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International Travel

English

Country Information

Gambia

Country Information

The Gambia
Republic of The Gambia
Last Updated: November 25, 2016
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Embassy Messages

Banjul

 

Quick Facts
PASSPORT VALIDITY:

Valid for duration of stay

BLANK PASSPORT PAGES:

One page 

TOURIST VISA REQUIRED:

Yes

VACCINATIONS:

Yellow fever

CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR ENTRY:

None

CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR EXIT:

None

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Embassies and Consulates

U.S. Embassy Banjul

92 Kairaba Avenue, Fajara
Banjul
The Gambia
Telephone: +(220) 439-2856, +(220) 439-2858 or +(220) 439-1971
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(220) 437-2856, x-2466
Fax: +(220) 439-2475

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Destination Description

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

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Entry, Exit and Visa Requirements

Requirements for Entry:

  • Passport
  • Visa
  • World Health Organization (WHO) card with yellow fever vaccination for people coming from countries where Yellow Fever infection is common.

Visas:

Obtain your visa before traveling or within two working days of arrival from the Department of Immigration in downtown Banjul.  Visit the Embassy of The Gambia website for the most current visa information. Overseas inquiries should be made at the nearest Gambian embassy or consulate.  

An “airport development” fee of 20 Euros (or its equivalent in Dollars or Dalasi) is included in ticket fees for passengers departing The Gambia.

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

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

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Safety and Security

Avoid the southern borders of the Casamance region in Senegal, where separatist groups/rebels operate and have attacked travelers on roads leading north from Ziguinchor, Senegal, to Banjul, and on Senegalese roads from Bignona to Senoba, which is near the Senegal - Gambia border.

Public demonstrations are increasingly common.  Police tactics used to clear these events have included violence and the arrest of bystanders not directly involved in the demonstrations. In April and May 2016, dozens of people were arrested for participating in and being in the vicinity of protests.  At least one of the arrested protestors died while in police custody.  

Because of this potential for violence, you should avoid political events and street demonstrations, including peaceful protests and exercise caution in the vicinity of any large gatherings. Even demonstrations intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational and escalate into violence.

Safety Precautions:

  • Avoid demonstrations and public gatherings.
  • Monitor local and international news from reliable sources and consular messages.

Crime: Petty street crime is common. Pickpockets, purse snatching, and theft from hotel rooms and vehicles occur on ferries and in market and commercial areas frequented by foreigners.  Ensure that your travel documents, luggage, and valuable items are secure. Business fraud and relationship scams are problems.

Beware of “bumsters” - local men who approach tourists, particularly on beaches, offering help or to act as local guides and then demand payment even if not previously agreed upon.  Bumsters target Western travelers, seeking either financial assistance or marriage in order to depart The Gambia.  Be polite but decisive in turning down unwanted help or attempts at conversation. 

  • Avoid walking alone, including on beaches, in tourist areas, and after dark. 
  • Do not display cash and valuable personal property.
  • Drive with doors locked and windows closed or rolled up enough at all times to prevent theft while stopped in traffic.

Relationship fraud/scam: The U.S. embassy is frequently contacted by victims of internet romance scams and health-related plea-for-help scams in which the person with whom the U.S. citizen has been corresponding is using a fake identity and is in no need of financial or other assistance. The most common scenario is when a U.S. citizen is befriended or engaged to someone over the internet. This person eventually requests financial assistance from the unsuspecting victim to help pay for urgent medical treatment, exit tax, government fine, or other fraudulent reason.

Business fraud/scams: The U.S. embassy receives reports of scams in which U.S. businesses sent payment, but did not receive shipments

  • Be suspicious of any unsolicited offers to participate in lucrative business opportunities, especially if they require financial disclosures, money transfers, large up-front investments, or promises of confidentiality. 
  • Carefully scrutinize all proposals before you commit any funds, provide any goods or services, or undertake any travel. 
  • See International Financial Scams

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 at 117 for police assistance, 117 for ambulatory services, and 118 for fire and contact the U.S. Embassy at +(220) 439-2856.   The Gambian Police Force operates a 24 hour emergency line at (220) 422-4914.  Please be advised that emergency responders may lack fuel for vehicles or face other resource challenges.  Remember that local authorities are responsible for investigating and prosecuting the crime. 

Please see our information for victims of crime, including possible victim compensation programs in the United States.

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 information on victim’s compensation programs in the U.S.

•    provide an emergency loan for repatriation to the United States and/or limited medical support in cases of destitution

•    help you find accommodation and arrange flights home

•    replace a stolen or lost passport

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

For further information:

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Local Laws & Special Circumstances

Criminal Penalties: Convictions for possessing, using, or trafficking in illegal drugs result in long prison sentences or death.  There are strict laws on the import and export of skin-bleaching creams and some medications. 

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

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

Arrest Notification:  If you are arrested or detained, ask police or prison officials to notify the U.S. Embassy immediately.  See our webpage for further information.  Gambian law enforcement officials routinely block access to foreign nationals in detention. The U.S. Embassy therefore may not receive notification or be allowed access to you if you are detained.

