Security Alert
May 17, 2024

Worldwide Caution

May 10, 2024

Information for U.S. Citizens in the Middle East

International Travel


Learn About Your Destination


Do not travel to Libya due to crime, terrorism, civil unrest, kidnapping, and armed conflict.

Reissued with obsolete COVID-19 page links removed.

Do not travel to Libya due to crime, terrorism, civil unrest, kidnapping, and armed conflict.

Country Summary: Crime levels in Libya remain high, including the threat of kidnapping for ransom. Westerners and U.S. citizens have been targets of these crimes.

Terrorist groups continue plotting attacks in Libya. Violent extremist activity in Libya remains high, and extremist groups have made threats against U.S. government officials and citizens. Terrorists may attack with little or no warning, targeting tourist locations, hotels, transportation hubs, markets/shopping malls, and government facilities.

Outbreaks of violence between competing armed groups can occur with little warning and have the potential to impact U.S. citizens. The capital, Tripoli, and other cities, such as Surman, Al-Jufra, Misrata, Ajdabiya, Benghazi, Sabha, and Dernah, have witnessed fighting among armed groups, as well as terrorist attacks. Hotels and airports frequented by Westerners have been the targets of these attacks. Even demonstrations intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational and escalate into violence.

Militia or armed groups sometimes detain travelers for arbitrary reasons, do not grant detainees access to a lawyer or a legal process, and do not allow detainees to inform others of their status. U.S. citizens should carry proof of citizenship and valid immigration status at all times, but having these documents does not guarantee fair treatment.

Some international and national airports are closed, and flights out of operational airports are sporadic and may be cancelled without warning. The U.S. government is very concerned about the targeting of commercial transportation in Libya and prohibits U.S. commercial aviation operations within Libyan airspace.

The U.S. government is unable to provide emergency or routine assistance to U.S. citizens in Libya, as the U.S. Embassy in Tripoli suspended its operations in July 2014.

Due to risks to civil aviation operating within or in the vicinity of Libya, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has issued a Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) and/or a Special Federal Aviation Regulation (SFAR). For more information U.S. citizens should consult the Federal Aviation Administration’s Prohibitions, Restrictions and Notices.

Read the country information page for additional information on travel to Libya.

If you decide to travel to Libya:

  • Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas.
  • Carry proof of citizenship and valid immigration status at all times.
  • Avoid demonstrations and crowds.
  • Make contingency plans to leave.
  • Draft a will and designate appropriate insurance beneficiaries and/or a power of attorney.
  • Discuss a plan with loved ones regarding care/custody of children, pets, property, belongings, non-liquid assets (collections, artwork, etc.), funeral wishes, etcetera.
  • Establish your own personal security plan in coordination with your employer or host organization, or consider consulting with a professional security organization.
  • Develop a communication plan with family and/or your employer or host organization.
  • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
  • Review the Country Security Report for Libya.
  • Follow the Department of State on Facebook and Twitter.
  • Visit the CDC page for the latest Travel Health Information related to your travel.
  • U.S. citizens who travel abroad should always have a contingency plan for emergency situations. Review the Traveler’s Checklist.

Embassy Messages


Quick Facts


Valid at time of entry


One page per entry stamp






The import of local currency for both residents and non-residents is prohibited.


The export of local currency for both residents and non-residents is prohibited.

Embassies and Consulates

U.S. Embassy Tunis

North East Zone
Les Berges du Lac
1053 Tunis, Tunisia
Telephone Outside of Office Hours, from Libya (WhatsApp calling enabled):
+216 29 980 978
Telephone:+(216) 71-107-000, press 0 and ask for the Libya Office consular officer.
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(216) 58 575 409
Fax: +(216) 71-964-360

There is currently no U.S. Embassy in Libya.  Questions may be addressed to the Libya External Office located in Tunis.

Inquiries regarding U.S. citizens in Libya may be directed to the Department of State’s Office of Overseas Citizens Services.  Callers in the United States and Canada may dial the toll-free number 1-888-407-4747.  Callers outside the United States and Canada may dial 1-202-501-4444.

