Exercise increased caution in Cote d’Ivoire due to crime and terrorism.
Violent crime, such as carjacking, robbery, and home invasion, is common.
Terrorists may attack with little or no warning, targeting areas frequented by foreigners, such as beaches.
The U.S. government has limited ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens outside of Abidjan. Embassy personnel are prohibited from driving outside the major cities after dark, including between Abidjan, Grand Bassam, and Assinie.
Read the Safety and Security section on the country information page.
If you decide to travel to Cote d’Ivoire:
See Department of State's Fact Sheet on Côte d'Ivoire for additional information on U.S.-Côte d’Ivoire relations.
Visit the Embassy of the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire website for the most current visa information.
A passport, visa, and proof of vaccination against yellow fever are required for entry into Côte d’Ivoire. For additional immunization information, visit the CDC’s Health Information for Travelers to Côte d’Ivoire.
Travelers should obtain the latest information and details on entry requirements from the Embassy of the Republic of Côte d'Ivoire, located at 2424 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, D.C. 20007, telephone (202) 797-0317.
Although e-visas are available at the airport upon arrival, they must be requested online prior to arrival in Côte d’Ivoire. You can find more information online at Côte d’Ivoire evisas.
An exit permit issued by the National Museum is required for all high-value pieces of art being removed from Côte d'Ivoire. The export permit costs 2,000 CFA plus 500 CFA per object.
U.S. citizens intending to establish a residence in Côte d’Ivoire must apply for a residency permit (titre de séjour) at the Office d’Identification Nationale. (Note: Titres de séjour are not issued to children under the age of 16 who are documented on their parents' visas.)
The U.S. Department of State is unaware of any HIV/AIDS entry restrictions for visitors to or foreign residents of Côte d’Ivoire.
Côte d’Ivoire has undertaken security sector reform actions, and, as a result, its national police and gendarmerie are in a transitional period. The military often performs what might be considered as traditional civilian law enforcement functions for which it is not properly trained.
Peaceful demonstrations are tolerated by the government to a varying degree, with tear gas frequently being employed to disperse protests. In January 2017, elements of the armed forces staged public strikes and mutinies demanding back pay and benefits, temporarily paralyzing transportation in Abidjan and regional capital cities. The mutinies were resolved with payment to certain elements of the armed forces, but widespread grievances remain among the military and civil servants.
The threat of violent extremism across the region includes Côte d’Ivoire. In March 2016, a terrorist attack targeting foreigners led to 19 deaths in the beach resort city of Grand Bassam. Côte d’Ivoire remains under threat by extremist organizations in the region, though the country is not considered a base of operations.
Embassy personnel are prohibited from driving outside of major cities after dark, including between Abidjan, Grand Bassam, and Assinie. The Embassy’s ability to provide consular services, including emergency assistance, outside of the Abidjan area is limited. Many areas of Côte d’Ivoire are difficult to access, and travel in these areas is hazardous. Outside the major cities, infrastructure is poor, medical care is limited, and there are few facilities for tourists.
Swimming in coastal waters is dangerous and strongly discouraged, even for excellent swimmers. The ocean currents along the coast are powerful and treacherous, and several people drown each year.
Crime continues to be the major public security concern in Côte d’Ivoire. Armed carjackings, robberies of businesses, and home invasions target residents, including expatriates, who are perceived as wealthy.
U.S. citizens should exercise caution when visiting Abidjan’s Abobo, Adjame, Angre, Koumassi, Marcory, and Yopougon districts as well as popular neighborhoods for nighttime entertainment, including Plateau, Treichville, and Zone 4.
Carry identification at all times to minimize the risk of harassment at police checkpoints.
Victims of Crime:
If you or someone you know becomes the victim of a crime abroad, contact the local police and the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate.
The local equivalent to the “911” emergency line in Côte d’Ivoire is 170.
Other Police emergency numbers that can be called include:
See our webpage on help for U.S. victims of crime overseas.
Domestic Violence: U.S. citizen victims of domestic violence may contact the Embassy for assistance.
For further information:
Criminal Penalties: You are subject to local laws. If you violate local laws, even unknowingly, you may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned.
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.
Customs: Ivoirian customs authorities encourage the use of an ATA (Admission Temporaire/Temporary Admission) Carnet for the temporary admission of professional equipment, commercial samples, and/or goods for exhibitions and fair purposes. ATA Carnet Headquarters, at the U.S. Council for International Business, 1212 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10036, issues and guarantees the ATA Carnet in the United States. For additional information, call (212) 354-4480 or e-mail ATA Carnet Headquarters.
If traveling to another West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU) country, expatriate residents leaving Côte d’Ivoire must declare the amount of currency being taken out of the country. Residents traveling to countries that use the CFA franc currency, but are not WAEMU members, are prohibited from taking CFA francs out of Côte d’Ivoire and are authorized to carry up to the equivalent of 2,000,000 CFA francs (approximately 4,000 USD) in any other currency. You can take funds in excess of that amount out of the country in the form of travelers or bank checks.
