Congo, Democratic Republic - Visa RequirementsCongo (DR) - Visa Requirements
A valid passport, visa, and vaccination certificate showing a current yellow fever immunization are required for entry into the DRC. American citizens should not travel to the DRC without a valid visa, and should apply for one well in advance of any trip to allow for unanticipated delays. Visas are not available at the airport. Travelers should not count on Congolese visas being available in neighboring countries. Visitors planning extended stays must apply for a “Visa d’ Établissement” after arrival in DRC. These have been difficult to obtain for business purposes if an original entry was made on a tourist visa, but many Congolese embassies will not issue business-entry visas. Current information on Congolese visa requirements is available from the DRC’s Washington D.C. and New York missions. See below for contact information for the Washington mission.
Congolese officials closely scrutinize travel documents at border crossings and while traveling within the country. All airline passengers have their passports and travel documents examined and stamped, even for domestic flights. Do not attempt to bully or bluster your way past officials. Make photocopies of all travel documents; after arrival, make your business rounds with the copies and leave the originals in a secure place. Other papers: Many areas in DRC’s interior (notably in Orientale, Kasai, Katanga, North Kivu and South Kivu provinces) are officially demarcated as mining regions, travel to which requires government permission, regardless of the visitor’s purpose. The Interior Ministry issues the permit, also known as a “Sauf conduit”, and obtaining one may be a lengthy process.
Photography of public buildings, airports, harbors, military installations, hospitals, and border areas is forbidden, and photography is often frowned upon in other places, particularly in Kinshasa. Offenders risk confiscation of equipment, arrest, and fines. Penalties for possession, use, and trafficking in illegal drugs are strictly enforced.
U.S. companies that require travel of DRC businesspersons to the United States should be advised that security evaluations are handled via an interagency process. Visa applicants should go to the following links.
Embassy of DRC in Washington, D.C.
1100 Connecticut Avenue NW, Suite 725,
Washington, DC 20036
Phone: (202) 234-2609, 7691; Fax: (202) 223-3377
Permanent Mission of the DRC in New York
866 United Nation Plaza- Suite 511-
New York, NY 10017
Phone: (212)319-8061; Fax: (212)319-8232
State Department Visa Website
Useful visa information from the consular section of the U.S. Embassy Kinshasa
Congo Kinshasa Trade Development and Promotion Business Travel and Etiquette