Last update 23 January 2020Diplomatic missions
Level 5: Warning of ending all trips and immediate leaving the country
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Regular passport: visa not required
Diplomatic passport: visa not required
Official passport: visa not required
Embassy of Bulgaria in Tripoli, Libya
Address: Dahra, Madinet El Hadeek-Mohamed Farid St., Post No 10.40.219.
Tel.: +218 213346630; +218 213346631; +218 213346632
Fax: +218 213346633
Out-of-hours hotline: +218 912202699
Office Time: 8.30 - 16.30 h
E-mail: [email protected]
The Embassy of the Republic of Bulgaria in Tripoli doesn't provide consular services for the moment.
Embassy of Libya in Sofia
Address: Residence № 1, Andrei Saharov Blvd., Sofia
Telephone: +3592 974 31 56, +3592 974 35 56
Fax: +3592 974 32 73
In view of the complicated situation in the region of North Africa as a whole, including Libya, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs strongly advises Bulgarian citizens against travelling to that country, except where absolutely necessary.
Bulgarian citizens residing in Libya on short-term or long-term basis are recommended not to leave their place of residence.
In the event of an emergency requiring immediate contact with the Embassy of the Republic of Bulgaria in Tripoli, it is extremely important for Bulgarian citizens to register with the Embassy in advance and leave a contact address and telephone number. This can also be arranged by telephone or via email to the Embassy.
Public transport in large cities is provided solely by taxi and route taxi. Rent-a-car services are offered in Tripoli and Benghazi.
Libyan local currency is the Libyan dinar (LYD)
Currency exchange locations are designated by law, and any exchange taking place on different locations represents a criminal offence sanctioned with jail time, money seizure and a huge fine.
In Libya all payments are in cash. No credit cards are used, except for some foreign airline offices which accept credit card payments for plane ticket purchases.
Events in Libya since 2011 and aggravated political and economic circumstances in the country continue to pose an eminent risk to foreign citizen security.
Criminality is still on an upwards trend. Among the most common criminal acts are car thefts, car parts thefts, thefts of items left in cars as well as house burglaries. Armed robberies on roads are frequent, usually in remote desert areas.
There have been an increasing number of incidents involving foreign nationals and diplomatic missions.
Libya prohibits narcotics, firearms, liquors and pork meat products, video-carriers and printed items containing erotic and pornographic images, and publication on religious topics. It is recommended to avoid introducing any printed items and video-carriers in the country since they may cause troubles regarding their content which on its part may lead to indefinite detention of such items.
A mandatory requirement to travellers entering Libya is to declare the amount of foreign currency carried by them as well as any electronic device (especially PCs and copy machines), jewellery and any other more valuable items.
Upon exiting the country, goods brought out are strictly checked; prohibited are medications and currency, including Libyan dinars. Strictly prohibited are items collected from natural landmarks, architecture and historic sites. Travellers collecting such items from the mentioned sites or attempting to carry out of the country such items may face major problems including charges for larceny of natural and historic artefacts.
Any tourist to visit Libya must have 1000 (one thousand) UD dollars in cash since no credit cards are used; neither are prepaid tourist services recognised.
No medical insurance is recognised in Libya. Any medical service is paid in cash.
Patients suffering from a severe medical condition and requiring prolonged hospitalisation are advised to seek treatment in Bulgarian medical facilities.
Preventive measures against tetanus, diphtheria, poliomyelitis, hepatitis A, hepatitis B and typhus are recommended.
It is considered that the number of HIV-positive people has increased in the recent years.
In some areas Libyan and Bulgarian legislations are dramatically different. Punishment provisions for some criminal acts exceed substantially the ones stipulated by the Bulgarian law.
Ignorance of the law does not waive liability.
Under Libyan legislation criminal liability is held for offences such as:
- production, sale and use of liquors;
- unregulated sexual contacts;
- illegal possession of and trade with hard currency;
- steeling medications and medical items.
Particularly severe are the punishments for narcotics possession, use and trade.
The most convenient and fast way to travel to Libya is by plane.
The country may be accessed also by land via the border crossing with Tunisia (Ras Jedir) and with Egypt (Salum). Such access is usually associated with long hours of waiting due to the extensive passenger flow. Land border crossings with the other Libya neighbouring countries (Sudan, Chad, Niger and Algeria) are closed for Europeans.