If traveling to any other non-WAEMU country, tourists are prohibited from taking more than 500,000 CFA francs (approximately 1,000 USD) and business operators are prohibited from taking more than 2,000,000 CFA francs (approximately 4,000 USD) without government approval.
Corruption: Government corruption remains a serious problem in Côte d’Ivoire, and has an impact on judicial proceedings, contract awards, customs, and tax issues. Uniformed security forces (police, military, and gendarmes) routinely stop vehicles for traffic violations and security checks. If you are stopped, politely present your identification. Police and security officials rarely speak English. If you are stopped at one of these checkpoints and asked to pay a bribe, politely refuse and present your photocopy of your U.S. passport, visa, and entry stamp.
LGBTI Travelers: There are no legal restrictions on same-sex sexual relations or the organization of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender, and Intersex (LGBTI) events in Côte d’Ivoire. The only mention of same-sex sexual activity in the laws is as a form of public indecency that carries a penalty of up to two years’ imprisonment, the same prescribed for heterosexual acts performed in Côte d’Ivoire that contravene the law. Antidiscrimination laws exist, but they do not address discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.
However, societal stigmatization of the LGBTI community is widespread, and police, gendarmes, and members of the armed forces reportedly beat, imprison, verbally abuse, extort, or humiliate members of the LGBTI community. The few LGBTI organizations in the country operate freely, but with caution.
Travelers Who Require Accessibility Assistance: While in Côte d’Ivoire, individuals with disabilities may find accessibility and accommodation very different from in the United States. Individuals with disabilities should be aware that there are almost no accommodations made for individuals with disabilities in Côte d’Ivoire.
Women Travelers: See our travel tips for Women Travelers.
Abidjan has privately-run medical and dental facilities that are adequate, but do not fully meet U.S. standards. Good physician specialists can be found, although few speak English. While pharmacies are well-stocked with medications produced in Europe, newer drugs may not be available. If you plan a lengthy trip to Côte d’Ivoire, you should bring enough medication to last the entire stay in your carry-on luggage. Medical care outside of Abidjan is extremely limited.
We do not pay medical bills. Be aware that U.S. Medicare does not apply overseas.
Medical Insurance: If your health insurance plan does not provide coverage overseas, we strongly recommend supplemental medical insurance and medical evacuation plans.
The following diseases are prevalent:
*Extremely high malaria transmission occurs thoughout Côte d’Ivoire year round and in all areas, including large cities. Malaria prophylaxis is highly recommended for even short visits.
Vaccinations: Be up-to-date on all vaccinations recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Further health information:
Road Conditions and Safety: Abidjan has a poor public transportation system. If you choose to travel by bus, the “Express” line is believed to be the safest and most reliable service. Taxis are readily available and inexpensive; you may be able to negotiate a better rate. They are, however, poorly maintained and notorious for not respecting the rules of the road. There have been reports of robberies in metered or orange taxis, though they are still widely thought to be the most secure form of public transportation.
Communal taxis (“woro-woros”), used only within the limits of each commune, are not metered and may be dangerous. Do not use local vans ("Gbaka") because they are frequently involved in accidents. Always travel in groups and avoid driving on roads outside of Abidjan at night.
Carjackings: Carjacking incidents have been reported in Abidjan, including vehicles with diplomatic plates. While stopped in traffic, allow enough room between your car and the one in front to maneuver out if needed. Before getting into your car, look around to see if there is anyone paying unusual attention and, if someone appears to be watching, do not go to your vehicle. If confronted, remain courteous and calm and, if threatened, do not resist. Please report any incident to the U.S. Embassy.
Ambulance Services: Emergency services such as ambulance service (SAMU) exist in Abidjan and larger towns, but such service is unreliable. Call 185 or 2244-5553. In smaller towns, there is usually no ambulance service available, but ambulances may be dispatched from larger towns.
Please refer to 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 Côte d’Ivoire, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has not assessed the Government of Côte d’Ivoire’s Civil Aviation Authority for compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards. Further information may be found on the FAA’s safety assessment page.
Maritime Travel: Mariners planning travel to Côte d’Ivoire should check for U.S. maritime advisories and alerts at the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Maritime Security Communications with Industry WebPortal. Information may also be posted to the U.S. Coast Guard homeport website and as a broadcast warning on the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency’s website.
DISCLAIMER: THE INFORMATION IS PROVIDED FOR GENERAL INFORMATION ONLY AND MAY NOT BE TOTALLY ACCURATE IN A SPECIFIC CASE. QUESTIONS INVOLVING INTERPRETATION OF SPECIFIC FOREIGN LAWS SHOULD BE ADDRESSED TO THE APPROPRIATE FOREIGN AUTHORITIES OR FOREIGN COUNSEL.
For information concerning travel to Cote d’Ivoire, 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 Cote d’Ivoire.
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.
Cote d’Ivoire is not a signatory to the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction (Hague Abduction Convention), nor are there any bilateral agreements in force between Cote d’Ivoire and the United States concerning international parental child abduction.
