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Travel Advisories

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Alerts and Warnings

Burkina Faso Travel Warning

Travel Warning
June 7, 2017
Burkina Faso Travel Warning
O E N H U T C

The Department of State warns U.S. citizens of the risks of travel to Burkina Faso, and recommends they avoid travel to the northern part of the Sahel region, and exercise caution in the rest of Burkina Faso, due to continuing threats to safety and security, including terrorism. The ability of the U.S. Embassy to provide consular services in remote and rural areas of the country is limited. This Travel Warning replaces the Travel Warning issued on January 20, 2016.

The security environment in Burkina Faso is fluid and attacks are possible anywhere in the country, including Ouagadougou. ISIS, al-Qaeda in the Lands of the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), and al-Murabitun terrorist organizations and affiliates have declared their intention to attack foreign targets in North and West Africa. In January 2016, armed assailants attacked civilians at the Splendid Hotel and Cappuccino restaurant in Ouagadougou, killing 30 people, including one U.S. citizen. AQIM and al-Murabitun claimed responsibility for the attack. Violent extremist groups increased their activities in Burkina Faso’s Sahel region in 2016 and 2017, attacking police stations, customs offices, military posts, and schools in Koutougou, Intangom, Markoye, Tinakoff, Nassoumbou, Kourfayel, and Baraboule.

In the border regions shared by Mali, Niger, and Burkina Faso, extremist groups and linked criminal networks have targeted Westerners for kidnapping. These northern regions are extremely remote, and the ability of the governments of either Burkina Faso or the United States to provide emergency assistance there is very limited.

Due to the risk of attacks throughout the Sahel region, the U.S. Embassy has placed restrictions on official government travel to Dori and Djibo, the road that connects these cities, and all areas north of that road. Embassy personnel traveling to or staying at Parc National du W (Parc W), the regional national park located on Burkina Faso’s southeastern border with Niger and Benin, must arrange armed escort with Burkina Faso security forces. U.S. citizens are encouraged to follow the same guidance.

U.S. citizens who choose to visit or remain in Burkina Faso should maintain situational awareness at all times, and have evacuation plans that do not rely on U.S. government assistance. Take steps to mitigate the risk of becoming a victim of violence, including limiting trips to locations frequented by Westerners.

For further information:

Country Information

Burkina Faso
Burkina Faso
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Embassy Messages
Quick Facts
PASSPORT VALIDITY:

Must be valid at time of entry

BLANK PASSPORT PAGES:

One blank page required for entry stamp

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 Ouagadougou
Secteur 15, Ouaga 2000
Avenue Sembène Ousmane, Rue 15.873
Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso
Telephone: +(226) 25-49-53-00
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(226) 25-49-53-00
Consular Fax: (226) 25-49-56-23
Consular e-mail:  consularouaga@state.gov

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Destination Description

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

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Entry, Exit and Visa Requirements

Visit the Embassy of Burkina Faso website for the most current visa information.

We strongly urge U.S. citizens to acquire visas for Burkina Faso before traveling to the country.

U.S. citizens traveling to Burkina Faso can apply for a visa by mail, in person, or at the Embassy of Burkina Faso, where they can receive a five-year multiple-entry visa.  Single-entry and multiple-entry visas with a maximum validity of three months are available upon arrival in Burkina Faso.  Once in Burkina Faso you can apply for a five-year multiple entry visa at the Visa Office of Ouagadougou located in Gounghin.  

(Note: Several companies that offer visa services, but have no affiliation with the Government of Burkina Faso, have set up sites to resemble that of the Embassy of Burkina Faso.  The correct web address for the Embassy of Burkina Faso in Washington DC is www.burkina-usa.org; the site for Burkina Faso’s Permanent Mission to the UN is www.burkina-onu.org).

All travelers older than nine months are required to present their current and valid World Health Organization (WHO) “International Certificate of Vaccination” card (commonly called a “yellow card”) showing that their yellow fever vaccination is up-to-date.

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

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

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Safety and Security

See the Department of State’s Travel Warning for Burkina Faso and Worldwide Caution for current security information.

Terrorism:  Violent extremist elements, including, but not limited to al-Qaida in the Lands of Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) and extremists tied to al-Murabitun, remain active in Bukina Faso and throughout the region.  They have specifically targeted Westerners in attacks and kidnappings. 

On January 15, 2016, armed assailants attacked civilians at the Splendid Hotel and Cappuccino restaurant, killing people of 10 different nationalities, including one U.S. citizen.  Violent extremist and militant elements, AQIM and al-Murabitun, have claimed responsibility for the attack. 

Civil Unrest:  Demonstrations may occur with little to no advance warning throughout Burkina Faso.  Maintain a surplus of supplies including food, water, fuel, and medical supplies in case the need to shelter-in-place arises.  U.S. citizens should remain vigilant and utilize appropriate personal security practices, including: 

  • avoiding large gatherings, protests, or demonstrations;
  • maintaining situational awareness and exercise good judgment;
  • remaining alert and aware of your surroundings;
  • staying abreast of the situation through media outlets.

Crime:  Crime rates are a concern in the major cities of Burkina Faso and foreign nationals are often directly targeted.  Purse snatchings, muggings, and thefts from hotel rooms are common.  You should remain vigilant in crowded areas and ensure your personal belongings are secure at all times.  Security risks increase during nightime, so avoid traveling alone after dark.  Be alert and aware of your surroundings, travel with a group of people if at all possible, and avoid poorly lit streets and narrow alleys.

Travel in convoys when outside of major urban areas to deter roadside crime.Roadside banditry occurs most frequently in the East region, which borders Niger, Benin, and Togom, and increasingly in the Center-East, Center-North and Center-West regions, which include highways out of Ouagadougou.  Bandits often use spotters at highway checkpoints and bus stations to profile and identify potential victims.  While bandits mainly steal valuables, they may physically harm victims during the course of a robbery.  

Exercise caution when traveling along the northern areas of the country near the Mali and Niger borders.  The Government of Burkina Faso and the U.S. Embassy have limited ability to provide assistance in the Sahel Reserve region.  The U.S. Embassy has placed restrictions on official government travel to Dori, Djibo, the road that connects these cities, and all areas north of that road.  Embassy personnel are also prohibited from traveling to or staying at Parc National du W (Parc W), the regional national park located on Burkina Faso’s southeastern border with Niger and Benin.  U.S. citizens are encouraged to follow the same guidance.  

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

Victims of Crime:  Report crimes to the local police at 10-10 and contact the U.S. Embassy.  The national emergency telephone number, 10-10,will connect a caller to the Ministry of Security who can then dispatch the appropriate law enforcement or emergency assistance entity. 

Within Ouagadougou, emergency services numbers are as follows:

  • Fire Department
    • Dial 18 for emergencies.
    • Dial 25-30-69-47 or 25-30-69-48 for administrative issues.
  • Ambulance Service:
    • Dial 18 for emergencies.
    • Dial 25-30-66-44 or 25-30-66-45 for administrative issues.
  • Police:
    • Dial 17 for emergencies.
    • Dial 25-36-44-42 or 25-32-60-69 for administrative issues.
  • Gendarmerie (Military Police):
    • Dial 16 or 80-00-11-45 for emergencies.
    • Dial 25-30-32-71 or 25-31-33-40 for administrative issues.

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

See our webpage on help for U.S. victims of crime overseas.

We can:

  • help you find appropriate medical care
  • assist you in reporting a crime to the police
  • contact relatives or friends with your written consent
  • explain the local criminal justice process in general terms
  • provide a list of local attorneys
  • provide our information on victim’s compensation programs in the U.S.
  • provide an emergency loan for repatriation to the United States and/or limited medical
  • support in cases of destitution
  • help you find accommodation and arrange flights home
  • replace a stolen or lost passport

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

For further information:

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Local Laws & Special Circumstances

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

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.

Faith-Based Travelers:  See the Department of State’s International Religious Freedom Report.

LGBTI Travelers:  There are no legal restrictions on same-sex sexual relations or the organization of LGBTI events in Burkina Faso.  LGBTI persons are at times threatened and face societal discrimination..  Same-sex civil unions or marriages are not recognized by the government, nor do LGBTI organizations receive official recognition by the government.

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

Travelers Who Require Accessibility Assistance:  Accommodation and accessibility for individuals with disabilities is limited in Burkina Faso.  Access to buildings, pedestrian paths and transportation is extremely difficult for persons with disabilities.  Most cafés, restaurants, hotels, and residential buildings have stairs at the entrance without wheelchair ramps.  Buses and taxis do not have special accommodations for disabled persons.

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

Women Travelers:   Although the law prohibits violence against women, domestic violence, including spousal abuse, is widely reported.  Wives have limited legal recourse in cases of abuse. There is no reliable data on the extent of sexual assault though it is a problem.  Rape cases usually are not tried.  Police generally investigate reports of rape, but victims often do not file reports due to cultural barriers and fear of reprisal.

The law prohibits Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting, but it is practiced widely, particularly in rural areas, and usually performed at an early age.

See our travel tips for Women Travelers.

Early Marriage:  The legal age for marriage is 17 for girls and 20 for boys, but child marriage is a problem.  The law prohibits forced marriage.  Polygyny is permitted, but a woman must agree to it prior to marriage.

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Health

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

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

We strongly recommend supplemental insurance (our webpage) to cover medical evacuation.

