CSI Repository

CSI Country Catalog

Benin

Flag_of_Benin
Country
Country Name: Benin
Official Country Name: Republic of Benin
Country Code 2-Letters: BJ
Country Code 3-Letters: BEN
Street: Marina Avenue
01 BP 2012 Cotonou, Benin
Fact sheet: https://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/6761.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
Contact
Embassy Name: U.S. Embassy Cotonou
Street Address: Marina Avenue
01 BP 2012 Cotonou, Benin
Phone: +(229) 21-30-75-00
Emergency Phone: +(229) 21-30-75-00
Fax: +(229) 21-30-66-82
Email: ConsularCotonou@state.gov
Web: https://bj.usembassy.gov/

Embassy Messages

Cotonou

 


Map

Country Map

Quick Facts
Passport Validity:


Must be valid at time of entry


Blank Passport Pages:


One page required for entry stamp


Tourist Visa Required:


Yes


Vaccinations:


Yellow fever vaccine required


Currency Restrictions for Entry:


None


Currency Restrictions for Exit:


None

Embassies and Consulates

U.S. Embassy Cotonou

Marina Avenue
01 BP 2012 Cotonou, Benin
Telephone:
+(229) 21-30-75-00
Emergency after-hours telephone: +(229) 21-30-75-00
Fax: +(229) 21-30-66-82
Email: ConsularCotonou@state.gov

 

Destination Description

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

Entry, Exit & Visa Requirements

A passport and visa are required. Visas are not available at the airport upon entry. Entry at land borders requires a visa. Visit the Embassy of Benin website for the most current visa information.

The Embassy of Benin is located at:
2124 Kalorama Road, NW,
Washington, D.C. 20008;
Telephone: 202-232-6656.

Visitors to Benin should also carry the WHO Yellow Card (“Carte Jaune”) indicating that they have been vaccinated for yellow fever. Visit the Center for Disease Control website for more information.

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

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

Safety and Security

Public demonstrations, political gatherings, student protests, and strikes are common throughout Benin.

Swimming conditions along Benin’s coastline are dangerous due to strong tides, waves, and rip currents; several people drown each year.

Crime: Street crime is a significant problem in Cotonou. Robbery and muggings occur along the Boulevard de France (the beach road by the Marina and Novotel Hotels), on the beaches near hotels frequented by international visitors, within the Haie Vive and Les Cocotiers neighborhoods (where popular bars and restaurants are located), and in other parts of the city. Most reported incidents involve the use of force, by armed persons, with minor injury to the victim. Travelers should avoid the Dantokpa market between the hours of dusk and dawn.

If you are a victim of crime, you should contact the U.S. Embassy immediately. 

Victims of Crime:

U.S. citizen victims of sexual assault should first contact the U.S. Embassy. Report crimes to the local police at +(229) 21-30-30-25 or +(229) 21-30-20-11 and contact the U.S. Embassy at +(229) 21-30-75-00.

Remember that local authorities are responsible for investigating and prosecuting the crime.

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 U.S. Embassy for assistance.

For further information:

Local Laws & Special Circumstances

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 United States, 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.

U.S. citizens are advised to keep a photocopy of the photo page of their passport (notarized by an official of a local municipality) at all times when traveling in Benin.

The Embassy has received reports of officials requesting a "gift" to facilitate official administrative matters. Such requests should be politely but firmly declined.

Photography of government buildings and official sites is prohibited without the consent of the Government of Benin. You should ask permission before taking pictures of people.

Obtaining customs clearance at the Port of Cotonou for donated items shipped from the United States to Benin may be a lengthy process. In order to obtain a waiver of customs duties on donated items, the donating organization must secure prior written approval from the Government of Benin. Please contact the U.S. Embassy for more detailed information. Please see our Customs Information.

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

LGBTI Travelers: There are no legal restrictions on same-sex sexual relations or the organization of LGBTI events in Benin. Benin’s laws on sexual morality provide latitude for authorities to prosecute a range of sexual activity, but its penal code does not mention or criminalize same-sex sexual relations. In general, Beninese authorities do not act against those in same-sex relationships. Local social norms favor discretion in sexual relations and are not uniformly accepting of same-sex relationships.

