COUNTRY DESCRIPTION: Dominica is an English-speaking developing Caribbean island nation. The tourism industry is in the early stages of development;
first-class tourist facilities are limited, but medium-range facilities are widely available. Read the Department of State
Fact Sheet for Dominica for additional information.
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SMART TRAVELER ENROLLMENT PROGRAM(STEP) / EMBASSY LOCATION: If you are going to live in or visit Dominica, please take the time to tell our Embassy about your trip. If you enroll in our Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP), we can keep you up to date with important safety and security announcements. It will also help your friends and family get in touch with you in an emergency. By downloading our free Smart Traveler app, available through iTunes and the Android market, you will have our latest travel information at your fingertips.
Local embassy information is available below and at the Department of State’s list of embassies and consulates.
U.S. Embassy in Bridgetown
Wildey Business park
St. Michael, Barbados
Telephone: (246) 227-4399
Emergency after-hours telephone: (246) 227-4000
Facsimile: (246) 431-0179
Hours of operation are 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, except Barbadian and U.S. holidays.
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ENTRY/EXIT REQUIREMENTS FOR U.S. CITIZENS: In addition to a valid passport, U.S. citizens may be asked to present a return or onward ticket. U.S. citizens should take special care to secure their passports while traveling as it can be time-consuming and difficult to acquire new proof of citizenship to facilitate return travel should the passport be lost or stolen. There is a departure tax of US$22 assessed when leaving Dominica. Children under twelve years of age are exempt from the departure tax. For further information concerning entry requirements, travelers can contact the Embassy of the Commonwealth of Dominica, 3216 New Mexico Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20016, telephone (202) 364-6781, e-mail: email@example.com, or the Consulate General of Dominica in New York at (212) 768-2480. Visit the Dominica Division of Tourism official website for more information.
All U.S. citizens traveling outside of the United States are required to present a passport or other valid travel document to enter the United States. This extended to all sea travel (except closed-loop cruises), including ferry service on June 1, 2009. Travelers must now present a Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI) compliant document such as a passport or a passport card for entry to the United States. While passport cards and enhanced driver’s licenses are sufficient for entry into the United States, they may not be accepted by the particular country you plan to visit; please be sure to check with your cruise line and countries of destination for any foreign entry requirements.
NOTE: Be aware that Caribbean cruises that begin and end in the U.S. (closed loop cruises) do not require that you travel with a valid passport. However, should you need to disembark due to an emergency and you do not have a valid passport, you may encounter difficulties entering or remaining in a foreign country. You may also have difficulty attempting to re-enter the United States by air because many airlines will require a valid passport before allowing you to board the aircraft. As such, it is strongly recommended that you always travel abroad with your valid passport.
Information about dual nationality or the prevention of international child abduction can be found on our website. You can also learn more general information on Customs by visiting the Before You Go section of our site.
For further information about customs regulations, please read our Customs Information page. You can also go to Dominica's Customs Information page for specific information about Dominica.
RESIDENCY REQUIREMENTS: For U.S. citizens considering residing in Dominica, please refer to webpage on Dominica’s residency requirements.
HIV/AIDS RESTRICTIONS: The U.S. Department of State is unaware of any HIV/AIDS entry restrictions for visitors to or foreign residents of Dominica.
Please verify this information with the Dominican Embassy before you travel.
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THREATS TO SAFETY AND SECURITY: Visit the U.S. Embassy site for up-to-date messages for U.S. citizens.
Stay up to date by:
CRIME: Street crime, including armed robbery, occurs in Dominica. Valuables left unattended, especially on beaches, are vulnerable to theft. If renting a private property on Dominica, be certain to request proof of insurance from the property owner. Rented villas are sometimes robbed, especially those in the Calibishie area, and if the owner has no insurance for theft you will be unable to recoup your losses.
Take some time before travel to learn how to improve your personal security—things are not the same everywhere as they are in the United States. Here are some useful tips for personal security.
Don’t buy counterfeit and pirated goods, even if they are widely available. Not only are the bootlegs illegal to bring back
into the United States, if you purchase them you may also be breaking local law.
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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:
The local equivalent to the “911” emergency line in Dominica is: 911 or 999. The Roseau police can be reached at 767-448-2222.
CRIMINAL PENALTIES: While you are traveling in Dominica, you are subject to its laws even if you are a U.S. citizen. Foreign laws and legal systems can be vastly different than our own. 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 still illegal in the United States, and you can be prosecuted under U.S. law if you buy pirated goods. 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 Dominica, 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 where you are going.
