MozambiqueOfficial Name: Republic of Mozambique
Must have six (6) months validity from date of entry.
BLANK PASSPORT PAGES:
Three (3) pages required for visa and entry stamps.
TOURIST VISA REQUIRED:
Yes, except for citizens of some southern African countries. U.S. citizens must obtain visas in advance of travel.
Yellow fever vaccine required if you have recently visited a yellow fever endemic country.
CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR ENTRY:
CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR EXIT:
A maximum of US $5,000 and 500 Mozambican Meticais may be taken out of the country.
Embassies and Consulates
Avenida Kenneth Kaunda, 193
Telephone: +(258) 21-49-2797
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(258) 21-49-0723
Fax: +(258) 21-49-0448
Mozambique is a developing country in southern Africa that has been steadily rebuilding its economy and civic institutions since ending a 16-year civil war in 1992. The country stabilized following Mozambique's first multi-party elections in October 1994, and the current president was reelected in October 2009. The next presidential elections will be held on October 15, 2014. Despite high economic growth rates in recent years, Mozambique remains among the world's poorest countries, with a GDP per capita of US $1,200. Facilities for tourism in Maputo, the capital city, are steadily improving but remain limited in other areas. Many goods and services have extremely limited availability. The official language is Portuguese, although English is spoken in many tourist areas. In some rural areas only local languages are widely spoken. Read the Department of State's Fact Sheet on Mozambique for additional information.
Entry, Exit & Visa Requirements
Except for nationals of a few neighboring southern African countries, all foreigners require a visa to enter Mozambique. U.S. citizens traveling to Mozambique must acquire the appropriate visa prior to entering the country. Although Mozambican Immigration has the authority to issue one-entry visas for US $82 at country points of entry, including airports, and many foreigners have been permitted entry on this basis in the past, this practice is no longer followed for U.S. citizens. U.S. citizens are subject to being denied entry for not having obtained a visa in advance. Additionally, some visa types require a notarized letter of invitation for application. Even after being issued a visa, travelers should be prepared to present this letter at the Point of Entry. U.S. citizens have experienced difficulty gaining admission without this letter, even if holding a valid visa.
Foreigners in Mozambique without a valid visa can expect to pay a fine (US $33) for each day they are in Mozambique illegally and may face deportation. The fine can be assessed upon travelers’ departure or if travelers are caught by authorities while still in Mozambique. Please pay close attention to the period you are authorized to stay in Mozambique on your visa ("Autorizado a permaneçer pelo período de [number of days]"). This is the maximum number of days you may stay before you must depart Mozambique. The passports of all travelers who wish to enter Mozambique must be valid for at least six months after arrival and must contain at least three clean (unstamped) visa pages each time entry is sought. Visit the Embassy of Mozambique website for the most current visa information.
All travelers entering Mozambique who previously visited a country where yellow fever is present must present a valid certification of vaccination against yellow fever. We recommend all travelers be vaccinated to avoid complications at the border. Any passenger who cannot present such a certificate at the port of entry will be vaccinated at a cost of US $50 or the equivalent in metical, Mozambique’s currency. Any travelers entering Mozambique may be required to present a vaccination book containing proof of yellow fever vaccination.
The U.S. Department of State is unaware of any HIV/AIDS entry restrictions for visitors to or foreign residents of Mozambique.
Information about dual nationality or the prevention of international child abduction can be found on our website. For further information about customs regulations, please read our Customs Information page.
We caution visitors who attempt to import weapons and/or artillery, even if just transiting the country briefly. We recommend contacting the Embassy of Mozambique in Washington, D.C., prior to taking any weapons or firearms into Mozambique. With or without proper documentation, permission, and a local handling agent, weapons/artillery importers could face detention by local officials.
Safety and Security
Overland travel after dark is extremely dangerous due to road conditions and the increased potential for crime, such as vehicle hijacking. There is an increased potential for accidents due to unseen holes and obstructions, poor lighting conditions, pedestrians on the highways, and other vehicles driving without headlights or with intoxicated drivers. Visitors should be vigilant when driving on city streets as well as the main thoroughfares connecting Mozambique to/from South Africa and other neighboring countries as incidents of vehicle theft, including assault and robbery, have been reported. Both Mozambique and South Africa are considered to have high levels of crime. U.S. government personnel who work at the U.S. Embassy in Mozambique are strongly discouraged from overland travel outside Maputo city limits after dark, and are encouraged to travel in convoys of two or more vehicles when outside of the city. They are prohibited from using “chapas” (local minibuses) due to frequent accidents involving these vehicles. Although Mozambique has made great progress in removing landmines buried during the civil war, there are remaining pockets of residual landmines that still pose a threat. Overland travelers are advised to remain on well-traveled roads or seek local information before going off-road outside of Maputo and other provincial capitals. Road travel on the N-1 national highway in Sofala Province north of the Save River is discouraged because of ongoing security concerns. Because of recent heightened tensions between government authorities and armed elements of the main opposition party, the military is running armed convoys between Muxungue and the Save River. If you must travel this route, you are advised to accompany the convoy.