Arriving in Libya by car requires assigning a temporary customs registration of the automobile and temporary registration plates. The procedure is mandatory and charged for.
The predominant transportation type in Libya is by car. Travelling by car, however, poses risks since traffic is poorly organised, traffic rules are not abided to, distances are long and often roads are covered by sand deposits which obstruct and confuse traffic. Also, the majority of vehicles on the road are poorly maintained.
Travel papers and visas
A passport valid for the duration of the traveller’s stay in Libya.
Attention! The passport you use to enter Libya may not hold an Israeli visa or seal that you have visited the State of Israel.
Before going to Libya you need to obtain an entry visa. Travellers to Libya are required to have an “Arabic page” in their passports, i.e. a page containing all passport details translated onto Arabic.
Tourist visa may be issued at the designated point of entry (air, land or maritime) for tourist groups arriving in Libya only via a Libyan tour operator.
Specifics upon entering the country
Any foreigner entering Libyan territory must possess funds amounting to the foreign currency equivalent of not less than 500 Libyan dinars, this amount being considered the minimum to cover for the traveller’s expenses. This amount of money is shown to the Passport Control Officer at the point of entry.
Exempt from this requirement are:
- tourists arriving as part of a tourist group organised by tourist companies and whose expenses for the duration of their stay have already been covered;
- holders of an entry visa issued for the purpose of a formal visit or those arriving under a formal invitation;
- holders of an entry visa issued for the purpose of education on the expenses of Libya;
- travellers that come to visit a resident under the condition that the resident submits a declaration for the obligation to cover for the guest’s expenses for the duration of his/her stay, eventual medical treatment and other circumstances, if any.
Within seven days following arrival, the traveller must register with the Immigration Office, Passports and Nationalities Division General. Special forms have to be filled in. The cost of this service is 10 LYD. If you are residing in a hotel, do insist the hotel administration to do this registration for you. Failure to comply with the specified term may result in paying a fine.
It is a criminal offence in Libya to start a job there without acquiring a work permit in advance, as stipulated by the relevant domestic laws. The same applies to exercising an activity that falls outside the scope of the work permit issued.
Private contracts with Libyan employers
There have been more and more cases of Bulgarian citizens entering into private contracts with local entities to perform certain services, mostly in the construction sector. The conditions and arrangements in Bulgaria are very different from what our fellow citizens receive in the country of location.
In this respect, it should be noted that the embassy has very limited capabilities to assist Bulgarians deceived by their employers. We kindly ask Bulgarian citizens who have decided to work under private contracts to pay detailed attention to the terms described in the contract and if all the formalities of their stay in Libya have not been not pre-agreed and specified, not to undertake the trip to Libya.
Bulgarian citizens working in Libya are required to obtain an exit visa for themselves and their family members residing with them. Issuing such an exit visa is part of the procedure associated with finalising their commitments to Libyan institutions.
Carry a sufficient amount of money to provide for the entire duration of your stay in Libya. You cannot rely on bank transfers in Libya, and the Embassy cannot support you with a loan, nor can it purchase your return ticket.
Always carry an identity document on you.
Upon arrival in Libya make sure you register at the Embassy in person or indicate your location by telephone providing contact details such as your telephone number and address. It is advisable to have copies of your passport first pages and fax a copy to both the Embassy and the Consular Office.
Your passport and money must be kept safe. In case your passport is lost or stolen, inform the Embassy immediately. You will be advised how to deal with the problem at hand.
Do not attempt to bring in the country any prohibited goods, especially narcotics, firearms and liquors. This may cause you years in jail.
If the purpose of your visit to Libya is work, make sure the documents you may need during your stay such as education diplomas, marriage certificates, Bulgarian driver’s license, length of service certificate, recommendations, etc., are translated from Bulgarian into Arabic and are legalised. Libya suffers from a serious deficit of authorised translators in Bulgarian. Detailed information about the documents you might require may be obtained from the company that has processed your job application.
