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International Travel

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Country Information

Cameroon

Country Information

Cameroon
Republic of Cameroon
Last Updated: December 14, 2017

The State Department warns U.S. citizens to avoid all travel to the North and Far North Regions and parts of the East and Adamawa Regions of Cameroon due to terrorist threats and the risk of violent crime. The U.S. Embassy’s ability to provide consular service

The State Department warns U.S. citizens to avoid all travel to the North and Far North Regions and parts of the East and Adamawa Regions of Cameroon due to terrorist threats and the risk of violent crime. The U.S. Embassy’s ability to provide consular services in remote and rural areas of Cameroon is extremely limited. This replaces the Travel Warning dated March 23, 2017.

The Boko Haram terrorist group has actively targeted foreign residents, tourists, and government leaders in the North and Far North Regions. Thirty-seven foreigners have been reported kidnapped since 2013.  Since July 2015, the group has carried out dozens of suicide bombings in the North and Far North Regions, including the city of Maroua. The U.S. Embassy restricts U.S. official personnel travel to the North, Far North, and East Regions of Cameroon, as well as any travel to the north or east of Ngaoundere in the Adamawa Region.

U.S. citizens should exercise extreme caution if traveling within 60 miles of the border with Nigeria’s Adamawa State in the North and Adamawa Regions of Cameroon, the border area with Chad, and the border areas with the Central African Republic (CAR) due to violence, criminal activity, and military operations that sometimes cross into Cameroon.

There are Travel Warnings for neighboring Nigeria, Chad, and CAR.

There has been periodic unrest in the Northwest and Southwest Regions since November 2016. U.S. citizens should exercise caution when travelling to these regions, and avoid demonstrations anywhere in the country. Monitor the Embassy’s Security Messages for updates on protests and communication restrictions in these regions. Disruptions in communication services may limit the U.S. Embassy’s ability to provide consular or emergency services in these regions.

For further information:

... [READ MORE]
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Embassy Messages
Quick Facts
PASSPORT VALIDITY:


Six months

BLANK PASSPORT PAGES:


One page per stamp 

TOURIST VISA REQUIRED:


Yes

VACCINATIONS:


Yellow fever

CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR ENTRY:


None

CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR EXIT:


While there are no official restrictions, travelers are required to make a declaration when they are exiting with XAF 3,000,000 or more.

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Embassies and Consulates

U.S. Embassy Yaounde

Avenue Rosa Parks
(in the Mbankolo Quartier, adjacent to the Mount Febe Golf Club)
P.O. Box 817
Yaounde, Cameroon

Telephone: +(237) 22220-1500 Monday through Thursday, 7:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(237) 22220-1500

Fax: +(237) 22220-1572

YaoundeACS@state.gov

CONSULATES

Embassy Branch Office, Douala, Cameroon
Corner of Rue Ivy and Rue French, Ecobank Building, Bonanjo
Douala, Cameroon

Telephone: +(237) 23342-5331 or+ (237) 23342-0303 Monday through Thursday, 7:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(237) 23342-5331 or +(237) 23342-0303

Fax: +(237) 23342-7790

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Destination Description

See the Department of State Fact Sheet on Cameroon for information on U.S. – Cameroon relations. 

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Entry, Exit and Visa Requirements

Requirements for Entry:    

  • Passport
  • Visa
  • Current immunization records, including evidence of yellow fever vaccination are required for entry into Cameroon.
  • World Health Organization (WHO) card with yellow fever vaccination.
  • Proof of polio vaccination for visits longer than four weeks.

Visas: Obtain your visa before traveling. Visit the Cameroon Embassy website for the most current visa information. Overseas inquiries should be made at the nearest Cameroon Embassy or Consulate.

Dual Nationality: Cameroon does not recognize dual nationality. U.S. citizens should always present themselves as U.S. citizens to Cameroon authorities. U.S. citizens must always enter and exit Cameroon on a U.S. passport with a valid Cameroonian visa otherwise they are liable to be denied entry or detained. Furthermore, presenting oneself as a Cameroonian citizen may impede our ability to provide consular services.

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

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

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Safety and Security

See the Department of State’s Travel Warning for Cameroon.

The terrorist organization Boko Haram is active in northern Cameroon. There have been suicide bomb attacks in public places in urban areas resulting in numerous deaths and injuries. Attacks are indiscriminate, and have impacted places frequented by foreigners. Refrain from travel outside of city limits after dark, and be cautious when in places of worship, markets, hotels, parks, and sporting venues. Terrorist attacks are most common outside major towns, especially in the regions bordering Nigeria and Chad. Terrorists regularly cross the border to carry out attacks in Cameroon’s Far North, North and Adamawa regions.

Violent criminal attacks are common in the regions bordering the Central African Republic (CAR). Embassy personnel are restricted from traveling to the North, Far North, and East Regions of Cameroon, as well as north or east of Ngaoundere in the Adamawa Region.

Far North Region and Mayo-Louti: Avoid all travel to the Far North Region, which includes the cities of Maroua and the Lake Chad region. Terrorists affiliated with Nigeria-based Boko Haram have kidnapped foreigners and conducted suicide bombings. You may encounter fighting between Cameroonian security forces and Boko Haram or ISIS-WA. Armed robbery is also a threat.

Bakassi Peninsula: Cameroon's military authorities restrict access to the Bakassi Peninsula. U.S. citizens should avoid this area.

The North and Adamawa Regions, and borders with Nigeria, Chad, and CAR: Avoid these border areas due to the extreme terrorist threat, risk of kidnapping, and armed robbery, including assaults and carjackings.

Travel Warnings are in effect for neighboring countries NigeriaChad, and CAR. Escalating military operations against Boko Haram and ISIS-WA by security forces in neighboring countries have adversely affected security in the border regions of Cameroon. As a result, there have also been movements of large numbers of people into and across parts of northern Cameroon, including internally displaced persons and refugees from Nigeria. Conflict in CAR periodically spills over the border. U.S. government travel is reviewed on a case-by-case basis, and requires adequate security support.

Humanitarian and religious workers in eastern Cameroon should coordinate efforts with the Embassy and the Office of the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) in Yaounde.

Gulf of Guinea/Coastal Areas: Piracy and kidnappings by rebel groups remain a threat. See the Live Piracy Report published by the International Maritime Bureau.

Safety Precautions:

  • Avoid demonstrations and public gatherings in Cameroon. Even events intended to be peaceful can become violent and turn deadly.
  • Monitor consular messages and local and international news from reliable sources. 

Roadblocks: Security forces stop motorists on the pretext of minor or non-existent violations to conduct vehicle searches and check passengers for identity papers. They may also extort bribes. We advise you not to pay bribes, and to ask the police officer to provide a citation to be paid at the local court.

To protect yourself:

  • Drive with doors locked and windows closed at all times.
  • Do not permit soldiers or police officers to enter your vehicle, and do not get into the vehicle of anyone purporting to be a security official.
  • Remain inside your vehicle with doors locked and open the window slightly to communicate.
  • Carry color photocopies of your passport and other identity documents to give to security or police officials.
  • Remain courteous and calm and, if threatened, do not resist.
  • Report any incident to the U.S. Embassy in Yaounde.

Crime: Foreigners in Cameroon have been victims of all types of crime: murder, sexual assault, kidnapping, carjacking, burglary, theft, armed robbery, and home invasion. These crimes are often violent. The risk of street and residential crime is high.

Transport Crimes: U.S. Embassy personnel are prohibited from using taxis. Violent assaults on taxi passengers are common. Petty theft is prevalent and occurs on trains, buses, and taxis.

The Hilton and Mont Febe hotels offer a shuttle service from Yaounde-Nsimalen Airport to downtown Yaounde. You should use this service or retain the services of a reputable private transport company.

  • Be vigilant, particularly on public transportation.
  • Avoid walking alone, especially after dark, and displaying cash and valuable personal property.

Financial crimes: Visitors and residents are often targets of scammers. Financial, commercial, and internet dealings may be scams; many victims pay large amounts of money before they suspect anything.

  • Do not share your personal financial or account information.
  • Complete financial transactions with trusted partners only, insist on written contracts, and avoid informal agreements. The U.S. Embassy cannot intervene in private legal matters.
  • Remain vigilant in business dealings - corruption is a pervasive problem throughout the country.

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

Victims of Crime:

U.S. citizen victims of sexual assault should first contact the U.S. Embassy.

Report crimes to the local police by calling 117 and elsewhere in the country and contact the U.S. Embassy at + (237) 22220-1500. Dial +237 22222-2525 in Yaounde or dial 112 in major cities to contact ambulance services. If you have been a victim of sexual assault or rape, consider contacting a medical provider for HIV post-exposure prophylaxis.

Remember that local authorities are responsible for investigating and prosecuting 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 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

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

For Further Information:

  • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security messages and make it easier to locate you in an emergency. 
  • Call 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or 1-202-501-4444 from other countries from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).
  • See Worldwide Caution, Travel Warnings, and Travel Alerts.
  • Follow us on Twitter and Facebook
  • See traveling safely abroad for travel tips.
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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, travel permit, or Cameroonian driver’s license. Convictions for possessing, using, or trafficking in illegal drugs, can be severe.

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

Photography: It is illegal to take pictures of government buildings, military installations, and other public facilities, many of which are unmarked. You could be fined, have your photographic equipment confiscated, or be detained or arrested. Do not take photos of Cameroonians without their permission.

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.

Phone Service: Cellular phones are the norm, as other telephone service is unreliable and landlines are nearly non-existent. It may be possible to purchase a SIM card locally and use a U.S.-compatible cell phone.

Currency: The Central African franc (XAF) is the official currency of Cameroon, but U.S. dollars and Euros are accepted in urban areas. It is primarily a cash economy. Due to the potential for fraud and other criminal activity, avoid using credit cards and be cautious when using ATMs. Exchange currency only at reputable banks. Money transfer services are found throughout the country.

Customs: Strict import and export regulations, particularly with regard to pharmaceuticals and wood products, are enforced. It is illegal to buy, sell, kill, or capture any protected wild animal or trade its parts without a license, including ivory. Cameroon is a signatory to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species. You will be prosecuted and could receive a prison sentence or a fine if you buy or traffic in these goods.

Wild Animal Parks: Heed all instructions given by guides or trackers. Use common sense and maintain a safe distance when approaching wildlife. Even in the most serene settings, wild animals pose a lethal threat. There have been reports of armed poachers.

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

LGBTI Travelers: Consensual same-sex sexual activity is illegal and punishable by a prison sentence of six months to five years and a fine ranging from 20,000 to 200,000 CFA francs ($35-$353). Homophobia is a major concern and LGBTI individuals face social stigmatization, harassment, and discrimination. Police and civilians may extort money from presumed LGBTI individuals with the threat of exposure. Suspected members of the LGBTI community have received anonymous threats by phone, text, and email.

