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 Americans

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.




Update: (19/05/2009):

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 tourist visa.


new consular section in Tripoli


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.


Update: (23/03/2009):

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 Europe.



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 (travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/cis/cis_951.html):

"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.



Related Links:

US Embassy in Libya
Jarraba Street
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."