Sao Tome and Principe Visa Application Guide

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Do I need a visa to travel to Sao Tome and Principe?

All visitors to Sao Tome and Principe with the exception of Sao Tome and Principe passport holders require entry visas to Sao Tome and Principe.

A visa or authorization to enter must be obtained in advance. It is not possible to travel to São Tomé e Príncipe without having obtained a visa or authorization in advance.

The visas are issued at the country diplomatic missions abroad. You may also apply online for an e-Visa authorization to enter at the eVisaST website. 

Are there any exemptions of foreigners that do not need visa to entre Sao Tome and Principe?

There are few exemption for foreigners that do not need visa to enter Sao Tome and Principe:

- Refugees holding a valid travel documents;

- Foreigners with valid residence permit;

- Foreigners nationals of countries covered by visa removing agreements or free movement of people that Sao Tome and Principe is a party. The 2 (two) countries that do not require visa to Sao Tome and Principe: Angola and China/Taiwan. Nationals of these countries who are going on holiday and are attending conventions are allowed to stay in São Tomé and Príncipe of up to 15 days without visa. Visitors should be in possession of valid passport with minimum of one year validity and a return or an onwards journey ticket at the time of arrival. This visa is not for employment and is not extendable;

- Honorary consuls and consular agents of Sao Tome and Principe of foreign nationality;
- Tourists visiting Sao Tome and Principe as part of a package and are holders of collective identity certificate and travel;
- May also enter the country without the need to obtain a visa, the natural Sao Tome and Principe who have acquired foreign citizenship, as well as their spouses and descendants, upon presentation of passport, birth certificate, certificate wedding or other document to prove and containing the fact of being born, married or father's son or mother born in Sao Tome and Principe.

-Holders of diplomatic or service passports issued to nationals of Angola, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique and Portugal do not require a visa for Sao Tome and Principe.

When is the best time to apply for my Sao Tome & Principe visa?

The best time to apply for your Sao Tome & Principe visa is 3 to 4 weeks before your travel date. Although the visa itself may only take a few days to process it is always best to add as much of a buffer as possible incase any issues arise during the process.

Do I have to send my passport to get a Sao Tome & Principe visa? Is it safe to send a passport?

Some missions in Europe accept visa application by post. Please check first by e-mail or phone to make certain that the embassy in question accepts application by this way.

You will need to send your actual passport, not a copy of it. The Sao Tome and Principe visa is stamped on your passport and will become one of your passport pages. Visa request cannot be processed without your original passport. Because of the importance of your passport, we strongly suggest that you send your application by a secure method, such as a guaranteed postal service or courier.

What is "Visa Validity"?

Validity refers to when the visa expires. For example, a three month visa means you have three months from the date the visa is issued to enter and depart Sao Tome and Principe. The exact validity of your visa will be written on your actual visa.

What is An "Entry" (Single / Double / Multiple)?

Single entry visas allow you to enter Sao Tome and Principe one time within the validity of the visa. Double entry visas allow you to enter Sao Tome and Principe two times within the validity of the visa. Multiple entry visas allow you to enter Sao Tome and Principe an unlimited amount of times within the validity of the visa.

E-Visa (FAQ)

1. What is an e-Visa?

An e-Visa is the equivalent of a conventional visa, but there is no paper application. The applicant does not need to visit an Sao Tome and Principe mission to submit an application, or to mail the passport with the visa application to an Sao Tomean mission and wait for its return. The whole process is conducted on-line, electronically, between the applicant and the Service for Immigration and Customs of the Republic of Sao Tome and Principe Government.

2. Eligibility: Who can apply for e-Visa.

Anyone with a valid passport who wishes to enter São Tomé e Príncipe, as a visitor for 30 days or less is eligible to apply. 

1. Applicants of the e-Visa should have a passport with at least 1 year valid before expiration.

3. What types of e-Visas are available?

Currently the only visa available on line is 30-day tourist visa and 30-day business visa. Tourism includes holidays, recreation and seeing family and/or friends. Business purposes may include attending a conference, negotiation or exploratory business visit.

4. What is stamping fee and how much is it?

The stamping fee is the fee you are required to pay at the Sao Tome Int airport in order to get the official visa stamped in your passport. The stamp fee must be in cash. It is important to have available the exact amount.

