Visa policy of Lebanon

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Entry & Exit passport stamps for the Republic of Lebanon issued at the Beirut International Airport

The visa policy of Lebanon deals with the requirements which a foreign national wishing to enter the Republic of Lebanon must meet to be permitted to travel to, enter and remain in the country.

Lebanese visas are documents issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and its subsequent diplomatic missions abroad with the stated goal of regulating and facilitating migratory flows. Visitors to the Republic of Lebanon must obtain a visa from one of the Diplomatic missions of the Republic of Lebanon unless they come from one of the 7 visa-exempt countries and territories or one of the 79 other countries and territories whose citizens are eligible for a visa on arrival.[1]

Citizens of member nations of the Gulf Cooperation Council and Jordan may travel to Republic of Lebanon without visa limits for a maximum stay of 6 months per year and 3 months per 6 months respectively, citizens of the 79 other countries and territories are granted a visa on arrival at Beirut International Airport or any other port of entry if there is no Israeli stamps, visas, or seals on their passport and are holding a telephone number, address in the Republic of Lebanon, and a non-refundable return or circle trip ticket for a maximum stay of one month, extendable for 2 additional months. Citizens of Brazil and Turkey are instead granted a multiple entry visa valid for a maximum stay of 1 month and 3 months respectively. All visitors must hold a passport valid for 6 months beyond the period of intended stay and with two blank pages. An identity document is accepted in lieu of a passport for Jordanian citizens.[2][3]

The Republic of Lebanon has a complicated visa policy, requiring visas from citizens of the countries and territories like - Brunei, Seychelles, Taiwan, Uruguay, and Vatican City. On the other hand, the Republic of Lebanon grants visa on arrival to citizens of countries and territories like - Bhutan, China, Iran, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan.

Visa runs are not allowed, meaning that if foreigners wish to re-enter the Republic of Lebanon after their visa-free or VoA period has expired they should obtain a visa.

Visitors who have recently been to Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone are refused entry due to Ebola virus epidemic in West Africa.

Palestinian and Israeli citizens or any other person who holds any passport bearing stamps, visas, or seals issued by Israel are strictly prohibited from entry to the Republic of Lebanon and may be subject to arrest or detention for further inspection.[4][5][6]

Visa policy map[edit]

Visa policy of Lebanon

As of right[edit]

The following citizens do not require a visa to enter, reside, study, and work indefinitely in the Republic of Lebanon without any immigration requirements:

  • Lebanon Lebanese citizens1
  • Holders of a travel document (Titre de Voyage) issued by the Republic of Lebanon to stateless persons and refugees, including their wife and children with proof thereof.2

1 – May enter with a national identity card, individual civil status record, expired passport or civil extract issued by the Republic of Lebanon to passengers of Lebanese descent holding a foreign passport
2 – A law passed in 1995 prevents Palestinian Stateless persons and refugees in the Republic of Lebanon from working in over 70 jobs, including professional, mercantile and administrative jobs[7][8]

Visa exemption[edit]

Holders of passports of the following 7 countries and territories do not require a visa to visit the Republic of Lebanon up to 6 months per year for tourism or business purposes(unless otherwise stated) if there is no Israeli stamps, visas, or seals on their passport and are holding a telephone number, address in the Republic of Lebanon, and a non-refundable return or circle trip ticket. An identity document is accepted in lieu of a passport for Jordanian citizens:

6 months within 1 year[edit]

3 months within 6 months[edit]

1 – provided passport includes a national serial number.

