The process of getting a visa for Sudan doesn’t end when you get it, as, there are a couple of steps that need to be taken once you are in Sudan. If you follow all the necessary steps, getting a Sudanese visa isn’t complicated but, there is some bureaucracy that needs to be done.

This post keeps regularly updated thanks to the input from some amazing travelers. All the information you see is the latest updated from 2018.

For more information read my travel guide to Sudan

How to get a visa for Sudan in 2018

Where to apply for a Sudan visa
How to get a visa in Aswan (Egypt)
Travel Insurance for Sudan
Registration and other bureaucracy stuff 

 

Where to apply for a Sudan visa

There are four main options:

Sudan visa in your home country or country of residence – If your country or city has a Sudanese embassy, that’s great, as you can apply for it from there. The downside of it is that each embassy has its own rules and some of them require a letter of invitation. Also, if you are not sure of your date of entry, it would probably be better to apply for it in Egypt or Ethiopia. Typically, the embassies charge 100USD. If your embassy requires a LOI, many travelers have gotten it from Acropole Hotel.

Sudan visa in Addis Ababa (Ethiopia) – According to a reader of this blog, things got easier in Addis Ababa. However, bear in mind that, sometimes, they may give you trouble if you don’t have a letter of invitation. For the visa, the process is quick and it only takes 1 working day. It costs $68. Make sure to arrive early (around 8 a.m.) as they only accept the application until 11am. Bring the invitation letter, a copy of your passport, 2 photos, address of stay in Sudan, address and tel number of your sponsor in Sudan. They issue both entry and transit visas.

Sudan visa in Cairo (Update November 2018) Apparently, things have gotten much easier in Cairo. Before, you needed to get a letter of recommendation from your own embassy in Cairo and the process used to take 1 or 2 weeks. Now, you can get it on the same day but it costs 100USD (in Aswan costs 100USD). If you have any further updates, they are more than welcome.

Sudan visa in Nairobi (Update September 2018) A traveler recently reported that he applied for the visa in Nairobi and got it on the next day. He didn’t need to present any special document, besides passport and the usual stuff. The price is 55USD.

Sudan visa in Aswan (Egypt) – Top choice – Aswan is a city which is only 300 kilometers from the Sudanese border and, this is by far, the easiest, quickest and cheapest place to obtain a visa. I got my visa for Sudan in Aswan, so that’s why I will focus exclusively on how to get it there.

Read: A guide for traveling to Egypt (Tips + Itinerary)

sudan visa

 

Getting your visa for Sudan in Aswan (Egypt)

Sudan visa requirements

  • Original passport, passport copy, and Egyptian visa copy (there is a shop 100 meters from the Consulate where you can make copies)
  • 2 passport-sized photos
  • 50USD. Please note that they don’t accept any other currency and may not have change.

US Passport holders – IMPORTANT! –It’s possible for US passport holders to get the visa in Aswan but they must have arranged a permission to visit beforehand via the US embassy, a process which takes around 2 weeks. According to the embassy official, a sponsor is not necessary, as long as permission is given.

Read: Egypt-Sudan border crossing

 

How long does it take the get the visa for Sudan in Aswan?

Times highly varies. In my case, when I applied in 2016, it took me 5-6 working days. I applied on a Monday and got it on Monday of the following week.

Update June 2018 – Several people are reporting that you can easily get your visa on the next working day and, if you insist, you can even get it on the same day, so they are getting quite serious with that! It makes total sense to push a bit!

Police registration Sudan

 

The Consulate of the Republic of Sudan in Aswan

You’ll need, obviously, to go to the Consulate of The Republic of Sudan, which is 6 kilometers from the city center. Before going there, bear in mind the following:

  • The Consulate is closed on Friday and Saturday
  • The visa section is closed on Wednesday
  • The working hours for the visa section are from 8:30 am to 12:30 pm
  • There’s no need to have an appointment, just show up there
  • There earlier you go, the better, as it gets pretty busy after 10:30 am
  • It takes around 2 hours to apply for your visa
  • Attaching the Consulate location below

 

Travel Insurance for Sudan

You need to know that, because of the sanctions, most regular travel insurance companies such as World Nomads, will not cover for travel in Sudan, even if you bought an ”Around the World” policy.

IATI Insurance is one of the very few companies that does cover for Sudan. I have used it a few times and this is the reason why I recommend it:

  • It covers for Sudan and has loads of different plans, including plans for backpackers
  • It offers very attractive prices
  • The readers of this blog can get an exclusive 5% discount

BUY IT THROUGH THIS LINK TO GET YOUR 5% DISCOUNT

 

Registration in Sudan

Getting your registration form at the border

Whatever country you are traveling from, once you are at the Sudanese border, the authorities will give you a special form that needs to be filled out. You need to keep a copy of it and not lose it. Why? Because you’ll have to present it at the police station for registration.

 

Registration at the Wadi Halfa’s police station

From the moment you cross the border, you have 3 days (or 4 days, unofficially) to register at any police station. The easiest place to register would be in Wadi Halfa, but you could also register in Abri, Karima, Dongola and even Khartoum.

Update 2018! According to a traveler, now you can only register at the entry ports, including Wadi Halfa, Khartoum, Wadi Halfa, Port Sudan and Sawakin!

In Wadi Halfa, the whole process took less than 20 minutes. For that, you need to go to the police station and give in your registration form. You’ll need a copy of your passport (you can make a copy there for 1SDG). They will also ask you for a picture but, if you don’t have it, it’s not a problem.

Another traveler did it in Abri and he claims that it was also very easy. Moreover, in Karima, apparently, the people there don’t really know what they are doing, so it takes forever. In Khartoum, it’s also pretty quick but more expensive plus it’s a big city, so you may end up wasting more time in finding the place

Registration price – When I went there in December 2016, the price was 370SP.

However, in Sudan, things change quickly and, in November 2017, some police stations were charging from 540SDG to 632DG, depending on which town or city. In Wadi Halfa is 540SDG (30USD).

By the way, the official price in USD is way higher than the actual amount. Pay in local currency.

Note – This step is a must. Otherwise, you may be not allowed to leave the country or pay a huge fine. When I was traveling in Azerbaijan, I also didn’t register and, at the border, had to choose between paying 200USD or getting deported and banned from entering the country within a year.

 

Getting your travel & photo permit at the Ministry of Tourism

UPDATE SEPTEMBER 2018 – THE TRAVEL PERMIT IS NO LONGER NEEDED!

The last thing you need to do is to get your photo & travel permit.

What are the required documents? – Passport copy, one photo, and your registration. It’s FREE of charge!

When applying for this permit, they will ask you what will you visit in Sudan, as well as what will you take pictures of.

Do I need this permit? – If your final destination is Khartoum (and you don’t leave Khartoum), you don’t need to get this permit. The authorities will ask you for this permit only when leaving Khartoum. In my case, I traveled from the north of the country to the capital. Since Khartoum was my final destination and I left there by plane, I didn’t need to apply for this permit.

Where? – At Khartoum’s Ministry of Tourism.

This is the approximate location. It’s in front of AlFaisal Cultural Center, across the street.

 

Other registrations

In some cities and villages, the hotels ask you to register at the local security office. It’s a pain in the ass but it’s pretty straightforward and you don’t have to pay. Just go there, tell them the name of the hotel and how many days are you planning to stay.

More about Sudan & Egypt

Sudan Travel Guide
How to visit the Nubian pyramids of Sudan
Tales of the Nubian people in Sudan
Is it safe to travel to Sudan?
How to visit Luxor in 2 days
A guide for traveling to Egypt
Egypt off the beaten track

 

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59 comments

  1. HEY! useful post indeed. I got my Sudan visa last month May 2017 in Aswan. I gave my passport Monday morning and got it back Wednesday 11 am. It seems an exception was made as I was indeed told that the visa would take about a week. Friendly people that rushed my visa so that I could take the boat to Wadi Halfa Wednesday afternoon.

