LIBYA VISA INFORMATION
ENTRY/EXIT REQUIREMENTS: Passports and visas are required. The restrictions on the use of U.S. passports for travel to, in, or through Libya were lifted in February 2004.
Without prior notice, the Libyan government on November 11, 2007 "reinstated" a requirement that all foreign travelers must have an Arabic translation of their personal biographic data added to their passport in order to apply for a Libyan visa, or to enter Libya. This requirement includes foreigners who already received visas before the requirement was put into place, including those foreigners currently resident in Libya. Since that date, foreign travelers whose passports do not have Arabic translations have been denied entry into Libya or refused boarding by airlines on flights into Libya.
The Government of Libya does not allow persons with passports bearing an Israeli visa or entry/exit stamps to enter the country. At this time, neither Libya nor the U.S. provides visa services to the general public in each other's countries; U.S. visitors to Libya should therefore plan to obtain a visa via a third country. Libyan visas require an invitation or sponsor, can take up to several months to process, and should be obtained prior to travel. All visas are vetted and approved by immigration departments in Tripoli and only issued by the appropriate Libyan Embassy upon receipt of that approval.
There may be another wait for actual visa issuance once approval has been received. For tourists, the visa application procedure in most cases requires a letter of invitation from an accredited tour company in Libya; for business travelers, a letter of invitation is needed from the Libyan business entity. Americans who apply for Libyan visas are experiencing significant delays, often waiting several weeks or months if their applications are approved at all.
Inconsistent Libyan visa practice is subject to change without notice and visa service to American citizens is often blocked without warning. With few exceptions, Libya has stopped issuing tourist visas to Americans. It is recommended that Americans always obtain individual Libyan visas prior to travel, rather than group visas. Americans who expected to enter on group tour visas or individual airport visas arranged by Libyan sponsors have routinely been denied entry at the air and sea ports and have been forced to turn back at the airport or remain onboard ship at the port while other nationals disembark.
The U.S. Embassy in Tripoli cannot provide assistance to American citizens seeking Libyan visas.
To apply for a visa: LIBYA VISA APPLICATION
COUNTRY DESCRIPTION: Officially known as the Great Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Libya has a developing economy. Islamic ideals and beliefs provide the conservative foundation of the country's customs, laws, and practices.
REGISTRATION / EMBASSY LOCATION: Americans living or traveling in Libya are encouraged to register with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate through the State Department's travel registration website so that they can obtain updated information on travel and security within Libya. Americans without Internet access may register directly with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. By registering, American citizens make it easier for the Embassy or Consulate to contact them in case of emergency. The Consular Section of U.S. Embassy is located in the Seraj District of Tripoli. Their phone number is (+218) 91-220-0125. This number may also be used for emergencies after-hours by American citizens. General information, including forms, is available on the U.S. Embassy's web site at http://libya.usembassy.gov/
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