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

Travelers Who Require Accessibility Assistance: Persons with disabilities face limited access to transportation, public buildings, hotels, and communication accommodations. There are few sidewalks and no curb-cuts, and most buildings lack elevators.

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

Women Travelers: See our travel tips for Women Travelers.

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Health

Consult the CDC website for Cameroon prior to travel. Also consult with a knowledgeable travel medicine clinician at least a month before travel. Taking malaria prophylaxis is advisable as this is a high risk malaria zone. Malaria is a serious, mosquito borne infection that can cause death. Prevention medication generally is started before arriving in Cameroon and continued for a period of time after departing the malaria zone.

Yellow Fever: Proof of Yellow Fever vaccination is required for entry and exitThe vaccine date on the yellow vaccination record card must be at least 10 days old before arrival in the country.

Travelers’ diarrhea is a common problem; please consult your travel medicine clinician for advice on prevention and for prescription medicine to treat diarrhea, which you should carry with you.

Medical facilities in Cameroon do not approach the U.S. standard. Services may be nonexistent in many rural areas. Emergency care and hospitalization are hampered by the lack of trained specialists, outdated diagnostic equipment, and poor sanitation. The scarcity is more severe in rural areas. Some medicines are in short supply. Carry prescription medication in original packaging, along with your doctor’s prescription. Non-French speakers will be hampered by a language barrier in many areas.

We do not pay medical bills. Be aware that U.S. Medicare does not apply overseas. Care providers expect payment in local currency in full before treatment is performed.

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

We strongly recommend supplemental insurance to cover medical evacuation.

If traveling with prescription medication, check with the government of Cameroon to ensure the medication is legal in Cameroon. Always, carry your prescription in original packaging with 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:

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Travel and Transportation

Road Conditions and Safety: Cameroon's roads networks are poorly maintained and not well lit. During the rainy season from April to November many roads are not passable even with four-wheel-drive vehicles. Traffic safety is hazardous due to lack of traffic signs, poorly trained/disciplined drivers, inadequately maintained vehicles, and indifference among many drivers toward the safety of pedestrians and cyclists. Other driving risks include excessive speed, erratic driving habits, lack of vehicle maintenance, and pedestrians, wildlife, and livestock.

Outside of major cities, travel with extra fuel, food, and water, as well as a reliable means of communication, such as a satellite phone or radio, as mobile phone coverage is limited. Professional roadside assistance service is not available.  

Traffic Laws: You are able to drive in Cameroon with your state driver’s license for up to three months.

Accidents: Accidental Injury due to hazardous road conditions is a major threat to health and safety. In the event of an automobile accident, remain inside the vehicle and wait for police. Although it is illegal to move your vehicle before the police arrive, if a hostile mob forms or you feel your safety is in danger, leave the scene and proceed directly to the nearest police station to report the incident. Do not stop at the scene of an accident or at intersections where people have gathered, as mobs can develop quickly.

Public Transportation: Avoid all travel by public transportation, and hire private transport from a reliable source. Any form of public transportation is unregulated, unreliable, and generally unsafe. Mini-buses, buses, trains, and ferries are in poor mechanical condition and are often filled well beyond their intended capacity. Make sure any car you hire is adequately insured, preferably by written confirmation from the insurance company (rather than the car hire firm). If you are hiring a driver and car, make sure you are not liable for any accident or damage.

See our Road Safety page for more information. 

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

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 Yaounde

Avenue Rosa Parks
(in the Mbankolo Quartier, adjacent to the Mount Febe Golf Club)
P.O. Box 817
Yaounde, Cameroon

Telephone: +(237) 22220-1500 Monday through Thursday, 7:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(237) 22220-1500

Fax: +(237) 22220-1572

YaoundeACS@state.gov

CONSULATES

Embassy Branch Office, Douala, Cameroon
Corner of Rue Ivy and Rue French, Ecobank Building, Bonanjo
Douala, Cameroon

Telephone: +(237) 23342-5331 or+ (237) 23342-0303 Monday through Thursday, 7:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(237) 23342-5331 or +(237) 23342-0303

Fax: +(237) 23342-7790

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General Information

For information concerning travel to Cameroon, 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 Cameroon. 

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

Cameroon 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 Cameroon 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 Cameroon 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

Parental child abduction is not a specific crime in Cameroon. 

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.

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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 Cameroon 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 Cameroon 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 Cameroon are authorized to provide legal advice.

The U.S. Embassy in Yaoundé, Cameroon maintains a list of attorneys, including those who specialize in family law, which is available on the U.S. Embassy’s website.

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.

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Mediation

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

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?
Is this country a U.S. Hague Partner?
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Hague Convention Information

Cameroon is not party to the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption (Hague Adoption Convention). Therefore, when the Hague Adoption Convention entered into force for the United States on April 1, 2008, intercountry adoption processing for Cameroon did not change.

Fraud Warning: Recently many Americans have become victims of Cameroonian scam artists offering adoption services through the Internet. Americans should be very cautious about sending money or traveling to Cameroon to adopt a child from an orphanage they have only heard about through e-mails. Prospective adoptive parents MUST travel to Cameroon and participate in person in the legal procedures that govern Cameroonian adoptions. In order to protect themselves and the children from the possibility of fraud or other serious problems, prospective adoptive parents are advised to consider first the list of accredited orphanages available at the Ministry of Social Affairs. Should prospective adoptive parents wish to hire a Cameroonian attorney to assist with the adoption, they can obtain a list of attorneys from the U.S. Embassy in Yaounde.

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Who Can Adopt

To bring an adopted child to United States from Cameroon, you must be found eligible to adopt by the U.S. government. The U.S. government agency responsible for making this determination is the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Learn more.

In addition to these U.S. requirements for adoptive parents, Cameroon also has the following requirements for adoptive parents:

  • RESIDENCY REQUIREMENTS: The prospective adoptive parents must have the child in their care and custody for at least three consecutive months before the High Court will consider issuing an adoption decree.
  • AGE REQUIREMENTS: At least one adoptive parent in the couple must be older than 40 years of age. If neither parent meets the age requirement, at least one must be at least 35 years old and they must have been married for a minimum of 10 years. If neither of these requirements can be met, the couple can submit a medical certificate confirming their infertility in order to have the age requirement waived. The couple should bring a medical certificate from a U.S. or local doctor.
  • MARRIAGE REQUIREMENTS: Adoptive parents must be married . Single people can adopt - with certain restrictions on age. As homosexuality is illegal in Cameroon, gay or lesbian marriages are not recognized.
  • INCOME REQUIREMENTS: The couple must provide evidence of financial capacity to support the adopted child. This evidence can be proven with a report of a home study from the U.S. along with bank statements, evidence of assets, pay slips, etc.
  • OTHER REQUIREMENTS: Both parties in a couple must be in agreement over the adoption. One spouse may not adopt without the other's consent.

    PAPs must submit a medical certificate from either a U.S. or local doctor showing that they are medically fit.

    Evidence of consent of the birth parent(s) (if they are alive). The consent must be witnessed either in court, by a diplomatic consulate or by a public notary.

    Evidence of the consent of the adoptee if s/he is 16 or older. The consent must be witnessed either in court, by a diplomatic consulate or by a public notary.

    Prospective adoptive parents must come to Cameroon for an extended period of time and participate (in person) in the elaborate legal procedures

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Who Can Be Adopted

Cameroon has specific requirements that a child must meet in order to be eligible for adoption. You cannot adopt a child in Cameroon unless he or she meets the requirements outlined below.

In addition to these requirements, a child must meet the definition of an orphan under U.S. law for you to bring him or her immediately to the United States. Learn more about these U.S. requirements.

ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS:

  • Adopted individuals cannot have children of their own at the time of the adoption, nor have any legal descendants.
  • Adopted individuals may not marry their adoptive parents or siblings.
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How to Adopt

CAMEROON'S ADOPTION AUTHORITY

Ministry of Social Affairs and the High Court (Tribunal de Grande Instance) having jurisdiction over the place of residence of the child to be adopted.

THE PROCESS

The process for adopting a child from Cameroon generally includes the following steps:

  1. Choose an Adoption Service Provider
  2. Apply to be Found Eligible to Adopt
  3. Be Matched with a Child
  4. Adopt the Child in Cameroon
  5. Apply for the Child to be Found Eligible for Adoption
  6. Bring Your Child Home
  1. Choose an Adoption Service Provider:
  2. The first step in adopting a child is usually to select a licensed agency in the United States that can help with your adoption. Adoption service providers must be licensed by the U.S. state in which they operate. Learn more about choosing the right adoption service provider.

    Cameroon does not have adoption agencies. In general, any orphanage may release an orphan for adoption. However, in order to help protect themselves and the children from the possibility of fraud or other serious problems, prospective adoptive parents are advised to consider the list of accredited orphanages available at the Ministry of Social Affairs. Parents wishing to hire a Cameroonian attorney to assist with the adoption can obtain a list of attorneys from the U.S. Embassy in Yaounde. Due to repeated scams involving the impersonation of legitimate lawyers or law offices, the Embassy has removed this information from its website. This information can be obtained by e-mailing the American Citizen Services Unit at YaoundeACS@state.gov.

  3. Apply to be Found Eligible to Adopt:
  4. To bring an adopted child from Cameroon to the United States, you must apply to be found eligible to adopt (Form I-600A) by the U.S. Government, Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Learn how.

    In addition to meeting the U.S. requirements for adoptive parents, you need to meet the requirements of Cameroon as described in the Who Can Adopt section.

  5. Be Matched with a Child:

    If you are eligible to adopt, and a child is available for intercountry adoption, the central adoption authority in Cameroon will provide you with a referral to a child. Each family must decide for itself whether or not it will be able to meet the needs of a particular child and provide a permanent family placement for the referred child.

    The child must be eligible to be adopted according to Cameroon's requirements, as described in the Who Can be Adopted section. The child must also meet the definition of an orphan under U.S. law. Learn more.

    A social worker will be assigned to follow up the case and assist the prospective adoptive parents with identifying a child for adoption and monitoring the family during the foster care period. The local lawyer, if hired by the prospective adoptive parents, must also be involved in the process. The social worker's final report determines whether prospective adoptive parents can proceed with the case to the High Court.

    The adoptive parents may choose either to be present or to be represented by a lawyer during the hearing at the High Court.

