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How to get a visa for Madagascar

by Luis Sánchez | Thu 26 Nov 2020
How to get a visa for Madagascar

Madagascar is an island east of Mozambique off the coast of south-east Africa. It is the largest island in Africa and has a unique wildlife ecosystem. An island that mixes Indonesian and African culture, and which in recent years has become a reference point for tourists looking for idyllic beaches, unique national parks, and native animals exclusive to the area such as lemurs or the rare Malagasy duck. Madagascar is undoubtedly a country to be discovered.


Do I need a visa to travel to Madagascar?

All persons travelling to Madagascar for tourism, or any other reason, must apply for a landing permit to enter. Once inside the country, they must present this authorisation to disembark and exchange it for an entry visa, as every foreigner needs a visa to enter Madagascar.

Types of visas for Madagascar

Different visas are available for all persons who have obtained a landing permit to enter the country. There are different reasons and visas for this purpose:

Short term visas

The short-stay visa will be granted to foreign nationals who wish to visit Madagascar for a maximum stay of 60 or 90 days, as appropriate:

Tourist visa for less than 60 days

This visa is requested for tourism purposes only, with validity for staying in the country of 30 to 60 days maximum, and for a single entry. It is not possible to leave or enter Madagascar during the validity period.

Work visa under 90 days

This visa must be requested by people travelling to the country for commercial purposes. Professional meetings and visits for future business within the island are allowed. This visa does not allow for financial compensation for the work done. It has a maximum validity of 90 days.

Visa for a mission with a duration of fewer than 60 days

This visa must be applied for by those travelling to the country on humanitarian, voluntary or religious missions. The validity of the visa can be of a maximum of 60 days, and a single entry.

Internship visa with a duration of fewer than 90 days

This visa must be applied for by foreigners travelling to the country for work or a study placement. It is necessary to provide a letter of invitation from the company or institution that requests it. It is a single-entry visa.

Filming and recording visa

This visa must be applied for by all foreigners who are members of the media, such as journalists, actors or directors of any kind, from private or public media, and who travel to the country to carry out filming or any work dedicated to communication. The validity of the visa will depend on the time needed for the shooting, or for the work to be done. It is a single-entry visa.

Courtesy visa

This visa must be requested by people with a diplomatic passport, whether they are officials, administrative staff, technicians from diplomatic missions, civil servants or international representatives. The maximum validity of this visa is for 90 days in the country.


Long-stay visas

Long-term visas are for all foreigners who will travel to Madagascar for a justified reason for more than 90 days. Long-term visas are required to enter the country to fulfil the objectives needed, and once there, a temporary residence permit application can be made.

Work visa

This visa has a duration of 1 month. Before this deadline, the temporary residence must be applied for by attaching an employment contract signed by a Malagasy company, or a foreign company that is going to work in the country.

Investor visas

This visa has a duration of 1 month, after which it is necessary to apply for residence in the country. It can be applied for by foreigners who are going to make investments in new companies, or companies operating in Madagascar. Convertible visa for family reunification or marriage: this visa has a duration of 1 month, after which it is necessary to apply for residence in the country. The embassy will summon the applicants for a personal interview.

Study visa

this visa has a duration of 1 month, and after the time of validity, it is necessary to apply for a residence in the country, for the period of the studies. If you need more time than stipulated in your visa, you may extend the tourist visa, or process a long-term visa. You will need to go to the Malagasy consulate or the country's immigration offices to proceed with the application.

How do I apply for a Madagascar visa?

You can apply for an entry visa at the embassy, on arrival or online. You can apply for the visa yourself through the government of Madagascar, or through a specialised company such as visagov.com, which will assist and offer advice throughout the process. It is important to understand that what you are initially requesting for is an authorisation to disembark in the country and that the final visa will be obtained within the country. To apply for one of the long-term visas, it is necessary to have a short-term visa first. Once you are in the country, you can apply for residence to be granted.

Who needs a visa for Madagascar?

All persons with foreign nationality need to apply for a landing permit to obtain an entry visa to the country. There is an exception for persons with Mauritanian nationality, provided that the stay is less than 30 days.


What are the requirements to apply for a visa to Madagascar?

The short-term tourism visa online application simply requires you to have a passport with a validity of more than 6 months and a flight receipt showing the dates of entry and exit to Madagascar. For all other visas, or tourist visas processed from an embassy, the requirements are as follows:

Short-stay tourist visas

- Corresponding application form.
- Original passport and photocopy.
- 2 passport size photographs.
- Proof of the flight in and out of the country.
- Proof of payment of government fees.

Short stay visas for internships

- Corresponding application form.
- Original passport and photocopy.
- 2 passport size photographs.
- Internship agreement signed and stamped by the study centre in Spain (or in the country of origin), and the host centre in Madagascar.
- Copy of the flight ticket with the date of departure from the country.
- Proof of payment of government fees.

Short-stay visa for mission

- Signed and sealed letter of the mission to be carried out, issued by a company or institution.
- Signed and sealed certificate from a company in Madagascar.
- Corresponding application form.
- Original passport and photocopy.
- 2 passport size photographs.
- Proof of payment of government fees.

Long-stay visas for paid workers

- Corresponding application form.
- Passport.
- Certificate of a criminal record.
- Certificate of change of residence.
- Employment contract issued by the company that hires you.
- Extract from the register of commerce and companies (RCS) and status of the contracting company.
- Employment authorisation issued by the Ministry of Public Function EDBM.
- Photocopy of the passport of the person in charge of the contracting company.
- Copy of the return ticket.
- Proof of payment of fees.

Long-stay visa for studies

- Corresponding application form.
- Passport.
- 2 recent photographs.
- Letter of invitation from the university or college of Madagascar, inviting the person to study in the country.
- Return ticket.