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

The following diseases are prevelant:

  • Dengue
  • Meningococcal meningitis
  • Schistosomiasis
  • Tuberculosis

HIV infection is common throughout the country and is estimated to be present in 16% of sex workers in Ougadougou.

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 differ significantly from those in the United States.  While major urban and intercity roads are paved, they can be narrow and full of potholes. Dirt roads are common, even in large cities.  Vehicles will often enter oncoming traffic to pass or maneuver around obstacles.  Broken-down vehicles may be abandoned on the road.  Rural roads outside of major arteries are often in poor condition and roadside assistance is not available.  The police rarely enforce traffic laws and there is virtually no police presence on rural roads.  Emergency services in case of accidents are scarce, underequipped, and practically nonexistent in most rural areas. 

Traffic Laws:  In addition to regular car and truck traffic, there are large volumes of non-vehicular traffic on main thoroughfares.  As a result, the average safe speed is 25-30 MPH.  Few streets are named, and some street names have changed in recent years.  When navigating the city, take note of landmarks, such as neighborhood pharmacies, specific buildings, permanent signs, and roundabouts.  The majority of paved roads do not have adequate markings, which leads to confusion among drivers.  Roadways are poorly lit, making travel at night is especially dangerous.  Flooding is a major problem during the rainy season in parts of Burkina Faso, causing severe damage to roads and buildings. 

Public Transportation:  Avoid using buses and local (green) taxis.  Buses have been involved in catastrophic accidents and been targeted by roadside bandits.  Green taxis are often mechanically unsafe, pick up multiple passengers in one single taxi, and have been connected to criminal activity involving its passenger.  There are a handful of yellow taxi cab services that are acceptable and utilize centralized dispatchers, fare meters, seatbelts, and well-maintained automobiles.  Exercise caution and remain aware of yourpersonal belongings at all times.

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 Burkina Faso, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has not assessed the government of Burkina Faso’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?
Yes
U.S. Treaty Partner under the Hague Abduction Convention?
Yes
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 Ouagadougou
Secteur 15, Ouaga 2000
Avenue Sembène Ousmane, Rue 15.873
Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso
Telephone: +(226) 25-49-53-00
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(226) 25-49-53-00
Consular Fax: (226) 25-49-56-23
Consular e-mail:  consularouaga@state.gov

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General Information

Burkina Faso and the United States have been treaty partners under the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction (Hague Abduction Convention) since November 1, 1992.

For information concerning travel to Burkina Faso, 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 Burkina Faso.   

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

 

The U.S. Department of State serves as the U.S. Central Authority (USCA) for the Hague Abduction Convention.  In this capacity, the Department's Bureau of Consular Affairs, Directorate for Overseas Citizens Services, Office of Children's Issues facilitates the submission of applications under the Hague Abduction Convention for the return of, or access to, children located in countries that are U.S. treaty partners, including Burkina Faso.  Parents are strongly encouraged to contact the Department of State for assistance prior to initiating the Hague process directly with the foreign Central Authority.

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

The Burkina Faso Central Authority (BFCA) for the Hague Abduction Convention is the Ministry of Social Action and National Solidarity.  The BFCA plays the role of facilitator in Hague Abduction Convention cases, taking measures to locate the child and taking parent, to visit the home and interview the taking parent, and to seek a voluntary return.  If the taking parent does not agree to a voluntary return, the BFCA will forward the Hague application to the public prosecutor and act as the formal applicant in return proceedings before the court.  

Contact the BFCA at:

Ministère de l'Action Sociale et de la Solidarité Nationale
01 BP 515
OUAGADOUGOU 01
Burkina Faso
Telephone numbers: +226 5030-6880 /5031-0055
Fax: +226 5031-8530

To initiate a Hague case for return of, or access to, a child in Burkina Faso, the USCA encourages parents to review the eligibility criteria and instructions for completing the Hague application form located on the Department of State website and contact the Department of State for assistance prior to initiating the Hague process with the foreign Central Authority.  All documents written in English must be translated into French.  Please note, however, that certified translations are not necessary.  However, all relevant legal decisions or agreements must be authenticated.  The USCA is available to answer questions about the Hague application process, to forward a completed application to the BFCA, and to subsequently monitor its progress through the foreign administrative and legal processes. 

There are no fees for filing Hague applications with either the U.S. or Burkina Faso central authorities.  Attorney fees, if necessary, are the responsibility of the applicant.  Additional costs may include airplane tickets for court appearances and for the return of the child, if so ordered.

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Return

A parent or legal guardian may file an application under the Hague Abduction Convention for return to the United States of a child abducted to, or wrongfully retained in, Burkina Faso.  The U.S. Department of State can assist parents living in the United States to understand whether the Convention is an available civil remedy and can provide information on the process for submitting a Hague application.

