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Flag of Guatemala
Country Name: Guatemala
Official Country Name: Republic of Guatemala
Country Code 2-Letters: GT
Country Code 3-Letters: GTM
Street: Avenida Reforma 7-01, Zona 10
Guatemala City, Guatemala
Fact sheet: https://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/2045.htm
  • International Travel
  • Child Abductions
  • Intercountry Adoptions
  • Consular Notification
  • U.S. Visas
  • Contact
  • Quick Facts
  • Embassies and Consulates
  • Destination Description
  • Entry, Exit & Visa Requirements
  • Safety and Security
  • Local Laws & Special Circumstances
  • Health
  • Travel & Transportation
Embassy Name: U.S. Embassy Guatemala
Street Address: Avenida Reforma 7-01, Zona 10
Guatemala City, Guatemala
Phone: +(502) 2326-4000
Emergency Phone: +(502) 2331-2354
Fax: +(502) 2331-3804
Email: AmCitsGuatemala@state.gov
Web: https://gt.usembassy.gov/

Embassy Messages

Country Map
Quick Facts
Passport Validity:

Length of stay.

Blank Passport Pages:

One page per stamp.

Tourist Visa Required:

Not required for stays of 90 days or less. 


Not required, but several recommended.

Currency Restrictions for Entry:


Currency Restrictions for Exit:


Embassies and Consulates

U.S. Embassy Guatemala

Avenida Reforma 7-01, Zona 10
Guatemala City, Guatemala
Telephone: +(502) 2326-4000
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(502) 2331-2354
Fax: +(502) 2331-3804

Destination Description

Please read the Department of State’s Fact Sheet on Guatemala for information on U.S.– Guatemala relations.

Entry, Exit & Visa Requirements

A valid U.S. passport is required for all U.S. citizens to enter Guatemala and return to the United States, regardless of age. Even if dual nationals are permitted to enter Guatemala on a second nationality passport, U.S. citizens returning to the United States from Guatemala are not allowed to board their flights without a valid U.S. passport. Visit the Ministry of Foreign Affairs website (Spanish only) website for the most current visa information.

U.S. citizens do not need a visa for a stay of 90 days or less. That period can be extended for an additional 90 days upon application to Guatemalan immigration (If the initial period of stay granted upon entry is less than 90 days, any extension would be granted only for the same number of days as the initial authorization). U.S. citizen travelers should have at least 6 months of validity remaining on their U.S. passports after the date of entry or they may be turned back by the airline or immigration.

Fines of approximately 1.30 USD per day are exacted for overstaying visas. In June 2006, Guatemala entered a “Central America-4 (CA-4) Border Control Agreement” with El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua. Under the terms of the agreement, citizens of the four countries may travel freely across land borders from one of the countries to any of the others without completing entry and exit formalities at immigration checkpoints. U.S. citizens and other eligible foreign nationals who legally enter any of the four countries may similarly travel among the four without obtaining additional visas or tourist entry permits for the other three countries. Immigration officials at the first port of entry determine the length of stay, up to a maximum period of 90 days. Foreign tourists who wish to remain in the region beyond the period initially granted for their visit are required either to request a one-time extension of stay from local immigration authorities in the country where the traveler is physically present, or to travel outside the CA-4 countries and reapply for admission to the region.

If your passport is lost or stolen in Guatemala, you must obtain a new passport at the U.S. Embassy as soon as possible and present it, together with a police report on the loss or theft, to the Guatemalan Immigration Agency (Dirección de Migración) in order to obtain permission to depart Guatemala.

For further information regarding entry, exit, and customs requirements, travelers should contact the Guatemalan Embassy at 2220 R Street NW, Washington, DC 20008, telephone (202) 745-4953, fax (202) 745-1908, visit the Guatemalan Foreign Ministry website, or contact the nearest Guatemalan consulate.

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

Information about dual nationality or the prevention of international child abduction can be found on our website. Effective May 1, 2017 Guatemalan authorities require that minors who are Guatemalan citizens (including dual nationals) must carry a notarized power of attorney (carta poder) when traveling alone or with someone other than their parent. A minor traveling with at least one biological parent is not required to have a letter. The “carta poder” must be notarized by a Guatemalan notary or Guatemalan Consular Officer. For further information about customs regulations, please read our Customs Information sheet.

Safety and Security

Crime: The threat of violent crime in Guatemala is rated by the U.S. Department of State as “critical.” The Embassy has no reason to believe that U.S. citizens are being specifically targeted, although criminals in Guatemala may assume that U.S. citizens and their relatives have more money than average Guatemalans.

The number of violent crimes reported by U.S. citizens and other foreigners has remained high and such crimes have occurred even in areas of Guatemala City once considered safe, such as Zones 10, 14, 15, and 16. Due to large scale drug and alien smuggling, the Guatemalan border with Mexico (and in particular the northwestern corner of Petén) is a high-risk area. The border areas including the Sierra de Lacandon and Laguna del Tigre National Parks are among the most dangerous areas in Guatemala. The U.S. Embassy takes extra precautions when U.S. government personnel travel to the region. Reports of sexual assault remain high. Women should be especially careful when traveling alone and avoid staying out late without an escort. Support for victims of sexual assault is lacking outside of major cities, and there are not enough trained personnel who can help victims either in the capital or outlying areas. Theft, armed robbery, and carjacking are the most common crimes against U.S. citizens who visit Guatemala. To decrease the likelihood of becoming a victim, do not display items of value such as laptops, iPods, iPads, cameras, or jewelry and refrain from using a cell phone on the street. Carry a photocopy of your passport when out and about to avoid losing it during a robbery. A number of travelers have experienced carjackings and armed robberies as they drive away from the airport after arriving on international flights. Victims have been killed when they resisted an attack or refused to give up their money or other valuables. Pickpockets and purse-snatchers are prevalent in major cities and tourist sites, especially the central market and other parts of Zone 1 in Guatemala City. For security reasons, the Embassy does not recommend U.S. government employees stay in hotels in Zone 1 and urges private travelers to avoid staying in this area. In a common scenario, an accomplice distracts the victim while an assailant slashes or simply steals a bag or backpack. The Embassy advises tourists and residents to be very vigilant of their surroundings and report any crime incidents promptly to the police. We strongly encourage you not to use public ATMs.

