Law No. 40/An/19/8Th L On Conditions Of Entry And Residence Of Foreigners In The Republic Of Djibouti.

Original Language Title: Loi N° 40/AN/19/8ème L relative aux conditions d'entrée et de séjour des étrangers en République de Djibouti.

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Law No. 40/AN/19/8th L on conditions of entry and residence of foreigners in the Republic of Djibouti.


VU The Constitution of 15 September 1992;
VU Law No.92/AN/10/6th L of 21 April 2010 revising the Constitution;
VU Law No.046/AN/04/5th L of 27 March 2004 on the status and organization of the D.G.P.N;
VU Law No. 201/AN/07/5th L of 22 December 2007 fixing the conditions of entry and residence in the Republic of Djibouti;
VU Law No.74/AN/10/6th L of 21 February 2010 amending Law No. 201/AN/07/5th L of 22 December 2007 fixing the conditions of entry and residence in the Republic of Djibouti;
VU Law n°153/AN/12/6th Establishing the tariff for work permits for foreign workers in the Republic of Djibouti;
VU Act No. 133/AN/16/7thL of 24 March 2016 on combating trafficking in persons and smuggling of migrants;
VU Law No. 159/AN/16/7thL of 05 January 2017 on refugee status in the Republic of Djibouti;
VU Law n°172/AN/17/7ème Amending the provisions of Act No. 28/AN/7th L portant amendment de la loi n°153/AN/12/6ème Establishing the tariff applicable to work permits for foreign workers in the Republic of Djibouti;
VU Decree No. 81-103/PRE/TR of 04 October 1981 regulating the work of foreigners;
VU Decree No.2016-109/PRE of 11 May 2016 appointing the Prime Minister;
VU Decree No.2016-110/PRE of 12 May 2016 appointing members of the Government;
VU Decree No.2016-148/PRE of 16 June 2016 establishing the powers of the Ministries;
VU Circular No. 10/PAN of 13/01/19 calling for the 5th Public Meeting of the 2nd Ordinary Session of 2018;
The Council of Ministers heard at its meeting on 08 January 2019.

CHAPTER I: General Provisions

Regulating the admissions and stays of foreigners in the Republic of Djibouti.

Article 1: Aliens are subject to the provisions of this Law, subject to international conventions and bilateral agreements, with regard to their entry and residence in the Republic of Djibouti.

Article 2: Is considered foreign, any person who does not have Djiboutian nationality.

Article 3: In order to be admitted to the Republic of Djibouti, foreigners must:
1- have a valid passport, referred to by the consular, diplomatic or immigration authorities, except where special conventions or special laws and regulations have otherwise decided; and
2- for residents exempt from entry visas, in addition to a valid residence permit issued by the authorities of the Djibouti Immigration Police.

Article 4: Access or stay on Djiboutian territory may be refused on the following grounds:
1- to persons who are or have been subject to a measure of prohibition of residence or expulsion;
2- Persons with insufficient resources for the duration of their stay;
3- Persons with serious and communicable infectious diseases having an impact on public health;
4- to persons who have been convicted of crimes against humanity or of whom there are reasonable grounds to suspect that in relation to the arrival in Djibouti, there has been or will be an offence for the benefit or under the direction of a criminal organization or terrorist group or in association with either of them or for the purpose of profiting. This includes, inter alia, persons involved in the illicit trafficking of persons and trafficking in persons in accordance with Act No. 133/AN/16/7thL;
5- Persons who are not in possession of the documents required to cross the border or in possession of false documents;
6- to persons holding a passport whose validity is less than six months at least;
7- and finally to persons whose presence on the national soil undermines the national interests of the Republic of Djibouti.

CHAPTER II: Visas Section 1: Conditions for Visa Issue

Article 5: Foreigners seeking visas must meet the following conditions:
1- present a valid passport from a country recognized by the Republic of Djibouti;
2- be provided with supporting documents under Articles 5 and 6.
The conditions mentioned above are not required for persons who are because of their statutes or because of their activity are subject to special regimes provided for in sections 9, 10 and 11 of this Act.

Article 6: In addition to the above requirements, visa applicants who have obtained a pre-authorization of travel through the E-Visa platform must meet the conditions inherent in their own status:
1- For reasons of tourism, leisure and other private visits, any foreigner must produce:
- a return ticket or continuation of travel, possibly entry visa for the third country, its destination;
- a hotel reservation or accommodation certificate;
- or the sponsorship of a Tour Operator.
2- For professional reasons or business, the foreigner must produce:
- a letter from an agency, institution, investment agency (ANPI or free zone) or employer justifying the expectation of the foreigner;
- a work authorization of the ANEFIP;
- a hotel reservation or accommodation certificate.
3- For study reasons, the foreign student must make the application in advance and produce the following documents:
- sufficient and stable means of existence (guarantee of automatic payments);
- a certificate of registration, pre-registration in a public or private institution accredited by the Ministry of National Education or the Ministry of Higher Education and Research.
4- For health reasons, the foreigner must submit:
- a certificate of care;
- a return ticket;
- Hotel reservation or accommodation certificate.

Article 7: The required accommodation certificate from a foreigner requesting a visa to conduct a private visit to the Republic of Djibouti must be signed by the host person in the Republic of Djibouti and co-signed by the prefecture of his place of residence.

Article 8: Responsibility of Transporters
Any carrier shall bear the costs of repatriating aliens that it has accepted as passengers to Djibouti who do not meet the requirements of this Act.

Section 2: Special diets

Article 9: Foreign forces stationed in Djibouti
The conditions mentioned in the preceding sections of this Act are not required:
- foreign military personnel assigned to foreign forces stationed in Djibouti;
- to the family members of the military.
However, to be admitted to the Republic of Djibouti, foreign military personnel must justify their military quality and be provided with a valid passport. These requirements apply to their spouses who are required to submit travel documents, family booklets.

Article 10: Investment prospectors
To be admitted to the territory of Djibouti, investment prospectors must be accredited either by the authority of the Port and the free zones or by the National Agency for Investment (ANPI).
As for employees of companies operating in free zones, they must be in possession of a promise or contract of work referred to by the authority of the Port and the free zones or company registered at the ANPI. Without the approval of this authority, they will be denied the entry visa on Djiboutian territory.

Article 11: Diplomatic agents, aircraft and ship crews continue to benefit from the provisions of Act No.115/AN/96/3rd L of 03 September 1996.
Persons in situations of international or humanitarian protection will benefit from a special regime in accordance with Section 2 of Chapter 3.

Section 3: The different visa categories

Article 12: Transit Visas
They are issued to foreigners in transit for a maximum of three (3) to fifteen (15) days provided they have an entry visa for the final destination country and a continuation ticket.

Article 13: Short-stay Visas
These visas are issued to foreigners wishing to enter Djiboutian territory for private, business or tourist reasons. The validity of these visas shall not exceed three (3) months.

Article 14: Long Stay Visas
This visa of 90 days to 12 months renewable once may result in the issuance of residence permits abroad wishing to settle in the Republic of Djibouti according to the procedures set out in this Act.

Article 15: In countries where the Republic of Djibouti has diplomatic representations, diplomatic or consular authorities are authorized to issue transit, short stay or long stay visas in accordance with the provisions of this Act.

Article 16: Visa applicants from countries where the Republic of Djibouti does not have diplomatic or consular representations, may obtain a pre-authorization of a transit, short-term or long-term visa through the E-Visa electronic system.

Article 17 : Refusal of visa
The refusal of visas is an act of national sovereignty that does not have to be motivated.

CHAPTER III: Residence titles Section 1: Travel cards

Article 18: Any alien must, if he continues to stay in the Republic of Djibouti after the expiration of a period of 3 consecutive months from his or her entry into the territory, request the issuance of a residence permit issued under the conditions provided for in this Act.
The foreigner must leave the Republic of Djibouti at the expiry of the validity period of his/her residence permit unless he/she obtains the renewal of the residence permit.

Article 19: Foreigners staying in Djibouti must have a residence card issued by the Directorate of Immigration.
With regard to diplomats in office in Djibouti, a diplomatic residence permit will be issued to them by the protocol management of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The residence permit may be temporarily replaced by special residence permits for a foreigner who has been recognized as a refugee or a residence permit on the basis of a special or humanitarian regularization operation.

Article 20: Must be holders of the residence card:
1° the foreigners who came to Djibouti either as a visitor or as a student or as a professional activity;
2° any spouse married to a Djiboutian who justifies regular entry and permanent residence in the Republic of Djibouti;
3° Any member of a family from a residence permit.

Article 21: The validity of the residence card may not exceed 1 year and may not exceed the validity of the travel documents. The foreigner must leave the Republic of Djibouti before the expiry of the validity period of his card unless he obtains the renewal of the card.

Article 22: The residence card is issued abroad which demonstrates that it can live from its only resources and that it also takes the commitment not to exercise any professional activity in Djibouti except in the cases provided by law n°133/AN/05/5th L of January 28, 2006.

Article 23: Withdrawal of the residence card
Where the holder of a residence permit no longer meets the terms of attribution or represents a threat to public order, the residence permit must be withdrawn or cancelled.

Article 24: Refusal of the residence permit
The residence card may be refused abroad which represents a threat to public order.

Section 2: Special Diets

Article 25: Refugees
The special residence permit may be issued to a foreigner who has been granted refugee status as well as to his family.
The permit may be withdrawn:
- when the refugee status was withdrawn from him because he voluntarily placed himself in one of the situations referred to from 1 to 4 of Article 1 of the Geneva Convention of 28 July 1951 relating to refugee status;
- when he finally leaves Djiboutian soil to his host country.
- where the holder of a residence permit no longer meets the terms and conditions of attribution or represents a threat to public order, the residence permit must be withdrawn.

Article 26: Foreign forces stationed in Djibouti
Foreign military personnel and their spouses benefit from a special residence permit and adapted to their status. The characteristics of this residence permit will be determined later by a bilateral decree and/or agreement between the Republic of Djibouti and the country concerned.

Article 27: Aliens justifying the quality of investor or director of aggregate companies either from the authority of the Port and free zones or from the National Investment Agency (ANPI) may obtain a resident card according to the provisions of this Act.

Article 28: The Minister of the Interior may, on his or her own initiative, consider the case of a foreigner who is prohibited from territory and may grant him or her the status of stay or remove all or part of the applicable criteria and obligations, if he or she considers that international humanitarian considerations justify it or given the best interests of the child directly affected. This includes unaccompanied minors, trafficked persons and stateless persons.

Section 3: The work permit

Article 29: The priority of hiring is reserved for Djiboutian citizens.
However, where the employer provides evidence that it did not find a Djiboutian corresponding to the profile of the proposed employment, and only in this case, it may recruit a foreigner in a regular situation in accordance with the provisions of this Act.

Article 30: Foreign workers who have previously obtained work authorization have a period of one month from the date of arrival to regularize their stay.

Article 31: Foreigners who have obtained visas for reasons of study, health, tourism or personal order are not allowed to occupy jobs in the Republic of Djibouti.

Article 32: It is prohibited for any person directly or by an interposed person to hire or keep at his or her service or to use a foreigner with a residence permit and work authorization for a salary activity in the Republic of Djibouti.

CHAPTER IV: Administrative sanctions regimes Section 1: Administrative sanctions

Article 33: The police authorities may, by a reasoned decision, decide that a foreigner will be returned to the border in the following cases:
1°- if the foreigner cannot justify having entered the territory of Djibouti regularly;
2°- if the foreigner has kept himself in Djiboutian territory beyond the validity of his visa without having a first regularly issued residence permit;
3°- if the foreigner to whom the issue or renewal of a residence permit has been refused or whose residence permit has been withdrawn, has remained in Djiboutian territory beyond a month from the date of notification of the refusal or withdrawal decision;
4°- if the foreigner has not requested the renewal of his residence permit and has maintained himself in Djiboutian territory beyond a month after the expiry of this title;
5°- if the foreigner has been the subject of a final conviction for counterfeiting, falsification and establishment under another name than his or her or by default of residence permit;
6°- if the foreigner is subject to a withdrawal of his residence permit or a refusal to grant or renew that title;
7°- if the foreigner does not enjoy a special regime according to the provisions of articles 28 and 33.

Article 34: The expulsion may be pronounced on the proposal of the Minister of the Interior by Order of the President of the Republic if the presence in the territory of the Republic of Djibouti of a foreigner harms the interests of the country, in the event of an absolute urgency to preserve public order or in the event of an imperative necessity for the security of the State.
Any unaccompanied child or person in vulnerable situations may not be detained and expelled without an assessment based on the higher determination of the child or vulnerability by the Ministry of Justice.

Article 35: The decision on expulsion and deportation to the border of a foreigner may be executed by the Ministry of the Interior.

Article 36: Any alien who surrenders, who has attempted to avoid the execution of a deportation order or a denial of entry to the border or who, expelled or otherwise prohibited from the territory, has entered again without authorization in the national territory will be punished by a sentence of 3 months to 6 months in prison.

Article 37: A foreigner who is the subject of a deportation decision or a deportation measure at the border and who justifies being unable to leave the territory of the Republic of Djibouti may be forced to stay in a place set by the Administration.

Article 38: If the foreigner leaves this place without authorization from the administrative authorities, he is liable to imprisonment for 6 months.
The same penalty is applicable to all persons who will facilitate either by negligence or voluntarily the release of this alien without such authorization.
If the accomplice is a force member of the order, the penalty is extended to one year's imprisonment.

