Security Alert
May 17, 2024

Worldwide Caution

May 10, 2024

Information for U.S. Citizens in the Middle East

International Travel


Learn About Your Destination

French Guiana

French Guiana
French Guiana
Exercise normal precautions in French Guiana.

Reissued with obsolete COVID-19 page links removed.

Exercise normal precautions in French Guiana.

Read the country information page for additional information on travel to French Guiana.

If you decide to travel to French Guiana:


Embassy Messages


Quick Facts

3 months
Must have at least one blank page for stamps
Not required for stays under 90 days
Yellow fever. The Government of French Guiana requires all non-citizens age 12 and over entering the country to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
10,000 euros
10,000 euros

Embassies and Consulates

U.S. Embassy Paramaribo
Kristalstraat 165
Paramaribo, Suriname
(597) 556-700 
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: (597) 710-1112
Fax: (597) 551-524

Entry, Exit and Visa Requirements

The Government of French Guiana requires all non-citizens age 12 and over entering the country to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. 

Visit the Embassy of France website or the French government’s official visa information page for the most current visa information. Note that French Guiana is an overseas department of France but is not a part of the Schengen zone.

You may enter French Guiana for up to 90 days for tourist and business purposes without a visa.

Immigration officers may request evidence of travel or health insurance upon entry to French Guiana.

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

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

Safety and Security

French Guiana is an overseas department of France. Demonstrations and strikes impacting transportation, including airports and roads, may occur. Reconfirm any domestic and/or international flight reservations if you are traveling during one of these events.

When traveling or living in French Guiana, you should:

  • Be aware of your local security situation and take appropriate steps to keep yourself safe.

  • Monitor media and local information sources and factor updated information into personal travel plans and activities. 

  • Address specific safety concerns to French law enforcement authorities who have responsibility for the safety and security of all residents and visitors.

In French Guiana, the Police Nationale have authority to respond to crimes in the area around Cayenne. Outside of Cayenne, the Gendarmerie is responsible for law enforcement.

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

  • Avoid wearing expensive jewelry. 

  • Don’t display large amounts of money in public.

  • Avoid isolated areas, including the beach, after dark.

  • Drive with your windows closed and doors locked.

  • Avoid placing valuables in plain sight.  

If you plan to travel into the interior, use a well-established tour company.

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

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

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 by dialing 112. Operators may not speak English. You should also contact the U.S. Embassy in Suriname, which provides consular services for U.S. citizens in French Guiana, at (+597) 556-700 during business hours or (+597) 710-1112 during evenings and weekends.

Remember that local authorities are responsible for investigating and prosecuting the crime.

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

We can: 

  • Help you find appropriate medical care

  • Assist you in reporting a crime to the police

  • Contact relatives or friends with your written consent

  • 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 information on victim’s assistance programs in France

  • Provide an emergency loan for repatriation to the United States and/or limited medical support in cases of destitution 

  • Help you find accommodation and arrange flights home

  • Replace a stolen or lost passport

Domestic Violence:  U.S. citizen victims of domestic violence 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

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.  

Furthermore, some laws are also prosecutable in the U.S., regardless of local law. For examples, see our website on crimes against minors abroad and the Department of Justice website.

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

  • Penalties for possessing, using, or trafficking in illegal drugs in French Guiana are severe.

  • Convicted offenders can expect long jail sentences and heavy fines.

In French Guiana, driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol could land you immediately in jail.

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.

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

French Foreign Legion: U.S. citizens interested in joining the French Foreign Legion (FFL) should be aware that the cognitive and physical tests for acceptance are extremely challenging.

  • Ensure you have access to sufficient funds to return home should your candidature be refused.

  • Successful candidates report that the FFL provides a new identity and retains their U.S. passport during a long probation period. Lack of access to your passport can complicate routine or emergency travel.

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

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

Travelers with Disabilities: The law in French Guiana prohibits discrimination against persons with physical, sensory, intellectual or mental disabilities, and the law is not enforced. The most common types of accessibility may include accessible facilities, information, and communication/access to services/ease of movement or access. Expect accessibility to be limited in public transportation, communication/information, and general infrastructure, and common in public transportation. Public transportation is limited to non-existent in the rest of the country.

There is no availability of rental, repair, or replacement parts for hearing aids/equipment/devices, or service providers, such as sign language interpreters or personal assistants.  

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

Women Travelers: See our travel tips for Women Travelers.


The Government of French Guiana requires all non-citizens age 12 and over entering the country to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. 

For emergency services in French Guiana, dial 112. You may also reach services directly at: 

- EMS: 15

- Police: 17

- Fire department: 18

- Child abuse: 119

- Homelessness assistance: 115

- Gender based Violence: 3919

Ambulance services are:

  • not widely available and training and availability of emergency responders may be below U.S. standards.

  • not present throughout the country or are unreliable.

  • not equipped with state-of-the-art medical equipment. 

  • 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. 

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

  • Only one hospital, the Centre Hospitalier Andrée Rosemon in Cayenne, has intensive care and trauma units. The Centre Hospitalier de l’Ouest Guyanais in St. Laurent provides more limited hospital services in the western part of French Guiana.

  • Not all medical facilities in French Guiana are air conditioned.

  • You can find prescription and over-the-counter medicines in pharmacies in larger cities, but U.S. brands may not be available.

We do not pay medical bills. Be aware that U.S. Medicare/Medicaid does not apply overseas.  Most hospitals and doctors overseas do not accept U.S. health insurance.

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 coverage overseas. 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.  Check the French Customs website to ensure the medication is legal in French Guiana.

Vaccinations: Proof of vaccination for yellow fever, or written proof from a doctor that yellow fever vaccination is not medically recommended, is required to enter French Guiana. Be up to date on all vaccinations recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

General Health Language

The following diseases are prevalent in French Guiana:

  • Use the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended mosquito repellents and sleep under insecticide-impregnated mosquito nets. Chemoprophylaxis is recommended for all travelers even for short stays. 

There are shortages of water, medicine, medical supplies, etc throughout French Guiana.

Visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website for more information about Resources for Travelers regarding specific issues in French Guiana.  

Further health information:

Air Quality: Visit AirNow Department of State for information on air quality at U.S. Embassies and Consulates

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

Health facilities in general: 

  • Medical staff may speak little or no English.

  • Generally, in public 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 only available through government institutions

Medical Tourism and Elective Surgery

  • We strongly recommend supplemental insurance to cover medical evacuation in the event of unforeseen medical complications. 

  • Your legal options in case of malpractice are very limited in French Guiana.  


Travel and Transportation

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

  • Avoid driving at night due to unlit roads and vehicles, as well as stray livestock, especially in the remote interior regions or on less-developed rural roads.

  • There are few to no service stations on the roads between cities and towns. 

  • It is advisable to carry spare tires, extra fuel, tools, etc. 

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

Drivers are expected to have an accident form in the car, to fill out in case of accident. It is advisable to get witnesses, if possible. If there are injuries, the police need to be called. It is not common to be asked for a bribe. 

Aggressive drivers are common. Motorcycles and mopeds weave in and out of traffic lanes. In slow traffic, motorcycles often pass cars. 

Public Transportation: Taxis and vans are relatively safe.

See our Road Safety page for more information.  

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

Maritime Travel: Mariners planning travel to French Guiana 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

Last Updated: June 15, 2022

Travel Advisory Levels

Assistance for U.S. Citizens

U.S. Embassy Paramaribo
Kristalstraat 165
(597) 556-700 ext. 2129
(597) 710-1112
(597) 551-524

French Guiana Map