Libya, I’m just sayin’

I’m getting closer to getting into Libya – try to keep me out. I’m going to see Leptis Magna, among many other fabulous sites.

Travel in Libya, Visas for Americans to Libya, off-the-beaten-path travel, travel planning, North Africa travel, Leptis Magna ruins

It appears that Americans have moved back up the “like” chain. Although after reading though many travel sites to confirm the recent lifting of VISA restrictions for Americans, the general consensus appears to be: Get in quick before they [Libya] change their mind!

USA Today’s analysis: Maybe.

“…experience with the Libyan visa system leads us to believe that there is a high risk that your visa may not be approved and that you will find this out only at the last moment.”

The New York Times reported: Definitely.

“In the case of the visas, the change that resulted in the new policy was based on a real change,” (the United States Embassy opened a visa office in Libya last year for the first time since 1980).

The US State Department website has not caught up with the news. Its most recent update is from April 2009. The Libyan Consulate in Washington DC is even worse with no update since 2007 for Americans wishing to travel there. The boilerplate copy reads:

“Please do not make unchangeable travel plans until you have your visa/passport in hand. We are not responsible for delays in processing visas and passports. Although we will make every effort to processes your applications in a timely manner, no time guarantee can be given.”

Hmmm. I think it’s best to read between the lines for all of these reports. From Travel Weekly: “…loosened tourist visa procedures for most nationalities…” Most, but not all. I’m not seeing this as a lock for Americans.

Just in case you’re ready to go now (and you have the required flexibility) here’s the VISA app. And I don’t even want to inquire about the file name of the download. Bettawfeeq!

Images: Left – gorgon head sculpture in the the Severii Forum of Leptis Magna, and top rightthe ancient desert town of Ghadames, © Luca Galuzzi. Lower right – Libyan Desert, © Roberdan. All images from Wikimedia Commons are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 Generic license.

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