Let’s face it, getting a visa can sometimes be a long and drawn out process with some countries taking the biscuit and going to the absolute extreme with their demands. Even though neighbouring Morocco receives more than 10 million visitors, Algeria has yet to welcome even 20% of that figure.
This is a crying shame considering how many incredible places there are to see in this North African beauty. Algeria’s Mediterranean coastline is one of the most undeveloped and beautiful along the African continent whilst inland the striking desert landscapes of the vast Sahara make up more than 80% of Africa’s largest country.
Question is, how do you get a visa? Well, in the case of a British passport holder you must either know someone that lives there or join a tour group (if you can find one). In a country that’s hoping to diversify their economy and open up to visitors, they sure know how to make it hard just to even visit.
If you wish to apply for a tourist visa you will need the following;
- Two (02) application forms duly completed, dated and signed by the applicant
- Two (02) recent passport size photographs to be affixed on each application form
- The original passport valid for at least 6 months + 2 sets of copies of all the pages (even the blank ones)
- Original + copy of the accommodation certificate duly certified by the local authorities (town hall) in Algeria (certificat d’hébergement légalisé par l’A.P.C.) including the name of the person inviting you, their relationship to you and the address where you will be staying during your visit to Algeria or, when applicable, a confirmation of a hotel booking or an official invitation with itinerary from a travel agency in Algeria
- Letter of employment or evidence of activity
- A prepaid self-addressed special delivery envelope for nationals residing in the UK if the application is sent by post
- £85.00 – Fees must be paid in GB Pound only, either by cash or postal order (write your name on the back) made payable to the Consulate of Algeria if the application is sent by mail. Do not send cash by post.
Applications can be submitted in person at the Consulate in London or by post. I was relieved this option was available as I was unable to travel to London and wait for the visa to be processed. It is oddly not in the typical location of Kensington, Westminster or Soho as most other Consulate/Embassies and is surprisingly located in North Acton. The address for the Consulate of Algeria is; 5 Portal Way, London, W3 6RT.
When I applied for my visa by post in July 2017 I made sure to leave plenty of time as I was aware that any slight mistake and your visa will either be rejected or sent back to be amended. Sadly this was the case for me, I hadn’t sent number 4 on the list above but thankfully they didn’t charge me and I was able to send everything back for a second submission.
My advice – check, double check and even treble check that you have everything and have even completed all sections on the application form correctly, maybe get a friend or partner to do this for you. During busy periods I was made aware that processing can take up to three weeks but thankfully for me I received mine within just one. I think the visa fees are pretty steep for just a tourist visa, it definitely puts a lot of people off but hopefully as the country continues to open up this may be reduced or scrapped altogether.
You might be wondering, just where do people come from who visit Algeria? Well unsurprisingly neighbouring countries rank highly, as does former colonial master, France;
- Tunisia (50.4%)
- France (12.9%)
Overall Algeria holds clear potential as a tourist destination but it certainly faces some infrastructure, political and visa issues amongst others before it can start to build a reputation as a place to visit.
Come back soon and check out exactly where I visited in Algeria during my trip in August 2017!
Please note that this information may change, it was correct at time of writing in August 2017. For the most up to date details you can visit the website for the Algerian Consulate in London.
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