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Algeria

Algeria
People's Democratic Republic of Algeria
Exercise increased caution when traveling in Algeria due to terrorism. Some areas have increased risk. Read the entire Travel Advisory.

Exercise increased caution when traveling in Algeria due to terrorism. Some areas have increased risk. Read the entire Travel Advisory.

Do not travel to:

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

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 Safety and Security section on the country information page

If you decide to travel to Algeria:

  • Inform local police when visiting locations outside of major cities.
  • Travel by air if possible; remain on major highways if you must travel by road.
  • Travel with reputable travel agents who know the area.
  • Avoid staying overnight outside of the main cities and tourist locations.
  • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
  • Follow the Department of State on Facebook and Twitter.
  • Review the Crime and Safety Report for Algeria.
  • U.S. citizens who travel abroad should always have a contingency plan for emergency situations. Review the Traveler’s Checklist.

Eastern and southern borders

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.

Visit our website for High-Risk Travelers.

Overland travel to the Sahara Desert

Terrorists and criminal groups operate in parts of the Sahara Desert. When travelling to the Sahara, we highly recommend traveling only by air and not overland.  

Visit our website for High-Risk Travelers.

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Embassy Messages

Alerts

Quick Facts

PASSPORT VALIDITY:

Minimum of six months remaining on entry

BLANK PASSPORT PAGES:

One page required for entry stamp

TOURIST VISA REQUIRED:

Yes, unless entering via cruise ship

VACCINATIONS:

None required

CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR ENTRY:

Travelers must declare at Customs if they are traveling with more than 3000 Algerian dinar or foreign currency that exceeds 1000 euros (or equivalent)

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: 0770-08-2064

Destination Description

See our Fact Sheet on Algeria for information on U.S–Algerian relations.

Entry, Exit and Visa Requirements

See the Embassy of the People's Democratic Republic of Algeria website for 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.

When your passport is stamped upon entry, check how long you can stay. You may be able to request an extension of stay from the Ministry of Interior (Office of Foreigners). However, if you overstay, you may need to appear before a judge prior to departing Algeria. If you are in this situation, see your local police station.

If you are a U.S. citizen seeking residency in Algeria, see our page on Residency in Algeria.

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.

HIV restrictions: We are unaware of any HIV/AIDS entry restrictions for visitors or foreign residents of Algeria.

See the U.S. Embassy website for information on Algerian Customs import/export restrictions.

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

Safety and Security

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 Maghreb, the Movement for Unity and Jihad in West Africa, al-Murabitoun, and 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, although two recent attacks (October 2016 and February 2017) injured and killed police in the city of Constantine.

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

  • avoid travel within 50 km (31 miles) of the eastern border and within 450 km (280 miles) of the southern border.
  • 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.

In general, U.S. citizens in Algeria should keep a low-profile and avoid predictable travel patterns. See our Travel Advisories for Algeria for more information.  

Civil Disturbances: Civil disturbances sometimes occur throughout the country. These disturbances are overwhelmingly based on longstanding socio-economic grievances, including over housing and public sector salaries. Protesters have ignited fireworks, thrown Molotov cocktails, damaged property, looted businesses, and robbed passersby. At times police used tear gas and other means to disperse crowds. 

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 are common. Only stay in hotels where adequate security is provided.

The abduction of children has been on the rise in Algeria. The Algerian Association for Defense of the Rights of Children (NADA) recorded eight victims and 220 attempts of kidnapping nationwide within the first six months of 2016. Algerian law enforcement has implemented a security plan to cope with this phenomenon by deploying plain-clothes policemen at schools and in the neighborhoods where disappearances are more common and a toll-free number “104” has been implemented.

The U.S. Embassy has seen several cases in which American citizen women who meet an Algerian man on-line are lured to Algeria for marriage and are then held against their will in abusive situations.  See our information on Internet Dating and Marriage Fraud. See the Department of State and the FBI pages for information on scams.

Victims of Crime: U.S. citizen victims of sexual assault should first contact the U.S. Embassy at (213)770-08-2000. 

To reach Algerian emergency services in Algeria, see our Emergency Phone Numbers page.

Reliability and response time of emergency services varies, but is not to U.S. standards. Emergency operators may or may not speak French; they normally do not speak English. Remember that local authorities are responsible for investigating and prosecuting the crime.

