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See the Department of State’s Fact Sheet on Lebanon for information on U.S.-Lebanon relations.
For Additional Information:
The U.S. Department of State is unaware of any HIV/AIDS entry restrictions for visitors to or foreign residents of Lebanon.
Terrorism: Across the world, terrorist groups and those inspired by such organizations are intent on attacking U.S. citizens abroad and resort to various methods of attack – including knives, firearms, and vehicles – frequently on unprotected or vulnerable targets, such as:
In Lebanon, there is potential for death or injury because of terrorist attacks. Violent extremist groups, including U.S. government-designated terrorist organizations, operate in Lebanon. ISIS and affiliated groups have claimed responsibility for suicide bombings in Lebanon. U.S. citizens have been the targets of terrorist attacks in Lebanon. The threat of anti-Western terrorist activity persists, as does the risk of death or injury to bystanders. Clashes between Lebanese authorities and criminal elements continue to occur in areas of the Bekaa Valley and border regions. Hizballah maintains a strong presence in the Bekaa Valley, in addition to areas in southern Lebanon and south Beirut. In addition to the threat of Hizballah conducted terrorist activity, Hizballah has been the target of attacks by other extremist groups for their support of the Assad regime in Syria.
Avoid the Lebanon-Syria border region: The U.S. Embassy strongly urges U.S. citizens to avoid the Lebanese-Syrian border region because of past clashes, extremist activity, and the potential for these to recur at any time.
Avoid the Lebanon-Israel border region: Hostilities flared in Southern Lebanon in April 2022, and again in April 2023, due to tensions between Israel, Hizballah, and the Palestinian terrorist group HAMAS. The potential for wider conflict remains. The U.S. Embassy urges U.S. citizens to avoid the Lebanon-Israel border area due to ongoing tensions between the two countries. Attacks and responses can occur without warning. Landmines and unexploded ordnance pose significant dangers throughout southern Lebanon, particularly south of the Litani River. Travelers should watch for posted landmine warnings and strictly avoid all marked areas.
Avoid travel to refugee settlements: Violence within refugee settlements has resulted in shootings and explosions. U.S. citizens should avoid travel to refugee settlements. Palestinian groups hostile to both the Lebanese government and the United States operate autonomously in formal and informal refugee settlements in different areas of the country.
For more information, see our Terrorism page.
Crime: Reported crime rates in Lebanon are moderate but rising. Violent crime and sexual assault are rare but do occur. Petty theft -- such as pickpocketing and purse snatching -- occurs in crowded public areas. More recently, the dire economic situation is engendering a significant increase in economically motivated crimes, including home invasions and car thefts. Police are responsive but often unable to affect a positive outcome.
Demonstrations occur frequently. They may take place in response to political or economic issues, on politically significant holidays, and during international events. Protests often occur spontaneously with little to no advance warning.
International Financial Scams: Internet romance and financial scams are prevalent in Lebanon. 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:
Victims of Crime: U.S. citizen victims of sexual assault or domestic violence are encouraged to contact the U.S. Embassy for assistance. Report crimes by visiting the nearest police or by calling the ISF hotline 1745 and contact the U.S. Embassy at +(961) 4-542600 or +(961) 4-543600. Local authorities are responsible for investigating and prosecuting crimes.
See our webpage on help for U.S. victims of crime overseas.
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.
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.
Penalties for possessing, using, or trafficking in illegal drugs in Lebanon can be significant, and convicted offenders can expect long jail sentences and heavy fines. Visitors lacking passport or identification documents at government checkpoints are subject to questioning by Lebanese authorities. In certain areas, taking photos of buildings or other infrastructure has led to questioning and detention. In Lebanon, persons driving under the influence can be jailed immediately.
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.
Individuals who were affiliated with the former militia known as the South Lebanon Army (SLA) and previously departed Lebanon because of their association with that group should carefully consider any plans to return to Lebanon. Alleged former members of the SLA have been detained on arrival and received threats to their physical security, even after receiving assurances from Lebanese officials and/or legal counsel in Lebanon that they could return safely.