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Visitation/Access

A person may file an application under the Hague Abduction Convention for access to a child living in Burkina Faso.  The criteria for acceptance of a Hague access application vary from country to country.  The U.S. Department of State can assist parents living in the United States to understand country-specific criteria and provide information on the process for submitting a Hague application.

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Retaining an Attorney

The BFCA does not provide an attorney to left-behind parents, but it provides a list of attorneys.  Retaining a private attorney is not required in order to submit a Hague Abduction Convention application to a court in Burkina Faso, because the BFCA acts as the formal applicant in court proceedings. Parents or legal guardians have the option to hire a private attorney to represent them, but all attorney fees will be the applicant's responsibility. If retained by the parent, a privately hired attorney should contact the BFCA as soon as possible after the Hague Abduction Convention application has been filed with the BFCA. 

The U.S. Embassy in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, posts a list of attorneys including those who specialize in family law.

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

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Mediation

Mediation may be available for abduction and access cases. The BFCA will contact Burkina Faso Social Services officials and attempt to initiate mediation services in all Hague Abduction Convention cases. Mediation is voluntary.

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?
Yes
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

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

PLEASE NOTE: It could take 12 to 18 months to complete the adoption process in Burkina Faso.

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

U.S. IMMIGRATION REQUIREMENTS FOR INTERCOUNTRY ADOPTIONS

To bring an adopted child to the United States from Burkina Faso, you must meet eligibility and suitability requirements.  The U.S. Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) determines who can adopt under U.S. immigration law.

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

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Who Can Adopt

In addition to the U.S. requirements, Burkina Faso obliges prospective adoptive parents to meet the following requirements in order to adopt a child from Burkina Faso:

  • RESIDENCY: There is no residency requirement for prospective adoptive parents residing outside of Burkina Faso.  There is a two-year residency requirement for prospective adoptive parents who live in Burkina Faso.
  • AGE OF ADOPTING PARENTS: A prospective adoptive parent must be between 30-55 years old and at least 15 years older than the child sought for adoption.  If the prospective adoptee is the biological child of one of the spouses, the age difference between the child and the spouse must be at least 10 years.
  • MARRIAGE: Couples must be legally married for at least five years to be eligible to adopt.  Although not specified in law, common practice is that single applicants and same sex couples are not permitted to adopt children in Burkina Faso.
    Note: Married prospective adoptive parents without children of their own are given priority. In some cases, couples that already have two or more children may have greater difficulty with the adoption process.
  • INCOME: Prospective adoptive parents are required to have sufficient funds to be able to take care of their adoptive child.  Proof of income must be submitted with the initial application.
  • OTHER: Although not specified in law, childless couples are given priority, followed by couples with one child.  The authorities must be convinced that an adoption will not generate a material profit for anyone involved in the adoption (except service providers such as lawyers).
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Who Can Be Adopted

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

ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS:

  • Relinquishment: If the child’s biological parents are known, there must be a consent act, a family council report, or a declaration of abandonment.

Consent Act:  Parents willing to relinquish their rights must introduce a request in court. They must sign a legal act giving their consent for the child to be adopted. In most cases, the child is already in foster care or in an orphanage.

Family Council Report:  The family council report is issued in cases where a parent is unfit to make decisions regarding his/her child or when the parents are deceased.  At least four family members make up the family council.  They must go before a court clerk to sign a document stating that they give their consent for the child to be adopted. 

  • Abandonment:  Under local law, children can be considered abandoned when they are taken into care by someone else, a private or public institution (nursery or orphanage), and their parents have had no contact for more than a year.  A Declaration of Abandonment is confirmed through a home study by the local social action office and the final document granting parental authority is issued in court.  In such cases, the parental authority is given to the institution or the person/family that is fostering the child.
  • Age of Adoptive Child:  Under local law, children can be adopted up to age 18.  If the adoptive child is aged 15 or older, however, he/she must give his/her personal consent before the adoption can take place.  Important Note:  U.S. citizens considering adopting a child aged 16 or older should contact the U.S. Embassy in Ouagadougou prior to initiating the adoption process; U.S. law requires a child to be under the age of 16 at the time the petition is filed to qualify for a U.S. immigrant visa, unless the child is the natural sibling of another child who was adopted by the same parents while under the age of 18.
  • Sibling Adoptions:  Sibling adoptions are encouraged.  In the case of twins, sibling twins will be placed with the same adoptive family.
  • Special Needs or Medical Conditions:  In the cases of specialneeds children and those with serious medical conditions, priority is given to parents who are specifically willing and ready to adopt children with the same needs or condition.  On the initial application form addressed to the Office of Placements and Adoptions, prospective adoptive parents must specify whether they seek to adopt a child with special needs such as a blind or physically handicapped child.
  • Waiting Period:  It usually takes 12 to 18 months to finalize an adoption from the time the application is received by the Central Authority to the time the final decree is issued.  The local social action offices maintain lists of adoptable children from local orphanages and nurseries under their jurisdiction.  Home studies are conducted on potentially adoptable children and submitted to the Central Authority only when there is no possibility to adopt locally.  The Central Authority matches these cases with prospective adoptive parents. The timing for each child can vary widely.
  • Foster Care:  Adopted children are often placed with host families but can also remain in the public or private institution in which they were placed (nursery, orphanage, etc).  Children can be placed in foster families from the time the Central Authority issues the Article 16 Report and has received the prospective adoptive parents’ agreement to proceed with the adoption.  The Article 16 Report specifies that medical and maintenance fees will be covered by the prospective adoptive parents.  Prospective adoptive parents, or their adoption service provider, may contact the Office of Placements and Adoptions for more information about the child.
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How to Adopt