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

We can:

  • help you find appropriate medical care
  • assist you in reporting a crime to the police
  • contact relatives or friends with your written consent
  • explain the local criminal justice process in general terms
  • provide a list of local attorneys
  • provide our information on victim’s compensation programs in the U.S.
  • provide 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 U.S. embassy for assistance.

For further information:

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. 

Always carry your passport, or a copy of it, with you, or you may be taken in for questioning.

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.  See the U.S. Embassy website for information on Algerian Customs import/export restrictions.

Driving under the influence could land you immediately in jail.

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.

Faith-Based Travelers: Islam is the state religion of Algeria. The Algerian government allows non-Muslim religious worship only in structures exclusively intended and approved for that purpose. Activities such as proselytizing and encouraging conversion to a faith other than Islam are prohibited. Penalties may include fines and imprisonment. See the Department of State’s International Religious Freedom Report.

LGBTI Travelers: Consensual same-sex sexual relations are criminalized in Algeria. Penalties include fines and terms of imprisonment of up to three years. Although the U.S. Embassy is not aware of any recent arrests or prosecutions for such activities, they remain illegal. Existing laws on associations may be used to refuse full legal standing to LGBT associations. LGBT persons face societal discrimination.

Some LGBTI individuals receive violent threats and feel compelled to flee the country. Harassment and violence against LGBTI persons is generally tolerated, and there have been several instances of violence and harassment towards LGBTI persons posted on public social media sites in the last year. While some LGBTI persons live openly, the vast majority do not, and most fear reprisal from their families or harassment from authorities.

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


Travelers Who Require Accessibility Assistance: 
Physical accessibility and accommodations tend to be lacking, as compared to the United States.  The condition of sidewalks and streets is often poor, and there are almost no curb cuts or other modifications made for wheelchairs.  Street curbs in Algeria may stand much higher than those in the U.S., and a person in a wheelchair would require significant assistance in negotiating curbs. 

Hotels, restaurants, and most government buildings are not accessible to persons with physical disabilities.  Restrooms and elevators rarely can accommodate wheelchairs.  Very few vehicles, notably buses and taxis, are accessible for persons with physical disabilities.

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 Foreign Affairs 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 webpage 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.  For more information on disaster preparedness, please see the following links:

Currency:  Travelers must declare upon entry or departure at Customs if they are traveling with more than 3000 Algerian dinar or foreign currency that exceeds 1000 euros (or the equivalent).

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

While hospitals and clinics are available, they are not up to U.S. or European standards.  The quality of hospitals and clinics are improving in large urban centers.  Doctors and hospitals often expect immediate cash payment for services.  Most medical practitioners speak French; English is not widely used.

Emergency services are satisfactory, but response time is often unpredictable.  In all cases, response time is not as fast as in the United States.

Prescription Medications:  While it is usually easy to obtain over-the-counter products, prescription medicines are not always readily available.  See our information on local names for common over-the-counter medications

The Algerian government restricts the importation of certain pharmaceuticals for commercial resale. In addition, medicines may be sold under different brand names with different dosages from those sold in the United States.  Some newer medications may not yet be available in Algeria.

If traveling with prescription medication, check with the government of Algeria to ensure the medication is legal in Algeria.  Always carry your prescription medication in original packaging with your doctor’s prescription. 

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.

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

Further Health Information:

Cases of tuberculosis are regularly reported, but do not reach endemic levels. For further information on tuberculosis, please consult the CDC’s information on TB. Every summer, public health authorities report limited occurrences of water-borne diseases, such as typhoid. HIV/AIDS is a concern in Algeria. There have been a few recent reported cases of H1N1. The flu vaccine is available in Algeria. More information is available via the U.S. Department of State’s H5N1 and Pandemic Fact Sheet.

Travel and Transportation

Road Conditions and Safety:  According to local media, Algeria has the fourth highest vehicular accident rate in the world. Problems include poorly maintained roads, a lack of roadway signage, insufficient vehicle maintenance, defective, 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 government.

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.

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.  

Please refer to our Road Safety page for more information. Visit the website of the Algerian Embassy in Washington, DC. for information concerning Algerian driver’s permits, vehicle inspection, road tax, and mandatory insurance. 

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 check for U.S. maritime advisories and alerts at the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Maritime Security Communications with Industry WebPortal. Information may also be posted to the U.S. Coast Guard homeport website and as a broadcast warning on the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency’s website.

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: May 9, 2018

Travel Advisory Levels

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
0770-08-2064

Algeria Map