Libyan Visa For American Citizens
This page was written in 2007, when Libyan visa was very difficult to secure
for US citizens. In 2010 the restriction was lifted by the Libyan government,
and currently Americans can obtain Libyan visas without any restriction. This
means that the following notes no longer apply and are kept here merely for the
record. Please visit our Libyan visa page for more details.
22 May 2010
Libyan Visa For US Citizens: Second Update
US Citizens Can Now Obtain Libyan Tourist Visa on Arrival
We have announced on the 19th of May (see below) that we were attempting to
confirm the recent news regarding Libyan visa for Americans. We are now in a
position to confirm that the ban was lifted and that Americans are finally allowed
to visit Libya on a tourist visa.
How guaranteed visa on arrival is?
There is no need to worry at all about the visa on arrival because you will
be informed before arrival if your application was successful or not. When we
apply for your visa and successfully secure the visa approval, we will send you
a copy of this visa approval, because most often you will need it before
you are allowed to board your plane, and therefore you will know before you leave
your country if your Libyan visa on arrival is a success or not. From experience
we can guarantee that so far our applications for visa on arrival are 100% successful.
But whether you will be allowed into the country or not is a different matter
altogether and will apply in both cases: whether you had the visa on arrival
or from the embassy.
The following Libyan visa approval, we have secured recently for two American
visitors, confirms the news.
Libyan Visa Approval for two American visitors. The red words (Nationality
American) are the translation of the two Arabic words pointed to by the arrow.
The black blocks are there to mask the confidential details of the clients.
Can The Citizens of USA Obtain Libyan Visa?
Libya Appears To Lift Visa Ban on Americans:
We are currently trying to confirm the news we heard today in that Libya has
finally lifted the visa ban on Americans. If the news is confirmed it would mean
that the citizens of the United States of America will be able to obtain a Libyan
tourist visa. The news first leaked out on the 5th of May, after Saif Al-Islam
Muammar Al-Qaddafi was reported to have said, at the American University in Cairo,
that “Very, very soon, it will be very easy for many people around the world
to visit Libya.”
However, we still do not have 100% confirmation regarding this matter, but
today, the 19th of May 2010, may prove to be a historical day as we have strong
indications that the time has finally come for Americans to visit Libya on a
Tripoli - on March the 24th, US Assistant Secretary of State for Consular
Affairs, Janice L. Jacobs, cuts the ribbon on the new consular section of the
American Embassy in Jeraba (Jarraba) Street, Ben Ashour, Tripoli; during which
the ambassador Gene A. Cretz emphasised the recent progress the Embassy had made
in issuing visas to Libyans: over 4500 non-immigrant visas to Libyan tourists,
businesspeople, students, and government officials. Currently, the embassy does
not issue any visas to immigrants - visitors who intend to settle in the USA.
The American Embassy in Libya has made an important announcement:
"The Embassy is pleased to announce that effective March
25, 2009 , the Consular Section in Tripoli will be open for all non-immigrant
visa categories at its Sarraj location.
Read more about this here:
Libya Entry Visa
Libyan visa for the citizens of the USA is such a complicated issue that
we have decided to devote a special web page for it, so that we can gather as
much information as possible about the US issue. The Libyan visa complications
were the result of the old political tension between Libya and America. As the
climate changes with time, so does the visa situation. This continuous change
explains the conflicting stories circulating the Internet regarding the Libyan
visa for Americans: some say you can get a visa, others say you cannot! Both
are correct because some times Americans can get a Libyan visa and at other
times they cannot.
The recent visit by Condoleezza Rice, the first American secretary of state
to visit Libya since John Foster Dulles in 1953, on Friday the 5th of September
2008, is a good sign that relations between the two countries are heading in
the right direction. Moreover, the good news is that the US Senate has confirmed
career diplomat Gene Cretz to be the first US Ambassador to Libya in 36 years.
This without a doubt will eventually open Libya's gates to the citizens of the
United States of America, just as the improvements in relations between Libya
and Europe opened the doors for tourists and foreign investors from all over
Libyan Visa For Americans
Officially the travel ban on Americans was lifted a few years ago, as confirmed
by the US Department of State 's Bureau of Consular Affair at Travel.State.Gov
"The restrictions on the use of U.S. passports for travel to, in,
or through Libya were lifted in February 2004."
US citizens of Libyan origin are subject to Libyan law. All children born
to Libyan fathers are considered by the Libyan government to be Libyan citizens.
Dual Libyan-American nationals must obtain a Libyan travel document before visiting
Libya, and are advised that US consular assistance is extremely limited. There
are cases where American citizens of Libyan descent entered Libya using old Libyan
documents and then found themselves unable to leave without obtaining a valid
Libyan passport. The US State Department encourages American citizens travelling
in Libya to register with the nearest US Embassy or Consulate through the State
Department’s travel registration website. Please contact the the American embassy
in Libya (in the Serraj District, Tripoli, tel.: (+218) 91-220-0125) for further
information: libya.usembassy.gov/general_travel_info.html. Registration
allows travellers to obtain updated information on travel and security within
Libya, and allows the embassy to contact travellers during emergencies. For further
information about American government websites visit: www.usa.gov/
Where in American can I apply for a Libyan Visa
The Libyan Embassy in Washington DC does not accept visa applications from
the public. [This may have changed after 2011.] You can contact them for general
enquiries regarding the Libyan visa. The address is: 2600 Virginia Avenue NW
– Suite 705, Washington, DC 20037, phone number 202-944-9601. However,
visa application forms must be submitted to the Libyan People’s Bureau in Ottawa,
Canada; although even this office frequently declines to accept visa applications
from American citizens.
What is the alternative?
According to the USA-based ZVS (Zierer Visa Service), the majority of Americans
who apply for the Libyan tourist visa through their company receive
a visa. All visitors must first provide an Arabic translation of their passports
(also provided by the ZVS). The process as described in their website ( http://www.zvs.com/
) involves the following steps:
- All Libya visas are obtained from the Libyan Embassy in Ottawa, Canada.
- The Libyan Embassy in Ottawa needs to receive a
"visa approval" from the Immigration Department in Tripoli; the
approval is telexed directly to the Embassy in Ottawa.
- This "visa approval" is requested from the Libyan Immigration Department
by the chosen Libyan tour operator handling the tour.
- Requests from individual travellers will not be processed; a minimum of four
(4) travellers is required to make it a valid request.
- This process should be allocated at least 40 working days.
Americans who visited Libya recently
Rebecca Byerly, an adventure journalist, documented February's
race for al-Jazeera.
For the first time, a US team has competed in the 200-kilometre Libyan Challenge
Master Trek: a race on foot through the Sahara. In the following video Rebecca
describes her adventure across the desert and tells how she was invited by the
Libyan embassy last August (2008) to take part in the 2009 race. It took the
winners just under 30 hours to finish the 200 kilometre race; while Rebecca and
her teammates crossed the finishing line after 58 hours.
US Embassy in Libya
Ben Ashour District
Telephone: (+218) 91-379-4560
American Citizen Emergency Only telephone (+218) 91-266-3696
Libya: Country Specific Information, by the State Department.
Americans travelling to Libya are advised to register with the nearset US embassy.
US Department of State:
"TOURIST VISAS: After halting the issuance of tourist
visas to U.S. citizens for several years, in June 2010 the Libyan government
again began issuing visas to U.S. tourists. Like European tourists, U.S. citizens
must apply for tourist visas through tour operators licensed in Libya."