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Last update 13 July 2018Diplomatic missions

Risk index

Level 5: Warning of ending all trips and immediate leaving the country

5

Select passport type

Regular passport: visa not required

Diplomatic passport: visa not required

Official passport: visa not required

Syrian Arab Republic

MFA temporarily suspended the operation of the Bulgarian diplomatic mission in the Syrian capital.

Since the spring of 2011 the situation concerning the general security in Syria has been continuously deteriorating. The Bulgarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs published on its site on 20.01.2012 an official warning to Bulgarian nationals residing in Syria to leave the country at the earliest possible opportunity with a view to the continuing destabilisation of the situation and the growing threat to their security. After the extreme degradation of the situation concerning the security, any stay in Syria will be the sole responsibility of the respective individual.

Bulgarian citizens visiting Syria or residing in the country may contact the Bulgarian embassies to the Republic of Lebanon or to the Republic of Turkey.

Embassy of the Republic of Bulgaria to the Republic of Lebanon

Ambassade de la Republique de Bulgarie
Address: BP 11 65 44 Beyrout, Hazmieh, Mar Takla, secteur 6, rue 44
Telephone: +961 5 452 883; +961 5 453 658
Fax: +961 5 452 892; +961 5 452 949
Office hours: Mon - Fri, 08.30 - 15.30 h
Office hours of the Consular section: Mon, Tue, Thu, Fri, 09.00 - 12.00 h.
E-mail: [email protected]
Website: www.mfa.bg/embassies/lebanon

Embassy of the Republic of Bulgaria in Ankara, The Republic of Turkey
Address: Atatürk Bulvarı № 124, 06680 Kavıklıdere-Çankaya, Ankara, Republic of Turkey
Telephone: +90 312 46 720 71; +90 427 5142
Fax: +90 312 468 69 56
Hours: Mon - Fri, 09.00 - 17.30 h
Visiting hours for citizens: 09.00 - 12.00 h
E-mail: [email protected]
Website: www.mfa.bg/embassies/turkey

Embassy of the Syrian Arab Republic in Sofia
Address:13A, Simeonovsko Shose Blvd., 1700 Sofia
Tеlephone: +359 2 962 45 80, 962 57 42, Fax: +359 2 962 43 14
Office hours:  from 08.30 to 15.30 h
Email: [email protected]

General information

Local currency

The local currency is the Syrian pound. The official exchange rate is: 1 US dollar equals about 99 Syrian pounds, while 1 euro equals about 132 Syrian pounds (valid at 11.07.2013). As result of the continuing instability, an illegal currency exchange market has emerged in the country, where the difference with the official exchange rate of the Central Bank of Syria exceeds 50%. It should be noted that the Syrian government is undertaking measures to stabilize the Syrian pound and the exchange of currency outside the branches of the state Syrian Commercial Bank, the branches of private banks and the licensed exchange offices. As of July 2013, the illegal trade in foreign currency is criminalized, with punishment for such activity from 3 to 20 years imprisonment.

There is a limited possibility for payment with credit cards, chiefly in the big hotels and supermarkets. ATMs function at many places in Damask and in the larger towns, from which one can draw only Syrian pounds according to the official exchange rate of the Central Bank of Syria for the day. At certain times, the ATMs do not accept foreign credit cards and work only with Syrian credit cards. Consequently, it is advisable not to rely only on funds available through credit cards in Syria.

Customs requirements

Declared import of unlimited amount of currency is allowed, however the amount upon departure from the country should not exceed the amount declared upon arrival.

The import of large-dimensioned and expensive electrical appliances is prohibited as is the import of large quantities of smaller electrical appliances, narcotic substances, weapons and ammunitions. As of July 2013, it is forbidden to export all kinds of goods, whether produced in Syria or outside Syria.

Road traffic

Those who travel by their own cars are allowed temporary import and use of their cars on Syrian territory for a period of 15 days and a charge of 100 USD for a temporary pass for the car and 30 USD for mandatory motor insurance. The cost for temporary pass for diesel-operated car is about 200 USD. 

Upon leaving Syria through land boarder, foreign nationals have to pay an exit fee amounting to 500 SYP( about 10 USD); upon departure from airport, the amount due is 1500 SYP (about 30 USD). It is highly probable that you may be not allowed with a diesel motor car in the territory of Syria.

Please make sure in advance that the term of validity of your driving license has not expired and that it is valid in Syria. It is advisable to obtain in advance an international driving license.

As result of the complex situation concerning the security in the country, a number of check points have been set up in the towns and on the interurban roads.

Healthcare

Foreigners coming from regions with incidence of yellow fever should submit a certificate for immunisation.

Those who would like to stay in Syria for more than one year should submit a certificate of negative test for HIV performed in a specialised medical facility in the district of Zablatani, Damascus.

Those travelling with pets have to provide animal health certificate in the English language, certified by the relevant authorities of the country of origin.

Travel papers and visas

For entry into the country are required a valid international passport and Syrian visa.

Attention!

The passport of the individual applying for Syrian visa should not contain ticks from visits to Israel.

Bulgarian nationals travelling to Syria (holders of ordinary, official and diplomatic passports) can get a visa at the Syrian embassy in Sofia.

Entry visas issued by the Syrian embassy in Sofia are valid for three or six months of the date of entry and may be single- or multiple-entry.

Transit visas are valid for three, six or twelve months of the date of issuance and may be single- or multiple-entry.

In the event of staying in Syria for more than 15 days, foreign nationals are obliged to apply for temporary residence permit to the Passports and Migration Directorate, MoI which in Damascus is located in Baramke District, next to the building of SANA News Agency, and for the inland – at the regional police departments.

Upon departure from the country, foreign nationals, holders of temporary residence permits, should have an exit visa issued by the same institution. Residence permit is not considered to be a permission to work.

Practical advice

  • Regardless of the secular nature of life in Syria, the religious customs and traditions should be strictly observed, since the majority of the population is Muslim.
  • Please remember that in Syria one has to comply with the local laws. During your stay there, you fall under their jurisdiction.
  • Passing through the Syrian border, one should avoid carrying things belonging to third persons.
  • It is advisable to take out health, tourist, traveling or another kind of insurance in advance.
  • In case of theft or loss of your identity papers, money, tickets for traveling, etc., you should immediately go to the nearest police office and inform them personally and in writing, asking for a copy of the protocol establishing the event.

Competitive service

Bulgarian identity documents

Embassy in Damascus accepts applications for all types of Bulgarian identity documents. In extreme situations – in case of damaged, lost or stolen passport, Bulgarian nationals can apply to the Embassy for issuance of a temporary passport for travelling.

Certification and Legalisation

On the grounds of acting bilateral mutual legal assistance treaty between the Republic of Bulgaria and Syria, documents issued by the authorised institutions in each country shall be recognised by the other country without additional legalisation.

In order to be recognised by the Bulgarian authorities, documents issued in Syria have to be duly certified by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Syria and have to be translated from the Arabic language into Bulgarian.

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