IMPACT – MEDIUM

What is the change? Côte d’Ivoire has streamlined its residence permit application process, following the introduction of biometrics earlier this year.

What does the change mean? Applicants may now apply in-country for a receipt confirming that they have applied for a residence permit and allowing them to leave the country while their application is pending without needing to apply for a new entry visa to return.

  • Implementation time frame: Immediate.
  • Visas/permits affected: Residence permits.
  • Who is affected: Foreign nationals applying for residence permits.
  • Impact on processing times: Applicants may obtain the receipt within 1-2 days of when the request is submitted
  • Business impact: The new procedures provide greater flexibility for those who need to travel during the application process.

Background: Côte d’Ivoire introduced a biometric residence permit application process earlier this year. Because that process takes approximately one month, foreign nationals with applications pending would have to obtain a new entry visa to travel out of and into the country in the interim period. The new residence permit receipt process eliminates that problem because the receipt can be used in lieu of an entry visa if shown on re-entry. To secure the residence permit receipt, applicants may use a power of attorney permitting a third-party representative to serve as liaisons with the authorities on their behalf.

BAL Analysis: Companies and residence applicants should be aware of the new procedures and the ability to travel outside the country while their application is being processed without needing to obtain a new visa.