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A vast desert territory, Western Sahara is a curious and enchanting place for tourists looking for a beach vacation or sandy adventures. iVisa strongly recommends doing a significant amount of research before departing, for you may find yourself in a life-threatening situation with the government, citizens, or simply the imposing landscape.
Before planning your trip to Western Sahara, you need to check whether or not you need a visa. While the majority of Western Sahara is controlled by Morocco, one part is under the control of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic, although that area is typically restricted to any visitors.
Since most of Western Sahara is controlled by Morocco, you need to take a look at Morocco’s via policy. According to the rules, the citizens of 69 countries can access Western Sahara and stay there for up to 90 days, and needing just a valid passport. However, there are a few exceptions: citizens of Hong Kong and Singapore can remain inside Western Sahara for only 30 days, the nationals of the Republic of Congo, Guinea, and Mali are now required to obtain an Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) since November 1, 2018. Other than that, general visa rules apply.
If you cannot find your country of origin on the list of 69 visa-exempt countries, your only option is to apply for a visa at the nearest diplomatic mission or embassy of Morocco. The process is reasonably straightforward. You should first call the embassy/diplomatic mission to ask about the requirements, then gather everything you need so that you can submit your application in-person.
It is worth mentioning is that you must always have your passport on your person when you travel throughout Western Sahara. There are multiple checkpoints where your passport will be checked. You will not receive a stamp or anything of this sort, for it is just a security measure. Nobody can enter Western Sahara without a valid passport.
As for to how to get to Western Sahara, you have a few options. You can fly from the Spanish Canary Islands or from the Moroccan cities of Agadir or Casablanca. Alternatively, you can take a boat or the train, and if you want, you can travel by car or bus.
Getting around is quite simple. Buses connect the larger cities and they will stop whenever you ask. However, you must be very careful if you travel through Western Sahara by car. If the map shows you a long road and the distance to the nearest settlement is significant, make sure that you fill your gas tank. You don't want to run out of fuel on the way, and you may arrive at the town only to find out that it doesn't have a gas station. When passing across the desert by car, you should refuel every time you come across a gas station, just to be on the safe side. If you travel independently, you should always have a survival kit in the trunk of your car or your backpack. The kit includes a torch, a lighter, a rope, a knife, a compass, an insulated blanket, and a first-aid kit. If something happens, the equipment can save your life.
One of the most interesting and unique ways to travel through the desert is by camel. They are gentle creatures, but you must learn how to ride them with respect for them and their owners.
Communication in Western Sahara can be tricky. The official language is Hassaniya Arabic, but you cannot understand it - even if you know Arabic. Note that English is used less frequently than French and Spanish.
If you do your research, a trip to Western Sahara can be a great experience.
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Frequently Asked Questions
- Select the country to which you are requesting the visa
- Select the type of visa and read the instructions carefully.
- Select Apply Now
- Fill in the application form
- Pay using a Visa Card, Mastercard or other debit card.
- Await approval via email, then download and print the e-Visa from your account.
- Present your printed e-Visa to the immigration officer at the port of entry.
We know that our applicants can come across unexpected changes in their travel plans that may prevent them from traveling and therefore getting their visa. This is why we understand you may want to request a cancellation of your visa application and a credit for the amount paid. However, we will only approve the refund/credit if it follows our Refund policy guideline:
- If your application has not been reviewed by our team, nor submitted to the government for approval, then you will receive a credit for the full amount of the iVisa processing fee and government fee(visa cost).
- If your application has been reviewed by our team but has not yet been submitted to the government for approval, you will receive a credit for the full amount of the government fee (visa cost).
- If your application has been submitted to the government for approval or a visa is already issued, unfortunately, no credit is available.
Our policy also applies to these circumstances:
- If we make a mistake on your application, a 100% refund of the iVisa processing fee will be issued and we will process your visa again at no cost.
- If you purchase rush or super rush processing additional fee and we do not deliver the travel document within the agreed timeframe, you will receive a credit for the iVisa rush or super rush processing fee.
- If you miss your trip because iVisa does not deliver the travel document within the agreed timeframe, you will receive a full cash refund for the government fee and iVisa processing fee.
- The exception to the clause above is if the government is the cause of the delay or your arrival date was sooner than our super rush processing time. In such case, you will receive a credit for the iVisa processing fee.
If for any reason, you are not satisfied with our services, please feel free to contact us. Under reasonable circumstances, we will grant a credit of the iVisa processing fee to be used for a future order.
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Now more than ever, the process of traveling has become a bit more complicated than what it used to be. As countries keep changing their regulations, paperwork keeps growing, and so do everyone’s stress levels.
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