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Travel Advisories

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Alerts and Warnings

Mauritania Travel Warning

Travel Warning
October 12, 2017
Mauritania Travel Warning
O E N H U T C

The Department of State warns U.S. citizens to avoid travel to far eastern Mauritania due to the activities of terrorist groups active in the neighboring regions of Mali, including al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), and those which pose a threat in the greater Sub-Saharan region, such as the self-proclaimed Islamic State of Iraq and ash-Sham (ISIS).  The U.S. Embassy in Nouakchott is able to provide only very limited consular services in remote and rural areas of Mauritania.  This replaces the Travel Warning of March 22, 2017.

The government of Mauritania has designated the following areas as a restricted Security Zone, and you must have permission from Mauritanian authorities to travel there: 

  • The eastern half of the Tagant region (east of Tidjikja)
  • The eastern half of the Adrar region (east of Ouadane)
  • The Zemmour region (other than F’Derick and Zouerat)

Additionally, there is a risk of kidnapping and other violent crime in the Hodh El Charghi region near the southern and eastern border with Mali.  Aside from the security risks, these areas are dangerous due to their remoteness and harsh environments.  

ISIS, AQIM, and al-Murabitun terrorist organizations and affiliates have declared their intention to attack foreign targets in North and West Africa, particularly the Sahel region south of the Sahara.  AQIM and related groups launched a series of attacks in Mauritania between 2005 and 2011, murdering foreign tourists and aid workers, attacking diplomatic and government facilities, and ambushing Mauritanian soldiers and gendarmes.  Christian faith-based organizations operating in Mauritania, or individuals perceived to be proselytizing, may be targeted. 

U.S. Embassy personnel are not allowed to travel outside Nouakchott unless specifically authorized, and, if authorized, they must travel only during daylight hours.  Due to an increase in criminal activity, the Embassy has directed its official staff not to walk to, or from, work; to avoid walking whenever possible; and not to walk alone.  Consider these restrictions carefully and review your personal security plans periodically if you are in Mauritania or planning to go there. 

For further information:                                                    

Country Information

Mauritania
Islamic Republic of Mauritania
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Embassy Messages
Quick Facts
PASSPORT VALIDITY:

Six months remaining validity upon entry.

BLANK PASSPORT PAGES:

One page required for entry stamp

TOURIST VISA REQUIRED:

Yes, but can be obtained at airport on arrival.

VACCINATIONS:

Evidence of yellow fever vaccination required.

CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR ENTRY:

Local currency may not be imported.  See below

CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR EXIT:

Local currency may not be exported.  See below

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Embassies and Consulates
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Destination Description

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

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Entry, Exit and Visa Requirements

Basic passport, visa and immunization information for tourist and business travelers can be found here

A passport, visa, and evidence of yellow fever vaccination are required. Mauritanian visas can be obtained at most Mauritanian Embassies or at the Nouakchott airport on arrival. Note that travelers who do not have at least six months’ validity remaining on their passport may be denied entry, regardless of the length of their intended stay. 

For the most current visa information, visit the Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Mauritania, 2129 Leroy Place NW, Washington, DC 20008, telephone (202) 232-5700, or the Mauritanian Permanent Mission to the United Nations, 116  East 38th  Street, New York, NY 10016, telephone (212) 252-0113.

Overseas inquiries should be made at the nearest Mauritanian embassy or consulate. The U.S. Embassy in Nouakchott cannot provide assistance to private citizens seeking Mauritanian visas.

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

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

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Safety and Security

Travel Warning: The current Travel Warning for Mauritania warns U.S. citizens of the risks of traveling to Mauritania, particularly the easternmost region, due to activities by terrorist groups including al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), which are active in the neighboring regions of Mali.

Traveling safely within Mauritania: You should exercise prudence and caution when traveling in Mauritania. Be particularly vigilant when traveling by road outside of populated areas. The U.S. Embassy discourages travel outside of urban areas unless in a convoy accompanied by an experienced guide, and even then only if equipped with sturdy vehicles and ample provisions. Driving outside of urban areas after dark is also strongly discouraged. Landmines remain a danger along the border with the Western Sahara and travelers should cross only at designated border posts.

Political concerns:  Protests and political rallies occur frequently in Mauritania, and can sometimes turn violent. The U.S. Embassy urges U.S. citizens to avoid political rallies and street demonstrations.