Diplomatic, Official, and Service passports[edit]

  • Visa is not required for holders of diplomatic or service issued by Venezuela for a maximum stay of 6 months and 1 month respectively for tourism or business purposes
  • Visa is not required for holders of diplomatic, official, or service issued by Colombia for a maximum stay of 90 days within 180 days for tourism or business purposes
  • Visa is not required for holders of diplomatic, official, or service issued by Serbia for a maximum stay of 90 days within 180 days for tourism or business purposes

Other Visa Exemptions[edit]

  • Visa is not required for travelers of Lebanese origins traveling with any foreign passport and with a valid Lebanese national identity card, an expired Lebanese passport or a Lebanese civil document are exempted from visa requirements and admitted as citizens of the Republic of Lebanon
  • Visa is not required for all Merchant Seamen who are citizens of Bahrain, Jordan, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria and the United Arab Emirates but must hold a Seaman Book and Letter of Employment or Letter or Guarantee from the shipping company if arriving by air in order to board a ship, or if arriving by ship in order to board an aircraft
  • Visa is not required for a maximum stay of 24 hours for holders of a travel document (Titre de Voyage) issued by Syria to stateless persons and refugees holding a residence permit issued by a third country, continuing to Syria, and have previously traveled out of Beirut
  • Visa is not required for United Nations' staff provided holding a diplomatic card issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Lebanon for a maximum stay of 6 months per year for tourism or business purposes
  • Visa is not required for Members of the Deterrent, Emergency, UN Interim (UNIFIL) and UN Security Forces provided holding Military Identity Cards for a maximum stay of 6 months per year for tourism or business purposes

Visa on arrival (VoA)[edit]

Holders of the passports issued by the following 79 countries and territories are granted visa on arrival at Beirut International Airport or any other port of entry if there is no Israeli stamps, visas, or seals on their passport and are holding a telephone number, address in the Republic of Lebanon, and a non-refundable return or circle trip ticket for a maximum stay of one month, extendable for 2 additional months for tourism or business purposes(unless otherwise stated):[9][10]

1 – Not applicable to holders of a British National (Overseas) passport
2 – Can obtain a multiple entry visa on arrival valid for a maximum stay of 1 month for tourism and business purposed, extended up to a maximum validity of 90 days following the approval of the General Directorate of General Security[11]
3 – Can obtain a multiple-entry visa on arrival for a maximum stay of 3 months for tourism or business purposes. Extension of stay is possible for an additional 1-month after the date of expiry[12]

Diplomatic, Official, and Service passports[edit]

  • Visa is granted on arrival for holders of diplomatic passports issued by Thailand for a maximum stay of 1 month extendable for 2 additional months at Beirut International Airport or any other port of entry if there is no Israeli stamps, visas, or seals on their passport and are holding a telephone number, address in the Republic of Lebanon, and a non-refundable return or circle trip ticket
  • Visa is granted on arrival for holders of service or special passports issued by Philippines for a maximum stay of 1 month extendable for 2 additional months at Beirut International Airport or any other port of entry if there is no Israeli stamps, visas, or seals on their passport and are holding a telephone number, address in the Republic of Lebanon, and a non-refundable return or circle trip ticket

Conditional Visa on arrival (VoA)[edit]

