Whether Palestinians abroad must still apply for permission to return to Lebanon, and if so, how difficult is the process and how frequently are applicants denied permission to return [LBN33105.E]

According to the consul at the Embassy of Lebanon in Ottawa, Palestinians with valid travel documents or laissez-passer do not have to apply for permission to return to Lebanon (15 Nov. 1999). Palestinians returning to Lebanon need permission from the Lebanese authorities only when their documents are no longer valid. In such case, they must renew their documents, an easy procedure today.

The Consul added that because of the low level of government control during the civil war (1975-1990), there have been a number of fraudulent travel documents issued to Palestinians in Lebanon. The Lebanese authorities, including diplomatic missions, scrutinize documents issued to Palestinians in the 1980s who apply for renewal to check whether it is legitimate and whether the holders are registered in Lebanon. If the document is fraudulent, the application for renewal is sent to Beirut where a final decision is taken. The Consul stated that cases of fraudulent documents are very rare today since the vast majority of Palestinians hold valid documents. The main reason for refusing entry in Lebanon for a Palestinian today is for holding a fraudulent document.

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate 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 Lebanon, Ottawa. 15 November 1999. Telephone interview.