Crime: Criminal activity in Nouakchott continues to rise. A number of homes and private individuals, including U.S. citizens, have recently been targeted by violent criminals. In Nouakchott, armed robberies and burglaries are occurring at homes as well as on busy streets in broad daylight. Some of these incidents have been violent, and the use of knives and other weapons is becoming more common.  

Because of the increase in criminal activity, the U.S. Embassy has directed its official staff not to walk to and from work and to avoid walking in general, especially if doing so alone. U.S. citizens have been the victims rapes and assaults. Combined with the lack of government regulation of taxi fares and poor regular maintenance, U.S. citizens should avoid taxis and public transportation.

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

Victims of Crime:

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

Report crimes to the local police at 117 and contact the U.S. Embassy at 4525-2660 or after hours at 3662-8163.

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: While traveling in Mauritania, you are subject to its laws even if you are a U.S. citizen. If you break local laws in Mauritania, your U.S. passport won’t help you avoid arrest or prosecution. It’s very important to know what’s legal and what’s not where you are going.

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 our following webpages for details:

Religious norms: Islamic ideals and beliefs in the country encourage conservative dress and behavior. Mauritania recognizes Islam as the sole religion of its citizens and the state. Religious freedom is restricted and affronts against Islamic modesty and morals carry penalties which range from fines to the death penalty. Participation in Christian gatherings and activities that have not been authorized by the Mauritanian government is illegal. Apostasy is punishable by death. Proselytizing in Mauritania is illegal and may lead to deportation, arrest, prosecution, or incarceration.

Importation of alcohol and pork: Passengers caught attempting to bring alcoholic drinks or pork products into Nouakchott International Airport, including alcohol bought duty free on an inbound flight, may be subject to immediate fines, confiscation, and/or incarceration.

Interactions with Police: Persons of Black African appearance may be subject to prejudicial treatment by the Mauritanian authorities. If you are detained or arrested by the Mauritanian authorities, insist to be put in contact with the U.S. Embassy so that we may assist you.

Local currency: The local currency is the ouguiya, and it may not be imported or exported. Credit cards can be used only at a few hotels in the capital, Nouakchott, and in the northwestern city of Nouadhibou. However, travelers are strongly advised to pay hotel bills in cash. ATMs are available in Nouakchott and other large cities, but are also not secure.

LGBTI Travelers: There are no laws that protect lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) persons from discrimination. Under Mauritanian law, consensual same-sex sexual activity between men is punishable by death, and such activity between women is punishable by three months to two years in prison and a monetary fine. There are no organizations advocating for sexual orientation or gender-identity rights in the country.

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

Travelers Who Require Accessibility Assistance: While in Mauritania, individuals with disabilities may find accessibility and accommodation very different from what you find in the United States. There are very few sidewalks or paved roads and few buildings are wheelchair accessible.

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

Women Travelers: See our travel tips for Women Travelers.

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Health

Medical and dental facilities in Mauritania are extremely limited and do not approach Western standards. Local pharmacies are to be used with caution. Many medicines are difficult to obtain or may be counterfeit. Travelers are advised to carry their own medical supplies, medications, and prescription eyewear. There are no Western mortuary services available in Mauritania.

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.

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: While in a foreign country, visitors may encounter road conditions that differ significantly from those in the United States. Overland travel is difficult and roadside assistance is non-existent. The country’s size (larger than Texas and New Mexico combined) and harsh climate make road maintenance and repair especially problematic. Even small amounts of rain can make paved roads in Nouakchott impassable for cars without high clearance.

U.S. citizens traveling overland for long distances in Mauritania should travel in convoys, and be sure to have suitable four-wheel drive vehicles, a local guide, an adequate supply of water and food, and a second fuel reservoir. Multiple vehicles are recommended in case of breakdown. A Global Positioning System (GPS) receiver and satellite phone are essential when traveling in remote areas. Visitors are urged not to travel alone into the desert or after dark when outside of major urban areas.

The telecommunications infrastructure, including cellular telephone coverage, is limited. For those traveling outside the major urban areas, it is recommended to have a satellite telephone readily available.