  • Citizens of the following 15 countries and territories can obtain a visa on arrival at Beirut International Airport or any other port of entry only if there is no Israeli stamps, visas, or seals on their passport and provided holding, a non-refundable return or circle trip ticket, a copy of a reservation in a 3 to 5 star hotel or private residential address with telephone number in the Republic of Lebanon, and at least USD 2,000 in cash[13]
  • Visa is granted on arrival for children under 15 years of age, travelling on a foreign passport and accompanied by at least one Lebanese parent holding a Lebanese Passport or a Lebanese ID card. This however, does not apply for Palestinian refugees born to Lebanese mothers
  • Visa is granted on arrival for a maximum stay of 11 months for Businessmen, Directors/General Managers, Employers, Physicians, Engineers and Lawyers possessing a valid residence in the possessing a valid residence in the Gulf Cooperation Council Countries, provided that the term of the granted visa doesn’t exceed the validity of the concerned person's passport and residence. The airlines companies are in charge of checking the residence's validity prior to boarding. As for the wives and children of this category, they are granted visas according to the conditions concerning the entry of individuals of same nationalities in case that they do not possess a valid residence in the one of the Gulf Countries and are holding a telephone number, address in the Republic of Lebanon, and a non-refundable return or circle trip ticket
  • Visa is granted on arrival for tourist groups composed of a minimum of 8 people provided being sponsored by a registered tour operator in the Republic of Lebanon for a maximum stay of 6 months at Beirut International Airport or any other port of entry if there is Israeli stamps, visas, or seals on their passport and are holding a telephone number, address in the Republic of Lebanon, and a non-refundable return or circle trip ticket
  • Visa is granted on arrival for holders of a written notification issued by the Lebanese Immigration General Directorate of General Security at Beirut International Airport or any other port of entry if there is no Israeli stamps, visas, or seals on their passport and are holding a telephone number, address in the Republic of Lebanon, and a non-refundable return or circle trip ticket
  • Visa is granted on arrival for individuals occupying official positions in the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) and to their families after verifying their titles at Beirut International Airport or any other port of entry if there is no Israeli stamps, visas, or seals on their passport and are holding a telephone number, address in the Republic of Lebanon, and a non-refundable return or circle trip ticket. As for the invited personnel on the part of the committee to participate in its official acts and activities, they will get a free visa based on an approval from the General Directorate of General Security pursuant to a formal request from "ESCWA" presented to this General Directorate or at border departments and centers
  • Visa is granted on arrival for citizens of Arab League member states visiting the Republic of Lebanon individually or by group for a maximum stay of 3 months that they present the student's card or a registration statement or an acceptance statement issued by one of the universities, institutes or schools in the Republic of the Republic of Lebanon at Beirut International Airport or any other port of entry if there is no Israeli stamps, visas, or seals on their passport and are holding a telephone number, address in the Republic of Lebanon, and a non-refundable return or circle trip ticket
  • Visa is granted on arrival for maids of those accredited to citizens of the Republic of the Republic of Lebanon for a maximum stay of 6 months at Beirut International Airport or any other port of entry if there is no Israeli stamps, visas, or seals on their passport and are holding a telephone number, address in the Republic of Lebanon, and a non-refundable return or circle trip ticket

Entry Regulations regarding the entry of Syrian citizens to the Republic of Lebanon[edit]

  • Citizens of Syria, passing through the Republic of Lebanon on their way to Syria can obtain a visa on arrival at Beirut International Airport or any other port of entry for maximum stay of 48 hours
  • Citizens of Syria, traveling as tourists can obtain a visa on arrival at Beirut International Airport or any other port of entry for the duration of the pre-arranged hotel accommodation if holding a cash amount equivalent to the sum of one thousand US Dollars or an authentic cheque of the same value from a recognized bank, a proof of pre-arranged hotel accommodation, and a family book if accompanied by family members
  • Citizens of Syria, traveling for business can obtain a visa on arrival at Beirut International Airport or any other port of entry for maximum stay of 1 month provided holding a proof of business/occupation, a letter of invitation/guarantee issued by an inviting party, and a family book if accompanied by family members
  • Citizens of Syria, owning a property in the Republic of Lebanon can obtain a visa on arrival at Beirut International Airport or any other port of entry for a maximum stay of 6 months provided holding a proof of property ownership and a family book if accompanied by family members
  • Citizens of Syria, traveling to the Republic of Lebanon for medical treatment can obtain a visa on arrival at Beirut International Airport or any other port of entry for maximum stay of 72 hours, provided holding medical reports/certificates of treatment/condition. Extension is possible
  • Citizens of Syria, visiting a foreign embassy in the Republic of Lebanon can obtain a visa on arrival at Beirut International Airport or any other port of entry for maximum stay of 48 hours, provided holding proof of scheduled appointment
  • Citizens of Syria, traveling to study in an accredited school or university can obtain a visa on arrival at Beirut International Airport or any other port of entry for maximum stay of 7 days, provided holding a letter of acceptance issued by College/University or College/University ID, applicable diplomas/certificates, and a copy of their passport

Exemptions from proof documents and GDGS Immigration pre-approval[14][edit]

The following cases are exempted from all the conditions concerning the address, the non-refundable return or circle trip ticket, and the pre-approval from the General Directorate of General Security:

  • The wife of a Lebanese citizen, who did not work previously as an artist or a masseuse, after presenting a document asserting the marriage
  • The wife of a Palestinian refugee in the Republic of Lebanon or a holder of a valid identity card under consideration and who did not work previously as an artist or a masseuse, after presenting a document asserting the marriage
  • The wife of a Syrian citizen accompanying him and who did not work previously as an artist or masseuse in the Republic of Lebanon, provided that the marriage is registered on the husband’s family register or by presenting a document proving the marriage
  • Women who did not work previously as artists or masseuses in the Republic of Lebanon, accompanying their husband, their child, one of their parents, brothers
  • The mother in law of a Lebanese citizen, after presenting a document asserting the kinship
  • Women coming among official delegations, or those holding private, special or diplomatic passports
  • The wife of a Lebanese citizen who has previously worked as an artist or a masseuse and left the Republic of Lebanon for a period of more than one year, if she is accompanied by one or more of her children from this marriage after presenting the documents proving the marriage
  • The wife of a foreigner non Arabic man who has previously worked as an artist or a masseuse and had left the Republic of Lebanon for a period more than one year, provided that she is in his company and that she holds a document proving the marriage

Approval requirement from the Lebanese Immigration General Directorate for General Security[edit]

The following are required to obtain a pre-approval from the General Directorate of General Security in addition to a visa:

Future Changes[edit]

On March 6, 2015, following his diplomatic trip to Latin America, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Emigrants of the Republic of Lebanon, Gebran Bassil announced in a press conference a proposal to introduce visa on arrival regime for citizens of the following 11 jurisdictions however it is still pending ratification or implementation:[15][16]

Obtaining a Visa[edit]

All visitors must apply in person at an Embassy or a General Consulate of the Republic of Lebanon, fill in the application form and pay the application processing fee at a visa application center. Citizens of the 7 visa-exempt countries and territories or the 79 countries and territories whose citizens are eligible for a visa on arrival can obtain the visa before travel but are exempted from submitting proof documents but will be required to pay a processing free[17][18][19][20]

Terms[edit]

  • Visas are valid from the date they are issued, for a period of 90 days before the date of entry to the Republic of Lebanon for a period of 15 days or a month or three months or 6 months. The stay period is effective from the date of entry to the Republic of Lebanon
  • Visas cannot be issued on passports bearing Israeli stamps, visas, or seals
  • A Lebanese Visa is rendered invalid if the passport was subsequently stamped with an Israeli stamp, visa, or seal
  • After a person has successfully granted a Lebanese visa, if they subsequently obtains a new passport, but the Lebanese visa in their old passport still has remaining validity, they are not required to have the Lebanese visa vignette affixed in the old passport transferred to the new passport, but must be able to present both the new and old passports at passport control when entering the Republic of Lebanon
  • If a person who has successfully granted a Lebanese visa subsequently loses the passport in which the visa vignette is affixed (or if it is stolen), he/she has to pay the original visa fee in full again and may be required to show that his/her circumstances have not changed when applying for a replacement visa

Required Documents[edit]

  • Passport valid for 6 months beyond the period of intended stay and with two blank pages bearing no Israeli stamps, visas, or seals
  • Photocopies of the passport pages (Passport cover, bio-page, pages 7 and 9, and last page) containing the full name, photo, passport #, issue date, and expiry date (one copy of each page)
  • Appointment Letter
  • Proof of fee payment, which is a valid receipt
  • A copy of applicant's residency card with no less than 6 months until expiration if applying at the Embassy or General Consulate of the Republic of Lebanon outside the applicant's country of origin
  • Two passport-sized photos and must be on a white background format 3.5 cm x 4.5 cm taken from the front & should be fresh new photographs
  • Recent three months original and till dated online bank statement (Should state A/c. holder’s name, sort-code & account number on any internet banking printout should be stamped by the bank
  • Travel reservations showing dates of travel
  • Hotel reservations in the name of the Lebanese sponsor or place of residency with a listed contact number. If the sponsor is not a citizen of the Republic of Lebanon, they must show proof of residency in the Republic of Lebanon for at least 3 months (Hotel booking or host’s reference letter)
  • No objection letter from the sponsor mentioning the reason of the visit or for minors, a Parental Consent Form* from both parents allowing their dependents to travel to the Republic of Lebanon is required
  • Travel insurance must clearly state all the travelling passengers’ names on the policy. The area of validity must clearly cover the Republic of Lebanon or Worldwide, Coverage of at least $30,000 for emergency medical & repatriation in order to face any expenses that may arise in connection with the applicant's repatriation for medical reasons, urgent medical attention or emergency hospital treatment, with these scenarios expressly stated on the policy document
  • For minor's, Original Full Birth Certificate, stating both parents’ names and child’s name
  • For those with passports from the Palestinian Authority or Jordan without a national ID number who are living in occupied Palestine, they will need proof that they can return

