Information on penalties for illegally leaving Sudan [SDN20094.E]

An official at the Embassy of the Republic of The Sudan stated in a telephone interview that a person leaving Sudan is required to have an exit visa, which is indicated in the person's passport by a stamp (16 Mar. 1995). A person returning to Sudan without an exit stamp would be questioned about his/her departure by border control officials, and would have to pay a fine (16 Mar. 1995). The official did not know the amount of the fine, explaining that "it keeps changing" (ibid.). In addition, this person would be asked not to leave Sudan again without first obtaining an exit visa. The official added that exit visas are used for statistical purposes (ibid.).

A representative of the Sudan Human Rights Organization in London, UK, provided contrasting information in a telephone interview (13 Mar. 1995). The representative did not know of a specific penalty but speculated that it would be lenient, given that most people obtain an exit visa (ibid.). However, according to the representative, the fact that a person left Sudan without an exit visa might suggest to the authorities that the person was a political opponent of the government. Therefore, as a suspected opponent, he or she would be detained upon return (ibid.). The representative stated that "more than 90 per cent of detentions of suspected opponents are without due legal process," and that a person returning without an exit visa could be subjected to punishment "outside of the law and outside of the courts," including "torture for political opponents" (ibid.).

The representative explained that a person with no record of difficulty with the governing authorities should eventually be able to obtain an exit visa. An individual who has had problems with the authorities, or who is otherwise known to the authorities, could have difficulty obtaining an exit visa (ibid.). The representative stated that someone returning without an exit visa who had been politically active while abroad could be arbitrarily detained (ibid.).

A representative of the Sudanese Democratic Forum in London, UK, in a telephone interview speculated that no penalty for illegally leaving Sudan would be invoked if the person had connections to the National Islamic Front, or if the person had no record of political activities either in Sudan or while out of the country (13 Mar. 1995).

For information on Sudanese exit permits and travel restrictions and controls, please consult the attachment from the Travel Information Manual, as well as Response to Information Request SDN19745.E of 14 February 1995, which is available at Regional Documentation Centres.

This response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the DIRB within time constraints. This response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum.


Embassy of the Republic of the Sudan, Ottawa. 16 March 1995. Telephone interview with official.

Sudan Human Rights Organization, London. 13 March 1995. Telephone interview with representative.

Sudanese Democratic Forum, London. 13 March 1995. Telephone interview with representative.


Travel Information Manual [Hoofddorp, The Netherlands]. March 1995, pp. 321-323.