Traffic Laws: Driving in Mauritania can be treacherous, and we encourage travelers to hire a trained local driver. Traffic patterns differ considerably from those in the United States and many Mauritanians drive without regard to traffic signs or rules. Roadway obstructions and hazards caused by drifting sand, animals, and poor roads often plague motorists. These hazards, when combined with the number of untrained drivers and poorly maintained vehicles, make heightened caution imperative at all times. Drivers should be extremely vigilant and all vehicle occupants should always wear their seat belts. Motorcycle and bicycle riders should wear helmets and protective clothing. Nighttime driving should be avoided. Travel at night between cities in Mauritania is prohibited for U.S. Embassy staff and all driving outside of the capital of Nouakchott requires a minimum two vehicle convoy

Public Transportation: Public transportation is not safe in Mauritania, particularly in the interior. Taxis and public transportation are not considered to be secure forms of transportation for western visitors to Mauritania, and U.S. Embassy personnel are directed not to use them.

For more information, please visit our Road Safety page. 

Safety Oversight: As there is no direct commercial air service to the United States by carriers registered in Mauritania, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has not assessed the government of Mauritania’s Civil Aviation Authority for compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards. Further information may be found on the FAA’s safety assessment page.

Hague Convention Participation
Party to the Hague Abduction Convention?
No
U.S. Treaty Partner under the Hague Abduction Convention?
No
What You Can Do
Learn how to respond to abductions FROM the US
Learn how to respond to abductions TO the US
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Embassies and Consulates
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General Information

For information concerning travel to Mauritania, 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 Mauritania.

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

Mauritania 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 Mauritania and the United States concerning international parental child abduction.

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Return

Legal systems and laws pertaining to custody, divorce, and parental abduction vary widely from country to country.  Parents are encouraged to consult with an attorney who specializes in family law in Mauritania 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
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
Email: AskCI@state.gov

Parental child abduction is a crime in Mauritania.  

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.  

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Visitation/Access

Legal systems and laws pertaining to custody, divorce, and parental abduction vary widely from country to country.  Parents are encouraged to consult with an attorney who specializes in family law in Mauritania 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 Mauritania for information and possible assistance.

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Retaining an Attorney

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

The U.S. Embassy in Nouakchott, Mauritania 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.

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Mediation

There are no mediation services available in Mauritania.

Exercising Custody Rights

While travelling in a foreign country, you are subject to the laws of that country. It is important for parents to understand that, although a left-behind parent in the United States may have custody or visitation rights pursuant to a U.S. custody order, that order may not be valid and enforceable in the country in which the child is located.  For this reason, we strongly encourage you to speak to a local attorney if planning to remove a child from a foreign country without the consent of the other parent.  Attempts to remove your child to the United States may:

  • Endanger your child and others;
  • Prejudice any future judicial efforts; and
  • Could result in your arrest and imprisonment.

The U.S. government cannot interfere with another country’s court or law enforcement system.

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

For information about hiring an attorney abroad, see our section on Retaining a Foreign Attorney. 

Although we cannot recommend an attorney to you, most U.S. Embassies have lists of attorneys available online. Please visit the local U.S. Embassy or Consulate website for a full listing.

For more information on consular assistance for U.S. citizens arrested abroad, please see our website.

Country officers are available to speak with you Monday - Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.  For assistance with an abduction in progress or any emergency situation that occurs after normal business hours, on weekends, or federal holidays, please call toll free at 1-888-407-4747. See all contact information.

DISCLAIMER: The information in this flyer is provided for general information only, is not intended to be legal advice, and may change without notice. Questions involving interpretation of law should be addressed to an attorney licensed in the relevant jurisdiction. 

 

Hague Convention Participation
Hague Adoption Convention Country?
No
Are Intercountry Adoptions between this country and the United States possible?
Both adoptions to the United States from Mauritania and from the United States to Mauritania are possible.
Is this country a U.S. Hague Partner?
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Hague Convention Information

Mauritania is not a party to the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption (Hague Adoption Convention or Convention). Under the Intercountry Adoption Universal Accreditation Act of 2012 (UAA), which became effective on July 14, 2014, the accreditation requirement and standards, which previously only applied in Convention cases, now also apply in non-Convention (“orphan”) cases under section 101(b)(1)(F) of the Immigration and Nationality Act. The UAA requires that an accredited or approved adoption service provider acts as a primary provider in every case, and that adoption service providers providing adoption services on behalf of prospective adoptive parents be accredited or approved, or be a supervised or exempted provider. Adoption service providers and prospective adoptive parents should review the State Department’s Universal Accreditation Act of 2012 webpage for further information. Intercountry adoptions of children from non-Convention countries continue to be processed under the Orphan Process with the filing of the Forms I-600A and I-600. However, adoption service providers should be aware of the information on the USCIS website on the impact on Form I-600A and Form I-600 adjudications under the UAA, including the requirement that all home studies, including home study updates and amendments, comply with the Convention home study requirements, which differ from the orphan home study requirements that were in effect before July 14, 2014.

