Russia Travel Advisory
October 4, 2022

Do Not Travel and Leave Immediately

International Travel

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Country Information

Algeria

Algeria
People's Democratic Republic of Algeria
Exercise increased caution in Algeria due to terrorism and kidnapping.

Last Update: Reissued with updates to health information.

Exercise increased caution in Algeria due to terrorism and kidnapping.

Do not travel to:

  • Areas near the eastern and southern borders due to terrorism and kidnapping.
  • Areas in the Sahara Desert due to terrorism and kidnapping.

Country Summary: Terrorist groups continue plotting possible attacks in Algeria. Terrorists may attack with little or no warning and have recently targeted the Algerian security forces. Most attacks take place in rural areas, but attacks are possible in urban areas despite a heavy and active police presence.

The U.S. government has limited ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens outside Algiers province due to Algerian government restrictions on travel by U.S. government employees.

Read the country information page for additional information on travel to Algeria.

If you decide to travel to Algeria:

Eastern and southern borders — Level 4: Do Not Travel

Avoid travel to rural areas within 50 km (31 miles) of the border with Tunisia and within 250 km (155 miles) of the borders with Libya, Niger, Mali, and Mauritania due to terrorist and criminal activities, including kidnapping.

Visit our website for High-Risk Travelers.

Overland travel to the Sahara Desert — Level 4: Do Not Travel

Do not travel overland in the Sahara Desert due to terrorist and criminal activity, including kidnapping.

Visit our website for High-Risk Travelers.

... [READ MORE]

Embassy Messages

Alerts

Quick Facts

PASSPORT VALIDITY:

6 months validity

BLANK PASSPORT PAGES:

1 page per stamp

TOURIST VISA REQUIRED:

Yes, unless entering via cruise ship

VACCINATIONS:

None

CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR ENTRY:

CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR EXIT:

Algerian dinars cannot be taken out of the country

Embassies and Consulates

U.S. Embassy Algiers
5 Chemin Cheikh Bachir Ibrahimi
El-Biar
16030 Algiers
Algeria
Telephone: (213) 770-08-2000
Emergency after-hours telephone: (213) 770-08-2200
Fax: 0770-08-2299
Email: ACSAlgiers@state.gov

Entry, Exit and Visa Requirements

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

Requirements for Entry:

  • Passport valid for at least six months
  • Visa

Passengers arriving via a cruise ship and who will be part of an organized shore excursion do not require a visa in advance. All other travelers must obtain a visa from an Algerian embassy or consulate in advance of travel. If you have Israeli entry stamps in your passport, you may experience difficulties.

Dual Nationality: The Algerian government treats dual-national Algerian-Americans who enter Algeria on an Algerian passport solely as Algerian citizens. U.S. citizen women married to Algerians do not require the husband’s authorization to depart. Dual-national minor children exiting Algeria on an Algerian passport with just one parent will need to provide the Algerian family book (livret de famille) in order to demonstrate the relationship between the child and the accompanying parent.

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

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

Safety and Security

Terrorism: Terrorist groups and those inspired by such organizations are intent on attacking U.S. citizens abroad.  Terrorists are increasingly using less sophisticated methods of attack – including knives, firearms, and vehicles – to more effectively target crowds.  Frequently, their aim is unprotected or vulnerable targets, such as:

  • High-profile public events (sporting contests, political rallies, demonstrations, holiday events, celebratory gatherings, etc.)
  • Hotels, clubs, and restaurants frequented by tourists
  • Places of worship
  • Schools
  • Parks
  • Shopping malls and markets
  • Public transportation systems (including subways, buses, trains, and scheduled commercial flights)

Terrorist Activity: While Algeria has long been an important counterterrorism partner to the United States and has continued its aggressive campaign to eliminate all terrorist activity, active terrorist threats remain within Algeria and along its borders, in particular from the groups Al-Qa’ida in the Islamic Maghreband Jund al-Khilafah in Algeria, which has sworn allegiance to the Islamic State of Iraq and ash-Sham (ISIS).