Dual Nationals:  In addition to being subject to all of The Gambia’s laws affecting foreigners, dual U.S. - Gambian citizens may be subject to additional provisions of Gambian law. Please inquire at a Gambian embassy or consulate regarding your status before you travel.  Gambian police routinely do not recognize dual citizenship and may treat the person solely as a Gambian citizen.

Medications: Import and export of skin-bleaching creams and some medications is strictly regulated.  You can face fines up to $2,000 and/or three years imprisonment if you arrive with substances containing one percent or more of: hydroquinone (in any form), hydrocortisone (unless in trace amounts and for specific purposes such as anti-itch products), betamethasone, flucinonide, clobestatol, or clobestatone.

Photography:  It is against the law to photograph or film government buildings, airports, military installations, embassies, bridges, or government motorcades. You could be fined, have your photographic equipment confiscated without notice, and risk detention and arrest.  Do not take photos of Gambians without their permission.

Currency:  The dalasi is the official currency, though US dollars, euros, and CFAs are widely accepted.  The Gambia is a cash economy; credit cards are accepted only at major hotels, some grocery stores, and a few restaurants.  Exchange currency at banks or exchange bureaus only. Changing money unofficially is prohibited.  Be aware that banks may close unexpectedly.  Due to the potential for fraud and equipment malfunction, avoid using ATMs.  Money transfers are widely available at Western Union branch offices.

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

LGBTI Travelers:  Consensual same-sex sexual relations are illegal with prison terms ranging from five years to life imprisonment, and there is strong societal discrimination against LGBTI individuals.  The Gambian authorities have called upon landlords and owners of bars, restaurants, and hotels to monitor activities that happen in their environments.  A number of people have been arrested under this law. The Gambian president frequently uses violent, threatening public rhetoric to discourage LGBTI individuals from traveling to The Gambia, and he participates in public protests against LGBTI rights. Antidiscrimination laws do not protect LGBTI individuals.  Gambian security forces have systematically targeted individuals for arrest and detention because of their perceived sexual orientation.

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

Travelers Who Require Accessibility Assistance:

Persons with disabilities face limited access to transportation, communication, accommodations, and public buildings. There are few sidewalks and no curb-cuts, and most buildings lack functioning elevators.

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

Women Travelers: 

Although gender-based violence is illegal, 75.5 percent of wives experience domestic violence. Rape, including spousal rape, is a widespread problem.  Police generally consider spousal rape to be a domestic issue outside their jurisdiction.

Female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C) is a crime.  Accomplices who are aware of the practice but do not report it to the police can also be punished.  Almost 80 percent of girls and women between the ages of 15 and 19 have undergone FGM/C, and seven of the nine major ethnic groups practice FGM/C on girls from shortly after birth until age 16.

See our travel tips for Women Travelers.

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Health

Medical facilities are very limited, some treatments are unavailable, and emergency services can be unpredictable and unreliable. There are no trauma centers in The Gambia and severe accidents require evacuation to Senegal or Europe.  

Carry prescription medication in original packaging, along with your doctor’s prescription as well as over-the-counter medicines or treatments. Check with the nearest Gambian embassy or consulate to ensure the medication is legal. Malaria is prevalent throughout the country. Chemoprophylaxis is recommended for all travelers even for short stays. Use mosquito repellents containing either 20 percent DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon, eucalyptus or IR3535.  Sleep under insecticide-impregnated mosquito nets. 

You should:

  • Carry and use insect repellents containing either 20 percent DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus or IR3535. 
  • Treat clothing and tents with permethrin
  • Sleep in screened or air conditioned rooms under insecticide-impregnated mosquito nets.

You are responsible for all medical costs. U.S. Medicare does not cover you overseas. 

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

The following diseases are prevalent:

  • Malaria
  • Yellow Fever
  • Dengue Fever
  • Diarrheal Illness
  • Rabies
  • Meningococcal Meningitis
  • Tuberculosis
  • Schistosomiasis

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: Road conditions are poor, particularly during the rainy season, which generally lasts from July through September.  Although main roads are paved in the greater Banjul area, many are potholed and poorly lit. Some drivers in the Banjul area do not use vehicle lights at night, and many habitually drive with high beams on. Most roads outside the Banjul area are unlit and unpaved. Livestock and pedestrians pose road hazards throughout the country, including in the greater Banjul area. 

Traffic Laws:  Numerous accidents are caused by intoxicated drivers.  You may be substantially fined or imprisoned if you cause an accident while intoxicated.  

The police do not consistently apply traffic laws and regulations, and sometimes compel drivers to pay fines on the spot for violations, real or contrived.  Written citations/tickets are rarely given.

Roadblocks:  Police periodically set up impromptu traffic stops on major streets to check for drivers’ licenses and proper insurance.  You are obligated to stop at all roadblocks or road checkpoints.  Do not reverse direction to avoid a road checkpoint or make any movements that security personnel may view as suspicious or provocative.

Government convoys pose serious risks to drivers and pedestrians. Government convoys frequently travel at high speeds and often in either or both lanes of traffic, including in the oncoming traffic lane and do not always use sirens to announce their presence.

  • Pull to the side of the road as far as possible.
  • Do not attempt to move until the entire convoy has passed.
  • Failure to comply may result vehicle damage with possible personal injury. 

Public Transportation: Exercise caution when using taxis, particularly at night. Most taxis lack safety belts and many are not road-worthy. 