Mauritania is not considered a country of origin for intercountry adoption. While adoption is legally possible, children from Mauritania are not generally placed for intercountry adoption. No child from Mauritania has received a U.S. adoption immigrant visa relating to an intercountry adoption in the past five fiscal years. The information provided is intended primarily to assist in extremely rare adoption cases from Mauritania, including adoptions of Mauritania’s children by relatives in the United States, as well as adoptions from third countries by U.S. citizens living in Mauritania.

U.S. citizens interested in adopting children from Mauritania should contact the adoption authority of Mauritania to inquire about applicable laws and procedures. U.S. citizen prospective adoptive parents living in Mauritania who would like to adopt a child from the United States or from a third country should also contact Mauritania’s adoption authority. See contact information below.

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

Adoption is not allowed under Mauritanian law, but legal guardianship is allowed through the determination of a court. The Mauritanian judicial system is based on a strict interpretation of Islamic Sharia law. To qualify as a guardian, one must be a blood-relative who is either Muslim or lives in a Muslim environment. In the event of the inability of a parent to care for his/her children, Mauritanian law gives a strict sequence of eligible blood relatives for guardianship. However, it is up to the discretion of a judge to determine who is most eligible for the guardianship of a child.

The 2002 Family Code, promulgated by the Mauritanian Ministry of Justice, includes sections on guardianship and custody. The Family Code does not cover scenarios in which a parent or legal guardian can pass guardianship to a foreigner. It is possible for a lawyer to assist in obtaining approved guardianship from a Mauritanian court. This may be sufficient to allow the child to be eligible for an immigrant visa under U.S. immigration laws, however, Mauritanian law generally prohibits non-family members from removing children from Mauritania.

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

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

Please visit the Department of State’s Country Specific Information for more information on travelling to Mauritania and the U.S. Embassy Nouakchott’s website for information on consular services.

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Who Can Adopt
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Who Can Be Adopted
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Contact Information

U.S. Embassy in Nouakchott, Mauritania
The U.S. Embassy is located between the Presidency building and the Spanish Embassy on Rue Abdallaye. The postal address is B.P. 222, Nouakchott, Mauritania.
Tel: +(222) 4525-2660, 4525-2663, 4525-1145 or 4525-3288
Fax: +(222) 4-525-1592
Email: ConsularNKC@state.gov
Internet: mr.usembassy.gov

Mauritania’s Adoption Authority
Mauritanian Ministry for the Promotion of Women, Family, and Children
Address: Nouakchott, Mauritania 
Tel: (222) 525-3860 

Embassy of Mauritania
Address: 2129 Leroy Place NW, Washington, DC 20008
Tel: (202) 232-5700

Office of Children’s Issues
U.S. Department of State
CA/OCS/CI
SA-17, 9th Floor
Washington, D.C. 20522-1709
Email: Adoption@state.gov
Internet: adoption.state.gov

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)
For questions about immigration procedures:
USCIS 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-600A application or I-600 petition:
USCIS National Benefits Center
Tel: 1-877-424-8374 (toll free); 1-816-251-2770 (local)
Email: NBC.Adoptions@uscis.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 24 Months
A-2 None Multiple 12 Months
A-3 1 None Multiple 12 Months
B-1 $70 Multiple 12 Months
B-2 $70 Multiple 12 Months
B-1/B-2 $70 Multiple 12 Months
C-1 None Two 3 Months
C-1/D N/A N/A N/A
C-2 None Two 3 Months
C-3 None Two 3 Months
CW-1 11 None Multiple 12 Months
CW-2 11 None Multiple 12 Months
D None Multiple 6 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
F-2 None Multiple 60 Months
G-1 None Multiple 24 Months
G-2 None Multiple 24 Months
G-3 None Multiple 24 Months
G-4 None Multiple 24 Months
G-5 1 None Multiple 12 Months
H-1B None Multiple 60 Months 3
H-1C None Multiple 60 Months 3
H-2A None Multiple 60 Months 3
H-2B None Multiple 60 Months 3
H-2R None Multiple 60 Months 3
H-3 None Multiple 18 Months 3
H-4 None Multiple 60 Months 3
I None Multiple 12 Months
J-1 4 None Multiple 60 Months
J-2 4 None Multiple 60 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 24 Months
L-2 None Multiple 24 Months
M-1 None Multiple 48 Months
M-2 None Multiple 48 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 24 Months 3
O-2 None One 3 Months 3
O-3 None Multiple 24 Months 3
P-1 None Multiple 12 Months 3
P-2 None Multiple 12 Months 3
P-3 None Multiple 12 Months 3
P-4 None Multiple 12 Months 3
Q-1 6 None Multiple 12 Months 3
R-1 None Multiple 12 Months
R-2 None Multiple 12 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
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

