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Somaliland Visa on Arrival / from Djibouti, Dec 2023

Tim
Nijmegen, The...
1 post
Somaliland Visa on Arrival / from Djibouti, Dec 2023

Apparently, VOA is NOT available if crossing OVERLAND from Djibouti to Somaliland.

I spent some days in Djibouti as a tourist, and decided to go WITHOUT a pre-arranged visa to Somaliland by private car. I was certain that I could get a Visa On Arrival on the border, because it's stated clearly on the official SL Immigration website:

http://www.slimmigration.com/visa-section/

On this webpage, there is also a scan of some decree, with a stamp and a signature of an official, stating that "travelers from certain countries ... (including "Europian Contries (sic!)", among some others) will be able to obtain an entry visa on arrival at all Somaliland Ports of entry". As I found out later, THIS IS FALSE.

I arranged a car from Djibouti to Hargeisa, and arrived to the DJ / SL border, but the Djiboutian immigration officer DID NOT LET ME THROUGH, explaining that VOAs are NOT issued, and that I should get a visa in SL Consulate in Djibouti.

After showing him the SL Immigration paper above (which is from 2019), he said: "it was in 2019, now it's 2023, rules have changed".

I returned to Djibouti, and next day went to SL consulate.

The entrance is located at: 11.60687791, 43.15596845

(just to make it clear - I haven't been able to find a SINGLE mention of the EXACT LOCATION of their office anywhere in Internet, so I had to locate it myself).

I was informed there, that INDEED a SL visa must be obtained IN ADVANCE, and is NOT issued on arrival.

I asked, why is it stated that VOAs are available at all ports of entry, why is this information posted on their OFFICIAL website, basically MISLEADING people wishing to travel to SL? The only answer I got was: "Ah."

(Moreover: unlike some reports found on internet, of other travelers, that managed to get a visa in Djibouti having just a hotel booking, I was informed that I also needed an INVITATION LETTER from a tour operator in SL - they even gave me a contact of a company there. This company could also arrange a hotel for me, or I could book a hotel myself, but that an INVITATION LETTER from them was also NECESSARY. (Besides, normal requirements - a passport copy, passport-size photo, filled form, and 11.000 DJF in cash).

As my Djiboutian e-visa was expiring, I had no time to wait, I decided not to apply and skip SL altogether, as it would cost additional money (and take time), so I booked an air ticket out of Djibouti elsewhere.

So, the bottom line is, that basically the SL Immigration website is LYING, stating that "VOAs can be obtained on all ports of entry" (for eligible nationalities). It's NOT true (maybe at some other points, but NOT at DJ / SL land border - that's my personal experience). And they don't care. You read: "you can get VOA on arrival", arrive to a border, and are denied entry. How could you know that? Is there ANY INFORMATION ANYWHERE that this rule is no longer working? No. How should you find out? "We don't care. Rules change".

Welcome to the fifth world!

5 replies to this topic
1. Re: Somaliland Visa on Arrival / from Djibouti, Dec 2023

This post has been removed at the author's request.

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United Kingdom
Level Contributor
306 posts
2. Re: Somaliland Visa on Arrival / from Djibouti, Dec 2023

Good Morning

@ Tim

Thank you for sharing your travel report with TA. Your information will help future western travellers.

It has always been the case western travellers going to Somaliland have always got visa from Somaliland Mission in advance.

Even at Borders with Djibouti or Ethiopia they still ask visa in advance this been process many many years.

In Africa regulations changes over night, be safe get a visa in advance.

Djiboutian Citzens crossing border pay a fee & Ethiopian Citizens.

Can you please share travel report about Djibouti) in Djibouti forum section, tells about your experiences including obtain your E visa.

Glasgow, United...
Level Contributor
3,274 posts
1 review
3. Re: Somaliland Visa on Arrival / from Djibouti, Dec 2023

Thank you Tim, hope you had a good trip,

If theres bundles of cash on market stalls in fulll public view, its a sign of unexpected decency too.

Edited: 17 December 2023, 05:07
Tim
Nijmegen, The...
1 post
4. Re: Somaliland Visa on Arrival / from Djibouti, Dec 2023

@ Lionheart32,

thank you for information.

In my post, I was actually not complaining about the fact that Somaliland requires visa in advance. Many countries do so. And I find it totally fine that Somaliland also does, if that's their regulation.

What doesn't fit in my head, is: WHY THE HECK are they stating CLEARLY on their OFFICIAL website

http://www.slimmigration.com/visa-section/

that "(eligible nationalities) will be able to obtain an entry visa on arrival at all Somaliland Ports of entry", if it's COMPLETELY FALSE?

It's a very clear statement. On this web page, there is even a link to an official document that says the same (2 pages):

http://www.slimmigration.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/cercular-1-745x1024.jpg

http://www.slimmigration.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/cercular-2-745x1024.jpg

It was signed on 10 March 2019 by "Commissioner of Somaliland Immigration" Mr. Mohamed Osman Alin. There is a signature and a stamp there. So this rule WAS in force at some point in time. When did it stop to work and why? And if it NEVER worked, why did Mr. Mohamed Osman Alin sign this paper? Just for fun?

The first place I would consult about visa policy of a foreign country, as a tourist, would be exactly the website of the immigration service. Not the embassies, not other tourists with travel experience, but the immigration service itself. Isn't that logical? Shouldn't THAT be the ultimate and most reliable source of information? THEY are that set and enforce the visa rules. THEY are stating CLEARLY that VOA is available on arrival. If not them, then WHO can know it better? If there were NO clear information on the subject (for example, if there were NOTHING specified about visa requirements on their website), OF COURSE I would seek other sources of information, I would try to contact embassies, Ministry of Interior (or some similar structure of SL), Police, etc. I would never dare go to the border without finding it out first. But it my situation, Mr. "Commissioner of Somaliland Immigration" ASSURED me (through their official, one and only, and still active website, and a SIGNED PAPER WITH A STAMP) that I CAN go to SL border and get a VOA there. And screwed me up. Why did he do that? Why did he DECEIVE me? Why is this website is still active with the affirmation that is complete false?

United Kingdom
Level Contributor
306 posts
5. Re: Somaliland Visa on Arrival / from Djibouti, Dec 2023

@ Tim

Please drop email both to Somaliland Mission in USA & Kenya email them regarding your concerns.

Even if they don’t respond they will be aware of what took place.

Please note Somaliland is avself declared republic has relationship with few nations like UAE, UK, France, Swaden, Denmark, USA, Kenya, Djibouti, Ethiopia, South Africa.

1. info@somalilandmission-us.com SL Mission USA

2. info@somalilandliaison.com SL Mission KE

Can you also you tell me about your experience on Djibouti E Visa?

Edited: 22 December 2023, 08:51
Reply to: Somaliland Visa on Arrival / from Djibouti, Dec 2023
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