  6. Adopt the Child (or Gain Legal Custody) in Cameroon:
    • That every person whose consent is necessary has consented to and understands the nature and effect of the adoption. Such consent is irrevocable and permanently servers all legal ties between the biological parents and the child.
    • That the child's welfare will be improved by the adoption. Parents must provide proof of what they can provide for the child in a way that other cannot.
    • That no payment or reward has been the reason for the adoption.
    • That the prospective adoptive parent is healthy.
    • ROLE OF THE COURT: The High Court will consent to the adoption and issue a final adoption decree.
    • ROLE OF ADOPTION AGENCIES: Cameroon does not have adoption agencies.
    • TIME FRAME: Prospective adoptive parents should expect that a minimum of three months will pass between the date they submit their adoption application to the Ministry of Social Affairs and the date the High Court's Public Prosecutor completes his/her review of the file. Only when the review is completed will a hearing date be scheduled. In addition, a Cameroonian adoption is likely to be affected by administrative and judicial delays, insufficient or misplace paperwork, and other factors. Most parents have found that hiring a local attorney to monitor the case and keep pressure on the High Court has been crucial in expediting its processing. Once all of the Cameroonian procedures have been completed and an adoption decree has been issued, the U.S. Embassy requires a minimum of two weeks to complete the immigrant visa process and may need longer depending on the specific circumstances. This includes the mandatory I-604 orphan investigation to verify a child qualifies as an orphan.
    • ADOPTION FEES: There are moderate court fees involved in the adoption, but legal fees for correct and complete adoptions typically run to several thousand USD.
    • DOCUMENTS REQUIRED: The following documents are required for adoption in Cameroon:
      • Application bearing a 1000 FCFA (approximately $2 USD) fiscal stamp, addressed to the President of the High Court
      • Certified copy of the child's Cameroonian birth certificate
      • Biographic information of the biological parents of the child to be adopted
      • Biographic information of the adoptive parents
      • If applicable, a notarized deed of agreement from surviving biological parents, or the orphanage director having custody over the child and prospective adoptive parents; This deed expressly states that the child is released irrevocable for adoption
      • Report of the home study (U.S. Home Study is acceptable)
      • Evidence of finances and income
      • Legal authorization from the biological parents, if applicable
      • Notarized affidavit of support of the child from the adoptive parents
      • Deposit of 3,000 CFA Francs (approximately $6 USD) made at the court registry
      • A separate, non-refundable deposit of 78,000 CFA Francs (approximately $160 USD) made at the court registry
      • Written application
      • Certified copy of the child's birth certificate
      • Certified copy of the adoptive parents' identification
      • Prison/court record clearance
      • Adoptive parents' proof of residency; For married parents who do not meet the age requirements, they must bring a medical certificate attesting their infertility
      • Medical certificate for the adoptive parents, attesting that they are medically fit
      • Report of the social home study
  7. Under Cameroonian law, the High Court must determine that the following four criteria have been met before it can issue an adoption decree.

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

    NOTE : Additional documents may be requested. If you are asked to provide proof that a document from the United States is authentic, we can help. Learn how.

  8. Apply For The Child to be Found Eligible for Orphan Status:
  9. After you finalize the adoption (or gain legal custody) in Cameroon, the U.S Government, Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) MUST determine whether the child Qualifies as an orphan as defined by U.S. immigration law.

  10. Bring Your Child Home:
    • Birth Certificate 
      You will first need to apply for a new birth certificate for your child, so that you can later apply for a passport. Your name will be added to the new birth certificate. 

      Once the High Court consents to the adoption and issues a final decree, the American parents must obtain a new Cameroonian birth certificate, reflecting any name change. Post-adoption birth certificates are issued by the Civil Status Registry Center.
    • Cameroon Passport 
      Your child is not yet a U.S. citizen, so he/she will need a travel document or Passport from Cameroon. American parents must also obtain a new Cameroonian passport. The Cameroonian passport is issued by the immigration office in the district where the child lives. Each province has an immigration office that issues passports. The requirements for passports are several passport sized photographs, certified copies of the birth certificates, parents' consent, fess, and certified application form. The entire process can cost approximately 100,000 CFA Francs, approximately $200 USD.
    • U.S. Immigrant Visa 
      After the adoption (or custody for purpose of adoption) is granted and you have obtained a Cameroon passport for your child, you must visit the U.S. Embassy in Yaounde for your immigrant visa interview. The immigrant visa allows your child to travel home with you. Learn more.

      If an I-600A was previously filed and approved by USCIS in the United States and the Embassy has received a notification of the approval (Visas 37 cable), the adoptive parent(s) can file the I-600 at the Embassy after the adoption is final. To do this, the adoptive parents come to the Embassy any Wednesday or Thursday, at 2:00 p.m. to get the Immigrant Visa instruction packet. The Embassy will need a minimum of two weeks to conduct the field investigation to confirm the adopted child meets the definition of an orphan, as defined by U.S. immigration law, and that the appropriate Cameroonian adoption procedure was followed.

      Regarding the adoption procedure in Cameroon, please note that the U.S. Consulate will only accept final FULL/FULL adoption court judgment issued by the competent High Court having jurisdiction over the place of residence of the adoptee. Under no circumstance should a simple adoption be submitted during the processing of the immigrant visa. Therefore, the adoptive parent(s) should note the distinction between a simple adoption and a full adoption when applying to the High Court:

      Simple Adoption (same as in French) does not confer a full custody to the adoptive parents over the adoptee. In other words, the adopted child maintains the link with his/her natural parents, who could revoke their consent at any time, and demand the child back.

      Whereas a full adoption (adoption plénière in French) gives legal custody to adoptive parent(s), cuts the link with the natural family, and is irrevocable. For this reason, and because the U.S. Immigration law requires a full adoption for immigration purposes, ONLY a FULL adoption (adoption plénière) decree granted by the Cameroonian High Court of the adoptee's place of residence is accepted at the Consular section of the US Embassy in Yaounde, during immigrant visa processing. This document must be accompanied a notarized letter of irrevocable release of the child issued and signed by the surviving parent(s), before a local Commissioner of Oaths.

      If no I-600A was previously filed, then the Embassy does not have the authority to adjudicate an I-600. If resident in Cameroon, the adoptive parents can choose either to submit the I-600 to the Embassy, paying all fees with the Embassy cashier, and the Embassy will forward it on their behalf to the regional USCIS office in Accra, Ghana. The adoptive parents may also choose to go back to the U.S. without the child and file the I-600 domestically. Once the file is approved, it will be sent to the Embassy in Yaoundé for the final immigrant visa processing.

      The Consular Section of the Embassy is on Avenue Rosa Parks. It is open from Monday to Thursday from 7:30 a.m. until 5:00 p.m., and Fridays from 7:30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. The Consular Section is closed on U.S. and Cameroonian public holidays.

      Note: Visa issuance after the final interview generally takes a minimum of one week and often several weeks due to the need for document verification. . Adoptive parents are encouraged to submit documentation for review before travelling to expedite issuance - and should verify current processing times at the appropriate consulate or embassy before making final travel arrangements.
  11. Now that your adoption is complete (or you have obtained legal custody of the child), there are a few more steps to take before you can head home. Specifically, you need to apply for several documents for your child before he or she can travel to the United States:

CHILD CITIZENSHIP ACT

For adoptions finalized abroad: The Child Citizenship Act of 2000 allows your new child to acquire U.S. citizenship automatically when he or she enters the United States on an IR-3 immigrant visa for the purpose of permanent legal residence.

For adoptions finalized in the United States: The Child Citizenship Act of 2000 allows a child who enters the United States on an IR-4 or IH-4 visa to acquire U.S. citizenship automatically when the court in the United States issues the final adoption decree.

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

Learn more about the Child Citizenship Act.

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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. Only the U.S. Department of State has the authority to grant, issue, or verify United States passports.

Getting or renewing a passport is easy. The 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 YOUR VISA

In addition to a U.S. passport, you also need to obtain a visa. Where required, a visa is an official document issued by a foreign country that formally allows you to visit. Visas are attached to your passport and allow you to enter a foreign nation.

To find information about obtaining a visa for Cameroon, see the Department of State's Country Specific Information.

STAYING SAFE ON YOUR TRIP

Before you travel, it's always a good practice to investigate the local conditions, laws, political landscape, and culture of the country. The State Department is a good place to start.

The Department of State provides Country Specific Information for every country of the world about various issues, including the health conditions, crime, unusual currency or entry requirements, and any areas of instability.

STAYING IN TOUCH ON YOUR TRIP

When traveling during the adoption process, we encourage you to register your trip with the Department of State. Travel registration makes it possible to contact you if necessary. Whether there's a family emergency in the United States, or a crisis in Cameroon, registration assists the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in reaching you.

Registration is free and can be done online.

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After Adoption

What does Cameroon require of the adoptive parents after the adoption?

Cameroon does not require post-adoption reporting at this time.

What resources are available to assist families after the adoption?

Many adoptive parents find it important to find support after the adoption. Take advantage of all the resources available to your family -- whether it's another adoptive family, a support group, an advocacy organization, or your religious or community services.

Here are some good places to start your support group search:

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

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Contact Information

U.S. Embassy in Cameroon 
Avenue Rosa Parks
P.O. Box 817
Yaoundé, Cameroon
Tel: (237) 2220-15-00
YaoundeACS@state.gov

Cameroonian Adoption Authority 
Ministry of Social Affairs/High Court (Tribunal de Grande Instance)
SubDepartment of Child Protection situationed at
Meki Quarters
Sous Direction de la Sauvegarde de L'Enfant-SDSE
Tel: 2220-02-16

Embassy of the Republic of Cameroon
2349 Massachusetts Avenue, N.W
Washington, D.C. 20036
Tel: (202) 265-8790
Fax: (202) 387-3826
http://www.ambacam-usa.org/

Office of Children's issues
U.S. Department of State  
CA/OCS/CI  
SA-17, 9th Floor
Washington, DC 20522-1709
Tel: 1-888-407-4747
E-mail: AskCI@state.gov
http://adoption.state.gov

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) 
For questions about immigration procedures, call the National Customer Service Center (NCSC)

1-800-375-5283 (TTY 1-800-767-1833)

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  None Multiple 12 Months
B-1 $240.00 Multiple 12 Months
B-2 $240.00 Multiple 12 Months
B-1/B-2 $240.00 Multiple 12 Months
C-1 $60.00 Multiple 6 Months
C-1/D $60.00 Multiple 12 Months
C-2 $60.00 Multiple 3 Months
D $60.00 Multiple 12 Months
E-1 N/A N/A N/A
F-1 $60.00 Multiple 6 Months
F-2 $60.00 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 None Multiple 12 Months
H-1B $60.00 Multiple 6 Months
H-1B $240.00 Multiple 12 Months
H-1C $60.00 Multiple 6 Months
H-1C $240.00 Multiple 12 Months
H-3 $60.00 Multiple 6 Months
H-3 $240.00 Multiple 12 Months
H-4 $60.00 Multiple 6 Months
H-4 $240.00 Multiple 12 Months
I $240.00 Multiple 12 Months
J-1 $60.00 Multiple 6 Months
J-1 $240.00 Multiple 12 Months
J-2 $60.00 Multiple 6 Months
J-2 $240.00 Multiple 12 Months
K-1 None One 6 Months
K-2 None One 6 Months
L-1 $60.00 Multiple 6 Months
L-1 $240.00 Multiple 12 Months
L-2 $60.00 Multiple 6 Months
L-2 $240.00 Multiple 12 Months
NATO 1-7 N/A N/A N/A
0-1 $60.00 Multiple 6 Months
0-1 $240.00 Multiple 12 Months
0-2 $60.00 Multiple 6 Months
0-2 $240.00 Multiple 12 Months
0-3 $60.00 Multiple 6 Months
0-3 $240.00 Multiple 12 Months
P-1 $60.00 Multiple 6 Months
P-1 $240.00 Multiple 12 Months
P-2 $60.00 Multiple 6 Months
P-2 $240.00 Multiple 12 Months
P-3 $60.00 Multiple 6 Months
P-3 $240.00 Multiple 12 Months
Q-1 $60.00 Multiple 6 Months
Q-1  $240.00 Multiple 12 Months
R-1/R-2 $60.00 Multiple 6 Months
R-1/R-2 None Multiple 12 Months
S-5       
S-6       
S-7       
T-1 N/A N/A N/A
TD      
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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

Please check back for update.

