Planning to travel to Libya? While the tourism industry is beginning to grow in Libya, it is still not the easiest country to travel to. There are several requirements that have to be met before entering the country, including showing a range of documents and proving you have sufficient funds.
Most importantly, anyone who wants to travel to Libya requires a tourist visa as well as an Arabic passport translation to cross Libyan borders.
Details of Acceptable Passport Translation
While Libya actually passed the law in 2007 requiring visitors to have an Arabic translation of their passports with them, the law was never widely publicized until groups of tourists began to be turned away from the border in the following months. Groups of hundreds were stranded at the airport.
Anyone who wants to travel to Libya needs a visitor visa as well as an Arabic translation of their passport’s biography page. The biography page is the page that lists all of the biographical information about the passport holder, such as the holder’s full legal name, birthday, place of birth and nationality. There is also usually a photo and the dates of the passport’s issue and expiry on this page.
Oftentimes, travelers believe that an acceptable translation can be done by anyone who speaks the target language. Even if you have a friend who is fluent in Arabic, a translation done by this friend is not a certified translation. Travelers without certified translations have been turned away at the Libyan border.
Certified translations are checked several times for accuracy, then notarized with a copy of the original document and a sworn statement from the translator that states the translation is complete and accurate to the best of his or her ability. Only these types of translations are acceptable for use in travel or for other official purposes.
Difficulties with Travel to Libya
Some travel outlets are reporting that as of February 2010, Libya has stopped issuing entry visas to anyone from Europe’s Schengen zone. Countries that are members of the Schengen Agreement are all countries in the European Union except the United Kingdom, Ireland, Romania, Bulgaria and Cyprus.
US citizens are also periodically refused tourist visas to Libya, although US nationals have not reported any problems with travel to Libya lately. Anyone who wishes to obtain an entry visa to travel to Libya must visit or consult the Libyan Embassy to fill out required paperwork and submit photos and fingerprints.
In addition to an entry visa and Arabic passport translation, anyone who plans to travel to Libya must not have a passport with entry or exit stamps from Israel. Anyone with proof of having been to Israel will be denied entry to Libya.
Finally, sufficient funds for the duration of the stay in Libya are a requirement to cross the border, as well as return tickets home or proof of further travel. It is a Libyan law that a person entering the country must have at least $1,000 in cash. While this may seem like an exorbitant amount, remember that ATMs are not widely available in Libya, and some people have been turned away for not carrying sufficient funds to enter the country.
Libya is a scenic country with a rich history. Visitors can take in the beautiful desert landscapes where the Sahara meets the Mediterranean. But before you plan your sightseeing checklist, make sure you meet all the passport translation requirements to travel to Libya!
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