In January 2010, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Yemen announced that they will no longer be issuing visas on arrival to the country. A report released by the Ministry stated that in an effort to fight terrorism and strengthen security measures to prevent the infiltration of terrorist elements into the country, the granting of visas at airports to foreigners will be cancelled.

That has left many individuals confused – they are keen to visit Yemen yet unsure of how to get a tourist visa to the country. There are several ways this can be done, one of which involves the embassies abroad in the individuals’ residential countries. These Yemeni embassies can issue tourist visas for whoever applies which is then procedurally followed up by a standard security check. Some other embassies may ask you to bring special documents such as an invitation from Yemen or a “no-objection entry paper” stamped by the Ministry of the Interior.

These methods are tried and true and can prove beneficial for many visitors but what about those that just can’t make it to a nearest Yemeni embassy? Do they miss out on the wonders of Yemen? The short answer is no! The simplest yet safest method to gain a tourist visa to Yemen is through a friendly travel agent. The Ministry of Interior and the Immigration, Passports and Nationality Authority of Yemen approved the notion to allow travel agents to successfully issue tourist visas to their clients only under the terms agreed between the two parties. More specifically, travel agents Falcon Travel & Tours and Universal Company have been issuing tourist visas to their clients for some time now without any problems whatsoever. Jamal Badr Operation manager of Falcon Travel & Tours states that “the key is to introduce the visa to the client early on because unfortunately many of them are not aware of the current rulings regarding tourist visas to Yemen. This way you are guaranteed a happy client”.

– Applying for a Tourist Visa through Your Travel Agent

Travel agents will issue a tourist visa for their clients wishing to take advantage of complete tour packages that typically include accommodation for the period of stay in Yemen, a tour guide and itinerary for the sightseeing and tourist attractions around the country. Furthermore, the travel agents are committed to making sure that their clients will depart Yemen safely at the end of their tour.

Please be advised that you should not contact a travel agent for your tourist visa if your main purpose of visiting Yemen is to either to work there, visit friends, conduct and/or be involved in meetings with organizations, press coverage, participate in and/or conduct political activities or any activity that is not related to tourism. In such an unprecedented case, the individual is in violation of Yemeni security and may face penalties of a hefty fine and deportation.