 

Birth, Death, Burial Certificates

Birth Certificates

 

Available/Unavailable:  Available

Fees: Yes

Document Name:   Birth Certificate /  Acte de Naissance

Issuing Authority:   Civil Status Registration Centre / Centre D’Etat Civil

Special Seal(s) / Color / Format:  N/A

Issuing Authority Personnel Title:  Civil Status Registrar / Officier D’etat Civil 

Registration Criteria:  N/A

Procedure for Obtaining:

Birth certificates (Actes de Naissance) are issued by the Council (la Mairie or Commune) or Secondary Civil Status Center (Centre Secondaire d’Etat Civil) at the child's place of birth. If application is made within three months of birth, Civil Status officials rely on the hospital birth record to issue a birth certificate. After 3 months, they require a Declaratory Judgment of Birth from the High Court (Tribunal de Grande Instance) of the area of birth of the child. Adoption, recognition and legitimation of the child are annotated at the back of the birth certificate by the Civil Status official. If the father’s name is left blank on the birth certificate, the child was not recognized by the father. There may be a fee for this service. Court declarations used in the re-issuance process of missing/lost/destroyed birth certificates can only be issued by the High Court (Tribunal de Grand Instance).

Certified Copies Available: Yes

Alternate Documents:  N/A

Exceptions: N/A

Comments:  N/A

 

Death Certificates

 

Available/Unavailable: Available

Fees: Yes

Document Name: Death Certificate / Acte de Deces

Issuing Authority:  Civil Status Registration Centre / Centre D’Etat Civil

Special Seal(s) / Color / Format: N/A

Issuing Authority Personnel Title: Civil Status Registrar / Officier D’etat civil  

Registration Criteria: N/A

Procedure for Obtaining:

Death certificates (Actes de Décès) are issued by the Council (la Mairie or Commune) or Secondary Civil Status Center (Centre Secondaire d’Etat Civil) at the place of death of deceased. To issue a death certificate within three months of death, Civil Status officials rely on the hospital death record. After three months officials require a declaratory Judgment of Death from the High Court (Tribunal de Grande Instance) of the place of death of the individual. There may be a fee for this service.

Certified Copies Available: Yes

Alternate Documents: N/A

Exceptions: N/A

Comments: N/A

Marriage, Divorce Certificates

Marriage Certificates

 

Available/Unavailable:  Available

Fees:  Yes

Document Name:  Marriage Certificate / Acte de Mariage

Issuing Authority: Civil Status Registration Centre / Centre D’Etat Civil

Special Seal(s) / Color / Format: N/A

Issuing Authority Personnel Title: Civil Status Registrar / Officier D’etat Civil   

Registration Criteria: N/A

Procedure for Obtaining:

Marriage Certificates (Actes de Mariage) are issued by the Council (la Mairie or Commune) or Secondary Civil Status Center (Centre Secondaire d’Etat Civil) of the town where the marriage took place (place of residence or place of birth of one of the spouses), usually within one month after the publication of intent to marry. A couple may seek a waiver from the State Counsel (Procureur) of their area to celebrate their marriage without having to wait for the one month period after the publication. A marriage certificate must carry a photograph of the couple together and must be signed by their witnesses, the civil status secretary and the Civil Status Registrar. There may be a fee for this service

Certified Copies Available: Yes

Alternate Documents: N/A        

Exceptions:  N/A

Comments: N/A

 

Divorce Certificates

 

Available/Unavailable: Available

Fees: Yes

Document Name: Divorce Decree/  Jugement de Divorce

Issuing Authority: High Court/ Tribunal de Grande Instance

Special Seal(s) / Color / Format: N/A

Issuing Authority Personnel Title: Registrar-in-Chief / Greffier en Chef

Registration Criteria: N/A

Procedure for Obtaining:

Divorce decrees (Jugement de Divorce) are issued by the High Court (Tribunal de Grande Instance) and must be signed by the presiding Judge and the Registrar-in-chief (Greffier en Chef) (even if another Registrar was in attendance) at the place where the divorce was granted. Under the Anglophone system, only the High Court has jurisdiction over divorce. Under the Francophone system, both the Tribunals de Grande Instance and Premiere Instance have jurisdiction over divorce, so divorce decrees from either of these courts are valid under Cameroon law. The Divorce Petition must state the reasons for requesting divorce. Divorce cases can take a while (sometimes years) to result in a final judgment, especially where the couple have children. The services of a lawyer are recommended. There are fees for the Court and the lawyer’s services

Certified Copies Available:  Yes

Alternate Documents:  N/A

Exceptions: N/A

Comments: N/A

Adoption Certificates

 

Available/Unavailable:  Available

Fees: Yes

Document Name:  Adoption Decree/  Adoption Pleniere

Issuing Authority: High Court/ Tribunal de Grande Instance

Special Seal(s) / Color / Format: N/A

Issuing Authority Personnel Title: Registrar-in-Chief / Greffier en Chef

Registration Criteria: N/A

Procedure for Obtaining:

An adoption decree (Adoption Pleniere) is issued exclusively by the High Court (Tribunal de Grande Instance) and must be signed by the presiding Judge and the Registrar-in-chief (Greffier en Chef) preferably at the place where the decree is issued. All other courts, such as the Court of First Instance (Tribunal de Premiere Instance), customary court and the Tribunal de Premier Degre  have no jurisdiction over adoption matters and any adoptions approved by these courts will not be considered valid adoptions for U.S. immigration law purposes. The application for adoption must include the consent of the biological parents or legal guardian, social welfare studies demonstrating that the welfare of the adopted child is best guaranteed by approving the adoption, the health and financial situation of the adoptive parents, the child’s birth certificate and the reasons for adopting the child. The services of a lawyer are recommended. There are fees for the court and the lawyer’s services.

Certified Copies Available: Yes

Alternate Documents: N/A

Exceptions: N/A

Comments: N/A

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Identity Card

National ID Cards

 

Available/Unavailable: Available

Fees: Yes

Document Name:  National Identity Card/ Carte Nationale D’Identité

Issuing Authority: Delegate General for National Security / Delegue Generale a la Sureté Nationale(DGSN)

Special Seal(s) / Color / Format: N/A

Issuing Authority Personnel Title: Delegate General for National Security / Delegue Generale a la Sureté  Nationale

Registration Criteria: N/A

Procedure for Obtaining: Generally applicant submits an application with a certified copy of birth certificate to authorities of any issuing Police Station.

Certified Copies Available: N/A

Alternate Documents: N/A

Exceptions: Generally minors are not expected to have National Identity Cards.

Comments:

Police, Court, Prison Records

Court/Prison Records

 

Available/Unavailable: Available

Fees: Yes

Document Name:  Criminal Record / Casier Judicaire

Issuing Authority: Court of First Instance/ Tribunal de Premiere Instance

Special Seal(s) / Color / Format: N/A

Issuing Authority Personnel Title: The State Counsel / Le Procureur de la Republique

Registration Criteria: N/A

Procedure for Obtaining:

In Cameroon, the Certificate of Non-Conviction (Extrait du Casier Judicaire or Bulletin No. 3) reports on the police, court conviction and prison records of a person.  It must be signed by the State Counsel (Procureur) and the Registrar-in-Chief (Greffier en Chef) of the Court of First Instance (Tribunal de Premiere Instance) where the applicant was born. English-speaking Cameroonians and French- speaking Cameroonians from the three Northern Regions can obtain the Certificate of Non-Conviction in Yaounde. An individual can obtain the Certificate of Non-Conviction by presenting his/her National Identity Card or birth certificate at the office of the Registrar-in-Chief, in person or through a relative. There may be a fee for this service.

Foreigners resident in Cameroon for more than six months may obtain a Certificate of Non-Conviction (Casier Judiciaire) from the office of the Registrar-in-Chief (Greffier en Chef) at the Department of Criminal Affairs and Pardon, attached to the Court of First Instance (Tribunal de Premiere Instance) in Yaounde. This Certificate of Non-Conviction (Casier Judiciaire) can be obtained by presenting the following information: names, date and place of birth, nationality, passport number and issuance information, number and date of any Cameroon visas issued, number and date of issuance of the Resident Permit (Permis de Sejour), dates of residence and addresses while in the Cameroon. This can be done by the individual in person, or by a relative or friend. There is a fee for this service.

Certified Copies Available:  N/A

Alternate Documents: N/A

Exceptions: N/A

Comments: N/A

 

Police Certificates

 

Available/Unavailable: N/A

Fees: N/A

Document Name: N/A

Issuing Authority: N/A

Special Seal(s) / Color / Format: N/A

Issuing Authority Personnel Title: N/A

Registration Criteria: N/A

Procedure for Obtaining: N/A

Certified Copies Available: N/A

Alternate Documents: N/A

Exceptions: N/A

Comments: 

In Cameroon, the Certificate of Non-Conviction (Extrait du Casier Judicaire or Bulletin No. 3) reports on the police, court conviction and prison records of a person.  

Military Records

 

Available/Unavailable: Available

Fees: Yes

Document Name: Military Record/ Certificat de Position Militaire

Issuing Authority: Ministry of Defense

Special Seal(s) / Color / Format: N/A

Issuing Authority Personnel Title: N/A

Registration Criteria: N/A

Procedure for Obtaining:

A military record (Certificat de Position Militaire) of a Cameroonian who has served in the Gendarmerie or the Army is issued by the Human Resources Office of the Gendarmerie or the Ministry of Defense, depending on the service.

Certified Copies Available: N/A

Alternate Documents: N/A

Exceptions: N/A

Comments: N/A

Passports & Other Travel Documents

Travel Documents

 

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

Fees: Yes

Document Name:  Passport

Issuing Government Authority: Delegate General National Security/ Delegue General a la Sureté Nationale

Special Seal(s) / Color / Format: N/A

Issuing Authority Personnel Title: Delegate General National Security/ Delegue General a la Sureté Nationale

Registration Criteria: N/A

Procedure for Obtaining:

Generally applicants present themselves in person to the regional immigration authorities with birth certificate, fees and National ID card for adults.

