Last update 13 September 2023Diplomatic missions
Level 4: Termination warning throughout the country (except in case of extreme necessity)
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Regular passport: visa not required
Diplomatic passport: visa not required
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We call on Bulgarian citizens to refrain from travelling!
Embassy of the Republic of Bulgaria in Libya
The Embassy of Bulgaria in Libya temporarily operates from the city of Tunis, the Republic of Tunisia.
Bulgarian citizens residing in Libya on a short or long-term basis may contact, if necessary, the Embassy of Bulgaria in Libya based in Tunis.
The Consular Office of the Embassy of Bulgaria in Libya, based in Tunis, accepts citizens every Tuesday and Thursday in the time slot from 09:30 to 11:30. Reception is available by a preliminary scheduled appointment by telephone on 0021671798962 or at the following e-mail address: [email protected].
Address: 5 Rue Ryhane, Cité Mahrajène, 1082 Tunis
Telephone: +216 71 798 962
Emergency out-of-hours hotline: +216 55 813 135
Further information can be found in the Consular Services section.
Working hours of the Embassy: 08:00 – 16:30
Opening hours: Tuesday and Thursday from 09:30 – 11:30
E-mail: [email protected]
Embassy of Libya in Sofia
Address: Sofia, Mladost I, Andrei Saharov Blvd., Residence No 1,
Telephone: +3592 974 31 56, +3592 974 35 56
Fax: +3592 974 32 73
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs warns Bulgarian citizens not to travel to Libya. Bulgarian citizens residing in Libya on a short or long-term basis are advised to exercise caution and avoid areas of hostilities. Movement within Libya is not recommended.
The activities of the Bulgarian Embassy in Tripoli are carried out from Tunis, which makes it extremely difficult to provide assistance to Bulgarian citizens in the event of an emergency. In the event of such a situation, the Embassy of the Republic of Bulgaria in Libya, based in Tunis, should be contacted as soon as possible at the following telephone numbers: +216 71 798 962 and +216 55 813 135 (out-of-hours hotline).
There are real security risks for foreigners in Libya. The ongoing fighting between the warring militias in some areas of Tripoli and Benghazi could escalate unpredictably to other areas. Against this backdrop, criminal elements using the power vacuum are committing theft, kidnapping and other crimes. There is also no security for diplomatic missions. The trend with lack of security is expected to continue.
Medical insurance is not valid in Libya. Medical services rendered are paid in cash.
In case of severe diseases and the need for prolonged hospitalization, it is advisable to treat the patient in Bulgarian healthcare facilities.
Preventive measures should be taken against tetanus, diphtheria, poliomyelitis, hepatitis A, hepatitis B and typhoid.
It is estimated that the number of HIV carriers has risen sharply in recent years.
The standards in hospitals are below the European level. Existing private hospitals have inflated prices for services for foreigners. Warehouses for medicines are periodically looted, leading to their absence on the market.
Specifics of the local legislation:
Libyan legislation in some respects differs drastically from Bulgarian legislation. The penalties provided for certain offences significantly exceed the severity of those under Bulgarian law.
Not being aware of the laws does not absolve one from responsibility.
Local legislation provides for criminal liability for offences relating to:
- production, sale and use of alcohol;
- unregulated sexual contacts;
- illegal possession and trading of hard currency;
- theft of medicines and medical supplies.
Strict penalties are imposed for the possession, use and trafficking of drugs.
The import into Libya of drugs, firearms, alcohol, pork products, video media and printed publications containing erotic and pornographic images, religious publications is prohibited. It is advisable to avoid carrying printed publications and video media of any nature at all, as difficulties may arise in verifying their contents, which in turn could lead to indefinite retention of the items.
It is obligatory to declare the value of the currency being carried, the presence of electronics (especially personal computers and copying equipment), jewellery and other items of greater value.
The export of goods is strictly monitored and the export of medicines and currency, including Libyan dinars, is not allowed. Any export of any objects taken from natural architectural and historical sites is prohibited. Collecting such items at such sites or removing them could create significant difficulties and problems for travellers, including being charged with theft of natural and historic property.
When travelling to Libya for the purpose of tourism, it is advisable to carry a sum of USD 1,000 (one thousand) in cash as credit cards or pre-paid travel services are not accepted.
The quickest and most convenient way to travel to Libya is by plane.
The country can be entered by land through the border crossings with Tunisia (Ras Jedir) and Egypt (Saloum), which usually involves a long wait due to the increased passenger flow. Land border crossings with Libya's other neighbours (Sudan, Chad, Niger and Algeria) are closed to Europeans.
Upon arrival in Libya with the vehicle, a special temporary customs number is assigned and temporary registration plates are affixed to the vehicle. The procedure is mandatory and is performed for a fee.
The road transport is the predominant mode of transport in Libya. Travelling by car poses risks due to poor traffic organisation, non-compliance with its rules, huge distances, often unmarked sandy roads and the technical failure of many vehicles.
In large cities, public transport is provided solely by taxis and minicabs. There are offices in Tripoli and Benghazi where you can rent a car for temporary use.
Closing main roads and highways with barricades is a common practice.
Take enough money to cover the duration of your stay in Libya. You cannot rely on bank transfers in the country and the Embassy is not in a position to lend you money or buy you a return ticket.
Always carry proof of your identity.
On arrival, make every effort to register with the Embassy by giving by telephone your location — telephone number and contact address. It is advisable to have photocopies of the first pages of your passport and fax a copy to the Consular Office of the Embassy.
Keep your passport and money safe. If your passport is lost or stolen, inform the Embassy immediately, who will advise you on the next steps.
Do not attempt to import prohibited goods, especially drugs, firearms and alcohol. It could cost you years in prison.
If the purpose of your trip to Libya is work, make sure you have all the documents you will need during your stay there translated from Bulgarian into Arabic and legalized — diplomas, certificates of civil status, Bulgarian driving license, certificates of work experience, references. In Libya there is a serious shortage of authorized Bulgarian-speaking translators. Detailed information about the documents you need can be obtained from the company through which you applied for the job.
The customs, legislation and social life of the country are generally subordinated to the traditions of Islam. Despite traditional hospitality, foreigners are expected to strictly respect established local customs and norms of social behaviour. The lack of tradition in tourism further reinforces the absence of tolerance regarding the behaviour of foreigners in Libya. Your dress and behaviour should not be provocative to local Muslim customs. Women should avoid miniskirts, open necklines, sleeveless tops, and cropped and loose hair. The presence of unaccompanied ladies in cafes and restaurants can be misinterpreted.
Long-distance trips, picnics and visits to beaches are advisable in larger groups.
Avoid taking photographs in cities without a local escort who knows the place well. Under no circumstances photograph ports, airports, industrial sites, bridges, military posts and sites, public buildings, educational institutions and mosques. You may only take photographs of local people after you have obtained their explicit consent in advance.
During the religious fast of Ramadan, do not smoke or consume anything in public or in your car.
Drive with caution — strictly obey traffic laws, including speed limits, seat belts and other requirements that are generally drastically violated by local drivers. Never get into an argument with the traffic police or the inspecting authority. Better to be fined than have your papers taken away or be arrested.
In traffic accidents, do not leave the scene until the traffic police have arrived. Sign the minutes only after you have been briefed on their contents by an authorised interpreter/translator.
If you are arrested, ask to contact and speak to the Embassy in person immediately. Do not sign any documents until then.
If the tourist is travelling by car, he/she should also have a carnet, which can be obtained at the border, as well as the necessary insurance for the registered vehicle. Tourists in Libya must travel with an escort in the vehicle or, if there is no space in the vehicle, in their own vehicle. If there are more than 4 people, a police officer from the specialised security unit must travel with them. He/she travels in the tourists' bus or in the escort's vehicle. Foreign tourists must obtain written permission for the dates and places they will visit. The cost of the escort's hotel and meals and security (if any) must be prepaid by the foreign tourists.
Avoid going out and driving in the evening hours.
Avoid altercations and conflicts with local persons and representatives of local authorities and groups.
Avoid places with protests and crowding.
The currency in Libya is the Libyan dinar.
Changing currency outside the places designated by law for this purpose is punishable as a criminal offence — with imprisonment, confiscation of the funds and a large monetary fine.
In Libya, all local payments are made in cash. Credit cards are not used, except for the purchase of airline tickets in some of the offices of foreign airlines.
Travel papers and visas
A passport with a validity period covering the stay in Libya.
Attention! The passport you use to travel to Libya should not have a visa for Israel or a stamp that you have visited that country.
Before travelling to Libya, it is necessary to obtain an entry visa. Those wishing to enter the country should have an ‘Arabic page’ filled in their passport, in which the passport details are translated into Arabic.
Tourist visas can only be issued at approved border crossings (air, land and sea) for tourist groups arriving in Libya via a Libyan tour operator.
Specifics on entering the country
Every foreigner entering Libyan territory must have a minimum of 500 Libyan dinars worth of cash in one of the convertible currencies as a minimum to cover his expenses during his stay. The amount shall be presented to the passport control officer upon entry into the country.
