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Consular Notification and Access

English

Contact Info for Foreign Embassies & Consulates

Congo

Country Information

Republic of the Congo
Republic of the Congo
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Embassy Messages
Quick Facts
PASSPORT VALIDITY:

6 months

BLANK PASSPORT PAGES:

1 page

TOURIST VISA REQUIRED:

Yes, obtain in advance

VACCINATIONS:

Yellow fever

CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR ENTRY:

Not to exceed 5 million CFA ($10,000)

CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR EXIT:

Declare CFA over 1 million

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Embassies and Consulates

U.S. Embassy Brazzaville

Boulevard Denis Sassou Nguesso
Brazzaville
Republic of the Congo
Telephone: +242 06 612 2000 (Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.)
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +242 06 612 2010

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Destination Description

See our Fact Sheet on Republic of Congo for information on U.S.-Republic of Congo relations. 

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Entry, Exit and Visa Requirements

Requirements for Entry:

  • Passport
  • Visa, obtain before traveling
  • World Health Organization (WHO) card with yellow fever vaccination
  • Invitation letter or a hotel reservation (multiple copies)

Visit the Embassy of the Republic of the Congo website and "Before you go checklist" or the nearest Congolese embassy or consulate for tourist visa information and document requirements for work visas. Working without authorization is punishable by prison and/or deportation.

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

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

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Safety and Security

Political violence and civil unrest may occur. In the past, political demonstrations have led to armed clashes, deaths, and injuries.

Pool Region: Refrain from travel in the southern Pool region. Military operations after the April 2016 presidential election are ongoing following a series of attacks. Soldiers and police have been killed and thousands of civilians displaced. Rebel group (“Ninjas”) activity and armed banditry is sporadic.

ROC - DRC border: There is potential for insecurity in neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in light of heightened tensions surrounding the country’s delayed presidential election.

Precautions:

  • Avoid demonstrations. Even events intended to be peaceful can become violent.
  • Maintain caution at public gatherings and areas frequented by foreigners.
  • Use vigilance during your movements around the country.
  • Be cautious when traveling outside of cities and along border areas.
  • Monitor news and consular messages.

National Parks and Wildlife Areas: Heed all instructions given by guides or trackers. Armed poachers are present in some parks and along the forested frontier with Cameroon, the Central African Republic, and the DRC. Ensure you have the proper medical and medevac insurance for safari/adventure tours.

Roadblocks: Undisciplined, armed soldiers or national police may conduct vehicle searches and check passengers for identity papers. These roadblocks often are poorly marked. Traffic police, identifiable by large numbers on their uniforms, may target foreigners to solicit bribes.

  • Comply with the local authorities. Remain courteous and calm.
  • Remain inside your vehicle with doors locked and open the window slightly to communicate.
  • Show documents through the window.
  • Report harassment to the U.S. Embassy.

Crime: Crime typically occurs at night. Armed bandits are active on roads in all areas of the country. Muggings and purse snatching are common in Brazzaville and Pointe Noire.

There has been a steady increase in:

  • Violent assaults against women, particularly at night in and near wooded areas of Brazzaville.
  • Rape, assault, roadside hold-ups, shots fired at vehicles, and theft along both main highways between Brazzaville and Pointe-Noire.
  • Reports of gang violence in the Brazzaville neighborhoods of Bacongo and Marche Total.

Except the section from the Yes Club to VIP Escale Demex, Pointe-Noire’s beaches are off-limits to U.S. Embassy personnel due to concerns of violent attacks and petty crime.

  • Stay away from beaches at night.
  • Avoid walking alone, especially after dark.
  • Do not display cash and valuables.
  • Dress conservatively. 
  • Drive with doors locked and windows closed.
  • Always carry a copy of your U.S. passport and visa. Keep original documents in a secure location.

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

Victims of Crime: Legal response or recourse is extremely limited.

U.S. citizen victims of sexual assault or domestic violence should first contact the U.S. Embassy for assistance.

Report crimes to the local police (French) at +242 06 665-4804 and the U.S. Embassy at +242 06 612 2000.

There is no functioning emergency line, although 112 and 118 may reach firefighters and gendarmerie. Police resources are limited and response times vary widely. Emergency services are limited in Brazzaville and Pointe-Noire and virtually non-existent elsewhere. 

Local authorities are responsible for investigating and prosecuting crime. When reporting a crime, you should ask for a police report. There is a CFA 15,000 franc charge for the police report ($26).

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 United States
  • 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:

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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. You may be taken in for questioning by the police if unable to produce an acceptable form of identification. Convictions for possessing, using, or trafficking in illegal drugs result in long prison sentences and heavy fines.

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. Dual nationality is legally recognized; if however, Congolese officials prosecute you as a Congolese citizen, we may be limited in our ability to assist. See our webpage for further information.

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

Phone Service: Cell phones are used extensively. SIM cards can be purchased locally to use with a compatible cell phone. Phone service is spotty, and data services slow and costly. Telecommunications systems outside of cities are unreliable or non-existent.

Currency: The Central African CFA franc (XAF) is the official currency. It is a cash economy. Higher class hotels in Brazzaville and Pointe-Noire accept credit cards, although the machines often malfunction. ATMs dispense funds in local currency.

You must declare CFA over 1 million upon arrival with a bank or cashier’s receipt or risk fines and CFA confiscation.

Customs: Arts and crafts, particularly wooden objects, are subject to an export tax. Ask to speak with the airport supervisor if customs agents solicit bribes when you seek to export these items.

