Travel Advisories


Travel Advisories

Mali Travel Advisory

Travel Advisory
January 10, 2018
Mali - Level 4: Do Not Travel

Do not travel to Mali due to crime and terrorism.

Violent crime, such as kidnapping and armed robbery, is common in the regions of northern and central Mali. Violent crime is a particular concern during local holidays and seasonal events in Bamako, its suburbs, and Mali’s southern regions. Roadblocks and random police checkpoints are commonplace throughout the country, especially at night.

Terrorist and armed groups continue plotting kidnappings and attacks in Mali. They may attack with little or no warning, targeting night clubs, hotels, restaurants, places of worship, Western diplomatic missions, and other locations frequented by foreigners. 

The U.S. government is unable to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens in the northern and central regions of Mali as U.S. government employees travel to these regions is restricted due to security concerns. 

Due to risks to civil aviation operating within or in the vicinity of Mali, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has issued a Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) and/or a Special Federal Aviation Regulation (SFAR). For more information U.S. citizens should consult the Federal Aviation Administration’s Prohibitions, Restrictions and Notices.

Read the Safety and Security section on the country information page.

If you decide to travel to Mali:

  • Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas.
  • Draft a will, and designate appropriate insurance beneficiaries and/or power of attorney.
  • Discuss a plan with loved ones regarding care/custody of children, pets, property, belongings, non-liquid assets (collections, artwork, etc.), funeral wishes, etc.
  • Share important documents, login information, and points of contact with loved ones so that they can manage your affairs if you are unable to return as planned to the United States. Find a suggested list of such documents here.
  • Establish your own personal security plan in coordination with your employer or host organization, or consider consulting with a professional security organization.
  • Develop a communication plan with family and/or your employer or host organization so that they can monitor your safety and location as you travel through high-risk areas. This plan should specify whom you would contact first and how they should share the information.
  • Identify key sources of possible assistance for you and your family in case of emergency, such as the local U.S. embassy or consulate, FBI, the State Department, your employer (if traveling on business), and local friends/family in the high-risk area. 
  • Be sure to appoint one family member to serve as the point of contact with hostage-takers, media, U.S. and host country government agencies, and Members of Congress if you are taken hostage or detained.
Travel Advisory Levels
1 Exercise normal precautions, 2 Exercise increased caution, 3 Reconsider travel, 4 Do not travel

Republic of Mali
Quick Facts

Valid at time of entry


1 page required for entry stamp


Yes, unavailable upon arrival


Yellow Fever





Embassies and Consulates

U.S. Embassy Bamako

ACI 2000
Rue 243, Porte 297
Bamako, Mali
Telephone: +(223) 2070-2300
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(223) 6675-2860
Fax: +(223) 2070-2340

Destination Description

See the Department of State’s Fact Sheet on Mali for information on U.S. - Mali relations.

Entry, Exit and Visa Requirements

To enter Mali, you will need a valid passport with at least one blank page, a visa, and evidence of yellow fever vaccination. Visas are not available upon arrival in Mali. You must obtain your visa in advance of travel to avoid excessive fees and unexpected potential travel restrictions imposed at the port-of-entry. Visit the Embassy of Mali website for the most current visa information.

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

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

Safety and Security

Read the Department of State’s Travel Warning for Mali and Worldwide Caution before planning travel to Mali.

Political Stability:  Mali continues to face significant political and security challenges amidst slow implementation of a peace agreement signed in 2015 that aims to resolve the ongoing conflict in northern Mali. A disparate group of political armed groups, militias, bandits, and extremist groups continue to exert influence in wide swathes of Mali north of the Niger river.  The Malian government is generally not present in those areas outside of major cities. Furthermore, terrorist groups have increased the frequency and range of their attacks - particularly against the base camps of the UN peacekeeping mission (MINUSMA) in Timbuktu, Gao, and Kidal -  in an effort to destabilize the country. 

Travelers should avoid travel to the northern parts of the country because of continuing insecurity and ongoing military operations. The situation in central Mali - in the Segou and Mopti Regions - is increasingly unstable due to intercommunal conflict and localized political violence.

Terrorism: Terrorist groups with varying degrees of allegiance to al-Qa'ida and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) operate in Mali, and often pursue local agendas complementary to these global jihadist movements. Groups such as al-Qa’ida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), al-Murabitoun, Ansar al-Dine, the Movement for Unity and Jihad in West Africa (MUJAO), and the Macina Liberation Front (MLF) continued to conduct terrorist attacks throughout 2016, primarily targeting international and Malian military forces. These groups have claimed responsibility for recent gun and improvised explosives attacks, kidnappings, and other violent actions in northern and central Mali.  