Water transportation, including government ferries, is unsafe and unreliable. Ferries, which are poorly maintained and usually lack sufficient numbers of life preservers for all passengers, are often overcrowded.  Exit your vehicle quickly after parking to avoid becoming trapped inside for the duration of the crossing. The wooden dugout “pirogues” that also cross the Gambia River often leave shore overloaded and occasionally sink in the middle of the river. 

See our Road Safety page for more information.  Visit the website of The Gambia’s national tourist office and national authority responsible for road safety.

Aviation Safety Oversight: As there is no direct commercial air service to the United States by carriers registered in The Gambia, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has not assessed the government of The Gambia’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?
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U.S. Treaty Partner under the Hague Abduction Convention?
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Learn why the Hague Abduction Convention Matters.
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 Banjul

92 Kairaba Avenue, Fajara
Banjul
The Gambia
Telephone: +(220) 439-2856, +(220) 439-2858 or +(220) 439-1971
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(220) 437-2856, x-2466
Fax: +(220) 439-2475

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General Information
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Hague Abduction Convention
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Return
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Visitation/Access
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Retaining an Attorney
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Mediation
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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 when 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.

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

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

The Gambia is not party to the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption (Hague Adoption Convention). Intercountry adoptions of children from non-Hague countries are processed in accordance with 8 Code of Federal Regulations, Section 204.3 as it relates to orphans as defined under the Immigration and Nationality Act, Section 101(b)(1)(F).

Below is the limited adoption information that the Department has obtained from the adoption authority of the Gambia. U.S. citizens adopting children in rare adoption cases from the Gambia, as well as U.S. citizen prospective adoptive parents living in The Gambia who would like to adopt from the United States or from a third country, should contact the adoption authority of the Gambia to inquire about applicable laws and procedures. See contact information below.

Foreigners are allowed to adopt Gambian children only in exceptional circumstances. Prospective adoptive parents usually must be resident in The Gambia at least six months prior to applying to adopt.

PLEASE NOTE: The U.S. Embassy in Dakar, Senegal issues immigrant visas for Gambian citizens, including adopted orphans.

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

Please visit the Department of State's Country Specific Information for more information on travelling to The Gambia and the U.S. Embassy Dakar website for information on consular services.

THE GAMBIAN ADOPTION AUTHORITY:
The Kanifing Children's Court
Address: Mamadi Maniyang Highway, Kanifing, KMC, The Gambia
Tel: +(220) 437-4525 or 439-2202
Fax: None
Email: None
Internet: None

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Who Can Adopt
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Who Can Be Adopted
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Traveling Abroad
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After Adoption
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Contact Information
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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 36 Months
A-2 None Multiple 36 Months
A-3 1 None Multiple 36 Months
B-1 None Multiple 60 Months
B-2 None Multiple 60 Months
B-1/B-2 None Multiple 60 Months
C-1 None Multiple 6 Months
C-1/D N/A N/A N/A
C-2 None One 6 Months
C-3 None Multiple 6 Months
CW-1 11 None Multiple 12 Months
CW-2 11 None Multiple 12 Months
D None Multiple 60 Months
E-1 2 No Treaty N/A N/A
E-2 2 No Treaty N/A N/A
E-2C 12 None Multiple 24 Months
F-1 None Multiple 48 Months
F-2 None Multiple 48 Months
G-1 None Multiple 36 Months
G-2 None Multiple 36 Months
G-3 None Multiple 36 Months
G-4 None Multiple 36 Months
G-5 1 None Multiple 36 Months
H-1B None Multiple 60 Months 3
H-1C None Multiple 60 Months 3
H-2A None N/A N/A3
H-2B None N/A N/A3
H-2R None Multiple 60 Months 3
H-3 None Multiple 60 Months 3
H-4 None Multiple 60 Months 3
I None Multiple 12 Months
J-1 4 None Multiple 24 Months
J-2 4 None Multiple 24 Months
K-1 None One 6 Months
K-2 None One 6 Months
K-3 None Multiple 24 Months
K-4 None Multiple 24 Months
L-1 None Multiple 60 Months
L-2 None Multiple 60 Months
M-1 None Multiple 24 Months
M-2 None Multiple 24 Months
N-8 None Multiple 24 Months
N-9 None Multiple 24 Months
NATO 1-7 N/A N/A N/A
O-1 None Multiple 60 Months 3
O-2 None Multiple 60 Months 3
O-3 None Multiple 60 Months 3
P-1 None Multiple 60 Months 3
P-2 None Multiple 60 Months 3
P-3 None Multiple 60 Months 3
P-4 None Multiple 60 Months 3
Q-1 6 None Multiple 15 Months 3
R-1 None Multiple 60 Months
R-2 None Multiple 60 Months
S-5 7 None One 1 Month
S-6 7 None One 1 Month
S-7 7 None One 1 Month
T-1 9 N/A N/A N/A
T-2 None One 6 Months
T-3 None One 6 Months
T-4 None One 6 Months
T-5 None One 6 Months
T-6 None One 6 Months
TD 5 N/A N/A N/A
U-1 None One 1 Month
U-2 None One 1 Month
U-3 None One 1 Month
U-4 None One 1 Month
U-5 None One 1 Month
V-1 None Multiple 120 Months
V-2 None Multiple 120 Months 8
V-3 None Multiple 120 Months 8
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Country Specific Footnotes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Canadian Nationals

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

    Mexican Nationals

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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General Documents

Please check back for update.