Artifacts: It is prohibited to export items of historical significance such as wood pieces, sculptures, and paintings. Violators risk imprisonment and heavy fines. For a list of prohibited items, contact a Congolese embassy or consulate.

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

LGBTI Travelers: LGBTI individuals face societal discrimination and harassment. There have been reports of police in Pointe-Noire verbally, physically, or sexually abusing openly gay young men and harassing gay men in order to elicit bribes. There are, however, no legal restrictions on same-sex sexual relations or the organization of LGBTI events.

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: Only a fraction of rapes are reported. Police reports verifying rape cost CFA 30,000 francs ($52) to cover medical examination and report expenses. Medical rape kits are available only in Brazzaville. In Pointe-Noire, only HIV tests are free for rape victims; all other laboratory tests are at the expense of the patient. Domestic violence is widespread but rarely reported.

See our tips for Women Travelers.

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Health

Consult the CDC website for the Republic of the Congo prior to travel.

Medical facilities and ambulance services are extremely limited and adequate only for stabilization and emergency care. There is a shortage of qualified medical personnel. Some medicines are in short supply, particularly in rural areas. Carry medication in original packaging with your doctor’s prescription.

You are responsible for all medical costs. U.S. Medicare does not cover you overseas. Health care providers expect payment in cash CFA before treatment is performed.

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

Malaria is endemic. Use CDC recommended mosquito repellents including DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon, eucalyptus or IR3535. Sleep under insecticide-impregnated mosquito nets. Chemoprophylaxis is recommended for all travelers even for short stays.

The following diseases are prevalent:

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

Further health information:

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Travel and Transportation

Road Conditions and Safety: Fatal accident rates are rising in areas with new highways, attributed to excessive speed, erratic driving habits, and lack of safety standards. Several highways have been completed, connecting the southern port city of Pointe-Noire to Brazzaville and to the northern town of Ouesso on the border with Cameroon and west to neighboring Gabon. However, most roads are dirt tracks and require an off-road vehicle; during the rainy season, September-December and February-May, they become impassable. Other hazards include pedestrians, cyclists, wheelchairs, and animals.                 

Be aware of increased risk of ambush and highway robbery when driving in rural or isolated areas. Carry:

  • spare tires
  • food and water
  • satellite phone
  • maps and navigation equipment
  • first aid kit
  • protective clothing

Service stations and fuel are scarce in rural areas. Professional roadside assistance is not available.

Traffic Laws: A valid U.S. state or international driver’s license is required. Use of cell phones while driving is prohibited.

Traffic stops:

  • Resist paying bribes. Politely ask for a ticket or for the officer’s name and badge number if no violation is alleged.
  • Ask to contact the U.S. Embassy if you are not released.
  • Report attempts to solicit bribes to the U.S. Embassy.

Accidents: Remain inside the vehicle and call for police. If a hostile mob forms, leave the scene and proceed directly to the nearest police station or gendarmerie to report the incident. Do not stop at the scene of an accident or at intersections where people have gathered.

Public Transportation

Buses

  • Travel can be unsafe due to reckless driving, overcrowding, poor vehicle maintenance, and the potential for crime.

Taxis

  • Hire only government authorized green and white taxis in Brazzaville and blue and white taxis in Pointe-Noire.
  • Maintenance varies greatly; taxis do not undergo routine inspections and are generally not air conditioned.
  • Negotiate fares before embarking since taxis are not metered. Most taxi drivers will round-up fares or not return change.

Railroads

  • The line between Pointe-Noire and Brazzaville is prone to criminal attacks, extortion by security forces, minor derailments, and frequent delays caused by mechanical issues.

Speed Boats

  • Accidents may occur but travel is relatively safe.
  • Expect delays since captains wait to fill seats before departing.
  • Operating hours are 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. daily (stops 12 noon on Sunday) though service between Brazzaville and Kinshasa may close with minimal notice.
  • A visa is required to cross the Congo River between Brazzaville and Kinshasa (DRC).

See our Road Safety page for more information.

Visit the website of Congo’s national tourist office.

Aviation Safety Oversight: As there is no direct commercial air service to the United States by carriers registered in the Republic of the Congo, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has not assessed the government of the Republic of Congo’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.

Hague Convention Participation
Party to the Hague Abduction Convention?
No
U.S. Treaty Partner under the Hague Abduction Convention?
No
What You Can Do
Learn how to respond to abductions FROM the US
Learn how to respond to abductions TO the US
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Embassies and Consulates

U.S. Embassy Brazzaville

Boulevard Denis Sassou Nguesso
Brazzaville
Republic of the Congo
Telephone: +242 06 612 2000 (Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.)
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +242 06 612 2010

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General Information

For information concerning travel to Republic of the Congo, 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 Republic of the Congo.

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.

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Hague Abduction Convention

Republic of the Congo 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 Republic of the Congo and the United States concerning international parental child abduction.

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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 Republic of the Congo 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:

Bureau of Consular Affairs
Office of Children's
CA/OCS/CI
SA-17, 9th Floor
Washington, DC 20522-1709
Telephone:  1-888-407-4747
Outside the United States or Canada: 1-202-501-4444
Website:  travel.state.gov
Email: AskCI@state.gov

Parental child abduction is a crime in Republic of the Congo according to the Law on Child Protection of 2010, Article 101.

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. 

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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 Republic of the Congo 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 Republic of the Congo for information and possible assistance.

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Retaining an Attorney

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

The U.S. Embassy in Brazzaville posts 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 persons or firms included in this list. Professional credentials and areas of expertise are provided directly by the lawyers.

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Mediation

U.S. Department of State is not aware of any government agencies or non-governmental organizations that offer mediation programs. 

Exercising Custody Rights

While travelling in a foreign country, you are subject to the laws of that country. It is important for parents to understand that, although a left-behind parent in the United States may have custody or visitation rights pursuant to a U.S. custody order, that order may not be valid and enforceable in the country in which the child is located.  For this reason, we strongly encourage you to speak to a local attorney if planning to remove a child from a foreign country without the consent of the other parent.  Attempts to remove your child to the United States may:

  • Endanger your child and others;
  • Prejudice any future judicial efforts; and
  • Could result in your arrest and imprisonment.

The U.S. government cannot interfere with another country’s court or law enforcement system.

To understand the legal effect of a U.S. order in a foreign country, a parent should consult with a local attorney in the country in which the child is located.  

For information about hiring an attorney abroad, see our section on Retaining a Foreign Attorney. 

Although we cannot recommend an attorney to you, most U.S. Embassies have lists of attorneys available online. Please visit the local U.S. Embassy or Consulate website for a full listing.

For more information on consular assistance for U.S. citizens arrested abroad, please see our website.

Country officers are available to speak with you Monday - Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.  For assistance with an abduction in progress or any emergency situation that occurs after normal business hours, on weekends, or federal holidays, please call toll free at 1-888-407-4747. See all contact information.

DISCLAIMER: The information in this flyer is provided for general information only, is not intended to be legal advice, and may change without notice. Questions involving interpretation of law should be addressed to an attorney licensed in the relevant jurisdiction. 

 

Hague Convention Participation
Hague Adoption Convention Country?
No
Are Intercountry Adoptions between this country and the United States possible?
Both adoptions to the United States from Republic of the Congo and from the United States to Republic of the Congo are possible.
Is this country a U.S. Hague Partner?
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Hague Convention Information

Republic of the Congo is not a party to the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption (Hague Adoption Convention or Convention). Under the Intercountry Adoption Universal Accreditation Act (UAA), which became effective on July 14, 2014, the accreditation requirement and standards, which previously only applied in Convention cases, now also apply in non-Convention or “orphan” cases. The UAA requires that an accredited or approved adoption service provider acts as a primary provider in every case, and that adoption service providers providing adoption services on behalf of prospective adoptive parents be accredited or approved, or be a supervised or exempted provider. Adoption service providers and prospective adoptive parents should review the State Department’s Universal Accreditation Act of 2012 webpage for further information. Intercountry adoptions of children from non-Convention countries continue to be processed under the Orphan Process with the filing of the Forms I-600A and I-600. However, adoption service providers should be aware of the information on the USCIS website on the impact on Form I-600A and Form I-600 adjudications under the UAA, including the requirement that all home studies, including home study updates and amendments, comply with the Convention home study requirements, which differ from the orphan home study requirements that were in effect before July 14, 2014.

U.S. prospective adoptive parents are reminded of several key items to keep in mind when considering adopting from the Republic of the Congo:

  • Congolese adoption cases are exclusively handled by the nationalTribunal de Grande Instance. Adoptions granted by other tribunals (courts) are therefore neither formal nor final according to the Congolese code of family law.
  • There are no U.S. adoption service providers authorized by the Government of the Republic of the Congo to provide services in intercountry adoptions. Prospective adoptive families are expected to work directly with Congolese attorneys.
  • Adoption procedures in the Republic of the Congo may take at least six months and often longer. The Tribunal de Grande Instance must conduct an investigation before an adoption hearing takes place, and a new birth certificate can take one month to acquire after an adoption hearing.

U.S. Immigration Requirements For Intercountry Adoptions

To bring an adopted child to the United States from Republic of the Congo, you must meet certain suitability and eligibility requirements. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) determines who can 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.

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Who Can Adopt

In addition to being found suitable and eligible to adopt by USCIS, prospective adoptive parents seeking to adopt from Republic of the Congo must meet the following requirements: 

  • Residency: None. 
  • Age of Adopting Parents: Prospective adoptive parents must be at least 20 years older than the prospective adoptive child. This requirement may be waived in some circumstances. For example, if the adopting parent is a stepparent (i.e. married to the adopted child’s parent/legal guardian), the required age difference is reduced to 10 years. Single prospective adoptive parents must be at least 35 years old. In adoptions involving married prospective adoptive parents, at least one parent must be 30 years old. There is no upper age limit for parents interested in adopting. 
  • Marriage: Prospective adoptive parents may be unmarried individuals. However, people adopting as a couple must be married at least five (5) years prior to the adoption. Single, widowed, or divorced prospective adoptive parents may adopt a child from the Republic of the Congo, including children of the opposite sex. While the Family Code does not establish an explicit policy regarding same sex couples, local tradition may disqualify them from adopting.
  • Income: Prospective adoptive parents must establish to the satisfaction of the tribunal that they have sufficient resources to care for a child. There are no clear guidelines which define “sufficient resources.” 
  • Other: Prospective adoptive parents who already have biological children may only adopt from the Republic of the Congo if the Ministry of Justice provides a waiver. Prospective adoptive parents may adopt up to three (3) children; however, waivers are available for exceptions. Persons with a prior history of child abuse are not permitted to adopt from the Republic of the Congo.