Legal systems and laws pertaining to custody, divorce, and parental abduction vary widely from country to country. The government of Côte d’Ivoire maintains information about custody, visitation, and family law on the Internet through a commercially produced site at http://www.loidici.com. Parents are encouraged to consult with an attorney who specializes in family law in Cote d’Ivoire and who can provide accurate legal guidance that is specific to their circumstances.
The Department of State’s Bureau of Consular Affairs, Directorate for Overseas Citizens Services, Office of Children’s Issues provides assistance in cases of international parental child abduction. For U.S. citizen parents whose children have been wrongfully removed to or retained in countries that are not U.S. partners under the Hague Abduction Convention, the Office of Children’s Issues can provide information and resources about country-specific options for pursuing the return of or access to an abducted child. The Office of Children’s Issues may also coordinate with appropriate foreign and U.S. government authorities about the welfare of abducted U.S. citizen children. Parents are strongly encouraged to contact the Department of State for assistance.
United States Department of State
Bureau of Consular Affairs
SA-17, 9th Floor
Washington, DC 20522-1709
Outside the United States or Canada: 1-202-501-4444
Parental child abduction may be treated as a misdemeanor or a criminal offense in Cote d’Ivoire under Articles 370 (4) through 372 of the New Law 2015-134 of March 08, 2015 governing child abduction. This law makes removal of a child from a person who has legal custody an offense with possible fines and imprisonment.
Parents may wish to consult with an attorney in the United States and in the country to which the child has been removed or retained to learn more about how filing criminal charges may impact a custody case in the foreign court. Please see Pressing Criminal Charges for more information.
Legal systems and laws pertaining to custody, divorce, and parental abduction vary widely from country to country. Parents are encouraged to consult with an attorney who specializes in family law in Cote d’Ivoire and who can provide accurate legal guidance that is specific to their circumstances.
The Office of Children’s Issues may be able to assist parents seeking access to children who have been wrongfully removed from or retained outside the United States. Parents who are seeking access to children who were not wrongfully removed from or retained outside the United States should contact the appropriate U.S. Embassy or Consulate in Cote d’Ivoire for information and possible assistance.
Neither the Office of Children’s Issues nor consular officials at the U.S. Embassy or Consulates in Cote d’Ivoire are authorized to provide legal advice.
The U.S. Embassy in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire posts list of attorneys, including those who specialize in family law.
This list is provided as a courtesy service only and does not constitute an endorsement of any individual attorney. The Department of State assumes no responsibility or liability for the professional ability or reputation of, or the quality of services provided by, the persons or firms included in this list. Professional credentials and areas of expertise are provided directly by the lawyers.
The Ivorian government does not provide mediation services and there are no private agencies that offer mediation services for civil disputes. However, if there are reported cases of children mistreated and in danger, these cases will be referred for mediation to the Department of Social Welfare.
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:
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.
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.
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.
ALERT: All Civil Documents originating from the Northern half of the country (above the UN Forces-monitored Zone of Confidence) should be treated as suspect. Due to loss, theft, and destruction of many civil records registries in the North during the period of rebel control, many of these documents are unverifiable. It is recommended that you contact post via email at: firstname.lastname@example.org if you encounter any such documents.
Available. Application should be addressed to Monsieur le Maire, or Monsieur le sous-Prefet, or Prefet of applicant's place of birth.
Available. Address same as for birth certificate.
Available. Copies of Divorce Judgment (Jugement de Divorce) may be obtained from the Greffe du Tribunal Civil where the Judgment was pronounced.
Ministère de la Justice et des droits de l'Homme
Directions des Affaires Civiles et Pénales
Bureau du Casier Central
BP V 107
Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire
Available only for those who are on the census list and served in the Ivorian army after August 1960. Obtainable from Ministere de la Defense et du Service Civique, Abidjan. Census number must be included in request. Individuals who served in the French colonial army prior to independence should write to Monsieur le Commandant du Quatrieme Bataillon d'Infanterie de Marine, Camp Gallieni, Abidjan.
All old style diplomatic and service passports ceased to be valid after June 30, 2001.
The new diplomatic passports are burgundy in color, with the words "Republique de Cote D'Ivoire" and "Passeport Diplomatique" embossed in gold at the top and bottom of the passport, respectively. In the center of the passport, also embossed in gold, is the great seal of the Republic of Cote D'Ivoire, the profile of an elephant flanked either side by palm trees, topped by a rising sun, and with the words "Republique de Cote D'Ivoire" centered in a banner below the seal.
The new service passports are identical to the diplomatic passport, with the exception that they are dark blue in color, and have the words "Passeport de Service" appearing below the seal.
The passports each contain 32 pages. The biographic page is on page two. The bearer's photo is flanked by the letters RCI to the top left and bottom right. The pages themselves are tinted a rosy brown and pale green, and feature characteristic scenes from Cote D'Ivoire, including floral and fauna, village scenes, and architecture. All pages except the back of the front cover and the bio page fluoresce under black light with a design in bellow of the great seal, and blue and red specks.
Diplomatic and service passports generally bear the signature of Ambassador Atse, Amin Floren, Chef de Cabinet, Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
All visa categories for all of Cote d'Ivoire. Visas 92-93 for Liberian Nationals.