Like everywhere else in the world, if you need to send money abroad Western Union Libya is the way to go. It’s quite simple, it is available almost everywhere and it’s fairly cheap. In Libya however there are some rules and limitations you need to be aware of.
Where to find Western Union?
In Zawia and Misurata most high street banks have a Western Union counter. You can use any bank, not just your own (sounds silly but to withdraw money you can only do so at your own bank, in your own branch). Anyway finding a Western Union counter is really easy, and you can usually spot the well known yellow sign from the road, so drive slowly (but not too slow remember it’s Libya they’ll push you out of the way) and that’s done.
send/receive money with Western Union Libya
There are 2 separate forms to send or receive money so make sure you tell the agent the one you need. It is a single sheet asking for very basic details, nothing funny:
- Country of destination
- Receiver’s first/last names and address
- Sender’s first and last names and address as well as phone number
That’s all really and the best part is, you can do it in English!!! The form is written in Arabic (on the right) and English (on the left) so it’s a piece of cake even if you don’t speak any Arabic. Since the agents have to deal with Western Union forms, they usually also speaks enough English to get you through. Yeahhhh
What documents do you need?
Again fairly simple, especially by Libyan standards, but make sure you have everything though or else they’ll send you away. Have those ready:
- your passport (which they may check)
- a photocopy of your passport (which they keep)
- enough money to cover the transfer (sender)
- a reference number called MTCN that the sender should have given you (10 digits)
And again that’s it!
What are the rules and limitations that apply in Libya?
There are a few limitations regulating the transfer of money outside of Libya.
- All transfers are done in US Dollars, but you can bring Libyan money and they’ll change it in the same time, no worries.
- By law, you can only send $5000 (USD) in one year. Once you have reached the limit you have to wait for the beginning of the new year, usually in January although this may vary from one place to another, not sure.
- You can only send $1000 (USD) at a time (usually per day).
- Allowance are recorded using your passport details (so if you’re lucky enough to have 2, you get double allowance).
I wish it was that simple to deal with banking. But that’s another story… Western Union is not only simple, it’s also a reliable and extremely fast way to send and receive money while abroad. It’s perfect for expats and stranded travellers.
What’s your experience with WU? Is it always that easy?