    The Congolese government reserves the right to request a medical exam of a prospective adopting paret.
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Who Can Be Adopted

In addition to qualifying as an orphan under U.S. immigration law, the child must meet the following requirements of Republic of the Congo:

  • Relinquishment: According to Congolese law, if biological parents feel incapable of supporting their child, they may legally relinquish the rights to their child. In these cases, the biological parents must report their intent to the Tribunal de Grande Instance, where a family court judge will temporarily place the children with another family until a permanent situation is decided. 
  • Abandonment: Children found by individuals or agencies can be declared abandoned after six months. Before an abandonment hearing is scheduled, the Tribunal de Grande Instance will give temporary custody to the individual, agency, or social services entity which found the child. When a child is formally declared abandoned, the Tribunal de Grande Instance typically awards parental rights to an individual or to a social service.
  • Age of Adoptive Child: Adopted children must be younger than18 year old. Adopted children age 15 and up must provide personal consent for their own adoption; in the event a child is unable to provide his/her consent, the Tribunal de Grande Instance will oversee the procedure. Please note that for a child to meet the definition of an orphan under U.S. immigration law, a Form I-600, Petition to Classify Orphan as an Immediate Relative, must be filed on the child’s behalf while the child is under the age of 16 (or under the age of 18 if the child is the birth sibling of another adopted child who has immigrated or will immigrate based on adoption by the same adoptive parent(s)).
  • Sibling Adoptions: None.
  • Special Needs or Medical Conditions: None. 
  • Waiting Period or Foster Care: Adoption procedures in the Republic of the Congo may take significant time. The Tribunal de Grande Instance must conduct an investigation before an adoption hearing takes place. Adoptions which involve wards of the State can take considerably more time, as the local government must first release the child for adoption.

Caution: Prospective adoptive parents should be aware that not all children in orphanages or children’s homes are eligible for adoption. In many countries, birth parents place their child(ren) temporarily in an orphanage or children’s home due to financial or other hardship, intending that the child return home when this becomes possible. In such cases, the birth parent(s) have rarely relinquished their parental rights or consented to the adoption of their child(ren).

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How to Adopt

The process for adopting a child from Republic of the Congo generally includes the following steps:

  1. Choose a U.S. Accredited or Approved Adoption Service Provider
  2. Apply to USCIS to be Found Suitable and Eligible to Adopt (Form I-600A)
  3. Apply to Republic of the Congo’s Authorities to Adopt and be Matched with a Child
  4. Adopt the Child in Republic of the Congo
  5. Apply for Your Child to be Found Eligible to Immigrate to the United States as an Orphan (Form I-600)
  6. Apply for a U.S. Immigrant Visa for Your Child and Bring Your Child Home

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

Before taking steps to adopt a child from Republic of the Congo, you should select a U.S. accredited or approved adoption service provider to be the primary provider in your case. As of July 14, 2014, a primary provider is required in every intercountry adoption case under the UAA, unless an exception applies. The primary provider is responsible for:

  • Ensuring that all six adoption services defined at 22 CFR 96.2 are provided;
  • Supervising and being responsible for supervised providers where used (see 22 CFR 96.14); and
  • Developing and implementing a service plan in accordance with 22 CFR 96.44

For more information on primary providers and the UAA, please see Universal Accreditation Act of 2012

There are no U.S. adoption agencies authorized to provide services in the Republic of the Congo. Prospective adoptive parents are expected to engage Congolese lawyers to carry out adoption proceedings. Congolese lawyers are automatically accredited by the government of the Republic of Congo by virtue of their profession. The U.S. Embassy in Brazzaville maintains a list of attorneys who have expressed a willingness to work with U.S. citizens. This list does not imply an endorsement of specific attorneys by the Embassy or any guarantee of the quality of the services they may provide. 

2. Apply to USCIS to be Found Suitable and Eligible to Adopt

In order to adopt a child from Republic of the Congo, you will need to meet the requirements of the Government of Republic of the Congo and U.S. immigration law.

To meet U.S. immigration requirements, you may also choose to file a Form I-600A, Application for Advance Processing of an Orphan Petition, with USCIS to be found suitable and eligible to adopt before you identify a child to adopt. You may also choose to file the Form I-600 petition along with all the required Form I-600A application supporting documentation, including an approved home study, once you have been matched with a child and have obtained all the necessary documentation. Please see the USCIS website for more information about filing options. Regardless of which approach you take, the home study must meet the same requirements. As of July 14, 2014, unless an exception applies, the home study must comply with the requirements in 8 CFR 204.311 and 22 CFR Part 96.47.

3. Apply to Republic of the Congo’s Authorities to Adopt and be Matched with a Child

If you are found suitable and eligible to adopt under U.S. law, you must also submit an adoption application to the Tribunal de Grande Instance of Republic of the Congo to be found eligible to adopt by Republic of the Congo.

Congolese procedures do not include a formal matching process. Prospective adoptive parents must coordinate with their local attorney to find and be matched with a prospective adoptive child. The Tribunal de Grand Instance will require prospective adoptive parents to provide the prospective adoptive child’s birth certificate and a copy of biological parent/next of kin consent, if applicable, when applying to the Tribunal to adopt the child. An investigation into the child’s case will be conducted by the Tribunal prior to the adoption hearing.

If a child is eligible for intercountry adoption, the competent adoption authority or other authorized entity in Republic of the Congo will review your adoption dossier and, if an appropriate match is found, will provide you with a referral. We encourage families to consult with a medical professional and their adoption service provider to understand the needs of the specific child but each family must decide for itself whether it will be able to meet the needs of, and provide a permanent home for, a specific child, and must conform to the recommendations in the home study for the number of children and capacity to deal with any special needs of an adoptive child. Learn more about Health Considerations.