Scams involving attempts to acquire a victim’s ATM card and personal identification number (PIN) are common. U.S. citizens have also been victims of credit card scams where the card is copied and used improperly or where the citizen has been the recipient of inflated charges. Credit card copying can also lead to identify theft.  Extortion calls and grandparent scams are common in Guatemala. For additional information, please read our information on International Financial Scams. If in doubt whether a caller is legitimate, call the U.S. Embassy at 011-(502) 2326-4501. Avoid low-priced public intra- and inter-city buses (often recognizable as recycled and repainted U.S. school buses). U.S. Embassy personnel are not permitted to use any local buses. Public buses are subject to frequent attacks by armed robbers and often are poorly maintained and dangerously driven. Do not hail taxis on the street in Guatemala City. For shorter trips, the safest options are radio-dispatched taxis (Taxi Amarillo), INGUAT approved taxis from the “SAFE” stand from the airport or hotel taxis.

The introduction of modern inter-city buses with prepaid fares has somewhat improved the security and safety of inter-city bus passengers; however, several travelers have even been attacked on first-class buses on highway CA-2 near the border areas with both Mexico and El Salvador, on highways CA-1 and CA-9 near the border with El Salvador, and in the highlands between Quetzaltenango and Sololá.

Security escorts for tourist groups and security information are available from the Tourist Assistance Office (PROATUR) of INGUAT (the Guatemalan Tourism Institute) at 7a Avenida 1-17. Zona 4, Centro Civico, Guatemala City. INGUAT’s PROATUR division has 24-hour/seven days per week direct telephone numbers for tourist assistance and emergencies. You may call them at (502) 2421-2810, fax them at (502) 2421-2891, or simply dial 1500 in Guatemala to reach INGUAT Tourist Assistance. You can also request the service by e-mail at operacionesproatur@inguat.gob.gt.

PROATUR also maintains regional offices in all major tourist destinations in Guatemala, and the regional delegates provide rapid and appropriate assistance to crime and accident victims. Travelers may also wish to visit INGUAT’s web site. Tourist groups are advised to request security escorts from INGUAT. There have been no incidents of armed robbery of groups escorted through the Tourist Protection Program. The request should be submitted by mail, fax, or e-mail and should arrive at INGUAT at least three business days in advance of the proposed travel. Requests should be directed to the attention of the Coordinator of the National Tourist Assistance Program, and should provide the itinerary, names of travelers, and model and color of the vehicle in which they will be traveling. Travelers should be aware that INGUAT might not be able to accommodate all requests.

Travelers should be aware that basic safety measures and precautions commonly required in the United States for swimming, boating and other outdoor activities may not be observed in Guatemala. Additionally, crime incidents have occurred on both land and waterways, with multiple boaters in the Rio Dulce area of the Department of Izabal having been victims in violent armed attacks while aboard boats.

Demonstrations: Large demonstrations occur throughout Guatemala, often with little or no advance notice, and can cause serious traffic disruptions. Although most demonstrations are peaceful, they can turn violent, and travelers should avoid areas where demonstrations are taking place. When acts of violence are particularly severe, such as those caused by drug traffickers in the Petén region, a state of siege can be declared by the authorities. That likely means a curfew will be set and increased police patrols in the areas affected. U.S. citizens traveling through these places should be very cautious, cooperate with the authorities and stay indoors after the curfew.

Keep informed of possible demonstrations by following the local news and consulting the Embassy’s web page and hotel personnel and tour guides.

Indigenous Areas: Please be mindful of local traditional practices when visiting indigenous Mayan communities as tensions can rise quickly and locals occasionally take the law into their own hands

VICTIMS OF CRIME: If you or someone you know becomes the victim of a crime abroad, you should contact the local police using 110/220  and the U.S. Embassy at (502) 2326-4000. We can:

  • Replace a stolen or lost passport.
  • Help you find appropriate medical care.Put you in contact with the appropriate police authorities, and if you want us to, contact family members or friends.
  • Help you understand the local criminal justice process and direct you to local attorneys, although it is important to remember that local authorities are responsible for investigating and prosecuting the crime.
  • 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.

Victims of crime in Guatemala can also contact the following phone numbers for assistance:

  • FIRE DEPARTMENT: 122 / 123
  • TOURIST POLICE: 1500 POLITUR is a joint national police/INGUAT initiative and is present in all major tourist destinations.

Domestic Violence: U.S. citizen victims of domestic violence may contact the U.S. Embassy for assistance.

For further information:

Local Laws & Special Circumstances

Criminal Penalties: You are subject to local laws. Persons violating Guatemala’s laws, even unknowingly, may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned.

Furthermore, some laws are also prosecutable in the U.S., regardless of local law. For examples, see our websites 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.:

Faith-Based Travelers: See the Department of State’s International Religious Freedom Report.

LGBTI Travelers: While there is no legal recognition of same-sex partnerships or marriages, private same-sex sexual activity between consenting adults is legal. Antidiscrimination laws exist, but do not include specific protections based on sexual orientation or gender identity. According to LGBTI rights groups, gay and transgender individuals often experience police abuse. LGBTI rights groups allege that police officers regularly engage in extortion by waiting outside clubs and bars frequented by LGBTI persons to demand that those engaged in sexual activities pay protection money or pay to avoid jail.  A lack of trust in the judicial system and a fear of further harassment or social recrimination discourage victims from filing complaints. There is general societal discrimination against LGBTI persons in access to education, health care, employment, and housing. For further information on LGBTI travel, please read our LGBTI travel information page and section 6 of the Department of State's Human Rights report.

Persons with Mobility Disabilities: Except for major hotels, some government buildings and major museums that have special access ramps for people with disabilities, most buildings remain wheelchair-inaccessible. Mayan ruins such as Tikal do not provide special access for disabled people.

