The United States Embassy in Cotonou is processing limited Nonimmigrant Visa (NIV) applications are for students (F, J, M), temporary workers (C1/D, H, L, O, P, R), and for the traveler’s emergency medical care only at this time. Please be aware that emergency appointment availability is extremely limited. Interview appointments are subject to operational capacity and worldwide prioritization guidance. The consular section cannot guarantee an interview date prior to any program’s start date, even with an approved emergency appointment.
We remain unable to resume full nonimmigrant visa services, and appointment requests for business, tourism, or family visitation travel are not being considered for emergency appointments at this time.
If you have an urgent matter and need to travel immediately, please email NIVCotonou@state.gov to request an emergency appointment.
Please review U.S. visa-related COVID-19 Travel Restrictions and Exceptions to determine if you will be able to travel to the United States with your visa. Travelers subject to regional proclamation because of planned transit through Europe, the United Kingdom, or other affected countries should reroute to travel directly to the United States instead of requesting an National Interest Exception.
Please see these notices which contain detailed information about the current status of visa services worldwide and visa restrictions related to the COVID-19 global pandemic: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/traveladvisories/ea/covid-19-information.html
If the visa service you require is not currently available, please keep checking this page periodically. We are working diligently to restore all routine visa operations as quickly and safely as possible.
Several factors, including the purpose of your intended travel, will determine what type of visa you will be required to have under U.S. immigration law. As a visa applicant, it is your responsibility to prove to the Consular Officer that you meet all of the requirements for the category of visa for which you are applying. See our Directory of Visa Categories to determine which visa category might be appropriate for your purpose of travel to the United States.
What is a Visa?
A citizen of a foreign country who seeks to enter the United States generally must first obtain a U.S. visa, which is placed in the traveler’s passport, a travel document issued by the traveler’s country of citizenship.
Certain international travelers may be eligible to travel to the United States without a visa if they meet the requirements for visa-free travel. The Visa section of this website is all about U.S. visas for foreign citizens to travel to the United States.
(Note: U.S. citizens don’t need a U.S. visa for travel, but when planning travel abroad may need a visa issued by the embassy of the country they wish to visit.).
The Consular Section of the United States Embassy in Cotonou, Benin is committed to providing visa services respectfully, efficiently, and in accordance with U.S. law.
To assist and protect American citizens in Benin, and to facilitate travel to the United States.
To improve U.S. border security by identifying those not eligible for visas, while welcoming legitimate travelers who greatly contribute to America’s social and economic well-being.
Customer Service Statement
The Department of State manages the visa process strictly but fairly in order to best protect the United States. We are committed to the essential openness for which the United States has always been known. Travel to the United States is welcomed and encouraged.
We promise to you, the visa applicant, that:
- We will treat you with dignity and respect, even if we are unable to grant you a visa.
- We will treat you as an individual and your case as unique.
- We will remember that, to you, a visa interview may be a new or intimidating experience and that you may be nervous.
- We will use the limited time available for theinterview to get as full a picture as possible of your travel plans and intentions.
- We will use our available resources to fairly assist all applicants to get appointments to allow travel in time for business, study, and other important obligations.
- We will post detailed and accurate information on visa requirements and application procedures on every Embassy and Consulate website.
- We will provide information on non-immigrant appointment waiting times at every Embassy and Consulate posted onhttp://travel.state.gov.
- We will explain the reason for any visa denial to you.
Furthermore, if you are a:
- Student, we will make every effort to ensure that you get an appointment and, if qualified, a visa in time to start classes.
- Medical and humanitarian emergency traveler, we will expedite processing for those dealing with life threatening emergencies.
- Business traveler, we will establish appropriate mechanisms to facilitate business travel and expedite cases of particular concern to American business.
At the same time, we expect you, the visa applicant, to:
- Plan your travel and visa application as far in advance as possible.
- Complete your application fully and accurately.
- Be forthcoming about your purpose and plans.
- Prepare for your interview by being able to clearly and concisely describe your intentions.