The child must be eligible to be adopted according to Republic of the Congo’s requirements, as described in the Who Can Be Adopted section. The child must also meet the definition of an orphan under U.S. immigration law.

4. Adopt the Child in Republic of the Congo

The process for finalizing the adoption in Republic of the Congo generally includes the following: 

Role of Adoption Authority: The Ministry of Justice has jurisdiction over all intercountry adoptions. Individual cases are handled by the Tribunal de Grande Instance in Brazzaville.

On certain occasions, the Ministry of Social Affairs will get involved to ensure that adoptions are undertaken in compliance with Congolese law. It also maintains a record of Congo’s abandoned children.

Role of the Court: When a child is found in an orphanage, prospective adoptive parents must ensure that the family court judge issued the Ordonnance de Placement for the child, that the child is fully registered, and that the child has an individual recording sheet before seeking to adopt him/her. The Tribunal de Grande Instance will also require the consent of any child 15 or older.

After obtaining the proper consent, the prospective adoptive parents request a hearing in open court at the Tribunal de Grande Instance. Prospective adoptive parents must submit copies of their birth certificates and the birth certificate of the prospective adoptee. TheTribunal will require proof that all interested family members of the child have been informed of the adoption and have received notice of the court hearing. After the initial hearing, the Tribunal will conduct an investigation to determine that all conditions for placement or final adoption have been met and that all documents are legitimate.

After the investigation, the Tribunal will make sure that all the conditions of the law have been met and the adoption may proceed. The adoption judgment will attest that the adoptive child has a new surname and given name. Congolese law also mandates the issuance of a new birth certificate, issued within one month after the adoption hearing. All the new information will be logged in the local town hall register.

Role of Adoption Agencies: There are no U.S. adoption agencies authorized to provide services in the Republic of the Congo. Orphanages must be licensed or accredited by the Congolese government. It is customary and accepted practice to engage Congolese lawyers to carry out adoption proceedings. Attorneys licensed to practice in the Republic of the Congo are automatically accredited by the government of the Republic of Congo to provide adoption services by virtue of their profession. The U.S. Embassy in Brazzaville maintains a list of attorneys who have expressed a willingness to work with U.S. citizens. This list does not imply an endorsement of specific attorneys by the Embassy or any guarantee of the quality of the services they may provide.

Starting July 14, 2014, unless an exception applies, there must be a U.S. accredited or approved adoption service provider acting as the primary provider in every case. Also, any agency or person providing an adoption service on behalf of prospective adoptive parents in any Convention or non-Convention case must be accredited or approved, or be a supervised or exempted provider. Adoption service means any one of the following six services:

  • Identifying a child for adoption and arranging an adoption;
  • Securing the necessary consent to termination of parental rights and to adoption;
  • Performing a background study on a child or a home study on a prospective adoptive parent(s), and reporting on such a study;
  • Making non-judicial determinations of the best interests of a child and the appropriateness of an adoptive placement for the child;
  • Monitoring a case after a child has been placed with prospective adoptive parent(s) until final adoption; or
  • When necessary because of a disruption before final adoption, assuming custody and providing (including facilitating the provision of) child care or any other social service pending an alternative placement. 22 CFR 96.2 Definitions.

Adoption Application: The adoption request by the prospective parents begins with the Tribunal de Grande Instance. All documentation must be hand-delivered by the prospective adoptive parents or their attorney to the Tribunal, including the prospective adoptee’s birth certificate and, if applicable, family consent(s). 

Time Frame: Intercountry adoptions in Republic of the Congo take approximately three to six months to complete from the time a dossier accepted by the adoption authority to the time the final adoption is issued. Some cases may take considerably longer.

Adoption Fees: Court fees for an adoption can range up to approximately $100. The U.S. Embassy in Brazzaville has little data from which to provide an estimate of attorneys’ fees. Fees can be kept to a minimum if, prior to the first consultation, prospective adoptive parents secure any required documents such as birth, death, marriage, and relevant court records on their own. In addition to these fees, prospective adoptive parents may be expected to pay for the care and feeding of their child after the adoption is concluded and before the U.S. immigrant visa is issued, as well as all fees for passport issuance and exit permits.

Prospective adoptive parents are advised to obtain detailed receipts for all fees and donations paid, either by themselves directly or through their U.S. adoption service provider, and to raise any concerns regarding any payment that you believe may be contrary to U.S. law, or the law of Republic of the Congo, with your adoption service provider. Please also refer to information concerning the Hague Complaint Registry. Improper payments may have the appearance of buying achild, violate applicable law, and could put all future adoptions in Republic of the Congo at risk. The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, for instance, makes it unlawful to bribe foreign government officials to obtain or retain business. Further, the UAA and IAA make it unlawful to improperly influence relinquishment of parental rights, parental consent relating to adoption of a child, or a decision by an entity performing Central Authority functions.

