Comores Visa Requirements
VISA REQUIREMENTS & GENERAL INFORMATION YOU SHOULD BE AWARE OF BEFORE VISITING COMOROS
Comoros is a group of islands floating between Mozambique and Madagascar in the warm waters of the Indian ocean, it is full of a natural wild beauty thanks to it having only a few inhabitants.
Ylang-ylang oil is one of the major traditional export products of the Comoros (together with vanilla and cloves), these aromas linger in the air of the islands creating a not only picturesque destination, but an aromatically pleasing one too. With its white sandy beaches, crystalline blue ocean waters and tropical rain forests, the Comoros certainly live up to its paradise reputation.
A great place for spotting marine life is on the smallest of the Comoros islands, Mohéli, largely undeveloped and completely wild, sea turtles, dolphins and whales are known to frequent the shores around the island.
It is also home to the first protected area in the Comoros; Parc Marin de Mohéli which was established on 19 April 2001.
Comoros is home to a very active volcano, Mount Karthala or Karthola, it is the highest point of the Comoros at 2,361 m (7,746 ft) above sea level and is the southernmost and larger of the two shield volcanoes forming Grande Comore island, the largest island in the nation of Comoros
All travellers who wish to visit Comoros will need a visa in order to do so. This information piece tells you everything you need to know about visa requirements for visiting the Comoros islands.
It is important that you familiarise yourself with these legal requirements of entry before your visit since you will have to obtain a Comoros visa prior to your travels.
Visa requirements are governed by the Comoros Embassy or Consulate located nearest to you and can be found through visiting the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Comoros, they are subject to change without prior notice. Rather check the country’s official website or enquire from a reputable travelling agency or tour operator like MoAfrika Tours what the latest updates or changes to the requirements for a visa application may be.
WHAT IS A VISA?
A visa is issued to international travellers visiting Comoros 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 COMOROS
The Comoros visa is issued for short-term purposes – up to 45 days maximum, you will need a passport valid for at least six more months from the date of entry and with at least two blank pages for stamps.
All visitors wishing to visit Comoros for any reason other than business will get a tourist visa on arrival. There are no exempt countries, therefore this is a requirement for all nationalities.
The Comoros do not support e-visas as it is not necessary with their visa policy. Everyone wishing to visit the beauty of the Comoros islands for tourist purposes is issued a visa on arrival, provided they pay the embassy fees and hand in the correct documents.
Processing time depends on how busy the department is at the airport, otherwise your visa is provided within a few minutes.
The duration of a Comoros visa is strictly 45 days, officials allow extensions only for very good reasons such as health, safety, and political concerns. If you just want to spend a few extra days on the beach, you’re out of luck. There are no multiple entry visas so make sure to plan your visit for one long stretch, otherwise you will have to pay for a new visa for each time you enter the country.
A transit visa is valid for 24 hours and is absolutely free, provided you are in possession of a valid passport and an onward ticket which confirms your departure within that time frame.
COUNTRIES EXEMPTED AND COUNTRIES THAT NEED VISAS
All visitors to Comoros are required to have a visa to enter the country. There are no exceptions. Luckily everyone is eligible for a visa on arrival for a maximum stay of 45 days.
DIFFERENT KINDS OF VISAS
When applying for a Comoros visa, you need to know which one to apply for according to your reason for traveling to Comoros.
There are three types of visas – the tourist visa which is reserved for tourist/vacation reasons, the business visa which is reserved for conducting business in the Comoros and the transit visa which needs to be obtained if you are travelling through the Comoros to another destination.
These are single entry visas which means you may only enter the country once within the validity of your visa. The Comoros do not offer multiple entry visas.
HOW AND WHERE TO APPLY FOR VISAS WHEN VISITING COMOROS
There are two ways you can apply for a Comoros visa, through the nearest Comoros embassy or consulate or on arrival.
Mostly the tourist visa is done on arrival, all nationalities qualify for this and it is quite straight forward. On arrival you will go to the relevant department, fill in the visa form, hand in the required documents and pay the visa fee, from there you will be issued your tourist visa within minutes.
Otherwise you can apply directly at your nearest embassy or consulate, you will have to first make an appointment and then from there, depending on which country’s embassy or consulate you use, you might be required to give biometric scans of your finger prints or facial features.