Destination Description

See the Department of State’s Fact Sheet on Libya for information on U.S.-Libya relations.

Entry, Exit and Visa Requirements

Passports and Visas:

  • Passports and visas are required for all U.S. citizens traveling to Libya.
  • Contact the Libyan Embassy in Washington, D.C. for information on visa application procedures.
  • The Government of Libya does not allow persons with passports bearing an Israeli visa or entry/exit stamps from Israel to enter Libya.
  • All visa applications are vetted by Libyan authorities and are only issued by the appropriate Libyan Embassy upon receipt of approval by the Libyan Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
  • Visas for U.S. passport holders are not available at the port of entry.
  • Do not use a tourist visa to enter Libya for business purposes, or you risk arrest.
  • U.S. citizens should apply for Libyan visas in the place they are resident.

Business Visas: You must obtain an invitation from or sponsorship by a company operating in Libya. U.S. citizens who apply for Libyan business visas often experience significant delays, regularly waiting several weeks or months for their visas.

Dual Citizens: U.S.-Libyan citizens need valid passports from both countries.

U.S. citizens must enter and exit the United States using their U.S. passport, and Libya requires Libyan citizens to use their Libyan passports when entering and exiting Libya.

Entry/Exit Requirements:

  • Libya’s land borders with Egypt and Tunisia are subject to periodic closures. Short-term closures of other land borders may occur with little notice.
  • Within three days of arrival in Libya, visitors must register at the police station closest to where they are residing.
  • Some HIV/AIDS entry restrictions exist for visitors to and foreign residents of Libya. Please verify this information with the before you travel.

Find information on dual nationality, prevention of international child abduction and customs regulations on our websites. 

Safety and Security

Terrorism:  Terrorist groups and those inspired by such organizations are intent on attacking U.S. citizens abroad.  Terrorists are increasingly using less sophisticated methods of attack – including knives, firearms, and vehicles – to more effectively target crowds.  Frequently, their aim is unprotected or vulnerable targets, such as:

  • High-profile public events (sporting contests, political rallies, demonstrations, holiday events, celebratory gatherings, etc.)
  • Hotels, clubs, and restaurants frequented by tourists
  • Places of worship
  • Schools
  • Parks
  • Shopping malls and markets
  • Public transportation systems (including subways, buses, trains, and scheduled commercial flights)

The following groups, which are on the U.S. government’s list of designated Foreign Terrorist Organizations, pose a high risk to U.S. citizens in the region:

  • The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS)-Libya
  • Al-Qa’ida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM)

Terrorist attacks have occurred in Libya and the surrounding region. Extremists have kidnapped foreigners.

For more information, see our Terrorism page.


  • Crime levels and the threat of kidnapping throughout the country remain high.
  • Crimes of opportunity are commonplace, particularly against people who appear to be wealthy or of foreign nationality.

Political Violence:

Clashes among armed groups, including government-aligned forces, occur periodically throughout the country, including Tripoli, other urban areas.

Demonstrations occur frequently.  They may take place in response to political or economic issues, on politically significant holidays, and during international events. 

  • Demonstrations can be unpredictable, avoid areas around protests and demonstrations. 
  • Past demonstrations have turned violent.
  • Check local media for updates and traffic advisories.

International Financial Scams: Internet romance and financial scams are prevalent in Libya. Scams are often initiated through Internet postings/profiles or by unsolicited emails and letters. Most scammers pose as U.S. citizens who have no one else to turn to for help. For more information on international financial scams, see our page on Protecting Yourself  from Scams  and the FBI pages.

Technology Usage Abroad: Mobile Devices are vulnerable to compromise, theft, and physical damage anywhere in the world. Best practices prior to traveling abroad are keeping all software (operating system and apps) updated and use virtual private network and encrypted voice over IP (VoIP) applications if possible. Make sure that all VPN/VoIP are reputable, and U.S. based. Do not connect to unknown open Wi-Fi.