Documents Required: A Congolese adoption through the Tribunal de Grande Instance requires the following documents:

Prospective adoptee’s documents:

  • Birth certificate
  • Records of birth parents’ deaths, abandonment, or consent to adoption
  • Congolese social services’ consent to the proposed adoption
  • Congolese social services’ investigation report
  • Psychological investigation report 

Prospective adoptive parents’ documents:

  • Request to adopt the child, written to the attention of the President of the Tribunal de Grande Instance
  • Birth certificate(s)
  •  Marriage certificate, if applicable
  • Police record(s)
  • Pay slip (two (2) authenticated copies)
  • Power of attorney, if the prospective adoptive parent(s) delegate authority to a local attorney or other individual to complete administrative processing
  • Ministry of Justice waiver, if the prospective adoptive parent(s) already has biological children
  • District Attorney waiver, if there are concerns about age difference or marriage   

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. The U.S Department of State’s Authentications Office has information on the subject.

5. Apply for Your Child to be Found Eligible for Immigration to the United States as an Orphan

After you finalize the adoption in Republic of the Congo, USCIS must determine whether the child meets the definition of an orphan under U.S. immigration law in order for the child to immigrate to the United States. You will need to file a Form I-600, Petition to Classify Orphan as an Immediate Relative. At the time you file your Form I-600 petition, the adjudicating officer will determine whether the UAA applies or if your case is UAA grandfathered. For more information on UAA grandfathering and transition cases, please see Universal Accreditation Act of 2012. Unless an exception applies, you must identify a primary provider in your case and the adjudicating officer may ask for the name and contact information of the primary provider if not provided in your Form I-600 petition. This information is required and, without it, your Form I-600 petition cannot be approved.

If you have an approved, valid Form I-600A, Application for Advance Processing of an Orphan Petition, you may file your Form I-600 petition either in the United States with USCIS or in person at the U.S.Embassy in Brazzaville.

When a Form I-600 petition is adjudicated by USCIS in the United States, the consular section in Brazzaville must complete a Form I-604, Determination on Child for Adoption (sometimes informally referred to as an orphan determination), to verify the child’s orphan status. When a Form I-600 petition is adjudicated by an international USCIS office, USCIS generally completes the Form I-604 determination.

For Form I-600 petitions filed with the Embassy’s consular section, the consular officer must complete the Form I-604 determination after you file your Form I-600 petition. Conducting the Form I-604 determination is a critical part of the orphan adoption process. It can take months to complete, depending upon the circumstances of your case. Consular officers appreciate that families are eager to bring their adopted child home as quickly as possible. Some of the factors that may contribute to the length of the process include prevailing fraud patterns in the country of origin, civil unrest or security concerns that restrict travel to certain areas of the country, and the number of determinations performed by available staff. Consular officers make every effort to conduct them as quickly and thoroughly as possible. You are advised to keep your travel plans flexible while awaiting the results. 

6. Apply for a U.S. Immigrant Visa for Your Child and Bring Your Child Home

Now that your adoption is complete and the Form I-604 determination has been completed finding that your child meets the legal definition of an orphan for immigration purposes, there are a few more steps to take before you and your child 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 Republic of the Congo, you will first need to apply for a new birth certificate for your child. Your name will be added to the new birth certificate.

If you have been granted legal custody for the purposes of emigration and adoption of the child in the United States, the birth certificate you obtain will, in most cases, not yet include your name.

Congolese birth certificates are generally issued by the town registrar within one month of an adoption hearing. The adopting parents’ names, and any name changes for the child, will be added to the new birth certificate if the adoption decree orders the changes. The U.S. Embassy in Brazzaville accepts the following documents as proof of birth:

  • The acte de naissance: a genuine birth document that must be issued within 30 days of the child’s birth. If the acte de naissancewas not issued within 30 days of birth, the child needs to get ajugement supplétif from the court with jurisdiction over his/her place of residence. The ajugement will help the child obtain a valid birth certificate.
  • Extrait d'acte de naissance: issued to replace lost/stolen actes de naissance.

Republic of the Congo Passport: Your child is not yet a U.S. citizen, so he/she will need a travel document or passport from Republic of the Congo.

Adoptive parents or their attorneys apply to the Congolese Immigration service in Brazzaville for a Congolese passport for the adopted child. Officially, Congolese passports are free. The waiting time may vary as well.

U.S. Immigrant Visa: After you obtain the new birth certificate and passport for your child and you have filed Form I-600, Petition to Classify Orphan as an Immediate Relative, you then need to apply for a U.S. immigrant visa for your child from the U.S. Embassy in Brazzaville.This immigrant visa allows your child to travel home with you and be admitted to the United States as your child. As part of this process, you must provide the consular officer the Panel Physician’s medical report on the child.

Before coming for your child’s immigrant visa interview, please complete an Electronic Immigrant Visa Application (DS-260) online at the Consular Electronic Application Center (CEAC). If you filed a Form I-600 petition in the United States, you should receive a letter from the National Visa Center (NVC) confirming receipt of the petition and assignment of a case number and an invoice ID number. You will need this information to log into CEAC to file the DS-260 for your child. An adoptive parent should fill out these forms in your child's name. Answer every item on the form. If information is not applicable, please write “N/A” in the block. Print and bring the DS-260 form confirmation page to the visa interview. Please review the DS-260 FAQs, our Online Immigrant Visa Forms page, or contact the NVC at NVCAdoptions@state.gov or +1-603-334-0700 if you have questions about completing the online DS-260 form.

