I read a couple pieces about getting a visa for Mauritania in Rabat online before doing it myself but most of the information was out of date or unclear so I thought I’d give an update on how it went for me.
Just so you know, you can get a visa in your home country, but as long as you’re willing to spend an hour or so at the embassy here getting a visa for Mauritania in Rabat is much cheaper, and probably even quicker.
This is the process:
- You’re going to need 2 passport photos. There are a couple of places downtown Rabat to have them done.
- You’ll also need a couple photocopies of your passport. If you’re like me and you forget them in your hotel room, there is a place across from the gas station near the embassy that does them.
- Of course, you’ll also need to bring your passport with you.
- Jump in a petit taxi and ask for the Embassy of Mauritania. Almost all of them will know it, but you can also ask for the Embassy of Senegal which is really close if they don’t. The address of the Embassy is 6, rue Thami Lamdawar, Soussi, Rabat. I found catching a petit taxi at the train station in downtown Rabat was the easiest. The price shouldn’t be more than 20 dirhims, but be sure to negotiate the price before leaving. If you run into problems the embassy also has a phone number of (+212) (537) 65 66 78.
- The Mauritanian embassy in Rabat opens at 9am, but I would recommend getting there about 8-8:15. Around 8:30 the door opens and someone will come out with forms for you to fill out. The forms are in French and Arabic. There isn’t one in English. Some of the information on the forms is redundant, and I’m not sure they read all of it anyways. The one thing you’ll want to get right is your dates in Mauritania. You get a 30-day visa so if you’re not going to be there for 10-15 days make sure to say that or they’ll just start the days immediately. If you don’t speak French, bring a phrasebook or translator. You will not have the chance to speak with anyone official to question them about the form. However, there are generally some lots of other people there (getting visas) that can help you out in translating, and as I mentioned above, I don’t think they’re all too concerned if you don’t fill out all the information. If you don’t understand something, or it seems irrelevant, just leave it blank. Also, there are two sides to the page, don’t forget to fill out both sides.
- Important: If you’re planning on staying more than a couple days choose Visa Ordinaire and not Transit.
- At around 9am the doors to the visa office will open and people will slowly be allowed in. The official taking your documents is generally silent. Just hand him/her your forms, photos and passport and let him put everything together. He will then demand the cost, which when getting a visa for Mauritania in Rabat costs 340 dirhams, although the receipt you will get says 10,000 Ouguiyas which is only about 270. I’m not sure if you can pay in Mauritanian Ouguiyas or not. They definitely won’t except Euros.
- The official will then hand you a slip of paper generally telling you to return the next business day at 3pm.
- The following business day, show up with that piece of paper and you’ll be able to pick up your passport now labelled with your visa.
- The process of getting a visa for Mauritania in Rabat is actually really simple, and might be one of the easiest visa processes I’ve encountered. Don’t stress too much.
- Americans trying to get a visa for Mauritania in Rabat. A couple years ago they weren’t giving Americans visas in Rabat, but that problem has seemed to have disappeared. You should have no problems either.
- If you have any questions, or have had a special experience getting a visa for Mauritania in Rabat, please comment below as to update.
- This page was last updated August 3, 2012.
Enjoy Mauritania… Don’t forget to make a Fiche for Mauritania!