Section 2: Penalties

Article 39: The foreigner who has entered the Republic of Djibouti legally and who has maintained himself beyond the period authorized by his visa is subject to repeated penalties as follows:
- for overtaking not exceeding 90 days = 40.000 FDJ
- for over 90 days = 80.000 FDJ
The penalty is paid against the issuance of an additional residence permit that must include the mention of all information relating to the initial entry visa on Djiboutian soil.
If this person is unable to pay the sum, he or she will be punished by imprisonment from 3 months to 6 months in prison and a ban on entry to the Republic of Djibouti for a period of 5 years.

Article 40: The foreigner who has entered and stayed in the Republic of Djibouti without complying with the provisions of this Act or who has maintained beyond 6 months after the expiry of his visa, is punished by a fine of 50,000 FDJ to 500,000 FDJ.
In the event of recidivism, the judge may also prohibit or condemn, for a period not less than 3 years, from entering or staying in Djiboutian territory.

Article 41: A fine of up to 1,000,000 FD and/or forfeiture of the means of transport is punished by land transport companies of public or private travellers who land on Djiboutian territory, a foreigner with a travel document.
Failure is noted by a Minutes by a Judicial Police Officer (JP). The copy of the Minutes is delivered to the transport company or its legal representative.
The amount of the fine is paid to the National Public Treasury.

Article 42: Any person who has facilitated or attempted to facilitate the entry, movement or irregular stay of a foreigner will be punished by a fine of 50,000 FDJ to 500,000 FDJ or one of these two penalties.

Article 43: The Tribunal may also issue a stay ban and a driver's licence suspension for up to 3 years. This period may be doubled in the event of reoffending.
Any vehicle used to commit the offence by land, sea or air is confiscated in the event of a recurrence.
The Tribunal may issue a prohibition to exercise directly or by person interposed for a maximum of 5 years, the professional activity at which the offence was committed.
Any violation of this prohibition will be punishable by imprisonment from 2 months to 4 years and a fine of 100,000 FD to 400,000 FD or only one of these two penalties. The Tribunal shall forfeit any product belonging to the convicted person and having a direct or indirect connection to the offence.
The costs resulting from the measures necessary for the execution of the confiscation will be borne by the convict. They are recovered as criminal, correctional and police charges.
The Tribunal may pronounce against the foreign convict, the prohibition of residence on Djiboutian territory for a period not exceeding 10 years.

Article 44: The fine referred to in paragraph 1 shall not be imposed where the transport company determines that the required documents were submitted to it at the time of boarding or when the documents submitted do not contain a manifest irregularity.

Article 45: The provisions of this section apply to the road transport company in the form of regular lines, casual services or shuttles. The fine rate is fixed in this case to a maximum of 20,000 FD per passenger concerned.

Article 46: When a foreigner is housed by a professional logger, the declaration is registered in the register for that purpose. The breach of these provisions results in a fine of 100.000 FDJ to 1,000,000 FD.

Article 47: Offences to the provisions of Chapter 2 Section 3 of this Act are punishable by a fine of 100,000 FD to 1,000 000 FD and in the event of a fine of 500,000 FD to 3,000 FD.
Where a fine is imposed under this notice Law, it is incurred as many times as there are offences without however that the total amount exceeds 10,000 000 FD.
Employers are civilly and in solidarity with the convictions imposed against their power or custody.

Article 48: The immigration officer suspecting a case of trafficking in persons or illicit trafficking in persons refers the case to the competent judicial authorities. The specific provisions and offences relating to these specific cases are set out in Act No. 133 AN/16/7thL on Combating Trafficking in Persons and the Illicit Trafficking of Migrants.

Article 49: A foreign employee in violation of the provisions of this Act shall be assimilated from the date of employment to a regular worker in respect of the employer's obligations with respect to the labour regulations.
With regard to monetary benefits, the alien is entitled under the illicit period:
1°) the payment of wages and accessories in accordance with the statutory and contractual provisions;
2°) in the event of termination of employment contract has a lump sum allowance equal to 3 months of wages.

Article 50: Payments for penalties or taxes under the provisions of this Act are paid to the National Public Treasury.

Article 51: The provisions of Act No. 201/AN/07/5thL of 22 December 2007 as well as those of Act No.74/AN/10/6th L of 21 February 2010 are repealed.

Article 52: This Act will be published upon promulgation.

Done in Djibouti on 21/01/2019

President of the Republic,
Head of Government