What has started to annoy me is the amount of countries that fake that we don’t need a visa – what utter bullshit. If you need to pay for entry to a country or need to fill in an advance form before a flight/boat/train/bus etc. then that’s a visa!! Yes it’s a visa stupidly disguised as something else. Cuba claimed it’s a “tourist card”, yet you need to pay for it, you need to do it in advance and it’s a strict process. So that’s a visa and this website will not dress it up as anything else. In short, here are just a few countries that faked that I don’t need a visa, yet they lied.
- Cuba (needed to pay, fill in a form and a separate health declaration and have it confirmed before boarding a flight)
- Turkey (I needed to pay for a visa on arrival 5 times)
- Indonesia (I needed to pay for a visa on arrival 3 times)
- Bahrain (I needed to pay for a visa on arrival)
- Kuwait (I needed to pay for a visa on arrival)
- Sri Lanka (I needed to pay for an e-visa in advance)
- The Seychelles (I needed to pay, fill in a form and have it confirmed before boarding a flight)
- British Virgin Islands (I needed to pay, fill in a form and have it confirmed before boarding a flight)
- Dominica (I needed to pay, fill in a form and have it confirmed before boarding a flight)
- Haiti (I needed to pay, fill in a form before boarding a flight)
- Curacao (I needed to pay, fill in a form before boarding a flight)
- Cape Verde Islands (I needed to pay, fill in a form and have it confirmed before boarding a flight)
- Dominican Republic (I needed to pay, fill in a form and have it confirmed before boarding a flight)
And that’s just some of the countries that do that. Just admit it, Cape Verde – we need a visa!
According to the Cape Verde immigration website…
“As of 1 January 2019, the government of the Republic of Cape Verde exempts citizens of 61 countries from visa requirements for stays up to 90 days. An online declaration a few days before arrival is still required via the E.A.S.E. form. Payment of an Airport Security Fee is required.”.
These 61 countries included my own nationality of Northern Irish (covered fakily by an Ireland passport and a UK passport). So wait a moment – we don’t need a “visa”, so then I can just board a flight with my passport and arrive becuase that is what VISA FREE means?? But wait a moment – we need to fill in an online immigration form – we MUST do it. Okay so you mean a visa form then? RIGHT! And then we must pay an “Airport Security Fee” – we MUST do it. Okay so you definitely mean a visa then. Long story short – I need a visa and here’s how to get it…
Getting A Visa For Cape Verde Islands
You go to this website – https://www.cap-vert.co/en/ where the visa is disguised as an E.A.S.E. (Efficient, Automatic & Safe Entry) and check the requirements…
The e-Visa (pre-registration) is only available for foreigners over 2 years old arriving at one of the 4 international airports:
- Boa Vista
- Praia (* I was flying in and out of this one – in from Ponta Delgada, out to Lisbon)
- São Vicente
Here you proceed to follow those three steps – you pay the visa fee (about 30 Euros in April 2022) and fill in all the personal details such as passport number, nationality, address, date of birth, hotel etc. Once you have filled everything in and made the online payment, you are waiting on TWO emails. The first email will confirm that you have submitted the application. The second email will confirm that your visa was successful, complete and effective. You are given a registration number and a PDF. I received the confirmation within a few hours, but it can take up to 48 hours. If there are any problems, you are asked to email – [email protected]
I printed the PDF as well as saving it to my Smartphone and Laptop.
The above images/screenshots show my online process of finalising everything. My actual document / visa pre-arrival looked like this image below and I had it on my laptop, Smartphone and printed piece of paper.
Boarding My Flight To Cape Verde Islands
I boarded my flight to Cape Verde from Ponta Delgada John Paul II Airport in The Azores. My passport was checked, as well as my visa for Cape Verde Islands, my flight out of Cape Verde Islands and my COVID vaccination. I needed all three of those to get my boarding pass. I had everything printed ready to go.
Arrival In Cape Verde Islands
My airport of arrival was Praia which is on Santiago Island in the Cape Verde Islands. This is the capital and largest city and therefore the most popular island to backpack. Yes I know I used to go off the wheaten craic a lot more, but after COVID sometimes flying into the capital is the cheapest and easiest option.
On arrival here the queues were huge. I joined a long queue and the first check was for the COVID vaccination certificate. I had three vaccinations and they were all checked here. The next check was for the visa. I had printed it and also had it on my mobile phone. There was no elaborate full page visa placed in my passport and I retained the printed visa and got merely a stamp in my passport.
They say that exchanging money in airports is always the dearest way to do it and I normally avoid it. I was getting collected at the airport in Praia on route to my Hotel – The Praia Maria Boutique Hotel, so I didn’t change money just yet. Here were the airport rates –
While backpacking in Cape Verde, I toured Praia, the capital city as well as the beach at Prainha (loved it), the old city of Cidade Velha and the football stadium (which is actually in the middle of nowhere – at Sao Felipe!). I enjoyed a bar crawl as well as the tasty national dish – Friday’s Featured Food: Katxupa De Carne in Praia, Santiago Island, The Cape Verde Islands
Here are some videos of my arrival into The Cape Verde Islands: