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  #1  
Old 4 Dec 2008
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Important information regarding Libyan visa for overlanders

Hello all,


Apparently the Libyan government has decided to change the rules about getting a visa again. First their was the thing about the Arabic translation, now it seems that individuals or couples can't get a visa anymore if they try to enter the country overland... (still in need of a definite confirmation, if anyone can confirm this, please do below!).

At the moment I'm in Egypt and was planning to continue my trip through Libya. I used the services (visa + guide) of Sami Jebani from Almuheet Tours, an agency that is recommend several times here at the forum. I spoke twice with Sami on the telephone today regarding our visa (2 persons from the Netherlands, travelling with own car). He told us it was no longer possible for groups smaller than 3 people to get a Libyan visa. This was also completely new for him, apparently they changed the rules very recently.

Sami (the guy from Almuheet Tours) told us the problem of not getting a visa didn't only apply to us, but to several other couples was trying to arrange trips for as well. He did mention however that it was still possible of groups smaller than 3 people to obtain a visa if they entered Libya by plane (flying into Triopoli or Bengazi). Too bad that for us that's no option 'cause we need to get our car out of Egypt.

Please note that we're not trying to go to the south of Libya, we're planning to stay along the coastline. Also: we did not apply for a transit visa, but for a 'normal' visa.

We're now kind of stuck in Egypt, trying to get back to Europe. The only way seems to go back where we came from (Jordan, Syria, Turkey). However: all ferries to Jordan seem to be fully booked because of the Hadji (yearly pilgrimage to Mecca).

Two questions for you all:
1). If anyone can confirm or supplement the information above, please do!
2). Anyone travelling from Egypt through Libya heading for Tunisia in the next few days (say before December 10th '08, please send me a PM)!
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  #2  
Old 4 Dec 2008
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It's not much help but I'm sure I recall this Libyan 'minimum numbers' issue a couple of years ago. People had to group up to get in. As was the case with the translation thing, they may have let it slide only to re-impose it out of the blue.

Hope you find someone.

Ch
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  #3  
Old 5 Dec 2008
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Lybia : not reliable

Definitely , Lybian authorities are not reliable .
If you are planning a trip in this country , it seems mandatory to have a "spare" plan to not be stuck somewhere (in Lybia or elsewhere) , due to their versatility .
It's my case for my next trip in October : If Lybia seems out of touch , I'll have my Algerian visa (and so one) to be sure to have my saharian trip !
RR.
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  #4  
Old 5 Dec 2008
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I and some friends are currently planning a trip to Libya in February and were told a couple of weeks ago, by the agent we have contacted in Libya, that "A recent announcement in Libya states that visa will not be issued for individuals of any nationality for groups of less than five tourists." We've since heard that the whole group does not need to arrive or depart together (some of our group are arriving and departing by road and some by air). An agent in Libya may be able to put a group together for you.
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  #5  
Old 5 Dec 2008
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an explanation

I'm advised "... they are trying to stop business people coming in on tourist visas and so making it now v difficult to issue visas for individual [tourists].... the rule might well relax and return to normal in a few weeks time...."


Ch
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  #6  
Old 5 Dec 2008
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I can confirm above statements. It is not a new rule but it is one which was not in force in recent time. The minimum number of tourists needed to obtain a tourist-visa is 5. Unfortunately I am not in the position to give further interpretation of this rule and the issue regarding the "transit-travellers".
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Old 7 Dec 2008
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Exclamation New Libyan Visa Law: minimum of 5 visitors required:

Hi,

I can confirm that the new law regarding the Libyan visa is currently active. From November 2008 all visitors to Libya, regardless of nationality, must be part of a group of five (5) travellers or more.

Last edited by saharan; 7 Dec 2008 at 19:18.
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  #8  
Old 7 Dec 2008
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So you guys are saying that you can still get it but the visa applications should be in groups of at least 5. Is this something you can arrange yourself with other travellers and lodge your application?

If this is the case then my wife and I am looking for some people to lodge a group application for tourist visas for Lybia. We are hoping to be there around June 09, travelling in a 4x4.

If anyone is interested, pm us, or post on here.

Cheers
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  #9  
Old 7 Dec 2008
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Yes You can still get Libyan visa

Hi,

Yest you still can get a Libyan visa, but you have to be part of a group of five. The group will be accompanied by a Tourism Officer, as well as the usual guide from the tour operator organising the visa.

You can arrange your own group via forums, get together with your own friends, or let the tour operator of your choice add you to their list of booked visitors who will be doing a similar route.

Last edited by saharan; 7 Dec 2008 at 19:17.
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  #10  
Old 10 Dec 2008
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@ saharan; your statement sounds quite positive... but actually you can interprete it as follows:

If you want to see a particular movie in a multiplex-cinema, then you go there, pay for the entrance and enjoy the movie you want. The situation listed above would be like going to the multiplex, address to an official operator who is adding you to a group then and deciding which movie you will have to see (hopefully one of those which everybody wants to see). Although it was the actual individual tourist who has made this country an interresting one for tourism in recent years, exactly those people are excluded now from entering the country to a good part.
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Old 13 Dec 2008
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That is exactly what it is!

Kuno2: unfortunately the scenario you just described does apply.

Some of the people we spoke to in Libya were confident that this restriction will be lifted soon. I cannot see a future for Libyan tourism with such backward behaviour. Until then, we have to be optimistic.

Kind regards

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  #12  
Old 15 Dec 2008
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...we have to be optimistic. We have to!
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  #13  
Old 16 Dec 2008
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No probs for us last week

Hi All,
We entered on 5 dec, 2 people, one car, no probs at all. Contacted Hadi at Fessano a week or two before, he faxed us a document and his guide drove for 24 hours to meet us at the border. This is all with no money up front. Amazing.

Not sure of general rules, but this is our very recent experience. Hadi has been very fast at replying to queries, although a family bereavement this week may hamper things.

It has to be said that in 10 days of travelling in Libya we have still not seen a single other tourist.

JT
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  #14  
Old 24 Dec 2008
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I have been on the phone with the Libyan consulate in Tunis. From what I understood, it seems that this new regulation does not affect transit visas.

Perhaps someone can confirm that these are being issued as before.

Many thanks,
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  #15  
Old 24 Jan 2009
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I am also very interested in any up to date information regarding the transit visas.
If anyone has been successful in obtaining a transit visa from embassy in Tunis I would love to hear the details.
We are driving down through Italy, crossing from Sicily to Tunis. And then plan to tranverse Libya to Eygpt.
We are planning to try the Libyan embassy in Rome first to see if we have any luck there - anyone else tried applying this way? If we don't have any luck there it will be down to the application in Tunis..... any up-to-date hints very welcome.

Cheers - Julie
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