Biometric resident card

Just return to Madagascar after three months and come to learn that I will need to go to Tana to get my Biometric resident card.

I was able to go through the Tana airport with my resident visa in my passport, as my old resident plastic card has expired for about a year.

My Resident Visa in my passport is good till 2025, but I am seeing on the streets here in Mahajanga that the police are starting to stop vasaha for "new" resident cards.

I was thinking that maybe my passport would be enough of my resident status till a biometric machine came to my city in Mahajanga.

So, my question is-- what has been your experience in acquiring your biometric card?  I understand the cut-off date is at the end of Nov?   

Any government website you know of that clearly explains the rules.
Any Middle Man in Tana you know of that knows how to work the system to bring this painful chore to a smooth result, I mention this because time is short and travel and hotel expenses add up with each extra day. 

Thank you

Through a French colleague in Maroantsetra, I found a person in the Ministry who has helped me tremendously in the process.  You should be aware that the list of necessary documents on the Internet is not complete. For example, my visa is for Regroupement Familiale, so I had to provide a color copy of my marriage act, a certified photocopy of my Malagasy wife's CIN, and an Attestation Bancaire, none of which are mentioned on the web site.

There was, of course, a "frais" to accelerate the process from 3 weeks to one, but I'll find out this week if that has worked out as promised.

Good luck!

I certainly appreciate your response to my issue.  It was good to hear you tick off the other items which I was able to obtain but the acte de marriage, that I have is not in color. And you are correct about them not being on the internet, so on the official "help" document  those items you mentioned was hand written in later.  However I did get everything signed off by the Le Prefet, administrative Civil here in Mahajanga.  Last thing is for me to get is my document  from the court saying i have not been in trouble. That I will be getting this week when I am in Tana- heading on tues and making it a family trip since the kids are out of school now for two weeks.

I will update later about my progress. 

I read and heard conflicting stories about the cost of the Bio resident card.  Any up to date information about cost.? 
OR any other costs I will encounter and the approx. cost of that in a rounded off manner.?

Thanks for the good luck because I am going to need it

As I heard that "luck" is the residue of design- and I always feel my documents are incomplete till they remember once again what they forgot to mention I need again, which means another return trip to the government office and again and again, This has also happened to me at the bank, forgetting to tell me to bring all my documents complete.

Thank you


Excuse me for expressing costs in Ariary, but (I've not yet obtained the carte in my hands) the cost of the CR is AR 1.200.000, and the frais d'accélération was Ar. 200.000. There remains the "remerciement" to the person who has helped me, but if she comes through this week, I'll be really grateful.

I've been waiting for the CR to transfer my driver's license over to biometric form. I've heard there is a December deadline. We'll see how that goes.

If you come to Tana on Tuesday, are you aware there is an get-together on Wednesday evening at Fatapera in Antaninarenina? I'd like to meet you, if possible.


Thank you for the prices- I count that at $400 usa for the RC.   ( 6,000,000 fmg) 

And the Frais can be tricky.

Thank you once again

I am Tana now and went to court to get my document to prove I am a good person in Madagascar. That took 45 minutes. Then went in the afternoon to get my paperwork filed for bio resident card which took three hours. I had my picture taken and finger printed and documents put into the computer.  I was told that a SMS would come to my phone in two weeks with my code to pick up my completed documents. I will pick up my document and go pay at the cashier my 1200000 also listed as 6000000 fmg. I go with my receipt of payment which by the way can only be done in the morning of Mon Tues and Wed. I will get my new bio resident card in one to three days. 
Begger fee for the two government buildings twelve dollars. And 500 fmg for old woman on the street.
I recommend if vasaha wants to show they have lived here long time and wants better prices to speak in fmg .  But if you ego wants to show other , than by all means pay more by standing out and speak in Ar. Much like a tourist, or other aid worker.

When I was in Tana about 15 days ago to do my Bio card I was told to expect a code to my phone to report to Tana to pay and get my card with 24 to 72 hour lag time. I am back home now and I went to the local Mahajanga office for help and the agent here who called my contact in Tana to find out what is the delay.  The point is I do not want to miss the code because once I get my code I only have 30 days to complete my Bio Card app. or start the whole process over again.

I was given new information today that I do not have to pay the 1,200,000 ariary because I have been married for 10 years and  more in my case- the cost for the card is now 130,000 ariary for the card with a document from the upper office confirming my marriage then move onto cashier, then on to where I would get my bio card.

The reason I write this is to help others with misinformation that might have been given others and misinformation that may have been given to me.

I wish I could say I was 100% sure of everything but the rules are not clear because the rules are not clear to the government workers or they lack the memory to explain all.

If you know of a website with all the rules laid out then I would like to read that but the problem is that it is usually in French and Google translate can be blurred. 

I also remember that I  saw on the chart that hung on the cashier office that Ariary can be paid or Euro and nothing about Dollar.  In either case it would be best to pay in Ariary since the exchange rate is better than the government office.   

This is all will be done soon for me I hope soon but during the time of Francophone then rainy season which just slows thing down even further, if you can imagine that.

Thanks for any of your thoughts on this issue

Wow! I felt really good about the help I was given in getting my bio card, but there was no mention of the 10+ years of marriage, even though a copy of the marriage act was imperative.  Alex, can you be more specific, maybe even cite the code, that allowed this reduction in cost? My visa renewal is coming up in April, so I'd like to reduce the costs any way possible. (I have to pay yet again for the carte de residance).


When I was in Tana and gave my documents to my agent- as if I am his client and no one else will help me. He told me I had to pay this expensive 1,200,000. Here in Mahajanga when I talked with my other agent local ( again I am  her client), she talked to him and it was here that he admitted I did not have to pay the hefty price ---- even though my marriage documents were plainly shown to him when I was in Tana two weeks prior.  Now I learned I
Just the 130,000 for the ten years marriage.  I began to become suspicious with different facts and start to get to thinking  that the Tana agent wants me to pay high so he can split the cost with profit in Half at the cashier. Its very confusing but I will try and unravel all this before I head back to Tana with my wife who speak Malagasy so can get closer to the truth. She is also confused because they never tell her the entire story and keep her as well in the dark.   
You , as long time resident to Madagascar, already knows  how this works  and government workers have nicer cars than I have. Anyway as for citing the code- I have not found that yet- if you have any website for me to review I will review that. Please send link!!!
I will certainly get back to you with any information to help as, it seems that we Vasaha are kept in the dark on purpose and finding the truth takes work.   I am interested in finding the truth so I can document everything to help all expats now and in the future. 
I will stay in touch as events unfold and will contribute all information, my mistakes ( and misinformation) as I learn the path to Bio resident card.

Are you saying that you now have your Bio Resident Card with picture and fingerprint????
Thank you


Thanks very much for the reply. Yes, with the Ar. 200.000 "acceleration fee", I got my card within a week. I was really impressed with the IT setup that some foreign donor arranged for them. I've never seen a scanner as fast as that one!

Anyway, the person who facilitated the process gave me an "up-to-date- list of requirements, but I still see things that are lacking. There is no way that I know of to post documents on this forum, so ....?

What's bugging me now is the permis de conduire. I went through the process with minimal displeasure, but they gave me a rendez-vous to pick it up for 25 Nov. which falls during the Sommet de la Francophonie. I want to be as far away from Tana as possible during that time.  The next time I might be in Tana is February, when I begin the renewal of my visa. Not sure what might happen between now and then.


Thank you sir for your help.
I will update as I learn new information.

Is there any way that you can have your drivers license sent to you by post express for a fee of course.

Or send a worker to pick it up for you.
When I need my passport renewed years ago at the USA embassy I had my employee pick it up for me. It was during the coup.

I was also advised by local agent for my wife to go pick up my Bio Card to save me money from corruption fees as I will be a target.  But where is the fun in that not to go face to face with the local authorities and the stories I can share after. 
My wife may still convince me to have a friend in Tana to do  the legwork on the Bio card and send it post rapid later on.  It also depends on the weather as I would be traveling to tana by cotisse.

I will see on my mood in about a month- if you are in town then at the same time as me then I would enjoy getting together for a beer.


obtained of stay
Rights of residence visa
Rights of residents card issuance
+ 3 months to 1 year
Ar 150 000
€ 300
1-2 years
Ar 150 000
€ 400
2 to 3 years
Ar 150 000
€ 533.57
3 to 5 years
Ar 200 000
€ 609.80
5 to 10 years
Ar 250 000
€ 838.47
Ar 250 000
€ 300
Ar 150 000
€ 300
Ar 150 000
€ 228.67
Special treatment:

Missionaries churches recognized by the state and their spouses resident in Madagascar ... ... ...... ......... ............ ....... ..... ............ .......... ....... ................ ...... ......... € 300
Foreign or native person of indeterminate nationality Madagascar ............ ......... ...... ............ ............ ......... ...... ...... ...... ... € 300
Foreign or person of undetermined nationality native of Madagascar and recognized indigent ......... ......... ......... ...... ......... ......... ......... ......... ...... ... Free
Foreign or person of indeterminate nationality who completed a job in a service of the State or Malagasy Armed Forces for at least 10 years ...... ...... ... Free
Foreign person or undetermined nationality aged under 70 years and resident in Madagascar for at least 20 years ......... ......... ......... ...... ......... ...... .Gratuité
Foreign or person of indeterminate nationality married for 10 years at least to a national Malagasy ............ ......... ......... ......... ......... ............ ...... .. ... .. Free
Foreign or person of indeterminate nationality married for at least 5 years but less than 10 years to a national Malagasy ......... ...... ... ......... ......... ......... ... .300 €

this is the line I find interesting

Foreign or person of indeterminate nationality married for 10 years at least to a national Malagasy ............ ......... ......... ......... ......... ............ ...... .. ... .. Free

Good info, Alex.  I'll have to forward the link to the person in Tana who helped me and said that I should not believe what I see on the Internet, as it is probably outdated. In particular, I had pointed out that one about a free visa because of marriage.

