Getting a visa for Cape Verde is not that complicated. In this article we show you the way when & how you can obtain a visa. We indicate also why you need a visa and what kinds of visa there are.
Why a visa?
For several countries you will need a visa if you want to visit these. This also applies to the Cape Verde islands, unless you come from one of the visa-extempt countries. A visa is an official permission of the country to travel and stay there. There are different types of visas, for example a tourist visa, transit visa, residence visa and a residence permit. And there are different conditions per sort of visa. Without a visa, you can not legally enter or leave the country.
A tourist visa for up to 30 days is required in Cape Verde, unless you come from one of the visa-extempt countries which are most in Africa or Europe. If a stay is longer than 30 days, the visa can be prolonged there. A visa is not required for people of Cape Verde origin (regardless their current nationality) and their spouses / children.
Applying for a tourist visa yourself is very simple. You can apply for a visa for Cape Verde in two ways:
- The Cape Verde embassy or consulate in your own country. As a reference, the cost in Belgium are approximately 45, – euro per visa excluding shipping. For children under 12 years the visa is free of charge;
- At the airport at one of the international airports of Cape Verde (Sal, Boavista, Santiago or Sao Vicente). You first take the queue to buy a visa and then pass the customs. The costs per visa are around 25, – euro. You can pay with euros or with a credit card. You have to wait in the queue a little longer but it is a cheaper alternative.
For a visa application, the following conditions are relevant:
- The passport must be valid for 6 months from the date of entry into Cape Verde. You can apply for a passport at your town hall. Do this in due time before leaving to the Cape Verde Islands;
- The passport data that you use when applying for the visa must correspond to your passport data;
- If you do the visa application through an embassy / consulate, you also must show the following: proof of return flight, proof of reservation of an accommodation or a reference and passport photo.
Visa extempt countries
For short stays (30 days) a visa to enter Cape Verde is not needed for citizens from:
- European Union;
- Other Europe: United Kingdom, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, Lichtenstein, Vatican City, San Marino, Andorra, Monaco;
- Asia: Macau, Singapore, Hong Kong, Timor-Leste;
- North America: United States, Canada;
- South America: Brasil;
- Africa: Angola, Benin, Burkino Faso, Cote ‘d Lvoire, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea-Bissau, Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Mozambique, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierre Leone, Togo.
Note: You still need to register. See section ‘Registration & Airport Security Fee (TSA)’ at the end of this article.
A visa may be prolong during your stay on Cape Verde. The easiest way is to prolong your visa before it expires. You can have your visa prolonged at the office of “Direcção de Emigração e Fronteiras” in Sal, Boavista, Praia (Santiago), Mindelo (Sao Vicente) or at a police station. For the renewal of your visa you need: a valid passport with current visa, passport photo and usually also proof of where you are staying. If you are staying for a long time in Cape Verde for example for work, a rental or purchase contract is also needed.
If you get beyond the maximum length of stay you will have to pay a fine. If this is only a few days then customs usually turn a blind eye to it. A fine can be up to a few hundred euros.
For a stay in Cape Verde your passport should be valid for a minimum period of 6 months from the date of entry into Cape Verde.
Registration & Airport Security Fee (TSA)
Before travelling to Cape Verde you should register with the Cape Verde authorities via an online platform. When arriving by air – in most cases – you have to pay a security fee (Airport Security Fee – TSA). Registration and the security surcharge can be paid via an online platform (preference). This can be also arranged at the border (customs). For more information read the article about the Airport Security Fee.
Arriving by boat or cruise ship
If you visit Cape Verde by saling boat you have to arrive via one of the larger harbors. These harbos are: Praia (Santiago), Porto Grande / Mindelo (São Vicente), Palmeira (Sal). Arriving to Cape Verde via another harbor is not permitted. Upon arrival at the harbos you must hand over a list of the entire crew to the customs / border police (Direcção de Estrangeiros e Fronteiras) at the port office. Also make a copy of this document in case they will inspect your boat. The same rules for a visa apply as described earlier in this article.
If you are taking a cruise vacation with a destination on Cape Verde then you do not need to apply for a separate tourist visa yourself, as long as you leave the archipelago again via the cruise ship. The cruise lines usually provide the tourist visa as part of the package offered.