In addition to the required supporting U.S. documents, adoptive parents filing the Form I-600 for children adopted from the Republic of the Congo should present the following Congolese documents with the petition:

  • Child’s birth certificate (Acte de Naissance)
  • Act of Adoption (Acte d'Adoption)
  • Adoption Decree (Judgment d'Adoption)
  • Abandonment judgment (Jugement de déclaration d’abandon): This judgment is declared by the Tribunal de Grande Instance.
  • Parental Authorization (Autorisation Parentale): The Authorization Parental is required when a birth parent relinquishes his/her child for adoption and emigration. 
  • Ward of the State Document (Attestation de Placement du Pupille de l'Etat): This document is required if the local government terminated the birth parent(s) parental rights.
  • Indigence Report (Attestation d'Indigence): The Indigence Report is often required when an orphan has no known birth parent(s).
  • Death Certificate (Acte de Deces): The Death Certificate is required when the birth parent(s) passed away. The U.S. Embassy in Brazzaville only accepts legal death certificates produced by the local Mayor, not hospital death certificates. 

Please note that each case may require different documents. The U.S. Consular Officer may request that additional documents be provided following the interview. 

The Embassy generally requires 10 days to two weeks to process adoption cases, and in some situations, significantly longer. When the required documents are ready and the adopted child’s passport is issued, please contact BrazzavilleIV@state.gov to schedule an interview appointment. Adoptive parents should verify current processing times with the U.S. Embassy in Brazzaville before making final travel arrangements.

Child Citizenship Act

For adoptions finalized abroad prior to the child’s entry 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 upon entry into the United States if the child otherwise meets the requirements of the Child Citizenship Act of 2000, including the child is under the age of eighteen.

For adoptions finalized after the child’s entry into the United States: You will need to complete an adoption following your child’s entry into the United States and before the child turns eighteen for the child (if he or she otherwise meets the requirements of the Child Citizenship Act of 2000) to automatically acquire U.S. citizenship.

Read more about the Child Citizenship Act of 2000.

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Traveling Abroad

Applying for Your U.S. Passport: U.S. citizens are required to enter and depart the United States on a valid U.S. passport. Once your child has acquired U.S. citizenship, s/he will need a U.S. passport for any international travel. 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 Department of State’s Passport Application Wizard will 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 Republic of the Congo: In addition to a U.S. passport, you may also need to obtain a visa. Where required, visas are affixed to your passport and allow you to enter a foreign nation. To find information about obtaining a visa for Republic of the Congo, 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 in the world about various issues, including health conditions, crime, 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 through our Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive important information from the Embassy about safety conditions in your destination country. Enrollment makes it possible for the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in Republic of the Congo, to contact you in an emergency, whether natural disaster, civil unrest, or family emergency.

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

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After Adoption

Post-Adoption/Post-Placement Reporting Requirements: The Republic of the Congo does not specify any post-adoption reporting requirements.

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. Your primary provider can provide or point you to post- placement/post-adoption services to help your adopted child and your family transition smoothly and deal effectively with the many adjustments required in an intercountry adoption.

Here are some places to start your support group search:

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

COMPLAINTS

If you have concerns about your adoption process, we ask that you share this information with the Embassy in Brazzaville, particularly if it involves possible fraud or misconduct specific to your child’s case. The Department of State takes all allegations of fraud or misconduct seriously. Our Adoption Comment Page provides several points of contact for adoptive families to comment on their adoption service provider, their experience applying for their child’s visa, or about the Form I-600 petition process.

The Hague Complaint Registry is an internet based registry for filing complaints about U.S. accredited or approved adoption service providers. If you think your provider's conduct may have been out of substantial compliance with accreditation standards, first submit your complaint in writing directly to your provider. If the complaint is not resolved through the provider's complaint process, you may file the complaint through the Hague Complaint Registry

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Contact Information

U.S. Embassy in Republic of the Congo
Blvd Denis Sassou N’Guesso
Brazzaville
République du Congo
Tel: (242) 06 612-2050
Email: BrazzavilleIV@state.gov
Internet: cg.usembassy.gov

Republic of the Congo’s Adoption Authority
Ministry of Justice
Mr. Joseph Bivihou,
Directeur de la protection légale de l’enfant
Tel: 00242 06 950 65 35

Tribunal De Grand Instance
Mr. Mathurin Bahi,
Président du Tribunal pour enfant

Ministry of Social Affairs
Ms. Sylvianne Matanda
Direction générale des affaires sociales
B.P. 545 - Brazzaville
Tel: 00242 05 531 97 99

Embassy of Republic of the Congo
1720 16th Street, NW
Washington, D.C. 20009
Tel: (202) 726-5500
Email: consulate@ambacongo-us.org
Internet: ambacongo-us.org/

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

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)
For questions about immigration procedures:
USCIS National Customer Service Center (NCSC)
Tel: 1-800-375-5283 (TTY 1-800-767-1833)
Internet: uscis.gov

For questions about filing a Form I-600A application or I-600 petition:
USCIS National Benefits Center
Tel: 1-877-424-8374 (toll free); 1-816-251-2770 (local)
Email: NBC.Adoptions@uscis.dhs.gov

Reciprocity Schedule

Select a visa category below to find the visa issuance fee, number of entries, and validity period for visas issued to applicants from this country*/area of authority.

Explanation of Terms

Visa Classification: The type of nonimmigrant visa you are applying for.

Fee: The reciprocity fee, also known as the visa issuance fee, you must pay. This fee is in addition to the nonimmigrant visa application fee (MRV fee).

Number of Entries: The number of times you may seek entry into the United States with that visa. "M" means multiple times. If there is a number, such as "One", you may apply for entry one time with that visa.

Validity Period: This generally means the visa is valid, or can be used, from the date it is issued until the date it expires, for travel with that visa. If your Validity Period is 60 months, your visa will be valid for 60 months from the date it is issued.

