Changes of the consular Services due to COVID-19

21.10.2020 - Article

Important information on the changes of the consular services of the German Embassy can be found here.

Dear Customers,

The current pandemic poses new challenges to the world. Many important issues are still not fully resolved. Mid-March, the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany in Yaoundé first had to completely stop visitor traffic. Nevertheless, this did not mean that the service was closed. We have always been and continue to be on duty. However, as we were directly affected by the pandemic here in Yaoundé, in a shift system with reduced staff presence. The necessary social distance has turned our work processes upside down. Many employees were not allowed to enter the office buildings for a long period of time.

In addition, the range of tasks had changed. Due to the closure of the Cameroonian state border on 17.03.2020, almost 1,000 German nationals were in need and turned to the Embassy for help. These cases had absolute priority, so that the processing of other consular tasks had to be stopped. Stranded German nationals are still in the country and cannot return home. The same naturally applies to a large number of Cameroonian citizens who live in Germany and are temporarily in Cameroon. For legal reasons, however, we cannot provide consular assistance for other than German citizens. We therefore ask for your understanding and must refer you to the Cameroonian authorities.

There is still no safe vaccine. Nevertheless, we must deal with this situation. The Federal Foreign Office has therefore given instructions to the German missions abroad to maintain their service - wherever possible - in accordance with the motto “maximum security with continued operations”. The maxim of “maximum security” applies not only to our staff but also to our customers. A strict hygiene concept has therefore been drawn up, which now allows a gradual resumption of visitors with a considerably reduced capacity. The Embassy is aware that this reduced capacity will not be sufficient to handle all requests. However, it is better than nothing.

The prioritization of tasks and what is feasible from a security point of view will be evaluated on a weekly basis. It is constantly checked which services can and cannot be provided. In some cases, individual circumstances may also make it impossible to provide processing although the service is listed below (because some of the steps required for processing cannot be carried out in the separate counter area, e.g. DNA collection). We ask for your understanding if, in the individual case of your request, processing has to be either suspended or refused for the time.

The current situation in Cameroon is also of importance for the continuation of the services and is included in the risk assessment. The Embassy expressly points out that a renewed suspension of visitors is not excluded and appointments can be cancelled again at short notice. Appointment requests are administered by our appointment booking system and are processed in the order of registration. A special appointment can only be granted in exceptional emergencies. The decision whether your specific case is such an emergency is at the sole discretion of the consulate. In order to keep the workload of cancellations to a minimum, appointments are confirmed in the booking system with a maximum of 2 weeks' notice. Due to the already high number of appointment registrations, you must therefore expect a longer waiting period. Please refrain from unnecessary requests for appointments by e-mail. These tie up valuable working time, which we would like to use for processing the content of the cases.

In order to give you an overview, we have summarized these possibilities for you here:

Customers with routine concerns that can be postponed are strongly advised to stay at home in the interest of their own health.

From now on, prior appointments are always required!

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