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How to get a Syrian Visa at the Border

Did you get a visa for Syria while is Istanbul?

No, I did not get my visa for Syria at the consulate in Istanbul. I went to the border without one and crossed near the Turkish city of Kisli. It took 7 hours to get the Syrian visa at the border, but I eventually got through.

I was told by other travelers that only Americans need to wait this long, as other nationalities can get visas at the border in a half an hour. Ever since that skirmish on the Syrian/ Iraq border where American planes bombed a Syrian border crossing, American travelers now need to get permission from Damascus before a visa can be granted. This usually takes from 6 to 8 hours.

Hello William,

No, I did not get my visa for Syria at the consulate in Istanbul. I went to the border without one and crossed near the Turkish city of Kisli. It took 7 hours to get the Syrian visa at the border, but I eventually got through.

Traveler with Syrians in Aleppo

I was told by other travelers that only Americans need to wait this long, as other nationalities can get visas at the border in a half an hour. Ever since that skirmish on the Syrian/ Iraq border where American planes bombed a Syrian border crossing, American travelers now need to get permission from Damascus before a visa can be granted. This usually takes from 6 to 8 hours.

The official stand is that it is not possible for Americans to get visas at any consulate except for the one in Washington DC. I did not try in Istanbul, but I do know that it costs around $120 for a visa from a consulate whereas it costs $16 at the border.

This price for Americans has been confirmed by many different travelers. Though I do know that the prices follow a gradient scale depending on what country you are from. I met a traveler with an Australian passport in Aleppo who was charged $70 at the border for her visa.

I say that your chances of getting a visa on arrival to Syria are probably the same as getting one from a consulate. I met many travelers in the country and most of them – Americans included – obtained their visas at the border. I have not yet heard of anyone being denied.

I just recommend not trying to cross the border on Friday — the Muslim weekly holy day. I crossed on Jumu’ah and it presented a heightened degree of difficulty, as the border officials were not sure if anyone was going to be working in Damascus to reply to the faxed request for my visa. But it all worked out and I got into Syria at around 20:00.

My recommendation is to try to get the visa at the border rather than wasting time and money going to Istanbul. The official position is that the consulates outside of DC are not even suppose to grant visas to Americans, but I would keep this option open as a contingency plan.

Please post a comment here on how crossing into Syria goes for you.

Thanks.

Walk Slow,

Wade

More information on border crossing at, How to get travel visas

—————————
Original question about getting a Syrian visa at the border

Did you get a visa for Syria while is Istanbul? Wikitravel suggests that you can roll the dice and hope to get in at land border crossing but it is risky, am curious to know your experience.

thanks
william

Filed under: Border Crossing, Middle East, 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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78 comments… add one

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  • william May 18, 2009, 6:16 pm

    Wow, thanks for the info. I won’t be confronting this particular problem for a bit but will definitely post when i do.

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    • admin May 21, 2009, 6:04 am

      Cool, man, keep me posted on the visa situation when you get there! Thanks!

      Link Reply
  • Ross June 19, 2009, 6:28 am

    Hi Wade,

    I am an American traveling from Jordan to Syria. Do you know if it is equally as likely for me to get a visa at the Jordan/Syria border as it is at the Turkey/Syria border? Is it supposed to be pretty much the same experience?

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    • admin July 3, 2009, 3:32 pm

      You are correct. It is a similar experience. Expect to wait 6 hours or more.

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  • syria travel August 7, 2009, 12:48 pm

    Syria is a great place and I encourage everybody to visit it.

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  • william September 9, 2009, 9:12 am

    it took me about four hours to get in. Also, for anyone planning on entering via antakya, turkey i had to pay additional ‘baksheesh’ fees to an official totaling about $20 U.S. And finally, dont leave your luggage in the customs officials office, i did, my bag had been looked through and my camera was stolen.

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  • Gavin Doolan October 2, 2009, 9:11 am

    Hi guys,
    I’m an Irish Citizen with no local embassy in my country. I’m looking to travel to Syria and arrive in Demascus get a Syrian visa then try to get into Jordan so I need to go the opposite way, as in I need to cross to Jordan and then back to Syria later for my return flight.

    Anyone got advice for me? I’ve heard taking a taxi is the preferred method.