Birth, Death, Burial Certificates

Birth Certificates

Available. Certificates are obtainable from the Registrar of Births and Deaths at the NTC Complex, Ecowas Avenue in Banjul. There is a nominal charge for these certificates. These are obtainable at any age after birth.

Death Certificates

Available. Death certificates are obtainable in two days from the Registrar of Births and Deaths at NTC Complex, Ecowas Avenuee in Banjul.

Marriage, Divorce Certificates

Marriage Certificates

  • Civil: Available. Certified copies of civil marriage certificates are obtainable from the Registrar General, Ministry of Justice, Marina Parade, Banjul.
  • Muslim: Available. Certified copies of Mohammedan marriage certificates are obtainable from the Registrar of the Cadi's Court, ECOWAS Avenue, Banjul.

Same-sex marriages are not recognized.

Divorce Certificates

  • Civil: Available. Civil divorce records are obtainable from the Registrar of the High Court, Banjul. The name of the petitioner and the respondent, as well as the date of the divorce decree should be furnished.
  • Muslim: Available. Certified copies of Mohammedan divorce records are obtainable from the Registrar of the Khadi's Court, ECOWAS Avenue, Banjul.
Adoption Certificates

Please check back for update.

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Identity Card

Please check back for update.

Police, Court, Prison Records

Police Records

Police clearance certificates are available to any resident of The Gambia for 100 dalasis (less than US $4.00). For non-Gambians the fee is 500 dalasis (about $18.00). The process may take a considerable length of time especially when either the individual or a contact is not physically present in The Gambia.

Criminal records are maintained indefinitely at a central Criminal Records Office and are never purged. Criminal records are indexed by the individual's unique national identity number and include fingerprints for verification. Contact the Inspector General of Police Force Headquarters, ECOWAS Avenue, Banjul.

Prison Records

Available. A prison record may be obtained from the Superintendent of Prisons, Mile 2 Central Prison, Banjul.

Military Records

Available. Military records for Gambian nationals who performed military service in the Gambian armed forces may be obtained from the Army Headquarters, Marina Parade, Banjul.

Passports & Other Travel Documents

The Gambian Immigration Department issues machine-readable tourist, service and diplomatic passports. The high-quality new passport incorporates the following security features:

  • Passport Cover: Although the gold seal of the Republic of the Gambia remains the same, a dark forest green background replaces the old royal blue.
  • Inside Cover: Both the old and new passports contain invisible UV-reactive designs on the inside covers. The visible artwork on the new passport includes a pirogue (a type of canoe) and two birds on the inside front cover and a more complex background design on the inside front and back covers.
  • Passport Numbers: The green tourist passports have numbers beginning with two letters followed by 6 digits (e.g. PC123456) replace the old 6-digit passport numbers (e.g. 654321). New service passports have navy blue covers with numbers beginning with the letter S followed by 6 digits (e.g. S000000). For diplomatic passports, the cover is red and the numbers begin with the letter D followed by 6 digits (e.g. D000000). The numbers are still perforated into the passport pages but not the cover. The passport number appears in black ink and invisible UV-reactive ink in the middle of page 1 of the new passport.
  • Passport Pages: The passport contains 32 numbered pages bound in the middle with UV-reactive thread. Like the old passport, the new passport has the seal of The Gambia in the middle of each page. In addition, the new pages feature more subtle coloration fading from green to blue to pink and finer microprinting that reads "Republic of The Gambia" in wavy lines. UV light illuminates the words "Republic of The Gambia" in a circle around seven birds on each page, with the birds oriented in opposite directions on facing pages. Page numbers are printed tab-style on the edge of the page in UV-reactive ink.
  • Identity Page: The identity page is printed on a field of UV-reactive ink on the last page of the passport. The front of the page is matte and the back is laminated. The bearer's photograph appears large and clear on the left side of the page and smaller and faded on the right side of the page. The words "Republic of The Gambia" in light gold reflective ink run in three wavy lines across the bottom of the page, partially crossing the photograph and completely crossing the issue and expiration dates. The indented first and second lines begin with the words "Gambia" and "Republic". The third line starts with the word "Republic" all the way at the left margin of the page. Gambian passports are only valid for five (5) years.
Other Records

Not applicable.

Visa Issuing Posts

Banjul, The Gambia (Embassy)

Address: 92 Kairaba Avenue in Fajara

Mailing Address:P.M.B. No 19
Banjul, The Gambia

Tel: (220) 439-2856 or 439-1971 ext. 2131

Fax: (220) 439-2475

Visa Services

Nonimmigrant visas for all of Gambia. Immigrant visa applications for nationals of The Gambia are processed by the U.S. Embassy in Dakar, Senegal.