Alternate Documents: N/A

Exceptions: N/A

Comments: N/A

Other Documents Available: N/A

Other Records

Enter text here.

Visa Issuing Posts

Enter text here.

Visa Services

Enter text here.

Foreign Consular Office Contact Information

Washington, DC (202) 285-8790 (202) 387-3826

Assistance for U.S. Citizens

U.S. Embassy Yaounde
Avenue Rosa Parks
(in the Mbankolo Quartier, adjacent to the Mount Febe Golf Club)
P.O. Box 817
Yaounde, Cameroon
Telephone
+(237) 22220-1500
Emergency
+(237) 22220-1500
Fax
+(237) 22220-1572
Cameroon Country Map

Learn about your destination
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.

Country Information

Cameroon
Republic of Cameroon
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Embassy Messages
Quick Facts
PASSPORT VALIDITY:


Six months

BLANK PASSPORT PAGES:


One page per stamp 

TOURIST VISA REQUIRED:


Yes

VACCINATIONS:


Yellow fever

CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR ENTRY:


None

CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR EXIT:


While there are no official restrictions, travelers are required to make a declaration when they are exiting with XAF 3,000,000 or more.

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Embassies and Consulates

U.S. Embassy Yaounde

Avenue Rosa Parks
(in the Mbankolo Quartier, adjacent to the Mount Febe Golf Club)
P.O. Box 817
Yaounde, Cameroon

Telephone: +(237) 22220-1500 Monday through Thursday, 7:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(237) 22220-1500

Fax: +(237) 22220-1572

YaoundeACS@state.gov

CONSULATES

Embassy Branch Office, Douala, Cameroon
Corner of Rue Ivy and Rue French, Ecobank Building, Bonanjo
Douala, Cameroon

Telephone: +(237) 23342-5331 or+ (237) 23342-0303 Monday through Thursday, 7:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(237) 23342-5331 or +(237) 23342-0303

Fax: +(237) 23342-7790

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Destination Description

See the Department of State Fact Sheet on Cameroon for information on U.S. – Cameroon relations. 

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Entry, Exit and Visa Requirements

Requirements for Entry:    

  • Passport
  • Visa
  • Current immunization records, including evidence of yellow fever vaccination are required for entry into Cameroon.
  • World Health Organization (WHO) card with yellow fever vaccination.
  • Proof of polio vaccination for visits longer than four weeks.

Visas: Obtain your visa before traveling. Visit the Cameroon Embassy website for the most current visa information. Overseas inquiries should be made at the nearest Cameroon Embassy or Consulate.

Dual Nationality: Cameroon does not recognize dual nationality. U.S. citizens should always present themselves as U.S. citizens to Cameroon authorities. U.S. citizens must always enter and exit Cameroon on a U.S. passport with a valid Cameroonian visa otherwise they are liable to be denied entry or detained. Furthermore, presenting oneself as a Cameroonian citizen may impede our ability to provide consular services.

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

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

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Safety and Security

See the Department of State’s Travel Warning for Cameroon.

The terrorist organization Boko Haram is active in northern Cameroon. There have been suicide bomb attacks in public places in urban areas resulting in numerous deaths and injuries. Attacks are indiscriminate, and have impacted places frequented by foreigners. Refrain from travel outside of city limits after dark, and be cautious when in places of worship, markets, hotels, parks, and sporting venues. Terrorist attacks are most common outside major towns, especially in the regions bordering Nigeria and Chad. Terrorists regularly cross the border to carry out attacks in Cameroon’s Far North, North and Adamawa regions.

Violent criminal attacks are common in the regions bordering the Central African Republic (CAR). Embassy personnel are restricted from traveling to the North, Far North, and East Regions of Cameroon, as well as north or east of Ngaoundere in the Adamawa Region.

Far North Region and Mayo-Louti: Avoid all travel to the Far North Region, which includes the cities of Maroua and the Lake Chad region. Terrorists affiliated with Nigeria-based Boko Haram have kidnapped foreigners and conducted suicide bombings. You may encounter fighting between Cameroonian security forces and Boko Haram or ISIS-WA. Armed robbery is also a threat.

Bakassi Peninsula: Cameroon's military authorities restrict access to the Bakassi Peninsula. U.S. citizens should avoid this area.

The North and Adamawa Regions, and borders with Nigeria, Chad, and CAR: Avoid these border areas due to the extreme terrorist threat, risk of kidnapping, and armed robbery, including assaults and carjackings.

Travel Warnings are in effect for neighboring countries NigeriaChad, and CAR. Escalating military operations against Boko Haram and ISIS-WA by security forces in neighboring countries have adversely affected security in the border regions of Cameroon. As a result, there have also been movements of large numbers of people into and across parts of northern Cameroon, including internally displaced persons and refugees from Nigeria. Conflict in CAR periodically spills over the border. U.S. government travel is reviewed on a case-by-case basis, and requires adequate security support.

Humanitarian and religious workers in eastern Cameroon should coordinate efforts with the Embassy and the Office of the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) in Yaounde.

Gulf of Guinea/Coastal Areas: Piracy and kidnappings by rebel groups remain a threat. See the Live Piracy Report published by the International Maritime Bureau.

Safety Precautions:

  • Avoid demonstrations and public gatherings in Cameroon. Even events intended to be peaceful can become violent and turn deadly.
  • Monitor consular messages and local and international news from reliable sources. 

Roadblocks: Security forces stop motorists on the pretext of minor or non-existent violations to conduct vehicle searches and check passengers for identity papers. They may also extort bribes. We advise you not to pay bribes, and to ask the police officer to provide a citation to be paid at the local court.

To protect yourself:

  • Drive with doors locked and windows closed at all times.
  • Do not permit soldiers or police officers to enter your vehicle, and do not get into the vehicle of anyone purporting to be a security official.
  • Remain inside your vehicle with doors locked and open the window slightly to communicate.
  • Carry color photocopies of your passport and other identity documents to give to security or police officials.
  • Remain courteous and calm and, if threatened, do not resist.
  • Report any incident to the U.S. Embassy in Yaounde.

Crime: Foreigners in Cameroon have been victims of all types of crime: murder, sexual assault, kidnapping, carjacking, burglary, theft, armed robbery, and home invasion. These crimes are often violent. The risk of street and residential crime is high.

Transport Crimes: U.S. Embassy personnel are prohibited from using taxis. Violent assaults on taxi passengers are common. Petty theft is prevalent and occurs on trains, buses, and taxis.

The Hilton and Mont Febe hotels offer a shuttle service from Yaounde-Nsimalen Airport to downtown Yaounde. You should use this service or retain the services of a reputable private transport company.

  • Be vigilant, particularly on public transportation.
  • Avoid walking alone, especially after dark, and displaying cash and valuable personal property.

Financial crimes: Visitors and residents are often targets of scammers. Financial, commercial, and internet dealings may be scams; many victims pay large amounts of money before they suspect anything.

  • Do not share your personal financial or account information.
  • Complete financial transactions with trusted partners only, insist on written contracts, and avoid informal agreements. The U.S. Embassy cannot intervene in private legal matters.
  • Remain vigilant in business dealings - corruption is a pervasive problem throughout the country.

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

Victims of Crime:

U.S. citizen victims of sexual assault should first contact the U.S. Embassy.

Report crimes to the local police by calling 117 and elsewhere in the country and contact the U.S. Embassy at + (237) 22220-1500. Dial +237 22222-2525 in Yaounde or dial 112 in major cities to contact ambulance services. If you have been a victim of sexual assault or rape, consider contacting a medical provider for HIV post-exposure prophylaxis.

Remember that local authorities are responsible for investigating and prosecuting 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 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

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

For Further Information:

  • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security messages and make it easier to locate you in an emergency. 
  • Call 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or 1-202-501-4444 from other countries from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).
  • See Worldwide Caution, Travel Warnings, and Travel Alerts.
  • Follow us on Twitter and Facebook
  • See traveling safely abroad for travel tips.
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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, travel permit, or Cameroonian driver’s license. Convictions for possessing, using, or trafficking in illegal drugs, can be severe.

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

Photography: It is illegal to take pictures of government buildings, military installations, and other public facilities, many of which are unmarked. You could be fined, have your photographic equipment confiscated, or be detained or arrested. Do not take photos of Cameroonians without their permission.

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.

Phone Service: Cellular phones are the norm, as other telephone service is unreliable and landlines are nearly non-existent. It may be possible to purchase a SIM card locally and use a U.S.-compatible cell phone.

Currency: The Central African franc (XAF) is the official currency of Cameroon, but U.S. dollars and Euros are accepted in urban areas. It is primarily a cash economy. Due to the potential for fraud and other criminal activity, avoid using credit cards and be cautious when using ATMs. Exchange currency only at reputable banks. Money transfer services are found throughout the country.

Customs: Strict import and export regulations, particularly with regard to pharmaceuticals and wood products, are enforced. It is illegal to buy, sell, kill, or capture any protected wild animal or trade its parts without a license, including ivory. Cameroon is a signatory to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species. You will be prosecuted and could receive a prison sentence or a fine if you buy or traffic in these goods.

Wild Animal Parks: Heed all instructions given by guides or trackers. Use common sense and maintain a safe distance when approaching wildlife. Even in the most serene settings, wild animals pose a lethal threat. There have been reports of armed poachers.

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

LGBTI Travelers: Consensual same-sex sexual activity is illegal and punishable by a prison sentence of six months to five years and a fine ranging from 20,000 to 200,000 CFA francs ($35-$353). Homophobia is a major concern and LGBTI individuals face social stigmatization, harassment, and discrimination. Police and civilians may extort money from presumed LGBTI individuals with the threat of exposure. Suspected members of the LGBTI community have received anonymous threats by phone, text, and email.

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

Travelers Who Require Accessibility Assistance: Persons with disabilities face limited access to transportation, public buildings, hotels, and communication accommodations. There are few sidewalks and no curb-cuts, and most buildings lack elevators.

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

Women Travelers: See our travel tips for Women Travelers.

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Health

Consult the CDC website for Cameroon prior to travel. Also consult with a knowledgeable travel medicine clinician at least a month before travel. Taking malaria prophylaxis is advisable as this is a high risk malaria zone. Malaria is a serious, mosquito borne infection that can cause death. Prevention medication generally is started before arriving in Cameroon and continued for a period of time after departing the malaria zone.

Yellow Fever: Proof of Yellow Fever vaccination is required for entry and exitThe vaccine date on the yellow vaccination record card must be at least 10 days old before arrival in the country.

Travelers’ diarrhea is a common problem; please consult your travel medicine clinician for advice on prevention and for prescription medicine to treat diarrhea, which you should carry with you.

