Get a Lebanese Visa

Everybody loves Lebanon, literally everybody. So if you want to apply for a Lebanese visa, you just have to go to the Lebanese Embassy, fill the application form and send it, along with the required documents to the embassy… wait for the response and get an appointment, to either get your visa, or your refusal (it is very rare for a Lebanese embassy to refuse a visitor to Lebanon). But before you go and apply for a visa, you have to know what are the requirements you have to fulfill in order to think of applying for a Lebanese visa. You may be aware that the NO ISRAELI STAMPS field is always present in the requirements to apply to a Lebanese Visa… Because, as we all know, diplomatic relations have been cut since forever between Lebanon and Israel. But you have to know there are 4 types of different visas in Lebanon: 1) Touristic visas (often picked up at Beirut’s International Airport, although in some cases, you can pick it up at the embassy, depending on the circumstances and the decision taken by the embassy’s board of direction). 2) Business visas (Picked up at the embassy). 3) Transit visas (Picked up at the embassy). 4) Official visas (Only for diplomats, politicians, officially sent people, including official clergies…).

Requirements

1. TOURIST VISA

  • Original, signed passport with at least 6 months of remaining validity.
  • Passport-type photographs: 2
  • No Israeli Stamps. Passport must not contain any evidence of prior or intended travel to Israel.
  • Additional Documents for minors (under the age of 18) may be required by the employees in the embassy.
2. BUSINESS VISA (This is for US citizen, also applicable for international citizen, except Israelis)
  • Original, signed passport with at least 6 months of remaining validity.
  • Passport-type photographs: 2
  • No Israeli Stamps. Passport must not contain any evidence of prior or intended travel to Israel.
  • Business Letter. A business letter from the sending company in the US. The letter should be printed on the company letterhead stationery, addressed to “The Consulate of Lebanon, Visa Section”, and signed by a senior manager (an equivalent to Vice-President or above). The business letter must adhere to the following guidelines:
  • Briefly introduce the applicant (please specify employment status/position held in the company by applicant).
  • State the nature of the business to be conducted (ie. business meetings, contract negotiations, etc.) and the names and addresses of companies to be contacted in Lebanon.
  • Specify the type and desired validity of the visa (ie. a one year multiple entry business visa).
  • Guarantee of sufficient funds for travel.
  • Business Invitation. A business invitation letter from the sponsoring company in Lebanon. The letter should be printed on company letterhead stationery, addressed to “The Consulate of Lebanon, Visa Section”, and signed by a senior manager (an equivalent to Vice-President or above). The business letter must adhere to the following guidelines:
  • Briefly introduce the applicant (please specify employment status/position held in the company by applicant).
  • State the nature of the business to be conducted (ie. business meetings, contract negotiations, etc.) and the names and addresses of companies to be contacted in Lebanon.
  • Specify the type and desired validity of the visa (ie. a one year multiple entry business visa).
3. TRANSIT VISA (For US, also applicable for international citizen)
  • Original, signed passport with at least 6 months of remaining validity.
  • Passport-type photographs: 2
  • No Israeli Stamps. Passport must not contain any evidence of prior or intended travel to Israel.
  • Proof of status. Copy of Green Card or other proof of legal status in the US (such as copy of I-20, I-94, H1B approval notice, etc.)
  • Additional documents for minors (under 18) may be asked.
4. OFFICIAL VISA (This may not require a No-Israeli stamp step, although you have to ask professionals at the embassy)
  • Original, signed United States passport with at least 6 months of remaining validity.
  • Passport-type photographs: 2
  • State Department Letter. A letter from the US Department of State, sending department, or agency, addressed to “Embassy of Lebanon, Washington D.C. “, explaining purpose of travel and dates of the trip. Letter must contain the applicant’s name and the passport number.

