Timing is everything, but after Algeria finally re-opened to foreign visitors after the pandemic I had little trouble obtaining a visa, though it took an in-person trip to New York City to complete.
Guide: How I Obtained A Visa To Algeria
Algeria has an embassy in Washington, DC and a consulate in New York City.
U.S. citizens and permanent residents living in the following states must apply at the embassy in the District of Columbia:
- North Carolina
- South Carolina
- West Virginia
DC residents must also apply in Washington, DC.
Residents of all other states and U.S. territories must apply in New York City.
Must I Go In Person?
For purposes of this guide, I will stick to New York, which is where I applied as a resident of California. You can apply in person, via mail, or via proxy. Of course, you can hire a service to handle this for you, but it is very doable alone, especially if you are passing thru New York City.
I have successfully applied for many visas via mail but did not attempt it here because the consulate failed to pick up the phone or answer email (I made several attempts before traveling all the way to New York). If you do decide to mail your application, you can send it to:
Consulate General of Algeria
15 East 47th Street
New York, NY 10017
Be sure to include a prepaid self-addressed return envelope. This must be via USPS Priority Mail or USPS Overnight Mail and include a tracking number.
If you do send someone for you, the representative must show a notarized letter with your authorization for the agent to act on your behalf.
Hours Are Limited
Applications can be dropped off or picked up at the Consulate General from Tuesday thru Friday between the hours of 9:00 am and 3:00 pm.
A tourist visa for a U.S. citizen costs $160.
What Do I Need To Apply For An Algerian Visa?
If you are applying for a tourist visa, you will need the following:
- Hotel reservation, notarized invitation letter, or travel agency invitation letter
- I simply submitted a copy of my hotel reservation
- A copy of round trip flight ticket
- Not sure of how I would depart, I created a round-trip reservation on Lufthansa for the day I planned to arrive and depart
- Statement of financial resources or proof of income
- I submitted a recent bank statement
- Passport and a copy of the first page
- Your original passport as well as a copy of the first page (which includes your picture and info)
- The passport should be valid for at least six months
- $160 money order
- Very important: only USPS money orders are accepted
- Two copies of the application form
- Fill out the editable PDF application form, print it, date it, then hand-sign it
- You must type the application – no handwriting permitted
- For both copies, glue a photo on the box reserved for it at the upper right side of the form
- The photos should be US passport photos (2 x 2 inches or 51 x 51 mm)
- A prepaid return envelope must be either via USPS Priority Mail or USPS Overnight Mail and include a tracking number
- Only applicable if you send your application by mail or do not intend to return in-person to pick it up
If you are applying for other types of visa, please check the specific requirements here.
After numerous failed attempts to reach the Consulate by telephone and email, I decided to make a special trip to New York just to try to apply for the visa in-person. This was June 2021.
From Penn Station, I made a stop at the Post Office in the Garment District, where I purchased the $160 money order required, then walked through Times Square.
Finally, I reached the Consulate (in the Diamond District) and rang the bell outside. A man let me in, somewhat surprised. I told him I was here to apply for a tourist visa and he looked even more surprised. He told me that he did not think tourist visas were being issued, but would check.
He picked up the phone and after a long conversation in Arabic, told me that Algeria was still not issuing tourist visas (even though its website indicated these were being issued). He told me to call back in a “couple of weeks” and when I told him no one answered the phone last time, he said to keep trying.
I returned in October of 2021 and again returned to the Consulate. This time, I was welcomed in (my mobile phone was immediately taken and I had to pass through a metal detector), and ushered down the hall to a waiting room.
About 10 minutes later, a woman came downstairs, greeted me, seemed delighted that I would want to visit Algeria, looked over my paperwork, took it, and then told me that my visa would be ready the next day. Unfortunately, I was flying out that night, so I gave her a pre-addressed Priority Mail envelope (thankfully, I have two passports).
By the time I returned home from my trip to Europe, the Algerian visa had arrived, a full-page sticker affixed to my passport, valid for one year with multiple entries permitted.
It took me almost a year to go thanks to a series of flight cancellations, but that’s a different story….
When it came down to it, actually obtaining a visa (the in-person visit, the meeting) was quite easy, but reaching New York from California was not the easiest or cheapest endeavor. I am not sure I would risk mailing your passport, but that option does exist. But if you are in the New York City area, Algeria is in full swing of issuing tourist visas once again.