GPS Navigation Apps are helpful in getting U.S. citizens around in a foreign country. Prior to using the GPS app make sure you research the route to make sure it is safe. GPS navigation app may give you the shortest route without safety consideration.

Be cautious of using dating apps/online dating websites abroad as U.S. citizens can be targeted by scammers. Make sure to inform your friends and family of your whereabouts, meet at a well-known public location, and do not consume suspicious food or drinks. Avoid traveling alone to bars or nightclubs.

Victims of Crime: U.S. citizen victims of sexual assault are encouraged to contact the U.S. Embassy in Tunis for assistance. Victims of sexual assault have little recourse in Libya, and women who report sexual crimes may be accused of adultery and are at risk of further violence against them if they are unable to prove that a crime occurred under a high standard of proof in the Libyan judicial system.

Victims may wish to report crimes to the local police station closest to where they are residing and contact the U.S. Embassy at +(216) 71-107-000, or +216 29 980 978 for WhatsApp calling capabilities. Remember that local authorities are responsible for investigating and prosecuting crime.

See our webpage on help for U.S. victims of crime overseas.

We can:

  • Help you find appropriate medical care
  • Assist you in reporting a crime to the police
  • Contact relatives or friends with your written consent
  • Provide general information regarding the victim’s role during the local
  • investigation and following its conclusion.
  • Provide a list of local attorneys. We do not endorse or recommend any
  • specific attorneys.
  • Provide information on victim’s compensation programs in the U.S.
  • Provide an emergency loan for repatriation to the United States and/or
  • limited medical support in cases of destitution.
  • Help you find accommodation and arrange flights home
  • Replace a stolen or lost passport

Domestic Violence: Libya does not have any laws prohibiting or criminalizing domestic violence. U.S. citizen victims of domestic violence may contact the  U.S. Embassy in Tunis for assistance.

Tourism: No formal tourism industry infrastructure is in place in Libya.  Tourists participate in activities at their own risk.  Emergency response and subsequent appropriate medical treatment is not available in-country, except in Tripoli.  U.S. citizens are encouraged to purchase medical evacuation insurance, and contact the U.S. Embassy in Tunis for emergency assistance.  See our webpage for more information on insurance providers for overseas coverage.

Local Laws & Special Circumstances

Criminal Penalties: You are subject to local laws. If you violate local laws, even unknowingly, you may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned.  Individuals establishing a business or practicing a profession that requires additional permits or licensing should seek information from the competent local authorities, prior to practicing or operating a business.

In Libya:

  • You may be detained for questioning if you do not have your passport with you.
  • It is illegal to take pictures of certain buildings, especially military and government facilities.
  • Penalties for possessing, using, or trafficking in illegal drugs are severe, and convicted offenders can expect long jail sentences and heavy fines.
  • Driving under the influence can result in immediate detention. Alcohol is also prohibited, and possessing, using, or trafficking in alcohol can carry severe penalties.
  • Customs authorities enforce strict regulations concerning the introduction into Libya or removal from Libya of firearms, religious materials, antiquities, medications, and currency.
  • The importation and consumption of alcohol, pornography, and pork products are illegal.


Furthermore, certain acts of U.S. citizens overseas are prosecutable as crimes in the United States even if they are not illegal under the local law..  For examples, see our website on crimes against minors abroad and the Department of Justice website.

Arrest Notification: If you are arrested or detained, ask for police or prison officials to notify the U.S. Embassy in Tunis immediately. See our webpage for further information.

If you are detained in Libya, the Department of State may not be notified of your detention, and Department of State officials cannot visit you, due to security reasons throughout the country and the suspended operating status of the U.S. Embassy in Libya.  Since most law enforcement is currently performed by militias, there are few clear legal processes.  During your detention, you may not be provided with basic toiletries or appropriate nutrition.

Counterfeit and Pirated Goods: Although counterfeit and pirated goods are prevalent in many countries, they may be illegal according to the local laws. Counterfeit and pirated goods also may pose significant risks to consumer health and safety. You may be subject to fines and/or have to give up counterfeit and pirated goods if you bring them back to the United States. See the U.S. Customs and Border Protection website and U.S. Department of Justice website for more information.

