AlgeriaOfficial Name: People's Democratic Republic of Algeria
BLANK PASSPORT PAGES:
1 page per entry stamp
TOURIST VISA REQUIRED:
CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR ENTRY:
Declare all foreign currency
CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR EXIT:
Algerian dinars cannot be taken out of the country
Embassies and Consulates
5 Chemin Cheikh Bachir Ibrahimi,
Telephone: +(213) 770-08-2000
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(213) 770-08-2200
See our Fact Sheet on Algeria for information on U.S –Algerian relations.
Entry, Exit & Visa Requirements
See the Embassy of the People's Democratic Republic of Algeria website for visa information.
Requirements for Entry:
- Passport valid for at least six months
Prior to traveling, obtain a visa from an Algerian embassy or consulate.
If you are a U.S. citizen seeking residency in Algeria, you must show proof that you have registered with the U.S. Embassy by printing out and providing the confirmation page.
Dual Nationality: Algeria does not always recognize dual nationality, particularly for citizens traveling on an Algerian passport.
If you are an Algerian-American dual national traveling on your U.S. passport, you can enter Algeria without a visa until June 30, 2016.
If you have Israeli entry stamps in your passport, you may experience difficulties.
HIV restrictions: We are unaware of any HIV/AIDS entry restrictions for visitors or foreign residents of Algeria.
See the U.S. Embassy website for information on Algerian Customs import/export restrictions.
Safety and Security
- The Department of State urges U.S. citizens who travel to Algeria to evaluate carefully the risks to their personal safety.
- There is a high threat of terrorism and kidnapping in Algeria, as noted in the Department of State's most recent Worldwide Caution.
- Although the major cities are heavily policed, attacks are still possible.
- The majority of terrorist attacks, including bombings, false roadblocks, kidnappings, and ambushes have historically occurred in the mountainous areas to the east of Algiers (Kabylie region and eastern wilayas) and in the expansive Saharan desert regions of the south and southeast.
- The Department of State continues to warn U.S. citizens against travel to the Kabylie region and remote areas of southern and eastern Algeria.
- See our Travel Warning for Algeria for more information. U.S. citizens in Algeria should keep a low-profile and avoid predictable travel patterns.
Civil Disturbances: Civil disturbances occur throughout the country. These disturbances are overwhelmingly based in longstanding socio-economic grievances, including over housing and public sector salaries. Protesters have ignited fireworks, thrown Molotov cocktails, damaged property, looted businesses, and robbed passersby. At times police use tear gas and other means to disperse crowds.
The Embassy may not be able to provide full emergency consular services in certain areas of the country due to security restrictions.
Crime: The crime rate in Algeria is moderate. Algeria has a very visible police presence throughout the country, including many plain-clothes police officers. Petty theft and home burglary occur frequently in low income areas, and occasionally in affluent neighborhoods. 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. Only stay in hotels where adequate security is provided.
Victims of Crime: U.S. citizen victims of sexual assault should first contact the U.S. Embassy at (213)770-08-2200.
The local equivalents to the “911” emergency line in Algeria are:
- Fire: dial 14 from a landline; dial 021-71-14-14 from a mobile phone
- Police: dial 17 from a landline; dial 021-73-53-50 from a mobile phone
- Ambulance: dial 021-23-63-81
Reliability and response time of emergency services varies, but is not to U.S. standards. Emergency operators may or may not speak French; they normally do not speak English.
Remember that local authorities are responsible for investigating and prosecuting the crime.
See our webpage on help for U.S. victims of crime overseas.
- help you find appropriate medical care
- assist you in reporting a crime to the police
- contact relatives or friends with your written consent
- explain the local criminal justice process in general terms
- provide a list of local attorneys
- provide our information on victim’s compensation programs in the U.S.
- provide an emergency loan for repatriation to the United States and/or limited medical
- support in cases of destitution
- help you find accommodation and arrange flights home
- replace a stolen or lost passport
Domestic Violence: U.S. citizen victims of domestic violence may contact the U.S. embassy for assistance.
For further information:
- Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security messages and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
- Call us in Washington at 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or 1-202-501-4444 from other countries from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).
- See the State Department's travel website for Worldwide Caution, Travel Warnings, and Travel Alerts.
- Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.
- See traveling safely abroad for useful travel tips.
Local Laws & Special Circumstances
Criminal Penalties: You are subject to local laws. If you violate local laws, even unknowingly, you may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned.
Always carry your passport, or a copy of it, with you, or you may be taken in for questioning.
It is illegal to take pictures of certain buildings. Photographing 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.
Arrest Notification: If you are arrested or detained, ask police or prison officials to notify the U.S. embassy immediately. See our webpage for further information.
Faith-Based Travelers: 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 a faith other than Islam are prohibited. Penalties may include fines and imprisonment. See the Department of State’s International Religious Freedom Report.
LGBTI Travelers: 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.
Existing laws on associations may be used to refuse full legal standing to LGBT associations. LGBT persons face societal discrimination.
Some LGBTI 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.
Travelers Who Require Accessibility Assistance: Physical accessibility and accommodations tend to be 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.
Women Travelers: Expatriate women walking along the streets in Algeria may experience sexual harassment from passing motorists and pedestrians. See our travel tips for Women Travelers.
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: Algeria is a seismically active country, with earthquakes regularly occurring throughout the country. 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 see 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: Algerian dinar cannot be brought into or taken out of Algeria. Declare all foreign currency at Customs upon arrival, using the form provided.
The official exchange rate may vary considerably from the actual exchange rate on the street. Only exchange foreign currency at banks or authorized currency exchange locations, such as major hotels.
Upon leaving Algeria, authorities may ask if you have any foreign money and possibly search you. They will compare the amount of foreign currency you declared when entering and the amount you are taking out, and you will need to show documentation that your currency was exchanged legally.
Penalties can be severe if you failed to declare foreign currency upon entering Algeria and are found to possess foreign currency when exiting the country.
While hospitals and clinics are available and the quality is improving in large urban centers, they are 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.
Emergency services are satisfactory, but response time is often unpredictable. In all cases, response time is not as fast as in the United States.
Prescription Medications: While it is usually easy to obtain over-the-counter products, prescription medicines are not always readily available.
The Algerian government restricts the importation of certain pharmaceuticals for commercial resale. In addition, medicines may be sold under different brand names with different dosages from those sold in the United States. Some newer medications may not yet be available in Algeria.
If traveling with prescription medication, check with the government of Algeria to ensure the medication is legal in Algeria. Always carry your prescription medication in original packaging with your doctor’s prescription.
We do not pay medical bills. Be aware that U.S. Medicare does not apply overseas.
Medical Insurance: Make sure your health insurance plan provides coverage overseas. Most care providers overseas only accept cash payments. See our webpage for more information on insurance providers for overseas coverage.
We strongly recommend supplemental insurance (our webpage) to cover medical evacuation.
Vaccinations: Be up-to-date on all vaccinations recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Further health information:
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.
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. More information is available via the U.S. Department of State’s H5N1 and Pandemic Fact Sheet.
Travel & Transportation
Road Conditions and Safety: According to local media, Algeria has the fourth highest vehicular accident rate in the world. Problems include poorly maintained roads, a severe lack of roadway signage, insufficient vehicle maintenance, defective, pirated auto parts, driver fatigue, and reckless and unskilled drivers. Lack of enforcement continues to be a major problem. While emergency response resources are adequate in Algiers and other populated cities, this is not the case in rural areas.
Travel overland, particularly in the southern regions, may require a permit issued by the Algerian government.
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’s page for driving licenses.
Drivers will encounter police and military checkpoints on major roads within/around Algiers and other major cities.
Rather than traffic lights, police control most major traffic intersections in Algiers.
Public Transportation: Trains operate between cities in the coastal regions of Algeria (although not inter-country) and are generally safe and reliable. There is a new urban railway in Algiers that runs along the coast and is clean and well-policed. Due to concerns about crime and mechanical safety, citizens should consider carefully the risks of buses, as well as taxis hailed on the street. There are new radio-dispatch taxis within Algiers.
Please refer to our Road Safety page for more information. Visit the website of the Algerian Embassy in Washington, DC. for information concerning Algerian driver’s permits, vehicle inspection, road tax, and mandatory insurance.
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.