Foreign Consular Office Contact Information

Washington, DC (202) 785-1399 (202) 785-1379 (202) 785-1425

Assistance for U.S. Citizens

U.S. Embassy Banjul
92 Kairaba Avenue, Fajara
Banjul
The Gambia
Telephone
+(220) 439-2856, +(220) 439-2858 or +(220) 439-1971
Emergency
+(220) 437-2856, x-2466
Fax
+(220) 439-2475
The Gambia 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

The Gambia
Republic of The Gambia
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Embassy Messages

Banjul

 

Quick Facts
PASSPORT VALIDITY:

Valid for duration of stay

BLANK PASSPORT PAGES:

One page 

TOURIST VISA REQUIRED:

Yes

VACCINATIONS:

Yellow fever

CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR ENTRY:

None

CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR EXIT:

None

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Embassies and Consulates

U.S. Embassy Banjul

92 Kairaba Avenue, Fajara
Banjul
The Gambia
Telephone: +(220) 439-2856, +(220) 439-2858 or +(220) 439-1971
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(220) 437-2856, x-2466
Fax: +(220) 439-2475

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Destination Description

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

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Entry, Exit and Visa Requirements

Requirements for Entry:

  • Passport
  • Visa
  • World Health Organization (WHO) card with yellow fever vaccination for people coming from countries where Yellow Fever infection is common.

Visas:

Obtain your visa before traveling or within two working days of arrival from the Department of Immigration in downtown Banjul.  Visit the Embassy of The Gambia website for the most current visa information. Overseas inquiries should be made at the nearest Gambian embassy or consulate.  

An “airport development” fee of 20 Euros (or its equivalent in Dollars or Dalasi) is included in ticket fees for passengers departing The Gambia.

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

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

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Safety and Security

Avoid the southern borders of the Casamance region in Senegal, where separatist groups/rebels operate and have attacked travelers on roads leading north from Ziguinchor, Senegal, to Banjul, and on Senegalese roads from Bignona to Senoba, which is near the Senegal - Gambia border.

Public demonstrations are increasingly common.  Police tactics used to clear these events have included violence and the arrest of bystanders not directly involved in the demonstrations. In April and May 2016, dozens of people were arrested for participating in and being in the vicinity of protests.  At least one of the arrested protestors died while in police custody.  

Because of this potential for violence, you should avoid political events and street demonstrations, including peaceful protests and exercise caution in the vicinity of any large gatherings. Even demonstrations intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational and escalate into violence.

Safety Precautions:

  • Avoid demonstrations and public gatherings.
  • Monitor local and international news from reliable sources and consular messages.

Crime: Petty street crime is common. Pickpockets, purse snatching, and theft from hotel rooms and vehicles occur on ferries and in market and commercial areas frequented by foreigners.  Ensure that your travel documents, luggage, and valuable items are secure. Business fraud and relationship scams are problems.

Beware of “bumsters” - local men who approach tourists, particularly on beaches, offering help or to act as local guides and then demand payment even if not previously agreed upon.  Bumsters target Western travelers, seeking either financial assistance or marriage in order to depart The Gambia.  Be polite but decisive in turning down unwanted help or attempts at conversation. 

  • Avoid walking alone, including on beaches, in tourist areas, and after dark. 
  • Do not display cash and valuable personal property.
  • Drive with doors locked and windows closed or rolled up enough at all times to prevent theft while stopped in traffic.

Relationship fraud/scam: The U.S. embassy is frequently contacted by victims of internet romance scams and health-related plea-for-help scams in which the person with whom the U.S. citizen has been corresponding is using a fake identity and is in no need of financial or other assistance. The most common scenario is when a U.S. citizen is befriended or engaged to someone over the internet. This person eventually requests financial assistance from the unsuspecting victim to help pay for urgent medical treatment, exit tax, government fine, or other fraudulent reason.

Business fraud/scams: The U.S. embassy receives reports of scams in which U.S. businesses sent payment, but did not receive shipments

  • Be suspicious of any unsolicited offers to participate in lucrative business opportunities, especially if they require financial disclosures, money transfers, large up-front investments, or promises of confidentiality. 
  • Carefully scrutinize all proposals before you commit any funds, provide any goods or services, or undertake any travel. 
  • See International Financial Scams

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 at 117 for police assistance, 117 for ambulatory services, and 118 for fire and contact the U.S. Embassy at +(220) 439-2856.   The Gambian Police Force operates a 24 hour emergency line at (220) 422-4914.  Please be advised that emergency responders may lack fuel for vehicles or face other resource challenges.  Remember that local authorities are responsible for investigating and prosecuting the crime. 

Please see our information for victims of crime, including possible victim compensation programs in the United States.

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 information on victim’s compensation programs in the U.S.

•    provide an emergency loan for repatriation to the United States and/or limited medical support in cases of destitution

•    help you find accommodation and arrange flights home

•    replace a stolen or lost passport

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

For further information:

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Local Laws & Special Circumstances

Criminal Penalties: Convictions for possessing, using, or trafficking in illegal drugs result in long prison sentences or death.  There are strict laws on the import and export of skin-bleaching creams and some medications. 

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

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

Arrest Notification:  If you are arrested or detained, ask police or prison officials to notify the U.S. Embassy immediately.  See our webpage for further information.  Gambian law enforcement officials routinely block access to foreign nationals in detention. The U.S. Embassy therefore may not receive notification or be allowed access to you if you are detained.