Women Travelers: See our travel tips for Women Travelers.

Customs: Guatemalan customs authorities may enforce strict regulations concerning temporary importation into or export from Guatemala of items such as antiquities and other cultural property. You should declare any amount of cash exceeding 10,000 USD that you bring into the country or the money may be confiscated by the authorities. It is advisable to contact the Embassy of Guatemala in Washington, D.C. or one of Guatemala’s consulates in the United States for specific information regarding customs requirements.


Marriage: Non-Guatemalan citizens who wish to marry in Guatemala are required to provide proof of identity and civil status (indicating whether they are single or divorced). Prior notice of the marriage must be given in the Diario de Centro América (Guatemala's Official Record) and any large-circulation daily newspaper for 15 days. The marriage must take place within six months of the publication of the notice or the publication loses validity and a new one is required with additional expense.

Suspicion of Outsiders: Particularly in small villages, residents are often wary and suspicious of outsiders. In the past, Guatemalan citizens have been lynched for suspicion of child abduction, so we recommend that U.S. citizens keep a distance from local children, and refrain from actions that could fuel such suspicions. In addition, U.S. citizens are advised to be aware of and to avoid activities that might unintentionally violate a cultural or religious belief.

Beaches and Lakes: Beware of strong currents, riptides, and undertow along Guatemala's Pacific coast beaches. They pose a serious threat to even the strongest swimmers. Signs warning of treacherous surf are rare and confined mostly to private beaches owned by hotels. Lifeguards are rarely present on beaches. Lake Atitlan, one of the most popular tourist destinations, is deep enough to have dangerous undercurrents.

Volcanic Activity: There are currently four active volcanoes in Guatemala. Volcanic activity has on occasion forced evacuations of nearby villages. Tourists planning to climb the Pacaya and/or Agua volcanoes during Guatemala’s rainy season (May through October) should plan their climb for the morning hours when thunderstorms are less likely to occur. Climbers should monitor the weather situation and return to the base of the volcano as quickly and safely as possible if thunderstorms gather. INGUAT has organized an active community-based tourism program in San Vicente Pacaya to minimize the risk of armed robbery on Pacaya. In February 2016, the Embassy issued a security message putting the Agua volcano off limits to Embassy personnel due to the high incidence of roberries on the volcano. Climbing volcanoes in groups is still highly advisable to reduce the risk of robbery and assault.

Earthquakes: Guatemala is a geologically active country. Visitors should be aware of the possibility of earthquakes at any time and make contingency plans.

Storms: Both the Caribbean and Pacific coasts of Guatemala are vulnerable to hurricanes and tropical storms from mid-May through November. Mudslides and flooding during the May to November rainy season often kill dozens of people and close roads. General information about natural disaster preparedness is available locally from the National Disaster Reduction Coordination Office (CONRED) and from the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Please consult CONRED for updates on natural disasters or tropical storms and hurricanes. 


The full range of medical care is available in Guatemala City, but medical care outside of the city is limited. Guatemala’s public hospitals frequently experience serious shortages of even the most basic medicines and equipment. Care in private hospitals is generally adequate for most common illnesses and injuries, and many of the medical specialists working in them are U.S.-trained and -certified.

The U.S. government does not pay medical bills. Many hospitals in Guatemala require payment prior to treating patients, even if personal insurance will cover the treatment. They do not typically enter into payment plan agreements. Travelers should be aware that they may have to pay in advance and seek reimbursement. Be aware that U.S. Medicare does not cover you overseas.

Make sure your health insurance plan provides coverage overseas.  See our webpage for more information on information on insurance providers for overseas coverage. We strongly recommend supplemental insurance to cover medical evacuation.

Carry prescription medication in orginal packaging, along 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, including travel advisories, visit the CDC website

Information on vaccinations and other health precautions, such as safe food and water precautions and insect bite protection, may be obtained from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) hotline for international travelers at 1-877-FYI-TRIP (1-877-394-8747) or via the CDC website. For information about outbreaks of infectious diseases abroad, consult the infectious diseases section of the World Health Organization (WHO) website. The WHO website also contains additional health information for travelers, including detailed country-specific health information.

Travel & Transportation

Road Conditions and Safety: Driving in Guatemala requires one’s full attention, and all drivers must take extraordinary efforts to drive defensively to avoid dangerous situations.

Traffic Laws: Traffic rules are only casually observed. Many drivers do not use their turn signals to alert other drivers. Instead, a common custom is for a driver or passenger to stick a hand out the window and wave it to indicate that they will be taking an unspecified action. Passing blindly on winding and/or steep mountain roads, poorly designed surfaces, and unmarked hazards, such as frequent landslides and precarious temporary highway repairs present additional risks to motorists.

All drivers involved in accidents resulting in injury may be detained and held in protective custody pending investigation or payment of alleged damages.

Public Transportation: The most common form of public transportation is the system of bright red recycled school buses, which serve almost every town in the country. Criminal activity and frequent fatal accidents, however, make these low-priced local and inter-city buses particularly dangerous.

Use of radio-dispatched taxis is far safer than hailing taxis on the street. In Guatemala City several radio taxi companies operate. Taxi Seguro can be reached at 2312-4243, but may not always be available, especially late at night. Taxi Amarillo Express (yellow taxis) is a radio-dispatch taxi service reached by dialing 1766. A Green Cab radio dispatch service operates in the suburbs near zone 15 and the Cayala entertainment and shopping destination. The Guatemalan tourist assistance agency, PROATUR, may be able to provide additional information, and can be reached by dialing 1500.

Although city streets are usually well lit, secondary and rural roads have little to no illumination. Driving outside of urban areas at night is dangerous and not recommended. The Inter-American Highway (CA-1) and the road from Guatemala City to the Caribbean coast (CA-9) are especially dangerous both day and night, due to heavy traffic, including large trucks and trailers. There are no roadside assistance clubs; however, a roadside assistance force (PROVIAL) patrols most of the major highways in the country. PROVIAL can be contacted by calling 2419-2121. Their vehicles are equipped with basic tools and first aid supplies, and their services are free. Police patrol the major roadways and may assist travelers, but the patrols are sporadic and may be suspended due to budget constraints. For roadside assistance, travelers may call the police by dialing 110 or 120 or the fire department by dialing 122 or 123. Cellular telephone service covers most areas frequented by tourists.