    1. Hey ma, thanks for your comment. that’s amazing! I am going to update it on the post, saying that, in some occasions, you can get it in 2 days. So, everything was as I told in the article? No changes? cheers man

      1. Hi Joantow, I dont know where to write these comments on your very helpful and Well written Pages on Sudan but now I just try here !
        Ive just backpacked Sudan for 14 days: Came to Wadi Halfa by boat (nice and relaxed!) , then Abri ( was invited to a Nubian family to stay so I didnt need bolster the fortunes of the businessman Mr. Magzoub who has risen his guesthouseprices to 300 pr Night ( no wifi or breakfast), not negotiable. Fortunately theres a cheap sudanese hotel very near, I could buy a room with lock for myself for 60 pounds.
        After Abrí I went to Karima via Dongola ( not much to see there), then Atmara with a side trip to the Meroe pyramids, then Port Sudan and Suakin ( do the latter on the way to save 2×1 hr transport!), then Kassala ( a colorful highlight with tribes coming to the market set at the foot of the weird but relatively small Taka mountains and now on my way to Khartoum by flight! Just to save time for busses are good, you need buy ticket the day before as busses are leaving VERY early – and precise!
        One very important correction to your info: By now you can ONLY regístrate your arrival in Sudan at the ports of entry, e.g. Khartoum, Wadi Halfa, Port Sudan and a town near Ethiopian border..I was not aware of this an used quite a lot of time in Abri, Dongola and Karima with the police in vain before I finally after 5 days! got regístrated straightforward in Port Sudan foreign immigration office at a 612 pound cost. Then did not say anything about the delay, just put the stamps in my passport:-)
        One more thing: It was not possible to change money in Abri (again use Wadi Halfa!) in Dongola I changed in the Islamic Bank (!) to the black market rate of 25 pound pr usd and later on the rate was a bit lower. Also get a local simcard ( preferably Zain which is better than MTN ) in Wadi Halfa , I got one in Abri that didt work. Be sure to see it work while you’re in the shop! There are weekly and monthly schemes etc so ask for how long the card will be working.

  2. Hey – great article and very useful! Just wondering if you have to pay an exit tax too and how much this costs? Thanks

    1. Hey! As far as I know, there is no exit fee. But I left Sudan by plane so not sure if they would charge you when leaving overland. However, I’ve never heard of it. Cheers mate

  3. Hi Joantow
    I’m going to try to get the Sudanese visa in Aswan but in my passport you can see the stamp of Taba so I think is quite obvious I been in Israel…..do you think they will reject for sure my requests?
    Thanks
    Nic

    1. Hey! I am sorry to say that but I think you have no chance… And if I was you, I wouldn’t even try because then they might put you in some sort of black list and who knows if you would be also rejected in future applications. I am not sure about the second but I wouldn’t take the risk. My recommendation is that you double check with a second source, just to make sure. Maybe you are interested in this article as well: https://againstthecompass.com/en/avoid-israeli-passport-stamp/ Good luck!

  4. Hi! First of all, what a useful article! Second, just to be sure, when I come apply at in Aswan, I won t need a letter of recommandation or a letter of invite? I have a norwegian passport.
    Thanks in advance

    Alfons

  5. I did my visa last week in Addis without a problem. They gave it the next day. It was entry visa. The cost is $68 now. If you have an invitation letter, they don’t make any problems. Make sure to arrive early (around 8 a.m.) as they close for lunch break around 11 am and they don’t accept any applications afterward. Have the invitation letter, a copy of your passport, 2 photos, address of stay in Sudan, address and tel number of your sponsor in Sudan. The embassy looks messy and it is easy to be forgotten, but all the travelers I met managed to get their visas the next day. Both entry and transit visas.

  6. Hi ,
    Can anyone advise me how to get an entry visa to sudan for a male egyptian citizen living in Uae. Bear in mind he is a cabin crew and he cant leave his original passport ..

    Thanks

  7. Hi,
    Planning to apply for a tourist visa in Addis Ababa but it’s not completely clear to me how to obtain a letter of invitation. Send a tour organisation and a hotel an email but so far no replies. Anyone can recommend me what is the best way to get hold of a LOI?

    Thanks,

    Tim

  8. Hi,

    I’m planning to apply for a visa in Addis Ababa but I’m still not sure what is the best way to obtain a letter of invitation. Anyone can recommend a agency or hotel that provides a LOI for a independent traveler.

