Users report hassles with Cameroon biometric visa portal

Biometric Update | Some applicants logging onto the dedicated portal for Cameroon’s biometric visas have been reporting glitches with the system which went live at the start of this month.

The much-heralded platform was launched on May 1, but some users say they have faced difficulties using the system seamlessly.

Biometric Update recently had a litany of emails from users concerning the issue. In one of them, a user said he tried to process payment on the portal at least twice without success.

The applicant, Raphaela Tchani, said she applied for a visa on May 3 but she kept on seeing error messages even after her account was debited for payment, forcing her to re-apply.

“I decided to start a new application process but I still got an error code as I was told to contact the system administrator,” said Tchani.

“My visa application to Cameroon has taken a week with no information yet. How do I know the visa has been issued? I will be traveling in about a week and still no update,” said another user Alhadji Adamu in an email dated May 17. These are two of the many complaints.

Biometric Update has also seen complaints concerning hitches with the digital visa system on the official Facebook page of the foreign ministry. In a comment to a recent post, one Carola Espoir wrote: “The digital visa system is not working, Mr Minister. Please, do something.”

We contacted Justin Giresse Tella, President of Impact Palmarès R&D SAS, the company running the system, via a messaging application for a comment on the situation, but we got no response.

However, contacted, an official at the foreign ministry in Yaounde, who refused to be named because he was not officially mandated to speak, said the situation called for no alarm as many of the applications are successful and hundreds of visas have already been issued since the platform rolled out.

Tella heads the Cote d’Ivoire-based company that won the digital visa for Cameroon. The contract runs on a Public-Private Partnership basis for a period of 10 years.

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