Enrollment is free and can be done online via the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP).

After Adoption

Post-Adoption/Post-Placement Reporting Requirements
Burundian post-adoption procedures require adoptive parents to notify the Burundian Embassy in the United States of an adopted child’s presence in the United States and submit annual reports on the child. Children from Burundi maintain Burundian citizenship after immigrating to the United States and the Burundian Embassy may seek to conduct periodic welfare/whereabouts visits with Burundian adoptees and their adoptive families until the children reach age 18.

We strongly urge you to comply with Burundi’s post-adoption requirements in a timely manner. Your adoption agency may be able to help you with this process. Your cooperation will contribute to that country’s history of positive experiences with U.S. citizen parents.

Post-Adoption Resources
Many adoptive parents find it important to find support after the adoption. There are many public and private nonprofit post-adoption services available for children and their families. There are also numerous adoptive family support groups and adoptee organizations active in the United States that provide a network of options for adoptees who seek out other adoptees from the same country of origin. Take advantage of all the resources available to your family, whether it is another adoptive family, a support group, an advocacy organization, or your religious or community services.

Here are some places to start your support group search:

Note: Inclusion of non-U.S. government links does not imply endorsement of contents.

Contact Information

U.S. Embassy in Burundi
Avenue Des Etats Unis, Bujumbura, Burundi
Tel: +257 22 207 000
Fax: +257 22 243 467
Email: BujumburaC@state.gov

Burundi’s Adoption Authority
Ministry of Solidarity, Human Rights, and Gender
Address: Boite Postale 6518, Bujumbura, Burundi
Tel: +257 22 216 303
Fax: +257 22 218 201
Email: solidaritegenre@yahoo.fr

Embassy of Burundi
2233 Wisconsin Avenue N.W. Suite 212; Washington D.C. 20007
Tel: 202 342 2574
Fax: 202 342 2578
Email: BurundiEmbassy@erols.com

Office of Children’s Issues
U.S. Department of State
CA/OCS/CI, SA-17, 9th Floor
Washington, D.C. 20522-1709
Tel: 1-888-407-4747
Email: AdoptionUSCA@state.gov
Internet: adoption.state.gov

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)
For questions about filing a Form I-800A application or a Form I-800 petition:
USCIS National Benefits Center (NBC):
Tel: 1-877-424-8374 (toll free); 1-913-275-5480 (local); Fax: 1- 913-214-5808
Email: NBC.Adoptions@uscis.dhs.gov

For general questions about immigration procedures:
USCIS Contact Center
Tel: 1-800-375-5283 (TTY 1-800-767-1833)
Internet: uscis.gov

  • Visa Classifications
  • General Documents | Birth, Death, Burial Certificates | Marriage, Divorce Certificates
  • Adoption Certificates | Identity Card | Police, Court, Prison Records | Military Records
  • Passports & Other Travel Documents | Other Records | Visa Issuing Posts | Visa Services
Visa Classifications

Fee Number
of Entries
A-1 None Multiple 12 Months
A-2 None Multiple 12 Months
A-3 1 None Multiple 12 Months
B-1 None Multiple 12 Month
B-2 None Multiple 12 Month
B-1/B-2 None Multiple 12 Month
C-1 None Multiple 3 Months
C-1/D None Multiple 3 Months
C-2 None Multiple 3 Months
C-3 None Multiple 3 Months
CW-1 None Multiple 12 Months
CW-2 None Multiple 12 Months
D None Multiple 3 Months
E-1 2 No Treaty N/A N/A
E-2 2 No Treaty N/A N/A
F-1 None Multiple 12 Months A
F-2 None Multiple 12 Months A
G-1 None Multiple 12 Months
G-2 None Multiple 12 Months
G-3 None Multiple 12 Months
G-4 None Multiple 12 Months
G-5 1 None Multiple 12 Months
H-1B None Multiple 36 Months 3
H-1C None Multiple 36 Months 3
H-2A None N/A N/A3
H-2B None N/A N/A3
H-2R None Multiple 36 Months 3
H-3 None Multiple 36 Months 3
H-4 None Multiple 36 Months 3
I None Multiple 3 Months
J-1 4 None Multiple 12 Months A
J-2 4 None Multiple 12 Months A
K-1 None One 6 Months
K-2 None One 6 Months
K-3 None Multiple 24 Months
K-4 None Multiple 24 Months
L-1 $40.00 Multiple 3 Months
L-2 $40.00 Multiple 3 Months
M-1 $40.00 Multiple 12 Months A
M-2 $40.00 Multiple 12 Months A
N-8 None Multiple 3 Months
N-9 None Multiple 3 Months
NATO 1-7 N/A N/A N/A
O-1 None Multiple 3 Months 3
O-2 None Multiple 3 Months 3
O-3 None Multiple 3 Months 3
P-1 None Multiple 3 Months 3
P-2 None Multiple 3 Months 3
P-3 None Multiple 3 Months 3
P-4 None Multiple 3 Months 3
Q-1 6 None Multiple 3 Months 3
R-1 None Multiple 3 Months
R-2 None Multiple 3 Months
S-5 7 None One 1 Month
S-6 7 None One 1 Month
S-7 7 None One 1 Month
T-1 9 N/A N/A N/A
T-2 None One 6 Months
T-3 None One 6 Months
T-4 None One 6 Months
T-5 None One 6 Months
T-6 None One 6 Months
TD 5 N/A N/A N/A
U-1 None Multiple 48 Months
U-2 None Multiple 48 Months
U-3 None Multiple 48 Months
U-4 None Multiple 48 Months
U-5 None Multiple 48 Months
V-1 None Multiple 120 Months
V-2 None Multiple 120 Months 8
V-3 None Multiple 120 Months 8

