Westafrika Magazin

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Visa for Senegal back before end 2019?

Pass und Stempel

Will it be required again before the end of 2019 to formally apply for a visa for Senegal? 

In 2013 Senegal introduced the Visa requirement for all visitors. Applications were to be made online and fingerprinting was required at the embassies in the respective countries. However this turned out to be very stressfull for the applicants, involving not only the cost for the visa but also travelling costs to the respective towns with embassies. Especially Sengalese and their descendants living in Europe and holding European passports were hit by the extra cost (200€ for a family of four plus travelling to Paris and staying there until the Visa is out). 

The news that the Visa application online was repealed in 2015 was a great relief for many. Since people from Europe and many other destinations would get a stamp tourist visum at the point of entry with a validity of 3 month. See details on the official website of the Dakar Airport.

Although Senegals Minister of Tourism Alioune Sarr promised End of September that there will be no changes in the visa policy there is new information from the Minister of Interior. The current minister Aly Ngouille Ndiaye declared this Thursday 10th 2019 that plans are on the way to reindtroduce Visa before the end of the year. The original audio statement on Radio rfi Afrique. Visa application process shall be simple either online or at the point of entry "but we need to know who is coming to our country as a matter of security."

Media however say that this is a "tit for tat" agenda imposing Visa for all citizen from countries where Senegalese need to apply for Visa. The press officer of the senegalese Ministry of Interior did not confirm this in an AFP interview.

Stakeholders in the strong tourism industry in Senegal feel very concerned. The Visa issue will not only inflict more cost on potential tourists, the plight and trouble of getting one will most likely discourage them. This is especially worrying not only as tourism industry plays a large role in Senegals economy. Coming 2020 one of the biggest events in Arts and Culture in Africa will take place in Dakar, the Biennale Dak'Art 28th May - 28th June 2020 attracting thousands of tourists from all over the world. 

For tourists traveling for a day journey to Senegal there used to be an exemption Rule in place. Official tour operators were allowed to hand over lists of their passengers to the border post and be given a day visa pass. On option unfortunately not valid for locally organised tours.

We will bring you more details as soon as they are available.