The Ivory Coast, formally known as the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire, is growing in popularity as a destination for expatriates and businesses looking to expand in the international market. This West African nation has one of the fastest-growing economies on the continent. If your company is planning a global expansion, the Ivory Coast is a solid choice — but you’ll need to make sure your employees have the appropriate work permits and visas to work there.
Types of Work Visas in Côte d’Ivoire
Like any other country, the Ivory Coast has a specific process for foreign nationals who wish to enter the country for various purposes. The main types of visas are as follows:
- Short-term visa: valid for up to three months
- Long stay visa: valid for a maximum of one year
- Work contract visa: validity depends on the duration of the work contract
As the name suggests, the work contract visa is the appropriate choice for foreign employees who will live in Côte d’Ivoire and work for your company.
Requirements to Obtain Côte d’Ivoire Work Visas
The first requirement for foreign nationals is to obtain a job from a company in Côte d’Ivoire. Having a job with an established company is essential because the employer will play a role in the application process. Several documents are required in addition to the application. These documents include:
- A passport with at least six months of validity and one blank page
- Four copies of the foreign worker’s employment contract
- A copy of the employee’s resume
- A police background check from the employee’s country of residence
- A medical certificate including proof of immunization against yellow fever
- Professional references, such as the employee’s diploma and any relevant certifications
In some cases, the employee’s documents may need to be translated into French. The employee’s nearest consulate or embassy will be able to provide information regarding specific requirements, including the potential need for additional documents.
The government in Côte d’Ivoire issues work permits alongside residency visas. This system streamlines the visa application process, as foreign employees will only need to file one application to live and work in Côte d’Ivoire. The process involves the following steps:
- The employee submits the application and the relevant documents to the nearest embassy of Côte d’Ivoire.
- The employer should submit the employment contract and any relevant employment forms to the Labor Office in the Ivory Coast.
- Upon approval, the work and residency permit is issued by the Ministry of Security in Côte d’Ivoire.
In Côte d’Ivoire, work and residency permits are typically issued with one year of validity. The permit can be renewed once for an additional year. After this renewal, the employee will need to file a new application in order to stay in the Ivory Coast and continue working.
Other Important Considerations
If your company plans to send foreign employees to the Ivory Coast for a short period of time for business purposes, such as a conference or training seminar, the application process is somewhat different. These workers will need a short-term visa. They can complete an online application for a Côte d’Ivoire eVisa for business purposes. Applicants for an eVisa will receive an email confirmation of their approval, and their visa can be picked up upon arrival in Côte d’Ivoire.
Partner With Globalization Partners
Growing your company’s bottom line with an international expansion should be an exciting time, not a stressful one. When you work with Globalization Partners, we’ll ensure that your business and employees are compliant from the start. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you employ a talented team of employees in Côte d’Ivoire with our solution.