Dual Nationality:

  • U.S. citizens of Libyan origin may also be subject to laws that impose special obligations on Libyan citizens.
  • The Government of Libya considers all children born to Libyan fathers to be Libyan citizens, even if they were not issued a Libyan birth certificate or a Libyan passport.
  • Dual Libyan-American nationals may not enter or leave Libya on their U.S. passports and must obtain a Libyan travel document before traveling to Libya.
  • Persons with dual nationality who travel to Libya on their Libyan passports are normally treated as Libyan citizens by the local government.
  • The U.S. Department of State’s ability to provide U.S. consular assistance to those traveling on Libyan passports is extremely limited.
  • For additional information, please see our information on dual nationality.

Faith-Based Travelers: Proselytizing is illegal in Libya. Penalties are severe. In addition to possibly facing the death penalty, proselytizers may be the target of extra-judicial killings.

See the following webpages for details:

LGBTQI+ Travelers: Same-sex sexual relations are criminalized in Libya, and discrimination against LGBTQI+ individuals is codified in some local laws. Penalties include fines or jail time.  There have been reports of physical violence, harassment, and blackmail based on sexual orientation and gender identity. There have been reports of armed groups detaining individuals suspected of belonging to the LGBTQI+ community.

See our LGBTQI+ Travel Information page and section 6 of our Human Rights Report for further details.

Travelers with Disabilities:  The Libyan Constitutional Declaration  does not explicitly prohibit discrimination against persons with “special needs.”  However, Libyan law describes the provision of financial and other social assistance to protect disabled persons with respect to employment, education, access to health care, and provision of other government services.  Social acceptance of persons with disabilities in public is not as prevalent as in the United States. Expect accessibility to be limited in public transportation, lodging, communication/information, and general infrastructure.

Students: See our Students Abroad page and FBI travel tips.

Women Travelers:

Women and girls in Libya, particularly those with relatives of Libyan origin, as well as other Western travelers, are at increased risk of forced marriage, abduction, and kidnapping in Libya.

Women travelling alone or with children, including Westerners and U.S. citizens, have been stopped, questioned, or harassed by authorities for travelling without a male guardian throughout Libya or when attempting to exit the country.  Male guardianship is not mandatory under current Libyan law, but Libyan authorities frequently require it.  Women and men travelling together may be asked to provide a marriage certificate to verify their relationship.

Even when accompanied by a male guardian, women have been intimidated, threatened, and detained by armed militias, extremists, or other individuals for “un-Islamic” behavior.  Women are expected to wear clothing that meets strict modesty standards and may be stopped or harassed if they are dressed in a manner that is deemed immodest.  Women and girls who have been detained in Libya also report being victims of acts of sexual violence inflicted by authorities and/or militia members.

Victims of sexual assault have little recourse in Libya, and women who report sexual crimes may be accused of adultery and are at risk of further violence against them if they are unable to prove that a crime occurred under a high standard of proof in the Libyan judicial system.

Find more information about the specific risks that women face in Libya through our Libya Travel Advisory, the Country Security Report, and see our travel tips for women travelers.

See our travel tips for Women Travelers.


For emergency services in Libya, dial 1515.

Ambulance services are:

  • Not equipped with state-of-the-art medical equipment
  • Not present throughout the country or are unreliable in most areas except Tripoli. Even in Tripoli, ambulances are notwidely available and training and availability of emergency responders may be below U.S. standards.

Injured or seriously ill travelers may prefer to take a taxi or private vehicle to the nearest major hospital rather than wait for an ambulance.

Health Facilities:

  • Adequate health facilities are available in Tripoli but health care in rural areas may be below U.S. standards.
  • Public medical clinics lack basic resources and supplies.

We highly recommend that all travelers review the U.S. Centers for Disease

Control and Prevention’s entire Travelers’ Health webpage and general Traveler Advice for Libya.

