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Tuesday, July 22, 2014

VISA for YEMEN – Frequently Asked Questions: how to get it, when it can be /cannot be arranged and important things to know - Eternal Yemen is answering

We have information regarding obtaining Yemeni VISA on our website, but nonetheless, I'll write in details about getting VISA for Yemen here. The reason for this is, that it happened 3 times in the last week, that the clients asked us for arranging Yemeni visa only some days prior planned arrival, and, unfortunately, that was too late. 
IMPORTANT: the preparation of VISA takes 4-8 working days, only sometimes is faster.

Below you will find answers on some frequently asked questions regarding obtaining Yemeni visa:

Who needs VISA for Yemen?
All foreign nationals except citizens of Egypt, Jordan, and the Gulf countries are required to get entry visas.

How you can get VISA for Yemen?
There are 2 possible ways of getting visa for Yemen:

1.      From the Yemeni Embassy or Consulate in the visitor’s or neighboring country. Upon arrival, the visitor is given one month residence permit. If you get the visa like this, then you are not obliged to travel in organization of a tour operator, when in Yemen. You can travel on you own, but before moving out of Sana’a you will need to arrange your own travel permit.  

2.   Through the tour operator/travel agency in Yemen that will prepare you VISA APPROVAL at the Ministry in Yemen and upon this, you will receive VISA sticker into your passport at the airport of Sana’a or Socotra Island.
As a tour operator, at Eternal Yemen, we are allowed to issue Yemeni visa for our clients, it means for all the travelers that travel round Yemen under our organization along their entire stay in the country. We are not allowed to arrange visa for people that only want to stay in Sana’a. A visitor should do at least a short tour and during the days in Sana’a, the traveler must be accompanied by a local guide.
There can be no exception to this rule.

In which case Eternal Yemen, tour operator, cannot arrange you VISA for Yemen?
Eternal Yemen cannot arrange you visa for Yemen if:
-          your plan is to come to Sana'a and stay here for any reason (for example to study Arabic language - in that case Institute for Arabic language can arrange you visa),

-          your plan is to come to Yemen and take a short tour with our agency, while the rest of the time you plan to travel on your own by public transport etc.,

-          your plan is to come to Yemen, have a short/long tour with our agency and then to stay in the country, to obtain residence permit upon any recommendation. Nothing of this is allowed. If you enter Yemen on tourist visa, you must also leave Yemen as a tourist.

How do most of travelers to Yemen got their visa in the last 2 years ?
In the last two years, most of travelers got their visa through the tour operators/travel agencies, because basically this was the only way. Most of Yemeni embassies round the world were not issuing visas (or they issued them upon presenting invitation letter or visa approval that had been previously arranged by a travel agency in Yemen).
Some Yemeni embassies however were issuing Yemeni visas without problem: in Japan, in Australia, and in Tanzania if we mention some.

What are the conditions that tour operator Eternal Yemen arrange my VISA for Yemen?
-    You have to agree that you will travel under organization of Eternal Yemen along your entire stay in Yemen
-     All parties (a client and Eternal Yemen) have to agree on the tour program, price and that in Sana’a a client must be accompanied by a tour guide (a client should have at least a short tour, Stay in Sana’a is allowed for few days only)
-       There should be no Israeli stamp or Israeli visa in your passport
-      You should contact Eternal Yemen at least 10 days prior arrival to Yemen, or better at least 2 weeks in advance. The preparation of VISA approval takes 4-8 working days and depends on National Security process and Passport authority process (and the presence of several officials there). In case the client asks for visa less than 10 days prior planned arrival, Eternal Yemen cannot guarantee that the visa will be arranged in time.
-       You should send to Eternal Yemen a scan of your passport (in colors) by E-mail as JPEG or PDF file. If you don’t have opportunity to scan the passport, you can also send a good digital image of your passport (just take care that is not too bright or too dark). So, do not worry, you do not need to send your passport itself anywhere.