Medical facilities in Cameroon do not approach the U.S. standard. Services may be nonexistent in many rural areas. Emergency care and hospitalization are hampered by the lack of trained specialists, outdated diagnostic equipment, and poor sanitation. The scarcity is more severe in rural areas. Some medicines are in short supply. Carry prescription medication in original packaging, along with your doctor’s prescription. Non-French speakers will be hampered by a language barrier in many areas.

We do not pay medical bills. Be aware that U.S. Medicare does not apply overseas. Care providers expect payment in local currency in full before treatment is performed.

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

We strongly recommend supplemental insurance to cover medical evacuation.

If traveling with prescription medication, check with the government of Cameroon to ensure the medication is legal in Cameroon. Always, carry your prescription in original packaging with 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:

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Travel and Transportation

Road Conditions and Safety: Cameroon's roads networks are poorly maintained and not well lit. During the rainy season from April to November many roads are not passable even with four-wheel-drive vehicles. Traffic safety is hazardous due to lack of traffic signs, poorly trained/disciplined drivers, inadequately maintained vehicles, and indifference among many drivers toward the safety of pedestrians and cyclists. Other driving risks include excessive speed, erratic driving habits, lack of vehicle maintenance, and pedestrians, wildlife, and livestock.

Outside of major cities, travel with extra fuel, food, and water, as well as a reliable means of communication, such as a satellite phone or radio, as mobile phone coverage is limited. Professional roadside assistance service is not available.  

Traffic Laws: You are able to drive in Cameroon with your state driver’s license for up to three months.

Accidents: Accidental Injury due to hazardous road conditions is a major threat to health and safety. In the event of an automobile accident, remain inside the vehicle and wait for police. Although it is illegal to move your vehicle before the police arrive, if a hostile mob forms or you feel your safety is in danger, leave the scene and proceed directly to the nearest police station to report the incident. Do not stop at the scene of an accident or at intersections where people have gathered, as mobs can develop quickly.

Public Transportation: Avoid all travel by public transportation, and hire private transport from a reliable source. Any form of public transportation is unregulated, unreliable, and generally unsafe. Mini-buses, buses, trains, and ferries are in poor mechanical condition and are often filled well beyond their intended capacity. Make sure any car you hire is adequately insured, preferably by written confirmation from the insurance company (rather than the car hire firm). If you are hiring a driver and car, make sure you are not liable for any accident or damage.

See our Road Safety page for more information. 

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

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 Yaounde

Avenue Rosa Parks
(in the Mbankolo Quartier, adjacent to the Mount Febe Golf Club)
P.O. Box 817
Yaounde, Cameroon

Telephone: +(237) 22220-1500 Monday through Thursday, 7:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(237) 22220-1500

Fax: +(237) 22220-1572

YaoundeACS@state.gov

CONSULATES

Embassy Branch Office, Douala, Cameroon
Corner of Rue Ivy and Rue French, Ecobank Building, Bonanjo
Douala, Cameroon

Telephone: +(237) 23342-5331 or+ (237) 23342-0303 Monday through Thursday, 7:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(237) 23342-5331 or +(237) 23342-0303

Fax: +(237) 23342-7790

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General Information

For information concerning travel to Cameroon, 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 Cameroon. 

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

Cameroon 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 Cameroon 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 Cameroon 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

Parental child abduction is not a specific crime in Cameroon. 

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.

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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 Cameroon 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 Cameroon 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 Cameroon are authorized to provide legal advice.

The U.S. Embassy in Yaoundé, Cameroon maintains a list of attorneys, including those who specialize in family law, which is available on the U.S. Embassy’s website.

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.

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Mediation

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

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?
Is this country a U.S. Hague Partner?
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Hague Convention Information

Cameroon is not party to the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption (Hague Adoption Convention). Therefore, when the Hague Adoption Convention entered into force for the United States on April 1, 2008, intercountry adoption processing for Cameroon did not change.

Fraud Warning: Recently many Americans have become victims of Cameroonian scam artists offering adoption services through the Internet. Americans should be very cautious about sending money or traveling to Cameroon to adopt a child from an orphanage they have only heard about through e-mails. Prospective adoptive parents MUST travel to Cameroon and participate in person in the legal procedures that govern Cameroonian adoptions. In order to protect themselves and the children from the possibility of fraud or other serious problems, prospective adoptive parents are advised to consider first the list of accredited orphanages available at the Ministry of Social Affairs. Should prospective adoptive parents wish to hire a Cameroonian attorney to assist with the adoption, they can obtain a list of attorneys from the U.S. Embassy in Yaounde.

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Who Can Adopt

To bring an adopted child to United States from Cameroon, you must be found eligible to adopt by the U.S. government. The U.S. government agency responsible for making this determination is the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Learn more.

In addition to these U.S. requirements for adoptive parents, Cameroon also has the following requirements for adoptive parents:

  • RESIDENCY REQUIREMENTS: The prospective adoptive parents must have the child in their care and custody for at least three consecutive months before the High Court will consider issuing an adoption decree.
  • AGE REQUIREMENTS: At least one adoptive parent in the couple must be older than 40 years of age. If neither parent meets the age requirement, at least one must be at least 35 years old and they must have been married for a minimum of 10 years. If neither of these requirements can be met, the couple can submit a medical certificate confirming their infertility in order to have the age requirement waived. The couple should bring a medical certificate from a U.S. or local doctor.
  • MARRIAGE REQUIREMENTS: Adoptive parents must be married . Single people can adopt - with certain restrictions on age. As homosexuality is illegal in Cameroon, gay or lesbian marriages are not recognized.
  • INCOME REQUIREMENTS: The couple must provide evidence of financial capacity to support the adopted child. This evidence can be proven with a report of a home study from the U.S. along with bank statements, evidence of assets, pay slips, etc.
  • OTHER REQUIREMENTS: Both parties in a couple must be in agreement over the adoption. One spouse may not adopt without the other's consent.

    PAPs must submit a medical certificate from either a U.S. or local doctor showing that they are medically fit.

    Evidence of consent of the birth parent(s) (if they are alive). The consent must be witnessed either in court, by a diplomatic consulate or by a public notary.

    Evidence of the consent of the adoptee if s/he is 16 or older. The consent must be witnessed either in court, by a diplomatic consulate or by a public notary.

    Prospective adoptive parents must come to Cameroon for an extended period of time and participate (in person) in the elaborate legal procedures

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Who Can Be Adopted

Cameroon has specific requirements that a child must meet in order to be eligible for adoption. You cannot adopt a child in Cameroon unless he or she meets the requirements outlined below.

In addition to these requirements, a child must meet the definition of an orphan under U.S. law for you to bring him or her immediately to the United States. Learn more about these U.S. requirements.

ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS:

  • Adopted individuals cannot have children of their own at the time of the adoption, nor have any legal descendants.
  • Adopted individuals may not marry their adoptive parents or siblings.
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How to Adopt

CAMEROON'S ADOPTION AUTHORITY

Ministry of Social Affairs and the High Court (Tribunal de Grande Instance) having jurisdiction over the place of residence of the child to be adopted.

THE PROCESS

The process for adopting a child from Cameroon generally includes the following steps:

  1. Choose an Adoption Service Provider
  2. Apply to be Found Eligible to Adopt
  3. Be Matched with a Child
  4. Adopt the Child in Cameroon
  5. Apply for the Child to be Found Eligible for Adoption
  6. Bring Your Child Home
  1. Choose an Adoption Service Provider:
  2. The first step in adopting a child is usually to select a licensed agency in the United States that can help with your adoption. Adoption service providers must be licensed by the U.S. state in which they operate. Learn more about choosing the right adoption service provider.

    Cameroon does not have adoption agencies. In general, any orphanage may release an orphan for adoption. However, in order to help protect themselves and the children from the possibility of fraud or other serious problems, prospective adoptive parents are advised to consider the list of accredited orphanages available at the Ministry of Social Affairs. Parents wishing to hire a Cameroonian attorney to assist with the adoption can obtain a list of attorneys from the U.S. Embassy in Yaounde. Due to repeated scams involving the impersonation of legitimate lawyers or law offices, the Embassy has removed this information from its website. This information can be obtained by e-mailing the American Citizen Services Unit at YaoundeACS@state.gov.

  3. Apply to be Found Eligible to Adopt:
  4. To bring an adopted child from Cameroon to the United States, you must apply to be found eligible to adopt (Form I-600A) by the U.S. Government, Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Learn how.

    In addition to meeting the U.S. requirements for adoptive parents, you need to meet the requirements of Cameroon as described in the Who Can Adopt section.

  5. Be Matched with a Child:

    If you are eligible to adopt, and a child is available for intercountry adoption, the central adoption authority in Cameroon will provide you with a referral to a child. Each family must decide for itself whether or not it will be able to meet the needs of a particular child and provide a permanent family placement for the referred child.

    The child must be eligible to be adopted according to Cameroon's requirements, as described in the Who Can be Adopted section. The child must also meet the definition of an orphan under U.S. law. Learn more.

    A social worker will be assigned to follow up the case and assist the prospective adoptive parents with identifying a child for adoption and monitoring the family during the foster care period. The local lawyer, if hired by the prospective adoptive parents, must also be involved in the process. The social worker's final report determines whether prospective adoptive parents can proceed with the case to the High Court.

    The adoptive parents may choose either to be present or to be represented by a lawyer during the hearing at the High Court.