In March, 2017, four of these Al-Qa’ida-linked groups – AQIM, Ansar al-Dine, MLF and MUJAO - merged under the banner of  Jama’at Nusrat al-Islam wal-Muslimin (“Group for the Support of Islam and Muslims”). Terrorist groups are likely to continue, if not escalate, attacks on Western targets throughout the Sahel (including Mali, Burkina Faso, Mauritania, and Niger).

MINUSMA and French troops, in collaboration with Malian security forces, are deployed in the country and are conducting counterterrorism operations that target extremist elements. However, their presence is not sufficient to counter every threat.  Extremist groups have attacked UN peacekeepers’ northern base camps in Timbuktu, Gao, and Kidal throughout 2016 and early 2017. Since 2015, attacks by violent Islamist extremist groups have moved beyond the traditional conflict zone in the north to the center and south of the country. The entire area along the border with Burkina Faso, and some remote parts of southern Mali, are increasingly under threat of attack.

In Bamako, there are ongoing threats against hotels, restaurants, and other areas where Westerners congregate. On November 20, 2015, heavily armed assailants stormed the Radisson Blu Hotel in Bamako using gunfire and grenades. AQIM and al-Murabitoun claimed responsibility for this attack, in which one U.S. citizen and 19 other foreigners were murdered.  In March 2016 the European Union Training Mission (EUTM) headquarters building, locally referred to as the Azali Nord-Sud Hotel, was attacked. 

Kidnapping: The threat of kidnapping of Westerners by criminal or terrorist groups remains high throughout the region.  Several high-profile kidnappings of westerners also occurred in 2016 and early 2017. In October, 2016, a U.S. citizen missionary-NGO worker was abducted from Abalak, in western Niger near the Malian border. In December 2016, a French aid worker was abducted in Gao. In February, 2017, a Colombian nun was kidnapped near Koutiala, in the Southeast of Mali, near the border with Burkina Faso. These kidnappings illustrate the increasing reach of criminal and terrorist groups.

Travel Restrictions for U.S. Government Employees: Overnight travel outside of the city of Bamako for official U.S. government employees is discouraged and reviewed on a case-by-case basis. Though this restriction does not apply to private U.S. citizens, it should be taken into account when traveling to and within Mali.

Civil Unrest: Periodic street demonstrations occur throughout Mali. Although some are planned and often peaceful, demonstrations can occur spontaneously and turn violent. The majority of these are contained by security forces, but U.S. citizens should avoid street demonstrations and maintain security awareness at all times.

Crime: Criminal traffickers of all kinds operate throughout the Sahel, and may respond violently if encountered. Violent crimes are not frequent, but U.S. citizens should maintain a vigilant posture in all urban areas. There has been a recent uptick in police harassment and violent crime such as banditry, armed robbery, armed carjacking, and assault in Bamako. There are sporadic reports of night time robberies occurring on the roads outside of the capital; tourists should not drive at night (See Travel & Transportation section).

For Your Safety:

  • Guard your passport and wallet when in crowded outdoor areas and open-air markets.
  • Be vigilant for pickpockets, especially at night.
  • Use all available safety measures in your home or hotel, including locking doors and windows at all times, and setting the alarm.
  • If asked to stop by police, stop only in well-lit areas or places where several officers are posted.

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

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

Report crimes to the local police at 8000-1115 (connection and response is not always reliable) and contact the U.S. Embassy during normal consular hours, at (+223) 20 70 25 05, or after-hours at (+223) 66 75 28 60. If you are unable to reach the Consular Section, please call the main Embassy phone at (+223) 20 70 23 00.

Remember that local authorities are responsible for investigating and prosecuting the crime. However, response from local authorities and recourse for victims of crime is extremely limited. When you do interact with local police always request a copy of the police report.

Due to the vigilantism which often occurs when criminals are apprehended in Mali, it is best to avoid the large crowds that may gather at the scene of a crime, a vehicle accident, or any altercation.

Please see our information for victims of crime, including help for U.S. victims of crime overseas, and possible victim compensation programs in the United States.

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:

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. Penalties for possessing, using, or trafficking in illegal drugs are severe, and convicted offenders can expect long jail sentences and heavy fines. Travelers may be detained for questioning if stopped by the police and unable to produce their passport or for taking pictures of certain buildings. Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol may lead to arrest. If you break local laws, your U.S. passport will not help you avoid arrest or prosecution. The U.S. government cannot get you out of jail.

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.

Cultural Property: Mali is a signatory to the Treaty on Cultural Property, which restricts exportation of Malian archeological objects, in particular those from the Niger River Valley. Visitors seeking to export any such property are required by Malian law to obtain an export authorization from the National Museum in Bamako. Contact the Embassy of Mali in Washington D.C. or the nearest Malian consulate for specific information regarding customs requirements. U.S. Customs and Border Protection may impose corresponding import restrictions in accordance with the Convention on Cultural Property Implementation Act.

Currency/Access to Funds: Currency exchange facilities are slow and often use out-of-date exchange rates. The U.S. Embassy is unable to provide exchange facilities for private U.S. citizens. There are several ATMs in Bamako that accept U.S. credit/debit cards, though they do not function reliably. Maximum withdrawals are generally limited to $400, and local banks charge up to $20 per transaction for use of their ATMs. There are some ATMs outside of Bamako in Segou, Sikasso, Koutiala, Gao, and Mopti, though they are sporadic and occasionally inoperable. Credit cards are accepted only at the largest hotels, Banque Atlantique, a few travel agencies (for an extra fee), and very few select restaurants. Cash advances from credit cards are available in Mali only via Western Union.

Photography: Exercise caution when taking photographs in Mali. Photographing any official object, entity, or person is restricted. These restrictions include infrastructure, facilities, government buildings, and individuals. You should obtain explicit permission from the Malian government before photographing transportation facilities and government buildings. Taking a photograph without permission in any public area or around any of the above listed facilities often provokes a prompt response from security personnel or offends the people being photographed. Taking photos of the U.S. Embassy in Bamako is also prohibited.

Communication: Communication infrastructure in Mali is of limited coverage and speed. International telephone calls are expensive, and collect calls cannot be made from outside of Bamako. There are a number of internet service providers in Mali, many of which operate on cellular networks.

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

LGBTI Travelers: There are no legal restrictions on same-sex sexual relations or the organization of LGBTI events in Mali. Societal discrimination, however, is widespread. LGBTI  individuals have experienced physical, psychological, and sexual violence, which society views as corrective punishment and police frequently refuse to intervene. Most LGBTI individuals isolate themselves and keep their sexual identity hidden.

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

Travelers Who Require Accessibility Assistance: There is no law protecting the rights of persons with physical, sensory, intellectual, or mental disabilities in employment, education, access to health care, or in the provision of other state services, nor requiring accommodation and access to public facilities. No special accommodations are made or officially reduced fares or rates are available to persons with disabilities in public transportation or taxis, communications, lodging, medical facilities, restaurants, cafés, bars or other tourist spots. Foot paths and pedestrian-friendly road crossings are rare and generally are inaccessible to persons with disabilities.

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

Women Travelers: Domestic violence, including spousal abuse, is common. Although the law prohibits spousal abuse, it does not prohibit domestic violence. The minimum age to marry without parental consent is 16 for girls and 18 for boys. Girls may marry with parental consent at age 15 if a civil judge approves. However, child marriage remains a common practice.

Female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C) is legal in Mali and widely practiced. The government of Mali prohibits FGM/C in government-funded health care centers.

See our travel tips for Women Travelers.


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 to cover medical evacuation.

Medical facilities are extremely limited, especially outside of Bamako. U.S.-standard care does not exist. Most U.S. medicines are unavailable; European medications are more easily found, and can be obtained at pharmacies throughout Bamako.

  • Do not purchase the potentially dangerous counterfeit or expired medications sold on the local market.
  • Carry with you an adequate supply of needed medication and prescription drugs, along with copies of the prescriptions, including the generic names for the drugs.
  • If traveling with prescription medication, check with the government of Mali to ensure the medication is legal in Mali. 
  • Always carry your prescription medication in original packaging with your doctor’s prescription. 

Ebola: In late 2014, Mali experienced a minor outbreak of Ebola virus disease. The government of Mali, with the help of International partners including the Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA) of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the National Institutes of Health responded successfully to quickly halt the spread of this disease in 2015. On March 29, 2016, the World Health Organization declared the end of the regional Ebola Public Health Emergency. While Ebola virus disease is no longer present in Mali and the sub region, if another outbreak occurs, travelers should remain vigilant by taking care not to come into contact with anyone who is obviously sick. Visit CDC’s Ebola web page for more information.