    Thanks,

    Tim

  9. It looks as though visa requirements may have changed very recently. Where before (according to the embassy in London) a letter of invitation was sufficient, now embassies can only issue the visa when you have an entry permit number from Khartoum. Meaning have paid a substantial sum to someone in Khartoum to go to the ministry and get it for you. This is London anyway, where my friend arrived with an invitation from Bougainvilla , her form, pix etc and was told no, come back only with an entry permit. It looks like you don’t need to be sponsored for the entire time (we are tring to enter from Wadi Halfa) but even that is unclear. Has anyone succeeded in the last week with just an invitation, and where?

      1. If you get you visa in Aswan, you don’t need to get this permit. Also, rules per embassy are very different. For example, I know that in Madrid they don’t require it also.

        1. Jonathan Dilling

          I will be traveling north from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and cannot go to Aswan first unless I fly over Sudan into Egypt. I have done a lot of research, but still am confused if Americans need to wait longer or not

  10. Jonathan Dilling

    Thanks for the post! I will try to go through Sudan on April 1st 2018. Right now I am in Malawi so I have a bit of aways to go. If I cannot secure this in Ethiopia I may just take the visa on arrival option from the Acropole Hotel (I would rather not do this because you are forced to stay with them and take their tours the whole time).

    1. Just went through Sudan a couple days ago. Based on all the research, it was just going to take too long for an American to obtain the visa in Addis Ababa. I even went to the Sudanese Embassy in Tanzania and they said that it will take at least 2 weeks to confirm the name with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Khartoum. I contacted Acropole Hotel and they were able to arrange an Entry Permit for Visa on Arrival at Khartoum airport. This did cost $180 for their services on top of $150 for the visa fee at the airport. The most basic room in Acropole was $80 + taxes, breakfast included. Definitely not a backpacker budget. I did meet another American who found another sponsor that charged ~$130 and he stayed at a hotel that was $30 cheaper. For the Meroe, I went on a tour that included the pyramids, Naqa, and Musawarrat in a private car with lunch for $250 (again, you can find cheaper than this if you have time to shop around the different tour operators). One interesting thing is that there are no more photo or travel permits anymore as of this year. You still have to register with the police within 3 days of arrival (Acropole did this for you). Bus travel is easy and cheap to head north or to Port Sudan. I just went straight to Wadi Halfa (missed my stop at Dongola) to enter Egypt. I stayed one night there, but didn’t register with the police and no one asked me questions when I left Sudan. There is a departure tax at the Wadi Halfa border of 130 Sudanese Pounds. Beware the Egyptian side: it will take 2-3 hours to get your visa and pass through.

  11. Great information! Unfortunately, I tried to apply for a visa in Cairo with an email from the US embassy stating they do not give out a loi. I was told that I needed to have sponsorship in order to get a visa and I am now completely lost. Have you heard of anyone having a similar problem?

      1. Thanks. Yeah I looked at this thread but in the end, the US passport holder ended up giving up and skipping Sudan. Difficult part about the process is it seems to change frequently and there is little information about the requirements held against US passport holders. I’ll try to find out any information I can and share it here.

    1. Hi Eric, a friend and I have just returned from Sudan. She was told in London in December the visa was no problem, but by January when she went to apply the rules had changed, requiring sponsorship from Khartoum. I got the sponsorship number and I applied in Cairo, getting the visa in two hours. We got it throufh the Acropole Hotel which was quite expensive. However, as of 1 February people were still getting it cheaply in Aswan with no sponsorship. I dont know ahout Americans, but the Acropole said they were not a problem if you go the sponsorship way, which also wasnt too time consuming. All of this may change of course. Sudan is extraordinary, it’s totally worth the trouble. By the way, the Aswan Wadi Halfa ferry is fantastic. The ferry is great and the lake majestic. Hope this helps.

      1. Thanks Terry. I’ll try to get in contact with the hotel and see what they can do. I figured if all else fails, I will make a last ditch effort while in Aswan and hope for the best. It would be a shame to not get to Sudan as I have only heard good things about the country. I’ll update everyone once if I do figure it out as US passports seem to be an exception to the normal process to get a visa.

