The government of Algeria has announced plans to introduce a new electronic visa to expedite the process of obtaining travel authorization for the country.
Prime Minister Abdelaziz Djerad announced the new visa policy in front of the National People’s Assembly on February 12th, 2020, stressing his hope that an e-visa for Algeria would help to facilitate the entry of foreign tourists and business investors.
The e-visa announcement accompanied Dejerad’s presentation of an action plan outlining new measures to promote tourism in Algeria, dubbed ‘Destination Algeria’, which also involves launching a promotional campaign through various travel agencies.
The government action plan also states that the Algerian diplomatic and consular network will take responsibility for attracting foreign investment, and promoting Algeria as a tourist destination, in which the promise of an upcoming Algeria e-visa would play a big part.
Algeria has so far bypassed the large numbers of tourist arrivals experienced by other neighboring North African countries, largely because tourism did not figure in the country’s development plans. However, this is now due to change with the new government action plan and e-visa initiative.
The Algerian online visa will allow tourists to easily visit some of the many significant historical and cultural attractions in the country for the first time, including the Casbah of Algiers, Fort Santa Cruz in Oran, and the ancient Roman-Berber ruins of Timgad.
Although no set date has yet been announced for the implementation of the Algeria e-Visa, it is expected to be introduced in the very near future.
Changes to Algerian Visa Application Procedures
The upcoming visa online will replace the current system for visa applications in Algeria, which has long been considered to be unnecessarily complex and an obstacle to tourism sector development in the country.
All visitors to Algeria should check visa requirements for the country before planning their trip. At the moment, the majority of foreign citizens are required to obtain an Algerian visa in person from an embassy or consulate.
There are only 7 visa-exempt countries for Algeria, citizens of the following North and West African countries:
- Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic
Nationals of these countries, as well as resident refugees and stateless persons, are able to enter Algeria for a stay of up to 90 days for either tourism or business.
All other foreign citizens are currently required to apply for a visa from an Algerian embassy or consulate in their country of residence, supplying supporting documentation including a passport valid for 6 months from the date of entry into Algeria.
It is also necessary to present confirmation of a hotel booking or a certificate from an Algerian travel agency, as well as proof of travel insurance to cover the stay.
In order to obtain an Algerian tourist visa valid for 90 days, it is currently necessary to submit an embassy application well in advance, as it can take up to 2 weeks to receive visa approval. This process is expected to be significantly simplified once the online Algeria visa application is introduced.