Yemen Travel Warning
We urge U.S. citizens to defer travel to Yemen and for those U.S. citizens currently living in or visiting Yemen to depart. For more information, view our Yemen Crisis page.
The U.S. Department of State warns U.S. citizens against all travel to Yemen because of the high security threat level posed by ongoing conflict and terrorist activities. This supersedes the Travel Warning for Yemen issued on December 14, 2015.
On February 11, 2015 due to the deteriorating security situation in Sanaa, the Department of State suspended embassy operations and U.S. Embassy Sanaa American staff have been relocated out of the country. All consular services, routine and/or emergency, have been suspended until further notice. The Department urges U.S. citizens to defer travel to Yemen and those U.S. citizens currently living in Yemen to depart when they are able to safely do so.
The level of instability and ongoing threats, including the threat of kidnapping, in Yemen is severe. In March 2015, a Saudi-led coalition initiated an air campaign in support of the exiled Yemeni government. While a nationwide cessation of hostilities has largely held since April 10, pockets of violence persist and the country remains deeply insecure. Periodic armed conflict and shelling continues in certain areas across the country. There are reports of land mines being placed in areas vacated by withdrawing forces. The military conflict has also significantly damaged infrastructure, limiting the availability of electricity, clean water, and medical care, and causing travel by internal roads to be dangerous. This instability often hampers the ability of humanitarian organizations to deliver critically needed food, medicine, and water.
We have received recent reports of U.S. citizens and other foreigners, including aid workers, being detained and kidnapped in Yemen. We warn all U.S. citizens considering traveling to Yemen, even with an established aid organization, of the risks of detention and kidnapping. This risk has not been mitigated by the cessation of hostilities currently in place.
In addition, the threat posed by violent extremist groups in Yemen remains high. Al-Qa’ida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) expanded its influence in Yemen since the beginning of the conflict. While a Coalition-led operation in April ejected AQAP from its safe haven in Mukalla in Yemen’s east, AQAP remains a significant threat. The Islamic State also has established a presence in Yemen, and has claimed responsibility for a number of attacks in the country. The U.S. government remains extremely concerned about possible attacks on U.S. citizens (whether visiting or residing in Yemen), and U.S. facilities, businesses, and perceived U.S. and Western interests. In addition, piracy in the Red Sea, Gulf of Aden, and Indian Ocean is a security threat to maritime activities in the region. See our International Maritime Piracy Fact Sheet.
The United States is also concerned about the risks to civil aviation operating in specified areas of the Sanaa (OYSC) Flight Information Region (FIR) due to the ongoing military operations, political instability, and violence from competing armed groups involved in combat operations and other military-related activity. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has prohibited U.S. civil aviation from flying in specific areas within the Sanaa FIR. For additional background information regarding FAA flight prohibitions and advisories for U.S. civil aviation, U.S. citizens should consult the Federal Aviation Administration’s Prohibitions, Restrictions and Notices.
For U.S. citizen inquiries, you may send an email to YEMENEMERGENCYUSC@state.gov.
For further information:
- See the State Department's travel website for the Worldwide Caution, Travel Warnings, Travel Alerts, and Specific Information for Yemen.
- Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security messages and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
- As cell phone service is unreliable in Yemen, emergency calls may also be placed through the Department of State at 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or 1-202-501-4444 from other countries.
- Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.
Assistance for U.S. Citizens
The U.S. Department of State strongly recommends that U.S. citizens remaining in Yemen depart. More information can be found within the U.S. Department of State’s Yemen Travel Warning. The U.S. Embassy in Sana’a suspended operations on February 11, 2015 and therefore cannot provide protection or routine consular services to U.S. citizens in Yemen.
Please direct inquiries regarding U.S. citizens in Yemen to YemenEmergencyUSC@state.gov. Callers in the U.S. and Canada may dial the toll free number 1-888-407-4747. Callers outside the United States and Canada may dial 1-202-501-4444.