Visa Classifications
A
B
C
D
E
F
G
H
I
J
K
L
M
N
O
P
Q
R
S
T
U
V
Visa
Classification
Fee Number
of Entries
Validity
Period
A-1 None Multiple 12 Months
A-2 None Multiple 12 Months
A-3 1 None Multiple 12 Months
B-1 $20.00 Multiple 6 Months
B-2 $20.00 Multiple 6 Months
B-1/B-2 $20.00 Multiple 6 Months
C-1 $20.00 Multiple 6 Months
C-1/D $20.00 Multiple 6 Months
C-2 None Multiple 6 Months
C-3 None Multiple 6 Months
CW-1 11 None Multiple 12 Months
CW-2 11 None Multiple 12 Months
D $20.00 Multiple 6 Months
E-1 2 No Treaty N/A N/A
E-2 2 None One 3 Months
E-2C 12 None One 3 Months
F-1 $20.00 Multiple 6 Months
F-2 $20.00 Multiple 6 Months
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 $20.00 Multiple 36 Months 3
H-1C $20.00 Multiple 36 Months 3
H-2A $20.00 N/A N/A3
H-2B $20.00 N/A N/A3
H-2R $20.00 Multiple 36 Months 3
H-3 $20.00 Multiple 36 Months 3
H-4 $20.00 Multiple 36 Months 3
I $20.00 Multiple 6 Months
J-1 4 None Multiple 12 Months
J-2 4 None Multiple 12 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 36 Months
L-2 $20.00 Multiple 36 Months
M-1 $20.00 Multiple 6 Months
M-2 $20.00 Multiple 6 Months
N-8 None Multiple 12 Months
N-9 None Multiple 12 Months
NATO 1-7 N/A N/A N/A
O-1 $20.00 Multiple 36 Months 3
O-2 $20.00 Multiple 36 Months 3
O-3 $20.00 Multiple 36 Months 3
P-1 $20.00 Multiple 36 Months 3
P-2 $20.00 Multiple 36 Months 3
P-3 $20.00 Multiple 36 Months 3
P-4 $20.00 Multiple 36 Months 3
Q-1 6 $20.00 Multiple 15 Months 3
R-1 $20.00 Multiple 36 Months
R-2 $20.00 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
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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.

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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.

 

 

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General Documents

Note: Copies of civil records including birth, marriage, death, and divorce certificates issued before independence (August 15, 1960), can be obtained from the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs. For more information consult theFrench Foreign Ministry Website or write the following address:

Service central de l'état civil
11, rue de la Maison Blanche
44000 Nantes
FRANCE

Birth, Death, Burial Certificates

Birth Certificates

Available. (Acte de Naissance) Obtainable from the office of the Mayor (la Mairie) at the place of birth. There may be a fee for this service.

Death Certificates

Available. (Acte de Deces). Obtainable from the office of the Mayor of the place where the death occurred. There may be a fee for this service.

Marriage, Divorce Certificates

Marriage Certificates

Available. (Acte de Mariage). Obtainable from the office of the Mayor where the marriage took place. There may be a fee for this service.

Divorce Certificates

Available. (Certificat de Divorce). Obtainable from the office of the Mayor where the divorce occurred. There may be a fee for this service.

Note: Civil Records (Extraits d'Actes d'Etat - Civil), which include certificates of Birth, Marriage, Death and Divorce, may be obtained by French who were born in the Congo. French born in the Congo before independence (August 15, 1960) should write to Ministere des Affaires Etrangeres, Etat-Civil, Falles Branxos, Nannies, France. French born in the Congo after independence should write to the Consulat de France at Brazzaville or Pointe-Noire depending on the consular district in which the act took place.

Adoption Certificates

Please check back for update.

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Identity Card

Please check back for update.

Police, Court, Prison Records

Police Records

Available. A judicial record (Casier Judiciaire) may be obtained by writing to the Clerk of the Court (Greffier du Tribunal) at the Tribunal de Premiere Instance at Brazzaville. There may be a fee for this service.

Prison Records

Available. Prison records are included in the judicial record (Casier Judiciaire).

Military Records

Available. A military record is available to those Congolese who have served in either the Congolese Army or the Gendarmerie. These records may be obtained by writing to the Bureau de l'Armee Nationale Congolaise or the Bureau de la Gendarmerie Nationale Congolaise. The offices of these units are in Brazzaville.

Passports & Other Travel Documents

Please check back for update.

Other Records

Not applicable.

Visa Issuing Posts

Note: Nonimmigrant visa services resumed at Embassy Brazzaville in February 2009. Immigrant visa services are available since July 2009.

Brazzaville, Congo (Embassy)

Street Address: Boulevard Denis Sassou Nguesso (In Front of Blanche Gomez Hospital)
Main Embassy Telephone: (242) 06 612 2000
Email Inquiries: BrazzavilleNIV@state.gov

Visa Services

All visa categories for all of the Republic of the Congo. Brazzaville also processes nonimmigrant visa applications for nationals of the Central African Republic.

Foreign Consular Office Contact Information

Washington, DC (202) 726-5500 (202) 726-1860

Assistance for U.S. Citizens

U.S. Embassy Brazzaville
Boulevard Denis Sassou
Nguesso
Brazzaville
Republic of the Congo
Telephone
+242 06 612 2000 (Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.)
Emergency
+242 06 612 2010
Fax
No Fax
Republic of the Congo Country Map

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Additional Information for Reciprocity

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.