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

Burkina Faso Adoption Authority
Ministère de l'Action Sociale et de la Solidarité Nationale
La Direction des Placements et des Adoptions
Immeuble Baoghin, Secteur 10
01 BP 515, Ouagadougou 01
Burkina Faso
Tel: [226] 50 30 68 80 (Switchboard)/ [226] 50 31 00 55 (Direct line)
Fax: [226] 50 31 67 37

Note:  If any of the following occurred prior to April 1, 2008 (date on which the Hague Adoption Convention entered into force with respect to the United States), the Hague Adoption Convention may not apply to your adoption:  1) you filed a Form I-600A identifying Burkina Faso as the country where you intended to adopt; 2) you filed a Form I-600; or, 3) the adoption was completed.  Under these circumstances, your adopted child’s visa application could continue to be processed in accordance with the immigration regulations for non-Convention adoptions.  For more information, read about Transition Cases.  The Hague Adoption Convention entered in force in Burkina Faso on May 1, 1996. 

The Process 

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

  1. Choose an Accredited Adoption Service Provider
  2. Apply to USCIS to be found eligible to adopt
  3. Be matched with a child by authorities in Burkina Faso
  4. Apply to USCIS for the child to be found eligible for immigration to the United States and receive U.S. agreement to proceed with the adoption
  5. Adopt (or Obtain Legal Custody) of child in Burkina Faso
  6. Obtain a U.S. immigrant visa for your child and bring your child home
  1. Choose a U.S. Accredited or Approved Adoption Service Provider:

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

  2. Apply to USCIS to be Found Eligible to Adopt:

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

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

  3. Be Matched with a Child in Burkina Faso:

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

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

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

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

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

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


    Remember: The consular officer will make a final decision about a child's eligibility for an immigrant visa later in the adoption process. 
  5. Adopt (or Obtain Legal Custody) of Child in Burkina Faso:

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

    The process for finalizing the adoption or obtaining legal custody in Burkina Faso generally includes the following:

    • Role of The Adoption Authority: The Central Authority adjudicates all adoption applications and identifies eligible children.  When the prospective adoptive parents agree to a proposed match, the Central Authority prepares a document formalizing the agreement to pursue the adoption procedure known as the Article 16 Report.  If the biological parents of the child are known, a consent act must be included in the file.  Alternatively, a family council report or an act of abandonment will be included when applicable.  The Article 16 Report is given to the local representative of the accredited agency to forward to the prospective adoptive parents.  The Article 16 Report must be issued and accepted before the adoption court hearing or the adoption will not be recognized by the authorities of Burkina Faso.  After the adoption procedure is finalized in court and all necessary adoption documents have been issued by the Central Authority, at least one adoptive parent must travel to Burkina Faso to collect the child.  There is a four-day mandatory stay in the institution where the child is living which constitutes the mandatory bonding period, after which the adoptive parent(s) must appear at the Central Authority to finalize paperwork.  In certain cases, the Central Authority may determine that an extended bonded period is required. 
    • Role of the Court: After making a commitment to adopt the child, the prospective adoptive parents hire a lawyer in Burkina Faso to follow the procedure in court.  The Central Authority forwards the completed file to the tribunal where the child resides or to the main tribunal in Ouagadougou.  Once the file is received, the court contacts a notary to establish an act of adoption.  This act of adoption is sent to the institution that is responsible for the welfare of the child to sign and then forwarded to the Central Authority for final signature.  There is a three-month waiting period after the Act is signed before the court announces the final adoption.  One month after the adoption is final, copies of the judgment and the certificate of non-appeal are sent to the Central Authority which issues the “Certificat de Conformité” and the authorization to leave the country.  The Central Authority is unable to issue the “Certificat de Conformité” and the authorization to leave the country unless all conditions are met.  These documents can only be given to the adoptive parents when they get to Burkina Faso.
    • Role of Adoption Agencies:Accredited adoption agencies may have fully accredited representatives in Burkina Faso who act on behalf of prospective adoptive parents.  They liaise with the local adoption authorities, the lawyer (when there is one), and the court on behalf of the prospective adoptive parents.  The adoption agency will also liaise with the Embassy to collect the Article 5 Letter, and start the visa application process pending receipt of the final court decision and other official travel documents from the Central Authority.  They are also in contact with the orphanage, nursery, or family hosting the adoptive child.
    • Time Frame:It takes about 12 months from the time the prospective adoptive parents submit their initial application until they receive custody of their child.  It takes six months or more for the case to be finalized in court.  Finalization includes the final adoption decree, the issuance of child’s new birth certificate, the issuance of the “Certificat de Conformité,” and the authorization for the child to leave the country.  Generally, the child is placed in the prospective adoptive parents’ care once matched.  If the adoptive parents are not present in Burkina Faso, the child is placed with a host family or in an orphanage. 

