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Visa Options Cape Verde Islands


If you are of a nationality or from a country in which there is no agreement with Cape Verde for you to enter Cape Verde without pre-arranging an entry visa, then you should make enquiries with the Embassy or Gov. website to see what you need to do before flying to Cape Verde.

If you are of a nationality and country with which Cape Verde does have an agreement and you have not pre-arranged a visa to enter Cape Verde, you will need to pay for a visa at a designated office on arrival at the airport. The current cost for an Entry Visa is 25 Euros per person (Euro cash notes only) and for this you will be given a visa receipt showing the date you entered CV, amount paid and stating that the visa is valid for 30 days.

If you have pre-paid or pre-arranged a visa with a tour operator, but on arrival when you try to enter the country at Passport Control, they tell you that your name is not on their system as having paid, you will need to pay the 25 euros for a visa before they will let you through. Keep your visa receipt to claim the money back at the end of the holiday.

If arriving on Sal Island and you know you can pay for an entry visa on arrival, after departing the plane at the airport you will be taken to the terminal building for 'Arrivals'. On entrance into the building you will  need to make your way to the office on the far left where you can have your visa processed. You will be required to show the officer your passport and pay 25 euros per person (they will not accept sterling/dollars or other denominations and you have to pay with Euro notes, but in notes not coins). Once the officer has given you your passport back with visa slip receipt, make your way along the corridor and you may be directed out into the baggage area without showing your visa receipt again at the Passport Control desk. 

If you don't have euros you will have to obtain some through the Bank or the Cash Point. Please note the Bank could be closed when you arrive but Passport Control will let you through to get the cash from the Bank or ATM to make the Euro or Cape Verde Escudo (CVE) cash payment.

Most tourists will be ariving in Cape Verde for the first time and therefor will not have any Cape Verde escudos, so they should pay in euros. You will also need euros or escudos to pay for taxis and to buy things in shops.

NOTE: They only change sterling or American dollars at the banks. Some of the smaller Cape Verde islands may not accept euros in the shops (only at the bank). You may want to inform your bank that you will be abroad and using your debit or credit card, in case they block it thinking that it has been stolen.

Multi Entry Visa

If you are expecting to return to CV a number of times during the year, then make enquiries about the Multi- Entry Visa. In the UK this can be done by contacting the Honorary Consul in London, he will provide you with more information about this type of visa and costs. Generally this visa allows you to stay in Cape Verde for up to 90 days. Some people may leave Cape Verde on the 89th day for a short break to another country and re- enter Cape Verde a few days/weeks later, others may choose to use this visa to visit CV a number of times for shorter periods. Contact Jonathan Lux at the London Office by email (not telephone) he can advise on this.

Applying for 6 month Visa from outside Cape Verde

A number of British Nationals may choose to visit the Cape Verde Embassy or Consulate in Lisbon or Gran Canaria to get a  visa before flying onto Cape Verde. They contact the Cape Verde Consul/Embassy they wish to visit before booking their flights to make sure their chosen Consulate/Embassy will be open on the day they wish to visit, as they close on National Holidays etc and on weekends. Even when you have checked the Embassy/Consulate website for opening times, it's best to email them before arriving to ask them if they will be open and how long it will take for your visa to be processed.

If your flight is due to land in Lisbon early enough and you think you have enough time to go and process the visa in one day before flying onto CV later that evening, keep in mind that there could be a departure delay from your initial departure airport, which may then delay your arrival in Lisbon, this could jeopardise your plans to get your visa processed the same day.

Some British Expats living in Cape Verde may combine a visa run with having a holiday break on Gran Canaria and doing some shopping in Las Palmas at the same time.

Non UK citizens should make their own enquiries with their nearest Cape Verde Consulate or Embassy about entry visa's. Cape Verde Tips does not provide a service for issueing Visa's.

Note: Embassies, Consulates and Consuls may only provide one or two different types of visa's, it is always best to contact them directly to make sure you get the right visa for your needs. There are Cape Verde Embassies in other countries at which you can apply for visa's.            

Residencia - Used to be for 12 month visa but in 2015 the rules changed.

Previously a Residencia visa was for 12 months and could only be applied for in Cape Verde. However they have now reduced this to a 6 month visa. If you have already had a number of 6 moth visa's in your passport the Police will tell you that if you intend living in CV you need to apply for your Residence Card. If applying for a Residence Card, the list of documents you need to provide is between 10-15 items, most with cost implications.

A number of foreigners living and working in Cape Verde will fly to the capital island of Santiago to process their visa or Residence Card at the Frontier Police Offices in Praia, the reason for this is that is an easier process than trying to gather info and process it on other islands in Cape Verde.

Extending your visa in Cape Verde

If you want to apply in person in Cape Verde to extend your visa at a National Police station on one of the islands some of the documents you may need to extend your visa on the island you are staying on can include: A Police Disclosure form from the UK, proof of earnings or that you are able to sustain yourself financially while in CV (bank account). If you are using a CV bank to show proof of funds, you must tell the bank clerk that you need it for your visa application as this is different form to a bank statement; you will need a rental contract if you are renting an apartment, or, proof of ownership of a property. All info needs to be provided in Portuguese so you will need English docs translated and notarised. On your application you may request a 6 month extension, however, they may issue you with a 3 month visa initially. There are some costs involved with getting some documents. Then there is the cost of the visa each time, which I think is around 50 euros. Note: The documentation required may by changed at any time, or you will be given different information each time you visit the Police Station.

Residence Card

Applying for this, especially for the first time, is time consuming, costly and even more frustrating, especially if not done in person on the island of Santiago at the National Frontier Police.

The list of documents given out by the National Police Station on other islands stating what you need to provide can be 11-13 items, but the last point on the list says something like 'and any other documents we require'! The paper work they may ask for could become 13-18 documents.


First time applying for residence Card 2016 (Blog-in 3 parts)

Renewal application for Residence Card 2018

Useful Contacts:

Cape Verde Consulate in Las Palmas - Gran Canaria

Honorary Consul to Cape Verde in London

Cape Verde Embassy in Lisbon

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