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Flying to Syria without Visa

Can an American fly to Syria without a visa? Official policy states that an American citizen must receive a Syrian visa in their home country prior to traveling to Syria. Though this is just official policy, and is not always enacted in practice. In actuality, as of the spring of 2009, Americans were able to [...]

Can an American fly to Syria without a visa?

Official policy states that an American citizen must receive a Syrian visa in their home country prior to traveling to Syria.

Though this is just official policy, and is not always enacted in practice. In actuality, as of the spring of 2009, Americans were able to receive two week Syrian tourist visas at land borders with Turkey, Lebanon, and Jordan. Though these visas were granted only at the end of 6 to 8 hour waits.

I am not sure if an American can be granted a Syrian tourist visa upon arrival at the airport, but I do know that there is a very, very good chance that you would NOT be permitted to board the flight without showing proof of having the appropriate visa.

Airlines often check passengers to ensure that they have the necessary visas to enter the countries that they are traveling to, because it is the airline’s responsibility to return passengers that are denied entry. It is my impression that a person with a US passport traveling to Syria would definitely be inspected for a visa prior to being checked into a flight from any country. And if the airline does not find a visa, they probably will not grant you a boarding pass or a refund on the ticket.

In this case, it is somewhat impertinent whether or not Syria will provide you with a tourist visa upon arrival by air, as there is a very good chance that the airline will not allow you to board the flight to begin with without a proper visa in your passport.

My recommendation is to either fork out the money and get a visa at the Syrian visa in Washington DC or fly into Turkey, Lebanon, or Jordan and travel into Syria by land.

If your travel plans involve Syria and Syria alone, then it is my impression that it would be a pretty good idea to get the visa in advance, as there is no guarantee that you will be granted a visa at the border. If you are planning on a larger Middle East trip, and you would not be too heart broken if Syria did not permit you entry, then chance it at the border and save yourself $100.

I hope this helps.

More information on traveling to Syria

  • Border crossing Turkey to Syria
  • Arrival in Syria from Turkey
  • Syrians Friendly to American Travelers

Wiki Travel Syria

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Walk Slow,

Wade

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Can an American fly to Syria without a visa?

I was reading your post about travel to Syria.

Does this mean that me, with only a passport, could fly to Syria, and upon arrival get a visa? Instead of sending an application to the embassy here in the USA?

And, do you know anything about obtaining a workers visa for Syria?

Filed under: Border Crossing, Syria, Travel Help, Visas

About the Author:

Wade Shepard is the founder and editor of Vagabond Journey. He has been traveling the world since 1999, through 88 countries. He is the author of the book, Ghost Cities of China, and contributes to Forbes, The Diplomat, the South China Morning Post, and other publications. has written 3411 posts on Vagabond Journey. Contact the author.

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Wade Shepard is currently in: Rochester, New York

8 comments… add one

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  • kareem September 1, 2009, 2:34 am

    thanks for this! do you know what the likelihood is of getting a syrian visa at the lebanon / syria border? i’m canadian, fwiw.

    cheers,

    kareem

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    • Wade | Vagabondjourney.com September 1, 2009, 8:48 am

      Not difficult. Just go to the border and pay for one. Since you are Canadian, and not from the USA, you should be able to get a visa in like a half hour.

      Wade

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  • Candice April 27, 2010, 6:47 am

    Can a south african travel to Syria without a visa? Could we buy the visa on the border?? I am currently living and working in Saudi Arabia.

    Thank you
    Candice

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  • muhamamd May 27, 2010, 8:52 am

    so if i am egpytian. already in the country with no visa because egyptians dont ever need one. but i wanna go to lebanon, where egyptians DO need a visa. can i leave with my egyptian, enter lebanon with my US passport, then come back to syria with my egyptian?

    Link Reply
    • Wade | Vagabondjourney.com May 31, 2010, 4:21 pm

      This could be alright, though you will probably be asked to show both passports at the border crossings to demonstrate that you legally exited Syria.

      Link Reply
  • Yasmine Lababidi May 31, 2010, 12:07 pm

    My sisters and I are planning to travel to Syria within a matter of days, so a quick reply would be greatly appreciated. We got our American passports and didn’t really think about anything else because we’ve traveled there before and didn’t need a visa, however it was 10 years ago and we were with my dad, who is from there so he was granted permission there of course.
    We are now flying to meet him, instead of flying with him.
    Is there anyway we could just prove to the airlines that we’re flying to see our father who is a citizen of Syria, or is that not okay?

    Thank you,
    Yasmine

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