Minors

Children under 16 years have to be accompanied by an adult.
If there is no company, it’s not enough to present a confirmation of the legal guardian. A Cape Verdean citizen - or a foreign resident - has to declare the responsibility for the whole stay of the child.
Furthermore, you have to contact the airline, to accomplish all their required formalities.

Validity

Attention! Your passport must be valid until the date of your departure from the Cape Verde Islands. Some consulates are strictly following the law and demand, that your passport has to be valid six month after the date of your departure. Other consulates are more accommodating.

A regular tourist-visa is valid up to six months after being issued by a consulate.

The tourist-visa for multiple entry is valid up to two years after being issued.

Check-In denial

« Is there any risk to be refused at Check-In, if I don’t have a visa?  »

In theory, yes. In practice, no.

The Cape Verdean law allows guests to get their visa on arrival, if they are coming from a country without a Capeverdean embassy or consulate.
That means in theory, you don’t have the right to buy a visa on spot, if you are coming from a country, where you could buy the visa beforehand.

However, in practice it is quite usual, that you get a visa upon arrival in Cape Verde no matter where you are coming from. But you have to be aware that it is just a tolerance, which they can make undone anytime they think it is necessary.

Furthermore, in case of a denial, the airlines have to organize the transport of the passengers and in this case they might refuse permission to enter the aircraft without a visa.
This already happened in Portugal at the end of 2000, when the requirements from the Cape Verde Islands were not known yet: travelers were refused to enter the aircraft.
Since that time the word about the tolerance for the visa on spot was spread and no passenger was declined anymore.

The different types of visa

There are different types of visa for the following scenarios:

- the Tourist-visa: for travelers, staying in Cape Verde for a few days or weeks. Usually valid up to one month, maximum validity up to three months.

- the Transit-visa: for travelers, visiting the islands in transit. They are allowed to stay up to 4 days.

- the Collective-visa: for groups not less than six persons, travelling together (with the same international flights) with a maximum duration of stay of 30 days.

- the Temporary visa: for foreigners, coming because of a cultural, scientific or business travel and having a contract with a public or private organization in Cape Verde. For example: technicians, students, artists, scientists, athletes, professors, etc. The maximum duration of stay is 3 months (with a multiple entry) or 6 months (with a single entry).

- the Residence-visa: with an extended validity up to six months for those, who want to settle in Cape Verde. Everyone, who files for an application, gets a permit of residence for 5 years.

- the Official or Diplomatic visa.

On the airport

« What is happening upon arrival? »

When you get off the airplane they will lead you to the arrival hall. There you have to queue in one of the following lines:

- The first line is for Cape Verdean citizens, for foreign residents with a permit of residence or for tourists with a visa, which they already bought in their country beforehand. Short waiting period.

- The second line is for those tourists, who have to buy their visa on spot. It might be a long waiting period – it depends on the number of travelers. It might happen, that they open only one counter for about hundred guests who arrived all on the same plane.

The baggage claim is located after the visa-check.

Sailors

« We are arriving with a sailing boat – which formalities do we have to follow? »

To clear into Cape Verde in the legal way, you have to arrive in one of the country’s following harbors: Praia (Island Santiago), Porto Grande / Mindelo (Island São Vicente), Palmeira (Island Sal).
Attention! The entry into the Capeverdean territory through a non-authorized harbor can be punished with an fine between 200 and 3000 EUR.

A list from the entire crew has to be delivered to the DEF (Direcção de Estrangeiros e Fronteiras / Border Police) into their office in the port of arrival. In case of an inspection, you have to keep a copy of this list on board.
Additionally, you have to specify by which transportation you are going to leave the country.

Travelers on cruise-ships

« Which type of visa do we need, visiting Cape Verde for one or more days on a cruise-ship? »

You don’t need a visa, if you leave the country on the cruise-ship again.
If you get off the cruise-ship in Cape Verde to fly from there, you need a visa upon your departure.

Operating time

If you apply for a visa by mail or personally at the consulate, it can take a few days. Even though the consulates are located abroad, they might be closed on a Capeverdean public holiday: 05th July (national holiday), 01st January, 13th January, 20th January, 01st June, 01st November, 25th December.
For the application by mail, some embassies offer an express-visa, but they might be very expensive.
Get informed in advance.

Upon your arrival at the airport you immediately receive your visa.

Grouptravel

Guests, visiting Cape Verde on a grouptravel organized by a tour operator, do not need an individual visa. You will get a voucher for the requested group-visa. Upon your arrival you have to show this to the border police.

Suisse

Guests, visiting Cape Verde on a grouptravel organized by a tour operator, do not need an individual visa. You will get a voucher for the requested group-visa. Upon your arrival you have to show this to the border police.

Maroc

Guests, visiting Cape Verde on a grouptravel organized by a tour operator, do not need an individual visa. You will get a voucher for the requested group-visa. Upon your arrival you have to show this to the border police.

Useful addresses

Direcção de Estrangeiros e Fronteiras
Santiago:
Achada Santo António - Praia
Tel: (00238) 261 32 05
Fax: (00238) 261 18 45

São Vicente
Esquadra da Policia - Mindelo
Tel: (00238) 230 04 83

Sal
Tel: (00238) 241 90 50

Additionally, you find the addresses from the embassies and consulates in Cape Verde in our address section.

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