Expat guide to Syria, what you need to know before you move



The glory and prestige of Syria’s thousands of years old heritage is now shrouded by the conflict raging within its borders. Syria’s geographical location served as an intersection of many cultures dating back even before the Roman Empire. Stone columns and temple ruins dotting the landscape, lush green hills and mountains, and the colorful everyday life of locals were a sight to behold by many travellers across the globe. As the turbulent storm goes on, the world awaits and hopes that the day will come when the noise of the fighting will be replaced by the stirring footsteps and rousing cheers of citizens and expats along the streets of the world’s oldest city. 


Expat Clubs

Syiran Expatriates

The Syrian Expatriates Organization provides humanitarian relief inside Syria and advocates for a free and democratic Syria.

FB: www.facebook.com/Syrian.Expatriates

Website: www.syrian-expatriates.org

International Schools 

Arabian Campus

Info on how to study in Syria.

Website: www.arabiancampus.com/studyinsyria/index.html


The International Schools of Choueifat – Syria

The first private international school in Syria to be registered by the Ministry of Education, the International School of Choueifat – Damascus opened its doors in September 2001 in Ashrafyet Sahnaya as an independent co-educational day school catering to the local and international communities. In its first year of operation, it served 430 students from Pre-KG to grade 7. By the 2004/05 academic year, the student body had grown to 1,000 from Pre-KG to Grade 10. In the 2006/07 academic year, ISC – Damascus Grade 12 students gained entry to top universities in Syria and worldwide.

Address: P.O. Box 302, Achrafieh Sahnaya, Amman Road, Daraa Highway, Damascus, Syria

Tel: (+963 99) 300 635 /6

Fax: (+963 99) 300 637

Email: [email protected]

Website: iscdamas-sabis.net

Local News in English

Syrian Arab News Network

The Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) is the national official news agency in Syria. It was established in 1965. It is linked to the Ministry of Information and has its headquarters in Damascus. The Agency provides full coverage of local, Arab and international events based on balanced, objective approach. It is always matching up with the latest developments in news agencies work.

Website: www.sana.sy


Breaking News Syria

This is a bilingual news site that covers in-depth, events and happenings in Syria as well as the region.

Website: breakingnews.sy/en.html

Country Information 

Location: Middle East

Capital City: Damascos

Currency: Syrian pound

Language: Arabic

Calling Code: +963

Internet TLD: .sy

Electricity: Syria runs on 220VAC 50Hz.

Emergency Numbers:   

Ambulance: 110

Fire: 113

Police: 112

Country Information


Embassy Information

Looking for your local embassy? We found this website useful, it has all the embassies in Syria listed... 


Residents Visa and Work Permit information

Visitors from all countries are required to have a visa. Applications for entry visas are coursed through a Syrian embassy or consulate.

General documents required:
  • Valid passport, minimum 6 months
  • Two completed application forms
  • Two passport size photos
  • Visa fees

For more information please visit the Embassy of Syria UAE website >> 

Expats wishing to stay for more than 15 days must register with Syrian immigration authorities by the 15th day of their stay. This is an important process to extend the visa; otherwise leaving the country could be faced with difficulty.

The US government has issued an advisory about Syrian-American men (Americans of Syrian origin):

Syrian-American men or American men of Syrian origin, even those born in the United States, may be subject to compulsory military service unless they receive a temporary or permanent exemption from a Syrian diplomatic mission abroad prior to their entry into Syria.

-          From the US Passports and International Travel travel.state.gov/content/passports/english/country/syria.html


Living in Syria at the moment is deemed unsafe, for citizens and foreigners. Both the US and the UK governments have published travel advisories detailing the dangers in travelling to the country, and urging expats to depart as soon as possible.

The Department of State continues to warn U.S. citizens against travel to Syria and strongly recommends that U.S. citizens remaining in Syria depart immediately.  This Travel Warning supersedes the Travel Warning dated October 7, 2013, to remind U.S. citizens that the security situation remains volatile and unpredictable as a civil war between government and armed anti-government groups continues throughout the country, along with an increased risk of kidnappings, bombings, murder, and terrorism. 


No part of Syria should be considered safe from violence, and the potential exists throughout the country for hostile acts, including kidnappings and the use of chemical warfare against civilian populations.  Indiscriminate shelling and aerial bombardment, including of densely populated urban areas across the country, have significantly raised the risk of death or serious injury.  The destruction of infrastructure, housing, medical facilities, schools, power and water utilities has also increased hardships inside the country.

-          For the complete advisory please visit: travel.state.gov/content/passports/english/alertswarnings/syria-travel-warning.html


The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advise against all travel to Syria. British nationals in Syria should leave now by any practical means. The FCO is not able to provide consular services, and won’t be able to help your evacuation from the country.

In June 2013, the Syrian government issued a new law stating that individuals who enter Syrian territories illegally will be punished by a prison sentence of 5 to 10 years and/or a fine of 5 to 10 million Syrian pounds.

There is widespread fighting throughout Syria, including in Damascus and its suburbs. Full scale military operations involving the use of small arms, tanks, artillery and aircraft are ongoing. In Aleppo and elsewhere, the regime has been undertaking an indiscriminate campaign of aerial bombardment since mid-December 2013, using so called ‘barrel’ bombs – huge containers packed with explosives and shards of metal dropped by helicopter – against largely civilian targets. The situation remains extremely volatile.

For the complete advisory please visit: www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/syria

Driving License

Expats may use their domestic license and an international license to drive legally in Syria for up to 1 month.

The US government issued an advisory about the road conditions, vehicular and passenger safety in Syria:

Because of the ongoing conflict, there is increased likelihood that visitors will encounter hostile activity and harassment at both official and unofficial security checkpoints on roads throughout the country. In addition to the threat posed by the active conflict, driving in Syria may be hazardous and requires great caution.

-          From travel.state.gov/content/passports/english/country/syria.html


The ongoing fighting in the country has rendered medical facilities in ruins, especially in major cities. Also with the emigration of much of the population, some hospitals have already closed.


Al Assad University Hospital

Al Assad University Hospital in Damascus is one of the largest teaching hospitals in Syria. It was founded in 1988 and is run by the Ministry of Higher Education. The hospital is affiliated with Damascus University.

Address: 17th April, Damascus, Syria

Tel: +963 11 212 6500

Website: www.auhd.edu.sy/


Al Fayhaa Hospital

The Hospital was opened in 2012. It has a capacity of 134 beds. It is classified 1st Class according to the norms of the Ministry of Health.

Address: Damascus - Field - Behind the Mosque Zine El Abidine quadrant: 9593

Tel: +963 11 8819593

Website: www.alfayhaahospital.com

Address: Fayez Mansour, Damascus, Syria, Al Razi Hospital

Tel: +963 11 611 8445

Website: www.alrazi-hospital.com