Road hazards are common and cars and trucks are often stalled in travel lanes or parked unattended in the middle of the road. Tree branches are sometimes placed in the road before the stalled vehicle to warn approaching traffic of the hazard. While driving in or near large cities, be vigilant of pedestrians who unexpectedly dart across roads, even in heavy traffic, due to the lack of defined cross walks.

Highway Safety: There have been numerous reports of violent criminal activity along Guatemala’s main highways, including the Carretera a El Salvador (Inter-American Highway CA-2). In addition, travelers using alternate routes out of Antigua have reported armed assaults in recent years. There has also been an increase in alcohol-related traffic accidents on this same road at night. U.S. Embassy employees are strongly discouraged from driving at night. Embassy employees are also prohibited from driving from or through Mexico and Belize to Guatemala.

The main road to Lake Atitlán via the Inter-American Highway (CA-1) and Sololá is safer than the alternative secondary roads near the lake. Specifically, the main road is preferable to the alternative road through Las Trampas and Godinez to Panajachel (RN-11) where robbery, rape, and assault have occurred in the past. Armed attacks have occurred on roads between Guatemala City and the Petén region as well as between Tikal and the Belize border. Visitors to the Mayan ruins at Tikal are urged to fly to nearby Flores and then travel by bus or tour van to the site. Violent attacks have occurred in the Mayan ruins in the Petén region, including in the Cerro Cahui Conservation Park, Yaxha, the road to and inside Tikal Park, and in the Tikal ruins, particularly during early morning sunrise tours of the ruins. Tourist police (POLITUR) patrols, however, have significantly reduced the incidence of violent crime inside the park and there have been no reports of armed assaults on tourists there since October of 2012. Travelers should remain in groups, stay on the principal trails leading to the Central Plaza and the Temple IV complex, and avoid remote areas of the park.

Robberies of occupied vehicles are becoming more common in Guatemala City. Often two assailants are on motorcycles and pull up alongside a car stopped at a traffic light.

Rules of the road: Valid U.S. driver’s licenses are accepted for the first 30 days of a visit, and international driving permits are accepted in Guatemala for extended stays. Drivers use the right-hand side of the road in Guatemala, and speed limits are posted (in kilometers) depending on the condition of the road. Speed limits are rarely enforced, and drivers often drive at the absolute maximum speed their vehicle can handle at that particular time. These drivers share the road with slow vehicles, some barely able to manage 20 miles per hour, creating a hazardous mix of velocities. Turning right on red is not permitted unless otherwise posted, and drivers must yield when entering a traffic circle. Seat belts must be worn in Guatemala, but there are no laws regarding the use of child safety seats. It is against the law for drivers to operate cellular phones while driving but cell phone usage while driving in city traffic remains commonplace.

People found driving under the influence of alcohol or other drugs are arrested and may serve jail time.

Please refer to our Road Safety page for more information. Also, we suggest that you visit the website of Guatemala’s national tourist office and national authority responsible for road safety, or contact them via e-mail.

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

Foreign Consular Office Contact Information
Use "Heading 1" for city name. Use "Heading 2" for phone number. Use "Heading 3" for fax number. Emails will automatically be set with an email icon.

Washington, DC (202) 745-4953 (202) 745-1908

Atlanta, GA (404) 320-8804 (404) 320-8805 (404) 320-8806

Chicago, IL (312) 540-0781/0897 (312) 540-0897

Del Rio, TX (830) 422-2230/2201 (830) 422-2093

Denver, CO (303) 629-9210 (303) 629-9211

Houston, TX (713) 953-9531 (713) 953-7383

Los Angeles, CA (213) 365-9251 (213) 365-8993

McAllen, TX (956) 429-3413 (956) 242-0593

Miami, FL (305) 679-9945 (305) 679-9946 (305) 679-9983

New York, NY (212) 686-3837 (212) 271-3503

Phoenix, AZ (602) 200-3660 (602) 200-3661

Providence, RI (401) 270-6374 (401) 270-6345 (401) 270-7039

Phoenix, AZ (602) 200-3660 (602) 200-3661

San Bernardino, CA (909) 572-8800

San Francisco, CA (510) 816-3645 (415) 563-8376

Silver Spring, MD (240) 485-5050 (240) 485-5040

Tucson, AZ (520) 798-2217 (520) 398-6912 (520) 398-7301-07

  • General Information
  • Hague Abduction Convention
  • Return
  • Visitation/Access
  • Retaining an Attorney
  • Mediation
Hague Questions | Learn More Links
Party to the Hague Abduction Convention? Yes
U.S. Treaty Partner under the Hague Abduction Convention? Yes
Learn why the Hague Abduction Convention Matters: /content/travel/en/International-Parental-Child-Abduction/for-providers/laws/important-feat-hague-abdtn-conv.html

General Information

Guatemala and the United States have been treaty partners under the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction (Hague Abduction Convention) since January 1, 2008.

For information concerning travel to Guatemala, including information about the location of the U.S. Embassy, the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program, entry/exit requirements, safety and security, crime, medical facilities and health information, traffic safety, road conditions and aviation safety, please see country-specific information for Guatemala.

The U.S. Department of State reports statistics and compliance information for individual countries in the Annual Report on International Parental Child Abduction (IPCA).  The report is located here.


Hague Abduction Convention

The U.S. Department of State serves as the U.S. Central Authority (USCA) for the Hague Abduction Convention.  In this capacity, the Departmen's Bureau of Consular Affairs, Directorate for Overseas Citizens Services, Office of Children's Issues facilitates the submission of applications under the Hague Abduction Convention for the return of, or access to, children located in countries that are U.S. treaty partners, including Guatemala.  Parents are strongly encouraged to contact the Department of State for assistance prior to initiating the Hague process directly with the foreign Central Authority.