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

Travelers Who Require Accessibility Assistance: The condition of the sidewalks (when present) is often poor. Wheelchair accessibility is extremely limited.

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

Women Travelers: See our travel tips for Women Travelers.

Health

Medical facilities in Benin are limited and not all medicines are available. Travelers should carry their own supplies of prescription drugs and preventive medicines.

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.

Carry prescription medication in original packaging, and a copy of your doctor’s prescription.

The following diseases are prevalent:

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

Further health information:

Travel & Transportation

Road Conditions and Safety: With the exception of the road linking Cotonou in the south to Malanville on the border with Niger in the north, roads in Benin are generally in poor condition and are often impassable during the rainy season. During the rainy season from mid-June to mid-September, dirt roads become impassable. Four-wheel drive vehicles with full spare tires and emergency equipment are recommended.

Gasoline smuggled from Nigeria is widely available in glass bottles and jugs at informal roadside stands throughout Cotonou and much of the country. This gasoline is of unreliable quality, often containing water or other contaminants that can damage or disable your vehicle. Drivers should purchase fuel only from official service stations. There are periodic gas shortages, especially in the north of the country where there are few service stations.

The U.S. Embassy prohibits travel by diplomatic personnel outside of metropolitan areas after dusk and urges all U.S. citizens to avoid night driving. There have been numerous carjackings and robberies on roads in Benin after dark, several of which resulted in murder when the driver refused to comply with the assailants' demands.

See our Road Safety page for more information.

Traffic Laws: Traffic moves on the right. The national police periodically conduct vehicle checks at provisional roadblocks. When stopped at such a roadblock, you must have all of the vehicle's documentation available to present to the authorities.

Public Transportation: Cotonou has a limited public transportation system. Many Beninese people rely on bicycles, mopeds, and motorbikes for hire (known as “zemidjans”). Travelers using zemidjans, particularly at night, are much more vulnerable to being mugged, assaulted, or robbed. Buses and bush taxis offer service in the interior. U.S. Embassy personnel are required to wear safety helmets when on a motorcycle and are prohibited from using zemidjans.

Aviation Safety Oversight: As there is no direct commercial air service to the United States by carriers registered in Benin, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has not assessed the government of Benin’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 Benin should also check for U.S. maritime advisories and alerts. Information may also be posted to the U.S. Coast Guard homeport website, and the NGA broadcast warnings.

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.

info@beninembassy.us

Washington, DC

Same number for telephone and fax for Consular Section (202) 232-2611

 

  • 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 Benin, 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 Benin.

 

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

Benin 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 Benin and the United States concerning international parental child abduction.

Return

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 Benin 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
CA/OCS/CI
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 Benin. 

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 Pressing Criminal Charges for more information.

Visitation/Access

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 Benin 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 Benin for information and possible assistance.

Retaining an Attorney

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

The U.S. Embassy in Cotonou, Benin 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.

Mediation

Under the laws of Benin, 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

Benin 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 in 22 C.F.R. 96, as well as the implementing legislation and regulations of Benin.

The Hague Adoption Convention entered into force for Benin on October 1, 2018. The United States has determined that it will be able to process intercountry adoptions consistent with the Convention, allowing consular officers to verify on a case-by-case basis that the intercountry adoption can proceed in accordance with U.S. laws and U.S. obligations under the Convention. However, the Department cautions U.S. prospective adoptive parents that there may be significant delays in the adoption process while Benin works to implement its new adoption laws, regulations, and procedures.

The Department of State will provide updated information, including information about the adoption process, on this website as it becomes available. Please visit the Benin country information page on travelling to Benin and the U.S. Embassy in Cotonou’s website for information on consular services.

U.S. Immigration Requirements For Intercountry Adoptions

To bring an adopted child to the United States from Benin, 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 an orphan under U.S. immigration law in order to be eligible to immigrate to the United States with an IR-3 or IR-4 immigrant visa.