  6. Adopt the Child (or Gain Legal Custody) in Cameroon:
    • That every person whose consent is necessary has consented to and understands the nature and effect of the adoption. Such consent is irrevocable and permanently servers all legal ties between the biological parents and the child.
    • That the child's welfare will be improved by the adoption. Parents must provide proof of what they can provide for the child in a way that other cannot.
    • That no payment or reward has been the reason for the adoption.
    • That the prospective adoptive parent is healthy.
    • ROLE OF THE COURT: The High Court will consent to the adoption and issue a final adoption decree.
    • ROLE OF ADOPTION AGENCIES: Cameroon does not have adoption agencies.
    • TIME FRAME: Prospective adoptive parents should expect that a minimum of three months will pass between the date they submit their adoption application to the Ministry of Social Affairs and the date the High Court's Public Prosecutor completes his/her review of the file. Only when the review is completed will a hearing date be scheduled. In addition, a Cameroonian adoption is likely to be affected by administrative and judicial delays, insufficient or misplace paperwork, and other factors. Most parents have found that hiring a local attorney to monitor the case and keep pressure on the High Court has been crucial in expediting its processing. Once all of the Cameroonian procedures have been completed and an adoption decree has been issued, the U.S. Embassy requires a minimum of two weeks to complete the immigrant visa process and may need longer depending on the specific circumstances. This includes the mandatory I-604 orphan investigation to verify a child qualifies as an orphan.
    • ADOPTION FEES: There are moderate court fees involved in the adoption, but legal fees for correct and complete adoptions typically run to several thousand USD.
    • DOCUMENTS REQUIRED: The following documents are required for adoption in Cameroon:
      • Application bearing a 1000 FCFA (approximately $2 USD) fiscal stamp, addressed to the President of the High Court
      • Certified copy of the child's Cameroonian birth certificate
      • Biographic information of the biological parents of the child to be adopted
      • Biographic information of the adoptive parents
      • If applicable, a notarized deed of agreement from surviving biological parents, or the orphanage director having custody over the child and prospective adoptive parents; This deed expressly states that the child is released irrevocable for adoption
      • Report of the home study (U.S. Home Study is acceptable)
      • Evidence of finances and income
      • Legal authorization from the biological parents, if applicable
      • Notarized affidavit of support of the child from the adoptive parents
      • Deposit of 3,000 CFA Francs (approximately $6 USD) made at the court registry
      • A separate, non-refundable deposit of 78,000 CFA Francs (approximately $160 USD) made at the court registry
      • Written application
      • Certified copy of the child's birth certificate
      • Certified copy of the adoptive parents' identification
      • Prison/court record clearance
      • Adoptive parents' proof of residency; For married parents who do not meet the age requirements, they must bring a medical certificate attesting their infertility
      • Medical certificate for the adoptive parents, attesting that they are medically fit
      • Report of the social home study
  7. Under Cameroonian law, the High Court must determine that the following four criteria have been met before it can issue an adoption decree.

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

    NOTE : Additional documents may be requested. If you are asked to provide proof that a document from the United States is authentic, we can help. Learn how.

  8. Apply For The Child to be Found Eligible for Orphan Status:
  9. After you finalize the adoption (or gain legal custody) in Cameroon, the U.S Government, Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) MUST determine whether the child Qualifies as an orphan as defined by U.S. immigration law.

  10. Bring Your Child Home:
    • Birth Certificate 
      You will first need to apply for a new birth certificate for your child, so that you can later apply for a passport. Your name will be added to the new birth certificate. 

      Once the High Court consents to the adoption and issues a final decree, the American parents must obtain a new Cameroonian birth certificate, reflecting any name change. Post-adoption birth certificates are issued by the Civil Status Registry Center.
    • Cameroon Passport 
      Your child is not yet a U.S. citizen, so he/she will need a travel document or Passport from Cameroon. American parents must also obtain a new Cameroonian passport. The Cameroonian passport is issued by the immigration office in the district where the child lives. Each province has an immigration office that issues passports. The requirements for passports are several passport sized photographs, certified copies of the birth certificates, parents' consent, fess, and certified application form. The entire process can cost approximately 100,000 CFA Francs, approximately $200 USD.
    • U.S. Immigrant Visa 
      After the adoption (or custody for purpose of adoption) is granted and you have obtained a Cameroon passport for your child, you must visit the U.S. Embassy in Yaounde for your immigrant visa interview. The immigrant visa allows your child to travel home with you. Learn more.

      If an I-600A was previously filed and approved by USCIS in the United States and the Embassy has received a notification of the approval (Visas 37 cable), the adoptive parent(s) can file the I-600 at the Embassy after the adoption is final. To do this, the adoptive parents come to the Embassy any Wednesday or Thursday, at 2:00 p.m. to get the Immigrant Visa instruction packet. The Embassy will need a minimum of two weeks to conduct the field investigation to confirm the adopted child meets the definition of an orphan, as defined by U.S. immigration law, and that the appropriate Cameroonian adoption procedure was followed.

      Regarding the adoption procedure in Cameroon, please note that the U.S. Consulate will only accept final FULL/FULL adoption court judgment issued by the competent High Court having jurisdiction over the place of residence of the adoptee. Under no circumstance should a simple adoption be submitted during the processing of the immigrant visa. Therefore, the adoptive parent(s) should note the distinction between a simple adoption and a full adoption when applying to the High Court:

      Simple Adoption (same as in French) does not confer a full custody to the adoptive parents over the adoptee. In other words, the adopted child maintains the link with his/her natural parents, who could revoke their consent at any time, and demand the child back.

      Whereas a full adoption (adoption plénière in French) gives legal custody to adoptive parent(s), cuts the link with the natural family, and is irrevocable. For this reason, and because the U.S. Immigration law requires a full adoption for immigration purposes, ONLY a FULL adoption (adoption plénière) decree granted by the Cameroonian High Court of the adoptee's place of residence is accepted at the Consular section of the US Embassy in Yaounde, during immigrant visa processing. This document must be accompanied a notarized letter of irrevocable release of the child issued and signed by the surviving parent(s), before a local Commissioner of Oaths.

      If no I-600A was previously filed, then the Embassy does not have the authority to adjudicate an I-600. If resident in Cameroon, the adoptive parents can choose either to submit the I-600 to the Embassy, paying all fees with the Embassy cashier, and the Embassy will forward it on their behalf to the regional USCIS office in Accra, Ghana. The adoptive parents may also choose to go back to the U.S. without the child and file the I-600 domestically. Once the file is approved, it will be sent to the Embassy in Yaoundé for the final immigrant visa processing.

      The Consular Section of the Embassy is on Avenue Rosa Parks. It is open from Monday to Thursday from 7:30 a.m. until 5:00 p.m., and Fridays from 7:30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. The Consular Section is closed on U.S. and Cameroonian public holidays.

      Note: Visa issuance after the final interview generally takes a minimum of one week and often several weeks due to the need for document verification. . Adoptive parents are encouraged to submit documentation for review before travelling to expedite issuance - and should verify current processing times at the appropriate consulate or embassy before making final travel arrangements.
  11. Now that your adoption is complete (or you have obtained legal custody of the child), there are a few more steps to take before you can head home. Specifically, you need to apply for several documents for your child before he or she can travel to the United States:

CHILD CITIZENSHIP ACT

For adoptions finalized abroad: The Child Citizenship Act of 2000 allows your new child to acquire U.S. citizenship automatically when he or she enters the United States on an IR-3 immigrant visa for the purpose of permanent legal residence.

For adoptions finalized in the United States: The Child Citizenship Act of 2000 allows a child who enters the United States on an IR-4 or IH-4 visa to acquire U.S. citizenship automatically when the court in the United States issues the final adoption decree.

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

Learn more about the Child Citizenship Act.

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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. Only the U.S. Department of State has the authority to grant, issue, or verify United States passports.

Getting or renewing a passport is easy. The 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 YOUR VISA

In addition to a U.S. passport, you also need to obtain a visa. Where required, a visa is an official document issued by a foreign country that formally allows you to visit. Visas are attached to your passport and allow you to enter a foreign nation.

To find information about obtaining a visa for Cameroon, see the Department of State's Country Specific Information.

STAYING SAFE ON YOUR TRIP

Before you travel, it's always a good practice to investigate the local conditions, laws, political landscape, and culture of the country. The State Department is a good place to start.

The Department of State provides Country Specific Information for every country of the world about various issues, including the health conditions, crime, unusual currency or entry requirements, and any areas of instability.

STAYING IN TOUCH ON YOUR TRIP

When traveling during the adoption process, we encourage you to register your trip with the Department of State. Travel registration makes it possible to contact you if necessary. Whether there's a family emergency in the United States, or a crisis in Cameroon, registration assists the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in reaching you.

Registration is free and can be done online.

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After Adoption

What does Cameroon require of the adoptive parents after the adoption?

Cameroon does not require post-adoption reporting at this time.

What resources are available to assist families after the adoption?

Many adoptive parents find it important to find support after the adoption. Take advantage of all the resources available to your family -- whether it's another adoptive family, a support group, an advocacy organization, or your religious or community services.

Here are some good places to start your support group search:

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

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Contact Information

U.S. Embassy in Cameroon 
Avenue Rosa Parks
P.O. Box 817
Yaoundé, Cameroon
Tel: (237) 2220-15-00
YaoundeACS@state.gov

Cameroonian Adoption Authority 
Ministry of Social Affairs/High Court (Tribunal de Grande Instance)
SubDepartment of Child Protection situationed at
Meki Quarters
Sous Direction de la Sauvegarde de L'Enfant-SDSE
Tel: 2220-02-16

Embassy of the Republic of Cameroon
2349 Massachusetts Avenue, N.W
Washington, D.C. 20036
Tel: (202) 265-8790
Fax: (202) 387-3826
http://www.ambacam-usa.org/

Office of Children's issues
U.S. Department of State  
CA/OCS/CI  
SA-17, 9th Floor
Washington, DC 20522-1709
Tel: 1-888-407-4747
E-mail: AskCI@state.gov
http://adoption.state.gov

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) 
For questions about immigration procedures, call the National Customer Service Center (NCSC)

1-800-375-5283 (TTY 1-800-767-1833)

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  None Multiple 12 Months
B-1 $240.00 Multiple 12 Months
B-2 $240.00 Multiple 12 Months
B-1/B-2 $240.00 Multiple 12 Months
C-1 $60.00 Multiple 6 Months
C-1/D $60.00 Multiple 12 Months
C-2 $60.00 Multiple 3 Months
D $60.00 Multiple 12 Months
E-1 N/A N/A N/A
F-1 $60.00 Multiple 6 Months
F-2 $60.00 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 None Multiple 12 Months
H-1B $60.00 Multiple 6 Months
H-1B $240.00 Multiple 12 Months
H-1C $60.00 Multiple 6 Months
H-1C $240.00 Multiple 12 Months
H-3 $60.00 Multiple 6 Months
H-3 $240.00 Multiple 12 Months
H-4 $60.00 Multiple 6 Months
H-4 $240.00 Multiple 12 Months
I $240.00 Multiple 12 Months
J-1 $60.00 Multiple 6 Months
J-1 $240.00 Multiple 12 Months
J-2 $60.00 Multiple 6 Months
J-2 $240.00 Multiple 12 Months
K-1 None One 6 Months
K-2 None One 6 Months
L-1 $60.00 Multiple 6 Months
L-1 $240.00 Multiple 12 Months
L-2 $60.00 Multiple 6 Months
L-2 $240.00 Multiple 12 Months
NATO 1-7 N/A N/A N/A
0-1 $60.00 Multiple 6 Months
0-1 $240.00 Multiple 12 Months
0-2 $60.00 Multiple 6 Months
0-2 $240.00 Multiple 12 Months
0-3 $60.00 Multiple 6 Months
0-3 $240.00 Multiple 12 Months
P-1 $60.00 Multiple 6 Months
P-1 $240.00 Multiple 12 Months
P-2 $60.00 Multiple 6 Months
P-2 $240.00 Multiple 12 Months
P-3 $60.00 Multiple 6 Months
P-3 $240.00 Multiple 12 Months
Q-1 $60.00 Multiple 6 Months
Q-1  $240.00 Multiple 12 Months
R-1/R-2 $60.00 Multiple 6 Months
R-1/R-2 None Multiple 12 Months
S-5       
S-6       
S-7       
T-1 N/A N/A N/A
TD      
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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

Please check back for update.

