Emergency Alert
September 17, 2017
Hurricanes Irma and Jose
Emergency Alert
October 2, 2017
Hurricane Maria

International Travel

English

Country Information

Lesotho

Country Information

Lesotho
Kingdom of Lesotho
Last Updated: August 29, 2017
ALL /
ALL /
Embassy Messages
Quick Facts
PASSPORT VALIDITY:

Must be valid at time of entry; 3 months of remaining validity suggested

BLANK PASSPORT PAGES:

One page per entry stamp

TOURIST VISA REQUIRED:

Not required if stay is less than 180 days

VACCINATIONS:

Yellow fever if traveling from or through a yellow fever endemic country.

CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR ENTRY:

None

CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR EXIT:

None

ALL /
ALL /
Embassies and Consulates

U.S. Embassy Maseru

254 Kingsway Avenue
Maseru 100, Lesotho

Telephone: +(266) 2231-2666

Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(266) 5888-4035

Fax: +(266) 2231-0116

ALL /
ALL /
Destination Description

See the Department of State’s Fact Sheet on Lesotho for information on U.S. - Lesotho relations.

ALL /
ALL /
Entry, Exit and Visa Requirements

U.S. citizens entering Lesotho must present a valid passport. Visas are not required for U.S. citizens visiting for 30 days or fewer. U.S. citizens may apply for extensions of an additional 30 days at a time through the Office of Immigration. The maximum number of 30 day extensions permitted is five, totaling 180 days.  After 180 days U.S. citizens are required to apply for a visa online   Vaccination for yellow fever is a common requirement throughout the region, and you should carry your international vaccination cards with you. For more information concerning entry requirements, travelers may contact the Embassy of the Kingdom of Lesotho, 2511 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008, tel. (202) 797-5533.  Visit the Lesotho's E-Visa Website for the most current visa information.

Attention new South Africa Regulations: Travelers who intend to visit or transfer through South Africa must have at least two blank (unstamped) visa pages and carry unabridged birth certificates for all children under 18.  Please see Country Specific Information for South Africa for additional information.

While U.S. citizens normally do not need a visa for South Africa if you plan to stay less than 90 days, South African visa requirements are different for individuals who are residents of Lesotho.  It is common for foreigners residing in Lesotho to receive seven-day visas when crossing into South Africa by road.  Travelers who overstay in South Africa may be declared “undesirable” by the immigration authorities and barred from entering South Africa.  Travelers planning to visit South Africa for a longer period should check with the High Commission of South Africa in Maseru on how to obtain a visa for a longer stay.

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

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

ALL /
ALL /
Safety and Security

Crime: Lesotho has a high crime rate, and foreigners must remain vigilant at all times.  Foreigners are frequently targeted and robbed, and have been car-jacked and killed.  U.S. citizens have reported incidents – including sexual assault, armed and unarmed confrontation, and home invasion – occurring in broad daylight.  There are no indications that U.S. citizens are specifically targeted.

Crime is most prevalent in urban areas but can happen anywhere.  Criminal incidents have occurred in popular restaurants, along poorly lit or unlit roads, and locations frequented by foreigners.  Victims have included tourists, volunteer workers, and employees of non-governmental organizations.

Extra caution should be exercised while walking through downtown Maseru, both at night and during the day.  You are urged to exercise caution and avoid crowds, demonstrations, or any other form of public gathering.  Traveling alone or at night is particularly dangerous due to limited street lighting and undeveloped road conditions. 

There is a serious problem with theft from baggage at O.R. Tambo International Airport (Johannesburg), a required transit point for air travel to Lesotho.  You should secure your luggage with Transportation Security Administration (TSA) approved locks, use an airport plastic wrapping service, and avoid placing any items of value in checked luggage.  Make an inventory of items in checked baggage to aid in claims processing if theft does occur.

See the Department of State and the FBI pages for information on scams.

Victims of Crime:

Report crimes to the local police at (266) 2231 2943 or (266) 2232 2099.  These numbers should be answered by police 24/7, but have been known to be out of service.  Also contact the U.S. Embassy at (266) 2231-2666 Ext: 4124 or (266) 5885-4035 after hours.

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 Embassy for assistance.

For further information:

ALL /
ALL /
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. 

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.

Extreme weather preparation:  Visitors to the interior of Lesotho should bring clothing and equipment suitable for extreme cold weather during the winter months of June through August.  Weather conditions can deteriorate rapidly in the mountains, and snow may close mountain passes.  Temperatures can drop below freezing even in the lowlands.

Lesotho has one of the highest rates of lightning strikes per square mile in the world, and lightning-related deaths are not uncommon.  If you find yourself in a storm, find shelter in a building or car.

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

LGBTI Travelers:  Consensual same-sex sexual relations between men are criminalized in Lesotho, although the U.S. Embassy is not aware of any recent arrests or prosecutions.  There is no explicit prohibition of consensual same-sex sexual relations between women.  See our  LGBTI Travel Information page and section 6 of our Human Rights report for further details.

Travelers Who Require Accessibility Assistance:  The Buildings Control Act of 1995 requires that all buildings be made accessible, but enforcement thus far has been negligible.  There are no mandatory standards of accessibility for sidewalks, road crossings, public transportation, and parking areas.  There are no free or reduced fares for transport, and very few accessible places of lodging, medical facilities, restaurants, cafes, or bars.

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

Women Travelers:  See our travel tips for Women Travelers.

