Visas for Libya

Expats should note that Libya currently does not issue tourist visas, and should be aware that visitors will be refused entry if holding travel documents containing a visa (valid or expired) for Israel or any evidence of entry in Israel. A number of governments including that of: the United States, New Zealand, Australia, Canada, Republic of Ireland, the United Kingdom, Spain, France, Hungary, Latvia, Germany, Austria, Bulgaria, Norway, Croatia, Romania, Slovenia, Czech Republic, Russia, Denmark, Slovakia, Estonia, Italy and Poland advise their citizens against all travel to Libya.

Everyone entering Libya needs a visa to do so. Most of the burden of proof for business visas and work permits for Libya falls on the hiring company, and prior to entering the country, applicants need a letter of invitation from the sponsoring company. This can be a time-consuming process and since Libya's civil uprising, the processing times for visas and work permits may take even longer than usual as Libyan embassies and consulates are working under varying conditions. It's therefore best to apply as early as possible to avoid delays.
work permit for libya
The sponsoring company for a visa or work permit will initiate the application process by formally requesting the visa from within Libyan borders; one will need to supply one's future employer with basic details to facilitate this process. At this point it is beneficial to advise if one's family will be following: in some cases their visas can be processed together, and the extra administrative hassle of completing the process again can be avoided. If this is not feasible, then they can only formally apply for their visas once an expat has migrated to the country and invites them.

Once one's employer applies to the Libyan Embassy one will be issued a reference number and officially recorded in the system. At this point, one must email the Libyan Consulate in one's country and request a visa application form. They will cross-check the reference number and email the necessary document. 

The following will need to be sent to the consulate in one's country:
  • Formal letter of invitation from one's employer
  • Passport (must be valid for at least 6 months and have one page free for Libyan visa)
  • Official Arabic translation of the vital pages of one's passport
  • 2 x colour passport photographs
  • Copy of round-trip air tickets/itinerary to and from Libya
  • Libyan visa fee (amount dependent on country of origin)
  • Completed visa application form

This process can often take up to six months.

Lastly, it is a good idea to have personal identification documents officially translated into Arabic as well (i.e. birth certificate, marriage certificate, etc.).

Exit and Re-Entry Visas for Libya

If leaving Libya for a holiday or a business trip, it is necessary for expats to visit the police station within the first week of arrival and have their passport stamped. Expats living in Libya on a resident’s visa must formally obtain an exit/re-entry visa each and every time they depart and return to the country. The only exception to this rule is if the expat is in possession of a multi-entry resident’s visa – thus, it is best to apply for this category in the beginning.

*Visa regulations are subject to change at short notice and expats should contact their respective embassy or consulate for the latest details.

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