Democratic Republic of Congo
The Democratic Republic of the Congo (formerly, Zaire) is a huge country in west-central Africa—it would be landlocked but for a very small stretch of Atlantic coastline. The land is lush and tropical, forming the watershed for the Congo River. However, decades of political instability and conflict have reduced the DRC to one of the poorest nations in the world. Most of the over 200 languages are still awaiting translation of the Scriptures. There is a need in the DRC not only for the translation of the Bible into numerous languages, but also for literacy and Scripture use work so that the Word of God can be understood and followed. It can be a wonderful country to serve in.
- You must apply thru the DRC Embassy in Washington DC.
- A current passport with at least 6 months prior to departure.
- Letter of Invitation from the DRC.
- The visa application form completed and signed in blue or black ink.
- A valid, signed passport with at least two blank pages marked “Visas” side by side
- At least six months of validity remaining.
- A passport-style (2"x2") photograph taken within the last 6 months with the applicant facing the camera.
- Copy of flight itinerary showing applicant’s name.
- International Certificate of Vaccination for Yellow Fever.
- Company signed letter explaining the purpose of their trip and providing a financial guarantee. The letter must bear the original pen-to-paper signature of a company representative other than the applicant.
- A letter of invitation from the company or partners to be visited in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The letter must be on company letterhead and signed by a representative of the company, and should include the applicant’s name and the name, address, and telephone number for a contact person at the overseas company. This letter must be notarized at City Hall in the DRC, it must also be legalized by the DRC Ministry of Foreign Affairs and submitted with a formal declaration of liability “engagement de prise en charge” issued by the Direction Générale des Migrations (DGM).
- A prepaid mailing envelope for the return of the applicant’s passport (using a service with tracking such as FedEx or UPS).
- Be advised that Visas are issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) in Kinshasa and not by the Embassy. The Embassy forwards all information to the MFA and will not be able to provide processing time estimates.
- It takes a Minimum of 5-6 weeks to obtain the Visa.
- Yellow Fever vaccination and yellow World Health Card are required. You must have this available for inspection on arrival in-country.
- Anti-malaria medication is also strongly recommended.
- Contact your health provider for other recommendations vaccinations.
- Recommend that you carry medication for traveler’s diarrhea and some electrolyte powder to avoid dehydration.
- If you have a weak stomach, it is good to bring Pepto Bismol tablets and take one before each meal.
- You are encouraged to visit CDC Information for Democratic Republic of Congo for the most up to date travel information.
- For Men:
- Casual western shirts and slacks. Good walking shoes and sun hat. Shorts and tank tops are not recommended.
- Women should wear dresses/skirts and blouses. There are wonderful fabrics available for sale and a national outfit can custom made quickly. Most women wear head coverings to church (head wraps, hats, or scarves).
- Nice shoes for church. Sandals or flats, or walking shoes. Please keep your shoes clean. Africans wash their shoes and are often shocked at the condition of many Expat’s shoes. There is a proverb, “as you dress so shall you be perceived."
- Make sure to check the local weather before you travel! Anywhere in the world can be chilly! A light sweater or jacket will suffice and an umbrella for rainy season.
THINGS TO BRING:
- Bottled water is readily available and most apartments/guesthouses where you will be staying will have filtered water available.
- Bug Spray or wipes with Deet available in the camping department. Easy to transport.
- A small power strip (250v) is handy and electrical adapter is required.
- Small flashlight.
- Any other-the-counter remedies, your toiletries. Toothpaste, shampoo, etc. are readily available, but expensive.
- Snacks ( protein bars, trail mix, candy bars, etc.) if you wish but, chocolate, some chips and especially peanuts are readily available.
- Have a copy of your itinerary of your return flight (with your name on it) and a copy of your travelers insurance paperwork easily accessible (especially when traveling). It is always good to have a copy of your passport.
THINGS TO KNOW:
- Be prepared to do without running water, electricity, or internet on occasion.
- There are few public restrooms so be prepared with tissues in your pocket.
- Notify your bank that you will be in DRC so that they won't block your card. Be very careful to cover your pin number when getting money.