Zika: On March 13, the CDC designated Mali as a country at risk for an outbreak of Zika virus. Because Zika infection in a pregnant woman can cause serious birth defects, women who are pregnant or who may become pregnant should not travel to Mali. All travelers should strictly follow steps to prevent mosquito bites and sexual exposure to Zika virus during and after the trip.

The following diseases are prevalent:

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

Further health information:

Travel and Transportation

Road Conditions and Safety: We recommend you exercise extreme caution when traveling by road. Travelers after dark on roads outside of urban centers are subject to attack by kidnappers and terrorists, and more commonly regular banditry, as roads are poorly lit or traveled. Road travel between Gao Kidal, and Menaka, and outside Timbuktu should be avoided as they are common sites for improvised explosive devices (bombs) and ambushes by armed assailants.

  • Remain alert and vigilant while driving.
  • Do not make any unplanned stops.
  • Do not drive alone at night.
  • Keep car doors locked and windows up, even if the need arises to speak to someone outside of the vehicle.
  • If you are forced to stop, do not resist the demands of would-be assailants, as they may be armed.
  • Avoid using motorbikes, van taxis, and public transportation.
  • Many vehicles are not well-maintained, and headlights are either extremely dim or not used at all, while rear lights or reflectors are often missing or broken.
  • Driving conditions in the capital of Bamako can be particularly dangerous due to limited street lighting, the absence of sidewalks for pedestrians, and the number of motorcycles, mopeds, and bicycles.

Mali has paved roads leading from Bamako to most major cities in the south and east. During the rainy season from mid-June to mid-September, some unpaved roads may be impassable. Four-wheel drive vehicles with spare tires and emergency equipment are recommended. Professional roadside service is not available. It is imperative to carry sufficient quantities of drinking water and food. Drivers should ensure that their gas tanks are at least half-full at all times, as gas stations are not widely available.

Drivers travel on the right-hand side of the road in Mali. Speed limits range from 40-60 km per hour (25-40 miles per hour) within towns, to 100 km per hour (60 miles per hour) between cities. Road conditions often require much lower speeds.

For more information, please visit our Road Safety page. 

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

The U.S. government has warned about the risks to civil aircraft operating into, out of, within, or over Mali due to hazards associated with ongoing fighting involving military forces and extremist/militant groups. The FAA advises U.S. civil aviation to avoid flying below a certain altitude in the airspace over Mali. For further information on FAA flight prohibitions, see the Federal Aviation Administration’s Prohibitions, Restrictions and Notices

Hague Convention Participation
Party to the Hague Abduction Convention?
U.S. Treaty Partner under the Hague Abduction Convention?
What You Can Do
Learn how to respond to abductions FROM the US
Learn how to respond to abductions TO the US
Embassies and Consulates

U.S. Embassy Bamako

ACI 2000
Rue 243, Porte 297
Bamako, Mali
Telephone: +(223) 2070-2300
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(223) 6675-2860
Fax: +(223) 2070-2340

General Information

For information concerning travel to Mali, 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 Mali.

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.

Hague Abduction Convention

Mali 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 Mali 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 Mali maintains information about custody, visitation, and family law on the Internet.


Parents are encouraged to consult with an attorney who specializes in family law in Mali 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.

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

Parental child abduction is a crime in Mali.  Please refer to Article 240 in its penal code

Parents may wish to consult with an attorney in the United States and in the country to which the child has been removed or retained to learn more about how filing criminal charges may impact a custody case in the foreign court.  Please see Possible Solutions - Pressing Criminal Charges for more information.  


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 Mali and who can provide accurate legal guidance that is specific to their circumstances.

The Office of Children’s Issues may be able to assist parents seeking access to children who have been wrongfully removed from or retained outside the United States.  Parents who are seeking access to children who were not wrongfully removed from or retained outside the United States should contact the U.S. Embassy in Mali for information and possible assistance.

Retaining an Attorney

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

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


Mediation is a possible remedy for both abduction and access cases. Mediation is available in the first instance at the Direction de la Promotion de l’Enfant et de la Famille and then also, if necessary, by a judge if the parents are involved in court proceedings such as a divorce case.

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?
Are Intercountry Adoptions between this country and the United States possible?
Is this country a U.S. Hague Partner?
Hague Convention Information

Mali is a 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 Mali. 

