Guidance

Living in DRC

This guide sets out essential information for British nationals residing in DRC including advice on health, education, benefits, and residence requirements.

This guide sets out essential information for British nationals residing in DRC including advice on health, education, benefits, and residence requirements. We are unable to provide any guidance on general lifestyle. For further information on what help the FCO can and cannot provide, please see the ‘Support for British nationals abroad: A guide’ document that is available on the gov.uk website here.

Health

Medical facilities in DRC are limited and medicines are often unavailable. There are hospitals in Kinshasa and over the region that can treat minor ailments. The two main health facilities are CMK (+243898950301 or +243998265004) which provides primary and secondary care. The fee for their services starts from $50 for an initial consultation. For urgent medical care (A&E) membership can be obtained from CPU (+243898920302 or +24399235005). They can also arrange medical evacuation. For any major medical problems advisable to obtain medical treatment in South Africa where more advanced medical care is available.

Travellers to DRC are recommended to take out comprehensive medical insurance. See our travel advice section on health and security .

Education

The number of schools in the DRC has increased in recent years. There are a number of international schools in Kinshasa, see contact details below:

  • The American School (+243 818846619)
  • The French School (+243 0818848277 or +2438188412920)
  • The Belgium School (243 0818946452 or 0998846452)

Employment and recognised qualifications

Employment opportunities are available for British nationals; however you require a work permit to work in DRC. For more information you can contact the Congolese immigration office on +243 818127608

Entry and residence requirements

All British passport holders require a visa to travel to DRC. Visa’s can be obtained at the DRC Embassy in the UK. For any information related to type of visa you can contact the Congolese Embassy in the UK on +44 20 75803931 or the immigration office in Kinshasa on + 243 81623327.

Yellow Fever Vaccination requirement

All travellers are required to produce evidence of yellow fever vaccination.

Benefits

Social security pensions are available for locals only. British nationals living in DRC are not entitled to social security pensions. You can find out the benefits that you might be entitled to from the UK here. You can find advice on retiring abroad [here](.

Driving Licences and vehicles

UK driving licences are not valid for visitors and visitors are expected to obtain a DRC driving licence. You can contact CONADEP (Commission National de Delivrance des Permits) headquarters on telephone +243 816233271 to obtain a DRC driving licence. The offices are located RVA (Ndolo airport).

The British Embassy cannot issue or renew a UK driving licence. Please contact the DVLA for information about renewing a licence or applying for a new licence.

Please note that driving in Kinshasa can be dangerous. Police can demand bribes for no reason. Car doors should be kept locked at all times in case of thieves.

Social Ethics and traditions

The most commonly spoken language is French and 4 national languages Kiswahili, Tshiluba, Kigongo and lingala. In major towns and tourist areas visitors should be able to get along quite well with French only. English is not widely spoken.

Remember to be sensitive to the different cultures and people around you and do not engage in behaviour that may cause offence. DRC people are very friendly and welcoming but can be reserved.

Disclaimer

This information is provided as a general guide. It is based upon information provided to the British Embassy by the relevant local authorities and may be subject to change at any time with little or no notice. The FCO and the British Embassy will not be liable for any inaccuracies in this information. British nationals wishing to obtain any further information should contact the relevant local authorities.

Published 4 December 2014