Visa for filming in Madagascar

- Corresponding application form.
- Copy of passport.
- 2 recent photographs.
- Copy of the entry and exit ticket of the country.
- Authorisation to record in Madagascar issued by OMACI.
- Proof of payment of government fees for the visa.


Long-stay visa for investors

- Corresponding application form.
- Passport.
- Statute of the company.
- Certificate of identification of the company.
- Company's tax identification certificate.
- Declaration of the existence of the company EDBM.
- Copy of the Register of Commerce and Companies (RCS) and the Statute of the contracting company.
- Work permit issued by the Ministry of Public Function before EDBM.
- Commercial and Companies Register of the company.
- Bank certificate of the company issued by a bank in Madagascar.
- Certificate of a criminal record of fewer than 3 months.
- Certificate of change of residence.
- Copy of the return ticket.

Convertible visas for family reunification and marriage

- Passport.
- 2 recent photographs.
- Corresponding application form.
- Certificate of registration of the husband/wife in Madagascar.
- Certificate of marriage
- Family book.
- Certificate of the criminal record for the last 3 months.

Can the Madagascar visa be changed once it has been processed?

Yes, it is possible to request changes in the landing authorisation up to 48 hours before your departure. If upon arrival in the country, any information is not correct, the immigration authorities will have you fill out a new form and pay the corresponding government fees.

How much does a visa to Madagascar cost?

The authorisation to disembark for travel to Madagascar has no government fee costs for processing, although there is a management cost. Once you present it to the country's immigration offices, the relevant authorities will attach the visa to your passport, and charge the corresponding fee for that document. Prices vary depending on the type of visa and currency fluctuation. Tourist visas cost an average of between $37 and $45.

How far in advance do I need to apply for a Madagascar visa?

The authorisation to disembark to apply for a visa to Madagascar can be requested up to 48 hours before your trip.

What are the entry borders to Madagascar?

Madagascar is an island in the Indian Ocean, so you will need to reach the country by sea or air, with the most common route being the Mozambique Channel. The country has 11 airports. The country's largest international airport and most used by tourists is Antananarivo Airport (TNR). Madagascar has 4 ports for the disembarkation of cruise ships or recreational boats, with the 2 most used for this purpose being the Port of Nosy and the Port of Anakao.


Do I need any vaccinations to travel to Madagascar?

It is compulsory to be vaccinated against yellow fever to travel to Madagascar. It is also advisable to take precautions against malaria. Moreover, at certain times of the year, there can be small outbreaks of bubonic plague, so it is advisable to be informed before your trip about the current health situation in the country. It is always advisable to consult your nearest international vaccination centre to obtain information about the vaccines or medication you may need.

What is the currency of Madagascar?

The Malagasy Ariary is Madagascar's official currency (MGA), and the only currency accepted in the country. In some hotels or more touristy areas, it may be possible to pay by credit card, although it's always advisable to carry cash. Foreign currency can be exchanged at the airport, at official exchange offices or the country's banks. You can also withdraw cash from the cash machines of the country's main banks, although there will be a limit, and a commission will be applied to each transaction.

When is the best time to travel to Madagascar?

The climate of Madagascar is subtropical. The best time of year to travel is between April and November, as these correspond to the country's dry season where temperatures range from 22 to 27 degrees. The worst time to travel is during the rainy season. This season is from January to March, and apart from the typical rainfall, you may encounter typhoons.

Is it safe to travel to Madagascar?

One of the greatest dangers in Madagascar is the health situation in the country. Small outbreaks of bubonic plague have been detected in some regions, and it is an endemic area for malaria and yellow fever. Most of the country's water is not safe to drink, so using it can be a serious health risk. You must be extremely careful about drinking and washing.

Small-scale robberies and theft aimed at tourists are commonplace, but this generally happens at night. It is not advisable to travel after dark when zebu poachers have been known to take advantage of the situation to rob travellers. You must be extremely careful when travelling by boat, as there may be a danger of Somalian piracy in some areas. These Somali pirates often make routes from the coast of Somalia to the coast of Madagascar, and it is possible to find them through the Mozambique channel.

Important tips for travelling to Madagascar

- You must always carry our passport when travelling in Madagascar, and ensure your visa is attached.
- Malaria and yellow fever are endemic diseases in the country, so it is advised to take anti-malarial medication, use insect repellent, and always sleep under a mosquito net.
- Although not compulsory, it is highly recommended to obtain travel and medical insurance. Health services are scarce in the country, so your insurance should have coverage for hospitalisation in a nearby country if required.
- It is best to wear long trousers and long sleeves when In parks, forests or jungles to protect you from insect bites.
- You must always drink bottled water. The water in Madagascar is not potable, so even for brushing your teeth, it is advisable to use bottled water.
- You should certainly avoid drinking liquefied juices, ice cream, or bottled drinks with ice.
- It is also advisable to avoid eating raw vegetables, salads or fruit without a peel. It is best to peel oranges and the like yourself.
- Do not eat raw food in street stalls, and whenever possible, eat in restaurants in tourist areas or hotels. Meat should always be eaten in restaurants or hotels, as street stalls do not have refrigerated spaces or sufficient sanitary measures.
- It would be best if you travelled with an emergency kit, and with any necessary medications as medical supplies are limited within the country.
- It is common for people to carelessly walk through vehicle lanes, so you should be especially vigilant if driving. In addition to being dangerous, this tends to cause huge traffic jams.


About the author
Luis Sánchez

Luis Sánchez
Hello! I'm Luis, a boy from Extremadura who loves to travel and share his experiences with readers. I write articles for Visagov.com and I also help users to process electronic visas for all countries in the world that require it. I'm more of the mountains than the beach, so the quiet destinations with green landscapes are my favorites.


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