Contact information:

U.S. Department of State 
Bureau of Consular Affairs
Office of Children's Issues
SA-17, 9th Floor 
Washington, DC 20522-1709
Telephone:  1-888-407-4747
Fax: 202-485-6221
Outside the United States or Canada: 1-202-501-4444

The Guatemalan Central Authority for the Hague Abduction Convention is the Procuraduría General de la Nación, (PGN).  The PGN’s role is to perform the duties given to central authorities under the Hague Abduction Convention, including processing Hague Abduction Convention applications for return of and access to children.  They can be reached at:

Procuraduría General de la Nación
15th Avenue 9-69, Zone 13
Guatemala City, Guatemala 010013
Licda. Sara Payes
Tel. 22148787 ext. 2011
Email: procurador@pgn.gob.gt

To initiate a Hague case for the return of, or access to, a child in Guatemala, the left-behind parent must complete a Hague application and submit it to the PGN.  The USCA is available to answer questions about the Hague application process, to forward a completed application to the PGN, and to subsequently monitor its progress through the foreign administrative and legal processes. 

There are no fees for filing Hague applications with either the United States or Guatemalan central authorities.  After the case is filed and accepted with the PGN, the PGN assigns an attorney to represent the Hague Convention application during the Hague judicial process in Guatemala, at no cost.  It is important to note that the attorney does not represent either parent's interests; rather, the attorney represents the Hague Convention application.  Additional costs may include airplane tickets for court appearances and for the return of the child, if so ordered.


A parent or legal guardian may file an application under the Hague Abduction Convention for return to the United States of a child abducted to, or wrongfully retained in, Guatemala.  The U.S. Department of State can assist parents living in the United States to understand whether the Convention is an available civil remedy and can provide information on the process for submitting a Hague application.


A person may file an application under the Hague Abduction Convention for access to a child living in Guatemala.  Once the case has been filed with the Court at the request of the left-behind parent visitation rights will be re-established.  The U.S. Department of State can assist parents living in the United States to understand country-specific criteria and provide information on the process for submitting a Hague application.

Retaining an Attorney

Retaining a private attorney is not required in order to file Hague Convention applications with courts in Guatemala. The PGN assigns an attorney to represent the Hague Abduction Convention application. While not required, a parent may choose to hire a private attorney to represent his/her interests in the case. If a parent retains a private attorney, the attorney should contact the PGN as soon as possible after the filing of the Hague Abduction Convention application.

The U.S. Embassy in Guatemala City maintains a list of attorneys on its website. 

This list is provided as a courtesy service only and does not constitute an endorsement of any individual attorney. The Department of State assumes no responsibility or liability for the professional ability or reputation of, or the quality of services provided by, the following persons or firms. Professional credentials and areas of expertise are provided directly by the lawyers.


Guatemalan law requires that a mediation meeting take place in every civil and family dispute, including Hague Abduction Convention cases, prior to a court’s hearing of the case. During this meeting, the judge informs the interested parties of the benefits of mediation. If the parties decline to pursue mediation, the case proceeds to litigation.

If the parties are interested in mediation, they must secure a private mediator as neither the court nor the GCA provides mediation services.

  • Hague
  • Hague Convention Information
  • U.S. Immigration Requirements
  • Who Can Adopt
  • Who Can Be Adopted
  • How To Adopt
  • Traveling Abroad
  • After Adoption
  • Contact Information
Hague Questions
Hague Adoption Convention Country? Yes
Are Intercountry Adoptions between this country and the United States possible? No
Is this country a U.S. Hague Partner?
Hague Convention Information

Guatemala is party to the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption (Hague Adoption Convention).

Intercountry adoptions are not currently possible between Guatemala and the United States because the Government of Guatemala is not processing intercountry adoptions with any country at this time. 

In December 2007, Guatemala passed new adoption legislation that incorporated the Hague Adoption Convention into Guatemala’s adoption system, created the Guatemalan National Adoption Council (CNA), and established a transition period for cases initiated prior to its enactment. The Guatemalan government subsequently suspended new adoption applications until they could create a new adoption process. As of 2016, the CNA has completed its processing of the most of the transition cases that were pending when the new law went into effect. The three remaining transition cases are pending in various judicial processes. 

The Department of State remains unable to issue Hague Adoption Certificates or Hague Custody Declarations for new intercountry adoptions from Guatemala, because as of April 1, 2008, when the United States joined the Convention, Guatemala did not and still today does not have a Hague process in place. The Department, however, continues its efforts to work with the Government of Guatemala on establishing procedures to resume intercountry adoptions.          

In ongoing discussions with the Government of Guatemala about their readiness to resume intercountry adoption, they have indicated that their priority is to continue developing their domestic adoption processes, but they are receptive to ongoing discussions.   

Please see our Adoption Notice for more information.

U.S. Immigration Requirements For Intercountry Adoptions

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Who Can Adopt

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Who Can Be Adopted

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How To Adopt

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Traveling Abroad

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After Adoption

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Contact Information

U.S. Embassy in Guatemala
Avenida Reforma 7-01, Zona 10
Tel: 011-502-2326-4000
Fax: 011-502-2326-4674
Email: adoptguatemala@state.gov
Internet: gt.usembassy.gov

Guatemala’s Adoption Authority
National Council on Adoption (CNA)
Address: Avenida Reforma 6-64, Zona 9
Tel:  011-502-24151600
Fax:  011-502-24151601
Email: cna@cna.gob.gt
Internet: cna.gob.gt  

Embassy of Guatemala
2220 R Street, N.W. 
Washington, D.C.   20008
Tel: (202) 745-4952
Fax: (202) 745-1908
Email: consul@guatemala-embassy.org

Guatemala also has consulates in: Atlanta, Chicago, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Providence and San Francisco.

