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Suriname
Official Name:

Republic of Suriname

Last Updated: October 12, 2017

Enbassy 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 Paramaribo

Kristalstraat 165
Paramaribo, Suriname

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Quick Facts
PASSPORT VALIDITY:

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Six months

BLANK PASSPORT PAGES:

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One page per stamp

TOURIST VISA REQUIRED:

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 Yes

VACCINATIONS:

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Yellow fever (in some cases; see Health section)

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

Kristalstaat 165
Paramaribo, Suriname

Telephone: (597) 472-900 ext. 2237

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

See the Department of State’s Fact Sheet on Suriname for information on U.S. – Suriname relations. 

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

  • Tourism: Visitors may obtain a tourist visa at the Embassy of Suriname or purchase a “Tourist Card” upon arrival at the airport. The card costs $35. It is good for a single entry, and is valid for 90 days.
  • Visits for purposes other than tourism: You must obtain a visa in advance of your trip. To obtain a business visa, you must provide a letter from the sponsoring company detailing the purpose for the visit.
  • Stays longer than three months: Before traveling to Suriname, you must apply for an Authorization for Temporary Stay (MVK).

The U.S. Department of State is unaware of any HIV/AIDS entry restrictions for foreign travelers visiting Suriname.

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

There is limited police presence outside Paramaribo.

Demonstrations occur from time to time, primarily in the capital. They are typically peaceful, but even those can turn violent. Avoid demonstrations and large gatherings.

Crime: Pick-pocketing and robbery are common in Paramaribo’s business and shopping districts. Burglary, armed robbery, and carjackings occur occasionally.

  • Avoid wearing expensive jewelry and don’t display large amounts of money in public.
  • Don’t walk alone at night, particularly in the immediate vicinity of major tourist hotels.
  • Avoid the Palm Garden area (“Palmentuin” in Dutch) after dark.
  • Drive with your windows closed and doors locked.
  • Avoid leaving bags, luggage, and valuables in vehicles in plain sight. Place them on the floors or in the trunk.
  • If you plan to travel outside Paramaribo, use a well-established tour company. Robberies and carjackings are concerns in:
    • Albina and Moengo cities,
    • Brokopondo district,
    • Along the East-West Highway between Paramaribo and Albina,
    • Along the Afobakka Highway in the district of Para.

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.

Report crimes to the local police at 115, though operators likely won’t speak English. You should also contact the U.S. Embassy at (597)-556-700 ext. 2237 or (597)-710-1112 on evenings and weekends.

Crime victims can also contact the Victim’s Assistance Office at the Ministry of Justice and Police at (597)-424016. The office hours are Monday through Friday 8:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

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 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:

Medical care is limited in many areas of the country and does not meet U.S. standards.

  • There is one public emergency room in Paramaribo, and only a small ambulance fleet with limited first response capabilities.
  • Medical specialists may not always be available.
  • In general, hospital facilities are not air conditioned.
  • Emergency medical care outside Paramaribo is limited, and is virtually non-existent in the interior of the country.
  • Upfront payment by cash, up to the total of all anticipated charges, is generally required by hospitals prior to services or treatment.
  • You can find prescription and over-the-counter medicines in pharmacies in Paramaribo, but the quality cannot be assured. There are frequent prescription medication shortages.
  • Over-the-counter medications are generally available, but U.S. brands may not be available.
  • You can bring medications for personal use. Suriname does not maintain a list of illegal medications. Always carry your prescription medication in original packaging with your doctor’s prescription. 

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 visit the CDC website.

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.

The following diseases are prevalent:

Vaccinations: Be up-to-date on all vaccinations recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Travelers arriving from Guyana, French Guiana, and Brazil are required to show proof of a yellow fever vaccination.

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 immediately. See our webpage for further information.

Credit Cards: Credit cards are not widely accepted outside the major hotels and upscale restaurants. While several banks accept U.S ATM cards, the use of debit and credit cards is discouraged because of identity theft concerns.  Keep your debit or credit card in your sight at all times while it is being processed. Consider using prepaid credit cards with limited funds when traveling. You can exchange currency at banks, hotels, and official exchange houses (“cambios”). Exchanging money outside of these locations is illegal and can be dangerous.

Communications: Telephone and internet service can be problematic, especially during periods of heavy rains. There is no reliable cell phone reception in much of the country’s interior.

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 Suriname.

See our LGBTI Travel Information page and section 6 of our  Human Rights report for further details.

Travelers Who Require Accessibility Assistance. Sidewalks throughout Surinameare not adequately built to accommodate persons with disabilities. Taxis and other public transportation do not provide proper assistance to individuals with disabilities.

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

Women Travelers: See our travel tips for Women Travelers.

Road Conditions and Safety: Cars drive on the left side of the road. Excessive speed, unpredictable driving habits, unusual right of way patterns, poorly maintained roads, relatively few traffic lights, and a lack of basic safety equipment on many vehicles are daily hazards. If you’re in an accident, leave your car where the accident occurred, call the police, and wait until police arrive.

The major roads in Paramaribo are usually paved, but are not always well maintained.

  • Large potholes are common, especially during the rainy season.
  • Roads often are not marked with traffic lines.
  • Many main roads do not have sidewalks, forcing pedestrians, motorcycles, and bicycles to share the same space.
  • Many roads flood, and cars with low clearance may have problems.
  • The East-West Highway stretches from Nieuw Nickerie in the west to Albina in the east. The road is not well maintained, and during the rainy season, sinkholes develop along the road.
  • Watch for slow-moving traffic or animals.
  • Exercise caution at night due to poor lighting and sharp road turns without adequate warning signs.
  • There are few service stations along the road, and western-style rest stops are non-existent.
  • Check with the police station in Albina for the latest safety information regarding travel between Paramaribo and Albina.
  • Roads in the interior are sporadically maintained dirt roads passing through sparsely populated rain forest. Conditions deteriorate rapidly during the rainy season.
  • There is no lighting, service stations, or emergency call boxes.
  • Bridges are in poor condition.
  • Consult with your hotel or the Foundation for Nature Conservation in Suriname at (597) 421-683 or (597) 476-579 regarding road conditions.

Traffic Laws: Seat belts and child seats are required. Driving while talking on a cell phone is illegal; you must use a hands-free device. You need an international driver’s license to rent a car. Avoid using motorcycles or scooters.

If you are in an accident and suspected of driving under the influence, the police might take you to the nearest medical center to measure your alcohol level. They will hold you for up to six hours until the results of your blood alcohol content are available.

For information concerning Surinamese driving permits, vehicle inspection, road tax, and mandatory insurance, contact the Embassy of Suriname.

Public Transportation: Avoid using public minibuses, due to unsafe driving habits and poor maintenance.

Taxis are not clearly marked, and there are no meters.

  • Verify the price before entering the taxi.
  • Use hotel concierge taxis.

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

Aviation Safety Oversight: In August 2016, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and the Civil Aviation Safety Authority Suriname (CASAS) signed an agreement which resulted in direct commercial flights between the United States and Suriname.

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

The U.S. Embassy prohibits its employees from using Blue Wing Airlines for official travel on domestic flights within Suriname due to safety concerns. 

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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