U.S. Visas

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U.S. Visa: Reciprocity and Civil Documents by Country

Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone
Republic of Sierra Leone

Reciprocity Schedule

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

Explanation of Terms

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

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

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

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

Visa Classifications
A
B
C
D
E
F
G
H
I
J
K
L
M
N
O
P
Q
R
S
T
U
V
 
Visa
Classification
Fee Number
of Entries
Validity
Period
A-1 None Multiple 36 Months
A-2 None Multiple 36 Months
A-3 1 None Multiple 24 Months
B-1 None Multiple 36 Months
B-2 None Multiple 36 Months
B-1/B-2 None Multiple 36 Months
C-1 None Multiple 60 Months
C-1/D None Multiple 60 Months
C-2 None Multiple 36 Months
C-3 None Multiple 36 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 36 Months
F-2 None Multiple 36 Months
G-1 None Multiple 36 Months
G-2 None Multiple 36 Months
G-3 None Multiple 36 Months
G-4 None Multiple 36 Months
G-5 1 None Multiple 36 Months
H-1B None Multiple 36 Months 3
H-1C None Multiple 36 Months 3
H-2A None N/A N/A 3
H-2B None N/A N/A 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 36 Months
J-1 4 None Multiple 36 Months
J-2 4 None Multiple 36 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 36 Months
L-2 None Multiple 36 Months
M-1 None Multiple 36 Months
M-2 None Multiple 36 Months
N-8 None Multiple 36 Months
N-9 None Multiple 36 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 60 Months
V-2 None Multiple 60 Months 8
V-3 None Multiple 60 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

The Government of Sierra Leone (GoSL) has little control over identity documents. Marriage and education documents are equally problematic. Fraud is endemic in Sierra Leone and permeates all levels of society, including in civil registry office. There is not sufficient incentive to create counterfeit documents given the relative ease of producing genuine, falsified ones.

General Issuing Authority Information:

Office of the Registrar of Births and Death, 3 Wilberforce Street Freetown

Office of Registrar General – Roxy Building Walpole Street ,Freetown

Criminal Investigations Department (CID) – 1 Pademba Road Freetown

Birth, Death, Burial Certificates

Birth Certificates

Available

Fees:  Certified true copy – Le 5,000 / delayed – Le 3,000 / late – Le 1,200 Paid at the registry office

Document Name: Certified Copy of Entry in Register of Births; Affidavit; National ID cards.

Issuing Authority: Office of the Registrar of Births and Deaths

Special Seal(s) / Color / Format: Yellow & Green available.  Per country guidance, yellow is used for new registrations and green for delayed, however, they have been used interchangeably by some regional offices.

Issuing Authority Personnel Title: Deputy Chief Registrar / Principal Registrar / Senior Registrar / Registered Clerk of Births and Deaths

Registration Criteria: Applicants should submit an affidavit and pay required fees.

Procedure for Obtaining: Applicants should contact the Office of Registrar of Births and Deaths at 3 Wilberforce Street, Freetown.

Certified Copies Available: Certified copies are available

Alternate Documents: There are no alternate documents

Exceptions: None

Comments: Local registrars record births outside of Freetown. When registry volumes are full, usually after a period of several years, they are forwarded to the central archives of the Freetown registrar. Thus, records of recent births outside Freetown are available only at the local registries.

 

Death Certificates

Available

Fees:  certified true copy – Le 5,000 / delayed – Le 3,000 / late – Le 1,200 Paid at the registry office

Document Name: Certified Copy of Entry in Register of Deaths

Issuing Authority: Office of the Registrar of Births and Deaths

Special Seal(s) / Color / Format: White

Issuing Authority Personnel Title: Registrar of Births and Deaths

Registration Criteria: There is no registration criteria

Procedure for Obtaining: Applicants should contact the Office of Registrar of Births and Deaths at 3 Wilberforce Street, Freetown.

Certified Copies Available: Certified copies are available

Alternate Documents: There are no alternate documents

Exceptions: None

Comments: Local registrars record deaths outside of Freetown. When registry volumes are full, usually after a period of several years, they are forwarded to the central archives of the Freetown registrar. Thus, records of recent deaths outside Freetown are available only at the local registries.

Marriage, Divorce Certificates

Marriage Certificates

Available

Fees:  Depends on type of marriage (see below); there is no standardized fee schedule.