Types of adoption in Mali:  Malian law distinguishes between two types of adoption.  It is imperative that prospective adoptive parents understand this distinction and obtain the correct type of adoption in order for the child to be eligible to immigrate to the United States.

  • Adoption Protection gives the prospective adoptive parent custody over the child and obligates the custodial parent to provide for the child's food, shelter, schooling, and medical needs.  In the interest of the child, Adoption Protection can be terminated at any time by the custodial party/parties, the Malian government, or the biological parent(s).  Under certain circumstances, Adoption Protection can form the basis to obtain a visa to bring the child to the United States and finalize the adoption in a U.S. state court.  Prospective adoptive parents must obtain an attestation from the Direction de l’Enfant et de la Famille verifying that the Adoption Protection was obtained legally in order to secure the release of the child for emigration and adoption.  Please consult the U.S. Embassy in Dakar before pursuing the Adoption Protection route for intercountry adoption.
  • Adoption Filiation allows for parental rights to be established between the prospective adoptive parents and the adoptee.  Under Malian law, an adopted child with a filiation decree becomes a full heir with the same rights as a biological child.  Children under the age of five whose parents are either deceased or unknown are eligible for Adoption Filiation.  The prospective adoptive parent(s) must not have any legitimate children or descendants to qualify for Adoption Filiation.  Prospective adoptive parents are encouraged to use Adoption Filiation, rather than Adoption Protection, to complete an intercountry adoption in Mali. 

    For guidelines on Adoption Filiation, please read the information below.

The Government of Mali gives priority to Malian citizens for adoption of Malian children, but can consider applications from foreigners wishing to adopt Malian children as well.

Note:  The Malian government has not authorized any U.S. adoption service providers to provide services in Mali.

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


To bring an adopted child to the United States from Mali, 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 immigrant visa.

Who Can Adopt

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

  • Residency:  There are no residency requirements for adoption.  However, the Malian authorities tend to view more favorably prospective adoptive parents who are currently living in or have previously lived in Mali.
  • Age of Adopting Parents:  For a married couple, either the husband or the wife must be at least 30 years old.  An unmarried woman may adopt a Malian child if she is at least 30 years old.
  • Marriage:  Adopted children are generally placed with married couples.  An unmarried woman may adopt a Malian child if she is at least 30 years old and can demonstrate proof of sufficient economic resources to support the child.  Unmarried men may not adopt Malian children.
  • Income:  None specified.
  • Other:  The prospective adoptive parent(s) must not have any legitimate children or descendants to qualify for Adoption Filiation.
Who Can Be Adopted

Because Mali is party to The Hague Adoption Convention, children from Mali 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 Mali have determined that placement of the child within Mali has been given due consideration and that an intercountry adoption is in the child’s best interests.  In addition to Mali’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.


  • Relinquishment:  None specified.
  • Abandonment:  An Adoption Filiation can occur only when the child has been abandoned, with parents either unknown or deceased, and no other parent is capable of caring for the child.
  • Age of Adoptive Child:  An Adoption Filiation can occur only when the child is under five years of age.
  • Sibling Adoptions:  None specified.
  • Special Needs or Medical Conditions:  None specified.
  • Waiting Period or Foster Care:  None specified.
How to Adopt

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


Direction Nationale de l’Enfant et de la Famille (Direction Nationale),
Ministère de la Promotion de la Femme, de l’Enfant et de la Famille (MPFEF)

Note:  If any of the following occurred prior to April 1, 2008 (the 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 Mali 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 Process

Because Mali is party to The Hague Adoption Convention, prospective adoptive parents 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 not confer immigration benefits on the adopted child (i.e. it is possible the child would not qualify for an immigrant visa if adopted out of order).

  1. Choose a U.S. accredited or approved adoption service provider
  2. Apply to USCIS to be found eligible to adopt
  3. Be matched with a child by authorities in Mali
  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 the child in Mali
  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 Mali 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 services providers may provide adoption services between the United States and Mali.  The U.S. accredited or approved adoption service provider will 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 Mali as part of your adoption dossier.  Mali’s adoption authority will review your application to determine whether you are also eligible to adopt under Malian law. 

