Mauritania flag between travelers accessories

Visa application steps to visit Mauritania

Aytan Akhundova Aytan Akhundova 04 May 2021
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Planning to visit Mauritania for your next trip, but you don't know which documents are required? Do I need a visa to enter Mauritania? How to get Mauritania visa? What is the fee for a Mauritania business visa? Let's find it out in the article below.

Mauritania is a country in northwestern Africa. Some regions should be avoided because of the danger, but that doesn't mean there aren't some safe and fascinating parts to see. For one, there are some countries where you can see how the sand dunes end up in the ocean - it's a beautiful thing to see. The desert can be challenging, but it offers some amazing landscapes. Mauritania is known for its massive dunes, rocky deserts, and small tabular mountains. Not to mention, the country is a paradise for birdwatchers. The nature reserve Banc d'Arguin is home to millions of birds, and it is also UNESCO-protected.

Before you start planning your trip to Mauritania, keep in mind that you might need a visa to enter the country. Here's how to get Mauritania visa. According to the Mauritania visa policy, unless they are from one of the nine visa-exempt countries or obtain a visa upon arrival, all visitors to Mauritania must obtain a visa from the nearest Mauritanian embassy or diplomatic mission. Nationals who do not need a visa may stay in the country for up to 90 days. It appears that any traveller who is not visa-exempt may receive a Mauritania visa on arrival. There is, however, one stipulation. Only the Nouakchott-Oumtounsy International Airport offers a Mauritania visa on arrival. Any other entry point necessitates a ride to the embassy.

visa stamps

If you find that you need a visa and you do not plan to enter Mauritania through Nouakchott-Oumtounsy International Airport, you must go to the nearest Mauritanian embassy and apply for a visa as we mentioned above. First, you need to find out the Mauritania visa requirements. You can find a lot of information online, but we think you should use it for reference only. The most credible source of knowledge would still be a diplomatic mission or embassy. You should contact them before you visit. In the meantime, what we can tell you is that you need a valid passport that does not expire for another 6 months from the date of your arrival in Mauritania.

There are twenty Mauritania visa free countries: Algeria, Barbados, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Chad, Côte d'Ivoire, Dominica, Ecuador,  Gambia, Guinea, Haiti, Mali, Niger, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Singapore, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Syria, Tunisia.

If you are not from one of the Mauritania visa free countries above, these are the Mauritania Visa requirements. The Mauritania visa policy requires the following documents:

- a valid passport

- 2 completed and signed Mauritania Visa application form

- 4 passport-size photographs

- Fee: US $45.00 for a one-day to three-month visa

Visa fee payable by MONEY ORDER or CERTIFIED CHECK, no cash.

The requirements of how to get Mauritania visa depend on the purpose of your visit:

Tourist Visa: Requires proof of transportation (round-trip ticket), letter of financial solvency from the bank, proof of employment and an invitation letter

tourist visa application

Diplomatic and Courtesy Visa: Requires a letter of recommendation from the mission, government agencies or non-governmental organizations (NGO) working in Mauritania-Parliamentarians-Officials (from the American Government or Intergovernmental or Foreign Organization) with an order of the mission, crew members of vessels or planes in operation in compliance with applicable international agreements; this visa is granted gratis

Business Visa: A valid passport with at least 6 months validity remaining, visa application form, completed and signed. All application forms must be typed in. 2 completed and signed applications forms. 4 passport-size photographs. A letter of financial solvency from the bank, proof of employment in the U.S. A letter from the company in the U.S. stating the purpose and duration of the visit. An invitation letter from the host company in Mauritania. A copy of the onward/return ticket or confirmed itinerary

What is the fee for a Mauritania Business visa? A Mauritania visa costs around 60 US$ for a 30 days single entry visa for business purposes.

The Mauritania visa application form must be sent in person or via a messenger. If the applicant wishes to submit his or her application by mail, whether by a courier or a private company, the embassy cannot guarantee the mail service and will not be held liable for any documents lost in the mail.

visa application

It is really affordable to live in this country. Traveling in economy you will spend a couple of tens of euros per day, but the advice as always is not to skimp absolutely with the quality of food and accommodation, not to go meet unpleasant risks. Even so you will end up not spending a lot.

Yellow fever and cholera vaccinations are needed for entry into the country. The health-care infrastructure is inadequate, and the overall condition is representative of developing countries in North Africa. It's a good idea to speak to your doctor about the dangers you could face during your trip and whether you can get some preventive prophylaxis for other endemic diseases.

Following the bloodless coup in 2008, the situation on the ground has returned to normal, although the risk of terrorist acts in the country by dissident bangs opposed to the government remains high. It is recommended to always travel accompanied and if possible, following a tour operator who coordinates the movements within the territory. All the territories of the desert belt, those along the borders of the state as well as those in the suburbs or far from the city are to be considered dangerous, so it is recommended not to venture there unless you can do without, and even then, do not undertake their movements without a valid guide or an organized group.

Many people take advantage of a visit to Morocco to go to Mauritania because of its proximity.

However, you need a Mauritania entry visa, which must be taken at the Mauritanian Embassy in Rabat, the capital of Morocco. You can also get one at the Mauritanian Embassy or Consulate in your home country.

businessman reading documents

Getting a Mauritania visa is quick and affordable once you have all the necessary documents. A Mauritania visa costs about 30 euros and lasts for 30 days. The day they pass the visa to you is the date they will post it. So if you are only planning to cross the border into Mauritania a few days later, and not on that day itself, tell them to set the dates later.

A few years ago you could get a visa at the border itself, which did not force tourists to travel to Rabat on purpose. But this is no longer possible. Anyway, this is also a way to plan a visit to the Moroccan capital.

You will need two passport photos. Don't worry because there are places in Rabat where you can take them. And everyone knows where they are. You will also need photocopies of your passport. And, of course, the passport itself.

If you forgot to bring the photocopies, you can print them at the hotel where you are staying. Or you can also go to one of the places, near the embassy, that are used to taking the copies for visas for tourists who want to enter Mauritania.

If you don't want to waste too much time, arrive before the doors open to save a seat. They open at 9 a.m., but a line is already forming during the early morning hours. At 7 am there are already a considerable number of people waiting.

man holding passport

Even before they open the doors, around 8 am, they start handing out the papers that have to be filled out to advance the process - the papers are in French or Arabic. There are people there to help you fill them out, but they take money to do it - it's not much, but they take about 1 euro per person.

Some people arrived at 7 o'clock at the door of the embassy and there were already a lot of people waiting. They say that there was a list where everyone had to write in. It doesn't always happen, but some people have reported the case. Even if he was not in line, whoever was not on the list was not attended to. Just in case, check if there is a list and mark your place in line.

They stop accepting visa applications about 11 a.m. so that they can process and distribute them in the afternoon. Normally they do not process more than 50 visa applications per morning. Some days there may be more, but there may also be fewer.

After they drop off the visa application papers, they give you a piece of paper proving that they requested it and that you should keep picking up the visa. They usually give it to you that very day in the afternoon.

visa application

Mauritania is a poor country, but with very friendly people. Unfortunately, it is also a dangerous place where many thieves and kidnappers live. Take extra care with yourself and your belongings. Don't show anything valuable and always keep your documents in a safe place. In Rabat you can also catch direct flights to Mauritania.

If West Africa is a paradise for those traveling overland, Mauritania is often treated as a mere place of transit on routes between famous places such as Dakar or Bamako. This is a shame because the country holds incredible treasures.

Ethnic and cultural variety are associated with some of the most spectacular landscapes in Africa. The Adrar offers exceptional sand dunes, stunning plateaus and the largest monolith in Africa. The Tajat counts on no less beauty and both regions hide ancient caravan cities (declared World Heritage Sites by UNESCO) such as Chinguetti, Ouadâne and Oualâta. Also a World Heritage Site is the Parc National du Banc d'Arguin, along the coast, home to millions of migratory birds and one of the world's best birdwatching locations.

By limiting yourself to a quick pass, you'll miss the opportunity to visit an incredible country. In Mauritania, no one is in a hurry, so why should you be?

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Aytan Akhundova

Aytan lives in Milan, Italy for 3 years now and has always been passionate about traveling and discovering new beautiful places all over the world. As of 2020, she has been to 10 countries and numerous cities which she lost the number of but the majority of them are definitely located in beautiful Italy. She loves digital marketing, art, music, and tries to find beauty in the smallest moments of our life. Her recent interest in spiritual growth has taught her one simple truth: "The most beautiful things in life are abstract." So, surely we can add travel to the list of these most beautiful things!  

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