So You Can Get a Free Cameroon Transit Visa on Arrival

I had no reasonable way to obtain a Cameroon visa in advance so based on internet reports, I chanced it for a free transit visa on arrival. Worst-case I would have to sit in departures hall overnight.

Fortunately, it was not necessary.

My Arik Air flight from Cotonou was delayed 3.5 hours. At check-in they were skeptical though I assured them I was only on transit and had my onward flight. Clearing this hurdle may be the toughest because the TIMATIC system that airlines use says visa required with no provision for leaving the airport on transit. Air France knows the deal and passengers with overnights were allowed to board on that flight, which arrived at the same time.

The process is fun:

  1. Find the supervisor agent in arrivals, who will take you passport, arrival card and flight confirmation, and tell you to exit and go around.
  2. That means go through baggage claim and really do exit, and around to the left go in to the hallway for Police and through to the offices.
  3. Wait till the supervisor comes to the visa office with the stack of passports. Some are for formal visas with invitation letters, such as those from countries without Cameroon Embassies.
  4. Hang around until called.

The whole process was less than 30 minutes and I was off to the Ibis Hotel for my night in Cameroon.

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  • Wiliam

    Went through that process couple of months ago because they don’t offer multiple entry visa from embassy. It’s nice but can take a great deal more than 30 minutes, took us about two hours and was a very interesting wait because way more than visas going on. Jail cells just around the corner. Not my favorite airport.

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  • Rapid Travel Chai

    @William – I should have said others clearly had a tougher time, such as if they didn’t have a hard copy of their itinerary and many other reasons, the people with most difficulty seemed to be for non-transit visas for which they had a formal invitation for visa on arrival. I just did a follow-up post on my departure experience, not an airport that I want to ever return.

  • Mike Johnson

    And, lo, another meaningless box was checked.

  • Rapid Travel Chai

    @Mike Johnson – short the visit may be, others may have just hunkered down an airport hotel, while I had the chance to partake in Eastern Sunday in Douala. Hardly meaningless to me, and for me to judge anyway. I hope you have travels meaningful to you, however you define that for yourself.

  • Mike Johnson

    @RTT – Well, no question you’re right there. And church in Douala is a wonderful thing, too. I’m very glad you got go to. Travel on.

  • We are going to DLA in July – so for a 72 hours stay what are the chances for a free transit visa (going to LBV after)?

  • Rapid Travel Chai

    @Torsten – from my limited experience, near to nil. They would not go beyond 24 hours for me even with the airline representative pleading about their cancellation. Maybe in a pinch there would be a backdoor way, however with the leadtime you have I would eat the cost of a visa in advance.

    FYI – start the Gabon e-visa process in advance, it seems slick but then they keep rejecting it for not complying with unlisted requirements. Do not try for multiple-entry unless you have sponsorship. Immediately after you get the submission confirmation email, reply to that email with your flight and hotel reservations attached. It takes 72 hours and cannot submit within 72 hours of arrival.

  • Thanks! Great intel!

  • Alan

    if i arrive at noon, and leave at 9:30PM, do u think i may be able to get a transit visa?

  • Probably. Things are fluid there. Be friendly. Enjoy.

  • Alan

    thanks.