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  • Gavin Doolan November 5, 2009, 10:32 am

    As a follow up I was fine crossing into Syria from Jordan as an Irish citizen. The trickiest part is you need to have Jordanian Dinars to pay for your Syrian visa – I couldn’t pay in Syrian pounds??? Who knows why.

    Coming into Jordan however I again paid with Jordanian Dinars coming from Syria.

    I had to pay my an exit tax twice and get 2 Jordan visas, I tried to get a temporary transit visa the second time as I was heading back to Amman to fly out within 24 hours, but the visa guys just gave me a blank stare. It was only 10 JD anyway so doens’t matter much.

    Just thought it might help others.

    Most nationalities can get visa’s at the border. US citizens have a hard time though and may have to wait 4-6 hours.

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  • Alena January 13, 2010, 4:52 pm

    This case backs up several experiences that I have had at the Syrian-Jordanian border. If you put in the wait time, you will be issued a visa. However, if they even smell the possibility of a previous visit to Israel, they will deny you entry. In Jan 08, a friend of mine was rejected at the border because they claimed that a remnant of adhesive from a luggage tag on the back of her passport was evidence that she had been to Israel! Safe travels!

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  • Nasir April 2, 2010, 1:57 am

    Hi
    Any body had a Visa granted in Damascus on arrival to the Airport on A British Passport?
    Thanks

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    • Wade | Vagabondjourney.com April 24, 2010, 7:59 pm

      I would recommend getting the visa in advance if you want to fly to Syria. The airlines will probably check and not allow you to board without a visa.

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  • Barney April 19, 2010, 6:23 pm

    I visited Syria once I can say one of the most beautiful countries

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  • David May 8, 2010, 5:06 am

    Hey —

    Does anybody know if it’s possible to cross into Syria from Lebanon, and how long it might take? Specifically on the Beirut to Damascus road. I’m an American citizen, and also I’m wondering if I need a specific kind of currency to pay — US dollars, Syrian?

    Thank you,
    David

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  • Bob June 21, 2010, 12:27 am

    As of 24 May 2010, Americans can NOT get a visa at the border of Lebanon-Syria. Just tried on 19 June and was rejected. Talked with Customs Officer who showed us a paper stating such from the Ministry.

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    • Wade | Vagabondjourney.com July 4, 2010, 11:17 am

      Thank you for the update. Immigration policies of any country can change at any time, I recommend travelers to heed this advice. I have received other reports that back this up:

      US citizens can no longer get a Syrian visa at the border.

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  • Michael June 25, 2010, 4:30 pm

    Hey Wade, thanks for this post it was really useful. I’m going to be flying to Beirut and then go to syria overland. i am a british citizen and would have applied for a visa in advance, but it takes 5 working days to process and i’m going to turkey next week so i would not get my passport back in time. when i come back from turkey there is not enough time before i fly to beirut for the visa to be processed either.
    so i think i am going to haev to chance it and try nd get a visa at the lebanon-syria border.
    Do you think if i got a visa recommendation from the syrian embassy here, explaining why i didn’t have a visa in advance, that would speed up the process? What do you think my chances are of acceptance? I am 17 years old and a student and i’ll be going with a group of other people, not family related.
    Are brits treated like americans, ie should i also expect to wait hours before being let through?

    I hope not, this would waste the group’s time nd it’d be a wasted day =/
    Thanks for all your Wade, it’s been really useful!

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    • Wade | Vagabondjourney.com July 4, 2010, 11:13 am

      You can never be too sure what will happen at the border — maybe they will let you in, maybe not. It is a game of chance. I just received a report that a group of Americans without visas were just denied from entering Syria from Turkey. Not sure if this was a random event or a new policy.

      Let us know what happens.

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  • Kurt August 4, 2010, 10:20 am

    Hey Wade wondering if you have anymore updates with this? If you know of anyone getting the visa since you heard of the group being denied. I am traveling solo and plan on crossing sometime around October. Cheers!

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  • Richard September 2, 2010, 5:14 am

    Hey Kurt, I too plan on crossing from Turkey into Syria coming in October. Have you found any updates about getting the visa at the boarder?

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    • Kurt September 21, 2010, 11:16 am

      Hey Wade, no haven’t heard any news. I am really bummed if I have to buy a $280 take a flight from Turkey to Jordan. I would much rather take a bus for much less and see the country. If anyone knows of a better way to travel through there would be open to ideas. Thanks Cheers!