Who Can Adopt

Who Can Be Adopted

How To Adopt

Traveling Abroad

After Adoption

Contact Information

BENIN’S ADOPTION AUTHORITY:
Ministère de la Famille et de la Solidarité Nationale
Direction de la Famille de l'Enfance et de l'Adolescence (D.F.E.A.)
Address: 01 B.P. 2802 Cotonou, Bénin
Tel: (229) 21 31 67 07 / 21 31 67 08 / 21 30 03 33
Fax: (229) 21 31 64 62
Email: mfpss2003@yahoo.fr / mfpss@intnet.bj

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
Classifications
Visa Classifications

 
Visa
Classification
Fee Number
of Entries
Validity
Period
A-1 None Multiple 60 Months
A-2 None Multiple 60 Months
A-3 1 None Multiple 24 Months
B-1 None Multiple 36 Months
B-2 None Multiple 36 Months
B-1/B-2 None Multiple 36 Months
C-1 None Multiple 6 Months
C-1/D N/A N/A N/A
C-2 None Multiple 12 Months
C-3 None Multiple 12 Months
CW-1 None Multiple 12 Months
CW-2 None Multiple 12 Months
D None Multiple 60 Months
E-1 2 No Treaty N/A N/A
E-2 2 No Treaty N/A N/A
F-1 None Multiple 36 Months
F-2 None Multiple 36 Months
G-1 None Multiple 60 Months
G-2 None Multiple 60 Months
G-3 None One 60 Months
G-4 None Multiple 60 Months
G-5 1 None Multiple 24 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 $20.00 Multiple 6 Months
J-1 4 None Multiple 36 Months
J-2 4 None Multiple 36 Months
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 $20.00 Multiple 6 Months
L-2 $20.00 Multiple 6 Months
M-1 None Multiple 36 Months
M-2 None Multiple 36 Months
N-8 None Multiple 12 Months
N-9 None Multiple 12 Months
NATO 1-7 N/A N/A N/A
O-1 $10.00 Multiple 36 Months 3
O-2 $10.00 Multiple 36 Months 3
O-3 $10.00 Multiple 36 Months 3
P-1 $10.00 Multiple 36 Months 3
P-2 $10.00 Multiple 36 Months 3
P-3 $10.00 Multiple 36 Months 3
P-4 $10.00 Multiple 36 Months 3
Q-1 6 $10.00 Multiple 15 Months 3
R-1 $10.00 Multiple 36 Months
R-2 $10.00 Multiple 36 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

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

There is no general document information.

Birth, Death, Burial Certificates

Birth Certificates

Available

Fees:  Fees vary from office to office; the system is decentralized.

Document Name: Birth Certificate/Acte de Naissance

Issuing Authority: Mayor or Prefecture office

Special Seal(s) / Color / Format: Stamps are placed on the originally issued documents by the issuing official, but there is no standard stamp. In fact, officials use different stamps even within the same office. These stamps are easily reproduced and cannot be used alone to determine document authenticity.  Certified copies are provided and a tax stamp is attached but the appearances of these stamps vary from office to office, and from year to year.

Issuing Authority Personnel Title: Mayor; Chief of arrondissement

Registration Criteria: Registration is done at the City Council Office (of the area) where the parents reside

Procedure for Obtaining: Parents must provide the “Fiche de déclaration de naissance” obtained at the hospital where child was born.

Certified Copies Available: Birth certificates copies can be certified from the original in the registry book or from the original presented by the requestor.  However, these documents are easily replicable by document vendors and cannot be relied upon by themselves as stand-alone documents.

Alternate Documents: Extrait d’acte de naissance/Volet Nᵒ1/Souche/Jugement supplétif d’acte de naissance

Exceptions: None

Comments: Applicants often attempt to use notarized documents in place of a certified document, or provide a notarized transcript taken from a copy that was not originally certified. As a result, only original documents are able to be used to verify the validity of a document and notarized documents cannot be accepted.

 

Death Certificates

Available

Fees:  Fees vary from office to office; the system is decentralized.

Document Name: Acte de Décès

Issuing Authority: Mayor or Prefecture office

Special Seal(s) / Color / Format: Stamps are placed on the originally issued documents by the issuing official, but there is no standard stamp. In fact, officials use different stamps even within the same office. These stamps are easily reproduced and cannot be used alone to determine document authenticity.  Certified copies are provided and a tax stamp is attached but the appearance of these stamps varies from office to office, and from year to year.