Office of Children’s Issues
U.S. Department of State  
SA-17, 9th Floor
Washington, DC 20522-1709
Tel:  1-888-407-4747
Email:  adoption@state.gov     
Internet:  adoption.state.gov

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)
For questions about immigration procedures:
National Customer Service Center (NCSC)
Tel:  1-800-375-5283 (TTY 1-800-767-1833)
Internet: uscis.gov

For questions about a pending Form I-600 petition for a child from Guatemala:
USCIS Guatemala City Field Office
Email: Guatemala.Adoptions@dhs.gov
Phone:  011-502-2326-4000 (ask to be transferred to USCIS)

For questions about filing a Form I-800A or I-800 petition:
National Benefits Center
Tel: 1-877-424-8374 (toll free); 1-816-251-2770 (local)
Email:  NBC.Adoptions@dhs.gov

  • Visa Classifications
  • General Documents | Birth, Death, Burial Certificates | Marriage, Divorce Certificates
  • Adoption Certificates | Identity Card | Police, Court, Prison Records | Military Records
  • Passports & Other Travel Documents | Other Records | Visa Issuing Posts | Visa Services
Visa Classifications

Fee Number
of Entries
A-1 None Multiple 60 Months
A-2 None Multiple 60 Months
A-3 1 None Multiple 24 Months
B-1 None Multiple 120 Months
B-2 None Multiple 120 Months
B-1/B-2 None Multiple 120 Months
C-1 None Multiple 60 Months
C-1/D None Multiple 60 Months
C-2 None Multiple 12 Months
C-3 None Multiple 60 Months
CW-1 11 None Multiple 12 Months
CW-2 11 None Multiple 12 Months
D None Multiple 60 Months
E-1 2 No Treaty N/A N/A
E-2 2 No Treaty N/A N/A
E-2C 12 None Multiple 24 Months
F-1 None Multiple 60 Months
F-2 None Multiple 60 Months
G-1 None Multiple 60 Months
G-2 None Multiple 60 Months
G-3 None Multiple 60 Months
G-4 None Multiple 60 Months
G-5 1 None Multiple 24 Months
H-1B $25.00 Multiple 60 Months 3
H-1C $25.00 Multiple 60 Months 3
H-2A None Multiple 60 Months 3
H-2B None Multiple 60 Months 3
H-2R None Multiple 60 Months 3
H-3 $25.00 Multiple 60 Months 3
H-4 $25.00 Multiple 60 Months 3
I None Multiple 60 Months
J-1 4 None Multiple 60 Months
J-2 4 None Multiple 60 Months
K-1 None One 6 Months
K-2 None One 6 Months
K-3 None Multiple 24 Months
K-4 None Multiple 24 Months
L-1 $25.00 Multiple 60 Months
L-2 $25.00 Multiple 60 Months
M-1 None Multiple 60 Months
M-2 None Multiple 60 Months
N-8 None Multiple 60 Months
N-9 None Multiple 60 Months
NATO 1-7 N/A N/A N/A
O-1 $25.00 Multiple 60 Months 3
O-2 $25.00 Multiple 60 Months 3
O-3 $25.00 Multiple 60 Months 3
P-1 $25.00 Multiple 60 Months 3
P-2 $25.00 Multiple 60 Months 3
P-3 $25.00 Multiple 60 Months 3
P-4 $25.00 Multiple 60 Months 3
Q-1 6 $25.00 Multiple 15 Months 3
R-1 $25.00 Multiple 60 Months
R-2 $25.00 Multiple 60 Months
S-5 7 None One 1 Month
S-6 7 None One 1 Month
S-7 7 None One 1 Month
T-1 9 N/A N/A N/A
T-2 None One 6 Months
T-3 None One 6 Months
T-4 None One 6 Months
T-5 None One 6 Months
T-6 None One 6 Months
TD 5 N/A N/A N/A
U-1 None Multiple 48 Month
U-2 None Multiple 48 Month
U-3 None Multiple 48 Month
U-4 None Multiple 48 Month
U-5 None Multiple 48 Month
V-1 None Multiple 120 Months
V-2 None Multiple 120 Months 8
V-3 None Multiple 120 Months 8

Country Specific Footnotes

Although care has been taken to ensure the accuracy, completeness and reliability of the information provided, please contact the U.S. Embassy or Consulate where you plan to apply if you believe this information is in error or if you have further questions.

Visa Category Footnotes

  1. The validity of A-3, G-5, and NATO 7 visas may not exceed the validity of the visa issued to the person who is employing the applicant. The "employer" would have one of the following visa classifications:

    • A-1
    • A-2
    • G-1 through G-4
    • NATO 1 through NATO 6

  2. An E-1 and E-2 visa may be issued only to a principal alien who is a national of a country having a treaty, or its equivalent, with the United States. E-1 and E-2 visas may not be issued to a principal alien if he/she is a stateless resident. The spouse and children of an E-1 or E-2 principal alien are accorded derivative E-1 or E-2 status following the reciprocity schedule, including any reciprocity fees, of the principle alien’s country of nationality.  

    Example: John Doe is a national of the country of Z that has an E-1/E-2 treaty with the U.S. His wife and child are nationals of the country of Y which has no treaty with the U.S. The wife and child would, therefore, be entitled to derivative status and receive the same reciprocity as Mr. Doe, the principal visa holder.  

  3. The validity of H-1 through H-3, O-1 and O-2, P-1 through P-3, and Q visas may not exceed the period of validity of the approved petition or the number of months shown, whichever is less.

    Under 8 CFR §214.2, H-2A and H-2B petitions may generally only be approved for nationals of countries that the Secretary of Homeland Security has designated as participating countries. The current list of eligible countries is available on USCIS's website for both H-2A and H-2B visas. Nationals of countries not on this list may be the beneficiary of an approved H-2A or H2-B petition in limited circumstances at the discretion of the Department of Homeland Security if specifically named on the petition.  

    Derivative H-4, L-2, O-3, and P-4 visas, issued to accompanying or following-to-join spouses and children, may not exceed the validity of the visa issued to the principal alien.

  4. There is no reciprocity fee for the issuance of a J visa if the alien is a United States Government grantee or a participant in an exchange program sponsored by the United States Government.

    Also, there is no reciprocity fee for visa issuance to an accompanying or following-to-join spouse or child (J-2) of an exchange visitor grantee or participant.

    In addition, an applicant is eligible for an exemption from the MRV fee if he or she is participating in a State Department, USAID, or other federally funded educational and cultural exchange program (program serial numbers G-1, G-2, G-3 and G-7).

    However, all other applicants with U.S. Government sponsorships, including other J-visa applicants, are subject to the MRV processing fee.

  5. Under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), Canadian and Mexican nationals coming to engage in certain types of professional employment in the United States may be admitted in a special nonimmigrant category known as the "trade NAFTA" or "TN" category. Their dependents (spouse and children) accompanying or following to join them may be admitted in the "trade dependent" or "TD" category whether or not they possess Canadian or Mexican nationality. Except as noted below, the number of entries, fees and validity for non-Canadian or non-Mexican family members of a TN status holder seeking TD visas should be based on the reciprocity schedule of the TN principal alien.

    Canadian Nationals

    Since Canadian nationals generally are exempt from visa requirement, a Canadian "TN' or "TD" alien does not require a visa to enter the United States. However, the non-Canadian national dependent of a Canadian "TN", unless otherwise exempt from the visa requirement, must obtain a "TD" visa before attempting to enter the United States. The standard reciprocity fee and validity period for all non-Canadian "TD"s is no fee, issued for multiple entries for a period of 36 months, or for the duration of the principal alien's visa and/or authorized period of stay, whichever is less. See 'NOTE' under Canadian reciprocity schedule regarding applicants of Iranian, Iraqi or Libyan nationality.

    Mexican Nationals

    Mexican nationals are not visa-exempt. Therefore, all Mexican "TN"s and both Mexican and non-Mexican national "TD"s accompanying or following to join them who are not otherwise exempt from the visa requirement (e.g., the Canadian spouse of a Mexican national "TN") must obtain nonimmigrant visas.

    Applicants of Iranian, Iraqi or Libyan nationality, who have a permanent resident or refugee status in Canada/Mexico, may not be accorded Canadian/Mexican reciprocity, even when applying in Canada/Mexico. The reciprocity fee and period for "TD" applicants from Libya is $10.00 for one entry over a period of 3 months. The Iranian and Iraqi "TD" is no fee with one entry over a period of 3 months.

  6. Q-2 (principal) and Q-3 (dependent) visa categories are in existence as a result of the 'Irish Peace Process Cultural and Training Program Act of 1998'. However, because the Department anticipates that virtually all applicants for this special program will be either Irish or U.K. nationals, the Q-2 and Q-3 categories have been placed only in the reciprocity schedules for those two countries. Q-2 and Q-3 visas are available only at the Embassy in Dublin and the Consulate General in Belfast.

  7. No S visa may be issued without first obtaining the Department's authorization.

  8. V-2 and V-3 status is limited to persons who have not yet attained their 21st birthday. Accordingly, the period of validity of a V-2 or V-3 visa must be limited to expire on or before the applicant's twenty-first birthday.

  9. Posts may not issue a T-1 visa. A T-1 applicant must be physically present in the United States, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands or a U.S. port of entry, where he/she will apply for an adjustment of status to that of a T-1. The following dependents of a T-1 visa holder, however, may be issued a T visa at a U.S. consular office abroad:

    • T-2 (spouse)
    • T-3 (child)
    • T-4 (parent)
  10. The validity of NATO-5 visas may not exceed the period of validity of the employment contract or 12 months, whichever is less.

  11. The validity of CW-1 and CW-2 visas shall not exceed the maximum initial period of admission allowed by DHS (12 months) or the duration of the transition period ending December 31, 2014, whichever is shortest.

  12. The validity of E-2C visas shall not exceed the maximum initial period of admission allowed by DHS (24 months) or the duration of the transition period ending December 31, 2014, whichever is shortest.



General Documents | Birth, Death, Burial Certificates | Marriage, Divorce Certificates
General Documents

Please check back for update.

Birth, Death, Burial Certificates

Birth Certificates


Fees:  Quetzal 15 (approximately $2.00)

Document Name:  Certificado de Nacimiento

·         Issuing Authority: The applicant needs to request birth certificates from RENAP (National Registry of Persons) and not his or her municipality.

Special Seal(s) / Color / Format: Yes / Black or blue / Circle

Registration Criteria: The interested party should send a request to RENAP in the place of the applicant's birth or town nearest to it. The request should at least include the full name and date of birth and/or number of the libro (book), folio (page), and partida (registration) under which the birth was recorded.

Procedure for Obtaining: More information regarding RENAP (addresses and fees in other towns) may be found at their website.

Certified Copies Available: No

Alternate Documents:  In the absence of a birth record, a person claiming Guatemalan birth can create a record of such birth by obtaining from the Civil Registry a certificate verifying the nonexistence of birth registration, and then appearing before a Guatemalan Court with three witnesses who can swear to their knowledge of the person's place and date of birth. At the same time, affidavits from two physicians verifying the alleged age must also be submitted. Due to the relative ease with which judicially created birth records can be obtained, such records may indicate fraud in the registration, and should generally be supported with additional evidence.  Baptismal certificates from church authorities are not recognized as legal documents by the Guatemalan government, but they can be used to prove a person's birth if the birth was not registered and the hospital's report or the midwife's report is not available.

Exceptions: No

Comments:  If the applicant does not have a RENAP birth certificate, he/she must work with a Guatemalan attorney to do all the procedures to register their birth certificate at RENAP.


Death Certificates


Fees:  Quetzal 15 (approximately $2.00)

Document Name:  Certificado de Defuncion

Issuing Authority: The applicant needs to request birth certificates from RENAP (National Registry of Persons) and not his or her municipality.

Special Seal(s) / Color / Format: Yes / Black or blue / Circle

Issuing Authority Personnel Title: Registrador Civil de las Personas

Registration Criteria: The interested party should send a request to RENAP in the place of the applicant's birth or town nearest to it. The request should at least include the full name and date of birth and/or number of the libro (book), folio (page), and partida (registration) under which the birth was recorded.