This is a quick, discreet and non-intrusive process that captures a facial image with a digital camera and a 10-digit fingerprint scan with a digital finger scanner and is done at the embassy or consulate.
You will need to complete a Comoros visa application form, obtainable from the embassy or consulate offices.
Gather all the required documents, pay the visa fee and then submit the documents and application at the embassy or consulate. 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 Comoros visa, you need the following documents to support your application:
- Two copies of the application form
- Two passport-size pictures of yourself with your name written on the back of each
- Your passport, valid for at least six more months from the date of entry and with at least two blank pages
- Two certified 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 Comoros, such as your hotel booking confirmations
- A Letter of invitation from the hosting company if you are travelling for business purposes
- Proof of payment of the visa fee unless you are getting a visa on arrival
- If you apply by mail, a self-addressed and prepaid envelope for the return of your passport and documents.
Note that the exact required documents depend on the purpose of your travel as well as the embassy or consulate in which you apply.
COST OF A COMOROS VISA
Fees for a Comoros visa may vary depending on the consulate/embassy and country in which you are applying from. You will have to check the exact cost with them first. However, the below is an example of the last known fees charged:
The transit visa, valid for a twenty-four-hour stay is free, the tourist visa on arrival, valid for a forty-five-day stay is thirty euros and the long stay visa, for stays longer than forty-five days cost two hundred and fifty five euros.
VACCINES NEEDED WHEN VISITING COMOROS
A yellow fever vaccination certificate is required when travelling from or transiting through a country with risk of yellow fever transmission within five days.
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 Comoros. You may be refused entry if you leave it too late and arrive in Comoros within the 10-day waiting period.
The CDC and WHO recommend the following vaccinations for Comoros: hepatitis A, hepatitis B, typhoid, rabies, meningitis, polio, measles, mumps and rubella (MMR), Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis), chickenpox, shingles, pneumonia and influenza.
The Comoros has had outbreaks of Malaria, Chikungunya and Dengue fever in recent years, They are mosquito-borne diseases and are potentially life-threatening, so it is highly recommended that you use mosquito repellents when visiting the Comoros and that you take antimalarial medication before, during, and after your trip to prevent malaria. Your doctor can help you decide which medicine is right for you.
The medical care in the Comoros is rudimentary, and many of the facilities are in poor condition. Consider bringing medical supplies when traveling, as they are harder to come by on the islands.
Ways to avoid getting mosquito bites during your visit:
Insect repellent is your best friend when it comes to avoiding mosquito bites, you can buy insect repellents from the local supermarkets and/or pharmacies and apply to any exposed areas of the skin. Those products, which include DEET, claim to be the most effective, but there are alternatives if you are allergic.
It is a good idea to apply insect repellent before leaving your hotel room/ lodge or chalet for the day.
It is recommended to apply frequently throughout the day and before bed in the evening to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes.
Keep air circulating in your room, mosquitoes aren’t strong flyers (that’s why they are more active during the evening and in the mornings when there is little wind). Using fans is a good way to avoid getting bitten by a mosquito, as it makes it difficult for them to fly near you.
A little-known fact is that wearing light coloured clothing can prevent mosquito bites, they are more attracted to darker colours because of the contrasting that dark-coloured clothes provide against the horizon during dusk when mosquitoes are most active.
OTHER SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS AND CONSIDERATIONS WHEN VISITING COMOROS
The Comoros are a religiously diverse country with Islam being the dominant religion so you may not bring alcohol into the country and 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 COMOROS WITH MINORS
If you are travelling to the Comoros with a minor, please take note of the additional documents you will need per child:
- There must be a completed visa application for each child and a 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 then 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 COMOROS
Foreign visitors who overstay on a visa for one to thirty days are declared as an ‘undesirable person’ and will be banned from entering Comoros for two years.
Foreign visitors who overstay on their visas for thirty to ninety days will also be declared as an ‘undesirable person’ and will be banned from entering Comoros for a period of three years.
You may also incur a fine and have legal action taken against you.
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 COMOROS WITH A REPUTABLE TOUR OPERATOR
MoAfrika Tours is a leading tour operator in South Africa that offers an outstanding selection of tours to Comoros. We have a close association with the most reputable tour operators in Comoros who make safety a priority.