Tunisia, who gets its name from its capital, Tunis, is a country in North Africa, which has access to the Mediterrenian Sea as well as the Sahara Desert. When it comes to tourism, Tunisia offers countless attractions, including archeological sites, ancient ruins, as well as golden, sunny beaches. Over 8 million people visit Tunisia on a yearly basis.
However, before planning a trip to Tunisia, you must find out whether you need a Tunisia visa.
This article details the Tunisia visa requirements, types, application process, as well as who is exempt from holding one upon arrival.
Do I Need a Visa for Tunisia?
You need to apply for a Tunisia visa unless you are from one of the countries on the table below. If you are from one of these countries, you can travel to Tunisia visa-free for stays of up to 90 days:
|An EU Member State (excluding Cyprus)||Algeria||Andorra||Angola||Antigua and Barbuda|
|Bosnia and Herzegovina||Brazil||Brunei||Burkina Faso||Canada*|
|Cape Verde||Chile||China||Comoros||Costa Rica|
|Côte d’Ivoire||Equatorial Guinea||Fiji||Gabon||Gambia|
|Guinea||Guinea Bissau||Hong Kong||Honduras||Iceland|
|Russia||Saint Kitts and Nevis||Saint Lucia||San Marino||Saudi Arabia|
|Switzerland||Turkey||United Arab Emirates||United States of America||Vatican City|
*Canada along with Germany citizens are allowed to stay visa-free for up to 4 months.
Citizens of Bulgaria can only stay for up to two months, whereas Greece nationals must not exceed a 1-month stay.
Nationals of the following countries are also excluded from Tunisia tourist visas if they are travelling as part of an organized tour and have a hotel voucher:
Additionally, diplomatic or service passport holders of the following countries are also exempt from Tunisia short-stay visas:
- Czech Republic*
*Diplomatic passport only.
What are the Tunisia Visa Requirements?
When you apply for a Tunisia visa, you must have several documents which support your application, such as:
- A Tunisia Visa Application Form.
- Your passport, which is valid for at least six more months and has been issued in the past ten years.
- A photocopy of the first page of your passport.
- Passport-size pictures of yourself (1 or 2 depending on the consulate/embassy), which follows the following specifications:
- Dimensions: 35mm x 45mm
- Light gray background
- Your face must take up 65% – 75% of the picture
- Your facial features must be clearly visible
- You must be staring straight ahead with a neutral facial expression
- Glasses are not recommended. If you do decide to wear them, they must not obstruct your eyes and face. Tinted glasses are strictly not allowed.
- Do not wear headgear, unless it is for religious purposes. Even so, your face must be fully visible
- For babies and infants who cannot support themselves: Take the picture from the above as they are lying down. You must not be shown supporting them or holding them up.
- Proof of accommodation in Tunisia.
- Travel itinerary, including travel tickets, accommodation, dates of travel/departure etc.
- Any other documents related to your purpose of travel, such as a Letter of Invitation from Tunisian company if travelling for business etc.
- Proof of paid Tunisia visa fee, as per the specifications of the embassy or consulate.
Keep in mind:
This is not an all-encompassing list of Tunisia visa requirements. They differ depending on your country, the purpose of your travel, and the time you intend to stay, among others.
Moreover, the Tunisian authorities handling your visa application may request additional documents as they see fit.
How to Apply for a Tunisia Visa?
Currently, the only way you can apply for a Tunisian visa is through a Tunisian consulate or embassy. The application process for a Tunisian visa is as follows:
- Find the Tunisian diplomatic mission (consulate or embassy) in your country. If there is not one in your country, you must:
- Contact nearest one such as in a neighboring country
- Apply directly to the Direction Générale de la Sécurité Nationale in Tunis
- Visit the Tunisian embassy/consulate’s website to find more information
- Contact them to inquire about making an appointment as well as the Tunisia visa requirements. Some diplomatic missions may allow you to make an online appointment.
- Submit the required documents along with the application
- Wait for the Tunisia visa to be processed
Tunisia Online Visa (Tunisia eVisa)
In 2017, the Tunisian government announced they will implement an online Tunisia visa application procedure, which will make the process of getting a visa quicker and smoother. After applying online, which only takes a few minutes, you will receive a Tunisia eVisa on your email account.
The requirements for an online visa will also be fewer.
However, as of now, the only way to get a Tunisia visa is in-person at a Tunisian embassy or consulate since the eVisa for Tunisia is not available yet.
Can I Get a Tunisia Visa On Arrival?
You can only get a Tunisia Visa On Arrival if you are a citizen of one of the visa-exempt countries listed above. You are allowed to stay for up to 3 months (4 months for Canada and Germany).
Upon arrival you must have a passport which has been issued in the past ten years and which is valid for at least six more months.
However, the Tunisian Visa On Arrival is also available for foreign nationals who have a residence permit for a member state of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC):
- Saudi Arabia
- The United Arab Emirates
In this case, the Tunisia VOA allows the holder to remain in the country for a maximum duration of 15 days. To be eligible for it, you must have at least six months left until your residence permit expires as well as a hotel reservation and proof you can financially sustain yourself during your stay.
