August 23, 2011

On August 22, 2011, the EU Commission publicized its understanding of a formal transition of power from Revolutionary Leader Muammar Al Qaddafi’s administration to the new National Transitional Council (NTC). Companies with assignees and business visitors should stay in close contact with their employees to ensure their safety and closely monitor NTC announcements regarding policy for foreign nationals physically present in Libya.

What’s Changed?

On Sunday, August 21, rebel soldiers, along with the help of North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) forces, made strong advances to seize control of the capital city of Tripoli and arrested members of Al Qaddafi’s immediate family. Muammar Al Qaddafi still remains at large. Various governments around the world are now calling for recognition of the NTC as the Libyan government’s official voice.

According to news reports, NTC members are meeting to discuss national security issues to include administering border control and immigration policy.  It is reported that the Libyan Consulate in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE) has re-opened with NTC-appointed ambassador, Dr. Aref Ali Nayed, stating his interest in the UAE and other supportive countries (e.g., France, United Kingdom and U.S.) having an advisory role in devising a new, national immigration policy.

As the current political situation is Libya is extremely tenuous, at best, policies may change with little to no advance notice. Therefore, final immigration protocols and requirements may take considerable time to implement and enforce.

ACTION ITEMS FOR EMPLOYERS

Beginning this week, the Embassy of Libya in Washington, D.C. is scheduled to move its consular section to a new location.  Inquiries for entry visa information are generally being deferred until after the Labor Day holiday and until the Libyan Ambassador to the U.S. has opportunity to discuss transitional immigration policy with the NTC and U.S. State Department officials.

Business Visitors: Clients wishing to send employees to Libya to ascertain potential business opportunities are advised that applications for entry visas will more than likely require special invitation measures and possible lengthy processing times.  Clients are also advised to monitor the U.S. State Department’s website for updated travel warnings: http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/tw/tw_5529.html

Assignees in Libya: The U.S. State Department has suspended all non-emergency services to U.S. citizens: http://libya.usembassy.gov/service.html. Clients with assignees in Libya can contact the State Department’s Bureau of Consular Affairs at 1-877-407-4747 (in the U.S.) or 1-202-501-4444 (if outside the U.S. or Canada), or can send an e-mail to LibyaEmergencyUSC@state.gov.  For true emergencies, the U.S. citizens can contact the Hungarian Embassy in Tripoli at the following:

Hungarian Embassy- located on Talha Ben Abdallah Street in the Ben Ashur region of Tripoli. The telephone number is 218 21 361-82-18, or 361-82-19. The fax number is 218 21 361-82-20 or 361-37-95. Email contact is available at mission.tpi@mfa.gov.hu or LGalli@mfa.gov.hu.

Caveat Lector | Warning to Reader 

This content is provided for general information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice or final guidance for any immigration matter. Readers are reminded that a country’s immigration laws and requirements may change with little to no advance public notice. Questions regarding specific immigration matters should be addressed to your Pro-Link GLOBAL specialist.