Aug 23, 2009

How to Get Your Passport Translated Into Arabic For Libya Travel

For those looking to travel into Libya, one of the requirements is to have your passport translated into Arabic. For most people, the question is how! Where can one get their passport translated? How long does it take? What are the requirements?

Recently I began to research how travelers can have their passports translated into Arabic. After talking with friends, clients, and other travelers, I have found a few different methods of translation that have worked for those traveling to Libya.

Embassy Translation

Probably the best place to start is to contact your embassy. One of my friends, living in a foreign county, visited their consulate and after some time, they were able to give him a translation needed to enter Libya. However, last month some other clients walked into their consulates and were told that there was no one who spoke Arabic and therefore, they were unable to do the necessary translation. So what is the solution in these cases?

Authorized Government Translation

After talking with the Libyan Consulate, they advised that we find an authorized government translator to do the translation on a small piece of paper and stick it in the passport with a staple. My first thought was, "Is this legal...are we allowed to staple the paper into the passport?" However, since the clients did not have any other choice, we had a local translator do the translation and stamp it with the official translation stamp. We then stapled or glued this into the passport and they were welcomed without any problem into Libya.

Consulate Authorized Translation

Two weeks ago I spoke to a friend who traveled into Libya with some European friends. He told me that these Europeans went into their embassy and were told that they could go to one of their certified translators (not in the embassy) and then return back for their official stamp. These travelers followed these instructions and were welcomed into Libya without any problems.

American Passport Translation

My sister recently wanted to get her passport translated into Arabic while she was still in the United States. Where can you get your passport translated in the states? According to her research, she found that the Arab Chamber of Commerce in Washington was one of recognized translators for those wishing to enter Libya. In faith, she sent her passport and the following items to the National US - Arab Chamber of Commerce and received her translation in 10 days.

Items needed to send:

• Passport

• Copy of 1st page of passport

• Pre-paid addressed envelope to return passport to self

• A note requesting Arabic translation of passport

• Money order or company check for $40 payable to "NUSACC"

You must then mail the above to:

National US - Arab Chamber of Commerce

1023 15th St. N.W.

Suite 400

Washington, D.C. 20005

My sister told me that the turnaround time was 10 days total from day she sent off her passport to the day she received back in the mail. From her research, if one needs the translation sooner than that, they can send a money order for $100 and it will come back a few days earlier. The $40 is for a 3 day translation time, the $100 is for a 1 day translation time.

At this point in time, it seems that as long as you have some sort of official Arabic translation in your passport, it will be accepted by those at the passport control. Remember, you still need to have the business visa or tourist visa before arriving in Libya as these are not yet sold in the airport.

Jeff Wilson currently works with Experience It! Tours offering tours to Morocco and travel to Libya.

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