Country Specific Footnotes

F, J and M validities cannot exceed the length of the student's course of study.

Although care has been taken to ensure the accuracy, completeness and reliability of the information provided, please contact the U.S. Embassy or Consulate where you plan to apply if you believe this information is in error or if you have further questions.

Visa Category Footnotes

  1. The validity of A-3, G-5, and NATO 7 visas may not exceed the validity of the visa issued to the person who is employing the applicant. The "employer" would have one of the following visa classifications:

    • A-1
    • A-2
    • G-1 through G-4
    • NATO 1 through NATO 6

  2. An E-1 and E-2 visa may be issued only to a principal alien who is a national of a country having a treaty, or its equivalent, with the United States. E-1 and E-2 visas may not be issued to a principal alien if he/she is a stateless resident. The spouse and children of an E-1 or E-2 principal alien are accorded derivative E-1 or E-2 status following the reciprocity schedule, including any reciprocity fees, of the principle alien’s country of nationality.  

    Example: John Doe is a national of the country of Z that has an E-1/E-2 treaty with the U.S. His wife and child are nationals of the country of Y which has no treaty with the U.S. The wife and child would, therefore, be entitled to derivative status and receive the same reciprocity as Mr. Doe, the principal visa holder.  

  3. The validity of H-1 through H-3, O-1 and O-2, P-1 through P-3, and Q visas may not exceed the period of validity of the approved petition or the number of months shown, whichever is less.

    Under 8 CFR §214.2, H-2A and H-2B petitions may generally only be approved for nationals of countries that the Secretary of Homeland Security has designated as participating countries. The current list of eligible countries is available on USCIS's website for both H-2A and H-2B visas. Nationals of countries not on this list may be the beneficiary of an approved H-2A or H2-B petition in limited circumstances at the discretion of the Department of Homeland Security if specifically named on the petition.  

    Derivative H-4, L-2, O-3, and P-4 visas, issued to accompanying or following-to-join spouses and children, may not exceed the validity of the visa issued to the principal alien.

  4. There is no reciprocity fee for the issuance of a J visa if the alien is a United States Government grantee or a participant in an exchange program sponsored by the United States Government.

    Also, there is no reciprocity fee for visa issuance to an accompanying or following-to-join spouse or child (J-2) of an exchange visitor grantee or participant.

    In addition, an applicant is eligible for an exemption from the MRV fee if he or she is participating in a State Department, USAID, or other federally funded educational and cultural exchange program (program serial numbers G-1, G-2, G-3 and G-7).

    However, all other applicants with U.S. Government sponsorships, including other J-visa applicants, are subject to the MRV processing fee.

  5. Under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), Canadian and Mexican nationals coming to engage in certain types of professional employment in the United States may be admitted in a special nonimmigrant category known as the "trade NAFTA" or "TN" category. Their dependents (spouse and children) accompanying or following to join them may be admitted in the "trade dependent" or "TD" category whether or not they possess Canadian or Mexican nationality. Except as noted below, the number of entries, fees and validity for non-Canadian or non-Mexican family members of a TN status holder seeking TD visas should be based on the reciprocity schedule of the TN principal alien.

    Canadian Nationals

    Since Canadian nationals generally are exempt from visa requirement, a Canadian "TN' or "TD" alien does not require a visa to enter the United States. However, the non-Canadian national dependent of a Canadian "TN", unless otherwise exempt from the visa requirement, must obtain a "TD" visa before attempting to enter the United States. The standard reciprocity fee and validity period for all non-Canadian "TD"s is no fee, issued for multiple entries for a period of 36 months, or for the duration of the principal alien's visa and/or authorized period of stay, whichever is less. See 'NOTE' under Canadian reciprocity schedule regarding applicants of Iranian, Iraqi or Libyan nationality.

    Mexican Nationals

    Mexican nationals are not visa-exempt. Therefore, all Mexican "TN"s and both Mexican and non-Mexican national "TD"s accompanying or following to join them who are not otherwise exempt from the visa requirement (e.g., the Canadian spouse of a Mexican national "TN") must obtain nonimmigrant visas.