Although demonstrations do occur in Mozambique, they are infrequent and there have been no recent demonstrations against U.S. interests. If demonstrations do occur, they should be avoided.
Police frequently conduct document checks of drivers, travelers, and pedestrians, often with the intention of soliciting bribes. It is illegal to pay bribes and travelers are discouraged from doing so. It is also required to have proper identification on your person at all times (see Local Laws and Special Circumstances).
Stay up to date:
- 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 Embassy on Twitter and Facebook and visit our 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.
CRIME: Although the vast majority of visitors complete their travels in Mozambique without incident, the most serious threat facing U.S. citizens in Mozambique is crime. Street crimes, including mugging, purse-snatching, and pick-pocketing are common, both in Maputo and in secondary cities. Carjackings have become rare, but still happen. Visitors must be vigilant when out in public areas and should not display jewelry or other items, including cell phones and personal music devices. Avoid isolated areas. Joggers and pedestrians have frequently been mugged, even during daylight hours. Visitors should take caution when walking at night, even in well-known tourist areas. Due to an increase in violent crime, pedestrian activity is discouraged in the hours of dusk and darkness between Avenida Marginal and Frederick Engles and the end of Julius Nyerere. Increased vigilance is also recommended in areas where there is significant foliage growing in unpopulated roadways as many homeless and criminal elements live there and will opportunistically approach unwary pedestrians.
Mozambican police do not operate at the standard that U.S. citizens are accustomed to in the United States. Visitors should not expect the same level of police service.
Many airline trips from Mozambique to the United States, Europe, or African destinations transit Johannesburg, South Africa. Baggage pilferage is an ongoing problem at Johannesburg's Oliver Tambo International Airport. Travelers are encouraged to secure their luggage, use an airport plastic wrapping service, and avoid placing currency, electronics, jewelry, cameras, cosmetics, running shoes, or other valuables in checked luggage. Having a complete inventory of items placed in checked baggage can aid in processing a claim if theft does occur.
Don’t buy counterfeit and pirated goods, even if they are widely available. Not only are the bootlegs illegal in the United States, if you purchase them you may also be breaking local law.
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.
There is no local equivalent to the “911” emergency line in Mozambique.
Please see our information on Victims of Crime, including possible victim compensation programs in the United States.
Local Laws & Special Circumstances
CRIMINAL PENALTIES: While you are traveling in Mozambique, you are subject to its laws. Foreign laws and legal systems can be vastly different than those in the United States. In some places you may be taken in for questioning if you don’t have your passport with you. In some places, it is illegal to take pictures of certain buildings. In some places, 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 are 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. If you break local laws in Mozambique, your U.S. passport won’t help you avoid arrest or prosecution. It’s very important to know what’s legal and what’s not wherever you go.
Persons violating Mozambican laws, even unknowingly, may be expelled, arrested or imprisoned. Penalties for possession, use, or trafficking in illegal drugs in Mozambique are severe, and convicted offenders can expect long jail sentences and heavy fines.
Arrest notifications in Mozambique: 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 U.S. Embassy as soon as you are arrested or detained overseas.
SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES: Mozambican law requires that all persons carry an identity document such as a passport when out in public and that they present it to police upon request. Notarized copies of both the biographic page of a passport and a valid Mozambican visa are acceptable forms of identification, although police will occasionally demand original documents. There are certain areas in Mozambique where pedestrian traffic is prohibited and the ban is strictly enforced. These areas include the front of the presidential offices located north of the Hotel Polana on the seaside of Avenida Julius Nyerere and the Praça dos Herois on Avenida Acordos de Lusaka near the airport, both in Maputo.
It is against the law to destroy Mozambican currency; offenders can expect a jail sentence or fine. US $5,000 is the maximum limit one can take out of the country. The maximum amount of local currency one can take out is 500 metical, which is less than US $20. Some U.S. travelers have reported having difficulties cashing traveler’s checks and have relied instead on ATMs and credit cards for money withdrawals in Mozambique. Travelers have reported that banks in Mozambique will only accept new U.S. bills. Outside of the major hotels and restaurants, credit cards are not widely accepted in Mozambique. The South African Rand and U.S. Dollar are sometimes accepted as legal tender, although this is more common in the southern part of the country or in tourist areas; all transactions must have a local currency (metical) payment option.
