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French Guiana
Official Name:

French Guiana

Last Updated: October 12, 2017

Embassy Messages

Paramaribo

 

 

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 Paramaribo

Kristalstraat 165
Paramaribo, Suriname

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Quick Facts
PASSPORT VALIDITY:

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Three months

BLANK PASSPORT PAGES:

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One page per stamp

TOURIST VISA REQUIRED:

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No

VACCINATIONS:

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Yellow fever

CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR ENTRY:

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None

CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR EXIT:

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None

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U.S. Embassy Paramaribo

Kristalstraat 165

Paramaribo, Suriname

Telephone: (597) 472-900 ext. 2237

Emergency After-Hours Telephone: (597) 710-1112

French Guiana is an overseas department of France. See the Department of State’s Fact Sheet on France for information on U.S. - France relations. 

Visit the Embassy of France website for the most current visa information.

The U.S. Department of State is unaware of any HIV/AIDS entry restrictions for visitors to French Guiana.

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

French Guiana is an overseas department of France. Recently, demonstrations and strikes have frequently occurred. These protests mainly impact the transportation sector (national airlines, airports, and roads). Reconfirm any domestic and/or international flight reservations if you are traveling during one of these events.

When traveling or living in French Guiana, you should:

  • Be aware of your local security situation and take appropriate steps to keep yourself safe.
  • Monitor media and local information sources before planning travel and any sort of activities. 
  • Address specific safety concerns to French law enforcement authorities who have responsibility for the safety and security of all residents and visitors.

U.S. citizens should be aware that demonstrations and large events intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational. Avoid areas of demonstrations and exercise caution in the vicinity of any large gathering.

Crime: Petty street crime occurs throughout the major cities. Violent crime occurs, but is rare.

  • Avoid wearing expensive jewelry.
  • Don’t display large amounts of money in public.
  • Avoid isolated areas, including the beach, after dark.
  • Drive with your windows closed and doors locked.
  • Avoid placing valuables in plain sight. 

If you plan to travel into the interior, use a well-established tour company. There have been cases of foreign tourists being kidnapped and held for ransom. 

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 local police. 

The local equivalent to the “911” emergency line in French Guiana is 112, but you are unlikely to find an English speaker answering your call. You should also contact the U.S. Embassy in Suriname, which provides consular services for U.S. citizens in French Guiana, at (597) 472-900 ext 2237 or (597) 710-1112 evenings and weekends.

Remember that local authorities are responsible for investigating and prosecuting the 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 information on victim’s assistance programs in France
  • 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:

Medical care within French Guiana is limited. Hospital facilities are available only in urban areas.

  • Only one hospital, the Centre Hospitalier Andrée Rosemon in Cayenne, has intensive care and trauma units.
  • The windows in patients’ hospital rooms are fitted with wooden slats, not glass panes.
  • You can find prescription and over-the-counter medicines in pharmacies in larger cities, but U.S. brands may not be available.

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 to cover medical evacuation.

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

The following diseases are prevalent:

Zika Virus: Zika virus is a mosquito-borne illness that can be spread from a pregnant woman to her unborn baby as well as through sexual contact. The CDC has concluded that the Zika virus is a cause of microcephaly and other severe fetal brain defects in some fetuses and babies born to infected mothers. For additional information about Zika, including travel advisories, visit the CDC website.

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. 

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.

Arrest Notification: If you are arrested or detained, ask police or prison officials to notify the U.S. Embassy in Suriname immediately. See our webpage for further information.

Customs regulations: French authorities enforce strict regulations concerning firearms, artifacts, medications, business equipment, and sales samples. Contact the Embassy of France for information.

Faith-Based Travelers: See our following webpages for details:

LGBTI Travelers: There are no legal restrictions on same-sex sexual relations or the organization of LGBTI events in French Guiana. See our LGBTI Travel Information page and section 6 of our  Human Rights report for further details.

Travelers Who Require Accessibility Assistance: In French Guiana’s main cities there are access ramps and parking spaces, but no accommodations for the blind. Outside the main cities, there are no facilities or infrastructure to support accessibility for the disabled.

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

Women Travelers: See our travel tips for Women Travelers.

Road Conditions and Safety: Primary roads are paved and well maintained. Roads in rural areas are less developed.

  • Emergency call boxes are available at regular intervals on the main highways.
  • Lane markings and sign placements are not always clear.
  • Avoid driving at night due to unlit roads and vehicles and stray livestock, especially in the remote interior regions or on less-developed rural roads.

Traffic Laws: You need a valid driver’s license and an International Driving Permit in order to drive in French Guiana. Follow generally accepted driving rules regarding seatbelts, mobile phone use, etc. Be aware that traffic policing may be limited, so be vigilant for other drivers’ behavior. French Guiana has strict laws regarding driving under the influence and consider 0.05% to be the limit.

Public Transportation: Taxis and vans are relatively safe.

See our Road Safety page for more information.

Aviation Safety Oversight: The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has assessed the government of France’s Civil Aviation Authority as being in compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards for oversight of France’s air carrier operations. Further information may be found on the FAA’s safety assessment page.

Maritime Travel: Mariners planning travel to Suriname should also check for U.S. maritime advisories and alerts at www.marad.dot.gov/msci. Information may also be posted to the U.S. Coast Guard’s Homeport website and the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency’s website

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