AlgeriaOfficial Name: People's Democratic Republic of Algeria
Must have six months validity at time of entry
BLANK PASSPORT PAGES:
One page required for entry stamp
TOURIST VISA REQUIRED:
CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR ENTRY:
All foreign currency must be declared upon entry
CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR EXIT:
Algerian dinar may not be taken outside of Algeria
Embassies and Consulates
5 Chemin Cheikh Bachir Ibrahimi,
Telephone: +(213) 770-08-2000
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(213) 770-08-2200
Algeria is the largest country in Africa, with over four-fifths of its territory covered by the Sahara desert. The country has a population of 38.8 million people mainly located near the northern coast. Algeria is a multi-party, constitutional republic. Facilities for travelers are available in populated areas but sometimes limited in quality and quantity. Read the Department of State’s Fact Sheet on U.S. Relations with Algeria for additional information.
Entry, Exit & Visa Requirements
Passports and visas are required for U.S. citizens traveling to Algeria. The Algerian visa application must be typed in all capital letters. The Algerian Embassy does not accept handwritten visa applications. Algerian-American dual nationals who wish to enter Algeria using their U.S. passports can do so without needing a visa until June 30, 2016. In the case of dual national Algerian-Americans, the Algerian government does not always recognize U.S. nationality, particularly for those traveling on an Algerian passport. In addition, travelers with Israeli entry stamps in their passport may experience difficulties. If you are a U.S. citizen seeking residency in Algeria, the Algerian government requires you to show proof that you have registered with the U.S. Embassy; you can print and provide the confirmation page.
For the most current information on entry/exit requirements, travelers may contact the Embassy of the People's Democratic Republic of Algeria at 2137 Wyoming Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008, telephone (202) 265-2800.
The U.S. Department of State is unaware of any HIV/AIDS entry restrictions for visitors to or foreign residents of Algeria.
Information about dual nationality and the prevention of international child abduction can be found on our website. For further information about customs regulations, please read our Customs Information page.
Safety and Security
See the current U.S. Department of State’s Travel Warning for Algeria regarding terrorism concerns, including bombings, ambushes, false roadblocks, and abductions. There are ongoing threats against Algerian military facilities and to Westerners and Algerians who support Western government and business interests. In September 2014, a French citizen was executed by terrorists in the Kabylie region east of Algiers. In January 2013, a terrorist attack on an oil facility in southern Algeria resulted in the deaths of three U.S. citizens, among more than two dozen foreign workers.
The frequency and intensity of localized, sporadic, and usually spontaneous civil disturbances has risen since 2010, particularly in southern Algeria. Travelers should avoid crowds, protests, demonstrations, and riots. These disturbances are overwhelmingly based in longstanding, deeply seated socio-economic grievances, including over housing and public sector salaries and allowances. Some people involved in some of these protests have ignited fireworks, thrown Molotov cocktails, damaged property, looted businesses, and robbed passersby. While most of the protests are permitted by Algeria’s authorities, in some cases police have actively dispersed them using tear gas and other means. Most robbery victims displayed obvious signs of wealth and were targets of opportunity.
U.S. citizens who reside or travel in Algeria should take prudent security measures while in the country, including making provisions for reliable support in the event of an emergency.
U.S. citizens should carefully consider the security risks involved when using public transportation, such as buses and taxis. Visitors to Algeria are advised to stay only in hotels where adequate security is provided. All visitors to Algeria should remain alert and adhere to prudent security practices, such as avoiding predictable travel patterns and maintaining a low profile.
While the Consular Section is open for public services, the Embassy’s ability to respond to emergencies involving U.S. citizens throughout Algeria is limited and the Embassy may not be able to provide full emergency consular services in certain areas of the country due to security restrictions.
To stay connected:
- Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program so we can keep you up to date with important safety and security announcements.
- Follow the Bureau of Consular Affairs on Twitter and Facebook.
- Bookmark the Bureau of Consular Affairs website, which contains the current Travel Warnings and Travel Alerts as well as the Worldwide Caution.
- Follow the U.S. Embassy in Algeria on Twitter and visit the Embassy’s website.
- In the event of an emergency, contact us at 1-888-407-4747 toll-free within the United States and Canada, or via a regular toll line, 1-202-501-4444, from other countries.
- Take some time before traveling to consider your personal security and check these useful tips for traveling safely abroad.