        1. I ended up not trying to get the visa in Aswan as I had trouble finding a place willing to administer the yellow fever vaccine to foreigners in Cairo. I called all the clinics and hospitals that locals recommended and none of them would provide the shot to foreigners.

  12. Jonathan Dilling

    Update: After talking with the Sudanese Embassy in Tanzania I just decided to take the Visa on Arrival option with the Acropole Hotel. The official there told me the Sudanese Visa takes minimum two weeks for Americans and I have read before that the Egypt Visa takes 15 days for Americans (you need this before you can get Sudan Visa). I cannot wait in Ethiopia for a month and decided to just pay the extra money required. Before I said that you were forced to take their tours: I’m not sure if this is entirely true, because Acropole said they would help me arrange transport to Wadi Halfa and find a hotel there for a night so I can cross into Egypt the next day. This shows you do not have to stay with Acropole the whole time you are in Sudan if you take the visa on arrival. Once I actually go to Sudan and finish I will post another update.

    1. Hi Jonathan, I got my visa in Cairo with the help of Acropole, but travel on an Australian passport. We came on the Aswan ferry to Wadi Halfa, and were in Sudan two weeks before going to Khartoum, so you definitely do not have to do your entire stay with Acropole. They only charged us in advance for visa support, not the hotel, so in theory we didn’t need to stay there at all. It is expensive, but we actually enjoyed our stay as many interesting people also stay there.

  13. Christian Harris

    June 2018
    Dropped my (UK) passport on Sunday and requested next day. They obliged without fuss! There was a German and a French couple who also dropped/picked up on same day. Took exactly 2 hours to request visa. As it was Ramadan they didn’t open until 10 am. Pickup took an hour.

    For bus to Wadi Halfa. Go to the bus station near the Train station (NOT the new station out of town). Ticket was 300 Egyptian pounds.

    Exchanged money at station; 1 Egyptian = 2 Sudanese. USD$1 =31.50 Sudanese.

    1. To follow up; I did not get a registration paper at the Wadi Halfa border (they did register me, but didn’t offer a copy and I forgot to ask). I registered with the police at the Airport (office is on the right as you come down the street via the ‘departure’ entrance). Was incredibly simple. Required copy of passport, sudan visa, letter from hotel I was staying at and 540 Sudanese pounds. Took about 10 min. They did Not ask for a copy of what registration paper from port of entry.

      I also followed numerous leads on getting a travel/photo permit. Found the new, new Ministry of Touriam office. They confirmed what my hotel said (which I didn’t believe at first) which is that no permit is required now. ‘No one will stop me travelling’. Excellent.

        1. Confirmed. I’ve left the country and was never asked for a any kind of travel or photo permit. In fact during my trip to Gallabat I was never even asked to show my passport, so a relaxation indeed.

          As a note, the location of the Ministry of Tourism on this page is incorrect. They’ve since closed this office and relocated. The new location is at “15.598023, 32.577628”.

  14. Which US Embassy needs to give permission for aswan to issue the visa? I asked the embassy in khartoum and they had no information? Is it the Embassy in Cairo?

  15. “Sudan visa in Cairo (Egypt) – you need a letter of invitation from your embassy. ” Excuse me, what does it mean? Do I have to go to my national embassy i Cairo?

    1. Yes it’s more like a letter of recommendation. That’s that’s the general rule but I suggest you go to the Sudan embassy first to see what they say. In any case, if you are already in Egypt is easier to get it in Aswan

        1. What difference does it make now or in December? When you are in Egypt you can easily go to Aswan, where you can get your visa in just 1 to 3 days with very little bureaucracy. In Cairo, you will definitely need to make different trips to 2 different embassies, starting in the Embassy of Sudan and reports say that it takes several days, so unless you have a very specific reason to get it there, there is no real need

  16. Hi Piotr, I got a visa in Cairo since I was meeting a friend who already had a visa, and I didn’t want to take a chance it would take longer than a day or two in Aswan. This was January, so of course everything and nothing may have changed by then. It was super easy– I came in the morning and two hours later I had it. I didn’t have a letter or recommendation from my embassy as the Australian embassy in Cairo won’t do them. I don’t know about others, but it was no problem. We booked a room at the Acropole so they gave us a letter; I have no idea if it was needed or not, and there are cheaper places. The visa in Cairo is more costly though– US$100 rather than $50! One thing to note is that various websites mention two different addresses, I guess they moved at one point. I’m pretty sure it was the Dokki one rather than Garden City. By the way, we took the ferry from Aswan to Wadi Halfa and it was wonderful. Don’t believe anything you read otherwise. Cheap, comfortable, clean, friendly. Enjoy!

