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About the Immigration Department

The Sierra Leone Immigration Department (SLID) is the government department with responsibility for regulating immigration into Sierra Leone as well issue passports and other travelling documents to Sierra Leoneans. Its main functions are:

  • Border management is the administration and control of the movement of people across the border regions of the country. This includes dealing with the challenges of irregular migration like trafficking in human beings, people smuggling, refugees and asylum seekers.
  • Issuing passports and other forms of travelling documents (Emergency Travel Certificate, Seaman Book) to Sierra Leoneans.
  • Issuing resident permits to foreign nationals including registration of ECOWAS citizens.
  • Issuing visa on arrival and landing visas to foreign nationals wishing to visit the country.
  • Processing naturalisation applications which are the process by which foreign nationals acquire citizenship.
  • Collaborate and support the primary security forces (police and military) in the provision of security to the nation.

SLID is one of eight institutions for which the Ministry of Internal Affairs has oversight responsibilities; the others being the Sierra Leone Police, the Sierra Leone Correctional Service, Sierra Leone National Fire Force, National Civil Registration Authority, Sierra Leone National Commission for Small Arms, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency and the Office of the Coroner.


The history of SLID dates as far back as the 1940s and 1950s, following the discoveries of precious minerals in the country. Its establishment was driven by the influx of foreign nationals both Africans and Non-Africans with the mandate to control the movement of people and preventing the smuggling of diamonds and gold.  This explains why the Immigration Office started life in Sierra Leone under the strict supervision and prosecution of the Sierra Leone Police.

The SLID has changed hands a couple of times between civilian and police control. It was first administered under the control of civil service but this was moved to the police in the 1960s following independence. During this period, the police officers ran the affair of the department and they retained their ranks within the police force. 

With the reconstruction and restructuring process after the war, the Immigration Department was brought once again under civilian control under the Ministry of Internal Affairs. With the aim of modernization for better delivery of service, transparency and accountability, the department went to complete civil administration in October 2002.

SLID is mandated for managing entry/exit through the country’s international ports. The powers that give SLID its mandate are enshrined in various legislations but the main one is the Non-citizens (Registration, Immigration and Expulsion) Act 1965. Although this Act has been supplemented over the years by the following Acts of Parliaments, Ordinances and international Conventions, it remains the bedrock of immigration law in Sierra Leone.

Organisational Reform

The Immigration Service plays a key role in the lives of Sierra Leoneans and in the competitiveness of our Economy. Through the work that it does, the Immigration Service has contributed to the economic bust of our country.


The Immigration Service monitors the movement and activities of people both nationals and non-nationals entering and exiting the country in a manner that is prudent and consistent with national and international regulations, laws and protocols.


To be the leading service provider in the Immigration matters in and for Sierra Leone.



Integrity’ shall serve as the core of our belief and is the underlying foundation upon which the mission, goals, and beliefs of the Reformed Immigration Service will be built, closely linked to our key vision of incorruptibility, integrity will enable us to safeguard the sovereignty, independence, security, and prosperity of Sierra Leone.

The Sierra Leone Immigration Service has over the past two (2} years engender a high level of trust among our citizens and foreign investors because of its integrity. Thus, it is imperative that the Immigration Service maintains this high standard of Integrity in our conduct.


Service’ shall define our view of public officers to work with the elected government in serving our citizens. It refers to the Public Service that we intend to provide directly to our customers. Out public nowadays demand the highest level of service from the Public Sector equal to or better than that provided by the private sector. Our vision is the strive to reach such levels of service, but without comprising on important principles such as incorruptibility meritocracy and impartiality as well as without ignoring the long-term need of Sierra Leone.


Excellence’ shall describe the outcome of our services. In order to achieve this goal, we shall endeavor to manifest excellence within ourselves. We shall develop a workforce with a mindset for excellence that strives to be the best that one can be in his role.

Sierra Leone Immigration Department

The Sierra Leone Immigration Department (SLID) is the government department with responsibility for regulating immigration into Sierra Leone as well issue passports and other travelling documents to Sierra Leoneans. 

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