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Comoros
Official Name:

Union of the Comoros

Last Updated: November 4, 2016

Embassy Messages

Further Safety and Security Information

Travel Warnings: Issued when Protracted situations make a country dangerous or unstable. Defer or reconsider travel.

Travel Alerts: Issued when short-term conditions pose imminent threats. Defer or reconsider travel.

Embassy Messages: Issued when local security issues arise.

Assistance for U.S. Citizens

Assistance for U.S. Citizens

U.S. Embassy Antananarivo

Lot 207 A, Point Liberty
Andranoro, Antehiroka
105 Antananarivo
Madagascar

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Quick Facts
PASSPORT VALIDITY:

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Must be valid at time of entry

BLANK PASSPORT PAGES:

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One page

TOURIST VISA REQUIRED:

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Yes – available upon arrival

VACCINATIONS:

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None

CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR ENTRY:

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No

CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR EXIT:

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No

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U.S. Embassy Antananarivo

Lot 207 A, Point Liberty
Andranoro, Antehiroka
105 Antananarivo
Madagascar

Telephone: +( 261) (20) 23-480-00

Emergency After-Hours Telephone: (261) (20) 23-480-00

Fax: +(261) (20) 23-480-35

See our Fact Sheet on Comoros for information on U.S. - Comoros relations.

 

Requirements for Entry:

  • Passport
  • Visa
  • Onward/return ticket

Visas:  Visas are available upon arrival. Visit the Mission of the Union of the Comoros to the United Nations  website for the most current visa information. Overseas inquiries should be made at the Comoran Mission to the United Nations in New York, NY.

The U.S. Department of State is unaware of any HIV/AIDS entry restrictions for visitors to or foreign residents of Comoros.

Find information on dual nationalityprevention of international child abduction and customs regulations on our websites.

Comoros has experienced occasional strikes and civil unrest, resulting in violent clashes between police and demonstrators.

Precautions:

  • Avoid demonstrations, large gatherings and any political rallies.  Even demonstrations intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational and escalate into violence.
  • Follow the instructions of local authorities, monitor local news broadcasts, and consular messages.

Piracy:  Small craft on the open seas are vulnerable to attack. See MARAD’s page for advisories.

Marine hazards:  Be aware of jellyfish, coral, and sea urchins when swimming, snorkeling, or scuba diving.  Currents can be strong in the Mozambique channel and rip tides exist on some beaches.

Crime:  The most commonly reported crimes are petty crimes of opportunity such as pickpocketing.

  • Be vigilant, particularly when visiting crowded markets, parks, and beaches.
  • Ensure personal belongings, passport, and other travel documents are secure at all times.
  • Avoid walking alone, especially after dark, and displaying cash and valuable personal property.

See the Department of State and the FBI pages for information on scams.

Victims of Crime:  U.S. citizen victims of sexual assault should first contact the U.S. Embassy.

Report crimes to the local police at 17, 18 for the Gendarmerie; and contact the U.S. Embassy at +(261) (20) 23-480-00. 

Remember local authorities are responsible for investigating and prosecuting crime.

See our webpage on help for U.S. victims of crime overseas.

We can:

•     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 Embassy for assistance.

For further information:

Consult the CDC website for the Comoros prior to travel.

Medical care is limited on all three islands including Grande Comore. There are private facilties requiring advance membership.

Carry prescription medication in original packaging, along with your doctor’s prescription.

You are responsible for all medical costs. U.S. Medicare does not cover you overseas. All care providers expect payment in KMF/U.S. dollars in full before treatment is performed.   

Medical Insurance: If your health insurance plan does not provide coverage overseas, we strongly recommend supplemental medical insurance and medical evacuation plans.

The following diseases are prevelant:

Vaccinations:  Be up-to-date on all vaccinations recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Further health information:

Criminal Penalties: You are subject to local laws. If you violate local laws, even unknowingly, you may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned. Convictions for possessing, using, or trafficking in illegal drugs result in a mandatory minimum five-year prison sentence and heavy fines.  You may be fined or possiblely imprisoned for public intoxication. Furthermore, some laws are also prosecutable in the U.S., regardless of local law. For examples, see our website on crimes against minors abroad and the Department of Justice website.

Photography: It is illegal to take pictures of government buildings, military installations, and other key infrastructure such as ports, train stations, and airports.  You could be fined, have your photographic equipment confiscated, and risk detention and arrest. Do not take photos of Comorians without permission.

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. The U.S. Embassy in Madagascarprovides consular assistance; there is no full-time official U.S. presence in Comoros.

Clothing:  Comorians dress conservatively. Shorts or short sleeves should be avoided, except at the beach.

Phone Service: Cellular phones are the norm, as other telephone service is unreliable and landlines are nearly non-existent. It may be possible to purchase a SIM card locally and use a GSM-compatible cell phone.  Cellular data packages, at 2G or 3G speeds, are also available for purchase.

Currency: The Comorian Franc (KMF) is the official currency. This is a cash society; credit cards are not widely accepteded. There is one bank on the island to exchange currency.

Utilities Outages:

  • The supply of electricity is frequently disrupted, sometimes for extended periods. 
  • Water supplies can fluctuate (including potable water), affecting tourist and other public services.

Faith-Based Travelers: Reports of religious-based violence are rare. Proselytizing or the public practice of non-Sunni Muslim religious ceremonies is against the law in the Comoros.  See our following webpages for details:

LGBTI Travelers:  Same-sex sexual relations are criminalized in the Union of the Comoros. They remain illegal and punishable by up to five years’ imprisonment and a fine of up to 2,300 USD. See our LGBTI Travel Information page and section 6 of our Human Rights report for further details.

Travelers Who Require Accessibility Assistance: Persons with disabilities face limited access to transportation, communication, accommodations, and public buildings. There are few sidewalks and no curb-cuts, and most buildings lack functioning elevators.

Students: See our Students Abroad page and FBI travel tips.

Women Travelers: Sexual harassment is illegal and punishable by up to 10 years’ imprisonment. Such harassment are a common problem, and the government does not effectively enforce penalties against it. Rape is illegal and punishable by imprisonment for five to 10 years or up to 15 years if the victim is younger than 15 years of age. The government enforces the laws on rape with some effectiveness if survivors pursue charges.

See our travel tips for Women Travelers.

Road Conditions and Safety: Some urban roads are paved, but most including rural roads are not and are poorly maintained. Roads are very narrow, poorly lit, full of potholes, and have dangerous curves.  Do not drive more than 30 miles an hour. Pedestrians and drivers should exercise extreme caution after dark.  Professional roadside assistance service is not available. 

Traffic Laws: You will need an international driving permit to drive in Comoros.  Drivers and front seat passengers are required to wear seat belts.

Public Transportation: Taxi or a rental car with driver are preferable to public transportation.

Boat Travel: Travel between the islands by boat is common but is poorly regulated. Boats may be overcrowded and lacking safety equipment resulting is capsized vessels and fatalities. Death by drowning is common. Use only commercially licensed ferry services which are equipped with adequate safety devices, and ship-to-shore communications.

See our Road Safety page for more information.  Visit the website of Comoros’s national tourist office and national authority responsible for road safety.

Aviation Safety Oversight: As there is no direct commercial air service to the United States by carriers registered in Comoros, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has not assessed the government of Comoros’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.

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