Issuing Authority Personnel Title: Mayor; Chief of arrondissement

Registration Criteria: Registration is done at the City Council Office (of the area) where the parents/the deceased  reside

Procedure for Obtaining: Parents must provide the “Certificat de Décès” issued by a doctor or obtained at the hospital where the person passed away. They can also provide an “Attestation de Décès” issued by the neighborhood chef  

Certified Copies Available: Death certificates copies can be certified from the original in the registry book or from the original presented by the requestor.  However, these documents are easily replicable by document vendors and cannot be relied upon by themselves as stand-alone documents.

Alternate Documents: Extrait d’acte de  décès/Volet Nᵒ1/Souche/

Exceptions: None

Comments: Applicants often attempt to use notarized documents in place of a certified document, or provide a notarized transcript taken from a copy that was not originally certified. As a result, only original documents are able to be used to verify the validity of a document and notarized documents cannot be accepted.

Comments:  They follow the same process as birth certificates, but are considered more reliable than the birth certificates.

Marriage, Divorce Certificates

Marriage Certificates

Available

Fees: Fees vary from office to office; the system is decentralized.

Document Name: Marriage Certificate/Acte de mariage

Issuing Authority: Mayor or Prefecture office

Special Seal(s) / Color / Format: Stamps are placed on the originally issued documents by the issuing official, but there is no standard stamp. In fact, officials use different stamps even within the same office. These stamps are easily reproduced and cannot be used alone to determine document authenticity.  Certified copies are provided and a tax stamp is attached but the appearances of these stamps vary from office to office, and from year to year.

Issuing Authority Personnel Title: Mayor or Chief of Arrondissement

Registration Criteria: Presentation of birth certificates of applicants is required. There are no checks as to whether the fiancés are previously married, but there is a public notice at the mayor’s office to say that a couple will be wed, and if anyone objects, they must present the issue before the wedding to the mayor’s office. This is seldom an obstacle to marriage.

Procedure for Obtaining: Marriage certificates are granted at the place where the marriage was held.

Certified Copies Available: Certified copies are available

Alternate Documents: Extrait D’Acte de Mariage

Exceptions: None

Comments: To facilitate DV fraud, many mayors are complicit in issuance of false marriage documents.  Several fraud indicators such as a marriage performed at the end of a year (where there are additional pages to add marriages later), and the use of washed documents or notarized documents in the place of an original copy are common. Often, the only way to verify the authenticity of a document is to physically drive to a mayor’s office to examine the marriage book.

 

Divorce Certificates

Available

Fees: There may be a fee for this service

Document Name: Acte de Divorce, Jugement d’acte de Divorce, or Jugement

Issuing Authority: The court who authorized the divorce

Special Seal(s) / Color / Format: These are multipage documents. The number of pages varies depending on the debates and the judge's motivation.

Issuing Authority Personnel Title:   the Judge President of audience and the Court Clerk

Registration Criteria: Registered at court and must be co-signed by the Judge and Court Clerk.

Procedure for Obtaining: Applicants should contact the court who authorized the divorce

Certified Copies Available: Certified copies are available

Alternate Documents: There are no alternate documents

Exceptions: None

Comments:  Divorce certificates can only be obtained by a Court order between the parties involved. Post has seen a large volume of false divorce certificates. Generally, the courts are open to verifying documents for the consulate. The name of the document may vary depending on the specific judge.

 

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

Unavailable.

Identity Card

Available

Fees:  CFA 2,400

Document Name: National ID card/Carte Nationale d’Identité.

Issuing Authority: Prefecture office

Special Seal(s) / Color / Format: Benin ID cards are yellow and have the same formatting

Issuing Authority Personnel Title: Prefect

Registration Criteria: Registration is done at the City Council Office and at the Prefecture

Procedure for Obtaining: National ID cards are grant to native born Beninese upon presentation of the following documents: the “souche” of the birth certificate, the certificate of nationality, the certificate “de possession d’état”

Certified Copies Available: Certified copies are not available

Alternate Documents: There are no alternate documents

Exceptions: None

Comments: These documents are easily obtained with false birth certificates. Because there is no centralized birth record, and the birth certificate presented are not authenticated, it is easy to obtain a false national ID card.