All documents should be submitted in Arabic, French or English. The General Security has the right to request further documents if it is necessary

The visa application will be sent to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the Republic of Lebanon by the diplomatic pouch. One should apply one month before travel date

A visitor's visa for a single entry costs $35 and for a multiple entry costs $70 for stays up to 3 months. For applicants holding a managerial or a more senior position the visa is processed at the Embassy or General Consulate of the Republic of Lebanon within 2-3 working days, for applicants holding a non managerial position, the visa is processed between 6 and 8 weeks if approved by the Directorate General of General Security in the Republic of Lebanon

Head of Missions outside the Republic of Lebanon have the right to issue visas to the Republic of Lebanon given that the visa grant is "under the responsibility of the Head of Mission" , except in the cases of Palestinian refugees or holders of passports issued by the Palestinian Authority or Jordan without a national ID number

Visa types and requirements[edit]

Tourist visa[edit]

Eligibility

Temporary & Permanent Residence Visa[edit]

Foreigners wishing to live and work in the Republic of Lebanon are required to apply for a temporary residence visa. To obtain a temporary visa for employment purposes, the worker needs to secure a job offer from a company based in the Republic of Lebanon or government department, or a foreign company based in the Republic of Lebanon, and the company is required to apply to the Immigration Division of the Ministry of Labor on the worker's behalf. The criteria for approval of an employment visa include suitable educational qualifications or work experience, a secured employment contract in the Republic of Lebanon, proof of adequate means of subsistence in the Republic of Lebanon, police confirmation that the worker has no criminal record, and a satisfactory medical examination. All official documents must be translated into Arabic, French, or English and 'legalized' by the consulate. The application processing period is normally around 1-3 weeks. Employment visas are issued for a specific job, and are not transferable between employers in the Republic of Lebanon without permission. Visas are also issued to the employment visa holder's spouse and children

Foreign citizens aged over 50 can apply for a permanent visa if they have a pension of at least 30,000 Lebanese Lira (US$2,000) per month and will transfer it to the Republic of Lebanon every month. Visas may also issued to dependents, Documentary proof of the pension and a bank declaration authorizing the monthly transfer are required. Applicants for permanent residence visas are required to submit their passport, birth certificate, marriage certificate (if applicable) and a police certificate of no criminal record, issued within the last 90 days

Transit Visa[edit]

A Transit Without Visa (TWOV) applies if the traveler is passing through an international transit area of at Beirut International Airport in order to board a connecting or to proceed by the same flight to an international destination, without entering the country (i.e. clearing immigration). This however does not apply to:

  • Travelers holding stand-by or refundable tickets
  • Citizens of the following 14 jurisdictions:
Duration Cost
Up to 48 hours Free
48 hours to 15 days 25,000 LBP

This visa must be applied for at least 2 days before the trip, provided submitting a copy of a visa or residence permit related to the country of destination and the airline ticket

Courtesy Visa[edit]

It is granted for VIPs by Embassies or General Consulates of the Republic of Lebanon abroad or by the General Director of General Security free of charge provided they present a letter from their mission or the ministry of foreign affairs or the employer explaining the purpose of the travel

Collective Visa[edit]

It is granted for groups, and the fee is collected from each member of the groups

Work Visa[edit]

It is granted for 3 months costs 50.000 LP based on a pre-approval from the Ministry of labor. All of the documents for a tourist visa are needed, as well as an invitation letter from sponsor or trade partner in the Republic of Lebanon and their contact information (showing period of stay and name, address and phone number of sponsor), a proof that the trade partner is certified in the Republic of Lebanon, and a proof that there is a relationship between applicant and the trade partner by means of a commercial announcement

