Syria has stopped issuing visas to US citizens at its border crossings.
Official policy has always been easy to understand: if there is a Syrian embassy in your home country, then you can not get a visa at the border. Yet many took a risk and set out on the Beirut-Damascus journey without a visa. In most cases visas were issued at the Masna’a crossing (albeit with the occasional lengthy wait). But now Syria is enforcing the rules which have always been widely known, and some travellers are crying foul.
It has never been guaranteed, and always relied on the mood of the particular border official. It used to be easier if you had evidence of previous Syrian visas in your passport. Not any longer.
But for anyone visiting from Beirut, there is still one more loophole which is still wide open. Even though the rules state that you need to get a visa from your home country, the Syrian embassies in Beirut and Ankara are the (unofficial) exceptions – foreigners can still buy visas in Beirut. So why all the fuss?
It shouldn’t need saying but I will anyway: that loophole could close at any time. So please don’t take it for granted.