  3. Be Matched with a Child by Mali

    If both the United States and Mali determine that you are eligible to adopt, and the central authority for Convention adoptions has determined that a child is available for adoption and that intercountry adoption is in that child’s best interests, the central authority for Convention adoptions in Mali 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 Mali.  The adoption authority in Mali 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 adoption authority in Mali.  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 Dakar, Senegal, that is responsible for issuing immigrant visas to children from Mali.  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 Malian Central Authority in any intercountry adoption involving U.S. citizen parents and a child from Mali 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 the Malian 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 Mali 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 Child in Mali

    Remember:  Before you adopt (or gain legal custody of) a child in Mali, you must have completed the above four steps.  Only after completing these steps, can you proceed to finalize the adoption in Mali. 

    The process for finalizing the adoption in Mali generally includes the following:

    • Role of Adoption Authority:  Adoption Filiation must pass through the MPFEF’s Direction Nationale.  The MPFEF works exclusively with the only orphanage in Bamako.  Malian law strictly prohibits the involvement of other agencies or associations.  The Direction Nationale approves prospective adoptive parent(s) and identifies children for potential matches with prospective adoptive parent(s).

      A representative from the Direction Nationale will participate in the adoption proceedings as an advocate for the prospective adoptive parent(s).
    • Role of the Court:  The Tribunal de la Première Instance in Commune 5 in Bamako is the only court authorized to issue Adoption Filiation decrees.  Prospective adoptive parent(s) may petition for the adoption of a child, along with a representative from the Direction Nationale, after the U.S. Embassy in Dakar, Senegal, issues the Article 5 Letter.  There is a 15-day waiting period between the Court’s decision and the adoption decree’s issuance, in case someone objects to the adoption.

      Note:  If the prospective adoptive parent(s) are working with a Malian lawyer, it is possible for the adoption procedures and court proceedings in Mali to be held without the presence of the prospective adopting adoptive parent(s).  In this case, the adoptive parent(s) would still need to travel to Mali to accept the adopted child from the Direction Nationale once those proceedings have been completed.  The MPFEF will not release newly adopted children to anyone other than the adopting parent(s).
    • Role of Adoption Agencies:  While U.S. prospective adoptive parents must use U.S. accredited adoption service providers for the U.S. processing elements of an adoption from Mali, the MPFEF has not authorized any U.S. adoption service provider to provide services in Mali.  Prospective adoptive parents are encouraged to work through a licensed Malian attorney for the in-country adoption procedures. 
    • Time Frame:  The adoption process in Mali can take from three to 18 months to complete.  Once the case has been presented to the Court of Justice, final review and the issuance of the adoption decree typically take 15 days.
    • Adoption Application:  Prospective adoptive parent(s) residing in the United States should submit all required documents, application, written statement of preferences (child’s preferred age and gender), and Form I-800A approval notice to the MPFEF via the Malian Embassy in Washington, DC.

      Prospective adoptive parent(s) residing in Mali should submit the application, documents, statement of preferences (child’s preferred age and gender), and Form I-800A approval notice directly to the Direction Nationale de l’Enfant et de la Famille, Ministère de la Promotion de la Femme, de l’Enfant et de la Famille.

      Note:  Prospective adoptive parent(s) may decline a proposed match, but if they wish to proceed with a Malian adoption of a different child, they must then submit a new application and start the process from the beginning.
    • Adoption Fees:  Prospective adoptive parent(s) must provide their Malian attorneys with 10,000 West African Francs; this fee is then paid by the attorneys to the Court to issue the adoption decree.

      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.

    • Documents Required: Malian authorities will require:
      1. Certified copies of the following:
        1. Prospective adoptive parent(s) birth certificate(s), and
        2. Prospective adoptive parents' marriage certificate, if applicable;
      2. Police record or certification of the lack thereof;
      3. A homestudy conducted or approved by a U.S. accredited adoption service provider if the prospective adoptive parent(s) live in the United States.  If the prospective adoptive parent(s) live in Mali, the home study will be conducted by the Direction Nationale du Development Social in Bamako.  The homestudy must then be reviewed by an accredited U.S. adoption service provider.  In both situations, the homestudy is a required component of the Form I-800A;
      4. Certificate attesting to the good health, both mental and physical, of the prospective adoptive parent(s);
      5. Residence certificate (if the prospective adoptive parent(s) reside in Mali);
      6. Prospective adoptive parent(s)’ passport(s) or certificates attesting to their nationality, issued by the U.S. Embassy in Bamako;
      7. Pay statements and tax records indicating prospective adoptive parents’ residency, employment and annual income;  
      8. Notarized statement appointing a parent or friend as the child’s guardian in the case of the prospective adoptive parents’ death;
      9. Agreement to provide an annual report on the child’s welfare to the MPFEF’s Direction Nationale; and
      10. Four letters of reference.