Police, Court, Prison Records

Police Certificates

Available

Fees: Depends on the issuing office

Document Name: Casier Judiciaire

Issuing Authority: Tribunal de Premiere Instance

Special Seal(s) / Color / Format: white A4 size paper with a Timbre Fiscal stamp (similar to a US postage stamp).

Issuing Authority Personnel Title: the “Procureur de la République” and/or the “Greffier en chef”

Registration Criteria: Upon presentation of the birth certificate but may vary from office to office.

Procedure for Obtaining:

  • Native born Beninese – Apply to the Tribunal De Premiere Instance that has their place of birth in their jurisdiction. You may apply by mail for this document.
  • Non Beninese - Apply to the Tribunal de Première Instance upon showing their birth certificate and a copy of their ID card.

Certified Copies Available: Certified copies are available

Alternate Documents: Extrait Du Casier Judiciaire

Exceptions: None

Comments: There is no centralized database that local police offices can check. As a result, police certificates only check the records at the court in which the request is made and does not apply to possible criminal records in all other places in Benin.

 

Court Records

Unavailable.

 

Prison Records

Available: Prisons records are part of the Police Certificate.  Please see Police Certificates for more information.

Military Records

Available

Fees: There are no fees

Document Name: Certificat du Service Militaire

Issuing Authority: Chef de Corps

Special Seal(s) / Color / Format: There are no special seal(s)/ color/format

Issuing Authority Personnel Title: Chef de Corps

Registration Criteria: There is no registration criteria

Procedure for Obtaining: Applicants should submit a request to the Chef de Corps

Certified Copies Available: Certified copies are available

Alternate Documents: Certificat de bonne conduite

Exceptions: None

Comments: Certificates, diplomas and end-of-internship certificates

At the end of each internship, a certificate or diploma is issued, depending on the quality of the internship or training. These certificates are issued at the closing ceremony. They are signed jointly by the director of the school or training center and the Chief of the General Staff for the joint trainings, or the chiefs of staff of the different armies with regard to the training specific to each army.

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

Types Available (Regular, Diplomatic, Official, etc.): Regular, Diplomatic, Official

Fees: CFA 30,000 for the regular passport

Document Name: Passport

Issuing Government Authority: Immigration Office

Special Seal(s) / Color / Format: Regular passports are green, Diplomatic passports are red with a squirrel etched into the bottom right hand corner of the front cover, and service passports are dark blue with a squirrel etched into the bottom right hand corner of the front cover. The biographic data page has a picture of the individual the passport is for and machine readable information. The opposite page has a picture of an elliptical world map and the passport ID number.

Issuing Authority Personnel Title: D.E.I. Cotonou

Registration Criteria: There is no registration criteria

Procedure for Obtaining: Upon submission of the required documents to the Immigration Office

Alternate Documents: There are no alternate documents

Exceptions: None

Comments: None

Other Documents Available: Consular ID cards are issued at Embassies outside of Benin; however, these documents are not considered reliable.

Other Records

Types Available (Regular, Diplomatic, Official, etc.): Certificate of Residence

Fees: There may be a fee for this service

Document Name: Attestation de Résidence

Issuing Government Authority: Court/chef quartier

Special Seal(s) / Color / Format: There is no special seal(s)/color/format

Issuing Authority Personnel Title: Court

Registration Criteria: There is no registration criteria

Procedure for Obtaining: Applicants should contact their local court to submit a request

Alternate Documents: There are no alternate documents

Exceptions: None

Comments: None

Visa Issuing Posts

Post Title: Embassy

Address: B.P. 2012
                 Cotonou, Benin

Phone Number: (229) 21-30-06-50
                             21-36-75-00
                             21-30-17-92

Email: IVcotonou@state.gov

Comments / Additional Information:  None

Visa Services

All Non-immigrant and Immigrant visa for Benin.