Terrorist attacks usually target Algerian government interests and security forces outside of major cities and mainly in mountainous and remote areas, and attacks in 2020 and 2022 targeting Law Enforcement facilities were foiled but killed and injured security forces in the border regions of the southern wilayas of Bordj Badji Mokhtar and In Guezzam.

The Department of State warns U.S. citizens against travel to remote areas in southern and eastern Algeria, due to a high threat of terrorist attacks and kidnapping. As noted in our Travel Advisories for Algeria, U.S. citizens should:

  • avoid travel to rural areas within 50 km (31 miles) of the border with Tunisia and within 250 km (155 miles) of the borders with Libya, Niger, Mali, and Mauritania due to terrorist and criminal activities.
  • avoid overland travel across the Sahara. Travel to Saharan cities only by air.
  • remain on principal highways when traveling to coastal/mountainous areas east of Algiers and the mountains immediately south of Algiers.
  • always travel with reputable Algerian travel agents who know the area.
  • avoid staying overnight outside of the main cities and tourist locations.
  • inform local police when staying in locations outside of major cities.

Terrorist groups remain active throughout Algeria, though Algerian military operations over the past several years have been very successful in countering terrorist activity. Over the past five years, the government reported a total of 24 major attacks, though none were conducted in 2021. While these groups typically target Algerian security services and local government targets, they still aspire to target Western interests. AQIM, AQIM-allied groups and ISIS elements, including the Algerian affiliate locally known as Jund al-Khilafah in Algeria (JAK-A, or ISIS-Algeria), remain present, though they are assessed to have limited capabilities as a result of successful Algerian counterterrorism operations.

Three major attacks occurred throughout 2020. In February, assailants targeted an army outpost in Bordj Badji Mokhtar, near the border with Mali, with a suicide vehicle borne improvised explosive device (SVBIED). ISIS-Algeria claimed responsibility for the attack, which killed one Algerian soldier. In June, assailants ambushed an army patrol in Ain Defla, killing one, and an IED attack in Medea killed two soldiers one week later; AQIM claimed both attacks. Government sources reported nearly 250 counter-terrorism operations throughout the year which resulted in over 120 terrorists arrested or captured and over 200 hideouts discovered and destroyed. Almost all reported terrorist attacks in the past five years have targeted Algerian security forces and involved IEDs or ambush tactics as suspects actively fled through rural mountainous regions.

For more information, see our Terrorism page.

Crime:  The crime rate in Algeria is moderate. Algeria has a very visible police presence throughout the country, as well as 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 can occur. Only stay in hotels where adequate security is provided.

The U.S. Embassy has seen several cases in which American citizen women who meet an Algerian man online are lured to Algeria for marriage and are then held against their will in abusive situations.

Demonstrations occur frequently.  They may take place in response to political or economic issues, on politically significant holidays, and during international events. 

  • Demonstrations can be unpredictable, avoid areas around protests and demonstrations. 
  • Check local media for updates and traffic advisories.

International Financial Scams: See the Department of State and the FBI pages for information.

Internet romance and financial scams are prevalent in Algeria.  Scams are often initiated through Internet postings/profiles or by unsolicited emails and letters.  Scammers almost always pose as U.S. citizens who have no one else to turn to for help.  Common scams include:

  • Romance/Online dating
  • Money transfers
  • Lucrative sales
  • Gold purchase
  • Contracts with promises of large commissions
  • Grandparent/Relative targeting
  • Free Trip/Luggage
  • Lotteries
  • Inheritance notices
  • Work permits/job offers
  • Bank overpayments

Victims of Crime: U.S. citizen victims of sexual assault are encouraged to contact the U.S. Embassy for assistance.  Report crimes to the local police and contact the U.S. Embassy at (213) 770-08-2000. The crime emergency lines in Algeria are 1548 and 17; for gendarmes, call 1055.

Remember that 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
  • Provide general information regarding the victim’s role during the local investigation   and following its conclusion
  • 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 are encouraged to contact the Embassy for assistance.

Tourism: The tourism industry is unevenly regulated, and safety inspections for equipment and facilities do not commonly occur.  Hazardous areas/activities are not always identified with appropriate signage, and staff may not be trained or certified either by the host government or by recognized authorities in the field.  In the event of an injury, appropriate medical treatment is typically available only in/near major cities.  First responders are generally unable to access areas outside of major cities and to provide urgent medical treatment.  U.S. citizens are encouraged to purchase medical evacuation insurance.  See our webpage for more information on insurance providers for overseas coverage.