CRIME: The crime rate in Algeria is moderate. Algeria has a very visible police presence throughout the country, including many plain-clothes police officers, particularly in areas frequented by foreigners. Petty theft and home burglary occur frequently in low income areas, and occasionally in affluent neighborhoods, and muggings are on the rise, especially after dark in the cities. Criminals tend to focus on persons who appear unfamiliar with their surroundings, are dressed in expensive clothing, or otherwise draw attention to themselves. Theft of contents and parts from parked cars, pick-pocketing, theft on trains and buses, theft of items left in hotel rooms, and purse snatching are common. Alarms, grills, and/or guards can help protect residences.
VICTIMS OF CRIME: If you or someone you know becomes the victim of a crime abroad, you should contact the local police and the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate. We can:
- Replace a stolen passport.
- Help you find appropriate medical care if you are the victim of violent crimes such as assault or rape.
- Put you in contact with the appropriate police authorities, and if you want us to, we can contact family members or friends.
- Help you understand the local criminal justice process and direct you to local attorneys, although it is important to remember that local authorities are responsible for investigating and prosecuting the crime.
The local equivalent to the “911” emergency line in Algeria is “17” for the police and “14” in case of fire. These numbers may only be dialed from landline phones. From a mobile phone, dial 021-73-53-50 for the police; 021-71-14-14 in case of fire; 021-23-63-81 for an ambulance. Reliability and response time of emergency services varies but is not to U.S. standards. Emergency operators may or may not speak French and normally do not speak English.
Please see our information for victims of crime, including possible victim compensation programs in the United States.
Local Laws & Special Circumstances
CRIMINAL PENALTIES: While you are traveling in Algeria, you are subject to its laws even if you are a U.S. citizen. Foreign laws and legal systems can be vastly different from our own. You may be taken in for questioning if you don’t have your passport or a copy of it with you. It is illegal to take pictures of certain buildings and photography of military and government installations is prohibited. It is also illegal to bring in weapons, body armor, handcuffs, GPS devices, or binoculars. Driving under the influence could land you immediately in jail. These criminal penalties will vary from country to country.
There are also some things that might be legal in the country you visit, but still illegal in the United States. Engaging in sexual conduct with children or using or disseminating child pornography in a foreign country is a crime prosecutable in the United States. Don’t buy counterfeit or pirated goods, even if they are widely available. Not only are the bootleg goods illegal in the United States, but you may be breaking local law, too.
While you are overseas, U.S. laws don’t apply. If you do something illegal in your host country, your U.S. passport won’t help. It’s very important to know what’s legal and what’s not where you are going. Persons violating Algerian laws, even unknowingly, may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned. Penalties for possession, use, or trafficking in illegal drugs in Algeria are severe, and convicted offenders can expect long jail sentences and heavy fines.
While some countries will automatically notify the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate if a U.S. citizen is detained or arrested in a foreign country, that might not always be the case. To ensure that the United States is aware of your circumstances, request that the police and prison officials notify the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate as soon as you are arrested or detained overseas.
Travel within Algeria: All employees of foreign companies or organizations based in Algeria who are not Algerian citizens must contact the Ministry of Foreign Affairs before engaging in any travel within the interior of the country. The Ministry will notify local police of the planned travel and the police may choose to assign escorts for that travel.
Disaster Preparedness: A seismically active country, earthquakes regularly occur throughout Algeria. A major earthquake in 2003 near Algiers resulted in over 2,000 dead and over 10,000 injured. You should make contingency plans for your travel in Algeria and leave emergency contact information with family members outside of Algeria. General information about natural disaster preparedness is available from the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and at Ready.gov. For more information on disaster preparedness, please click on the following links:
- U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)
- FEMA: Earthquakes
- FEMA for Kids: Emergency Preparedness
- U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Earthquake Preparedness
Currency: All foreign currency brought into Algeria should be disclosed when entering the country. While this requirement is not publicized when entering the country, upon arrival you should ask a customs official for a form to declare foreign currency. Each person leaving Algeria will be stopped and asked if he/she has any foreign money and will possibly be searched. If foreign currency was declared when entering the country, any disparity between the amounts arrived with, and the amounts held at departure, must be accounted for. If a traveler failed to declare any currency when entering Algeria, and is found to possess foreign currency while exiting the country, the penalties may be severe.
Foreign currency must be exchanged only at banks or authorized currency exchange locations, such as major hotels.
Proselytizing: Islam is the state religion of Algeria. The Algerian government allows non-Muslim religious worship only in structures exclusively intended and approved for that purpose. Activities such as proselytizing and encouraging conversion to another faith are prohibited. Penalties may include fines and imprisonment.
WOMEN TRAVELER INFORMATION: If you are a woman traveling abroad, please review our tips for Women Travelers.