    Applicants of Iranian, Iraqi or Libyan nationality, who have a permanent resident or refugee status in Canada/Mexico, may not be accorded Canadian/Mexican reciprocity, even when applying in Canada/Mexico. The reciprocity fee and period for "TD" applicants from Libya is $10.00 for one entry over a period of 3 months. The Iranian and Iraqi "TD" is no fee with one entry over a period of 3 months.

  6. Q-2 (principal) and Q-3 (dependent) visa categories are in existence as a result of the 'Irish Peace Process Cultural and Training Program Act of 1998'. However, because the Department anticipates that virtually all applicants for this special program will be either Irish or U.K. nationals, the Q-2 and Q-3 categories have been placed only in the reciprocity schedules for those two countries. Q-2 and Q-3 visas are available only at the Embassy in Dublin and the Consulate General in Belfast.

  7. No S visa may be issued without first obtaining the Department's authorization.

  8. V-2 and V-3 status is limited to persons who have not yet attained their 21st birthday. Accordingly, the period of validity of a V-2 or V-3 visa must be limited to expire on or before the applicant's twenty-first birthday.

  9. Posts may not issue a T-1 visa. A T-1 applicant must be physically present in the United States, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands or a U.S. port of entry, where he/she will apply for an adjustment of status to that of a T-1. The following dependents of a T-1 visa holder, however, may be issued a T visa at a U.S. consular office abroad:

    • T-2 (spouse)
    • T-3 (child)
    • T-4 (parent)
  10. The validity of NATO-5 visas may not exceed the period of validity of the employment contract or 12 months, whichever is less.

  11. The validity of CW-1 and CW-2 visas shall not exceed the maximum initial period of admission allowed by DHS (12 months) or the duration of the transition period ending December 31, 2014, whichever is shortest.

  12. The validity of E-2C visas shall not exceed the maximum initial period of admission allowed by DHS (24 months) or the duration of the transition period ending December 31, 2014, whichever is shortest.



General Documents | Birth, Death, Burial Certificates | Marriage, Divorce Certificates
General Documents

Please check back for update.

Birth, Death, Burial Certificates


Available. Issued upon written request by the Officer of Vital Statistics (Officier de l'Etat Civil) of the town of birth.


Available. Issued by the Officer of Vital Statistics (Officier de l'Etat Civil) of the town in which the death occurred.

Marriage, Divorce Certificates


Available. When requesting civil marriage certificates (acte de mariage) from the Officer of Vital Statistics (Officier de l'Etat Civil), Mairie de Bujumbura, B.P. l790, Bujumbura, applicants should furnish full names, date and place of marriage, and the name of the person who performed the marriage. The certificate measures approximately l7 x l3.5 inches. Persons married in accordance with Christian religious ceremonies in places of worship duly licensed for the purpose are issued the certificates without cost by the officiating minister of a recognized religious denomination. Many marriages fail to be registered because they are performed in the interior on the basis of tribal rather than Christian rite or civil law procedures.


Available. Issued by the Officer of Vital Statistics (Officier de l'Etat Civil) of the town of the applicant's last residence in Burundi.

Divorce Decrees

If desired, may be obtained by written request addressed to the Clerk of the Lower Court (Greffier du Tribunal de lere Instance) in the town in which the judgment was rendered.

Adoption Certificates | Identity Card | Police, Court, Prison Records | Military Records
Adoption Certificates


Identity Card

Certificate of Residence

Available. Issued by the Census Office (Bureau de la Population) of the town of the applicant's last residence.

Certificate of Nationality

Available. Issued by the Census Office (Bureau de la Population) of the town of last residence.

Police, Court, Prison Records

Police Records

Available. Certificate of good conduct (Certificat de bonne conduite, vie et moeurs). Issued by the Governor of the Province or the town of applicant's last residence in Burundi.

Court Records

Available. Issued upon written request by the clerk of the Court (Greffier du Tribunal) where the conviction occurred.

Prison Records


Criminal Records

Available. (Extrait du Casier Judiciaire). Applicant must obtain a form for this purpose from the Ministere de la Justice, Police Judiciaire, B.P. 1880, Bujumbura, complete it according to instructions, and return it to the same address.

Military Records

Available. Issued upon written request by the Census Office (Bureau de la Population) of the town of applicant's residence at the time he was registered for military service.

Passports & Other Travel Documents | Other Records | Visa Issuing Posts | Visa Services
Passports & Other Travel Documents


Other Records

Not applicable.

Visa Issuing Posts

Bujumbura (Embassy)

Street Address:
Avenue des Etats-Unis

Mailing Address:
B.P. 34, 1720
Bujumbura, Burundi

Tel: (257) 22-34-54

Fax: (257) 22-29-26

Visa Services

Nonimmigrant visas only for all of Burundi. Immigrant visa applications for citizens of Burundi are processed by the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi.