Libya

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade continues to advise strongly against any travel to Libya at this time.   

The situation in the east of the country including Benghazi remains particularly dangerous and volatile. 

In addition we would draw attention to increased violence in Tripoli in recent weeks.  On the evening of 7th November 2013 there was heavy and indiscriminate gunfire in the centre of Tripoli, due to fighting between rival militia groups.   Many buildings were hit by gunfire including the Radisson Hotel, often used by foreign nationals.  There was at least one casualty and there is serious potential for further violence.

Irish citizens either visiting or residing in Libya are strongly advised to register their details with the Embassy of Ireland in Rome. Please click here to do so.

Summary

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade continues to strongly advise against any travel to Libya at this time.  

We advise all Irish citizens already in Libya to take extra precautions and to continue to avoid political gatherings and demonstrations.   Follow local news reports and be alert to developments in Libya and elsewhere in North Africa and the Middle East that might trigger public disturbances.

In particular we would draw attention to increased violence in Tripoli in recent weeks.  On the evening of 7th November 2013 there was heavy and indiscriminate gunfire in the centre of Tripoli, due to fighting between rival militia groups.   Many buildings were hit by gunfire including the Radisson Hotel, often used by foreign nationals.  There was at least one casualty and there is serious potential for further violence.

Vital services including health and security services remain restricted across the country. There is a significant crime problem, with a particular risk of carjacking or kidnapping.   Road access to Libya should only be undertaken if unavoidable and with caution.

The Department reminds all Irish citizens living or travelling in Libya of the importance of registering their details with the Department of Foreign Affairs or directly with the Embassy of Ireland in Rome who are responsible for Libya.

Irish citizens concerned about the situation in Libya may contact the Consular Section at the Department of Foreign Affairs on 01-4082000.

Safety and Security

Irish citizens in Libya are advised to exercise caution, avoid all demonstrations and public gatherings, and remain vigilant at all times.

Violent clashes between armed groups are possible across the country, particularly at night, and even in those places that have previously avoided conflict.

Keep a low profile and try to limit travelling around as much as possible, particularly at night, as there is a high threat from crime


Local Laws and Customs

Local laws reflect the fact that Libya is a Muslim country.   You should respect local customs and sensitivities, especially during the holy month of Ramadan.  You are advised to dress conservatively at all times, covering arms, shoulders and legs.

Please be aware that the sale and consumption of alcohol is against the law. Stern penalties are imposed for the possession or use of alcohol. You should on no account attempt to bring alcohol into the country.

Penalties for drug offences are severe and include the death penalty or life imprisonment.

Severe penalties are imposed for criticizing the country, its leadership or religion.

Homosexuality is considered a criminal offence in Libya. Sexual relations outside marriage are also punishable by law.

Photography close to military or official personnel or sites is illegal and may result in arrest or detention.

Libya is a cash based society.   Credit cards are not widely used and there are few reliable ATMs. Traveller’s cheques are not accepted.

The working week is from Sunday to Thursday.


Additional Country Info

Irish citizens require a visa for travel to Libya. You should contact the nearest Libyan Embassy regarding visa requirements.

Libya has introduced a requirement for all passports to contain an Arabic translation of the personal details page. The Passport Office and some Irish missions can provide a template in Arabic to which your personal details can be added by a translator. The translator should place his/her seal on the translation. Translations must be placed in the passport; a separate document will not be accepted. Please make contact with the Passport Office or the nearest Irish Embassy for further information.

Passports must be valid for at least six months beyond the date of the intended departure and should not bear an Israeli visa or border stamp.

All tourist visitors (regardless of age) are required to have a minimum amount of foreign currency, equivalent to 1000 US Dollars, in their possession on entry to the country.   Visitors who do not have sufficient funds may be deported and the airline who carried them may be fined.   Passengers may be required to prove that they meet this requirement to an Immigration Officer on arrival in Libya. Some visitors who are travelling for purposes other than tourism are exempted from this requirement; you should contact the nearest Libyan Embassy for further details.

Visitors are required to carry identification documents at all times.

All tourists and short stay visitors must register their passports with the police within one week of arrival. If you are travelling with a tour group or travel agent this is normally arranged for you. Failure to comply with this requirement may lead to you being fined when you come to leave the country.  

The Irish Embassy in Rome is accredited to Libya. For contact details, please click here       (Opens in new window)

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We encourage citizens travelling to this destination to register their contact details here
 Libya

Security Status

  1. Take normal precautions
  2. Exercise caution
  3. Exercise extreme caution
  4. Avoid non-essential travel
  5. Do not travel