LGBT RIGHTS: Consensual same-sex sexual relations are criminalized in Algeria. Penalties include fines and terms of imprisonment of up to three years. Although the U.S. Embassy is not aware of any recent arrests or prosecutions for such activities, they remain illegal. In addition, existing laws on associations may be used to refuse full legal standing to LGBT associations. LGBT persons face societal discrimination. Some LGBT individuals receive violent threats and feel compelled to flee the country. While some LGBT persons live openly, the vast majority does not, and most fear reprisal from their families or harassment from authorities. For more detailed information about LGBT rights in Algeria, you may review the State Department’s Country Reports on Human Rights Practices. For further information on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) travel, please read our Information for LGBT Travelers.
ACCESSIBILITY: While in Algeria, individuals with disabilities, particularly physical ones limiting mobility, may find accessibility and accommodations lacking, as compared to the United States. The condition of sidewalks and streets is often poor, and there are almost no curb cuts or other modifications made for wheelchairs. Street curbs in Algeria stand much higher than those in the U.S., and a person in a wheelchair would require significant assistance in negotiating curbs. Hotels, restaurants, and most government buildings are not accessible to persons with physical disabilities. Restrooms and elevators rarely can accommodate wheelchairs. Very few vehicles, notably buses and taxis, are accessible for persons with serious physical disabilities.
Hospitals and clinics in Algeria are available and their quality is improving in the large urban centers, but is still not up to U.S. or European standards. Doctors and hospitals often expect immediate cash payment for services. Most medical practitioners speak French; English is not widely used.
Prescription medicines are not always readily available. Some pharmacies may at times be out-of-stock. In addition, the medicine may be sold under a different brand name and may contain a different dosage from that sold in the United States. Please be aware that some newer medications may not yet be available in Algeria. It is usually easy to obtain over-the-counter products.
Emergency services are satisfactory, but response time is often unpredictable. In all cases, response time is not as fast as in the United States.
Cases of tuberculosis are regularly reported, but do not reach endemic levels. For further information on tuberculosis, please consult the CDC’s information on TB. Every summer, public health authorities report limited occurrences of water-borne diseases, such as typhoid. In addition, HIV/AIDS is a concern in the remote southern part of the country, especially in border towns. There have been a few recently reported cases of H1N1. The flu vaccine is available in Algeria and provides protection. More information is available via the U.S. Department of State’s H5N1 and Pandemic Fact Sheet.
You can find detailed information on vaccinations and other health precautions on the CDC website. For information about outbreaks of infectious diseases abroad, consult the World Health Organization (WHO) website. The WHO website also contains additional health information for travelers, including detailed country-specific health information.
Travel & Transportation
TRAFFIC SAFETY AND ROAD CONDITIONS: While in Algeria, U.S. citizens may encounter road conditions that differ significantly from those in the United States. The information below is provided for general reference only, and may not be totally accurate in a particular location or circumstance.
Algeria recognizes International Driving Permits. U.S. citizens who wish to drive in Algeria should obtain an International Driver’s Permit in advance. See the Department’s Driving Abroad page for more information on driving permits. For information on obtaining an Algerian driver’s license, see the Algerian Ministry of Interior page for driving licenses.
According to local media, Algeria has the fourth highest vehicular accident rate in the world; Algerian security services report that each year, over 4,000 people die in traffic-related accidents and over 55,000 are injured. Many factors play a role in traffic fatalities: poorly maintained roads, a severe lack of roadway signage, insufficient vehicle maintenance, the use of defective, pirated auto parts, driver fatigue, and reckless and unskilled drivers. New regulations improved traffic safety slightly in 2014, but lack of enforcement continues to be a major contributor to overall road safety. Emergency response resources are adequate in Algiers and other populated cities but this is not the case in rural areas.
Drivers will encounter police and military checkpoints on major roads within, and on the periphery of, Algiers and other major cities. Security personnel at these checkpoints expect full cooperation. Most major traffic intersections in Algiers are controlled by policemen instead of traffic lights. Motorists should be aware that terrorists and criminals may employ false roadblocks as a tactic for ambushes and kidnappings, primarily in the central regions of Boumerdes and Tizi Ouzou and some parts of southern and eastern Algeria (see Safety and Security section above).
Travel overland, particularly in the southern regions, may require a permit issued by the Algerian government. For specific information concerning Algerian driver’s permits, vehicle inspection, road tax, and mandatory insurance, contact the Algerian Embassy in Washington, DC.
Please refer to our Road Safety page for more information.
AVIATION SAFETY OVERSIGHT: As there is no direct commercial air service to the United States by carriers registered in Algeria, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has not assessed the government of Algeria’s Civil Aviation Authority for compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards. Further information may be found on the FAA’s safety assessment page.