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      • Kurt September 21, 2010, 11:18 am

        Meant Richard 🙂

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  • Andy September 9, 2010, 9:38 am

    Im a british citizen crossing from turkey to syria in 2 days, so around sept 11. Will keep
    people posted on the situation when im in syria (if i get in)

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    • Wade | Vagabondjourney.com September 9, 2010, 3:52 pm

      This would be really great. Please do. Thanks.

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    • Pete September 24, 2010, 10:54 am

      Hi Andy, I’m a NZ citizen and am hanging out to find out if you made it in! Looking forward to your update. Cheers and hope your having a blast!

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  • Pete September 30, 2010, 9:42 am

    Hi Wade,
    I am planning on heading to the syrian border in late October and it is a major hassle for me to get a syrian visa being that I am in Italy at the moment. They want me to get a letter from NZ Customs costing $65 and also post the applications, pasport photo’s and cheque to Australia, Then pay a fee to have the processed visa sent to NZ then I have to get it sent by my family to me in Italy or France where ever I am at that specific time whilst the postage takes approx 6 weeks to get here. I really need to find out weather I can get it at the boarder or if I need to skip Syria altogether. I plan to head over from the Turkish border and exit into Jordan.
    Cheers, Pete
    P.S. thanks for the website!

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    • Wade | Vagabondjourney.com October 1, 2010, 9:02 am

      I am trying to get clear data on the status of being able to get a Syrian visa at the border. But this information is ALWAYS tentative and is always changing. Even when I crossed in the spring of 2009 it was nowhere near a done deal, and I think we may have been shoved through only because an immigration official tried to rape my girlfriend and there was a big row.

      It is my impression that each immigration post is going to process you differently, I say try it, and if they don’t let you in just go back to Turkey and skip Syria. Getting a visa in advance to this country is a real hassle.

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  • Pete October 7, 2010, 1:19 pm

    Hi Wade,
    After ages searching I finally found a post from a canadian who had taken the bus from Hatay to Aleppo and got a visa on the border. They recomended taking the bus as the bus driver really pushed it through. It took about 1.5 hours that time and the post was from the 16th of September of this year!

    Cheers, Pete

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    • Wade | Vagabondjourney.com October 8, 2010, 9:03 am

      Excellent Pete,

      Thanks for this information. This will be great for other travelers approaching the border. I wish the other people who commented here would come back and share their experience as you did.

      Thanks,

      Wade

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  • Jessica October 10, 2010, 8:11 am

    FYI, I tried on Saturday and was told there was absolutely no way for an American to get the visa at the border. Now, we’re back in Beirut, trying to come up with plan B. Apparently, you can get a visa at the Embassy here, but it takes close to a month.

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    • Wade | Vagabondjourney.com October 11, 2010, 8:12 am

      Thanks for this information! As with most travel information, it is a temporal game — the rules are always changing. This is especially so for visa issues. Thanks for helping to keep this page updated. I really appreciate it.

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  • Sim at beatnikbeatles.com October 11, 2010, 11:50 am

    Thanks all for updating this information. We are a British family driving from Turkey into Syria, couldn’t get the visas in the UK as the 3 month limit would have expired next week, so are caught in the same whirlwind of contradictory information.
    We visited the Syria Consulate in Istanbul today who said they couldn’t issue visas to non Turkish residents. They also said Ankara’s Syrian Embassy would have the same policy which contradicts most internet advice (and Lonely Planet) who make it sound quite straight forward in Ankara.
    The official we spoke to here in Istanbul suggested trying at the border, but added “it’s a risk”. She said she knew people were getting visas at the border, but when she went to ‘check with her boss’ came back to say no – no visas were issued at the border. Sounds like an ‘official line’ to me.
    Tried 3 times to call Ankara office today but got cut off each time. Will try again tomorrow, and will keep this site posted if we end up at the border ‘hoping for the best’.

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    • Wade | Vagabondjourney.com October 12, 2010, 8:00 am

      Thanks Sim,

      Try at Ankara, there is official policy and reality. Keep in mind that they are tend to be very corrupt on the border. If they say “no” I would ask innocently and repeatedly “how much?” in hopes of them naming a price and you getting the visas.

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  • Paul October 20, 2010, 2:31 am

    I wade, this is the best discussion on the subject I have found yet, thanks! I’m in the same boat as Sim (also on a UK passport) – I went to the Syrian consulate in Istanbul yesterday and was turned down very quickly! I have been traveling for over 6 months now, so I explained I could not have got it before leaving because it would have expired, all she said was to try at the border… I’m still going to try and get to Ankara and try again there, and will try and post my progress (if any).

    Sim if you have any luck in Ankara I would love to hear!

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  • Sim at beatnikbeatles.com October 20, 2010, 11:06 am

    Update to my last post .. we tried at the Syrian Embassy in Ankara and it was a very emphatic ‘no’. So much so, the man pulled the shutter down and walked out of the building as we tried to persuade him! We have since met South African and French travellers who have had the same reply. You need a Turkish resident’s permit to get the visa in Ankara. We spoke to the British Embassy in Ankara to see if they could help, and they said the rules were changed by the Syrian Embassy a couple of months ago so even having a letter of introduction from them is no use. Will keep you posted on how we solve the problem.

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  • RHEARTS October 20, 2010, 12:29 pm

    Hello all..I was wondering if you have any information to help out.
    One of my family members would like to go to Syria (is currently residing in Iraq). The Syria Embassy in Baghdad keep promising him a Visa however no visa has yet to be provided….Should he attempt to get a visa at the Syrian border?

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  • Dido November 2, 2010, 2:11 pm

    We are a Dutch couple and we were refused a visa at the Syrian embassy in Ankara today. There isn’t a Syrian embassy in The Netherlands but the embassy told us that we should obtained a visa from their embassy in Brussels (Belgium). We read stories on the internet that the rules have changed a few months ago. The information in the Lonely Planet is not up to date anymore. We are going to try at the border in two weeks. We try to keep you informed.

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  • Sim at beatnikbeatles.com November 3, 2010, 12:57 pm

    Just to update – we weighed up risking it at the border versus sending all our passports back to the UK and decided that if they refused us at the border we’d waste 2 weeks down there waiting for the visas to be dealt with in London, so bit the bullet in Ankara and posted all the forms and passports (and cash, Sterling, by seperate post as DHL won’t deliver cash!) to the Syrian Embassy in London.
    The British Embassy in Ankara were no help at all, by the way. They can’t issue a letter any longer for you to take to the Syrian Embassy. That stopped a couple of months ago. They also informed us that being in Turkey without our passports (and therefore Turkish visas) technically made us illegal. But photocopies sufficed where we needed them. Things might have got tricky had we been stopped by the police I suppose.
    The whole process was tortuous, long and stressful. We posted all our stuff to London 16 days ago. We’ve just received our passports, with vital Syrian visas, today, here in Iskenderun and are crossing the border tomorrow.
    To sum up, and clarify – as at time of writing you CANNOT get a Syrian visitor’s visa in Turkey. Not from the Consulate in Istanbul or the Embassy in Ankara. At least, not if you’re from the UK, France, South Africa or, looking at the recent addition to this page, the Netherlands.
    To be fair to Lonely Planet, whose guide book is incorrect, they have amended this information on their website.
    Get it at home before you leave, or plan on being without your passports for a while while you courier them home.
    As a post script, if you’re a UK passport holder there is an up side. The Syrian Embassy visa office in London, though only available on the phone for a 1 hour window every day, are incredibly helpful. They really did try to make things go smoothly. It just took a long time.

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  • Kenny November 5, 2010, 2:28 am

    Hi Wade, and others,

    Many thanks for your useful information an am very glad Once again, My name is Kenny am from Western Part of African NIGERIA,
    We plan to Visit Syria for Tourism and we have been booked with one of the Tour Agent in Syria,

    We don’t have Syria embassy in Our Country in NIGERIA and the Agent said we should Send our Passport copy for Syrian Tourist Visa and also we should get an Approval from Travel Agency in our Country to confirm our Tours,

    After we do all Processing, We get a Letter that we send to the agent back and we saw Approved Visa from Agency in SYRIA and Syria Tourist Stamp on the Letter,
    I wanted to ask if that is the Visa,

    the Agent said that how group Visa look like, and that is Confirmation of our Visa and we get our Visa on arrival, I wanted to confirm if this information is alright before we depart to Syria,

    Our depature date is 20/11/2010

    I wait for information update , kindly send me an email to help me on this, keenny2kay@yahoo.com

    Is my Email id,

    Thanks
    Kenny

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  • Wade | Vagabondjourney.com November 10, 2010, 11:30 am

    Hello Everyone,

    Just received a message from a Westerner who was able to successfully obtain a Syrian 72 hour transit visa at border with Jordan. He paid a decent amount of money for it 30+ USD, but he got in. This could be a good option if you get stuck at the border or you want to just travel through Syria to Jordan, Lebanon, or Turkey.

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  • Dido November 17, 2010, 9:42 am

    FYI: we have just crossed the border via Sanliurfa. it went smooth and we as a Dutch couple got a visa at the border.

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  • Tez November 29, 2010, 12:52 am

    I am a Brıtısh citizen. My son (also a UK citizen) and I obtained Syrian entry visas at the Bab al Hawa crossing point between Antakya (Turkey) and Aleppo (Syria) on November 15th 2010. The visas were single entry and cost 52 US $ each, though as we had no dollars we paid in euros (around 78 for the 2 visas). They will not accept Turkish Lira. We arrived at the frontier at 3am (by service taxi) a mistake in some ways as we had already agred to pay 25TL per person for the ride to Aleppo. Our driver hung around for nearly 2 hours trying tıo help us but eventually had to go. We then had to wait until 8am for the bulk of the officials to arrive for duty, but at least we were first in line. It took a further 2 hours to get our visas. We walked across the border and picked up a sevice taxi for the 45 min ride to Aleppo for 10 euros. Whether we were just lucky or not remains to be seen – my son will be trying the same crossing again in January, again without obtaining a visa in advance. Hope this helps. Great country and well worth the effort.

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  • Jellicoe November 30, 2010, 1:47 pm

    UK passport holder, looking to obtain visa at the border between Antakya and Aleppo in about 10 days’ time. Will keep you all posted on success. Fingers and toes all firmly crossed.

    Huzzah

    Jellicoe

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  • random January 4, 2011, 7:39 am

    I was denied with a US Passport from entering Syria from Beirut back in May 2010. It was total BS. The “senior official” at the border claimed that the rules had changed when I told him that a consular official at the Syrian Embassy in Beirut had told me to just go to the border, there’s a 90% chance you’ll get the visa there. The Syrian Embassy said it would take 30 days to issue the visa, which I didn’t have, so I was like WTF, everyone else seems to be getting the visa.

    Anyway, it’s all up to the “senior official” at the border. I actually met another traveler who got denied at the same border crossing even though he had obtained a visa beforehand. Syria is wacked. IMO it matters how you appear and if you are in a big group. The more people the higher liklihood they would give you a visa at the border. I was solo and there were no other travelers on my bus in need of a visa at the border.

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  • Wade | Vagabondjourney.com January 6, 2011, 11:54 am

    Story from Marc Davies of successfully receiving a transit visa at the Syrian border, overstaying it, then exiting the country without punishment.

    Receiving a Syrian transit visa at border, overstaying, leaving clean

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  • colleen January 8, 2011, 4:34 pm

    My teenage sons and I were backpacking the region in late 2009 with the intention of visiting Syria. We went to the Syrian embassy in Ankara Turkey to get visas. We were told, “Syria is not permitting American tourists at this time.”

    Next time I want to visit a country I’ve been unable to secure a visa for, I will try the border. Thank you for sharing your experience.

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    • Wade | Vagabondjourney.com January 10, 2011, 11:55 am

      There is a ridiculous pattern that I keep seeing while traveling: the officials in consulates are often clueless about their country’s true immigration policy and provide travelers with poor advice. I continuously get mail attesting to this stale fact: consulates can often not be trusted. But these are the people on the first line of immigration, and they SHOULD know what is going on, it is truly a clusterf’ck that they often don’t.

      I don’t only mean this for the Syrian consulates, but for that of many other countries — including many western ones — as well. Immigration is always a shaky policy at best.

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  • Rob January 20, 2011, 7:38 am

    My wife and I are both Australian Citizens and obtained a Syrian visa and cleared Customs within 30 minutes. We crossed the border at De’ra (Amman – Damascus) using a private car and driver from Amman. One point to note is that they do not accept Syrian Pounds for payment of the visa. They prefer US dollars however relented and accepted Euros (albiet reluctantly and at a very low exchange rate). The charge was $US100. Hope this information is helpful.