Dual Nationals:  In addition to being subject to all of The Gambia’s laws affecting foreigners, dual U.S. - Gambian citizens may be subject to additional provisions of Gambian law. Please inquire at a Gambian embassy or consulate regarding your status before you travel.  Gambian police routinely do not recognize dual citizenship and may treat the person solely as a Gambian citizen.

Medications: Import and export of skin-bleaching creams and some medications is strictly regulated.  You can face fines up to $2,000 and/or three years imprisonment if you arrive with substances containing one percent or more of: hydroquinone (in any form), hydrocortisone (unless in trace amounts and for specific purposes such as anti-itch products), betamethasone, flucinonide, clobestatol, or clobestatone.

Photography:  It is against the law to photograph or film government buildings, airports, military installations, embassies, bridges, or government motorcades. You could be fined, have your photographic equipment confiscated without notice, and risk detention and arrest.  Do not take photos of Gambians without their permission.

Currency:  The dalasi is the official currency, though US dollars, euros, and CFAs are widely accepted.  The Gambia is a cash economy; credit cards are accepted only at major hotels, some grocery stores, and a few restaurants.  Exchange currency at banks or exchange bureaus only. Changing money unofficially is prohibited.  Be aware that banks may close unexpectedly.  Due to the potential for fraud and equipment malfunction, avoid using ATMs.  Money transfers are widely available at Western Union branch offices.

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

LGBTI Travelers:  Consensual same-sex sexual relations are illegal with prison terms ranging from five years to life imprisonment, and there is strong societal discrimination against LGBTI individuals.  The Gambian authorities have called upon landlords and owners of bars, restaurants, and hotels to monitor activities that happen in their environments.  A number of people have been arrested under this law. The Gambian president frequently uses violent, threatening public rhetoric to discourage LGBTI individuals from traveling to The Gambia, and he participates in public protests against LGBTI rights. Antidiscrimination laws do not protect LGBTI individuals.  Gambian security forces have systematically targeted individuals for arrest and detention because of their perceived sexual orientation.

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

Travelers Who Require Accessibility Assistance:

Persons with disabilities face limited access to transportation, communication, accommodations, and public buildings. There are few sidewalks and no curb-cuts, and most buildings lack functioning elevators.

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

Women Travelers: 

Although gender-based violence is illegal, 75.5 percent of wives experience domestic violence. Rape, including spousal rape, is a widespread problem.  Police generally consider spousal rape to be a domestic issue outside their jurisdiction.

Female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C) is a crime.  Accomplices who are aware of the practice but do not report it to the police can also be punished.  Almost 80 percent of girls and women between the ages of 15 and 19 have undergone FGM/C, and seven of the nine major ethnic groups practice FGM/C on girls from shortly after birth until age 16.

See our travel tips for Women Travelers.

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Health

Medical facilities are very limited, some treatments are unavailable, and emergency services can be unpredictable and unreliable. There are no trauma centers in The Gambia and severe accidents require evacuation to Senegal or Europe.  

Carry prescription medication in original packaging, along with your doctor’s prescription as well as over-the-counter medicines or treatments. Check with the nearest Gambian embassy or consulate to ensure the medication is legal. Malaria is prevalent throughout the country. Chemoprophylaxis is recommended for all travelers even for short stays. Use mosquito repellents containing either 20 percent DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon, eucalyptus or IR3535.  Sleep under insecticide-impregnated mosquito nets. 

You should:

  • Carry and use insect repellents containing either 20 percent DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus or IR3535. 
  • Treat clothing and tents with permethrin
  • Sleep in screened or air conditioned rooms under insecticide-impregnated mosquito nets.

You are responsible for all medical costs. U.S. Medicare does not cover you overseas. 

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

The following diseases are prevalent:

  • Malaria
  • Yellow Fever
  • Dengue Fever
  • Diarrheal Illness
  • Rabies
  • Meningococcal Meningitis
  • Tuberculosis
  • Schistosomiasis

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: Road conditions are poor, particularly during the rainy season, which generally lasts from July through September.  Although main roads are paved in the greater Banjul area, many are potholed and poorly lit. Some drivers in the Banjul area do not use vehicle lights at night, and many habitually drive with high beams on. Most roads outside the Banjul area are unlit and unpaved. Livestock and pedestrians pose road hazards throughout the country, including in the greater Banjul area. 

Traffic Laws:  Numerous accidents are caused by intoxicated drivers.  You may be substantially fined or imprisoned if you cause an accident while intoxicated.  

The police do not consistently apply traffic laws and regulations, and sometimes compel drivers to pay fines on the spot for violations, real or contrived.  Written citations/tickets are rarely given.

Roadblocks:  Police periodically set up impromptu traffic stops on major streets to check for drivers’ licenses and proper insurance.  You are obligated to stop at all roadblocks or road checkpoints.  Do not reverse direction to avoid a road checkpoint or make any movements that security personnel may view as suspicious or provocative.

Government convoys pose serious risks to drivers and pedestrians. Government convoys frequently travel at high speeds and often in either or both lanes of traffic, including in the oncoming traffic lane and do not always use sirens to announce their presence.

  • Pull to the side of the road as far as possible.
  • Do not attempt to move until the entire convoy has passed.
  • Failure to comply may result vehicle damage with possible personal injury. 

Public Transportation: Exercise caution when using taxis, particularly at night. Most taxis lack safety belts and many are not road-worthy. 

