Burkina Faso Visa Requirements

VISA REQUIREMENTS & GENERAL INFORMATION YOU SHOULD BE AWARE OF BEFORE VISITING BURKINA FASO

Burkina Faso is a West African country with spectacular views and natural beauty. The people are rich in music and culture, they are also especially friendly and hospitable toward visitors.

Burkina Faso boasts various national wildlife parks with some of the rarest species of flora and fauna. There are three major rivers in Burkina Faso originating from the Volta Basin and flowing into Ghana: the Mouhoun (formerly known as the Black Volta), the Nakambe (formerly known as the White Volta), and the Nazinon (formerly known as the Red Volta).

The best time to visit Burkina Faso is during The Festival of Masks and the Arts (FESTIMA) complete with dancing wooden masks, pounding percussion, storytelling contests and market stalls.

There is an array of impressive wooden masks, which represent animals and spirits, costumes that are made of grass, colourful fabrics, leaves and raffia, making for a hypnotic, swirling spectacle to entertain visitors with incredible footwork and more.

Most of the travellers who want to visit Burkina Faso will have to apply for visa.

This information piece tells you everything you need to know about visa requirements for visiting Burkina Faso.

It is important to familiarise yourself with all legal requirements of entry before your visit, since in most cases, you will have to obtain a Burkina Faso visa prior to your travels.

Visa requirements are governed by The Burkina Faso Embassy or Diplomatic Missions and are subject to change without prior notice. Visa requirements, costs and validity differ for each country so make sure to check with your nearest Burkina Faso Embassy or Diplomatic Missions website.

WHAT IS A VISA?

A visa is issued to international travellers visiting Burkina Faso for a short stay on a temporary basis for tourism, business, study or medical reasons. Visas are normally issued for a maximum 30 or 90 days, depending on your country of residence.

A valid visa allows you to enter the country through a port of entry and stay in the country for the period specified in your visa. Note that you are restricted to the activity or reason stated in your application, for example, if you applied for a visa for a holiday or family visit, you are not allowed to work in the country during your stay.

VISA REQUIREMENTS FOR VISITING BURKINA FASO

The Burkina Faso tourist visa is issued for a short-term purpose for most countries – up to 90 days or more depending on your country of residence. Nationals of certain countries are exempt from applying for a Burkina Faso tourist visa prior to travel, but they still have to obtain a visa if they want to stay long-term.

Visitors holding passports from countries that are classified as ‘exempt’ do not need to apply for a visa prior to arriving in Burkina Faso. Instead, they are issued with a short-stay visa at the point of entry for a period of time relevant to the status of the visitor’s country.

Visas are available on arrival at the airport and borders for the for 52 nationalities for a stay of up to 1 month.

The time it takes to process a Burkina Faso visa depends on the method of application. If applied for on arrival, a visitor will receive it (or have it rejected) right there. If applying through an embassy or diplomatic mission, the processing time also depends on the specific office.

It normally takes three to five working days to process your visa with a rush time of two days if you pay a little extra.

A traveller in transit in Burkina Faso, for less than twenty-four hours, does not need a transit visa if they are continuing their journey by the same or first connecting aircraft and they do not leave the airport. However, South African citizens require a visa prior to arrival at all times, including transit 

COUNTRIES EXEMPTED AND COUNTRIES THAT NEED VISAS

All visitors to Burkina Faso except those from the countries listed below, must have a visa to enter Burkina Faso.

Citizens of the following eighteen countries can visit Burkina Faso without a visa:

Benin, Cape Verde, Central African Republic (90 days), Côte d’Ivoire, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania (90 days), Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Singapore (30 days), Togo and United Arab Emirates.

Additionally, holders of diplomatic and service category passports issued to nationals of Brazil, China, Congo, Cuba, Russia, Taiwan and Turkey do not require a visa for Burkina Faso. In addition, nationals of China holding passports endorsed “for public affairs” do not require a visa for a maximum stay of 90 days in Burkina Faso.

Visas are available on arrival at the airport and borders for the following nationalities for a stay of up to one month:

Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chad, Colombia, Comoros, Cuba, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Hong Kong, Iceland, Kenya, Libya, Liechtenstein, New Zealand, Norway, Paraguay, Sao Tome and Principe, Somalia, Switzerland, Taiwan, Tunisia, United Kingdom, United States, Venezuela, All European Union citizens (except Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus and Romania).

A visa on arrival is available for citizens and for holders of a valid visa issued by a Schengen Member State.

A visa on arrival is available for holders of diplomatic, official, service or special passports free of charge. Visa on arrival is also available for holders of an Interpol passport traveling on duty

DIFFERENT KINDS OF VISAS

When applying for a Burkina Faso visa, you need to know which one to apply for according to your reason for traveling to Burkina Faso:

A tourist visa is needed for normal tourist purposes.

A business visa is required for people wanting to conduct business in Burkina Faso.

Burkina Faso visas are issued as single entry with which you can enter Burkina Faso once, or a multiple entry visa with which you can enter the country for unlimited times within the validity of your visa.

HOW AND WHERE TO APPLY FOR VISAS WHEN VISITING BURKINA FASO

Burkina Faso does not yet support e-visas so you cannot apply for a pre-approved visa online. If you are from a qualifying country, you may then get a visa on arrival.