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.  Individuals establishing a business or practicing a profession that requires additional permits or licensing should seek information from the competent local authorities, prior to practicing or operating a business.

  • Always carry your passport, or a copy of it, with you, or you may be taken in for questioning by law enforcement officials.
  • Photographing military installations and government buildings (often marked by an Algerian flag over the entrance) is prohibited.
  • Items that are legal to bring into and carry in the United States may not be legal in Algeria.
  • Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs could land you immediately in jail.

Furthermore, some laws are also prosecutable in the United States, 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.

Counterfeit and Pirated Goods: Although counterfeit and pirated goods are prevalent in many countries, they may still be illegal according to local laws. You may also pay fines or have to give them up if you bring them back to the United States. See the U.S. Department of Justice website for more information.

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

LGBTQI+ Travelers: The law criminalizes so-called acts against nature and consensual same-sex sexual acts between adult men and women. The law stipulates penalties for so-called acts against nature that include imprisonment of six months to three years and a fine of DZD 1,000 to DZD 10,000 ($8 to $80). The law also stipulates penalties that include imprisonment of two months to two years and fines of DZD 500 to DZD 2,000 ($4 to $16) for anyone convicted of having committed a “homosexual act.” If a minor is involved, the adult may face up to three years’ imprisonment and a fine of DZD 10,000 ($80).

LGBTQI+ activists reported that the vague wording of laws criminalizing “homosexual acts” and so-called acts against nature permitted sweeping accusations that resulted in multiple arrests for consensual same-sex sexual relations, but there were no known prosecutions during the past year. LGBTQI+ status is not,criminalized; however, LGBTQI+ persons may face criminal prosecution under legal provisions disproportionately applied against LGBTQI+ individuals concerning prostitution, public indecency, and associating with bad characters. NGOs report that judges give harsher sentences to LGBTQI+ persons compared to non-LGBTQI+ persons.

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

Travelers with Disabilities: The law in Algeria prohibits discrimination against persons with physical, sensory, intellectual and mental disabilities, and the law is enforced.  Social acceptance of persons with disabilities in public is not as prevalent as in the United States.  Expect accessibility to be limited in public transportation, lodging, communication/information, and general infrastructure.  There is a significant difference between large cities and the rest of the country. 

Availability of rental, repair, replacement parts for aids/equipment/devices, or service providers, such as sign language interpreters or personal assistants is severely limited. 

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

Women Travelers: 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 the Interior, Foreigners Office, 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.

Marriage in Algeria: See our Marriage in Algeria page for documents that must be obtained before leaving the United States. 

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.

Currency: Algeria is a cash society.  Most credit cards are not accepted on the economy outside of hotels. Travelers must declare upon entry at Customs if they are traveling with more than 3000 Algerian dinar or foreign currency that exceeds 1000 euros (or the equivalent). The amount of up to 7500 Euros (or equivalent in other foreign currency) can be taken out of the country. Proof that the money has been withdrawn form an Algerian bank account is required. According to Algerian Customs guidelines, foreign citizens cannot take any amount of Algerian currency outside of the country. Algerian residents can take the amount of up 10,000 DA out of the country, Algerian dual-nationals who are not residents or other third country nationals are not permitted to take Algerian currency outside of the country.

The official exchange rate may vary considerably from the actual exchange rate on the street. It is illegal to change money on the black market, and you should 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 currency and possibly search you. Penalties can be severe if you failed to declare foreign currency in excess of the above amount upon entering Algeria, but are found to possess it when exiting the country. 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. 

Health

For emergency services in Algeria, dial 021711414.

Ambulance services are available in major cities such as the capital city of Algiers, but training and availability of emergency responders varies and may be below U.S. standards. Ambulance services are also not equipped with state-of-the-art medical equipment.  Response times are unpredictable and not as rapid as in the U.S. Injured or seriously ill travelers may prefer to take a taxi or private vehicle to the nearest major hospital rather than wait for an ambulance.