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: LGBTQI+ status and/or conduct is criminalized in Lebanon, and LGBTQI+ persons can face significant social stigma. Article 534 of the Lebanese Penal Code prohibits sexual relations, “contradicting the laws of nature,” an offense punishable by up to one year in prison. Although Lebanese courts have interpreted this provision in different ways and prosecutions are rare, judicial decisions can vary case-to-case and LGBTQI+ adults have been charged, tried, and convicted for engaging in consensual same-sex relations. Authorities have arrested LGBTQI+ individuals for minor offenses, then charged them with violation of Article 534 when evidence of their LGBTQI+ identity is uncovered, through searches of cell phones or other personal material. While prosecution is uncommon, short-term detentions can expose individuals to discrimination and abuse.
There has been a rise in anti-LGBTQI+ rhetoric from political and religious leaders, accompanied by an increase in online harassment, threats of violence, and violence against LGBTQI+ persons. In August 2023, members of an anti-LGBTQI+ religious group attacked an LGBTQI+ friendly establishment in the Mar Mikhael neighborhood of Beirut, reportedly threatening, assaulting, and injuring patrons. Gatherings, events, or items (including those with rainbows) perceived as “promoting homosexuality” have the potential of being scrutinized, monitored or disbanded by security forces.
While Lebanese authorities indicate that travelers entering Lebanon with passports showing X gender will be admitted without difficulty, the United States government cannot guarantee your entry or transit through other countries.
Travelers with Disabilities: The law in Lebanon prohibits discrimination against persons with physical, sensory, intellectual or mental disabilities, but the law is unevenly enforced. Social acceptance of persons with disabilities in public is relatively low. Some facilities and information have been made accessible, but such standard accessibility is not common. Expect infrastructure accessibility to be limited in urban areas, and even more so in the rest of the country. There are a handful of hotels that are partially accessible in the Beirut area. Some transportation companies do provide accessible services. Events and activities are rarely designed to be inclusive.
Service providers for people with disabilities, such as sign language interpreters or personal assistants, are available but limited in Lebanon. The best way to find assistance is to contact organizations for people with disabilities such as the Lebanese Union for Persons with Physical Disabilities, the Youth Association of the Blind, the Lebanese Federation of the Deaf, or the Lebanese Association for Self Advocacy.
Exit Bans: U.S. citizens living in or traveling in Lebanon are sometimes denied permission to depart the country because a criminal, civil, or family court has imposed an exit ban. For example, a head of household can place an exit ban against a spouse and children even before the family arrives in Lebanon. Easily initiated, exit bans remain in place for prolonged periods and can only be removed by petition from an attorney. The U.S. Embassy cannot have exit bans removed, even in times of crisis. An attorney’s list is available on U.S. Embassy Beirut’s website.
Women Travelers: See our travel tips for Women Travelers.
Dual Citizenship: U.S. citizens who also hold Lebanese nationality are considered by local authorities to be Lebanese, even when entering Lebanon using a U.S. passport. Lebanese-U.S. citizens who are suspected of association with Israeli citizens or officials, or to have traveled through Israel, are subject to detention, arrest, and prosecution. Their passports may be retained by Lebanese authorities on arrival, and they must appear at the Lebanese Military court the next business day for investigation, after which their passports may be returned if no connections with Israel are confirmed. U.S. citizen dual nationals of other Arab countries who arrive at a Lebanese point of entry with an Israeli stamp in their passports will be denied entry and may be detained or arrested. Travelers with a family name deemed to be of Israeli or Jewish origin may also be questioned or detained.
Travelers who have previously entered Lebanon illegally under Lebanese law, whether as refugees or for transit to a third country, may be denied entry, even if they are or have since become U.S. citizens.