How to apply for a Burkina Faso Visa at an embassy or consulate

The application process largely depends on which country’s embassy or consulate you use to submit your visa application. However, the following is a guideline:

Contact the Burkina Faso embassy or diplomatic mission to set up an appointment

Complete a Burkina Faso visa application form obtainable from the embassy/diplomatic mission offices

You will need to gather the required documents, pay the visa fee and submit the documents and application at the embassy/diplomatic mission. Some offices require you to submit the documents in person, whereas others also allow submissions through the mail.

DOCUMENTS NEEDED FOR APPLICATION FOR VISA

When you apply for a Burkina Faso visa, you need the following documents to support your application: (Note that the exact required documents depend on the purpose of your travel as well as the embassy or diplomatic mission in which you apply).

  • Two passport-size pictures
  • Your passport, valid for at least six more months from the date of entry and with at least two blank pages for stamps
  • Two photocopies of the personal information page of your passport
  • A residence permit or other proof of legal residence if you are not a citizen of the country from which you are applying
  • Proof of a return or onward travel ticket
  • Proof of accommodation in Burkina Faso
  • A Letter of invitation from the hosting company if you are traveling for business
  • Proof of payment of the visa fee       
  • Yellow Fever Vaccination Certificate
  • Properly Completed Burkina Faso Visa Application Form
  • A recent bank statement
  • If you apply by mail, a self-addressed and prepaid envelope for the return of your passport and documents

COST OF A BURKINA FASO VISA

Fees may vary depending on the consulate or embassy, therefore check with them first, the below is a guideline:

The cost of the visa on arrival is 94,000 francs CFA (approximately US$ 190) for a single-entry visa with a maximum validity of three months, or 122,000 CFA (approximately US$ 245) for multiple entry visa with a maximum validity of three months.

Tourist visa –

  • 105 USD for three months for one entry
  • 135 USD for three months for multiple entries
  • 145 USD for six months for one entry
  • 175 USD for six months for multiple entries
  • 190 USD for one year for one entry
  • 220 USD for one-year for multiple entries

Certain countries citizens may be eligible for up to a five-year, multiple entries visa at a cost of 140 USD.

VACCINES NEEDED WHEN VISITING BURKINA FASO

There are some vaccines that are recommended or required for Burkina Faso. The CDC and WHO recommend the following vaccinations for traveling to Burkina Faso:

Hepatitis A, hepatitis B, typhoid, cholera, yellow fever, rabies, meningitis, polio, measles, mumps and rubella (MMR), Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis), chickenpox, shingles, pneumonia and influenza.

There is a risk of yellow fever in Burkina Faso. All travellers over the age of nine months must be vaccinated. The country requires all travellers entering to show proof of yellow fever vaccination. A yellow fever certificate is valid 10 days after the vaccination is administered, making it important to get the vaccination in time before leaving for Burkina Faso. You may be refused entry if you leave it too late and arrive in Burkina Faso within the 10-day waiting period.

Burkina Faso is in the meningitis belt, a region known for carrying the disease. Meningitis vaccination is recommended for travellers visiting Burkina Faso, especially between December and June.

Burkina Faso has also had cholera outbreaks in recent years. Vaccination is recommended for travellers, especially for aid workers and individuals heading to rural areas.

Burkina Faso is a high-risk country for Malaria, so it is recommended that you take prescription medicine before, during, and after your trip to prevent malaria. Your doctor can help you decide which medicine is right for you, and also talk to you about other steps you can take to prevent malaria

SPECIAL CONSIDERATIONS WHEN VISITING BURKINA FASO

In Burkina Faso it is a violation of the law to photograph airports, military barracks and the vicinity of government offices.

Burkina Faso is a religiously diverse country with Islam being the dominant religion so during Ramadan, it is especially important to avoid causing offense by covering up in public. In order to avoid undue attention, it is a good idea for women to cover their chest and shoulders and wear long trousers or skirts. Both men and women should avoid wearing sleeveless tops and shorts.

VISITING BURKINA FASO WITH MINORS

If you are travelling to Burkina Faso with a minor, please take note of the following additional documents you will need for each child:

  • There must be a complete visa application for each child and certified copy of their birth certificate.
  • If the child is only traveling with one parent, a letter of consent or affidavit from the other parent consenting to such travel is required.
  • If the child is traveling alone then a letter of consent or affidavit from both parents consenting to such travel is required.

WHAT HAPPENS IF ONE OVERSTAYS ON A VISA IN BURKINA FASO

Foreign visitors who overstay on a visa are normally declared ‘undesirable persons’ and may incur a ban from Burkina Faso for a period, which prevents them from applying for a visa and re-entering Burkina Faso for a prescribed period of time.

You may also be charged a fine for each day that you overstay on your visa.

There may even be legal action taken against you, it is highly recommended that you extend your visa well in advance.

Individuals who have been affected by the overstay visa regulations of a country can usually lodge a visa overstay appeal.

ENJOY A SAFE HOLIDAY IN BURKINA FASO WITH A REPUTABLE TOUR OPERATOR

MoAfrika Tours is a leading tour operator in South Africa that offers an outstanding selection of tours to Burkina Faso. We have a close association with the most reputable tour operators in Burkina Faso who make safety a priority.