As a whole, Libyan customs, legislation and public life follow the Islam traditions. Regardless of the traditional hospitality, foreigners are expected to show respect and strict consideration of local customs and norms of public behaviour. The lack of traditions in tourism further aggravates the absence of tolerance towards foreigner’s behaviour in Libya. The clothes you wear and the way you behave should not be deemed provocative by the local Muslim customs. Women should avoid wearing miniskirts, low necklines, sleeveless blouses, blond and loose hair style. Coffee-shops and restaurants are designated for men and lady presence with no male companion may be interpreted in the wrong way.
It is advisable to hold long distance travels, picnics and beach visits in large groups.
Avoid taking pictures in towns where you are not accompanied by a local person who knows the place well. Never make pictures of ports, airports, industrial sites, bridges, military posts and sites, public buildings, education facilities and mosques. You may not photograph local people prior to acquiring their explicit consent.
During the Ramadan fasting period, do not smoke and consume anything in public places neither in your car.
Drive with caution and abide strictly to the Road Traffic Law including speed limits, safety belts and other requirements, notwithstanding the disregard to such rules expressed by local drivers. Never enter into dispute with the traffic police or any inspection authority. It is better you get a fine, than your documents withheld or be arrested.
If you are in a car accident, never leave the site before the arrival of traffic police. Sign the protocols only after you understanding their content in full which has to be assisted by an authorised translator/interpreter.
In case you are arrested, demand immediately to get in touch with the Bulgarian Embassy and speak with Bulgarian representatives in person. Do not sign any documents before the Consul’s arrival.
If you travel by car, you need to have also a carnet which can be obtained at the point of entry along with the insurance of the vehicle registered.
Tourists in Libya must travel with a local person as a companion in the vehicle; should there be no place for such a companion, that person must use his own vehicle.
When tourists are more than 4 people, a guard from the specialised unit for protection of foreign guests must also be travelling with them. The policeman drives with the tourists in the bus or in the vehicle used by the companion.
Foreign tourists must obtain a written permit specifying the dates and locations to be visited.
Foreign tourists must cover for hotel accommodations and meals (if any) of the companion and the guard.
The Embassy of the Republic of Bulgaria in Tripoli doesn't provide consular services for the moment.
Bulgarian identity documents
The Consular Office of the Embassy of the Republic of Bulgaria in Libya has a biometric desk for processing and forwarding of applications for Bulgarian identity documents (passport and ID card) and for issuing temporary passports.
Certifications and legalisations
Bulgaria and Libya have signed an Agreement on Legal Aid (dated 22 August 1969) that stipulates applying a regime of exempting documents from legalisation.
Under this Agreement, documents drawn up or certified by the competent authorities of either state shall be recognised by the other state.
Documents issued to Bulgarian citizens by the competent Libyan authorities require only a translation into Bulgarian. Such translation is to be done by an authorised translation agency in Bulgaria and the translation certified by Certifications and Legalisations Dept. of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Bulgaria.
The Embassy of Bulgaria in Libya performs the following activities on civil status: recording in the Bulgarian registers of the births and deaths as well as the marriages of Bulgarian citizens occurring in Libya. The local civil registries should provide a birth certificate of the child or a death certificate accordingly.
In case of birth on the territory of Libya of a child one or both of whose parents are Bulgarian citizens, the parents should notify the consular section of the Embassy of Bulgaria in Tripoli.
The parents of a newborn child should provide the birth certificate within a six-months period, which is required to be certified consecutively with the signature and seal of the consular department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Libya and the consular office at the Bulgarian Embassy in Tripoli, then be provided with a Bulgarian translation, certified by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Bulgaria, and sent to the municipality of residence of the mother or of the parent who is a Bulgarian citizen.
In case of death of a Bulgarian citizen on the territory of Libya, the Consular Office must be promptly notified.
The death certificate should be duly certified and legalized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Libya and the Embassy of Bulgaria in Tripoli, then be translated into Bulgarian by a translation agency authorized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Bulgaria and the translation should be certified by the Legalization and Certification section of the Bulgarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The document should be sent or submitted in Bulgaria in the municipality of residence of the person. The Consular Office of the Embassy is ready to assist in matters relating to the death of Bulgarian citizens.
No translation of documentsis performed at the embassy.
Emergency Travel Document
In case identity documents are lost, damaged or stolen, Bulgarian citizens residing for a long- or short-term in Libya may address a EU member-state embassy in Tripoli to have an Emergency Travel Document issued.