Foreigners (Articles 3-16 of Law n° 5/86)

Is considered as a foreigner any person of nationality different from Gabonese nationality or of unknown nationality (stateless persons) who comes to the country.

There are two categories of legal foreigners living in Gabon:
•People who stay temporarily
•People who stay permanently

According to the Gabonese Law, they are respectively called:
◦Temporary visitors


Temporary visitors are those foreigners or stateless persons who have been allowed to stay in the country for a period not exceeding three months. Five categories of person are concerned with this status:

* Visitors properly speaking are those people who come to Gabon for pleasure, but who are hosted by private individuals. As private individuals, we have:
◦A member of their families
◦One of their friends

* Like visitors properly speaking, tourists also come to Gabon for pleasure but stay in hotels or similar structures

* Temporary workers on a mission to Gabon are those persons who come to Gabon within the framework of their job.

* Businessmen are those persons whose occupation specifically focuses on economic or financial activity.

* Property owners, landowners or the retired are those persons possessing their own realty and who come periodically to visit them and see how they are managed, or having private income securities or pension that are used by a Gabonese body.


Residents are admitted to the country to effectively and permanently live for at least one hundred and eighty three (183) days per year.

Five categories of foreigners are concerned with this status:

* Residents properly speaking are those persons having valid resident’s permits.

* As contract workers, we have:

1°/ Private sector’s workers
2°/ Government’s contract workers
3°/ Technical assistants

* Free-lance workers are those persons who have their own occupation. They are mostly liberals, businessmen or industrialists.

* Property owners, landowners or the retired are those persons who possess their own realty or private income securities used by a Gabonese body, and who live in Gabon permanently.

* Are considered as resident’s family members his/her spouse and the children who may joint him/her.

NB: The status of resident foreigner is granted according to his/her main activity or another major reason of his/her whereabouts.


▲ Property owners, landowners or the retired belong to the category of temporary visitors or residents depending on whether they come to Gabon periodically or they live permanently.

▲ Some foreigners come to Gabon and stay for more or less three months. However, since they are not too many, they have not been classified. These are:
◦Diplomats, international experts and civil servants on a mission;
◦Ministers of religion and members of legal congregations;


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