Stamp fee at the airport (price per person)

20 Eur for single 1 month Tourist Visa

30 Eur for single 1 month Business Visa

Children under 18 years pay half the value .

5. How do I apply for an e-visa?

 You go on line to Click on the e-visa button and proceed. Make sure you complete the application form as follow

6. What happens after I apply for my e-Visa

 As soon as your application is received, you receive an immediate confirmation, with the reference number that your application is assigned. After that your application goes through a verification process…

The process takes 5 business days (excluding Saturday, Sunday and National Holidays).

Once approved, applicants will receive their Visa Approval letter by email. Print it out, and take it with you to the airport.

You need to show the Visa Approval letter TWICE: To the airlines in your country when you check in and to the Immigration officer at the Sao Tome airport upon arrival to get the visa stamped onto your passport. You are then required to fill out the entry and exit form, and pay the visa stamping fee (see the visa stamping fee) to directly the Immigration officer.

7. How long are eVisas valid?

e-Visas are valid for travel for up to 30 days from date of issue. They are good for a single entry, and a stay of up to up to 30 days.

 Duration of stay is included in the validity.

8. Do I have to contact an Embassy or Consulate to double check the process or verify the approval?

No. An e-Visa is processed directly on-line through the Service for Immigration and Customs, and not through an Embassy or Consulate.

9. How do I get my VISA at the airport?

Use this check list for the required documents before entering São Tomé and Príncipe:

- Passport
- Visa Approval Letter
- Be prepared to pay the stamp fee at the airport

10. I have more than one passport, if I apply with one, can I use the other to enter São Tomé and Príncipe?

If you have more than one passport and apply for eVisa with one, you MUST present the same passport to border guards when arriving Sao Tomé, otherwise your eVisa will be invalid.

11.Is the e-Visa accepted at all of Sao Tome's borders?

No. The e-visa is only valid for entry by air at the Sao Tome and Principe International Airport (TMS).

12. Can I travel to Principe Island with e-Visa?

Yes. You dont need addicional visa or autorization of any kind to travel to Principe Island.

13. Do all the members of a family traveling together need individual e-Visas?

Yes. A separate application should be submitted by each member of the family traveling to Sao Tome and Principe. Children included.

14.Should I provide the exact date of arrival?

No, not necessarily. The arrival date you provide should be the earliest you plan to arrive, but you can arrive after that date. The departure date is the last day you are permitted to be in the country, unless you get a visa extension.
For example: If you apply for a 1-month visa and submit your arrival date as Jan 1, 2013, the visa letter will be valid from Jan 1, 2013 –  Feb 1, 2013. You can arrive anytime between Jan 1 - Feb 1 but must leave the country by Feb 1, 2013."
Note: The approval letter can not be amended once it is issued, so in case you wish to arrive earlier than the date stated on the approval letter. You are required to apply for a new letter of approval to update the date of arrival.

15. Can the e-Visa be extended for stays beyond 30 days?

No. This visa is not for employment and is not extendable

16. Does e-Visa grant me permission for employment in Sao Tome and Principe?

No. e-Visa is a visitor visa only.

17. How long in advance should I apply for a e-visa?

A Sao Tome and Principe visa application can be applied for 7 day to 6 months in advance. Although it takes only 5 working days to get your visa approved, it is strongly advised that you apply for a Sao Tome and Principe visa 1 – 2 weeks before your arrival date.
Upon approval, your visa can last for 1 month. If you do not enter the country within this period of time, you will have to re-apply. Therefore, we suggest not to apply too early. In case you postpone your trip, you can still use the same visa.

18. My entry date is less than 5 days, can I still apply?

Yes. Considering that you satisfy all requirement, we recommend you to have fait on professionalism of Sao Tome and Principe immigration officers. They will surprise you on how fast can they do they job! But, in the event where they can't make it, … try another time.

19. Can I travel without the authorization letter and get the visa when I arrive?

No, you cannot. In order to board the plane, you must show the visa approval letter to the airlines. This letter is also compulsory in order for you to get the visa at the Sao Tome and Principe airport. Therefore, we recommend that you leave plenty of time to apply for the visa to avoid having to delay or change your flight.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)


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