      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. If so, the Department of State, Authentications office may be able to assist.  Read more about Authenticating U.S. Documents
  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 States), 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 Mali, you will first need 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 United States, the birth certificate you obtain will, in most cases, not yet include your name.

    Birth certificates may be obtained from the local Mayor’s office.

    Malian Passport
    Your child is not yet a U.S. citizen, so he/she will need a travel document or passport from Mali. 

    Malian passports can be obtained from the Malian border police (Police du Frontier).

    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 Dakar, Senegal.  After the adoption (or custody for purpose of adoption) is granted, visit the U.S Embassy in Dakar for final review of the case, issuance of a U.S. Hague Adoption Certificate or Declaration of Grant of Custody, final approval of the child’s I-800 petition, and to obtain your child’s 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.

    Note:  Visa issuance after the final interview now generally takes at least 24 hours and it will not normally be possible to provide the visa to adoptive parents on the day of the interview.  Adoptive parents should verify current processing times at the U.S. Embassy in Dakar before making final travel arrangements.


    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.


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 Mali
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 Mali, 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 Mali, 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).

After Adoption


Mali requires an agreement from the prospective adoptive parents to provide an annual report on the child’s welfare to the MPFEF’s Direction Nationale until an adopted child reaches the age of 16.

We strongly urge you to comply with Mali’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 parents.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.

Contact Information

U.S. Embassy in Mali
Ambassade des USA
ACI 2000
Rue 243 Porte 297
B.P. 34
Tel:  +(223)-20-70-23-00

U.S. Embassy in Senegal
U.S. Embassy
Avenue Jean XXIII, angle Rue Jacques Bugnicourt - BP 49
Dakar, Senegal
Tel:  +(221) 33-829-2100
Fax:  +(221) 33-822-5903

Mali’s Adoption Authority
Direction Nationale de l’Enfant et de la Famille
Ministère de la Promotion de la Femme, de l’Enfant et de la Famille
B.P. 2688
Bamako, Mali

Embassy of Mali
Embassy of the Republic of Mali
2130 R Street NW
Washington, D.C. 20008
Tel:  (202) 332-2249
Fax:  (202) 332-6603

Office of Children’s Issues
U.S. Department of State  
SA-17, 9th Floor
Washington, DC 20522-1709
Tel:  1-888-407-4747

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)

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)

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
Fee Number
of Entries
A-1 None Multiple 36 Months
A-2 None Multiple 36 Months
A-3 1 None Multiple 12 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 None Multiple 60 Months
C-2 None Multiple 60 Months
C-3 None Multiple 60 Months
CW-1 11 None Multiple 12 Months
CW-2 11 None Multiple 12 Months
D None Multiple 60 Months
E-1 2 No Treaty N/A N/A
E-2 2 No Treaty N/A N/A
E-2C 12 None Multiple 24 Months
F-1 None Multiple 60 Months A
F-2 None Multiple 60 Months A
G-1 None Multiple 36 Months
G-2 None Multiple 36 Months
G-3 None Multiple 36 Months
G-4 None Multiple 36 Months
G-5 1 None Multiple 12 Months
H-1B None Multiple 36 Months 3
H-1C None Multiple 36 Months 3
H-2A None Multiple 36 Months 3
H-2B None Multiple 36 Months 3
H-2R None Multiple 36 Months 3
H-3 None Multiple 36 Months 3
H-4 None Multiple 36 Months 3
I None Multiple 60 Months
J-1 4 None Multiple 60 Months A
J-2 4 None Multiple 60 Months A
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 36 Months
L-2 None Multiple 36 Months
M-1 None Multiple 60 Months A
M-2 None Multiple 60 Months A
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 36 Months 3
O-2 None Multiple 36 Months 3
O-3 None Multiple 36 Months 3
P-1 None Multiple 36 Months 3
P-2 None Multiple 36 Months 3
P-3 None Multiple 36 Months 3
P-4 None Multiple 36 Months 3
Q-1 6 None Multiple 15 Months 3
R-1 None Multiple 36 Months
R-2 None Multiple 36 Months
S-5 7 None One 1 Month
S-6 7 None One 1 Month
S-7 7 None One 1 Month
T-1 9 N/A N/A N/A
T-2 None One 6 Months
T-3 None One 6 Months
T-4 None One 6 Months
T-5 None One 6 Months
T-6 None One 6 Months
TD 5 N/A N/A N/A
U-1 None Multiple 48 Months
U-2 None Multiple 48 Months
U-3 None Multiple 48 Months
U-4 None Multiple 48 Months
U-5 None Multiple 48 Months
V-1 None Multiple 120 Months
V-2 None Multiple 120 Months 8
V-3 None Multiple 120 Months 8
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.

