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Syria stops issuing visas to Americans at the border

June 9th, 2010 · 7 Comments · Travel

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.

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7 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Maysaloon // Jun 10, 2010 at 1.58 am

    Forgive me if this doesn’t break my heart and make me cry :)

  • 2 Jad Aoun // Jun 10, 2010 at 8.54 am

    Americans and other Western passport holders feel that have a God given right to enter any country in the world without queuing for visas, so you really shouldn’t be surprised when cry foul when things change for them. Of course it doesn’t help when all other surrounding countries (from Morocco to Kuwait) allow US/EU/Canada passports in without a wink while citizens of these Arab countries need to beg for a visa.

  • 3 Neso // Jun 23, 2010 at 5.08 pm

    not one very frendly gesture, not one politics of peace but confrontation, nevertheless germans are not required not to get visa when they enter the U.S.A.

  • 4 Rashad // Jun 24, 2010 at 11.16 pm

    You harvest what you sow

  • 5 Michael // Jun 27, 2010 at 12.50 am

    Oh no…do you think this will affect brits? =/

  • 6 Roni Visits Syria « The Official Roni Weiss Blog // Oct 25, 2010 at 2.12 pm

    […] getting advice on the CouchSurfing forums from travelers and locals alike) had pointed to a June 2010 shift in Syrian policy. Before that, Americans got in after waiting at the border for 2-9 hours while […]

  • 7 Mark // Mar 23, 2011 at 8.07 pm

    Does anyone know if this is still the case?

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