Procedure for Obtaining: More information regarding RENAP (addresses and fees in other towns) may be found at their website.

Certified Copies Available: No

Alternate Documents: No

Exceptions:  No

Comments:  None

Marriage, Divorce Certificates

Marriage Certificates



Fees: Quetzal 15(approximately $2.00)

Document Name:  Certificado de Matrimonio

Issuing Authority: The applicant needs to request birth certificates from RENAP (National Registry of Persons) and not his or her municipality.

Special Seal(s) / Color / Format: Yes / Black or blue / Circle

Issuing Authority Personnel Title: Registrador Civil de las Personas

Registration Criteria: The interested party should send a request to RENAP in the place of the applicant's birth or town nearest to it. The request should at least include the full name and date of birth and/or number of the libro (book), folio (page), and partida (registration) under which the birth was recorded.

Procedure for Obtaining: More information regarding RENAP (addresses and fees in other towns) may be found at their website.

Certified Copies Available: No

Alternate Documents: No

Exceptions:  No

Comments:  The birth certificates usually have annotations regarding marriage or divorces of the person. However, the annotated Birth Certificates is not accepted instead of the Marriage Certificate.


Divorce Certificates



Fees: Quetzal 15 (approximately $2.00)

Document Name:  

Issuing Authority: The applicant needs to request birth certificates from RENAP (National Registry of Persons) and not his or her municipality.

Special Seal(s) / Color / Format: Yes / Black or blue / Circle

Issuing Authority Personnel Title: Registrador Civil de las Personas

Registration Criteria: The interested party should send a request to RENAP in the place of the applicant's birth or town nearest to it. The request should at least include the full name and date of birth and/or number of the libro (book), folio (page), and partida (registration) under which the birth was recorded.

Procedure for Obtaining: More information regarding RENAP (addresses and fees in other towns) may be found at their website.

Certified Copies Available: No

Alternate Documents: No

Exceptions:  No

Comments:  The birth certificates usually have annotations regarding marriage or divorces of the person. However, the annotated Birth Certificates is not accepted instead of the Marriage Certificate.


Adoption Certificates | Identity Card | Police, Court, Prison Records | Military Records
Adoption Certificates

Adoption Certificates



Fees:  Quetzal25 (Approximately $3.50)

Document Name: Certificado de Adopcion

Issuing Authority: RENAP – National Registry of Persons

Special Seal(s) / Color / Format: Yes / Black or blue / Circle

Issuing Authority Personnel Title: Registrador Civil de las Personas

Registration Criteria: Unkown

Procedure for Obtaining:  Provide Family Court Resolution + Final Approval from the Adoptions Central Authority + Pay Fees

Certified Copies Available: No

Alternate Documents: No

Exceptions: No

Comments: None


Identity Card

National ID Cards



Fees: Quetzal85 (approximately $11.50)

Document Name:  Documento Personal de Identificación (DPI)

Issuing Authority: RENAP

Special Seal(s) / Color / Format: Security features may be found here

 Issuing Authority Personnel Title: Registrador Civil de Personas

Registration Criteria: Unknown

Procedure for Obtaining:  Requirements may be found here

Certified Copies Available: No

Alternate Documents: No

Exceptions: No

Comments: None


Police, Court, Prison Records

Police Certificates



Fees:  Quetzal15 (approximately $2.00)

Document Name:  Antecedentes Policíacos

Issuing Authority: Police Headquarters (Direccion General de la Policia Nacional)

 Special Seal(s) / Color / Format: 3 ¾” x 8 ½” slip with a Policia Nacional Civil pattern background

Issuing Authority Personnel Title: Jefe de Gabinete Criminalístico

Registration Criteria: Unknown

Procedure for Obtaining:  Requirements may be found here

Certified Copies Available: No

Alternate Documents: No

Exceptions: No

Comments:  Only applicants 18 years of age and older need to present police records.


Court Records



Fees:  Quetzal30  (approximately $4.00)

Document Name:  Court Records

Issuing Authority: Supreme Court (Organismo Judicial)

Special Seal(s) / Color / Format: 3 ¾” x 8 ½” slip with a National Emblem in the background

Issuing Authority Personnel Title: Director

Registration Criteria:  See requirements here

Procedure for Obtaining:  Application should be made by the applicant in person.

Certified Copies Available: No

Alternate Documents: No

Exceptions: No

Comments: Only applicants 18 years of age and older need to present police records.


Prison Records



Military Records


Passports & Other Travel Documents | Other Records | Visa Issuing Posts | Visa Services
Passports & Other Travel Documents

Travel Documents


Types Available (Regular, Diplomatic, Official, etc.):  Regular, Diplomatic, and Official

Fees: Quetzal220 (approximately $30.00)

Document Name:  Pasaporte

Issuing Government Authority: Migración

Special Seal(s) / Color / Format:

  • Regular: Effective September 16, 1999, Guatemalan passports issued within Guatemala have had blue covers, a digitized photo, and are machine readable.
  • Diplomatic and Official: Recently issued Guatemalan diplomatic and official passports have blue covers and are machine readable.

Issuing Authority Personnel Title: Director General de Migracion

Registration Criteria: Unknown

Procedure for Obtaining:  See requirements here

Alternate Documents: No

Exceptions: No


  • Regular: Older expired versions of the Guatemalan passport have a red or maroon cover. Those passports ceased to be valid after October 31, 2001 for all travel except direct return to Guatemala.
    Guatemalan embassies and consulates, other than those in the United States, issue overseas passports with a green cover. Those passports are not machine readable, but will continue to be valid after October 31, 2001.
  • Diplomatic and Official: Older versions of diplomatic and official passports remain valid through their expiration date.


Other Documents Available:  No

Other Records

Not applicable.

Visa Issuing Posts

Guatemala, Guatemala (Embassy)

Mailing Address:
APO AA 34024

Street Address:
7-01 Avenida la Reforma
Zone 10

Tel: (011)(502)(2) 331-1541

Visa Services

All visa categories for all of Guatemala.