Exempt from this requirement are:
- tourists arriving as part of tour groups through tour companies whose expenses during the stay are covered;
- holders of an entry visa for an official visit or those arriving on an official invitation;
- holders of an entry visa to study at Libyan expense;
- those wishing to join a resident for the purpose of a visit, provided that the resident provides a declaration that he or she will bear the guest's living expenses, medical treatment and any other obligations that may arise.
Within seven days of arrival in the country, you must register at the Passports and Nationalities Head Office (‘Immigration Office’). For this purpose, specially prepared forms are filled in. The cost of the service is 10 Libyan dinars. If you are staying in a hotel, you must ask the administration to carry out the registration. Failure to comply with the deadline shall result in a fine.
Bulgarian nationals working in the country and their accompanying family members need exit visas to leave the country. The issuance of such is part of the procedure for the completion of the commitments to the Libyan institutions.
It is a criminal offence to start work in Libya without the appropriate legal authorisation. This category also covers the exercise of an activity outside the work for which the relevant work permit has been obtained.
Private employment contracts with Libyan employers
There are more and more cases where Bulgarian citizens conclude private contracts with local persons to perform certain services, most often in the construction sector. The conditions and arrangements in Bulgaria are radically different from what our fellow citizens receive on the ground.
In this regard, we draw attention to the fact that the Embassy has very limited possibilities to provide assistance to Bulgarians cheated by their employers. Citizens who decide to work in the country on private contracts are requested to pay attention to the clauses described in the contracts and if all the formalities of their stay in Libya are not agreed and specified in advance, not to undertake the trip.
Bulgarian identity documents
Bulgarian citizens residing in Libya may apply for the following identity documents at the Consular Office of the Bulgarian Embassy in Tunisia: passport, identity card, driving licence and emergency travel document.
The time limit for issuing a passport and an ID card for regular service is up to 45 days and for fast service — up to 30 days.
Due to the lack of a permanent schedule of diplomatic couriers, Bulgarian citizens can use the services of DHL for faster receipt of newly issued Bulgarian identity documents, the cost of sending them to the Embassy in Tunisia is EUR 51.06.
European Emergency Travel Document
In case of loss, damage or theft of identity documents, Bulgarian citizens residing in Libya on a short or long-term basis should contact the Embassy of Bulgaria in Libya, based in Tunis, in order to take the necessary steps for the issuance of an emergency travel single-entry document with the assistance of the embassies of the EU Member States in Tripoli.
Certification of documents
Libya is not a party to the Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirement of Legalisation for Foreign Public Documents (5 October 1961). Bulgaria and Libya have signed an Agreement on Legal Aid (22 August 1969), which provides for the application of a regime exempting documents from legalization.
Under this Agreement, documents drawn up or certified by the competent authorities in the territory of one of the two states shall be recognised in the territory of the other state.
The documents issued by the competent authorities of Libya to Bulgarian citizens in this way need only a translation into Bulgarian. The Bulgarian translation must be done by an authorized translation company in Bulgaria and the translation must be certified by the Certifications and Legalizations Department with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Bulgaria.
Acquisition of Bulgarian citizenship by foreigners
Through the diplomatic and consular missions of the Republic of Bulgaria abroad documents may be submitted to the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Bulgaria for the acquisition of Bulgarian citizenship. More information can be found at the attached link:
The following civil status activities are carried out at the Embassy of the Republic of Bulgaria in Libya, based in Tunis: recording in the Bulgarian registers of births and deaths of Bulgarian citizens occurring abroad as well as marriage conclusion. The child's birth certificate or death certificate should be obtained from the local civil registry.
When a child is born on the territory of Libya and one or both parents are Bulgarian citizens, they must notify the Consular Office of the Embassy of the Republic of Bulgaria in Libya, based in Tunis. Within six months the parents of a new-born child shall be provided with a birth certificate, which shall be first certified with a signature and a stamp by the Consular Department of the Ministry of Interior of Libya and then by the Consular Office with the Embassy in Tripoli. It should be then provided with a translation into Bulgarian, certified by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Bulgaria, and sent to the municipality of the permanent address of the mother or of the parent who is a Bulgarian citizen.
In the event of the death of a Bulgarian citizen on the territory of Libya, the Consular Office must be notified in a timely manner. The death certificate shall be duly certified and legalized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Libya and the Embassy of the Republic of Bulgaria in Tripoli, based in Tunis, and then translated into Bulgarian by a translation company authorized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Bulgaria, and the translation — certified by the Legalization and Certification Sector of the Bulgarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The document is sent or filed in Bulgaria to the municipality of the person's permanent address. The Consular Office with the Embassy is ready to render assistance on matters related to the death of Bulgarian citizens.
The Embassy does not translate documents.