Middle Eastern Heritage: U.S. citizens with names reflecting Middle Eastern heritage may face additional scrutiny at Lebanese ports of entry and may be required to show documentary evidence of their parentage: specifically, official proof of their father’s name such as a copy of their birth certificate.
Marrying in Lebanon: More than 18 separate and distinct religious sects solemnize marriages in Lebanon. Civil marriage is not available. U.S. citizen and Lebanese national couples should familiarize themselves with the rights and responsibilities of marriage as defined by the religion performing their marriage. They should be aware that religious clerics and religious courts dictate all personal status matters related to marriage, divorce, and child custody. In matters of marriage, child custody, inheritance, and divorce, personal status laws provide unequal treatment across the various confessional court systems but generally discriminate against women. Nationality law also discriminates against women, who may not confer citizenship to their spouses and children. Civil marriages performed outside of Lebanon and registered with Lebanon’s Ministry of the Interior fall under civil court jurisdiction regarding divorce and child custody.
Military Service Obligation: Mandatory military service in Lebanon was abolished in 2007. However, travelers with questions about prior military service, desertion, or failure to register in the past should contact the Embassy of Lebanon in Washington, D.C. for details prior to traveling to Lebanon.
Customs: Lebanese customs authorities may enforce strict regulations concerning import and export of items, such as firearms, military paraphernalia, professional camera equipment, other communications equipment, or antiquities. You should contact the Embassy of Lebanon in Washington, D.C., for specific information regarding customs requirements. Please see our information on customs regulations.
For emergency services in Lebanon dial 112.
Ambulance services are:
We do not pay the 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 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. Check with the Lebanon Ministry of Health to ensure the medication is legal in Lebanon.
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.
Water Quality: In all areas, tap water is not potable. Bottled water and beverages are generally safe.
Health facilities in general:
The U.S. Embassy maintains a list of doctors and hospitals. We do not endorse or recommend any specific medical provider or clinic.
Road Conditions and Safety: Road conditions differ significantly from those in the United States. In certain areas, pedestrians have minimal access to sidewalks and are forced to walk along the sides of busy roadways. There are very few bicycle lanes designated for cyclists, and drivers are unaccustomed to sharing the road with cyclists. Beirut streets and highway lanes are known for their heavy traffic congestion and aggressive driving. Lanes are generally unmarked, and roads outside the capital may be poorly lighted.
Drivers generally will find inter-city directional signs and street markers, but side roads often bear no signposts.
Public Transportation: In general, public transportation in Lebanon is safe. Buses operate throughout the country but serve a primarily working-class clientele. Taxis are widely available and rideshare services are also active in Lebanon. 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 Lebanon, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has not assessed the government of Lebanon’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.
Because of the risks to civil aviation operating in airspace immediately adjacent to the Damascus Flight Information Region (FIR), the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has issued a Notice to Air Missions (NOTAM) and/or a Special Federal Aviation Regulation (SFAR) that prohibits U.S. and codeshare flights from flying through the Damascus FIR and advises caution for flights operating in the airspace within 200 nautical miles of the Damascus FIR due to heightened military activity in or around Syria.
For more information, U.S. citizens should consult the Federal Aviation Administration's Prohibitions, Restrictions, and Notices.
Maritime Travel: “The U.S. Coast Guard has concerns about the safety practices in the Port of Beirut and finds that the Lebanese Ministry of Public Works and Transport has not fully implemented the International Ship and Port Facility Security Code. As a result, the U.S. Coast Guard conducts additional screenings of ships that have stopped in Lebanon prior to arrival in the United States. Assessments by the U.S. Coast Guard indicate that Mariners and passengers traveling through the Port of Beirut should exercise caution.”
Mariners planning travel to Lebanon should also check for U.S. maritime advisories and alerts within the MARAD website. Information may also be posted to the U.S. Coast Guard homeport website, and the NGA broadcast warnings website. Navigational warnings can be found under the “Current Warnings” section for the applicable NAVAREA from within the NGA site.