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Birth, Death, Burial Certificates

Birth Certificate

Available. A birth certificate (extrait d'acte de naissance) can be obtained from the enrollment center (centre d'accueil des citoyens)of the commune in which the child was born. Within 60 days of the birth, the applying parent must provide the hospital birth record and the marriage certificate of the parents. If the birth registration is done more than 60 days after the child's birth, a court judgment is required before the birth certificate can be issued. The applying parent must go to the court with two witnesses who can confirm the birth of the child. The parent must then take this judgment to the enrollment center along with the hospital birth record and the marriage certificate to receive a birth certificate. The fee for this service is 200 UM.

Death Certificates

Available. A death certificate (extrait d'acte de deces) may be obtained from the enrollment center in the commune where the death took place. To get the certificate the applicant must provide the hospital report of death and deceased's birth certificate.

Marriage, Divorce Certificates

Marriage Certificates

Available. A marriage certificate (extrait d'acte de mariage) attesting the marriage of a man and woman may be obtained from the enrollment center of the commune in which the marriage occurred. Supporting documents required include a court judgment delivered by the Cadi (judge) and identification paperwork for the spouses. Mauritanian citizen spouses must provide national identifications cards. Non-citizens must provide a residence card (carte de sejour). The fee is 200 UM.

Same-sex marriages are not recognized in Mauritania.

Divorce Certificates

Available. A divorce certificate (extrait d'acte de divorce) may be obtained at the enrollment center of the commune where the divorce took place. To get a divorce certificate you must bring the divorce decree issued by the Cadi of the commune in which you were married.

Adoption Certificates

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Identity Card

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Police, Court, Prison Records

Police Records

Available. Ordinarily, the court record, which includes felony convictions, should be sufficient for most background checks. However, a police record (enquête de moralité) may be obtained at the police station of residence.

A court record (extrait de casier judiciaire) may be obtained from the Tribunal Penal in the administrative region where the applicant was born. A fee of 200 Ouguiya is required for the service and it normally takes no more than 24 hours to process the request.

Police and court records are indexed by name, but records are not automated. This combined with wide variations in spelling makes name-checks unreliable. The recent transition to machine-readable national identification cards may help to resolve this problem.

There are frequent reports of corruption among civil registry or court personnel. It is widely believed that anyone with a criminal record can obtain a clean report using well-placed payoffs.

Prison Records

Available. A prison record (extrait de casier judiciaire) may be obtained from the Clerk of Court (Greffe du Tribunal) in the applicant's place of birth.

Military Records

Available. A military record (livret militaire individual) may be obtained from the Chef de l'Etat Major National in Nouakchott. Military service is not mandatory in Mauritania.

Passports & Other Travel Documents

Please check back for update

Other Records

Not applicable

Visa Issuing Posts

Nouakchott, Mauritania (Embassy)

Street Address:
Located between the Presidency Building and the Spanish Embassy.

Postal Address:
B.P. 222 Nouakchott

Tel: (222) 25-26-60, 25-26-63, 25-11-41, or 25-11-45.

Fax: (222) 25-15-92

Dakar, Senegal (Embassy)

Visa Services

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

Foreign Consular Office Contact Information

New York, NY (212) 252-0113 (212) 252-0175

Assistance for U.S. Citizens

U.S. Embassy Nouakchott
288, rue 42-100, (rue Abdallaye)
BP 222, Nouakchott, Mauritania
Telephone
+(222) 4525-2660
Emergency
+(222) 3662-8163
Fax
(222) 4525-1592
Mauritania 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.