  • Select your destination in the Travelers’ Health webpage.Review all sub-sections including the Travel Health Notices, Vaccines and Medicines, Non-Vaccine-Preventable Diseases, Stay Healthy and Safe, Healthy Travel Packing List, and After Your Trip.
  • Review the Traveler Advice webpage that provides advice on medical considerations including:
    • Reasons for Travel (for example: Adventure Travel, Spring Break Travel)
    • Travelers with Special Considerations (for example: Allergies, Long-Term Travelers and Expatriates)
    • and General Tips (for example: Traveling with Medications, Travel Vaccines)

The Department of State does not pay medical bills.  Be aware that U.S. Medicare/Medicaid does not apply overseas.  Most hospitals and doctors overseas do not accept U.S. health insurance.

Medical Insurance: Make sure your health insurance plan provides coverage overseas.  Most care providers overseas only accept cash payments.  See our webpage for more information on insurance providers for overseas coverage.  Visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for more information on type of insurance you should consider before you travel overseas.

The Department strongly recommends supplemental insurance to cover medical evacuation.

Always carry your prescription medication in original packaging, along with your doctor’s prescription.  Check with the Embassy of Libya to ensure the medication is legal in Libya.

Vaccinations: Be up to date on all vaccinations recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Further health information:

Air Quality: Visit AirNow Department of State for information on air quality at U.S. Embassies and Consulates.

The U.S. Embassy maintains a list of doctors and hospitals here. We do not endorse or recommend any specific medical provider or clinic.

Travel and Transportation

Road Conditions and Safety:   Roadside assistance is extremely limited and offered only in Arabic. Wind-blown sand can reduce visibility without warning. During rainstorms, roads will flood. Very few streets are marked or have signage, and highway signs are normally only in Arabic. Paved roads in rural areas are satisfactory; however, many rural roads are unpaved.

Traffic Laws: There is a high accident rate and traffic laws are rarely enforced.

Public Transportation: Public transportation is limited.  Taxis are available, but taxi drivers may be reckless and untrained.  English-speaking drivers are extremely rare.

See our Road Safety page for more information.

Aviation Safety Oversight:

While there are operational international airports in Libya with regular domestic and international flights, flights are often delayed, rerouted, and cancelled without warning.  As there is no direct commercial air service to the United States by carriers registered in Libya, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has not assessed the government of Libya’s Civil Aviation Authority for compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards.  Further information may be found on the FAA’s safety assessment page.

The FAA has issued a Special Federal Aviation Regulation (SFAR) which prohibits U.S. civil aviation from flying into or over Libya.  Further information may be found on the FAA’s Prohibitions, Restrictions, and Notices webpage.

Maritime Travel: Mariners planning travel to Libya should also check for U.S. maritime advisories and alerts at: Information may also be posted to the U.S. Coast Guard homeport website, and the NGA broadcast warnings website. Navigational warnings can be found under the “Current Warnings” section for the applicable NAVAREA from within the NGA site. Navigational warnings can be found under the “Current Warnings” section for the applicable NAVAREA from within the NGA site.

Port Security: The Commandant of the Coast Guard has determined that effective anti-terrorism measures are not in place in Libyan ports and has imposed conditions of entry on vessels that arrive in U.S. ports having visited ports in Libya.  Mariners and passengers on commercial vessels traveling through the ports of Libya should exercise increased caution.

For additional travel information

International Parental Child Abduction

Review information about International Parental Child Abduction in Libya. For additional IPCA-related information, please see the International Child Abduction Prevention and Return Act (ICAPRA) report.

Last Updated: March 28, 2024

Travel Advisory Levels

Assistance for U.S. Citizens

U.S. Embassy Tunis
North East Zone
Les Berges du Lac
1053 Tunis, Tunisia
+(216) 71-107-000, press 0 and ask for the Libya Office consular officer.
+216 29 980 978 (WhatsApp Calling Enabled)
+(216) 71-964-360

Libya Map