    1. Terry, thanks for your important advises! But one more question: in Aswan Embassy wants a confirmation of booking ? ( you mentioned – Acropol hotel).

      1. Glad to help, but I don’t know about Aswan. From what I’ve read here, it sounds easier than Cairo. I think there are cheaper hotels than the Acropole who would give you a letter even without advance payment, which would probably be wise to have just in case. I have gotten the impression maybe things are lightening up a bit visa wise, but maybe not. If you are not on a really tight budget, I recommend the Acropole. It’s quite a treat after traveling Sudan, and the people coming in and out of there are really interesting. But mainly I think a letter from them goes a long ways– I think they have connections!. That said, Sudan and is a place where a smile goes a very long way, so just keep smiling and don’t worry too much.

        1. Message from yesterday / Acropole Hotel:
          Dear Peter,
          Greetings
          You can apply to the Sudan Embassy in London:-
          Please send me the following information :-
          · Name in full as in the passports
          · Nationality
          · Passport number
          · Date of expiry
          · Date of arrival in Sudan
          · Date of departure from Sudan
          · Application of visa at the Embassy of London
          · You still have to pay a deposit of 100 euro
          · The letter is free & the 100 euro we shall deduct it from the hotel accommodation invoice
          · Hope all clear now
          Best regards
          GEorge
          …. So, they wanna 200 euro in advance !!!
          Do you know any hotel where I can book, get confirmation via e-mail, and next cancel ???

      1. My pleasure– your website put me on to Sudan in the first place. I’d just like to confirm for people what you say– it is the friendliest place you will ever go, even more than Iran, or Bhutan, and that’s saying a lot. Also, I found it lovely for women; no hassles, lots of respect, and of course, lots of access to the women.

    2. Hi Terry, thanks for the update! We want to take the ferry from Aswan to Wadi Halfa in December 2018. Can you tell me which class you took it? I read somewhere that first class was too cold (air conditioning) and that the deck was more comfortable. I’m curious to hear your thoughts on this!
      Also, do you have an update on which days the ferry runs? Some say Sundays. A hostel told me that it recently changed to Mondays and Thursdays.
      Thanks!

  17. Hi, apparently it is not possible to obtain a visa in Aswan at the moment. When and if it’s possible again is unknown. In Egypt you have to get it in Cairo.

      1. We’re cycling in Africa right now and in a whatsapp group with people who do so to. Several of them had to go back to Cairo.

  18. I am receiving quite a few emails from people claiming different things about getting the visa in Aswan. Some people say that it is not possible to get it there anymore, while others claim that price has increased to 100USD (instead of 50USD) and it takes more than a week (instead of 1 or 2 days).
    I don’t know whether these are rumors or facts but I would really appreciate if there is anyone who’s tried themselves in the past few days / weeks.
    Thank you!

  19. Because of the current rumors that it’s not possible anymore to obtain a visa in Aswan I decided to get one in Cairo yesterday.

    The embassy opens at 9am, but the guy serving the immigration window (the very left one) showed up at 10:30am. That’s where you get your application form. After filling it out there’s a copy room, where you can get a copy of the form as well as your passport and your Egytian visa. I didn’t fill the “Sponsor” section. The only thing else needed was 2 passport photos.

    I gave everything back to the immigration officer. When I went to ask if everything is alright about 1.5 hours later he gave back all my documents and pointed to the cash counter. There I paid 150 USD.

    I brought everything back to the counter and by 3pm I had my visa. But carefull: the visitors entrance was locked at 2:30pm. So if you decide to take a walk while waiting come back before.

    I also wrote a full report in German.

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