Nationals of non-ECOWAS (Economic Community of West African States) countries holding temporary residence permit cards in Côte d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast) have until February 1 to exchange their old residence cards for new biometric residence cards (Cartes de Résident). All unconverted temporary residence permits will become invalid on February 1. This deadline, originally set for December 31, 2017, has been extended. However, after February 1, any non-ECOWAS national resident in Côte d’Ivoire without a biometric resident card will be subject to a penalty.
Côte d’Ivoire has been in the process of transitioning over to a national biometric identification card system for its citizens over the past two years. See our previous Immigration Dispatch of August 14. Since August, applicants for new residence permits have been receiving the new biometric cards, which have a five-year validity period, an increase from the old card validity of one year.
Companies with non-ECOWAS foreign employees in Côte d’Ivoire should ensure those employees with the old form residence card have obtained the new biometric residence card from the Office Nationale d’Identification prior to February 1 in order to avoid penalties and complications with future immigration processes.