Document Name: Certificate of Registered Marriage (Only recognized marriage certificate)

Issuing Authority: Depends on type of marriage, see below

Special Seal(s) / Color / Format: There are no special seal(s)/color/format

Issuing Authority Personnel Title: Depends on type of marriage, see below.

Registration Criteria: For a marriage to be recognized in the United States it must be registered with the Office of the Registrar General, Walpole Street, Freetown.

Procedure for Obtaining:

  • Civil or Christian – Certified copies of registered marriage certificates are available from the Office of the Registrar General, Walpole Street, Freetown.
  • Muslim – Certificates of Muslim marriages are available from the mosque where the marriage was performed. If the marriage is also registered with civil authorities, a copy may be obtained from the Office of the Registrar General, Walpole Street, Freetown.
  • Native or Customary – Certificates of Native/Customary marriage are available from the local authority that sanctioned the marriage. If the marriage is also registered with civil authorities, a copy may be obtained from the Office of the Registrar General, Walpole Street, Freetown.


Certified Copies Available: Certified copies are available

Alternate Documents: There are no alternate documents

Exceptions: None

Comments: Four types of marriages are recognized as legal in Sierra Leone: civil, native (also called customary), Muslim and Christian. Please see above for instructions on procedures to obtain the different certificates.

 

Divorce Certificates

Available

Fees: A registration fee of Le10,000 payable at Sierra Leone Commercial Bank

Document Name:

  • Civil or Christian divorce – Certified copy of Divorce Decree
  • Muslim divorce – Certificate of Divorce
  • Native or Customary Divorce – Certificate of Native Divorce 


Issuing Authority: Depends on type of Divorce, see below

Special Seal(s) / Color / Format: There are no special seal(s)/color/format

Issuing Authority Personnel Title: Depends on type of Divorce, see below

Registration Criteria: There is no registration criteria

Procedure for Obtaining:

  • Civil or Christian – Must be granted by the courts, and therefor are always registered. Certified copies of divorce decrees can be obtained from the Master and Registrar, High Court, Freetown.
  • Muslim – A certificate of Muslim divorce may be obtained from the mosque that sanctioned the divorce. If the divorce was also registered with the civil authorizes, a copy may be obtained from the Office of the Registrar General, Walpole Street, Freetown.
  • Native/Customary – A certificate of native divorce may be obtained from the local authority that sanctioned the divorce. If the divorce was also registered with the civil authorizes, a copy may be obtained from the Office of the Registrar General, Walpole Street, Freetown.

Certified Copies Available: Certified copies are available

Alternate Documents: There are no alternate documents

Exceptions: None

Comments: None    

Adoption Certificates

Available

Fees:  There is no fee

Document Name: Adoption Decree

Issuing Authority: High Court of Sierra Leone

Special Seal(s) / Color / Format: Light blue or light green folder; ink stamp and dry seal

Issuing Authority Personnel Title: High Court Registrar

Registration Criteria: There is no registration criteria

Procedure for Obtaining: Applicants should contact the High Court who issued the decree

Certified Copies Available:   Applicants should contact the High Court who issued the decree

Alternate Documents: There are no alternate documents

Exceptions: None

Comments: Adoption decrees are registered with the High Court of Sierra Leone and it is the only recognized civil document. Depending on type of adoption- intention to adopt, approvals to adopt and fostering agreements are other documents petitioners might have prior to adoption. Given level of fraud in Sierra Leone, it is advised to consult an attorney for assistance to navigate the process.

Identity Card

Unavailable

Fees:   To be announced

Document Name: National Multi-purpose ID card

Issuing Authority: National Civil Registration Authority

Special Seal(s) / Color / Format: To be determined.

Issuing Authority Personnel Title: Director General

Registration Criteria: Birth Certificate, voters ID, and Passport

Procedure for Obtaining: Currently there is no procedure, but see comments section for future procedure.

Certified Copies Available: Certified copies are not available

Alternate Documents: There are no alternate documents

Exceptions: None

Comments: Civil registration began in May 2017; however the card production has not yet begun. The cards were to be combined with the new Voter ID cards which were distributed Nov 25 – Dec 4, 2017. The Voter IDs were originally planned to be biometrically secure multipurpose National IDs which would be used as a passport for ECOWAS countries, for banking transactions etc., but fell short due to funding distribution delays. Issued Voter ID cards were simple, laminated IDs with no enhanced security features and are not National ID cards. Once available, for Sierra Leone Citizens to apply for the new national ID, they must bring:

  • Documentary or non-documentary proof of citizenship, in this case, a passport, National Social Security and Insurance Trust (NASSIT) card, Voters card, Naturalization Certificate and National Civil Registration Authority ID card will be accepted as proof of citizenship.
Police, Court, Prison Records

Police Certificates

Available

Fees: Sierra Leone Passport holders - LE 200,000. Foreign Nationals – LE 300,000

Document Name: Police Clearance Certificate

Issuing Authority: Criminal Investigations Department

Special Seal(s) / Color / Format: Starting in 2017, the certificate is blue with colored photo

Issuing Authority Personnel Title: Head of CID or Deputy Head of CID

Registration Criteria: Copy of Passport or National ID

Procedure for Obtaining: Application should be made at the Criminal Investigations Department at No. 1 Pademba Road, Freetown. Payment made at the bank, personal appearance with receipt to the CID for processing. Sierra Leone Commercial bank

Certified Copies Available: Certified copies are not available

Alternate Documents: There are no alternate documents

Exceptions: None

Comments: Certificates are usually available at a maximum of 72 hours after they are requested.
 

Prison Records

Available

Fees: There may be a fee for this service

Document Name: Prison Record

Issuing Authority: Prison Headquarters

Special Seal(s) / Color / Format: There are no special seal(s)/color/format

Issuing Authority Personnel Title: Director of Prisons

Registration Criteria: There is no registration criteria

Procedure for Obtaining: Application should be made to the Director of Prisons, Prison Headquarters, New England, Freetown.

Certified Copies Available: Certified copies are not available

Alternate Documents: There are no alternate documents

Exceptions: None

Comments: None

 

Court Records

Unavailable

Military Records

Available

Fees:  There is no fee

Document Name: Discharged book (retired personnel) and letter of request, attestation or pen picture (In Service personnel)

Issuing Authority: Directorate of Personnel, Ministry of Defense, Republic of Sierra Leone Armed  Forces

Special Seal(s) / Color / Format:  Official Stamp

Issuing Authority Personnel Title:  Chief of Defense Staff or Assistant Chief of Defense Staff Personnel.

Registration Criteria: official letter.

Procedure for Obtaining: Application should be made to the Assistant Chief of Defense Staff Personnal, Ministry of Defense, Republic of Sierra Leone  Armed Forces, Wilberforce, Freetown

Certified Copies Available:  Certified copies are available

Alternate Documents:  Attestation

Exceptions: None

Comments:  No freedom of information Act in Sierra Leone. The military is a closed protection entity governed by the Official Secret Act. Can be requested for official purposes only

Passports & Other Travel Documents

Travel Documents

Types Available (Regular, Diplomatic, Official, etc.):

  • Passports: Regular, Diplomatic, Official
  • Emergency Travel Certificate

Fees: A fee of 750,000 Leones for Regular passport and 850,000 Leones for Express Service at the immigration office

Document Name: Passport or Emergency Travel Certificate

Issuing Government Authority: Sierra Leone Immigration Department

Special Seal(s) / Color / Format: Regular passports are Green, Official or “service” passports are light blue, and Diplomatic passports are true red.

Issuing Authority Personnel Title: Head of Operations, Sierra Leone Immigration Department

Registration Criteria: There is no registration criteria

Procedure for Obtaining: Submission of an application, fee and supporting documents (expired passport), for new applications (birth certificate and valid Sierra Leonean Identity card).

Alternate Documents: There are no alternate documents

Exceptions: None

Comments: Emergency Travel Certificates (ETC) can also be issued

Other Documents Available: None

Other Records

Not applicable.

Visa Issuing Posts

Post Title:   U.S. Embassy Freetown

Address:  Southridge Hill Station, Freetown Sierra Leone

Phone Number: 232 99 105 000

Visa Services: Embassy provides Non-Immigrant Visas and Immigrant Visas services. Scheduling for non-immigrant visas and fiancée appointments should be done using the Global Support Services (GSS).

Comments / Additional Information: Visa inquiries are Wednesday’s 2:00-4:00pm but emails are preferred. If inquiring about an Immigrant Visa, please include case number and name of beneficiary. American Citizen Services are provided Mondays and Wednesdays between 1:00 – 3:00pm by appointment. Emails are preferred. For adoptions, email: adoptionsfreetown@state.gov. All other emails should be forwarded to consularfreetown@state.gov.

Visa Services

The U.S. Embassy in Freetown, Sierra Leone processes family-based immigrant visas, diversity visas, and nonimmigrant visas.

 

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.