Immigration Service

Republic of Sierra Leone

Visas

CONDITIONS OF ENTRY

Entry into Sierra Leone

(1) Subject to the provisions of subsection (2), no person shall enter Sierra Leone except upon such conditions relating to security to be furnished, duration and place of residence, occupation or business or any other matter or thing, whether similar to those before enumerated or not, as may be prescribed.

(2) The provisions of subsection (1) shall not apply -

(a) to persons who enter Sierra Leone in accordance with the provisions of this Act,

(i) for a temporary visit; or

(ii) for the purpose of passing through Sierra Leone to, or in order to embark for, some other country; or

(b) in any case to which the proviso to section 12 refers.

(3) In the case of any person allowed to enter Sierra Leone under the provisions of subsection (1) no liability shall attach to the master, owner or agent of any vessel from which such person lands and the person in charge, the owner and the agent of any aircraft, motor or other vehicle shall, in like circumstances, be similarly exempt.

Temporary and Transit Visas

(1) On application being made to him in the prescribed manner an Immigration Officer may in his discretion issue a visa either to enter Sierra Leone for a temporary visit, such visa to be known as a temporary visa, or for the purpose of passing through Sierra Leone to, or in order to embark for some other country, such visa to be known as a transit visa.

(2) Temporary and transit visas may be ordinary or diplomatic and shall be in such form, and may be issued subject to the payment of a fee and such conditions as to the sum to be deposited therefor, .....??......., renewal or extension, the use to which such sum may be put if and when necessary, the return thereof or any other matter or thing whether similar to those before enumerated or not, as may be prescribed.

(3)(a) Where an application is made under the provisions of subsection (1) by a person other than a prohibited immigrant, an Immigration Officer may issue a temporary or transit visa as the case may be, subject to such of the prescribed conditions, if any, as be in his discretion may think fit.

(b) Where an application is made as aforesaid by a prohibited immigrant an Immigration Officer may only issue a temporary or transit visa, as the case may be, subject to the prescribed conditions.

(4) Inspection of certificates and visas.

Every person shall retain any certificate or visas issued to him under this Act and shall, on demand being made by Immigration Officer or a constable produce the same for inspection.

(5) Powers of Ministers of External Affairs, Diplomatic and Consular Representatives.

The powers vested in an Immigration Officer by this section shall also be exercisable by the Minister of External Affairs, an Ambassador, High commissioner or a Consular Representative of Sierra Leone.

(6) Any person who having entered Sierra Leone in pursuance of a temporary or transit visa remains in Sierra Leone beyond the time allowed by such visa, or breaks any other condition subject to which such visa was issued may be treated as a prohibited immigrant

VISAS

A visa is permission or authority granted to travel to a country of which the traveler is not a national.

THREE WAYS OF ACQURING VISA INTO SIERRA LEONE

Entry Visa – This can be acquired from our High Commission/Embassies abroad.

Landing permit – This can be acquired by the host, on behalf of the visitor from the country Immigration Office by contacting the Chief Immigration Officer.

In the absence of the above two, that is if you reside in a country without our High Commissions/Embassies and you have no contact in Sierra Leone, you can acquire a visa at the port of entry/Airport/Seaport from the Immigration Officer so designated. The duration of your visa is determined by the Immigration Officer at the particular entry point

ENTRY VISA

This can be acquired from our High Commissions/Embassies abroad. The duration of this visa be it multiple or single, is determined by the Immigration Officer at any particular entry point. The passport is stamped for one month at the first instance by the Immigration Officer

(this implies that this visa qualifies persons for entry and in no way reflects  the length of stay)

Entry visas acquired from our High Commissions/Embassies abroad indicate category of entry purposes.

This clearly shows your purpose of coming into the country as stated in your passport. These categories are as follows:

       I.            Business

      II.            Tourist/Visit

     III.            Student

If however you may wish to change the visa acquired earlier you are at liberty to apply for change of status to the Chief Immigration Officer

The Chief Immigration Officer shall be fully informed by any employer or owner of business who wishes to change business and address of business and designation of his previous and present employment.

THE VARIOUS CATEGORIES OF RESIDENTIAL PERMITS

Resident Permit: is issued to non-nationals to reside in the country within a period of one year depending upon the category under which the visa was authorized. A Resident Permit covers many purposes of stay including employment, business (self-employed), and student, dependent and housewife. This is renewed yearly.

Employees Visa: (Employment) it is mandatory that your employer regularize your residential permit. This visa usually restricts Employment to a specific job, with a specific employer, and at times at a specific location. If your Employer fails to regularize your status, you are liable to prosecution.

Business Visa: (Self Employed)

This visa is issued to entrepreneur to conduct business transactions. This mandates them to acquire a resident permit.

Student Visa

Specifies the field of study and institution(s)

Visitor Visa

Upon satisfactory provisions that you are not gainfully employed after the first months, your visa can be extended for a period of one month or two depending upon the circumstances. The provision of your visa is that you are “prohibited from work”.

Tourist Visa:

Prohibits work and study

Extension Visa

Extension of visa can be granted by approval of the Chief Immigration Officer on the following reasons:

§  Searching for business possibilities

§  Visitors/Tourist

Re-Entry Visa

This visa is issued to non-citizens to enhance their movement in and out of the country

Exemption Visa

Exemptions are dictated from conventions that relate to Embassies/High Commission workers and offices so related. International organization UN Agencies

Workers/Personnel on contract Agreements with Government of Sierra Leone.

However, gratis (waiver) can be acquired through Parliament/Cabinet directives to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Personnel in these categories are required to write to the Director General of Foreign Affairs who would write to the Chief Immigration Officer for acquisition of such exemption

VISA POLICY REGULATIONS

The Immigration Department is regulated by the Non-Citizens (Registration Immigration and Expulsion) Act 1965, 1973 Act, 1991(Constitution) and 2006 Amendment Act as the lead department mandated to monitor the movement and activities of Citizens and Non-Citizens alike.

It is therefore the responsibility of the department to ensure that personnel are readily available for operations in all emergency situations that has to do with the movement of person across Border Control Points (Air, Land, and Sea)

It is also a national security department and ideally the first and last to be contacted up exit and entry in Sierra Leone.

BASIC OPERATIONS

v Issuing of visa, in and out of Sierra Leone i.e. endorsing of passengers travelling documents (passport, Emergency Travelling Certificates,) and the validation of visa where applicable

v Tracking questionable passengers and provide information to competent authorities

v Issuing Embarkation/Disembarkation cards to passengers for completion mostly at the airport to keep track of individual movements

v Collect and store passengers information for stakeholder intelligence and information sharing

v Referring victims of irregular cross border activities to appropriate authorities

v Refuse entry to questionable passengers into Sierra Leone that are consider a treat to national security

v Refusing travelling to questionable passengers when instructed to do so by competent authorities,

 NON-GOVERNMENTAL ORGANISATION

All NGOs (2008) are to contact SLANGO for any Re-entry visa or Residential Permit SLANGO is charged (2008) for the Co-ordination of all NGO activities

From January 2000, all NGOs/Local and International should acquire Work Permit and Resident Permit for any employees intending to live within Sierra Leone before entry.

CONSULATE FOR COUNTRIES LISTED BELOW

1.     BAHAMAS

2.     BARBADOS

3.     BERMUNDA

4.     BOTSWANA

5.     FIJI

6.     JAMAICA

7.     KENYA

8.     LESOTHO

9.     MALAWI

10.  MALAYSIA

11. MAURITIUS

12. SRI-LANKA

13. SWAZILAND

14. TRINIDAD & TOBAGO

15. SINGAPORE