Expats wishing to go to Jordan, whether for a visit or to stay long term, will all have to navigate the country's visa system. Nationals of some countries have a much smoother road than others when it comes to tourist visas, but all nationalities wanting to work and reside in the country will have to navigate some red tape to secure the necessary visas for Jordan.

Tourist visas for Jordan

The procedure for obtaining a tourist visa for Jordan depends on the nationality of the individual wishing to enter. Nationals of several countries can obtain a visa at the border and do not need to apply beforehand. Nationals of other countries will need a visa in hand before travelling to Jordan – they may require Security Approval for entry as well, which also needs to be obtained in advance.

More than 230 nationalities are required to have an approved tourist visa to travel to Jordan, whether this is an electronic visa, a visa on arrival, or an embassy visa.

Around 140 nationalities are able to obtain an eVisa for Jordan for tourism through an electronic application called Jordan Pass. Those who apply for this online tourist package have their visa fees for Jordan waived if they are staying for at least three nights. The 80-odd nationalities not eligible for the eVisa must obtain a tourist visa from their nearest Jordanian consulate before travelling.

Note that no visas are issued at the Wadi Araba and King Hussein Bridge borders; if entering at these borders, visas must be arranged beforehand.

Some travellers are exempt from visa requirements and may enter Jordan using just their passports. Nationals of these countries may stay for up to three months per six month period for tourism or business purposes. These are the countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) as well as Lebanon and Turkey. Nationals of Egypt and Palestine are also allowed to enter the country without a visa, but may stay for only one month.

It is illegal to work in Jordan while on a tourist visa. A passport valid for at least six months after the date of entry is required to enter for all but Lebanese nationals, who may enter using an ID document.

Work visas for Jordan

Jordan issues work visas as well as work permits – though this sounds confusing at first, there is a very simple difference between the two. A work visa is used to give a foreign national permission to enter the country for work purposes, and a work permit is required to take up work once such a person is already in the country. In other words, an expat wishing to work in Jordan will need a work permit in addition to any visa used to enter Jordan. This includes expats who enter on a work visa.

Residence permits in Jordan

Residence permits in Jordan are distinguished from one another based on the circumstances of the person applying – for example, whether the applicant is married to a Jordanian national, and whether they are employed in the country.

A Jordanian residence permit is valid for one year and will need to be renewed annually.

Expats can become naturalised Jordanian citizens after living in Jordan permanently for a number of years, depending on their nationality. Wives of Jordanian men have a fast track on this. A foreigner who has lived legally in Jordan for 10 years and is not yet eligible for citizenship may apply for a five-year residence permit.

* Visa requirements can change at short notice and expats should contact their respective embassy or consulate for the latest details.

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