Water transportation, including government ferries, is unsafe and unreliable. Ferries, which are poorly maintained and usually lack sufficient numbers of life preservers for all passengers, are often overcrowded.  Exit your vehicle quickly after parking to avoid becoming trapped inside for the duration of the crossing. The wooden dugout “pirogues” that also cross the Gambia River often leave shore overloaded and occasionally sink in the middle of the river. 

See our Road Safety page for more information.  Visit the website of The Gambia’s national tourist office and national authority responsible for road safety.

Aviation Safety Oversight: As there is no direct commercial air service to the United States by carriers registered in The Gambia, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has not assessed the government of The Gambia’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?
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U.S. Treaty Partner under the Hague Abduction Convention?
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Learn why the Hague Abduction Convention Matters.
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 Banjul

92 Kairaba Avenue, Fajara
Banjul
The Gambia
Telephone: +(220) 439-2856, +(220) 439-2858 or +(220) 439-1971
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(220) 437-2856, x-2466
Fax: +(220) 439-2475

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General Information
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Hague Abduction Convention
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Return
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Visitation/Access
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Mediation
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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 when 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.

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

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

The Gambia is not party to the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption (Hague Adoption Convention). Intercountry adoptions of children from non-Hague countries are processed in accordance with 8 Code of Federal Regulations, Section 204.3 as it relates to orphans as defined under the Immigration and Nationality Act, Section 101(b)(1)(F).

Below is the limited adoption information that the Department has obtained from the adoption authority of the Gambia. U.S. citizens adopting children in rare adoption cases from the Gambia, as well as U.S. citizen prospective adoptive parents living in The Gambia who would like to adopt from the United States or from a third country, should contact the adoption authority of the Gambia to inquire about applicable laws and procedures. See contact information below.

Foreigners are allowed to adopt Gambian children only in exceptional circumstances. Prospective adoptive parents usually must be resident in The Gambia at least six months prior to applying to adopt.

PLEASE NOTE: The U.S. Embassy in Dakar, Senegal issues immigrant visas for Gambian citizens, including adopted orphans.

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

Please visit the Department of State's Country Specific Information for more information on travelling to The Gambia and the U.S. Embassy Dakar website for information on consular services.

THE GAMBIAN ADOPTION AUTHORITY:
The Kanifing Children's Court
Address: Mamadi Maniyang Highway, Kanifing, KMC, The Gambia
Tel: +(220) 437-4525 or 439-2202
Fax: None
Email: None
Internet: None

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Contact Information
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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 36 Months
A-2 None Multiple 36 Months
A-3 1 None Multiple 36 Months
B-1 None Multiple 60 Months
B-2 None Multiple 60 Months
B-1/B-2 None Multiple 60 Months
C-1 None Multiple 6 Months
C-1/D N/A N/A N/A
C-2 None One 6 Months
C-3 None Multiple 6 Months
CW-1 11 None Multiple 12 Months
CW-2 11 None Multiple 12 Months
D None Multiple 60 Months
E-1 2 No Treaty N/A N/A
E-2 2 No Treaty N/A N/A
E-2C 12 None Multiple 24 Months
F-1 None Multiple 48 Months
F-2 None Multiple 48 Months
G-1 None Multiple 36 Months
G-2 None Multiple 36 Months
G-3 None Multiple 36 Months
G-4 None Multiple 36 Months
G-5 1 None Multiple 36 Months
H-1B None Multiple 60 Months 3
H-1C None Multiple 60 Months 3
H-2A None N/A N/A3
H-2B None N/A N/A3
H-2R None Multiple 60 Months 3
H-3 None Multiple 60 Months 3
H-4 None Multiple 60 Months 3
I None Multiple 12 Months
J-1 4 None Multiple 24 Months
J-2 4 None Multiple 24 Months
K-1 None One 6 Months
K-2 None One 6 Months
K-3 None Multiple 24 Months
K-4 None Multiple 24 Months
L-1 None Multiple 60 Months
L-2 None Multiple 60 Months
M-1 None Multiple 24 Months
M-2 None Multiple 24 Months
N-8 None Multiple 24 Months
N-9 None Multiple 24 Months
NATO 1-7 N/A N/A N/A
O-1 None Multiple 60 Months 3
O-2 None Multiple 60 Months 3
O-3 None Multiple 60 Months 3
P-1 None Multiple 60 Months 3
P-2 None Multiple 60 Months 3
P-3 None Multiple 60 Months 3
P-4 None Multiple 60 Months 3
Q-1 6 None Multiple 15 Months 3
R-1 None Multiple 60 Months
R-2 None Multiple 60 Months
S-5 7 None One 1 Month
S-6 7 None One 1 Month
S-7 7 None One 1 Month
T-1 9 N/A N/A N/A
T-2 None One 6 Months
T-3 None One 6 Months
T-4 None One 6 Months
T-5 None One 6 Months
T-6 None One 6 Months
TD 5 N/A N/A N/A
U-1 None One 1 Month
U-2 None One 1 Month
U-3 None One 1 Month
U-4 None One 1 Month
U-5 None One 1 Month
V-1 None Multiple 120 Months
V-2 None Multiple 120 Months 8
V-3 None Multiple 120 Months 8
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Country Specific Footnotes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Canadian Nationals

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

    Mexican Nationals

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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General Documents

Please check back for update.