Validity for other countries[edit]

Lebanese temporary and permanent resident visas that are valid for further travel are accepted as substitute visas for national visas in the following countries:

  •  Syria — Visa on arrival; applicable to all nationalities[21]

Israeli Stamps[edit]

Travelers who hold passports that contain stamps, visas, or seals for Israel will be denied entry into the Republic of Lebanon and may be subject to arrest or detention. Even if their travel documents currently do not have Israeli stamps or visas, persons seeking entry into the Republic of Lebanon who have previously traveled to Israel may still face arrest and/or detention if this travel is disclosed. The Government of the Republic of Lebanon has the authority to refuse admission to other country's citizens and to detain them for further inspection.[22]

Admission and transit is refused to holders of passports issued by both Israel and Palestine.[23][24]

Minors (Under 15 years of age)[edit]

Children under 15 years of age, of all nationalities travelling on their parents' passports must be accompanied by the passport holder, otherwise they must hold their own passport.

Visitor statistics[edit]

Most visitors arriving to Lebanon were from the following countries of nationality:[25][26]

Country 2013 2012
 Syria 4,459,842 4,116,463
 Palestine 193,660 131,082
 Iraq 141,986 126,982
 France 117,688 120,134
 United States 103,483 110,539
 Jordan 78,018 89,100
 Canada 71,841 75,751
 Egypt 63,578 64,017
 Germany 61,123 62,160
 United Kingdom 48,504 50,214
Total 5,928,206 5,613,759

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Visa Information – Lebanon". Timatic. International Air Transport Association (IATA). Retrieved 1 April 2017. 
  2. ^ http://www.general-security.gov.lb/Entry_visa/sub4.aspx
  3. ^ http://www.general-security.gov.lb/Entry_visa/The-formalities-required.aspx
  4. ^ "Visa Information for Lebanon: Holders of Normal Passports from State of Palestine". Timatic. International Air Transport Association (IATA). 
  5. ^ "Visa Information for Lebanon: Holders of Normal Passports from Israel". Timatic. International Air Transport Association (IATA). 
  6. ^ [1]
  7. ^ https://electronicintifada.net/content/illegal-discrimination-against-palestinians-lebanon/7184
  8. ^ http://www.anera.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/LEBRefugeeReport.pdf
  9. ^ [http://Lebanonembassy.ca/eng/index.html# Embassy of Lebanon, Ottawa, Canada>Consular>Visas]
  10. ^ http://www.general-security.gov.lb/Entry_visa.aspx
  11. ^ http://www.general-security.gov.lb/Entry_visa/Brazilian-Immigrants.aspx Brazilian Immigrants
  12. ^ http://www.general-security.gov.lb/Entry_visa/sub4.aspx
  13. ^ [2]
  14. ^ http://www.general-security.gov.lb/Entry_visa.aspx
  15. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aZ461bZ_55A
  16. ^ http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Lebanon-News/2015/Feb-27/288977-lebanon-colombia-sign-visa-exemption-agreement.ashx
  17. ^ http://www.lebanonembassyus.org/visas.html
  18. ^ http://lebaneseembassyuk.org/consular-affairs/visas/
  19. ^ http://www.lebembassyegypt.org/en/visa
  20. ^ http://www.lebanonconsulate-uae.com/en/home/services_visa
  21. ^ "Visa Information – Syrian Arab Republic". Timatic. International Air Transport Association (IATA). Retrieved 1 April 2017. 
  22. ^ https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/Lebanon/entry-requirements
  23. ^ "Visa Information – Israel". Timatic. International Air Transport Association (IATA). Retrieved 1 April 2017. 
  24. ^ "Visa Information – State of Palestine". Timatic. International Air Transport Association (IATA). Retrieved 1 April 2017. 
  25. ^ 2013 Arrivals by nationality, Table 10.1
  26. ^ 2012 Arrivals by nationality, Table 10.1

External links[edit]