      Adoption cases may take longer when not properly followed up with the court.  The Central Authority maintains a list of local lawyers, and encourages adoptive parents to find legal representation.

      After the adoption procedure is finalized in court, at least one adoptive parent must travel to Burkina Faso to collect the child.  The adoptive parent(s) should plan to be in Burkina Faso for at least 10 to 15 business days to finalize the adoption process.  This includes the mandatory bonding time, completion of paperwork at the Central Authority, and the visa process which may take up to three business days.  
    • Adoption Application: Prospective adoptive parents should understand that there are two kinds of adoptions available in Burkina Faso.  For U.S. immigration purposes, the “full” adoption option is the only one that can confer immigrant status to an adopted child.  A “simple” adoption – one which gives a biological parent the right to revoke the adoption at any time – does not meet the requirements established by U.S. immigration law for issuing visas to adopted orphans.

      U.S. citizens may submit adoption applications in Burkina Faso through accredited adoption agencies authorized to work in Burkina Faso and who supervise a representative in Burkina Faso acting on their behalf.

      Applications are evaluated based on:
      • The family’s ability to provide financial support;
      • The findings of a social and psychological report on the prospective adoptive parents;
      • The family’s motivations and their attitude towards adoption;
      • The marital status, age, and state of health of the adoptive parents;
      • The point of view and welfare of existing children in the adoptive family;
      • The size of the family; preference is given to families with no children;
    • Adoption Fees: In the adoption services contract that you sign at the beginning of the adoption process, your agency will itemize the fees and estimated expenses related to your adoption process..

      Some of the fees specifically associated with adoption from Burkina Faso include:
      • Medical exam:  compulsory tests include hepatitis A and B, HIV, blood and sickle cells detection.  All medical exam expenses are born by the prospective adoptive parents.
      • Food allowance:  100,000 CFA (approximately 200 USD) per month and per child.  This amount is payable from the time the adoptive family commits themselves to adopting the child.  Payment is made directly to the financial department of the private or public institution hosting the child.
      • Once matched, prospective adoptive parents are responsible for all medical and maintenance fees, including the cost of transportation and hospitalization of the child
      • Prospective adoptive parents must also cover the expenses of lawyers’ and notary services.

      Other fees which are collected by a finance agent appointed to work at the Ministry of Social Action include:

      • Fees for home study conducted on the child: 150,000 CFA (approximately 300 USD).
      • Initial filing fee:  26,500 CFA (approximately 65 USD) per file.  The payment receipt must be included when submitting adoption application.
      • Case processing fees by the Central Authority once the child is identified: 100,000 CFA (approximately 200 USD).
      • Stamps:  5,000 CFA (approximately 10 USD) for each application.

      The Department of State discourages the payment of any fees that are not properly receipted that may be requested from prospective adoptive parents.  Such fees have the appearance of buying a baby, may be contrary to the Convention and U.S. law, and put all future adoption in Burkina Faso at risk.