How Long Does it Take to Get a Tunisia Visa?
The processing time for a Tunisian visa depends from country to country, as well as from different consulates and embassies. You can expect to wait anywhere from 5 business days to over 20 business days to obtain a Tunisian visa.
If you have any incorrect or missing documents, the Tunisia visa processing time will increase. If the embassy/consulate has to receive authorization their home office in Tunisia, the processing time, again, will be longer.
As such, make sure you apply for a Tunisia visa about a month before you intend to travel and inquire about the processing time at the time of application submission.
What are the Tunisia Visa Fees?
There is not a standard set of fees for a Tunisia visa. The visa changes from country to country as does the method of payment. Some embassies may request a bank transfer only, while others also accept cash.
To learn the adequate Tunisia visa fee for your country of residence you must contact the consulate or embassy in which you are applying.
However, after the implementation of the Tunisia online visa, you will be able to pay the visa fee online at the time you apply.
What is the Validity of a Tunisia Visa?
A Tunisian tourist visa is issued for a maximum of 90 days but can be issued for less, depending on your travel purpose/itinerary.
If you intend to stay in Tunisia for longer than 90 consecutive days or for more than 6 months overall, then you must apply for a Tunisia long-stay visa and a temporary residence permit.
Which are the Types of Tunisia Visas?
There are two main types of Tunisian visas:
- Tunisia short-stay visas, for stays of up to 90 days
- Tunisia long-stay visas, for stays longer than 90 days
Tunisia short-stay visa
The Tunisia short-stay visa is issued for any purpose which does not require you to stay in Tunisia for longer than 90 days. Additionally, you cannot take gainful employment with a Tunisia short-stay visa.
Tunisian short-stay visas are only issued for tourism, business, or social visits among other reasons.
Nationals of several countries are allowed to travel to Tunisia without having to apply for a Tunisian short-stay visa (see above).
Tunisia Return Visa
The Tunisian Return Visa is issued to Tunisian permanent residence permit holders who want to leave Tunisian territory for longer than six months.
If you have a permanent residence permit, and you stay out of Tunisia for longer than six months without having obtained a Return Visa beforehand, you will lose your resident status.
Tunisia Exit Visa
If you are living in Tunisia with a temporary residence permit, you must obtain an Exit Visa before you leave the country. It is the Tunisian General Directorate of National Security who is in charge of issuing the exit visa.
Tunisia Transit Visa
You need a Tunisia transit visa if you are a visa-required national and will enter Tunisian territory on your way to a third country. The Tunisian Transit Visa allows the holder to transit in Tunisia for a maximum of seven days. You must show proof of your onward travel, such as a travel ticket to a third destination and a visa (if one is required).
You are only exempt from a Tunisia transit visa if:
- You are from a visa-exempt country (as outlined above)
- You will change planes on a Tunisian airport but will not leave the international/transit area of the airport
- You are travelling by water, but you won’t leave the ship
Tunisia long-stay visa
The Tunisia long-stay visa is the type of visa you should apply for if you have to stay in Tunisia for longer than 90 consecutive days or for more than 6 months per year.
In addition to a long-stay visa, after you travel to Tunisia, you also have to apply for a Tunisian residence permit to be allowed to remain in the country.
Even nationals of visa-exempt countries have to apply for a Tunisia long-stay visa and residence permit.
Tunisia Residence Permits
There are two types of Tunisian residence permits:
- The Temporary Residence Permit
- The Permanent Residence Permit
You must apply for a residence permit after you arrive in Tunisia. If your application is successful, you will receive a Residence Card, which serve as proof of your legal residence status.
Tunisia Temporary Residence Permit
If you enter Tunisia with the purpose of remaining over 90 days, you have to obtain a temporary residence permit from the local police department in your place of residence in Tunisia.
It is the Tunisian Ministry of the Interior who issues residence permits.
Prior to the residence permit, you need a temporary residence visa, which you can get in your home country. However, the visa is not the only requirement you need to remain in Tunisia – you must get the residence permit.
To be allowed to get a residence permit you must have a valid reason, such as employment, studying, joining a Tunisian family member or investment.
Tunisian temporary residence permits are issued for 1-2 years, and can be renewed. If you have a work contract, you must renew the residence permit every time you renew your contract.
Tunisia Permanent Residence Permit
You are eligible for permanent residence in Tunisia if you fulfill one of the following conditions:
- You have lived in Tunisia uninterrupted for at least five years with a temporary residence permit.
- You are married to a Tunisian citizen
- You have children who are Tunisian citizens
- You have contributed to Tunisia in a significant manner
Tunisia Visa for US Citizens
US citizens do not need a visa for Tunisia if they’re only staying for up to 90 days. If you are not a US citizen, but are living in the US temporarily, then you will have to obtain a Tunisia visa at a Tunisian embassy or consulate in the US, unless you have a US B1/B2 visa.
If you are a US citizen and want to stay in Tunisia for longer than 90 days, then you need a Tunisia long-stay visa and Tunisia residence permit combo.