Birth, Death, Burial Certificates

Birth Certificates

Available. Certificates are obtainable from the Registrar of Births and Deaths at the NTC Complex, Ecowas Avenue in Banjul. There is a nominal charge for these certificates. These are obtainable at any age after birth.

Death Certificates

Available. Death certificates are obtainable in two days from the Registrar of Births and Deaths at NTC Complex, Ecowas Avenuee in Banjul.

Marriage, Divorce Certificates

Marriage Certificates

  • Civil: Available. Certified copies of civil marriage certificates are obtainable from the Registrar General, Ministry of Justice, Marina Parade, Banjul.
  • Muslim: Available. Certified copies of Mohammedan marriage certificates are obtainable from the Registrar of the Cadi's Court, ECOWAS Avenue, Banjul.

Same-sex marriages are not recognized.

Divorce Certificates

  • Civil: Available. Civil divorce records are obtainable from the Registrar of the High Court, Banjul. The name of the petitioner and the respondent, as well as the date of the divorce decree should be furnished.
  • Muslim: Available. Certified copies of Mohammedan divorce records are obtainable from the Registrar of the Khadi's Court, ECOWAS Avenue, Banjul.
Adoption Certificates

Please check back for update.

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Identity Card

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Police, Court, Prison Records

Police Records

Police clearance certificates are available to any resident of The Gambia for 100 dalasis (less than US $4.00). For non-Gambians the fee is 500 dalasis (about $18.00). The process may take a considerable length of time especially when either the individual or a contact is not physically present in The Gambia.

Criminal records are maintained indefinitely at a central Criminal Records Office and are never purged. Criminal records are indexed by the individual's unique national identity number and include fingerprints for verification. Contact the Inspector General of Police Force Headquarters, ECOWAS Avenue, Banjul.

Prison Records

Available. A prison record may be obtained from the Superintendent of Prisons, Mile 2 Central Prison, Banjul.

Military Records

Available. Military records for Gambian nationals who performed military service in the Gambian armed forces may be obtained from the Army Headquarters, Marina Parade, Banjul.

Passports & Other Travel Documents

The Gambian Immigration Department issues machine-readable tourist, service and diplomatic passports. The high-quality new passport incorporates the following security features:

  • Passport Cover: Although the gold seal of the Republic of the Gambia remains the same, a dark forest green background replaces the old royal blue.
  • Inside Cover: Both the old and new passports contain invisible UV-reactive designs on the inside covers. The visible artwork on the new passport includes a pirogue (a type of canoe) and two birds on the inside front cover and a more complex background design on the inside front and back covers.
  • Passport Numbers: The green tourist passports have numbers beginning with two letters followed by 6 digits (e.g. PC123456) replace the old 6-digit passport numbers (e.g. 654321). New service passports have navy blue covers with numbers beginning with the letter S followed by 6 digits (e.g. S000000). For diplomatic passports, the cover is red and the numbers begin with the letter D followed by 6 digits (e.g. D000000). The numbers are still perforated into the passport pages but not the cover. The passport number appears in black ink and invisible UV-reactive ink in the middle of page 1 of the new passport.
  • Passport Pages: The passport contains 32 numbered pages bound in the middle with UV-reactive thread. Like the old passport, the new passport has the seal of The Gambia in the middle of each page. In addition, the new pages feature more subtle coloration fading from green to blue to pink and finer microprinting that reads "Republic of The Gambia" in wavy lines. UV light illuminates the words "Republic of The Gambia" in a circle around seven birds on each page, with the birds oriented in opposite directions on facing pages. Page numbers are printed tab-style on the edge of the page in UV-reactive ink.
  • Identity Page: The identity page is printed on a field of UV-reactive ink on the last page of the passport. The front of the page is matte and the back is laminated. The bearer's photograph appears large and clear on the left side of the page and smaller and faded on the right side of the page. The words "Republic of The Gambia" in light gold reflective ink run in three wavy lines across the bottom of the page, partially crossing the photograph and completely crossing the issue and expiration dates. The indented first and second lines begin with the words "Gambia" and "Republic". The third line starts with the word "Republic" all the way at the left margin of the page. Gambian passports are only valid for five (5) years.
Other Records

Not applicable.

Visa Issuing Posts

Banjul, The Gambia (Embassy)

Address: 92 Kairaba Avenue in Fajara

Mailing Address:P.M.B. No 19
Banjul, The Gambia

Tel: (220) 439-2856 or 439-1971 ext. 2131

Fax: (220) 439-2475

Visa Services

Nonimmigrant visas for all of Gambia. Immigrant visa applications for nationals of The Gambia are processed by the U.S. Embassy in Dakar, Senegal.

Foreign Consular Office Contact Information

Washington, DC (202) 785-1399 (202) 785-1379 (202) 785-1425

Assistance for U.S. Citizens

U.S. Embassy Banjul
92 Kairaba Avenue, Fajara
Banjul
The Gambia
Telephone
+(220) 439-2856, +(220) 439-2858 or +(220) 439-1971
Emergency
+(220) 437-2856, x-2466
Fax
+(220) 439-2475
The Gambia 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.