    • DOCUMENTS REQUIRED: Only certified copies of these documents are acceptable to the Burkinabe authorities
      • Two motivation letters stamped with 5,000 FCFA revenue stamps (available at the local mayor's office), one addressed to the Chief Judge of the court in Ouagadougou and the other to the Ministry of Social Affairs, explaining in detail the motivation for adopting, and specifying the profile of the child they would like to adopt.
      • A marriage certificate for the couple showing that they have been married for more than five years;
      • A copy of the family book (official record of spouse, children) when/if available;
      • Proof of residence;
      • Proof of income;
      • Birth certificate for each prospective parent
      • An approved I-800A form from U.S. authorities.
      • Medical documents certifying that both prospective adoptive parents are physically and psychologically healthy;
      • A home study report done by a social services agency of the adoptive parents habitual residence;
      • A certificate of nationality (when it applies);
      • A statement that the prospective adoptive parents have received more than 10 hours of training as specified by Hague 96.48 (this document is normally prepared by the adoption service provider);
      • A commitment to send a report twice a year during the first two years of adoption and then once a year until the child turns 18;
      • Police certificates for both prospective adoptive parents; and,
      • A copy of the first two pages of both prospective parents' passports;

      NOTE: Additional documents may be requested.

    • Authentication of Documents:  You may be asked to provide proof that a document from the United States is authentic.  Is so, the Department of State, Authentications office may be able to assist.  Read about Authenticating U.S. Documents.  The United States and Burkina Faso are parties to the Hague Apostille Convention.  U.S. public documents may be authenticated with Apostilles by the appropriate U.S. Competent Authority.

    Note:  Burkina Faso requires that every document submitted in relation with an adoption application be translated into French and authenticated.

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

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

    • Birth Certificate 
      If you have finalized the adoption in Burkina Faso you will firstneed to apply for a birth certificate for your child so that you can later apply for a passport.

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

      The lawyer or adoption service provider (in cases where no lawyer has been hired) will obtain a copy of the judgment to request the issuance of a new birth certificate.  In Burkina Faso, birth certificates are issued by the local mayor's office (the "Mairie") and cost 300 CFA (75 cents) per document.  The new birth certificate will bear the child’s new name (as amended by adoptive parents). 

    • Burkina Faso Passport 
      Your child is not yet a U.S. citizen, so he/she will need a travel document or passport from Burkina Faso.  Passports are issued by the Ministry of Security's "Division de la Migration" upon presentation of the child's birth certificate with name changes, and the adoption decree.  The passport costs 50,000 CFA (approximately 100 USD) and is issued in approximately three to seven business days.

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

CHILD CITIZENSHIP ACT

For adoptions finalized abroad prior to the child’s entry into the United States:  A child will acquire U.S. citizenship upon entry into the United States if the adoption was finalized prior to entry and the child otherwise meets the requirements of the Child Citizenship Act of 2000.

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

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

Post-Adoption/Post –Placement Reporting Requirements
When the adoption procedure is completed and the child joins the adoptive family, a periodic follow-up on the integration of the child in the family must be done by the competent social services of the child's place of residence.  This is a post-placement requirement by the Government of Burkina Faso.
The adoptive parents must submit post-adoption reports on the child twice a year during the first two years following adoption and once a year until the child turns 18.  The reports are submitted to the Office of Placements and Adoptions at the Ministry of Social Affairs and National Solidarity.

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

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Traveling Abroad

APPLYING FOR YOUR U.S. PASSPORT

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

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

OBTAINING A VISA TO TRAVEL TO BURKINA FASO

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

STAYING SAFE ON YOUR TRIP

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

STAYING IN TOUCH ON YOUR TRIP

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

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

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After Adoption

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

Here are some places to start your support group search:

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

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Contact Information

U.S. Embassy in Burkina Faso  
Avenue Sembene Ousmane
Secteur 15, Ouaga 2000
01 BP 35, Ouagadougou 01
Tel: [226] 50-49-53-00
Fax: [226] 50-49-56-23
Email: consularouaga@state.gov
Internet:  bf.usembassy.gov/embassy/ouagadougou/

Burkina Faso Adoption Authority
Ministère de l'Action Sociale et de la Solidarité Nationale
La Direction des Placements et des Adoptions
Immeuble Baoghin, Secteur 10
01 BP 515, Ouagadougou 01
Burkina Faso
Tel: [226] 50 30 68 80 (Switchboard)/ [226] 50 31 00 55 (Direct line)
Fax: [226] 50 31 67 37

Embassy of Burkina Faso    
2340 Massachusetts Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20008
Tel: (202) 332-5577
Fax: (202) 667 1882
Email: ambawdc@verizon.net
Internet:  burkina-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
Internet:  adoption.state.gov

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

For questions about filing a Form I-800A or I-800 petition:
National Benefits Center
Tel:  1-877-424-8374 (toll free); 1-816-251-2770 (local)
Email:  NBC.Adoptions@DHS.gov

