Libya’s Parliament Enacts Legislation to Curb Foreign Settlement


On Monday, Libya’s Parliament took a significant step by formally approving a law aimed at hindering foreign settlement in the country. This extensive legislation includes provisions for prison terms and financial penalties, requiring every foreign resident to secure a Libyan sponsor.

The law specifies judicial powers to deport any foreign person entering the country, with the intent of settling. Moreover, legal representatives of businesses can face expulsion, if they participate in activities considered criminal under this law.

The newly adopted legislation also prescribes a prison sentence, and a minimum fine of 1,000 dinars for anyone entering Libya with the aim of settling, even if they hold a valid visa.

Furthermore, the law imposes a prison sentence of not less than five years, and a maximum fine of 10,000 dinars on “any individual or corporate representative who shelters, employs, or aids the entry of a foreigner with known intentions to settle in Libya without informing the appropriate authorities about their presence or reason for their stay.”

In addition to individual penalties, section four of the anti-foreign settlement law outlines punitive measures against corporations. These measures include closing their premises, revoking their operating licenses in Libya, and seizing funds and assets connected to the crime.

Section five of the legislation reinforces that “no person or business can employ a foreign individual without obtaining a work permit from the Ministry of Labour. Nor can they assist in their stay, such as offering housing or leasing to them, especially if they know about the individual’s intent to settle. These entities are obligated to notify the relevant authorities once the foreigner’s employment period ends.”

The anti-foreign settlement law in Libya, which received a majority vote during a meeting on 22 March, reflects the country’s growing concern about foreign settlement, and its potential implications on national security and economy.

This recent development underscores Libya’s commitment to securing its borders, protecting its national identity, and ensuring that foreign residents adhere to legal and administrative protocols. As Libya moves forward, the global community watches to gauge the law’s real-world implications on foreign relations and businesses.