Persons violating Dominica’s laws, even unknowingly, may be expelled, arrested or imprisoned. Penalties for possession, use, or trafficking in illegal drugs in Dominicaare severe, and convicted offenders can expect long jail sentences and heavy fines.
IF ARRESTED: If you are arrested in Dominica, authorities of Dominica are required to notify the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate of
your arrest. If you are concerned the Department of State may not be aware of your situation, you should request the police
or prison officials to notify the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate of your arrest.
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SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES: All Caribbean countries can be affected by hurricanes. The hurricane season normally runs from early June to the end of November, but there have been hurricanes in December in recent years. General information about natural disaster preparedness is available via the Internet from the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
There is no U.S. Embassy or Consulate in Dominica. The U.S. Embassy in Bridgetown, Barbados is responsible for American Citizens Services on the island of Dominica. U.S. citizens are encouraged to carry a copy of their citizenship documents with them at all times so, if questioned by local officials, proof of identity and U.S. citizenship are readily available.
Please see our Customs Information sheet.
Consensual same-sex conduct between men is illegal, and no laws prohibit discrimination against a person on the basis of sexual
orientation. There were no legal impediments to organizations for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) persons.
Anecdotal evidence suggests that societal discrimination against actual or perceived LGBT persons was common in the socially
conservative society. There were very few openly gay men or lesbians.
In March 2012 authorities arrested two men on a gay cruise on suspicion of indecent exposure and sodomy for allegedly having sex on a cruise ship balcony. The two were later charged with indecent exposure, pled guilty, and paid fines of EC$ 11,000 ($4,075).
For more detailed information about LGBT rights in Dominica, travelers should review the 2012 Human Rights Report and the LGBT Travel Information page.
ACCESSIBILITY: While in Dominica, individuals with disabilities may find accessibility and accommodation very different from what you find in the United States. There is no legal requirement in Dominica mandating access to buildings for persons with disabilities.
Access to buildings, pedestrian paths and transportation is extremely difficult for persons with disabilities. Sidewalks (if
they exist) are very uneven and will only occasionally have ramps at intersections. Pedestrian crossings are also very infrequent.
In general, restaurants, hotels and residential buildings have stairs at the entrance without wheelchair ramps, except perhaps
major hotels and retail areas. Buses and taxis do not have special accommodations for disabled persons.
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MEDICAL FACILITIES AND HEALTH INFORMATION: Medical care is limited. The major hospital is Princess Margaret Hospital (telephone (767) 448-2231/5720). In addition, there is one other hospital in Dominica and several clinics. There is an operational hyperbaric chamber at the main hospital. The private hospital and clinics will take emergency cases. There is limited ambulance service on most of the island, and a sea rescue service is available at the North end of the island. Serious medical problems requiring hospitalization and/or medical evacuation to the United States can cost thousands of dollars. Doctors and hospitals often expect immediate cash payment for health services.
You can find information on vaccinations and other health precautions on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website. For information about outbreaks of infectious diseases abroad, consult the World Health Organization (WHO) website, which also contains additional health information for travelers, including detailed country-specific health information.
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MEDICAL INSURANCE: You can’t assume your insurance will go with you when you travel. It’s very important to find out BEFORE you leave whether or not your medical insurance will cover you overseas. You need to ask your insurance company two questions:
In many places, doctors and hospitals still expect payment in cash at the time of service. Your regular U.S. health insurance
may not cover doctors’ and hospital visits in other countries. If your policy doesn’t go with you when you travel, it’s a
very good idea to take out another one for your trip. For more information, please see our medical insurance overseas page.
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TRAFFIC SAFETY AND ROAD CONDITIONS:: While in Dominica, you may encounter road conditions that differ significantly from those in the United States. Vehicles are driven on the left in Dominica. Seatbelt laws are not strictly enforced. Roads are narrow with steep inclines throughout the island. There are few guardrails in areas that have precipitous drop-offs from the road. Be especially careful on the two hour trip from the airport to the capital, Roseau, that winds through the mountainous interior. Serious accidents involving tourist vehicles occur periodically. Road signs are limited outside of the major towns. Drivers should be alert for minibus (taxi) drivers, who often make sudden stops or pull out into traffic without warning or signaling. A local temporary driver’s license is required. These can be purchased at all car rental offices and from the Traffic Department in Roseau.
AVIATION SAFETY OVERSIGHT: The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has assessed the government of Dominica’s Civil Aviation Authority as being
in compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards for oversight of Dominica’s
air carrier operations. Further information may be found on the FAA’s safety assessment page.
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This replaces the Country Specific Information for Dominica dated May 21, 2013 with changes to the section on Special Circumstances.
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