Passport & Visa

First: General Instructions For The Tourists Coming To Syria:

Arab and foreign arrivals to Syria should have the following:

  • A Passport valid for a period not less than one month after the elapse of the period of the entry visa, provided that the passport is issued by a state recognized by Syria, does not carry an Israeli visa, and the name of the passport owner is not listed among those forbidden from entering Syria.
  • An entry visa or transit visa issued by the Syrian embassy or consulate in the original country of the tourist or his place of residence. Entry or transit visas are granted by Emigration and Passport Department at the border, for the subjects of foreign countries which have no diplomatic representation in Syria, and for the foreigners living permanently in Syria provided they show their residency cards.
  • The Ministry of Expatriates and Foreign Affairs and the Syrian diplomatic missions issue the following entry visas : the diplomatic, the private, the complimentary and service visas.

Entry visa: two kinds

  • Six months from the date of its issue: valid for one or many entries. Exceptionally, visas can be granted for one year.
  • Entry visa valid for three months, serves for one entry.
  • Transit visa: two kinds
  • Three months valid for one or many entries
  • Three months valid for one entry
  • could include: wife of the visitor and his underage children, provided that their names and ages are registered in the related boxes.
  • The visitor who wants to stay in the Syrian Arab Republic for over a fifteen days period from the date of his/her entry should report to the Emigration and Passport Department, or its branches in the governorates to apply for a permission of residency.
  • Permission of residency is spontaneously granted for the Arabs and foreigners born in Syria, and wives of Syrian nationals.
  • In case of missing or damaging the residency card, the owner of the card should report to the Emigration and Passport Department in Damascus or any of its branches in the governorates, within three days from the date of missing or damaging the card in order to obtain a new one.
  • Residency permission is not considered a work permit. He, who wishes to work in Syria, should get a work permit from the Ministry of Labour & Social Welfare
  • Any Arab or foreigner over fifteen years old, registered in the residency card of one of his parents, should get a new separate residency card similar to that of his parents in order to cover the remaining period of residency and to pay the required fees regardless of whether he bears a passport or not.
  • Arabs and foreigners who have special or ordinary residencies have no right to leave Syria for a period over six months.
  • Arabs and foreigners who have temporary residencies and an exit and return visa, have no right to stay outside Syria for more than three months. Lebanese citizens should report to the nearest police station within six days from their entry into Syria in order to obtain an I.D. card to facilitate their stay and movement in Syria.

Facilities And Exemptions Offered To Incoming Visitors

  • Arab nationals are allowed to enter Syria and transit through it exempted from entry or transit visas, provided that they are properly registered in the arrival and departure records. Their passports, travel documents, or entry cards (of the Lebanese nationals allowed to enter by their IDs, or civil record extracts are properly sealed upon entry and departure.
  • Entry visas are granted gratis for tourist foreigners of non registered nationalities who are coming for tourism whether singly or in groups, against letters issued and sealed by tourist offices and companies in their countries and personal passports, on the condition that they enter and depart on the responsibility of properly licensed tourist offices in Syria.
  • Citizens of all Arab states, Gulf Emirates and Sultanates, are exempted from entry and transit visas, residence permits and exit visas.
  • The following categories of visitors are exempted from duties:
  • Foreign and Arab students officially registered in one of the recognized universities.
  • Clergymen.
  • Arab and foreign advisors and contractors.
  • Journalists and correspondents of news agencies.
  • Non diplomat workers in the Arab and foreign political and consular organizations.
  • Parents, children, wife, brothers, sisters, governesses and servants of the member of diplomatic or consular mission accredited in the country.
  • Palestinian refugees and their underage children.
  • Foreigners and Arabs whom the director of Emigration and Passports Department exempt them for special considerations: courtesy, or because they are unable to pay.
  • Arab Syrian expatriates bearing foreign passports are exempted from obtaining entry visas or residency permits. Those of them who are not registered in the civil records should report to register in the Civil Register Secretariat. If they stay more than three months from the date of their entry, and if they want to depart using their foreign passports, they should obtain exit visas. Those of them under the age of military service should obtain the approval of the Conscription Department. They are allowed to enter using their foreign passports even if these passports are not sealed by the Syrian Arab missions abroad.

Customs Facilities:

  • The foreigner is allowed to bring with him gifts, personal effects, and the private articles necessary for personal use, duty free.
  • Car owners permanently residing abroad, and coming to Syria to stay for a short time, are allowed to bring in their own, or rented cars which are properly registered in the country of expatriation in conformity with a legal authorization allowing the use and driving cars outside the country of registration according to the following customs duties:
  • Duties of (US $ 40 or equivalent) levied on cars in accordance with a temporary entry card for a period of 15 days and (US $ 30 or equivalent) in return for the obligatory insurance of the car to be paid to the Syrian Insurance Company.
  • Duties of (S.L 5035 or equivalent of other foreign currencies) levied against the book granted to cars registered in the Arab countries, plus (US $ 30 or equivalent) in return for the obligatory insurance to be paid to the Syrian Insurance Company.
  • The wife or adult member of the family is allowed to bring a car or to drive it in Syria provided they meet the residency conditions outside the country.

Health Regulations:

  • Visitors coming from places infected by yellow fever should, introduce a vaccination certificate against this fever.
  • Those wishing to stay in Syria for a period exceeding one year, have to submit an AIDS free certificate.
  • The visitor who brings pets, has to submit their health certificates written in English and authenticated in his country. As for cats and dogs, a certificate of vaccination against rabies should be presented.


The Syrian Pound SYP (lira).

The bank notes are 5- 10 -25 - 50 - 100 - 200 - 500 - 1000 liras.

The coins are 1 - 2 - 5 - 10 - 25 liras.

Approx. exchange rate: 1$ = 60 SYP, 1€ = 70 SYP.



Telephone, fax, mobile (GSM), Internet systems are available.


Kilograms and metric system.


220 Volts AC, 50 Cycles, using rounded two-prong plugs.


There are international (5-star) hotels in Syria: Dama Rose, Cham chain. Numerous first and second class hotels are found throughout the country.

Chalets and camping are also available along the coastline during summer.


November thru April: GMT +2Hours.

May thru October: GMT +3Hours.


Continental in most of the country with four distinct seasons. Average temperature 37c. in summer, 10c. in winter and 22c. in spring and autumn.


Government: 8.00 to 14.00

Stores: 9.00 to 13.30 and 17.00 to 20.00 (winter) 22.00 (summer).


Friday and Saturday are the official holiday.

Tuesday is museums and castles closing day.


The official language is Arabic. Many Syrians also speak a second language, and/or  English, French, Russian, Persian and others.


Damascus, the main gateway to Syria, is connected with Europe & Asia by many international airlines. Aleppo enjoys connections to the Gulf and Europe, mainly with the national airline Syrian Air. By land, highways connect Syria with Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq and Turkey. There are seaport facilities at Lattakia and Tartous, and a new and modern marina in Lattakia.


Local and Arab newspapers and magazines are sold at many newsstands. Foreign media is found at the international hotels. Local television (2 channels + 3 satellites), broadcast some programs in French and English.


Syrian handicrafts represent a tradition of skilled workmanship and folk art that dates back many thousands of years. The most common Syrian craft items which are found in the souks (Damascus and Aleppo) and specialized shops all over Syria, include hand-woven silk brocades, embroidered table cloths, carpets, brass and copper, leather, gold and silver jewelry, inlaid furniture with mother of pearls.