I am impressed, you have people who  can help you who knows how to use the internet and open a link.

On Dec 22, 2016 my Bio Card and Bio visa for my passport came by Post Rapid.

My card and Visa are good till Oct 2025----I got a ten year visa this time around.

Also because I have been married for more than ten years ( 14 years in my case), my card was Free, but there was other processing costs which I ended up paying 800,000 ar ,---> my total cost   Though the opening negotiations began with 2.5 million ar.  which started the time I got my SMS on DEC 9 2017.

First correction--- the above post, last line should read Dec 9 2016  not 2017---for the SMS--I was in a bit of a hurry and

Sorry , I had to cut my report short above since I am the Director of I needed to break away to attend the closing ceremony for the holidays and issuing of report cards/books.


    First off, all negotiations were done in FMG.   If you can deal in FMG you will always have the edge over using Ariary. Not doing so, you will be considered "Vasaha Fresh" even after ten or more years of living in Madagascar) and considered ignorant of local customs and habits and institutions ---thus you pay more. 

My contact in the immigration office in Tana was unaware that I was married for ten years even though the paper work was submitted to him in person at which time I got my photo taken and signature registered, after that, all paperwork  went upstairs for investigation.   SMS was to follow in two weeks- but really was 6 weeks.

So that  I could get my bio card for Free I had to send another set of forms in so he could go upstairs to show his boss I had been married for ten years. The original report was filed somewhere and to difficult to find or search for again. Handing in this new duplicate paperwork and this alone had its own separate cost to take the time of his superior where they shared monies.

It was explained to me by "my friend" in tana or has he expessed to my wife "ma cousine" that the cost of me coming into tana, transporation and hotel costs and food and time would be better off if he took care of the process and mailed it to me by Post Rapid for 2.5 million ar or 12.5 million FMG. I live in Mahajanga which is a 600kms from Tana. My wife said his price was to high, which he replied" just take the money from your husband". This expression I have heard dozens of times from Malagasy people saying this to my wife of a vasaha, and these dozens of times are  the times she has mentioned it to me  , meaning  it is more than that.

After fighting with him for just about a week,fowl words, hanging up on each other and yelling, blocked calls and messages back and forth not wanting to talk--- she said that we would come into Tana and he would not get even one Franc Malagas . It was after  that we settled on 4 million FMG (800,000 ar).
We sent half the money by airtel on Friday 16th 2016.  On Sat he claimed that he had not received any money and wanted us to send again the money. My wife at this point went to the main Airtel office to record all documents to follow the money and on Monday at noon she explained that he did in fact receive the money and that our option was to go to tana and to his office with the police and armed with Airtel documents and  Airtel support as Airtels reputation was on the line, to expose that he tried to get us to send the money again and break our contract and expose blatant corruption.

At that point he confirmed that he indeed did get the money on Monday and for us not to come to Tana and my Bio card and bio visa was shipped out with Post Rapid on Wednesday and I got the Package on Thursday.  Once I had the Bio card and Visa in my hand I did send him the rest of the money but did think for a short while that I should just stiff him.  I did send the other 2 million FMG because my word is worth more to me.

Remember that from the point I got my SMS on Dec 9 I had only 30 days to complete the obtaining of my Bio Card and Visa.
It was a difficult time  being close to Christmas, Christmas tree set up, children feeling happy for their gifts and out of school for holidays and News Years around the corner and how Government workers are playing more than usual and not in the office or in the office and stinking of alcohol.
It was tempting at times to think just go into Tana and get it all for the real cost with only the normal gift/bribe cost of 100,000FMG ( 20,000ar).

In final analysis-- -push back against corruption as much as you can, for they only got this far because the Vasaha acquiesce their unreasonable demands.  Just as you always negotiate for prices on the street, there is a need to negotiate for prices in the halls of power.   Though I was caught between a rock and a hard place and I did not win by much ,I was able to push back.  This is not my first push back as I have filed three complaints in Bianco, one was won and the two others are lost under stacks of paper work or are in the round file as government workers shift positions from town to town.
I have met with other Vasaha in offices waiting for their Bio paper work to find out they need to pay upward of 15 million FMG ----3 million ar and when I ask what are you going to do?, I am met with lips pushed out and downwards, shrugged  shoulders and hands held out in and fading downwards motion in a pathetic insipid gesture of what can a loser do---  For some French pensions that is a full month of pension.

That is some information in short, for  any further details I will be happy to help here on the forum or in private mail.

Thanks Alex and Lil for that useful informations

date extended for replacement to bio-metric visas to  20th December 2017, source below … mbre-2017/

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