Libya Travel Information

Last modified: July 25, 2023
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The information on this page covers the most common types of travel and reflects the UK government’s understanding of the rules currently in place. Unless otherwise stated, this information is for travellers using a full ‘British Citizen’ passport.

The authorities in the country or territory you’re travelling to are responsible for setting and enforcing the rules for entry. If you’re unclear about any aspect of the entry requirements, or you need further reassurance, you’ll need to contact the embassy, high commission or consulate of the country or territory you’re travelling to.

You should also consider checking with your transport provider or travel company to make sure your passport and other travel documents meet their requirements.

Visas

A Libyan visa issued overseas may not be recognised in some areas, due to the current political conflict.

Previous travel to Israel

Passports showing previous travel to Israel are not accepted for travel to Libya.

Passport validity

Your passport should be valid for the proposed duration of your stay. No additional period of validity beyond this is required.

Yellow fever certificate requirements

Check whether you need a yellow fever certificate by visiting the National Travel Health Network and Centre’s Travel Health Pro website

Registering with the Libyan authorities

All short stay visitors must register with the police within a week of arrival. This is usually arranged by the company you’re visiting or the local travel agency you’re travelling with. If you don’t register, you may be fined when you leave the country.

Safety and security

Political situation

The political situation in Libya remains fragile and the security situation remains dangerous and unpredictable.

Since April 2019 there has been a significant build-up of militarised forces across western and central Libya. Regular and heavy armed clashes took place to the south and west of Tripoli.

Reports suggest that between April 2019 and July 2020 there have been over 3,300 deaths, including over 330 civilians.

Fighting can break out anywhere without warning, including between local militia groups, and many civilians have been killed in outbreaks of conflict in residential areas.

There’s a high risk of civilians, including journalists, humanitarian and medical workers, being caught in indiscriminate gunfire or shelling, including air strikes, in all areas where there is fighting.

In May 2020 there was significant fighting in and around Tripoli, including at Mitiga Airport, and indiscriminate fire into residential areas in Tripoli including near the Italian Residence and Turkish Embassy. There were airstrikes on both Al-Watiya airbase and Abu Qrain, with reports of large quantities of mines and IEDs that have been left in Tripoli and the surrounding area by the retreating forces.

Reports of violence, protests, reprisal killings, looting and human rights abuses continue across the country. If you choose to travel to Libya against FCDO advice, you should monitor the local security situation carefully. Political events may impact on the security situation.

Humanitarian crisis

The ongoing political impasse and conflict has seriously affected public infrastructure and services, resulting in power cuts, water, fuel, food and cash shortages, absence of medicines, and high inflation.

The UN High Commission for Refugees assess that more than 1.3 million people – including internally displaced people (IDPs), as well as vulnerable Libyans, host communities, migrants, refugees and asylum-seekers – are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance.

Power outages can last for 18 hours per day in Tripoli and several days in the South and are affecting mobile phone and internet signals.

Crime

There’s a very high risk of criminal kidnap for ransom in Tripoli and coastal towns to the West of Tripoli. There’s an elevated risk of kidnap for ransom and arbitrary detention by local militias throughout Libya.

Ongoing conflict and the proliferation of armed militias has led to a rise in crime in most areas, including violent robbery, carjacking and kidnapping.

In recent years, a number of foreign nationals have been shot dead in Libya. Foreigners are also increasingly targeted for kidnappings by both criminal and extremist groups. See Terrorism

Local travel

If you travel to Libya against FCDO advice, you should regularly reassess your security arrangements and carefully plan your movements. Take security advice from competent security experts before any travel within the country. Close security protection is extremely important.

In the event of a further deterioration of the security situation, routes in and out of major cities and towns may become blocked and airports closed or inaccessible at little or no notice.

Don’t advertise your travel or other plans through social media. Avoid routine, vary your travel routes, and keep a low profile at all times.

Travel for media/journalism purposes

If you’re entering Libya as a media representative, you should get press accreditation from the relevant Libyan authorities.

Journalists, including foreign nationals, are vulnerable to mistreatment by armed groups in Libya. Intimidation, attacks, detentions and kidnapping of local journalists are a serious problem, and a number have been killed. There is a real risk of hostility from those who object to media reporting. Regular, semi-regular and irregular detention of foreign nationals occurs regularly in all parts of Libya.

Road travel

Road travel within Libya remains highly dangerous. There continues to be a risk of being caught up in outbreaks of hostilities. There’s also a high risk of carjacking and robbery. The coastal road between Zawiyah and Tripoli presents an elevated risk. There’s a risk of striking unexploded ordnance off-road.

Road traffic accidents are frequent and often result in fatalities.

All land borders into Libya are subject to closure at short notice.

Air travel

Flights to and from all airports in Libya are likely to be cancelled at short notice.

Inter-militia fighting poses significant risks to air travel in Libya. It has periodically caused the temporary suspension or closure of airports. All airports are vulnerable to attack.

  • Mitiga airport, Tripoli’s only functioning civilian airport, has been regularly shelled by artillery. An attack on 9 May 2020 involving 70 rounds caused considerable damage.
  • FCDO staff do not regularly travel by air to or from Mitiga.
  • Tripoli International Airport has been closed since July 2014, following clashes that broke out between armed groups in the area surrounding the airport. Other airports may change their flight schedule without notice.
  • Benghazi airport is currently closed.

Due to a number of ongoing safety concerns, the European Union has agreed with the Libyan authorities to continue a voluntary restriction on Libyan airlines flying into the EU. However, some Libyan airlines operate flights to the EU using aircraft leased from other airlines. The FCDO can’t offer advice on the safety of airlines. However, the International Air Transport Association publishes a list of registered airlines that have been audited and found to meet a number of operational safety standards and recommended practices. This list is not exhaustive and the absence of an airline from this list does not necessarily mean that it is unsafe.

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