An example of scan of the passport that is needed to prepare you VISA APPROVAL at the Ministry in Yemen

HOW will I receive my VISA APPROVAL when Eternal Yemen will prepare it?
Eternal Yemen will prepare visa approval at the Ministry in Yemen in the last moth prior your arrival. Visa approval cannot be prepared earlier, because the validity of visa approval is only 30 days (if the date on your visa approval is October, 5th, you must ENTER Yemen the latest on November 2nd).

When visa approval will be prepared, Eternal Yemen will send you the scan of it by E-mail (as JPEG file or PDF file). You will print it out (black and white print is fine) and you are ready to start your journey to Yemen.

An example of VISA APPROVAL that Eternal Yemen will prepare it at the Ministry in Yemen and will be sent to you by Email.

OK, I will go to Yemen tomorrow. What I need to know regarding my visa approval for Yemen? How will be the process at the airport? Will anyone meet me at the airport?
Have you printed your VISA approval yet? If not, you have to do it now, black and white print is fine. It might be wise to take digital image of visa approval by your phone or camera, just in case you lose the printed version along your travel to Yemen.

DO NOT FORGET to keep your VISA APPROVAL next to your passport as the authorities at the airports on your way to Yemen, will want to see it – usually at check-in and at the gates (please, do not put your visa approval in the hold luggage that will travel below, in the plane…).

At arrival to Sana’a airport, you will find VISA window on your left in the first hall (do not worry that you will miss it; the hall is small and there are few windows on the left. The one for VISA is broken, you will notice it quicklyJ). You will show your passport and your copy of visa approval. The officers will already have original of visa approval that the representative of Eternal Yemen will bring it prior landing of your plane. After checking your passport (where should be no Israeli stamp or Israeli visa) and checking the visa approvals, you will receive visa sticker into your passport with the date of entering Yemen. Since that day, you are allowed to stay in Yemen for 30 days.

Then you will proceed through the passport control and in the next hall where you will collect your luggage, the representative of Eternal Yemen will meet you, take you to your driver and you will continue as per the program.

If Eternal Yemen arranges my visa approval, can I enter Yemen in Haradh (north), Salalah (from Oman), Mokha or in Aden?
No. Eternal Yemen can assist you with visa only at Sana’a airport and in Soqotra Island (clients arriving from Sharjah).

What is IMPORTANT for travelers that stay in Yemen for 2 weeks or more?
Within 14 days after entering Yemen, every visitor has to register himself at a police station. They will put a triangle stamp over your visa. Eternal Yemen staff will do this for you along your tour, but please do not refuse to hand the passport to your driver if he will ask for it to do registration for you. Somebody from Eternal Yemen will do this for you: either Abdullah that will meet you at the airport, either your driver along the tour, either our colleague in Socotra Island - depending on where you will be on working days.

In case you will stay in Yemen for more than 14 days and you will not do this registration, the passport control officials at Sana'a airport will charge you a fee of approximately 30 USD.


-        Agree with Eternal Yemen for a tour program (that cannot be only Sana’a) that you will have along your stay in Yemen

-        Send to Eternal Yemen the passport scan (in colors) by Email (as JPEG or PDF) after the agreement for the tour, or at least 2 weeks prior planned arrival

-        In last 30 days prior your arrival to Yemen, Eternal Yemen will make your visa at the Ministry in Yemen

-        Eternal Yemen will send you VISA APPROVAL that you need to print out (black and white print is fine) and you will travel with it to Yemen

-        At arrival to Sana’a airport (or Socotra airport) you will present your passport and visa approval and the real a visa sticker will be put into your passport (with validity for next 30 days from the date of entering Yemen)

-        You will proceed through the passport control and the Eternal Yemen’s representative will meet you and you will proceed as per the program

-       In case of staying in Yemen for more than 2 weeks, you have to register at police station - Eternal Yemen staff will do this for you.