Benin: Visa requirements to be waived for all African countries

Benin President Patrice Talon has announced that Benin intends to waive visa requirements for citizens of all African countries.

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What does the change mean? Once the waiver goes into effect, citizens of African countries who hold a valid passport will be permitted to travel to Benin without first needing to obtain a visa.

  • Implementation time frame: Ongoing. The president announced Benin’s plans for a visa waiver on Aug. 30, but the change has yet to be implemented.
  • Visas/permits affected: Visit visas.
  • Who is affected: Citizens of African countries traveling to Benin.
  • Impact on processing times: The change will save eligible travelers the time it currently takes to obtain a Benin visa.
  • Business impact: The government hopes the waiver will encourage other African countries to initiate similar visa waiver policies.
  • Next steps: The Benin government is expected to announce formal and immediate implementation of the change soon.

Background: Although citizens of some African countries (Algeria, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Congo, Cote d’Ivoire, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Africa and Togo) are already permitted to travel to Benin without a visa, Talon’s announcement that travel to Benin will become visa-free for citizens of all African countries is a significant change to Benin’s current immigration policy. Benin joins a list of 13 African countries that have eased, or altogether removed, visa requirements for African travelers.

BAL Analysis: The change has not taken effect yet but, once implemented, will significantly reduce red tape for those that are eligible. Travelers are reminded that the new visa waiver will not cover long-term work activities. Contact your BAL professional if you have questions about what form of visa or permit is best for the activities you plan to conduct.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group. For additional information, please contact your BAL attorney.

About Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP
Founded in 1980, Berry Appleman & Leiden (BAL) provides comprehensive global immigration services from six offices across the U.S. and from offices in Geneva, London, Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, Shanghai, Singapore and Sydney. BAL manages global visa matters and customized application approaches for work permits, business visas, and residence permits in more than 100 countries. With a single cost center for worldwide operations, BAL offers centralized management with regional and local support for the complete spectrum of global immigration matters.

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