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  • Miggz February 7, 2011, 11:10 am

    Just keeping this very useful post alive. I am currently ın Gazientep having been turned away from the border last night at Kilis, Turkey. I’m travelling on a British and Swiss passport and heading towards Israel through Syria and Jordan. (Obviously I didn’t tell them that). Theres no way I’m skipping Syria and have decided to try again on my Swiss passport. To be fair I arrived at the border at around 10.30pm. I reckon ıf I arrıve earlier ill have a better chance of acquiring a visa. Its so frustrating there being exceptions to the rule. Can’t they just make the matter clear. Luckıly my guardıan angels were out ın force last nıght and somehow I managed to blag a free nıght ın a 4* hotel. However the Kılıs border ıs really ın the mıddle of nowhere and no fun to be stuck at. Wıll keep you updated wıth how I go.

    M x

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    • Wade | Vagabondjourney.com February 11, 2011, 11:48 am

      DO NOT SCREW AROUND AT THAT BORDER. My wife nearly got raped. Big problems, only a little wit and a lot of determination got us out.

      If they won’t give you a regular visa request a three day transit visa.

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  • Bill February 9, 2011, 9:12 am

    We are two British Passport Holders who are in Amman at the moment and wanting to travel to Syria. We do not have previously obtained Syrian visas but are wondering about the likelihood of being allowed into Syria by just going to the border with Jordan.
    Any help is very welcome!

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  • Michael February 13, 2011, 4:43 am

    I am an Irish citizen who obtained a Jordanian visa today in Ramallah (West Bank). It cost 280 Shekels. I will head to the Syrian border from Amman and will see what happens. I will let you know.
    Thanks for this useful information.

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  • L February 19, 2011, 1:19 am

    This might be slightly off topic but our recent experience at air border control in Damascus.
    My girlfriend (French) & I (British) got turned away – we flew from Cyprus (where we live) thinking (foolishly) we would be able to get visas at the border for a 2 day weekend trip.
    Cypriots on our flight had arrived without visas and managed to get in without any problems but we were taken aside. We filled out various forms and it looked like it would be ok but then they took us to see the boss who evidently didn’t like the look of us and/or our passports – they had a long look at recent trips to Lebanon & Egypt.
    Spent the night in transit and back on the first plane in the morning with the most expensive box of baklava in the world!

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  • Ana September 4, 2011, 3:55 am

    A Syrian I met online awhile back said that his american friends, when traveling to syria, always had to stop in jordan first before arriving to syria and there are no direct flights from the us to syria.. Because of hostile us-syria ties; I was just wondering..is that true? On your past flights, did such stops take place? Also, my passport is expiring in 2015..however, I went to israel last summer.. So, I assume, I would have to get a second passport.. I don’t understand why our passports, now, expire in 5 years, not 10.. Anyway, it’s possible for me to use both passports, right? The israel one, of course, not to syria and I suppose, the will-be syrian one, not to israel, but to other countries..Several months ago, I was looking on Delta airlines, and there was a surprisingly low-priced flight from JFK to Aleppo for 800 dollars.. So, I’m wondering; Would the flight go to aleppo directly or stop in jordan first? I’m sorry for my bland questions.. I’m really curious.. Can I arrive in Aleppo and get a visa in Aleppo city? Also, I’m wondering what visa can you get that let’s you stay the longest? Also, the Syrian said it is really hard for them to get an American visa.. I honestly know that they haven’t tried, though.. Please clarify all this

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    • Wade Shepard September 4, 2011, 2:59 pm

      1. An advance visa is needed before flying to Syria. So you can’t just get a visa in Aleppo. Generally, unless working or studying, a tourist visa to Syria for a US citizen is only good for 15 days.

      2. Unless you get an additional temporary passport (which is generally good for only 2 years) the passport you already have will expire when you get the new one. You may have some explaining to do if you want to renew your passport 5 years early. If you are granted an additional temporary passport (which I highly doubt will be approved for the reasons you want it), yes, you will use the passport without the Israeli stamp when entering and exiting Syria. If they see any evidence that you have been to Israel it could mean trouble.