Warnings

Only Inside the Lebanese territory
  • Usually, the Immigration Officers at the Lebanese borders, unlike most immigration staff agents in other countries, will check all your passport papers in order to see if you have any Israeli stamps… and the government have enforced passport checking rules, which by the way are now one of the strictest worldwide. In opposite, many foreigners have 2 passports and many of them ask Israeli immigration staff officers not to stamp their passport in order to travel to Lebanon…
  • If any stamps were caught, or if you were caugh having israeli products or money with you, be prepared to be blacklisted, and forced to take the next flight to where you came from on your own expenses. Decisions on what to do with you may vary.
  • Don’t worry, lebanese people are very kind to others, but you might be put in jail for a while until your flight is here, but no one is willing to hurt you, and you won’t be treated in a bad way. To avoid such risks, you have to choose the country you want to visit more.
  • If you are caught being an Israeli citizen entering the Lebanese borders with another passport, this would be your worst day ever, because it is considered as a severe offense to the dignity of the Lebanese Republic. Lebanese authorities’ desicion may vary between prison for life, and deportation, and the first desicion is more likely to be taken. Execution in these cases are unlikely to happen, because execution is banned by the constitution.
  • So if you are any of these above mentionned persons, i would recommend you stay home and never try to go to Lebanon. Anyway, all these cases are very rare to find, because you won’t get a visa in the first place, but always be prepared for being examined and questionned if the authorities doubted in you.
  • Overstaying in Lebanon is a severe case, you might have to pay a fine of money and questionned in order to take the next flight back to your country.
  • Be aware that the lebanese immigration staff isn’t any racist against anyone!
  • Lebanon isn’t any dangerous at all! Opposite to what most websites describe it as a terrorist country! Visit it and judge by yourself.
  • You are free to dress as you want in Lebanon, for it is a ‘very democratic, secular, and civilized country’, though you might want to dress politely when visiting churches and religious places, because if not, you might be kicked out of church and therefore, be criticised by locals.
  • If you were offended by anyone, you may want to call the touristic police, that is only if you are a tourist.
  • Lebanon is known for its popular prostitution, which is very legal, and one of the most monitored worldwide and recognized by officials! Hotels and brothels are officially built especially for prostitution… Many Lebanese cities are known for their prostitution acts in public.
  • Lebanese people are very kind to foreigners, but it is recommended you do NOT get into the car of someone you find on the road, this will never help you, because you might be kidnapped.
  • It is recommended that you do not get into dangerous places like Palestinian refugee camps. And in order not get inside those places, you should get professional help (e.g. The Touristic Police or someone you are sure of).
  • If you chose driving by yourself in Lebanon, make sure you do not stray away from main roads, and get a map. Fortunately for new people to the country, Lebanon has now a GPRS agreement (since 2007, but now on a CD in your car).
  • Do not get into individual taxis, because you may get robbed, either by the driver or another passenger, so it is preferable for a foreigner (not an Arab) to get into taxis owned by well known companies. The Airport Tourism staff may be helpful in these things.
  • If your car is Diesel engine, note that Diesel engine cars are banned in Lebanon, so you may be asked to leave the car on the Syrian borders.
  • Make sure you are partly bold with people, not rude, not too kind, it is considered very gay to be kind in Lebanon (especially if you are a man) just be bold and try to speak arabic with people in the Bekaa, the South And the North of the country.
  • When visiting a Church in Lebanon, it is considered an extremely severe offense to enter without making the sign of the Cross when entering. And a very severe one to photograph the Church without praying at first. So you need to pray first, or you get kicked out.
  • Admire everything. Admire food taste, monuments and everything lebanese related, this will make Lebanese people like you.
  • Beware of stealing. Many foreigners are robbed with cold hands by organized groups in very crowded places! Always hold your purse tightly, and if you are a man, always check your wallet.
  • Do not get into demonstrations, because it may be dangerous. Many, but very few demonstrations end up in fights.
  • Do not be afraid of loud noises, because it is very common to play with fireworks in Lebanon. So it’s normal to hear such sounds.
  • If you desire to visit Syria, you can do it with your Lebanese visa, but for a period of time that does not exceed 5 days. Otherwise, you are trapped in Syria, and you might get deported without even having your passport.
  • Terrorism is taken care of in the country, and severely fought in Lebanon…

Terrorism mainly took place in 2005, but afterwards, The Lebanese people gathered to fight together terrorism. In 9 march 2011, a small explosion occurred in Antelias, killing 1 person, and injuring another, but it wasn’t anything related to terrorism.

  • Do not frequent the same night club every weekend, because you might be targeted by individuals trying to sell drugs.
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This entry was posted on Friday, November 18th, 2011 at 10:14 pm and is filed under Immigration. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.