Reciprocity Schedule

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

Explanation of Terms

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

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

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

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

Visa Classifications
A
B
C
D
E
F
G
H
I
J
K
L
M
N
O
P
Q
R
S
T
U
V
 
Visa
Classification
Fee Number
of Entries
Validity
Period
A-1 None Multiple 60 Months
A-2 None Multiple 60 Months
A-3 1 None Multiple 24 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 60 Months
C-1/D N/A N/A N/A
C-2 None Multiple 3 Months
C-3 None Multiple 60 Months
CW-1 None Multiple 12 Months
CW-2 None Multiple 12 Months
D None Multiple 60 Months
E-1 2 No Treaty N/A N/A
E-2 2 No Treaty N/A N/A
E-2C None Multiple 24 Months
F-1 None Multiple 12 Months
F-2 None Multiple 12 Months
G-1 None Multiple 60 Months
G-2 None Multiple 60 Months
G-3 None Multiple 60 Months
G-4 None Multiple 60 Months
G-5 1 None Multiple 24 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 60 Months
J-1 4 None Multiple 12 Months
J-2 4 None Multiple 12 Months
K-1 None One 6 Months
K-2 None One 6 Months
K-3 None Multiple 24 Months
K-4 None Multiple 24 Months
L-1 None Multiple 60 Months
L-2 None Multiple 60 Months
M-1 None Multiple 12 Months
M-2 None Multiple 12 Months
N-8 None Multiple 12 Months
N-9 None Multiple 12 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 $30.00 Multiple 12 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 Multiple 48 Months
U-2 None Multiple 48 Months
U-3 None Multiple 48 Months
U-4 None Multiple 48 Months
U-5 None Multiple 48 Months
V-1 None Multiple 120 Months
V-2 None Multiple 120 Months 8
V-3 None Multiple 120 Months 8
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Country Specific Footnotes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Canadian Nationals

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

    Mexican Nationals

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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General Documents

Please check back for update.

Birth, Death, Burial Certificates

Birth Certificate

Available. (Extrait d'Acte de Naissance) Issued at the City Hall, Office of Vital Statistics (Service d'Etat Civil) at the person's birthplace. There may be a fee; a stamp (timbre communal) is required for this service.

Death/Burial Certificate

Unavailable.

Marriage, Divorce Certificates

Marriage Certificate

Available. (Extrait d'Acte de Mariage) Issued at the City Hall, Office of Vital Statistics (Service d'Etat Civil) at the place where the marriage was held. There is a fee for this service. Stamps are also required (timbre communal).

Note: While these documents are presumably available, applicants may be faced with a long wait, especially if the documents needed are from outlying districts. In most cases fees consist mainly in buying stamps and putting them on the documents or on the application. Fees therefore may vary depending on the number of copies requested.

Divorce Certificate

Unavailable.

Adoption Certificates

Unavailable.

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Identity Card

Unavailable.

Police, Court, Prison Records

Police Records

Available. (Extrait du Casier Judiciaire) These documents are issued by the Greffier en Chef at the Palais de Justice. Burkinabè born citizens need to apply at the city with jurisdiction over their place of birth (Chef Lieu de la Juridiction). Other applicants (foreigners) may apply only in Ouagadougou. Applicant must submit a written request and include a birth certificate and a stamp (timbre fiscal). There is a fee for this service.

Court Records

Unavailable.

Prison Records

Available. (Extrait du Casier Judiciaire) These documents are issued by the Greffier en Chef at the Palais de Justice. Burkinabè born citizens need to apply at the city with jurisdiction over their place of birth (Chef Lieu de la Juridiction). Other applicants (foreigners) may apply only in Ouagadougou. Applicant must submit a written request and include a birth certificate and a stamp (timbre fiscal). There is a fee for this service.

Military Records

Available. Documents concerning military service are available at the Military Bureau at the City Hall (Bureau Militaire - Mairie). There may be a fee for this service.

Passports & Other Travel Documents

Unavailable.

Other Records

Certificate of Residence

Available. (Certificat de Residence) A certificate of residence is available to residents or former residents at the Commissariat de Police. The applicant must purchase a stamp (timbre communal) at the Town Hall before applying for a certificate of residence.

Visa Issuing Posts

Ouagadougou (Embassy)

Mailing Address:
01 B.P. 35
Ouagadougou 01

Street Address: 
Secteur 53, Ouaga 2000
Avenue Sembene Ousmane, Rue 15.873

Tel: (226) 25-49-53-00
Fax: (226) 25-49-56-28

Visa Services

All visa categories for all of Burkina Faso.

Foreign Consular Office Contact Information

Washington, DC (202) 332-5577 (202) 667-1882

New York, NY (212) 308-4720/4721 (212) 308-4690

Assistance for U.S. Citizens

U.S. Embassy Ouagadougou
Secteur 15, Ouaga 2000
Avenue Sembène Ousmane, Rue 15.873
Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso
Telephone
Telephone: +(226) 25-49-53-00
Emergency
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(226) 25-49-53-00
Fax
Consular Fax: (226) 25-49-56-23
Burkina Faso 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.