Do you need a visa to travel to Senegal? How to obtain the appropriate visa? Find out in this article.
Senegal is quite open to foreigners although its borders are protected by local authorities. Therefore, you cannot travel there without an appropriate visa. It is best to inquire about available visas and on related conditions before proceeding. These may differ from one country to another. But procedures should not be very complicated.
In case your home country requires Senegal nationals to obtain a paid visa to travel there, you are required to obtain a biometric visa, that is a visa containing your finger and eye prints, as well as your identity photo, to be authorized to enter the country. This visa entitles you to a single entry in Senegal and is valid for a maximum of 90 days.
In case your home country does not require Senegal nationals to produce a paid visa to travel there, you can in turn travel to the country with your identity card. The same applies to the West African States Economic Community nationals, that is nationals from Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Ivory Coast, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia , Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Togo. They can travel to Senegal with a valid national identity card.
Nationals of other countries must produce a valid passport.
Good to know:
Foreign residents having a foreign identity card or a receipt confirming their resident permit request do not require a visa. They can simply produce their identity card to travel to Senegal. Moreover, dual nationality Senegalese are exempt from the visa requirement provided they produce their Senegalese passport or national identity card.
The biometric visa application or pre-enrollment can be performed online or at the Senegal consulate in your home country. Note that fees apply. If you prefer online application, the following documents will be required:
- photocopies of your passport's first five pages (the passport should be valid for 6 months following your trip to Senegal)
- proof of return tickets
- proof of accommodation or hotel booking, or even ownership certificate (not necessarily required).
Fees should amount between 52.50 and 55 euros and are payable by credit card. In case of visa denial, this sum should be refunded to you.
If you prefer to apply in person at the Senegalese Consulate in your home country, the documents listed above have to be produced in hard copy. Fees have to be paid in cash. Thereafter, a pre visa will be issued to be produced at the consulate or at the Senegal border. The pre visa will be emailed to you if you have chosen online application.
All Senegalese consulates, embassies and border posts are not equipped for the production of biometric visas. These are more likely to be available in cities such as Brussels, Berlin, Banjul, Paris, Lyon, New York, etc.
In general, biometric visas are issued on the spot, that is at the Dakar International Airport, at Cap Skirring, Rosso borders near Mauritania, at Karang border near Gambia and at MPak next to Guinea-Bissau. These are also available at the Matam border (close to Mauritania), Oumar Ly and Gourel Nayé borders (close to Mali), Fongolimby and Wassadou borders (close to Guinea), Coumbacara border (next to Guinea-Bissau) and Senoba border (next to Gambia).
The pre-visa can be used on boarding your plane to Senegal. However, you will need some 54 euros once you arrive in the country so as to obtain your actual visa. Documents to be produced are the following:
- the pre-visa payment's original receipt
- a duly filled and signed visa application form
- a passport-type identity photo
- your original passport (valid for at least 6 months)
- photocopies of your passport's first five pages
- your detailed travel documents along with a return ticket
- hotel booking or proof of accommodation (a legalized ownership certificate may be required)
- a signed and notarized parental authorization for minors traveling alone.
Multiple entries and exits
There are two types of multiple-entry visas in Senegal: the long stay visa and the short stay visa which is valid for a maximum of 90 days. Unless you are arriving at the Dakar airport where you will automatically obtain a multiple-entry visa, you will have to apply for this visa at the Foreigners and Travel Police Department.
Long stay visa
You must first obtain a short stay visa, which is valid for 90 days, before being able to apply for a long stay visa with a 6 months to one year validity period. The application has to be made at the Territorial Surveillance Directorate by producing your pre-visa.
Expat.com - Senegal Visas Forum
Government of Senegal website www.gouv.sn
Government of Senegal website – Apply for a visa www.gouv.sn/IMG/pdf/visa-senegal-procedure.pdf