Entering and leaving the country is straightforward, with all customs fees included in the price of a ticket.
- All precious stones require an export license.
- Penalties for diamond smuggling are severe.
Everyone from outside Ecowas (Economic Community of West African States) countries needs a visa.
Prices and rules for visas vary widely by nationality of applicant and embassy of issuance, but generally you need a plane ticket, a yellow fever vaccination certificate and a letter of invitation (a hotel reservation should suffice), and your passport needs six months' validity. The regulations are generally more relaxed in embassies of neighbouring countries.
You can also apply for your visa online through Visit Sierra Leone. Your application is processed by the immigration office in Freetown, and a receipt and visa is then emailed back to you. Both these documents have to be presented to immigration officials when you arrive at the airport or border.
Visas can be easily extended for 30 days at the Immigration Department in Freetown.
Visas for Onward Travel
Three-month, multiple-entry visas for Guinea cost US$160 for most Westerners. Bring two photos, a yellow fever certificate and a photocopy of your passport. One-month, single-entry visas to Liberia cost US$70 and require one photo plus a passport photocopy.