All U.S. citizens are prohibited, by U.S. federal law, from patronizing any businesses located within the Maputo Shopping Center. This shopping center is owned by Mohamed Bachir Suleman (MBS), a notorious drug baron, who, on June 1, 2010, was designated by the White House as a “Drug Kingpin.” This makes any U.S. citizen who frequents his businesses subject to the Kingpin Act. Penalties for violations of the Kingpin Act range from civil penalties of up to US $1 million per violation to more severe criminal penalties, to include up to 10 years in prison, and fines pursuant to Title 18 of the United States Code, for criminal violations of the Kingpin Act
LGBT RIGHTS: Mozambique is a very tolerant society. Consensual same-sex relations are not criminalized and there is increasing space in public conversation regarding LGBT issues. There remains, however, some societal stigmatization and room for progress in terms of full equal treatment, such as in the registration of LGBT groups. For more detailed information about LGBT rights in Mozambique, you may review the State Department’s Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2012. For further information on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) travel, please read our LGBT Travel Information page.
ACCESSIBILITY: While in Mozambique, individuals with disabilities may find accessibility and accommodation very different from that which is commonly provided in the United States. Although the Mozambican government legislatively mandates access to public buildings, transportation, and government services for persons with disabilities, few buildings are accessible. In general, restaurants, hotels, and residential buildings have stairs at the entrance without wheelchair ramps, except perhaps at a few major hotels and retail areas. Pedestrian paths and transportation are extremely difficult for persons with disabilities. Sidewalks are not commonplace and, if they exist, are poorly maintained and dangerous to walk on at night. Pedestrian crossings are infrequent and drivers seldom obey traffic signals. Buses and taxis do not have special accommodations for disabled persons.
MEDICAL FACILITIES: Medical facilities are rudimentary, and most medical providers do not speak fluent English. Medicines are not always available. There are both public and private medical facilities in the city of Maputo and most provincial capitals. All health care institutions and providers require payment at the time of service, and may even require payment before providing service. While some private clinics accept credit cards, many medical facilities do not. Doctors and hospitals outside Maputo generally expect immediate cash payment for health services. Outside of Maputo, available medical care ranges from very basic to nonexistent.
HEALTH INFORMATION: 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, which contains additional health information for travelers, including detailed country-specific health information.
Tuberculosis is an increasingly serious health concern in Mozambique. For further information, please consult the CDC's information on TB.
Travel & Transportation
TRAFFIC SAFETY AND ROAD CONDITIONS: While in Mozambique, U.S. citizens may encounter road conditions that differ significantly from those in the United States. The information below concerning Mozambique is provided for general reference only, and may not be totally accurate in a particular location or circumstance.
Serious traffic accidents, one of the greatest threats to U.S. citizens in Mozambique, occur regularly throughout the country. Accidents involving drivers and pedestrians are common, sometimes resulting in pedestrian casualty. Pedestrians often walk in the road and may not be visible to motorists, especially at night. If a serious accident occurs, or if a driver hits a pedestrian, crowds quickly gather. Some drivers involved in accidents of this nature have felt threatened by the crowds and fled the accident scene. We urge any driver involved in an accident to immediately report the accident to the nearest police station and to contact the Embassy. Notwithstanding a Mozambican law that requires parties to an accident to render assistance, visitors should exercise their best judgment. Render assistance if necessary and practical, but only if you feel you can do so without placing yourself at risk.
Drivers should obey police signals to stop at checkpoints, which are common throughout Mozambique. Foreigners visiting Mozambique for more than 90 days are required to have an International Driver’s License or to obtain a Mozambican driver’s license.
The EN4 toll road between Maputo and South Africa is well-maintained. The road network connecting provincial capitals is in fair condition, but can be riddled with potholes and other obstacles. U.S. government personnel are prohibited from traveling outside cities after dark because of the increased risk of banditry, poor road conditions in some areas, poor maintenance of many vehicles in the country (e.g., no headlights or rear lights), as well as the threat imposed by livestock grazing on roadsides. Travel outside Maputo often requires a four-wheel drive vehicle, which creates an additional security risk since these vehicles are high-theft items. Public transportation is limited and often has poor safety standards.
The U.S. Embassy advises U.S. citizens not to use “chapas” (local minibuses) as a method of transportation due to frequent, and often fatal, accidents involving these vehicles.
AVIATION SAFETY OVERSIGHT: As there is no direct commercial air service to the United States by carriers registered in Mozambique, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has not assessed the Government of Mozambique’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.