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Travel Advisories

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Syria

Level 4

Do Not Travel

Updated to reflect the risk of wrongful detention

Do not travel to Syria due to the risk of terrorism, civil unrest, kidnapping or hostage taking, and armed conflict. Exercise increased caution due to the risk of wrongful detention.

Country Summary: The U.S. Embassy in Damascus suspended its operations in February 2012. Czechia serves as the protecting power for the United States in Syria. The U.S. government is unable to provide any routine or emergency consular services to U.S. citizens in Syria.

Syria has experienced active armed conflict since 2011. No part of Syria is safe from violence. Hostage taking by armed groups, wrongful detentions, the use of chemical warfare, shelling, and aerial bombardment of civilian centers pose significant risk of death or serious injury. The destruction of infrastructure, housing, medical facilities, schools, and power and water utilities has also increased hardships inside the country.

The U.S. government strongly warns private U.S. citizens against traveling to Syria to engage in armed conflict. The U.S. government does not support this activity. U.S. citizens who undertake such activity face extreme personal risks, including hostage taking by armed groups, wrongful detentions, injury, or death. Our ability to provide consular assistance to individuals who are injured or kidnapped, or to the families of individuals who die in the conflict, is extremely limited.

Protests and demonstrations are quelled by government forces through aggressive tactics and protestors, activists, and political dissenters are routinely detained without access to legal representation or the ability to communicate with friends and family.

Terrorist groups are active in Syria. Parts of Syria have experienced recent increases in incidents of bombings, IEDs, and assassinations. Fighting on behalf of or providing other forms of support to designated terrorist organizations, including ISIS and al-Qaeda affiliates, can constitute the provision of material support for terrorism or a foreign terrorist organization, which is a crime under U.S. law that can result in penalties including prison time and large fines.

There is an ongoing risk of hostage taking of U.S. citizens and other foreign nationals throughout the country. U.S. citizens are also targets of abduction and/or wrongful detention by the Syrian government. Those in detention do not have access to fair judicial process or medical attention. Government detention centers are known to be unsanitary facilities where widespread cruel, inhumane, or degrading treatment of detainees has been documented, as well as torture and extrajudicial killings. Minors, persons with physical, sensory, or mental disabilities, and elderly have frequently been victims of unjust detention. The Syrian government has also been implicated in the enforced or involuntary disappearance of more than 100,000 individuals, including medical and humanitarian workers, journalists, human rights activists, political opposition, and additionally those suspected of affiliation with these groups and their family members. Only the Syrian government can issue a valid entry visa to Syria. Failure to obtain a legitimate entry visa directly from the Syrian government could result in detention.

Due to risks of operating civilian aircraft within or in the vicinity of Syria, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has issued a Notice to Air Missions (NOTAM) and/or a Special Federal Aviation Regulation (SFAR). For more information, U.S. citizens should consult the Federal Aviation Administration’s Prohibitions, Restrictions and Notices.

Read the country information page for additional information on travel to Syria.

If you decide to travel to Syria:

  • Visit our website on Travel to High Risk Areas.
  • Draft a will and designate appropriate insurance beneficiaries and/or power of attorney.
  • Establish a proof of life protocol with your family, so that if you are taken hostage, your family knows specific questions (and answers) to ask the hostage-takers to be sure that you are alive and to rule out a hoax.
  • Leave DNA samples with your medical provider in case it is necessary for your family to access them.
  • Share important documents, login information, and points of contact with family so that they can manage your affairs if you are unable to return as planned to the United States.
  • Develop a communication plan with family and/or your employer or host organization so that they can monitor your safety and location as you travel through high-risk areas. This plan should specify who you would contact first, and how they should share the information.
  • Enroll your trip in the State Department's Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
  • Follow the Department of State on Facebook and Twitter/X.
  • Visit the CDC page for the latest Travel Health Information related to your travel.
  • U.S. citizens who travel abroad should always have a contingency plan for emergency situations. Review the Traveler’s Checklist.
Published: 2024-07-10 | Updated: 2024-07-11 00:00:04 | Source

North Korea

Level 4

Do Not Travel

Reissued with obsolete COVID-19 page links removed.

Do not travel to North Korea due to the continuing serious risk of arrest and long-term detention of U.S. nationals. Exercise increased caution to North Korea due to the critical threat of wrongful detention.

  • All U.S. passports are invalid for travel to, in, or through the DPRK unless specially validated for such travel under the authority of the Secretary of State.
  • Special validations are granted only in very limited circumstances. More information on how to apply for the special validation is available here.

The U.S. government is unable to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens in North Korea as it does not have diplomatic or consular relations with North Korea. Sweden serves as the protecting power for the United States in North Korea, providing limited emergency services. The North Korean government routinely delays or denies Swedish officials access to detained U.S. citizens.

Due to risks to civil aviation operating within or in the vicinity of North Korea, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has issued a Notice to Air Missions (NOTAM) and/or a Special Federal Aviation Regulation (SFAR). For more information U.S. citizens should consult the Federal Aviation Administration’s Prohibitions, Restrictions and Notices.

Read the country information page for additional information on travel to North Korea.

If you receive a special validation to travel to North Korea:

  • Draft a will and designate appropriate insurance beneficiaries and/or power of attorney.
  • Discuss a plan with loved ones regarding care/custody of children, pets, property, belongings, non-liquid assets (collections, artwork, etc.), funeral wishes, etc.
  • Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas.
  • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
  • Follow the Department of State on Facebook and Twitter.
  • Visit the CDC page for the latest Travel Health Information related to your travel.
  • Prepare a contingency plan for emergency situations. Review the Traveler’s Checklist.
Published: 2023-07-24 | Updated: 2023-10-02 16:55:18 | Source

Burma (Myanmar)

Level 4

Do Not Travel

Updated Country Summary, to include information about implementation of a conscription law, and changes to the “If you decide to travel to Burma” section.

Do not travel to Burma due to civil unrest, armed conflict, and arbitrary enforcement of local laws. Reconsider travel to Burma due to limited and/or inadequate healthcare and emergency medical resources, and areas with land mines and unexploded ordnances. Exercise increased caution due to wrongful detentions.

COUNTRY SUMMARY: The Burma military regime detained and deposed elected government officials in a February 2021 coup d'état. Protests and demonstrations against military rule continue, often on significant dates. The military has responded to those protests by arbitrarily detaining individuals and with the indiscriminate use of deadly force against protesters and bystanders.

The Department of State has determined that the risk of wrongful detention of U.S. nationals by the military regime exists.

The U.S. government has limited ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens in Burma due to security concerns amidst the ongoing armed conflict. This may be of particular concern to crime victims outside of Rangoon.

To mitigate safety and security risks, U.S. government employees’ dependents, under the age of 21, cannot reside in Burma with their U.S. government parent assigned to work in Burma.

Civil unrest and armed conflict occur throughout Burma. The level of civil unrest and armed conflict varies significantly between and within states and regions and may change at any time.

Civil unrest and armed violence due to fighting between the military regime and various ethnic groups and militias occur particularly in parts of Chin, Kachin, Kayin, Rakhine, and Shan States, as well as in Sagaing and Magway regions.

Improvised explosive devices (IEDs) are used in the ongoing armed conflicts, including within the greater Rangoon area. From January to December 2023, the U.S. Embassy in Rangoon calculated an average of fifteen IEDs per month detonated against regime targets, while an average of eight unexploded IEDs were discovered and safely disposed of per month by security authorities. Outside of Rangoon, there have been IED attacks against checkpoints and other critical infrastructure.

While land mines and unexploded ordnance (UXO) exist throughout Burma, NGOs working on this issue state the greatest concerns are in Shan, Chin, and Kachin State. The locations of landmines and UXO are often not marked or otherwise unidentifiable.

The military regime arbitrarily enforces local laws, including often detaining individuals without respect for their fair trial guarantees or other applicable rights. Foreigners, including U.S. citizens, are not excluded from this practice. U.S. citizens traveling or residing in Burma may be detained and regime authorities could deny access to U.S. consular services or information about the alleged crime.

Local law enforcement officials may detain and/or deport U.S. citizens for speaking out or protesting against the military regime, including on their personal social media accounts, and for sending private electronic messages critical of the military regime. Facebook and X (Twitter) are banned in Burma. Police have sought bribes from individuals using a virtual private network (VPN) to access social media sites even though VPN use is legal.

Burma has limited and/or inadequate healthcare and emergency medical resources due to critical staffing shortages in the public sector health workforce. Importation of medical supplies, including medicine, into Burma is not consistent and medical prescriptions and over-the-counter medicine may not be available.

Burma’s military conscription law was first introduced in 2010 but historically was not widely implemented. The military regime officially implemented the law in April 2024. In general, Burmese males aged 18 to 35 and Burmese females aged 18 to 27 will need to register for military service and report for duty if ordered by regime authorities. Burmese males aged 18 to 45 and Burmese females aged 18 to 35 in specific expert/professional occupations must serve if called upon by the regime. For more information, please refer to the Myanmar People’s Military Service Law (State Peace and Development Council Law No. 27/2010), also known as the Public Military Service Law. The military regime may refuse to acknowledge U.S.-Burmese dual nationals’ U.S. citizenship, prevent their departure from Burma, and/or conscript them into the military. U.S.-Burmese nationals should consider this issue before traveling to Burma.

Read the Country Information page for additional information on travel to Burma.

If you decide to travel to Burma:

  • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
  • Follow the Department of State on Facebook and Twitter.
  • Follow the Embassy on Facebook and Twitter.
  • Follow the Embassy’s Consular Section on Facebook.
  • Review the Country Security Report for Burma.
  • Visit the CDC page for the latest Travel Health Information related to your travel.
  • Purchase travel medical insurance that covers Burma and includes medical evacuation.
  • Do not touch unknown metal objects and avoid traveling off well-used roads, tracks, and paths due to risk of unexploded ordnance.
  • Keep travel documents up to date and easily accessible.
  • Make contingency plans to leave the country.
  • Review local laws and conditions before traveling.
  • Review our website on Dual-Nationality.
  • Visit our website for High-Risk Area Travelers.
  • Share important documents, login information, and points of contact with loved ones so that they can manage your affairs if you are unable to return as planned to the United States.
  • Review Ready.gov’s Financial Preparedness webpage.
  • Develop a communication plan with family and/or your employer or host organization.
  • Erase any sensitive photos, comments, or other materials that could be considered controversial or provocative by local groups from your social media pages, cameras, laptops, and other electronic devices prior to travel.
Published: 2024-06-06 | Updated: 2024-06-07 00:00:03 | Source

Sudan

Level 4

Do Not Travel

Reissued with updates to the security situation and post departure status.

Do not travel to Sudan due to armed conflict, civil unrest, crime, terrorism, and kidnapping.

On April 22, 2023, the U.S. Embassy in Khartoum suspended its operations, and the Department of State ordered the departure of U.S. direct hire employees and eligible family members from Embassy Khartoum due to the continued threat of armed conflict in Sudan. The U.S. government cannot provide routine or emergency consular services to U.S. citizens in Sudan, due to the current security situation.

Armed conflict is ongoing throughout Sudan and includes heavy fighting between various political and security groups. The situation is violent, volatile, and extremely unpredictable, particularly in the capital city Khartoum. Electrical and communication disruptions, including internet and cell phone service, can occur at any time. Khartoum International Airport and Sudan’s border with Chad are currently closed.

Country Summary: Armed conflict, crime, such as kidnapping, armed robbery, home invasion, and carjacking occur.

Members of known terrorist groups and individuals sympathetic to these groups in Sudan could attack with little or no warning, targeting foreign and local government facilities, and areas frequented by Westerners.

Violence continues along the border between Chad and Sudan and areas that border South Sudan (including the disputed Abyei area). Armed opposition groups are active in Central Darfur state and parts of Blue Nile and South Kordofan states. Intercommunal clashes can occur throughout the country and can result in the declaration of localized States of Emergency.

Read the country information page for additional information about travel to Sudan.

If you decide to travel to Sudan:

  • Exercise extreme care in all parts of the country, including Khartoum.
  • Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas.
  • Have a personal emergency action plan that does not rely on U.S. government assistance.
  • Monitor local media for breaking events and be prepared to adjust your plans.
  • Be aware of your surroundings.
  • Stay alert in areas frequented by Westerners.
  • Review your personal security plan and visit our page on travel to high-risk areas.
  • Draft a will and designate appropriate insurance beneficiaries and/or power of attorney.
  • Discuss a plan with loved ones regarding care/custody of children, pets, property, belongings, non-liquid assets (collections, artwork, etc.), funeral wishes, etc.
  • Share important documents, log-in information, and points of contact with loved ones so that they can manage your affairs if you are unable to return as planned to the United States. Find a suggested list of such documents here.
  • Develop a communication plan with family and/or your employer or host organization so that they can monitor your safety and location as you travel through Sudan. This plan should specify who you would contact first, and how they should share the information.
  • Avoid demonstrations and public gatherings. Even events intended to be peaceful can become violent.
  • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
  • Follow the Department of State on Facebook and Twitter.
  • Review the Country Security Report for Sudan.
  • Prepare a contingency plan for emergency situations. Review the Traveler’s Checklist.
Published: 2023-04-22 | Updated: 2023-10-02 16:55:18 | Source

Afghanistan

Level 4

Do Not Travel

Updated with information on risk of wrongful detention

Do not travel to Afghanistan due to terrorism, risk of wrongful detention, kidnapping and crime.

Country Summary: In 2021, the Taliban took over Afghanistan and announced an “interim government” based in the capital, Kabul. The U.S. Embassy in Kabul has suspended operations, and the U.S. government is not able to provide any emergency consular services to U.S. citizens in Afghanistan.

U.S. citizens should not travel to Afghanistan for any reason.

Multiple terrorist groups are active in country and U.S. citizens are targets of kidnapping and wrongful detentions. The Department has assessed that there is a risk of wrongful detention of U.S. citizens by the Taliban. The Taliban have harassed and detained aid and humanitarian workers. The activities of foreigners may be viewed with suspicion, and reasons for detention may be unclear. Even if you are registered with the appropriate authorities to conduct business, the risk of detention is high.

The Taliban do not regularly permit the United States to conduct welfare checks on U.S. citizens in detention, including by phone. Detention can be lengthy and while in detention, U.S. citizens have limited or no access to medical attention and may be subject to physical abuse.

U.S. citizens in Afghanistan in need of routine consular services can contact any U.S. embassy or consulate outside of Afghanistan for assistance, although our ability to assist U.S. citizens in Afghanistan is extremely limited. To locate the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate outside of Afghanistan, click here.

U.S. citizens who are in Afghanistan are urged to depart immediately via commercial means if possible. U.S. citizens who are seeking U.S. government assistance to depart should email complete biographic details and contact information (email and phone number), as well as U.S. passport number, to AfghanistanACS@state.gov.

The Department of State will continue to provide information via the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP), Embassy Kabul’s web page, Travel.State.Gov, Facebook, and Twitter/X.

If you choose to disregard the Travel Advisory and travel to Afghanistan:

  • Follow the Department of State on Facebook and Twitter/X.
  • Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas.
  • Review your personal security plans.
  • Be aware of your surroundings and local security developments at all times.
  • Keep a low profile.
  • Notify a trusted person of your travel and movement plans.
  • Make contingency plans to leave when it is safe to do so that do not rely on U.S. government assistance.
  • Draft a will and designate appropriate insurance beneficiaries and/or power of attorney.
  • Discuss a plan with loved ones regarding care/custody of children, pets, property, belongings, non-liquid assets (collections, artwork, etc.), funeral wishes, etc.
  • Leave DNA samples with your medical provider in case it is necessary for your family to access them.
  • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security updates and ensure you can be located in an emergency. Read the Country Security Report For Afghanistan.
  • Visit the CDC page for the latest Travel Health Information related to your travel.
Published: 2023-12-18 | Updated: 2024-03-06 00:00:02 | Source

Belarus

Level 4

Do Not Travel

Reissued with obsolete COVID-19 page links removed.

Do not travel to Belarus due to the Belarusian authorities’ continued facilitation of Russia’s war against Ukraine, the buildup of Russian military forces in Belarus, the arbitrary enforcement of local laws, the potential of civil unrest, the risk of detention, and the Embassy’s limited ability to assist U.S. citizens residing in or traveling to Belarus. U.S. citizens in Belarus should depart immediately.

On February 28, 2022, the Department of State ordered the departure of U.S. government employees and the suspension of operations of the U.S. Embassy in Minsk. All consular services, routine and emergency, are suspended until further notice. U.S. citizens in Belarus who require consular services should try to leave the country as soon as possible and contact a U.S. embassy or consulate in another country.

Due to Belarusian authorities’ continued facilitation of Russia’s unprovoked attack on Ukraine and given the heightened volatility and unpredictable nature of the regional security environment, do not travel to Belarus. Potential harassment targeted specifically at foreigners is also possible.

Exercise increased awareness and vigilance regarding political and military tensions in the region. U.S. citizens are advised to avoid public demonstrations. Authorities have used force to disperse demonstrators, including those peacefully demonstrating. Bystanders, including foreign nationals, may face the possibility of arrest or detention.

U.S. citizens should regularly reevaluate possible departure plans in the event of an emergency. Border crossings with neighboring states are sometimes closed with little notice. Additional closures of crossing points along Belarus’ borders with Lithuania, Poland, Latvia, and Ukraine are possible.

Country Summary: Belarusian authorities have detained tens of thousands of individuals, including U.S. citizens, for alleged affiliations with opposition parties and alleged participation in political demonstrations. U.S. citizens in the vicinity of demonstrations have been arrested. Some have been victims of harassment and/or mistreatment by Belarusian officials. Belarusian authorities have targeted individuals associated with independent and foreign media. On May 23, 2021, Belarusian authorities forced the landing of a commercial aircraft transiting Belarusian airspace in order to arrest an opposition journalist who was a passenger.

Belarus enforces special restrictions on dual U.S.-Belarusian nationals and may refuse to acknowledge dual U.S.-Belarusian nationals’ U.S. citizenship, including denying or delaying U.S. consular assistance to detained dual nationals.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has issued an Advisory Notice to Air Missions (NOTAM) prohibiting all U.S. air carriers and commercial operators, U.S. airmen and airwomen, and U.S. registered aircraft from operating at all altitudes in the Minsk Flight Information Region (UMMV). For more information, U.S. citizens should consult the Federal Aviation Administration’s Prohibitions, Restrictions and Notices.

Read the country information page for additional information on travel to Belarus.

If you decide to travel to Belarus:

Published: 2023-07-26 | Updated: 2024-01-09 00:00:02 | Source

Bangladesh

Level 4

Do Not Travel

Updated to reflect Level 4: Do Not Travel and the Department’s authorization of the voluntary departure of non-emergency U.S. government employees and family members.

Do not travel to Bangladesh due to civil unrest, crime, and terrorism.

Country Summary: On July 20, 2024, the Department allowed for the voluntary departure of non-emergency U.S. government employees and family members. Travelers should not travel to Bangladesh due to ongoing civil unrest in Dhaka. Demonstrations and violent clashes have been reported throughout the city of Dhaka, its neighboring areas, and throughout Bangladesh. The Government of Bangladesh has declared a curfew throughout Bangladesh, ordering everyone to stay indoors. The Bangladeshi Army has been deployed throughout the country to reinforce the police. Telecommunications have been interrupted in Dhaka and across the country. Due to the security situation, there may be a delay in provision of routine consular services.

Travelers should be aware of petty crimes such as pickpocketing in crowded areas. Crimes such as muggings, burglaries, assaults, and illegal drug trafficking constitute the majority of criminal activity in Bangladesh’s major cities, but there are no indications foreigners are being targeted because of their nationality. These crimes tend to be situational, based on time and location.

Terrorist attacks can happen with little or no warning, with terrorists targeting public areas such as tourist locations, transportation hubs, markets/shopping malls, restaurants, places of worship, school campuses, and government facilities.

Because of security concerns U.S. Embassy personnel in Bangladesh are subject to some movement and travel restrictions. The U.S. government may have limited ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens in Bangladesh due to these travel restrictions, a lack of infrastructure, and limited host government emergency response resources.

Read the country information page for additional information on travel to Bangladesh.

If you decide to travel to Bangladesh:

  • Avoid demonstrations and political gatherings.
  • Monitor local media for breaking events and be prepared to adjust plans.
  • Do not physically resist any robbery attempt. Get to a safe area and report any criminal incident to local authorities.
  • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive alerts including updates on consular services and so it is easier to locate you in an emergency.
  • Follow the State Department on Facebook or Twitter.
  • Review the Country Security Report for Bangladesh.
  • Visit the CDC page for the latest Travel Health Information related to your travel.
  • Prepare a contingency plan for emergency situations. Please review the Traveler’s Checklist.

Chittagong Hill Tracts Region

The Khagrachari, Rangamati, and Bandarban Hill Tracts districts (collectively known as the Chittagong Hill Tracts) experience occasional communal violence, crime, terrorism, kidnapping, and other security risks. Kidnappings have occurred in the region, including those motivated by domestic or familial disputes, and those targeting members of religious minorities. Separatist organizations and political violence also pose additional threats to visitors to the region, and there have been recent instances of IED explosions and active shooting. Prior approval from the Government of Bangladesh’s Ministry of Home Affairs Office of Public Safety is required if you plan to travel to these areas.

Please visit our website for information on Travel to High-Risk Areas.

Published: 2024-07-20 | Updated: 2024-07-21 00:00:04 | Source

Central African Republic

Level 4

Do Not Travel

Reissued with obsolete COVID-19 page links removed.

Do not travel to the Central African Republic (CAR) due to Embassy Bangui’s limited capacity to provide support to U.S. citizens, crime, civil unrest, and kidnapping.

Country Summary: Although there have been no specific incidents of violence or threats targeting U.S. citizens, civil unrest, demonstrations, and election-related violence (including renewed outbreaks of armed conflict) may occur throughout the country, including the capital of Bangui.

Violent crime, such as armed robbery, aggravated battery, and homicide, is common.

Armed groups control large areas of the country and they regularly kidnap, injure, and/or kill civilians. In the event of unrest, airport, land border, and road closures may occur with little or no notice.

The U.S. government has limited ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens in the Central African Republic; U.S. government employees must obtain special authorization to travel outside the Embassy compound. Family members cannot accompany U.S. government employees who work in the Central African Republic.

Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas.

Read the country information page for additional information on travel to CAR.

If you decide to travel to Central African Republic (CAR):

  • Enroll your trip in the State Department's Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP).
  • Draft a will and designate appropriate insurance beneficiaries and/or power of attorney.
  • Discuss a plan with loved ones regarding care/custody of children, pets, property, belongings, non-liquid assets (collections, artwork, etc.), funeral wishes, etc.
  • Share important documents, login information, and points of contact with loved ones so that they can manage your affairs, if you are unable to return as planned to the United States. Find a suggested list of such documents here.
  • Be sure to appoint one family member to serve as the point of contact with hostage-takers, media, U.S. and host country government agencies, and Members of Congress, if you are taken hostage or detained.
  • Establish a proof of life protocol with your loved ones, so that if you are taken hostage, your loved ones can know specific questions (and answers) to ask the hostage-takers to be sure that you are alive (and to rule out a hoax).
  • Leave DNA samples with your medical provider in case it is necessary for your family to access them.
  • Erase any sensitive photos, comments, or other materials from your social media pages, cameras, laptops, and other electronic devices that could be considered controversial or provocative by local groups.
  • Leave your expensive/sentimental belongings behind.
  • Follow the Department of State on Facebook and Twitter.
  • Review the Country Security Report for Central African Republic (CAR).
  • Prepare a contingency plan for emergency situations.
  • Visit the CDC page for the latest Travel Health Information related to your travel.
Published: 2023-07-31 | Updated: 2024-01-12 00:00:02 | Source

Somalia

Level 4

Do Not Travel

Reissued with obsolete COVID-19 page links removed.

Do not travel to Somalia due to crime, terrorism, civil unrest, health issues, kidnapping, and piracy.

Country Summary: Violent crime, such as kidnapping and murder, is common throughout Somalia, including Puntland and the Somaliland region. Illegal roadblocks are widespread. Some schools and other facilities acting as “cultural rehabilitation” centers are operating throughout Somalia with inadequate or nonexistent licensing and oversight. Reports of physical abuse and people being held against their will in these facilities are common.

Terrorists continue to plot kidnappings, bombings, and other attacks in Somalia. They may conduct attacks with little or no warning, targeting airports and seaports, government buildings, hotels, restaurants, shopping areas, and other areas that attract large crowds and are frequented by Westerners, as well as government, military, and Western convoys. Methods of attack can include car bombs, suicide bombers, individual attackers, and mortar fire, among others. While some areas have experienced less severe terrorist activity, such as the Somaliland region, where there have been no major terrorist attacks since 2008, terrorist attacks involving the indiscriminate use of explosive devices and other weapons can take place anywhere in Somalia at any time without warning. The U.S. Embassy heavily restricts the movement of its employees in Mogadishu based on the critical threat environment.

Civil unrest occurs throughout Somalia and can sometimes be violent.

Medical facilities across Somalia have limited capacity and are often nonexistent in rural areas.

Pirates are active in the waters off the Horn of Africa, especially in the international waters near Somalia.

The U.S. government has extremely limited ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens in Somalia due to the lack of permanent consular presence in Somalia, including the Somaliland region.

Due to risks to civil aviation operating within or in the vicinity of Somalia, the Federal Aviation Administration has issued a Special Federal Aviation Regulation. For more information, U.S. citizens should consult the Federal Aviation Administration’s Prohibitions, Restrictions, and Notices.

Read the country information page for additional information on travel to Somalia.

If you decide to travel to Somalia:

  • Review your personal security plan and visit our page on Travel to High-Risk Areas.
  • Avoid sailing near the coast of Somalia and review the Live Piracy Report published by the International Maritime Bureau.
  • Draft a will and designate appropriate insurance beneficiaries and/or power of attorney.
  • Discuss a plan with loved ones regarding care/custody of children, pets, property, belongings, non-liquid assets (collections, artwork, etc.), funeral wishes, etc.
  • Share important documents, login information, and points of contact with loved ones so that they can manage your affairs if you are unable to return as planned to the United States. Find a suggested list of such documents here.
  • Establish your own personal security plan in coordination with your employer or host organization (if you are traveling on business) or consider consulting with a professional security organization.
  • Develop a communication plan with family and/or your employer or host organization (if you are traveling on business), so that they can monitor your safety and location as you travel through high-risk areas. This plan should specify whom you would contact first, and how that person should share the information.
  • Identify key sources of possible assistance for you and your family in case of emergency, such as the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate, FBI, the State Department, your employer (if traveling on business), and local friends/family in the high-risk area.
  • Be sure to appoint one family member to serve as the point of contact with hostage-takers, media, U.S. and host country government agencies, and members of Congress if you are taken hostage or detained.
  • Establish a proof of life protocol with your loved ones, so that if you are taken hostage, your loved ones can know specific questions (and answers) to ask the hostage-takers to be sure that you are alive (and to rule out a hoax).
  • Leave DNA samples with your medical provider in case it is necessary for your family to access them.
  • Erase any sensitive photos, comments, or other materials from your social media pages, cameras, laptops, and other electronic devices that could be considered controversial or provocative by local groups.
  • Leave your expensive/sentimental belongings behind.
  • Enroll your trip in the State Department's Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP).
  • Follow the Department of State on Facebook and Twitter.
  • Review the Country Security Report for Somalia.
  • Prepare a contingency plan for emergency situations. Review the Traveler’s Checklist.
  • Visit the CDC page for the latest Travel Health Information related to your travel.
Published: 2023-07-31 | Updated: 2023-10-02 16:55:18 | Source

South Sudan

Level 4

Do Not Travel

Reissued with obsolete COVID-19 page links removed.

Do not travel to South Sudan due to crime, kidnapping, and armed conflict.

Country Summary: Violent crime, such as carjackings, shootings, ambushes, assaults, robberies, and kidnappings is common throughout South Sudan, including Juba. Foreign nationals have been the victims of rape, sexual assault, armed robberies, and other violent crimes.

Armed conflict is ongoing and includes fighting between various political and ethnic groups. Weapons are readily available to the population. In addition, cattle raids occur throughout the country and often lead to violence.

Reporting in South Sudan without the proper documentation from the South Sudanese Media Authority is considered illegal, and any journalistic work there is very dangerous. Journalists regularly report being harassed in South Sudan, and many have been killed while covering the conflict.

The U.S. government has limited ability to provide emergency consular services to U.S. citizens in South Sudan. U.S. government personnel in South Sudan are under a strict curfew. They must use armored vehicles for nearly all movements, and official travel outside Juba is limited. Due to the critical crime threat in Juba, walking is also restricted; when allowed, it is limited to a small area in the immediate vicinity of the Embassy and during daylight hours only. Family members cannot accompany U.S. government employees who work in South Sudan.

Due to risks to civil aviation operating within or in the vicinity of South Sudan, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has issued a Notice to Air Missions (NOTAM) and/or a Special Federal Aviation Regulation (SFAR). For more information U.S. citizens should consult the Federal Aviation Administration’s Prohibitions, Restrictions, and Notices.

Read the country information page for additional information on travel to South Sudan.

If you decide to travel to South Sudan:

  • Exercise extreme care in all parts of the country, including Juba. Travel outside of Juba with a minimum of two vehicles along with appropriate recovery and medical equipment in case of mechanical failure or other emergency.
  • Avoid travel along border areas.
  • Avoid demonstrations and public gatherings. Even events intended to be peaceful can become violent.
  • Be aware that photography in public is strictly controlled and you are required to obtain authorization from the Ministry of Information before taking any photographs or video in public – including while inside a vehicle.
  • Monitor local/international news and consular messages.
  • Enroll your trip in the State Department's Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP).
  • Review your personal security plan and visit our page on travel to high risk areas.
  • Draft a will and designate appropriate insurance beneficiaries and/or power of attorney.
  • Discuss a plan with loved ones regarding care/custody of children, pets, property, belongings, non-liquid assets (collections, artwork, etc.), funeral wishes, etc.
  • Share important documents, log-in information, and points of contact with loved ones so that they can manage your affairs, if you are unable to return as planned to the United States. Find a suggested list of such documents here.
  • Establish your own personal security plan in coordination with your employer or host organization, or consider consulting with a professional security organization. Your plan should include sheltering in place, maintaining outside communication, and a personal evacuation plan via commercial means.
  • Develop a communication plan with family and/or your employer or host organization so that they can monitor your safety and location as you travel through high-risk areas. This plan should specify who you would contact first, and how they should share the information.
  • Be sure to appoint one family member to serve as the point of contact with hostage-takers, media, U.S. and host country government agencies, and Members of Congress, if you are taken hostage or detained.
  • Establish a proof of life protocol with your loved ones, so that if you are taken hostage, your loved ones can know specific questions (and answers) to ask the hostage-takers to be sure that you are alive (and to rule out a hoax).
  • Leave DNA samples with your medical provider in case it is necessary for your family to access them.
  • Erase any sensitive photos, comments, or other materials from your social media pages, cameras, laptops, and other electronic devices that could be considered controversial or provocative by local groups.
  • Leave your expensive/sentimental belongings behind.
  • Follow the Department of State on Facebook and Twitter.
  • Review the Country Security Report for South Sudan.
  • U.S. citizens who travel abroad should always have a contingency plan for emergency situations. Review the Traveler’s Checklist.
  • Visit the CDC page for the latest Travel Health Information related to your travel.
Published: 2023-07-31 | Updated: 2023-10-02 16:55:18 | Source

Ukraine

Level 4

Do Not Travel

Do not travel to Ukraine due to Russia’s war against Ukraine. The Department of State continues to advise that U.S. citizens not travel to Ukraine due to active armed conflict. Read the entire Travel Advisory.

All U.S. citizens should carefully monitor U.S. government notices and local and international media outlets for information about changing security conditions and alerts to shelter in place. Those choosing to remain in Ukraine should exercise caution due to the potential for military attacks, crime, civil unrest, and consult the Department’s latest security alerts.

The security situation in Ukraine remains unpredictable. U.S. citizens in Ukraine should stay vigilant and take appropriate steps to increase their security awareness. Know the location of your closest shelter or protected space. In the event of mortar, missile, drone, or rocket fire, follow instructions from local authorities and seek shelter immediately. If you feel your current location is no longer safe, you should carefully assess the potential risks involved in moving to a different location.

There are continued reports of Russian forces and their proxies singling out U.S. citizens in Russian-occupied areas of Ukraine for detention, interrogation, or harassment because of their nationality. U.S. citizens have also been singled out when evacuating by land through Russia-occupied territory or to Russia or Belarus.

U.S. citizens seeking emergency assistance should email KyivACS@state.gov for assistance. Please review what the U.S. government can and cannot do to assist you in a crisis overseas. U.S. citizens may also seek consular services, including requests for repatriation loans, passports, and visa services, at U.S. embassies and consulates in neighboring countries.

On February 24, 2022, the Ukrainian government declared a state of emergency. Each province (oblast) decides on measures to be implemented according to local conditions. Measures could include curfews, restrictions on the freedom of movement, ID verification, and increased security inspections, among other measures. Follow any oblast-specific state of emergency measures.

Many in the international community, including the United States and Ukraine, do not recognize Russia’s purported annexation of Crimea in 2014, nor the September 2022 purported annexation of four other Ukrainian oblasts -- Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson, and Zaporizhzhia. There is extensive Russian Federation military presence in these areas. There are also abuses against foreigners and the local population by the occupation authorities in these regions, particularly against those who are seen as challenging Russia’s occupation.

Although Russia’s ongoing war against Ukraine severely restricts the Embassy’s access and ability to provide services in these areas, the Department of State and the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv continue to remotely provide certain emergency consular services to U.S. citizens in Crimea as well as four other Ukrainian oblasts partially occupied by Russia – Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson, and Zaporizhzhia – to the extent possible given security conditions.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has issued a Notice to Air Missions (NOTAM) prohibiting U.S. aviation operations into, out of, within, or over Ukraine. For more information, U.S. citizens should consult the FAA’s Prohibitions, Restrictions, and Notices.

Read the country information page for additional information on travel to Ukraine.

Travel to High-Risk Areas

If you choose to disregard the Travel Advisory and travel to Ukraine, you should consider taking the following steps:

  • Visit our website on Travel to High-Risk areas.
  • Draft a will and designate appropriate insurance beneficiaries and/or power of attorney.
  • Discuss a plan with loved ones regarding care/custody of children, pets, property, belongings, non-liquid assets (collections, artwork, etc.), funeral wishes, etc.
  • Share important documents, login information, and points of contact with loved ones so that they can manage your affairs if you are unable to return as planned to the United States.
  • Leave DNA samples with your medical provider in case it is necessary for your family to access them.
  • Establish your own personal security plan in coordination with your employer or host organization or consider consulting with a professional security organization.
  • Develop a communication plan with family and/or your employer or host organization so that they can monitor your safety and location as you travel through high-risk areas. This plan should specify who you would contact first and how they should share the information.
  • Enroll your trip in the State Department’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
  • Follow the Department of State on Facebook and Twitter.
  • Prepare a contingency plan for emergency situations. Review the Traveler’s Checklist.

If you are currently in Ukraine:

Published: 2023-05-22 | Updated: 2023-10-02 16:55:18 | Source

Russia

Level 4

Do Not Travel

Reissued after periodic review with minor edits.

Do not travel to Russia due to the consequences of the full-scale invasion of Ukraine by Russian military forces. U.S. citizens may face harassment or detention by Russian security officials, arbitrary enforcement of local laws, limited flights into and out of Russia, and the possibility of terrorism. The U.S. Embassy has limited ability to assist U.S. citizens in Russia. The Department has determined that there is a continued risk of wrongful detention of U.S. nationals by Russian authorities. U.S. citizens residing or traveling in Russia should leave immediately.

The U.S. government has limited ability to help U.S. citizens in Russia, especially outside of Moscow. The U.S. Embassy is operating with reduced staffing, and the Russian government has restricted travel for embassy personnel. Furthermore, all U.S. consulates in Russia have suspended operations, including consular services.

There have been reports of drone attacks and explosions near the border with Ukraine as well as in Moscow, Kazan, and St. Petersburg. In an emergency, you should follow instructions from local authorities and seek shelter.

Russia may refuse to recognize your U.S. citizenship if you are a dual U.S.-Russian citizen or have a claim to Russian citizenship. Russia has denied consular officers visits to detained dual U.S.-Russian citizens. The Russian government has forced citizens with dual nationality to join the Russian military and prevented them from leaving the country. In 2022, the Russian government mobilized citizens for its invasion of Ukraine. Military conscription continues.

In Russia, the rights to peaceful assembly and free speech are not always protected. U.S. citizens should avoid protests and taking photos of security staff at these events. Russian authorities have arrested U.S. citizens who joined protests. Moreover, there are many reports of Russians being detained for social media posts.

U.S. citizens should know that U.S. credit and debit cards no longer work in Russia. Due to sanctions, sending electronic money transfers from the U.S. to Russia is nearly impossible.

Commercial flight options are minimal and are often unavailable on short notice. If you wish to depart Russia, you should make independent arrangements. The U.S. Embassy has limited ability to assist U.S. citizens in leaving the country, and transportation options may suddenly become even more restricted.

Click here for Information for U.S. Citizens Seeking to Depart Russia.

U.S. Embassy staff generally are not allowed to fly on Russian airlines due to safety concerns. Recently, the FAA downgraded Russia's air safety rating from Category 1 to Category 2. Additionally, the FAA banned U.S. flights in some Russian areas, including the Moscow Flight Information Region (FIR), the Samara FIR (UWWW), and the Rostov-na-Donu (URRV) FIR within 160NM of the boundaries of the Dnipro (UKDV) Flight Information Regions. Check the FAA's Prohibitions, Restrictions, and Notices for more information.

Country Summary:

Russian officials have interrogated and threatened U.S. citizens without cause. This includes former and current U.S. government and military personnel and private U.S. citizens engaged in business. U.S. citizens may become victims of harassment, mistreatment, and extortion.

Russian authorities may not notify the U.S. Embassy about the detention of a U.S. citizen and may delay U.S. consular assistance. Russian security services also target foreign and international organizations they consider “undesirable.”

Russian security services have arrested U.S. citizens on false charges, denied them fair treatment, and convicted them without credible evidence. Furthermore, Russian authorities have opened questionable investigations against U.S. citizens engaged in religious activity. U.S. citizens should avoid travel to Russia.

Russia's invasion of Ukraine has destabilized security in southwestern Russia. In October 2022, the Russian government declared martial law in the following border areas with Ukraine: Bryansk, Kursk, Belgorod, Voronezh, Rostov, and Krasnodar. Under martial law, authorities can set curfews, seize property, and restrict movement. The Russian government may detain foreigners, forcibly relocate residents, and limit public gatherings. U.S. citizens should avoid all travel to these areas.

Russian authorities have questioned, detained, and arrested people for “acting against Russia's interests.” Local authorities have targeted people for posting on social media or supporting "anti-Russian" groups and punished individuals for criticizing the government or military. The Russian government's current "LGBT propaganda" law bans discussion of LGBTQI+ related topics. In November 2023, the Supreme Court labeled the so-called "international LGBT movement" as extremist. This decision effectively made it a crime to support the human rights of LGBTQI+ persons in Russia.

Terrorists continue to plan attacks in Russia. The March 2024 Crocus City Hall incident proved they can strike suddenly. Terrorists may target tourist areas, transport hubs, and markets. They may also target government buildings, hotels, clubs, restaurants, and places of worship. Parks, events, schools, and airports are also potential targets. U.S. government employees under Embassy (Chief of Mission) security responsibility are not permitted to travel to the North Caucasus, including Chechnya and Mt. Elbrus. U.S. citizens should avoid travel to those areas.

The international community does not recognize Russia’s annexation of Crimea and does not acknowledge Russia’s purported annexation of Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson, and Zaporizhzhya. Russia staged its full-scale invasion of Ukraine, in part, from occupied Crimea and there is a heavy Russian military presence in these areas. There is intense fighting across these regions and Russian authorities there have abused both foreigners and locals. Authorities have specifically targeted individuals who are seen as challenging Russia’s authority.

The U.S. Embassy in Kyiv administers consular services to U.S. citizens in Crimea, Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson, and Zaporizhzhya. However, the conflict limits the Embassy's ability to help U.S. citizens in these areas.

Read the country information page for additional information on travel to Russia.

If you decide to travel to Russia:

Published: 2024-06-27 | Updated: 2024-06-28 00:00:03 | Source

Burkina Faso

Level 4

Do Not Travel

Reissued with obsolete COVID-19 page links removed.

Do not travel to Burkina Faso due to terrorism, crime, and kidnapping.

Country Summary: Terrorist groups continue plotting attacks in Burkina Faso. Terrorists may conduct attacks anywhere with little or no warning. Targets could include hotels, restaurants, police stations, customs offices, areas at or near mining sites, places of worship, military posts, and schools.

Kidnapping and hostage taking is a threat throughout the country. On May 10, 2019 a hostage rescue operation freed four international hostages that had been kidnapped in Burkina Faso and in neighboring Benin.

The Government of Burkina Faso has maintained a state of emergency in the entire East and Sahel regions, the provinces of Kossi and Sourou in the Boucle de Mouhoun region, the province of Kenedougou in the Hauts Bassins region, the province of Loroum in the North region, and the province of Koulpelogo in the Center-East region.

The U.S. government is unable to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens throughout most of the country, as U.S. government personnel are restricted from travelling to regions outside the capital due to security concerns. The U.S. Embassy prohibits U.S. government personnel from personal travel to the Karpala, Balkiui and Rayongo (also known as Dayongo) neighborhoods of Ouagadougou’s Arrondissement 11 due to the potential for security operations.

Family members under the age of 21 cannot accompany U.S. government employees who work in Burkina Faso.

Read the country information page for additional information on travel to Burkina Faso.

If you decide to travel to Burkina Faso:

  • Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas.
  • Have evacuation plans that do not rely on U.S. government assistance.
  • Take steps to mitigate the risk of becoming a victim of violence, including limiting trips to locations frequented by Westerners.
  • Do not physically resist any robbery attempt.
  • Review your personal security plans.
  • Remain aware of your surroundings and local events.
  • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
  • Follow the Department of State on Facebook and Twitter.
  • Review the Country Security Report for Burkina Faso.
  • Prepare a contingency plan for emergency situations. Review the Traveler’s Checklist.
  • Visit the CDC page for the latest Travel Health Information related to your travel.
Published: 2023-07-31 | Updated: 2023-10-02 16:55:18 | Source

Iraq

Level 4

Do Not Travel

Updated to reflect the termination of Ordered Departure of non-emergency U.S. government employees and eligible family members.

Do not travel to Iraq due to terrorism, kidnapping, armed conflict, civil unrest, and Mission Iraq’s limited capacity to provide support to U.S. citizens.

On April 1, 2024, the Department terminated the Ordered Departure status for U.S. Embassy Baghdad and U.S. Consulate General Erbil. However, the Travel Advisory level for Iraq remains at Level 4, advising that U.S. citizens not travel to Iraq.

Country Summary: U.S. citizens in Iraq face high risks to their safety and security, including the potential for violence and kidnapping. Terrorist and insurgent groups regularly attack Iraqi security forces and civilians. Anti-U.S. militias threaten U.S. citizens and international companies throughout Iraq. Attacks using improvised explosive devices, indirect fire, and unmanned aerial vehicles occur in many areas of the country, including Baghdad and other major cities. In an emergency, consular services to U.S. citizens in Iraq are limited due to severe restrictions on the movements of U.S. government personnel.

Demonstrations, protests, and strikes occur frequently throughout the country. These events can develop quickly without prior notice, often interrupting traffic, transportation, and other services, and sometimes turning violent.

Do not travel near Iraq’s northern borders due to the continued threat of attacks by terrorist groups, armed conflict, aerial bombardment, and civil unrest. U.S. citizens should especially avoid areas near armed groups in northern Iraq, which have been targeted with aerial strikes by neighboring countries’ militaries.

U.S. citizens should not travel through Iraq to engage in armed conflict in Syria, where they would face extreme personal risks (kidnapping, injury, or death) and legal risks (arrest, fines, and expulsion). The Kurdistan Regional Government in Iraq has stated that it will impose prison sentences of up to ten years on individuals who illegally cross the Iraq-Syria border. Additionally, fighting on behalf of or supporting designated terrorist organizations is a crime under U.S. law that can result in prison sentences and large fines in the United States.

Because of security concerns, U.S. government personnel in Baghdad are instructed not to use Baghdad International Airport. Due to risks to civil aviation operating in the Baghdad Flight Information Region, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has extended its Special Federal Aviation Regulation (SFAR) prohibiting certain flights at altitudes below 32,000 feet for an additional two years. For more information, U.S. citizens should consult the Federal Aviation Administration’s Prohibitions, Restrictions, and Notices.

Read the country information page for additional information on travel to Iraq.

If you decide to travel to Iraq:

  • Establish your own personal security plan in coordination with your employer or host organization or consider consulting with a professional security organization.
  • Draft a will and designate appropriate insurance beneficiaries and/or power of attorney.
  • Discuss a plan with loved ones regarding care/custody of children, pets, property, belongings, non-liquid assets (collections, artwork, etc.), funeral wishes, etc.
  • Share important documents, login information, and points of contact with loved ones so that they can manage your affairs if you are unable to return as planned to the United States.
  • Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas.
  • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
  • Follow the Department of State on Facebook and Twitter.
  • Review the Country Security Report for Iraq.
  • Visit the CDC website for the latest Travel Health Information related to your travel.
  • Prepare a contingency plan for emergency situations. Review the Traveler’s Checklist
Published: 2024-04-24 | Updated: 2024-04-25 00:00:07 | Source

Yemen

Level 4

Do Not Travel

Updated to reflect additional information on terrorism and security.

Do not travel to Yemen due to terrorism, civil unrest, crime, health risks, kidnapping, armed conflict, and landmines.

Country Summary: The U.S. Embassy in Sana’a suspended its operations in February 2015. The U.S. government is unable to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens in Yemen.

The Department of State has designated Ansarallah, commonly referred to as the Houthis, as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist group. Other terrorist groups, including Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and Islamic State affiliates, continue to plot and conduct attacks in Yemen – most notably in al-Bayda, Abyan, and Shabwah governorates. Terrorists may attack with little or no warning, targeting public sites, transportation hubs, markets/shopping malls, and local government facilities. Additionally, there is a continuing threat of kidnapping/detention by terrorists, criminal elements, and/or non-government actors. Employees of foreign organizations may be targeted for attack or kidnapping.

A civil war continues in Yemen. While reduced overall levels of violence continue following the April 2022 truce, instability, and ongoing threats of armed conflict, particularly along the frontlines in central Yemen, remain at a severe level. Due to the ongoing civil unrest and weak government institutions, travelers should not rely on significant assistance from local authorities. Foreign nationals are frequently the target of kidnapping and carjacking, particularly when traveling outside of urban areas.

Military conflict has caused destruction of basic infrastructure, housing, medical facilities, schools, and power and water utilities. This destruction limits the availability of electricity, clean water, and medical care in affected areas. It also often hampers the ability of humanitarian organizations to deliver critically needed food, medicine, and water. Landmines exist throughout Yemen.

Widespread violent crime and/or organized crime are present in Yemen. Local law enforcement may have limited or no ability or willingness to respond to serious crimes.

As a result of the deterioration of health services, Yemen is experiencing the re-emergence of infectious diseases, such as cholera, polio, and measles. There is a limited availability of medicine and medical supplies, and adequate medical treatment is unavailable.

There is a very high risk of kidnapping and detention of U.S. citizens in Yemen, particularly dual U.S.-Yemeni citizens. U.S. citizens, particularly young people, are also at risk of kidnapping for purposes of forced marriage, sometimes involving force, fraud, or coercion by family members in the United States and/or Yemen. The Houthis, who control Sana’a, have detained U.S. citizens, including dual U.S.-Yemeni citizens. U.S. citizens, including dual nationals, have faced difficulty – including lengthy delays – when attempting to depart Yemen.

Commercial flights have departed from Aden and Sana’a to multiple destinations in the region. Contact airlines and travel companies directly for the most current information on flights departing Yemen.

Companies outside of Yemen have misrepresented the security situation on the Yemeni island of Socotra. They offer tourist visits, including by facilitating unofficial and invalid "visas." Only the sovereign Republic of Yemen government can issue valid Yemeni visas. Companies that arrange such visits are putting tourists in danger, including legal jeopardy. While security conditions may be less volatile than on the mainland, the U.S. government has no presence and no way to assist U.S. citizens who travel there. U.S. citizens should not travel to Socotra or any other part of Yemen.

Due to risks to civil aviation operating within or in the vicinity of Yemen, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has issued a Notice to Air Missions (NOTAM) and/or a Special Federal Aviation Regulation (SFAR). For more information U.S. citizens should consult the Federal Aviation Administration’s Prohibitions, Restrictions and Notices.

Due to risks to commercial shipping operating within or in the vicinity of Yemen territorial waters, the Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration (MARAD) has issued a Maritime Advisory. For more information U.S. citizens should consult the Maritime Administration’s Maritime Security Communications with Industry (MSCI).

Additionally, the Commandant of the Coast Guard has determined that effective anti-terrorism measures are not in place in Yemen’s ports and has imposed conditions of entry on vessels that arrive in U.S. ports having visited ports in Yemen. Mariners and passengers traveling through the ports of Yemen should exercise caution.

Read the country information page for additional information on travel to Yemen.

If, despite this Travel Advisory, you decide to travel to Yemen:

  • Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas.
  • Make contingency plans to leave the country without U.S. government assistance.
  • Draft a will and designate appropriate insurance beneficiaries and/or power of attorney.
  • Discuss a plan with loved ones regarding care/custody of children, pets, property, belongings, non-liquid assets (collections, artwork, etc.), funeral wishes, etc.
  • Share important documents, login information, and points of contact with loved ones so that they can manage your affairs, if you are unable to return as planned to the United States.
  • Be aware of your surroundings.
  • Establish your own personal security plan in coordination with your employer or host organization or consider consulting with a professional security organization.
  • Develop a communication plan with family and/or your employer or host organization so that they can monitor your safety and location as you travel through high-risk areas. This plan should specify who you would contact first, and how they should share the information.
  • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
  • Follow the Department of State on Facebook  and Twitter.
  • Review the Country Security Report for Yemen.
  • Visit the CDC page for the latest Travel Health Information related to your travel.
  • Prepare a contingency plan for emergency situations. Review the Traveler’s Checklist.
Published: 2024-07-10 | Updated: 2024-07-11 00:00:05 | Source

Mali

Level 4

Do Not Travel

Reissued with obsolete COVID-19 page links removed.

Do not travel to Mali due to crime, terrorism, and kidnapping.

Country Summary: Violent crime, such as kidnapping and armed robbery, is common in Mali. Violent crime is a particular concern during local holidays and seasonal events in Bamako, its suburbs, and Mali’s southern regions. Roadblocks and random police checkpoints are commonplace throughout the country, especially at night.

Terrorist and armed groups continue plotting kidnappings and attacks in Mali. They may attack with little or no warning, targeting night clubs, hotels, restaurants, places of worship, international diplomatic missions, and other locations frequented by foreigners. Attacks may target Malian government offices and infrastructure, in addition to locations frequented by Westerners.

The U.S. government is unable to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens throughout much of Mali as U.S. government employee travel outside Bamako is restricted due to security concerns.

Due to risks to civil aviation operating within or in the vicinity of Mali, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has issued a Notice to Air Missions (NOTAM). For more information U.S. citizens should consult the Federal Aviation Administration’s Prohibitions, Restrictions and Notices.

Read the country information page for additional information on travel to Mali.

If you decide to travel to Mali:

  • Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas.
  • Draft a will and designate appropriate insurance beneficiaries and/or power of attorney.
  • Discuss a plan with loved ones regarding care/custody of children, pets, property, belongings, non-liquid assets (collections, artwork, etc.), funeral wishes, etc.
  • Share important documents, login information, and points of contact with loved ones so that they can manage your affairs if you are unable to return as planned to the United States. Find a suggested list of such documents here.
  • Establish your own personal security plan in coordination with your employer or host organization, or consider consulting with a professional security organization.
  • Develop a communication plan with family and/or your employer or host organization so that they can monitor your safety and location as you travel through high-risk areas. This plan should specify whom you would contact first and how they should share the information.
  • Identify key sources of possible assistance for you and your family in case of emergency, such as the local U.S. embassy or consulate, FBI, the State Department, your employer (if traveling on business), and local friends/family in the high-risk area.
  • Be sure to appoint one family member to serve as the point of contact with hostage-takers, media, U.S. and host country government agencies, and Members of Congress if you are taken hostage or detained.
  • Establish a proof of life protocol with your loved ones so that, if you are taken hostage, your loved ones will know specific questions and answers to ask the hostage-takers to be sure you are alive and to rule out a hoax.
  • Leave DNA samples with your medical provider in case it is necessary for your family to access them.
  • Guard your passport and wallet when in crowded outdoor areas and open-air markets.
  • Be vigilant for pickpockets, especially at night.
  • Use all available safety measures in your home or hotel, including locking doors and windows at all times, and setting the alarm.
  • If asked to stop by police, stop only in well-lit areas or places where several officers are posted.
  • Erase any sensitive photos, comments, or other materials from your social media pages, cameras, laptops, and other electronic devices that could be considered controversial or provocative by local groups.
  • Leave your expensive/sentimental belongings behind.
  • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
  • Follow the Department of State on Facebook and Twitter.
  • Review the Country Security Report for Mali.
  • Prepare a contingency plan for emergency situations. Review the Traveler’s Checklist. 
  • Visit the CDC page for the latest Travel Health Information related to your travel.   
Published: 2023-07-31 | Updated: 2023-10-02 16:55:18 | Source

Haiti

Level 4

Do Not Travel

Last Update: Updated to reflect the Ordered Departure of non-emergency U.S. government personnel and eligible family members for Embassy Port-au-Prince.

Do not travel to Haiti due to kidnapping, crime, civil unrest, and poor health care infrastructure. On July 27, 2023, the Department of State ordered the departure of family members of U.S. government employees and non-emergency U.S. government employees. U.S. citizens in Haiti should depart Haiti as soon as possible by commercial or other privately available transportation options, in light of the current security situation and infrastructure challenges. U.S. citizens wishing to depart Port-au-Prince should monitor local news and only do so when considered safe.

Country Summary: Kidnapping is widespread, and victims regularly include U.S. citizens. Kidnappers may use sophisticated planning or take advantage of unplanned opportunities, and even convoys have been attacked. Kidnapping cases often involve ransom negotiations and U.S. citizen victims have been physically harmed during kidnappings. Victim’s families have paid thousands of dollars to rescue their family members.

Violent crime, often involving the use of firearms, such as armed robbery, carjackings, and kidnappings for ransom that include U.S. citizens are common. Mob killings against presumed criminals have been on the rise since late April. Travelers are sometimes followed and violently attacked and robbed shortly after leaving the Port-au-Prince international airport. Robbers and carjackers also attack private vehicles stuck in heavy traffic congestion and often target lone drivers, particularly women. As a result, the U.S. Embassy requires its personnel to use official transportation to and from the airport.

Protests, demonstrations, tire burning, and roadblocks are frequent, unpredictable, and can turn violent. The U.S. government is extremely limited in its ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens in Haiti – assistance on site is available only from local authorities (Haitian National Police and ambulance services). Local police generally lack the resources to respond effectively to serious criminal incidents. Shortages of gasoline, electricity, medicine, and medical supplies continue throughout much of Haiti. Public and private medical clinics and hospitals often lack qualified medical staff and even basic medical equipment and resources.

U.S. government personnel are limited only to the confined area around the Embassy and are prohibited from walking in Port-au-Prince. U.S. government personnel in Haiti are prohibited from:

  • Using any kind of public transportation or taxis
  • Visiting banks and using ATMs
  • Driving at night
  • Traveling anywhere between 1:00 a.m. and 5:00 a.m.
  • Traveling without prior approval and special security measures in place.

Read the country information page for additional information on travel to Haiti.

The Haitian Ministry of Health and Population (MSPP) has confirmed an outbreak of cholera in the country.

If you decide to travel to Haiti:

  • Avoid demonstrations and crowds. Do not attempt to drive through roadblocks.
  • Arrange airport transfers and hotels in advance, or have your host meet you upon arrival.
  • Do not provide personal information to unauthorized individuals (e.g. people without official uniforms or credentials) located in the immigration, customs, or other areas inside or near any airports.
  • If you are being followed as you leave the airport, drive to the nearest police station immediately.
  • Travel by vehicle to minimize walking in public.
  • Travel in groups of at least two people.
  • Always keep vehicle doors locked and windows closed when driving.
  • Exercise caution and alertness, especially when driving through markets and other traffic congested areas.
  • Do not physically resist any robbery attempt.
  • Purchase travel insurance and medical evacuation insurance ahead of time.
  • Review information on Travel to High-Risk Areas.
  • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
  • Follow the Department of State on Facebook and Twitter.
  • Review the Country Security Report on Haiti.
  • Prepare a contingency plan for emergency situations. Review the Traveler’s Checklist.
Published: 2023-07-27 | Updated: 2023-10-02 16:55:18 | Source

Venezuela

Level 4

Do Not Travel

Reissued after routine periodic review with minor edits pursuant to Department of State standard processes.

Do not travel to Venezuela due to crime, civil unrest, kidnapping, and the arbitrary enforcement of local laws. Reconsider travel due to wrongful detentions, terrorism, and poor health infrastructure.

Country Summary:  In March 2019, the U.S. Department of State withdrew all diplomatic personnel from U.S. Embassy Caracas and suspended operations. All consular services, routine and emergency, remain suspended until further notice. The U.S. government has no ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens in Venezuela. U.S. citizens in Venezuela who require consular assistance should try to leave the country as soon as safely possible to do so and should contact a U.S. embassy or consulate in another country.

Violent crimes, such as homicide, armed robbery, kidnapping, and carjacking, are common in Venezuela. Political rallies and demonstrations occur, often with little notice. Anti-Maduro demonstrations have elicited a strong police and security force response, including the use of tear gas, pepper spray, and rubber bullets against participants, and occasionally devolve into looting and vandalism. Shortages of gasoline, electricity, water, medicine, and medical supplies continue throughout much of Venezuela.

The Department has determined there is a high risk of wrongful detention of U.S. nationals in Venezuela. Security forces have detained U.S. citizens for up to five years. The U.S. government is not generally notified of the detention of U.S. citizens in Venezuela or granted access to U.S. citizen prisoners there.

Colombian terrorist groups operate in Venezuela’s border areas with Colombia, Brazil, and Guyana.

Read the country information page for additional information on travel to Venezuela.

If you decide to travel to Venezuela:

  • Avoid all land border crossings into Venezuela on the Colombian border.
  • Ensure you have a valid Venezuelan visa. Visas are not available upon arrival.
  • Be prepared for the high risk of indefinite detention without consular access.
  • Draft a will and designate appropriate insurance beneficiaries and/or power of attorney.
  • Develop a communication plan with family and/or your employer or host organization. Establish a “proof of life” protocol with your loved ones, so that if you are taken hostage, your loved ones know specific questions (and answers) to ask the hostage-takers to be sure that you are alive (and to rule out a hoax).
  • Have a contingency plan in place that does not rely on U.S. government assistance.
  • Keep travel documents up to date and easily accessible.
  • Avoid travel between cities, or between Simón Bolívar International Airport and Caracas at night.
  • Do not take unregulated taxis from the Maiquetia “Simón Bolívar” International Airport and avoid ATMs in this area.
  • Consider hiring a professional security organization.
  • Bring a sufficient supply of over the counter and prescription medicines for the duration of travel.
  • Consider purchasing medical evacuation insurance.
  • Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas.
  • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
  • Follow the Department of State on Facebook and Twitter.
  • Review the Country Security Report for Venezuela.
  • Visit the CDC page for the latest Travel Health Information related to your travel.
  • Review the Traveler’s Checklist.

Published: 2024-05-13 | Updated: 2024-05-14 00:00:04 | Source

Iran

Level 4

Do Not Travel

Updated to add the Terrorism Risk Indicator and risk of surrogacy tourism.

Do not travel to Iran due to the risk of terrorism, civil unrest, kidnapping and the arbitrary arrest of U.S. citizens. Exercise increased caution due to wrongful detentions.

Country Summary: U.S. citizens should not travel to Iran for any reason. U.S. citizens visiting or residing in Iran have been kidnapped, arrested, and detained on spurious charges.

Iranian authorities continue to unjustly detain and imprison U.S. nationals, particularly dual national U.S.-Iranian nationals--including students, journalists, business travelers, and academics--on charges including espionage and posing a threat to national security. Iranian authorities routinely delay consular access to detained U.S. nationals and consistently deny consular access to dual U.S.-Iranian nationals.

Violent extremist groups, including U.S. government-designated terrorist organizations, operate in Iran. ISIS and affiliated groups have claimed responsibility for bombings and other attacks in Iran. The threat of terrorist activity persists, as does the risk of death or injury to bystanders.

The U.S. government does not have diplomatic or consular relations with the Islamic Republic of Iran. The U.S. government is unable to provide routine or emergency consular services to U.S. citizens in Iran.

Companies offering surrogacy services in Iran are misrepresenting the security situation in Iran and the risks of the unregulated surrogacy tourism industry. Private companies that arrange such visits and services put U.S. citizens in danger.

Due to the risks of operating civilian aircraft within or in the vicinity of Iran, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has issued a Notice to Air Missions (NOTAM) and/or a Special Federal Aviation Regulation (SFAR). For more information U.S. citizens should consult the Federal Aviation Administration’s Prohibitions, Restrictions and Notices.

Read the country information page for additional information on travel to Iran.

If you are currently in Iran:

  • Consider the risks involved in possessing dual U.S. Iranian nationality.
  • Review your personal security plan and visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas.
  • Draft a will and designate appropriate insurance beneficiaries and/or power of attorney.
  • Discuss a plan with loved ones regarding care/custody of children, pets, property, belongings, non-liquid assets (collections, artwork, etc.), funeral wishes, etc.
  • Establish your own personal security plan in coordination with your employer or host organization or consider consulting with a professional security organization.
  • Leave DNA samples with your medical provider.
  • Have a plan for departing Iran that does not rely on U.S. government assistance.
  • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
  • Follow the Department of State on Facebook and Twitter/X.
  • Visit the CDC page for the latest Travel Health Information related to your travel.
  • Prepare a contingency plan for emergency situations. Review the Traveler’s Checklist.
Published: 2024-07-15 | Updated: 2024-07-16 00:00:04 | Source

Libya

Level 4

Do Not Travel

Reissued with obsolete COVID-19 page links removed.

Do not travel to Libya due to crime, terrorism, civil unrest, kidnapping, and armed conflict.

Country Summary: Crime levels in Libya remain high, including the threat of kidnapping for ransom. Westerners and U.S. citizens have been targets of these crimes.

Terrorist groups continue plotting attacks in Libya. Violent extremist activity in Libya remains high, and extremist groups have made threats against U.S. government officials and citizens. Terrorists may attack with little or no warning, targeting tourist locations, hotels, transportation hubs, markets/shopping malls, and government facilities.

Outbreaks of violence between competing armed groups can occur with little warning and have the potential to impact U.S. citizens. The capital, Tripoli, and other cities, such as Surman, Al-Jufra, Misrata, Ajdabiya, Benghazi, Sabha, and Dernah, have witnessed fighting among armed groups, as well as terrorist attacks. Hotels and airports frequented by Westerners have been the targets of these attacks. Even demonstrations intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational and escalate into violence.

Militia or armed groups sometimes detain travelers for arbitrary reasons, do not grant detainees access to a lawyer or a legal process, and do not allow detainees to inform others of their status. U.S. citizens should carry proof of citizenship and valid immigration status at all times, but having these documents does not guarantee fair treatment.

Some international and national airports are closed, and flights out of operational airports are sporadic and may be cancelled without warning. The U.S. government is very concerned about the targeting of commercial transportation in Libya and prohibits U.S. commercial aviation operations within Libyan airspace.

The U.S. government is unable to provide emergency or routine assistance to U.S. citizens in Libya, as the U.S. Embassy in Tripoli suspended its operations in July 2014.

Due to risks to civil aviation operating within or in the vicinity of Libya, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has issued a Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) and/or a Special Federal Aviation Regulation (SFAR). For more information U.S. citizens should consult the Federal Aviation Administration’s Prohibitions, Restrictions and Notices.

Read the country information page for additional information on travel to Libya.

If you decide to travel to Libya:

  • Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas.
  • Carry proof of citizenship and valid immigration status at all times.
  • Avoid demonstrations and crowds.
  • Make contingency plans to leave.
  • Draft a will and designate appropriate insurance beneficiaries and/or a power of attorney.
  • Discuss a plan with loved ones regarding care/custody of children, pets, property, belongings, non-liquid assets (collections, artwork, etc.), funeral wishes, etcetera.
  • Establish your own personal security plan in coordination with your employer or host organization, or consider consulting with a professional security organization.
  • Develop a communication plan with family and/or your employer or host organization.
  • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
  • Review the Country Security Report for Libya.
  • Follow the Department of State on Facebook and Twitter.
  • Visit the CDC page for the latest Travel Health Information related to your travel.
  • U.S. citizens who travel abroad should always have a contingency plan for emergency situations. Review the Traveler’s Checklist.
Published: 2023-07-13 | Updated: 2023-10-02 16:55:19 | Source

Travel Advisory Information

The United States Department of State provides travel advisories for hundreds of destinations. These are provided to help keep travelers safe in foreign countries. We retrieve these advisories directly from the U.S. Department of State and provide from for you here for your convenience and information.

Level 1: Exercise Normal Caution

This is the lowest advisory level for safety and security risk. There is some risk in any international travel. Conditions in other countries may differ from those in the United States and may change at any time. View all countries that are currently at Level 1.

Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution

Be aware of heightened risks to safety and security. The Department of State provides additional advice for travelers in these areas in the Travel Advisory.  Conditions in any country may change at any time. View all countries that are currently at Level 2.

Level 3: Reconsider Travel

 Avoid travel due to serious risks to safety and security. The Department of State provides additional advice for travelers in these areas in the Travel Advisory. Conditions in any country may change at any time. View all countries that are currently at Level 3.

Level 4: Do Not Travel

 This is the highest advisory level due to greater likelihood of life-threatening risks. During an emergency, the U.S. government may have very limited ability to provide assistance. The Department of State advises that U.S. citizens not travel to the country or leave as soon as it is safe to do so. The Department of State provides additional advice for travelers in these areas in the Travel Advisory. Conditions in any country may change at any time. View all countries that are currently at Level 4.

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