We do not pay medical bills.  Be aware that U.S. Medicare/Medicaid does not apply overseas.  Most hospitals and doctors overseas do not accept U.S. health insurance.  Credit card payment is not usually available. Most hospitals and medical professionals require cash payment at time of services rendered.

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.  Visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for more information on type of insurance you should consider before you travel overseas.

We strongly recommend supplemental insurance to cover medical evacuation.

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

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

Further health information:

Air Quality: Visit AirNow Department of State for information on air quality at U.S. Embassies and Consulates.  The air quality varies considerably and fluctuates with the seasons.  It is typically at its worst in the summer. People at the greatest risk from particle pollution exposure include:

  • Infants, children, and teens
  • People over 65 years of age
  • People with lung disease such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), which includes chronic bronchitis and emphysema.
  • People with heart disease or diabetes
  • People who work or are active outdoors

The U.S. Embassy maintains a list of doctors and hospitals.  We do not endorse or recommend any specific medical provider or clinic.

Health facilities: Adequate health facilities are available in Algiers and other major cities, but quality is variable. Health care in rural areas may be below U.S. standards. Medical staff may speak little or no English.

Generally, in hospitals only minimal staff is available overnight in non-emergency wards. Consider hiring a private nurse or having family spend the night with the patient, especially a minor child.

Psychological and psychiatric services are limited, even in the larger cities, with hospital-based care primarily available through government institutions

Pharmaceuticals:

  • Always carry your prescription medication in original packaging, along with your doctor’s prescription.  Check with the Algerian Ministry of Health [COUNTRY Federal Office of Public Health w/ link] to ensure the medication is legal in Algeria.
  • Exercise caution when purchasing medication overseas.  Medication should be purchased in consultation with a medical professional and from reputable establishments.

Assisted Reproductive Technology and Surrogacy:

  • If you are considering traveling to Algeria to have a child through use of assisted reproductive technology (ART) or surrogacy, please see our ART and Surrogacy Abroad page.
  • Surrogacy is illegal for foreigners in Algeria.

Water Quality: In many areas, tap water is not potable. Bottled water and beverages are generally safe, although you should be aware that many restaurants and hotels serve tap water unless bottled water is specifically requested.  Be aware that ice for drinks may be made using tap water.

Adventure Travel:

  • Visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website for more information about Adventure Travel.

Travel and Transportation

Road Conditions and Safety: Algeria suffers significant road safety problems, including poorly maintained roads, a lack of roadway signage, insufficient vehicle maintenance, defective and 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 Ministry of Interior.
  • 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. Police will require you to turn off your headlights when approaching a checkpoint at night.
  • Rather than traffic lights, police control most major traffic intersections in Algiers.

Traffic Laws: Driving in Algeria can be chaotic and unsafe.  There are limited traffic signs, very few designated lanes, and drivers often straddle two lanes when there are designated lanes.  There are very few sidewalks and pedestrians must often walk in the street.  When driving, ensure that you carry your state license and International Driver License.  In case of a traffic accident, contact the police and do not move vehicles until a police officer arrives.  Ensure that you get the other driver’s insurance information and identification as well.  

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 as well as taxi hailing apps such as “Yassir”.

See our Road Safety page for more information.

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.

Maritime Travel: Mariners planning travel to Algeria should also check for U.S. maritime advisories and alerts.  Information may also be posted to the  U.S. Coast Guard homeport website, and the NGA broadcast warnings.

For additional travel information

International Parental Child Abduction

Review information about International Parental Child Abduction in Algeria. For additional IPCA-related information, please see the International Child Abduction Prevention and Return Act (ICAPRA) report.

Last Updated: November 25, 2022

Travel Advisory Levels

Information for Vaccinated Travelers

The CDC's latest guidance on international travel for vaccinated people can be found here.

Assistance for U.S. Citizens

U.S. Embassy Algiers
5 Chemin Cheikh Bachir
Ibrahimi,
El-Biar
16030 Algiers
Algeria
Telephone
+(213) 770-08-2000
Emergency
+(213) 770-08-2200
Fax
0770-08-2299

Algeria Map