Sudan, or the Republic of Sudan (not to be confused with the world’s youngest nation, South Sudan) has a tricky visa procedure. But worry not; with this guide on how to get a visa for Sudan you’ll be ready to visit the true land of pyramids in no time!
In fact, 2018 is a great year to plan a visit to Sudan as the visa policies of the country have been simplified a great deal. Travellers who have been to Sudan before this year will tell you stories of weird embassies, compulsory registrations and travel permits. Most of this is a thing of the past now! The embassies are more efficient than ever, the registration process has been simplified and the travel permits are no longer with us! There are still some things you need to know:
Do you need a visa?
While some countries of Africa or the Middle-East can get in visa-free, or at least with a visa on arrival, most of us still need to pay a visit to the nearest embassy. That is, unless you can score a letter of authorization through the Sudanese government (if you are well-connected enough). We should also add that, sadly, Israeli passport holders and holders of non-diplomatic Bangladeshi passports are barred from visiting Sudan at the time being.
You can check this page to find out what’s your situation.
Time and cost
The process of getting a visa through an embassy is neither long nor complicated. The only problem is that it varies in time required and price from one embassy to the other. For most embassies outside of Africa, it will take 5 days and cost 100 USD to get a Sudanese visa issued. On the other end, embassies in Nairobi, Addis Ababa and Cairo can usually issue a visa within 24 hours, sometimes even on the spot. Prices go from $50 to $150 USD, so we advise you to bring 100 USD in small notes so you are ready for any eventuality. For example, the last time we check, Washington DC charged $150 but the consulate in Praetoria, South America, charged $50.
The best time to go to the Sudanese embassies is on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays at opening time. Some embassies – or at least their visa department – are closed on the other days, and you want to be there early to have time to fix any minor issues.
Another well-kept secret: for a near visa-on-arrival experience, go to the Consulate of the Sudanese Republic in Aswan. Located a few hundred kilometres from the Egyptian-Sudanese border, this consulate can often issue visas on the spot, meaning you can cross into Sudan the next day! Please note that US citizens need permission from the US embassy in Egypt to apply at the Aswan Consulate.
Visa on arrival
Is visa on arrival possible? Well, if you book a tour and fly in, it can indeed be arranged! For an extra €50, YPT can process a letter of invitation for you.
With this letter of invitation in hand, you simply need to take your flight to Khartoum, land at the airport and show the letter on arrival. Then, you will be asked for $100 USD for the visa fee and the sticker will be put in your passport right away. This is a great solution for those who are already on the road or can’t find the time to visit an embassy.
Again, it varies from one embassy to the other but here is the official YPT better-safe-than-sorry list of all things a Sudanese embassy might ask for when applying for a visa:
- Your original passport (no way around that one…)
- A copy of your passport photo page
- A copy of the visa you’re currently on (when in a country outside your country of residence or a country that is visa-free for you)
- 2 recent passport sized photos of you
- A letter of invitation (some embassies require one, some don’t. In any case, we’ll provide one for any YPT tour to Sudan).
- 100 USD in tens as the embassy might not have change
You are good to go and apply for a visa. But you’ll have to do one more thing once you’re in the country to be truly legal…
One last step, registration!
Once you get to Sudan, you will be given a registration form. Make sure you fill it out and keep it. You will need to bring this document with your passport to any police station within 3 days after entering. Different stations have different fees and the efficiency of the clerks vary, but the ones in Khartoum and Wadi Haifa have the best reputation. It is also now possible to register at any point of entry, so you are done with it the moment you’re in.
However, if you come on a tour with YPT, you needn’t worry as our local guide will collect your passport and take care of this for us. The registration fee is also included in our price!