Benin Entry Requirements
Benin Entry Requirements are the set of rules that a traveler planning to visit Benin must meet. Among the most important requirements are the necessary documents that must be gathered prior to the planned departure.
First of all, every traveler preparing for a trip to Benin should check their passport validity. It must remain valid for the intended duration of stay in Benin. It's not necessary, however, to have a passport with validity extending beyond the period of the planned stay.
The Beninese visa policy states that nationals of around 60 different countries can visit Benin without a visa. Most of these visa-exempt travelers are nationals of African countries who can enjoy movement freedom and visit Benin visa-free for up to 90 days. Visa-free entry to Benin is also possible in the case of some Southeast Asian territories, Israel and Haiti. These countries are permitted a visa-free stay from 14 up to 90 days.
Any other foreigner who is not a citizen of a visa-exempt country will need to obtain a relevant visa before traveling to Benin. The visa types may differ depending on the traveler's visiting motive, as well as their planned duration of stay in the country.
Luckily, passport holders of most countries in the world can now apply for an eVisa for Benin by simply submitting an online application form. It eliminates time-consuming embassy appointments and significantly reduces stress related to the in-person visa application procedures. Whether a traveler needs to visit Benin once or numerous times, there are available both single and multiple-entry electronic visas.
Every type of an eVisa for Benin can be used for tourism, business, or transit purposes. That is why if your traveling purpose is other than these three, or you need to stay in Benin for a longer period of time than allowed by an eVisa, you will need to visit the nearest Beninese diplomatic mission to obtain a visa there.
Additionally, there are around 45 nationalities worldwide that require a traditional visa for Benin regardless of their travel motive or planned period of stay in Benin. These travelers cannot apply for an electronic visa even when traveling for tourism, transit, or business-related activities.
During the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, the Beninese authorities implemented some additional restrictions aimed at reducing the risk of further spread of the virus. However, all these coronavirus entry regulations are no longer in place. As of June 16th, 2022, all the persons arriving in Benin, both by land, air, or sea, no longer need to submit any Covid-related documents.
Important: The Beninese Entry Requirements may change at short notice. Do remember to monitor all Covid-19 updates to ensure smooth and issue-free entry to Benin.
Who can enter Benin?
There are no visa and entry bans in place for any foreign nationals wishing to enter Benin. Moreover, the country's authorities don't verify the traveler's Covid-19 vaccination status.
Documents check-list for entering Benin
- valid passport
- Beninese visa
- travel insurance (optional)
Testing, Vaccination, and Quarantine Requirements
All travelers, regardless of their Covid-19 vaccination status, no longer need to submit a negative result of a PCR test taken within 48 hours before the planned arrival in Benin.
All the persons arriving in Benin no longer need to take a post-arrival test at their own expense. Previously the tests were mandatory and had to be taken at the traveler's expense (except for children under 5, for whom tests were provided for free).
Benin has the same entry rules for all travelers, whether vaccinated or not. Those who have received the full regimen of the Covid-19 vaccine must follow the same entry protocol as unvaccinated travelers.
Travelers who test positive for Covid-19 during their stay in Benin may need to undergo self-isolation. They will receive free-of-charge medical treatment if needed.
Traveling from Benin
All passengers departing Cotonou Cadjehoun International Airport may need to take mandatory Covid-19 tests at their own expense.
It's essential to familiarize yourself with the entry requirements of your next travel destination to see what documents you must have ready for hassle-free entry.
Traveling to Benin
Benin Government lifted all coronavirus-related regulations in July 2022. Now, all travelers arriving in Benin don't need to provide any Covid-19 documents to enter the country.
Nevertheless, foreign travelers must still remember to meet other requirements, including obtaining a relevant visa and considering the purchase of comprehensive travel insurance covering the entire period of their stay in Benin.
Entry Rules for Children
Children should also meet certain Beninese entry rules, including visa requirements.
Please remember that a visa for every minor traveler should be obtained by a parent or legal guardian!
Transit through Benin
Passengers planning transit through Benin no longer need to submit a negative PCR test result issued within 48 hours before the planned arrival in the country.
However, in order to transit to Benin by air, it's necessary to hold a valid transit visa. You can apply for a transit eVisa at least 5 business days before the planned transit trip. If you plan to transit Benin by land or sea, obtain a 48-hour transit eVisa.
Since 2018, travelers from most countries around the world can apply for an electronic visa for Benin. They can choose between three available types of eVisa - a single-entry one or multiple-entry visas for either 1 month-stay or 3 month-stay.
A holder of any type of eVisa to Benin is allowed to travel for tourism and business purposes.
In order to obtain the Beninese electronic visa, an applicant just needs to fill out a short online form, cover the processing fee and receive the approved visa via email.
The approved visa should be delivered to the applicant's email inbox within maximally 5 business days.
Embassy or Consular Visa
According to Benin's visa policy, nationals of around 50 different countries are required to obtain a relevant embassy or consulate visa regardless of the intended duration of stay in Benin and their traveling purposes.
The permitted period of time that one is allowed to stay in the country, as well as the visa's validity period, differ according to the selected visa type.
Application for an embassy visa for Benin requires an applicant to book an appointment at the nearest diplomatic mission of Benin and submit a number of supporting documents, which may also differ between different visa types. A person applying for an embassy or consular visa is also required to pay the consular visa fee.
Since it may take long weeks to receive approval for a traditional visa, one should start the application process well in advance of the planned trip to Benin.
Complete list of nationalities that must obtain an embassy or consular visa for Benin:
- Aland Islands
- American Samoa
- British Indian Ocean Territory
- British Virgin Islands
- Cayman Islands
- Christmas Island
- Cocos Islands
- Cook Islands
- Falkland Islands
- Faroe Islands
- French Guiana
- French Polynesia
- Isle of Man
- New Caledonia
- Norfolk Island
- Northern Mariana Islands
- Pitcairn Islands
- Puerto Rico
- Saint Barthelemy
- Saint Helena
- Saint Martin
- Saint Pierre and Miquelon
- Sint Maarten
- South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands
- Svalbard and Jan Mayen
- Turks and Caicos Islands
- United States Virgin Islands
- Wallis and Futuna
Some travelers can travel to Benin visa-free under reciprocal visa waiver agreements. Among these visa-exempt countries are all other African countries. Their visa-free stay, however, can last maximally up to 90 days (3 months).
Additionally, citizens of Macau and Indonesia can visit Benin without a visa and stay there for up to 90 days too. The Beninese visa policy also allows a 14-day visa-free stay for nationals of Singapore and Hong Kong.
In all cases, travelers simply need to have a valid passport or national ID card to go through the Beninese immigration control issues-free.
Nevertheless, if any visa-exempt traveler plans a longer stay in Benin, they will need to obtain a relevant visa from the nearest Beninese diplomatic mission before the planned journey.
The complete list of countries whose nationals don't need a visa for Benin goes as follows:
- Burkina Faso
- Cape Verde
- Central African Republic
- Democratic Republic of the Congo
- Equatorial Guinea
- Guinea Bissau
- Hong Kong
- Ivory Coast
- Sao Tome and Principe
- Sierra Leone
- South Africa
- South Sudan
- United Kingdom
Although there is no legal provision to have travel insurance to enter Benin, access to medical care in Benin may be very limited, and you may need to seek medical facilities even outside the country.
Consider taking out travel insurance that will match all of your travel needs and cover all unexpected expenses, including medical evacuation and Covid-19 hospitalization.