How to Enter Libya

Do I need a passport or visa to enter?

Passports and visas are required for all U.S. citizens traveling to Libya. Currently, Libyan embassies abroad are operating under varying conditions; travelers are encouraged to contact the Libyan embassy in the country in which they reside to obtain the latest information on visa procedures.

U.S. citizens with dual nationality are advised to take care to use the same passport when exiting the country of origin and entering Libya. Libyan immigration officials may request to see the exit stamp from the traveler’s previous destination. If that stamp is not in the same passport the traveler presents to the official (whether in the U.S. passport or a passport of other nationality), the traveler may have difficulty at the Libyan port of entry. If the traveler chooses to use a non-U.S. passport to enter Libya to avoid Libyan visa requirements, and the Libyan official discovers that the traveler is also a U.S. citizen, the traveler may be delayed and/or face a lengthy interview by Libyan Immigration. Dual citizens are advised to maintain consistency in which passport they use to travel to Libya.

The Government of Libya does not allow persons with passports bearing an Israeli visa or entry/exit stamps from Israel to enter Libya.

Tourist Visas: In June 2010 the Libyan government began issuing visas to U.S. tourists. Travelers should contact the Libyan embassy in the country in which they reside to obtain the latest information on visa application procedures. Visas for U.S. passport holders are not available at the port of entry.

Under no circumstance should a traveler use a tourist visa for business travel to Libya. Using a tourist visa to travel to Libya for business purposes contravenes Libyan law, and places the traveler at risk of arrest.

Business Visas: U.S. citizens traveling to Libya on business visas require an invitation from/sponsorship by a company operating in Libya. U.S. citizens who apply for Libyan business visas often experience significant delays, regularly waiting several weeks or months for their visas. All visas are vetted and approved by Libyan immigration departments in Tripoli and are only issued by the appropriate Libyan Embassy upon receipt of that approval. There may be an additional wait for actual visa issuance once approval has been received by the Embassy.

The U.S. Embassy in Tripoli cannot provide assistance to U.S. citizens seeking Libyan visas.

Inquiries about obtaining a Libyan visa should be made through the Libyan Embassy in Washington, D.C. The Embassy is located at 2600 Virginia Avenue NW, Suite 705, Washington, DC 20037; 202-944-9601, fax 202-944-9606. Libya’s land borders with Egypt and Tunisia are subject to periodic closures even to travelers with valid Libyan visas. Short-term closures of other land borders may occur with little notice. Within three days of arrival in Libya, visitors must register at the police station closest to where they are residing or they may encounter problems during their stay or upon departure.

The Libyan government requires all Libyan citizens, including dual nationals, to enter and depart Libya on Libyan documents. In some cases, U.S. citizens of Libyan descent have entered Libya on an old or expired Libyan identity document and then discovered that they cannot depart Libya without obtaining a valid Libyan passport, which can be a time-consuming, cumbersome process.

Special Travel Circumstances in Libya

Libya's economy operates on a “cash-only" basis for most transactions, even though U.S. law now permits the use in Libya of credit cards and checks drawn on U.S. banks. Some hotels, restaurants, and major airlines are the only businesses known to accept credit cards (Visa is accepted more often than MasterCard). Travelers should consult their banking institution prior to travel to ensure that transactions from Libya can be accepted. A small number of ATMs are in service in the country, but their availability and functionality are sporadic. Foreign visitors should be aware that the penalties for use of unauthorized currency dealers are severe. Banking institutions often operate at sporadic hours. The Libyan workweek is Sunday-Thursday.

A number of Libyan entities have assets frozen by economic sanctions. For further information, please contact the Office of Foreign Assets Control at the Treasury Department.

In addition to being subject to all Libyan laws, U.S. citizens of Libyan origin may also be subject to laws that impose special obligations on Libyan citizens. The Government of Libya considers all children born to Libyan fathers to be Libyan citizens, even if they were not issued a Libyan birth certificate or a Libyan passport. Dual Libyan-American nationals may not enter or leave Libya on their U.S. passports and must obtain a Libyan travel document before traveling to Libya. Persons with dual nationality who travel to Libya on their Libyan passports are normally treated as Libyan citizens by the local government. The U.S. Embassy’s ability to provide U.S. consular assistance to those traveling on Libyan passports is extremely limited.


You are responsible for ensuring that you meet and comply with foreign entry requirements, health requirements and that you possess the appropriate travel documents. Information provided is subject to change without notice. One should confirm content prior to traveling from other reliable sources. Information published on this website may contain errors. You travel at your own risk and no warranties or guarantees are provided by us.

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