      3. Unless you’re a minor, US passports are still good for 10 years.

      4. There is often a connection in Jordan or another nearby country for flights to Syria from the USA.

      5. I’ve only ever crossed into Syria overland.

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  • Ana September 4, 2011, 4:05 am

    Also, I forgot to ask about a couple other things; I’m sorry.. I also wanted to know the average price range for a flight from either atlanta, gsp, charlotte.. To aleppo ..and sometimes flights from atlanta to charlotte to overseas is cheaper than let’s say charlotte to overseas.. Why? I don’t know..and last resort flights are to the airports mentioned to JFK to overseas..Sorry for how I’m explaining things; Might be cloudy to you. I want to solely use delta airlines, continental, because that’s what I’m familiar with really.. I would like to know the prices of round-trip and just direct flights, so I will know what to expect to pay.. Also, this is going to make sound really ignorant, but anyway; here it goes: Is southwest just in the USA? I mean the flights are only within the states and not overseas?

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    • Wade Shepard September 4, 2011, 3:00 pm

      I have no idea about flight prices to Syria. They change all the time. Do a Kayak search, that usually gives a general idea of what you should expect to pay.

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  • Alex September 17, 2011, 1:29 pm

    Me, Swedish national, was rejected visa on arrival today at Antakya-Aleppo crossing. I have supposedly got clearance from the chief of the crossing point but they said “no” in Damascus 30 minutes later – all Swedes have to apply for Syrian visa at their home embassy. Embassy in Ankara gives the same answer. Consulate in Gaziantep agrees to fax papers to Damascus with 10 days waiting for their decision.

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  • Zack November 13, 2011, 2:42 pm

    I can confirm that no U.S. passport holders can get Visas at the Yayladag border crossing from Turkey (Or so I was told that the policy changed about 1 year ago) A few days ago I arrived there on my bicycle, having started biking in Sweden, and held a valid 6-month visa that had not been used but had expired 3 weeks earlier yet I was still denied and told there is no way that a U.S. citizen can get in without getting the Visa in advance. The syrian embassy in D.C. was of no help and told me I could try getting a Visa at one of the Turkey consulates, but in the end the fact that it was a holiday in turkey and no one was answering the phones at the consulates made me decide to bypass Syria all together and fly to Cyprus instead. A pity.

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    • Wade Shepard November 18, 2011, 10:11 am

      Yes, this is the second MAJOR problem with getting a visa to Syria. Not only do you have to get the visa in your home country but you need to enter Syria before it expires. So long journeys going to Syria is no longer really an option anymore — once you get the visa you need to get there right away before it expires. Thanks for sharing your experience with this!

      As far as the reports that I receive here, I have not heard of anyone getting a Syrian visa recently in Turkey. My advice is to go through Iraq, the visa is WAY easier to get — just show up.

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  • Louis January 19, 2012, 11:18 am

    Would you say it is safe to confirm that right now – there is no possibility of getting a visa at any of the borders into Syria (Lebanon-Syria border in particular) as a UK passport holder?

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    • Wade Shepard January 23, 2012, 9:23 am

      You probably want to check more recent information on this, but I would say that is correct: there is no way to get the visa at the border.

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  • Mariana December 21, 2012, 11:28 pm

    Hi William,

    I was very curious and have a couple of questions. Well first let me say I am a American citizen and I want to go to Aleppo Syria and visit my family that I have not seen for over 15 years. I’m waiting on my passport from I sent it to the Syrian consulate in Washington they received it on December 5 and I have not heard from them since. I call everyday they tell me they are waiting for Syria to authorize. Is there a chance I might be denied a visa? Or is there a chance I can fly to Aleppo and get my passport there at the border ? I’m just lost I need someone to help me, I already purchased my ticket and im flying on January 1. Please give me any info if anyone knows anything ??? thank you !

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    • Wade Shepard December 22, 2012, 6:32 am

      Damascus approves visas and it may take a long time to hear back from them. No, you can definitely not fly to Syria and expect to pick your passport up there — you couldn’t even get on a plane without it. Yes, there is a chance that you could be denied.

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  • Gari Sullivan September 26, 2013, 6:02 pm

    I have just been in Beirut to get a visa into Syria. You can find out how I progressed through the system by visiting my website… http://garisullivan.co.uk/abroadathome/how-to-get-a-syrian-visa.html Its up to date to include the situation during the current crisis, and will be up-dated as and when new developments occur.

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