Passport has to be valid for at least another 6 months and
you need a visa to enter Syria. Don't even think about
showing up on the border without a visa! It is easiest to get the Syrian
Visa in your home country before you leave. Syrian embassies are very reluctant
to issue visas to 'non-residents'.
The Syrian embassy in Jordan will under no circumstance issue a visa to
non-residents, neither will the Syrian embassy in Cairo (Egypt) or Tunis
(Tunisia). The embassy in Tripoli (Libya) will issue a visa to non-residents
but only if you have a letter of recommendation from your own embassy. Alternatively
you can send your passport per courier back to the Syrian embassy in your
home country to get a visa. Contact the Syrian embassy in your home country
first though and advise then of your plan.
At the border you will have to buy insurance for your vehicle.
You can only pay for this insurance in 'hard' currency, meaning you have
to hand over either US Dollars or Euros. We paid 40 USD per bike.
Did not get checked, but I am sure that officially you are
required to have one.
You need a Carnet de Passage to bring a vehicle into Syria.
Own licence plates are sufficient.
How it went
After the problems we had had getting the visa, the border
crossing was kind of anti-climactic. No hassle at all and pretty straightforward
We had heard that it is best to change the left over Jordan money into
Syrian currency before the border, since the exchange rate is supposed
to be much better. We needn't have bothered, as the exchange rate was
about the same in Damascus. Also keep in mind that you will have to pay
5 JD per person and 5 JD per vehicle departure tax on the Jordanian border,
so don't get rid of all your JD's!
This border crossing is very quite and so no stress was involved. First
we stopped at the immigration office. We each had to fill out two entry/exit
cards. On these forms they ask you how long you intend to stay in Syria.
If you put down more than 15 days, the officer will remind you, that you
have to register with the authorities once the initial 15 days are over.
The passport and the entry/exit cards get stamped. You get to keep one
entry/exit card, don't loose it you will need it when leaving the country.
Next stop is customs. First we had to take the carnet to a customs officer
sitting beside a booth on the road. He basically checks the information
in the carnet and asks the one very important question: petrol or diesel?
If you say diesel you get hit with a very hefty (100 USD) diesel tax for
every 10 days you are in the country. This "tax", is payable
twice (entry and exit). Luckily with the bikes it's petrol, which means
we only paid 7 USD tax per bike.
Now it was on to the insurance and tax office. There you have to buy the
receipts for the insurance and the tax from the bank in the same office.
As mentioned earlier you have to pay in 'hard' currency. With the receipts
from the bank you can then proceed first to the insurance office and then
to the tax office, where your Carnet will get stamped and registered.
That's it you are free to go and are welcomed into Syria.
Point of Exit
Kassab (Syria) to Karadagi (Turkey)
How it went
Very quite border crossing. Very relaxed. Immigration officer
stamped our passport and collected 50 Syrian pounds departure tax. He also
sold us the exit stamps for the bikes for another 50 Syrian pounds. With
the receipts from the exit stamps we got sent to the customs office, where
the carnets got stamped. That was it. Took less than 15 minutes!
are the details of the border crossing into this particular country.
The information is correct as of the date on which the border was
crossed. But, due to the stability and vagaries of the regimes involved,
it is prudent that you get additional data directly from the embassy
involved, preferably in your own country. Also you should keep in
mind that the procedure can vary depending on exactly who is on duty.
So never assume anything is a particular way, and regardless of what
anyone says, the impossible is often possible if you are in the right
place at the right time. Good Luck.