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.



General Documents

Please check back for update

Birth, Death, Burial Certificates

Birth Certificates

Available. Malian birth certificates are issued only to those Malians born in maternity centers or to those whose birth is declared within thirty days of birth. Many Malians simply have court declarations (le jugement suppletif) of approximate place and date of birth. Copies of these declarations or birth certificates are obtained from the court of first instance of the commune in which the applicant was born or obtained the jugement suppletif The fee for this service is CFA 3,000.

French nationals born before January 1, 1960 may obtain birth certificate copies from the Direction des Archives de France, Outre-Mer, 27 rue Oudinot, Paris. French nationals born after that date in Mali whose births were registered with the Consulate General in Bamako may obtain copies from Le Service de l'Etat Civil du Ministere des Affaires Etrangeres, 7 Allees Brancas, Nantes (Loire Atlantique), France. 

Marriage, Divorce Certificates

Marriage Certificates

Available. Before 1962 marriage by a civil official was not required so many Malians only have jugements de mariage provided by justices of the peace or tribunals. These have the same validity as marriage certificates. Records of marriages after 1962 may be obtained from the civil office of the commune in which the marriage took place. 

Divorce Certificates

Available. Obtainable from the court that issued the divorce decree. The fee for this service is CFA 2,000. 

Adoption Certificates

Please check back for update

Identity Card

Please check back for update

Police, Court, Prison Records

Police/Prison Records

Available. Certification of lack of a police/prison record for Malians born abroad, Casier Judiciaire Special or Certificat de non condamnation, is obtained from the clerk of the Mali Court of Appeals, le Greffier en chef de la cour d'Appel du Mali, in Bamako. The fee for this service is CFA 1,500.

For Malians born in Mali, records of all convictions, fines, pardons, and paroles are available from the clerk of the court of first instance in the capital of the region in which they were born (Bamako, Gao, Kayes, Mopti, Segou, Sikasso, Koulikoro, Timbuktu, and Kidal) or the Justice of the Peace of the Cercle where they were born. The fee for this service is CFA 750. 

Military Records

Available. Military records are obtained from the prefecture where the person was recruited. French citizens born in former French Sudan can obtain their military records from the Bureau de Recrutement de PAU (Basses- Pyrénées), France. 

Passports & Other Travel Documents

Please check back for update

Other Records

The following civil documents applying to French nationals prior to 1960 may be obtained from the Direction des Archives de France, Section Outre-Mer, 27 rue Oudinot, Paris:

  1. Birth certificates
  2. Declaration of still birth
  3. Civil certification of birth of illegitimate child.
  4. Declaration of legitimization.
  5. Marriage certificates
  6. Death certificate
  7. Court orders and decrees of legal separation and divorce
  8. Civil suit orders and decrees

Civil documents applying to French nationals after January 1, 1960 may be obtained from Le Service de l'Etat Civil du Ministere des Affaires Etrangeres, 7 Allees Brancas, NANTES (Loire Atlantique), France.

Lebanese citizens who have recorded civil acts at the Lebanese Embassy in Bamako and have since left may obtain copies of these records by contacting the Lebanese government through the Lebanese missions where they reside or through personal representatives in Beirut.

Visa Issuing Posts

Bamako, Mali (Embassy) -- Nonimmigrant Visas

Mailing Address:

B.P. 34
Bamako, Mali

Tel: (223) 20702300

Fax: (223) 20702340

Dakar, Senegal (Embassy) -- Immigrant Visas

Visa Services

All nonimmigrant visas for all of Mali. Immigrant visas for Malians are processed by U.S. Embassy Dakar.

Foreign Consular Office Contact Information

Washington, DC (202) 332-2249 ext. 18 (202) 332-6603

Assistance for U.S. Citizens

U.S. Embassy Bamako
ACI 2000
Rue 243, Porte 297
Bamako, Mali
+(223) 2070-2300
+(223) 6675-2860
+(223) 2070-2340

Search for Travel Advisories
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.