Everyone except Moroccan and Tunisian nationals needs a visa to enter Algeria. Nationals of Israel, Malawi and Taiwan are not allowed into the country, and if you have a stamp in your passport from any of these countries your application might be rejected.
If you’re getting an Algerian visa before leaving home, you need a letter from your employer or university to say you’ll be coming back after your holiday and an ‘invitation’ to visit the country from an Algerian contact or tourist agency (the latter is available from several travel agencies in Tamanrasset). Applications lodged in Europe might also require three photos. Getting a visa en route is usually pretty straightforward in Niger, Chad and Mali.
Costs of a 30-day visa are around US$45. Some embassies ask for photocopies of your passport.
Visa extensions can be obtained from the Department des Estrangers (Blvd Zighout Youssef 19A, Algiers), but are not easy to obtain.
Visas for onward travel
Mali One-month visas cost US$36 and are usually issued in 24 hours. You’ll need two photos.
Niger One-month visas are issued the same day, costing between US$35 and US$0. Three photos and three application forms are required.