 

Birth, Death, Burial Certificates

Birth Certificates

 

Available/Unavailable:  Available

Fees: Yes

Document Name:   Birth Certificate /  Acte de Naissance

Issuing Authority:   Civil Status Registration Centre / Centre D’Etat Civil

Special Seal(s) / Color / Format:  N/A

Issuing Authority Personnel Title:  Civil Status Registrar / Officier D’etat Civil 

Registration Criteria:  N/A

Procedure for Obtaining:

Birth certificates (Actes de Naissance) are issued by the Council (la Mairie or Commune) or Secondary Civil Status Center (Centre Secondaire d’Etat Civil) at the child's place of birth. If application is made within three months of birth, Civil Status officials rely on the hospital birth record to issue a birth certificate. After 3 months, they require a Declaratory Judgment of Birth from the High Court (Tribunal de Grande Instance) of the area of birth of the child. Adoption, recognition and legitimation of the child are annotated at the back of the birth certificate by the Civil Status official. If the father’s name is left blank on the birth certificate, the child was not recognized by the father. There may be a fee for this service. Court declarations used in the re-issuance process of missing/lost/destroyed birth certificates can only be issued by the High Court (Tribunal de Grand Instance).

Certified Copies Available: Yes

Alternate Documents:  N/A

Exceptions: N/A

Comments:  N/A

 

Death Certificates

 

Available/Unavailable: Available

Fees: Yes

Document Name: Death Certificate / Acte de Deces

Issuing Authority:  Civil Status Registration Centre / Centre D’Etat Civil

Special Seal(s) / Color / Format: N/A

Issuing Authority Personnel Title: Civil Status Registrar / Officier D’etat civil  

Registration Criteria: N/A

Procedure for Obtaining:

Death certificates (Actes de Décès) are issued by the Council (la Mairie or Commune) or Secondary Civil Status Center (Centre Secondaire d’Etat Civil) at the place of death of deceased. To issue a death certificate within three months of death, Civil Status officials rely on the hospital death record. After three months officials require a declaratory Judgment of Death from the High Court (Tribunal de Grande Instance) of the place of death of the individual. There may be a fee for this service.

Certified Copies Available: Yes

Alternate Documents: N/A

Exceptions: N/A

Comments: N/A

Marriage, Divorce Certificates

Marriage Certificates

 

Available/Unavailable:  Available

Fees:  Yes

Document Name:  Marriage Certificate / Acte de Mariage

Issuing Authority: Civil Status Registration Centre / Centre D’Etat Civil

Special Seal(s) / Color / Format: N/A

Issuing Authority Personnel Title: Civil Status Registrar / Officier D’etat Civil   

Registration Criteria: N/A

Procedure for Obtaining:

Marriage Certificates (Actes de Mariage) are issued by the Council (la Mairie or Commune) or Secondary Civil Status Center (Centre Secondaire d’Etat Civil) of the town where the marriage took place (place of residence or place of birth of one of the spouses), usually within one month after the publication of intent to marry. A couple may seek a waiver from the State Counsel (Procureur) of their area to celebrate their marriage without having to wait for the one month period after the publication. A marriage certificate must carry a photograph of the couple together and must be signed by their witnesses, the civil status secretary and the Civil Status Registrar. There may be a fee for this service

Certified Copies Available: Yes

Alternate Documents: N/A        

Exceptions:  N/A

Comments: N/A

 

Divorce Certificates

 

Available/Unavailable: Available

Fees: Yes

Document Name: Divorce Decree/  Jugement de Divorce

Issuing Authority: High Court/ Tribunal de Grande Instance

Special Seal(s) / Color / Format: N/A

Issuing Authority Personnel Title: Registrar-in-Chief / Greffier en Chef

Registration Criteria: N/A

Procedure for Obtaining:

Divorce decrees (Jugement de Divorce) are issued by the High Court (Tribunal de Grande Instance) and must be signed by the presiding Judge and the Registrar-in-chief (Greffier en Chef) (even if another Registrar was in attendance) at the place where the divorce was granted. Under the Anglophone system, only the High Court has jurisdiction over divorce. Under the Francophone system, both the Tribunals de Grande Instance and Premiere Instance have jurisdiction over divorce, so divorce decrees from either of these courts are valid under Cameroon law. The Divorce Petition must state the reasons for requesting divorce. Divorce cases can take a while (sometimes years) to result in a final judgment, especially where the couple have children. The services of a lawyer are recommended. There are fees for the Court and the lawyer’s services

Certified Copies Available:  Yes

Alternate Documents:  N/A

Exceptions: N/A

Comments: N/A

Adoption Certificates

 

Available/Unavailable:  Available

Fees: Yes

Document Name:  Adoption Decree/  Adoption Pleniere

Issuing Authority: High Court/ Tribunal de Grande Instance

Special Seal(s) / Color / Format: N/A

Issuing Authority Personnel Title: Registrar-in-Chief / Greffier en Chef

Registration Criteria: N/A

Procedure for Obtaining:

An adoption decree (Adoption Pleniere) is issued exclusively by the High Court (Tribunal de Grande Instance) and must be signed by the presiding Judge and the Registrar-in-chief (Greffier en Chef) preferably at the place where the decree is issued. All other courts, such as the Court of First Instance (Tribunal de Premiere Instance), customary court and the Tribunal de Premier Degre  have no jurisdiction over adoption matters and any adoptions approved by these courts will not be considered valid adoptions for U.S. immigration law purposes. The application for adoption must include the consent of the biological parents or legal guardian, social welfare studies demonstrating that the welfare of the adopted child is best guaranteed by approving the adoption, the health and financial situation of the adoptive parents, the child’s birth certificate and the reasons for adopting the child. The services of a lawyer are recommended. There are fees for the court and the lawyer’s services.

Certified Copies Available: Yes

Alternate Documents: N/A

Exceptions: N/A

Comments: N/A

ALL /
ALL /
Identity Card

National ID Cards

 

Available/Unavailable: Available

Fees: Yes

Document Name:  National Identity Card/ Carte Nationale D’Identité

Issuing Authority: Delegate General for National Security / Delegue Generale a la Sureté Nationale(DGSN)

Special Seal(s) / Color / Format: N/A

Issuing Authority Personnel Title: Delegate General for National Security / Delegue Generale a la Sureté  Nationale

Registration Criteria: N/A

Procedure for Obtaining: Generally applicant submits an application with a certified copy of birth certificate to authorities of any issuing Police Station.

Certified Copies Available: N/A

Alternate Documents: N/A

Exceptions: Generally minors are not expected to have National Identity Cards.

Comments:

Police, Court, Prison Records

Court/Prison Records

 

Available/Unavailable: Available

Fees: Yes

Document Name:  Criminal Record / Casier Judicaire

Issuing Authority: Court of First Instance/ Tribunal de Premiere Instance

Special Seal(s) / Color / Format: N/A

Issuing Authority Personnel Title: The State Counsel / Le Procureur de la Republique

Registration Criteria: N/A

Procedure for Obtaining:

In Cameroon, the Certificate of Non-Conviction (Extrait du Casier Judicaire or Bulletin No. 3) reports on the police, court conviction and prison records of a person.  It must be signed by the State Counsel (Procureur) and the Registrar-in-Chief (Greffier en Chef) of the Court of First Instance (Tribunal de Premiere Instance) where the applicant was born. English-speaking Cameroonians and French- speaking Cameroonians from the three Northern Regions can obtain the Certificate of Non-Conviction in Yaounde. An individual can obtain the Certificate of Non-Conviction by presenting his/her National Identity Card or birth certificate at the office of the Registrar-in-Chief, in person or through a relative. There may be a fee for this service.

Foreigners resident in Cameroon for more than six months may obtain a Certificate of Non-Conviction (Casier Judiciaire) from the office of the Registrar-in-Chief (Greffier en Chef) at the Department of Criminal Affairs and Pardon, attached to the Court of First Instance (Tribunal de Premiere Instance) in Yaounde. This Certificate of Non-Conviction (Casier Judiciaire) can be obtained by presenting the following information: names, date and place of birth, nationality, passport number and issuance information, number and date of any Cameroon visas issued, number and date of issuance of the Resident Permit (Permis de Sejour), dates of residence and addresses while in the Cameroon. This can be done by the individual in person, or by a relative or friend. There is a fee for this service.

Certified Copies Available:  N/A

Alternate Documents: N/A

Exceptions: N/A

Comments: N/A

 

Police Certificates

 

Available/Unavailable: N/A

Fees: N/A

Document Name: N/A

Issuing Authority: N/A

Special Seal(s) / Color / Format: N/A

Issuing Authority Personnel Title: N/A

Registration Criteria: N/A

Procedure for Obtaining: N/A

Certified Copies Available: N/A

Alternate Documents: N/A

Exceptions: N/A

Comments: 

In Cameroon, the Certificate of Non-Conviction (Extrait du Casier Judicaire or Bulletin No. 3) reports on the police, court conviction and prison records of a person.  

Military Records

 

Available/Unavailable: Available

Fees: Yes

Document Name: Military Record/ Certificat de Position Militaire

Issuing Authority: Ministry of Defense

Special Seal(s) / Color / Format: N/A

Issuing Authority Personnel Title: N/A

Registration Criteria: N/A

Procedure for Obtaining:

A military record (Certificat de Position Militaire) of a Cameroonian who has served in the Gendarmerie or the Army is issued by the Human Resources Office of the Gendarmerie or the Ministry of Defense, depending on the service.

Certified Copies Available: N/A

Alternate Documents: N/A

Exceptions: N/A

Comments: N/A

Passports & Other Travel Documents

Travel Documents

 

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

Fees: Yes

Document Name:  Passport

Issuing Government Authority: Delegate General National Security/ Delegue General a la Sureté Nationale

Special Seal(s) / Color / Format: N/A

Issuing Authority Personnel Title: Delegate General National Security/ Delegue General a la Sureté Nationale

Registration Criteria: N/A

Procedure for Obtaining:

Generally applicants present themselves in person to the regional immigration authorities with birth certificate, fees and National ID card for adults.

Alternate Documents: N/A

Exceptions: N/A

Comments: N/A

Other Documents Available: N/A

Other Records

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Visa Issuing Posts

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Visa Services

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Foreign Consular Office Contact Information

Washington, DC (202) 285-8790 (202) 387-3826

Assistance for U.S. Citizens

U.S. Embassy Yaounde
Avenue Rosa Parks
(in the Mbankolo Quartier, adjacent to the Mount Febe Golf Club)
P.O. Box 817
Yaounde, Cameroon
Telephone
+(237) 22220-1500
Emergency
+(237) 22220-1500
Fax
+(237) 22220-1572
Cameroon 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.


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