ALL /
ALL /
Health

Medical facilities in Lesotho are limited and ambulance service is unreliable.  Specialist care is available in Bloemfontein, South Africa, 90 miles away.  U.S. Embassy Maseru maintains a list of physicians and other health care professionals, but does not guarantee service or provide recommendations.

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.

If traveling with prescription medication, check with the government of Lesotho, and its MFA to ensure the medication is legal in Lesotho.  Always carry an adequate supply of your prescription medication in original packaging with your doctor’s prescription. 

Lesotho has one of the highest HIV rates in the world.  Approximately one-quarter of the adult population of Lesotho infected with HIV.  Travelers are advised to practice safe sex if engaging in sexual activity, or if exposed to blood products through injuries or rendering assistance to accident victims. 

The following diseases are prevalent:

  • Tuberculosis

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

Further health information:

ALL /
ALL /
Travel and Transportation

Road Conditions and Safety: The majority of Lesotho’s 5,000 miles of roads remain unpaved.  A few main rural highways are comparable to U.S. two-lane rural roads, but lane markings, signs, shoulders and guardrails do not meet U.S. standards.  Lesotho's mountainous terrain makes driving on secondary roads hazardous.  Unpaved roads in the interior—often narrow, winding, and steep—are poorly maintained.  For travel in the interior, especially in wet or snowy weather, a high ground clearance or four-wheel-drive vehicle is recommended.  Four-wheel-drive is also a requirement for entering or departing Lesotho through the Sani Pass on the eastern border.  The authority for road safety issues rests with the Lesotho Mounted Police Service; there are no auto clubs or reliable ambulance services.  Drivers should contact the police in case of road emergencies.

Traffic Laws: Traffic moves on the left, with right-hand drive vehicles.  Never assume right-of-way, as aggressive and unpredictable local driving habits result in frequent collisions.  Lesotho has a high number of traffic-related deaths and injuries.  Driving after dark is dangerous due to the absence of street lighting, livestock on the roads, and the prevalence of crime—including incidents of carjacking.  Travel is best done by private car.  Rental cars are available in Maseru, and cars rented in neighboring South Africa may be brought into Lesotho with the written permission of the rental company.

Public Transportation: Although bus and public taxi services exist, chronic overloading combined with inadequate vehicle maintenance and lack of driver training make them unsafe.  Some private taxi services are available in the capital, but roving mini-bus taxis should be avoided.  There is no passenger train service in Lesotho.

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 Lesotho, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has not assessed the government of Lesotho’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.

 

Hague Convention Participation
Party to the Hague Abduction Convention?
enter text here
U.S. Treaty Partner under the Hague Abduction Convention?
enter text here
Learn why the Hague Abduction Convention Matters.
What You Can Do
Learn how to respond to abductions FROM the US
Learn how to respond to abductions TO the US
ALL /
ALL /
Embassies and Consulates

U.S. Embassy Maseru

254 Kingsway Avenue
Maseru 100, Lesotho

Telephone: +(266) 2231-2666

Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(266) 5888-4035

Fax: +(266) 2231-0116

ALL /
ALL /
General Information
enter link here
ALL /
ALL /
Hague Abduction Convention
enter text here
ALL /
ALL /
Return
enter text here
ALL /
ALL /
Visitation/Access
enter text here
ALL /
ALL /
Retaining an Attorney
enter text here
ALL /
ALL /
Mediation
enter text here

Exercising Custody Rights

While travelling in a foreign country, you are subject to the laws of that country.  It is important for parents to understand that, although a left behind parent in the United States may have custody or visitation rights pursuant to a U.S. custody order, that order may not be valid and enforceable in the country in which the child is located.   For this reason, we strongly encourage you to speak to a local attorney when planning to remove a child from a foreign country without the consent of the other parent.  Attempts to remove your child to the United States may:

  • Endanger your child and others;
  • Prejudice any future judicial efforts; and
  • Could result in your arrest and imprisonment.

To understand the legal effect of a U.S. order in a foreign country, a parent should consult with a local attorney.  

For information about hiring an attorney abroad, see our section on Retaining a Foreign Attorney. 

Although we cannot recommend an attorney to you, most U.S. Embassies have lists of attorneys available online. Please visit the local U.S. Embassy or Consulate website for a full listing.

For more information on consular assistance for U.S. citizens arrested abroad, please see our website.

Country officers are available to speak with you Monday - Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.  For assistance with an abduction in progress or any emergency situation that occurs after normal business hours, on weekends, or federal holidays, please call toll free at 1-888-407-4747. See all contact information

DISCLAIMER: The information in this flyer is provided for general information only, is not intended to be legal advice, and may change without notice. Questions involving interpretation of law should be addressed to an attorney licensed in the relevant jurisdiction. 

 

Hague Convention Participation
Hague Adoption Convention Country?
Yes
Are Intercountry Adoptions between this country and the United States possible?
Is this country a U.S. Hague Partner?
ALL /
ALL /
Hague Convention Information
enter text here
ALL /
ALL /
Who Can Adopt
enter text here
ALL /
ALL /
Who Can Be Adopted
enter text here
ALL /
ALL /
How to Adopt
enter text here
ALL /
ALL /
Traveling Abroad
enter text here
ALL /
ALL /
After Adoption
enter text here
ALL /
ALL /
Contact Information
enter text here

Reciprocity Schedule

Select a visa category below to find the visa issuance fee, number of entries, and validity period for visas issued to applicants from this country*/area of authority.

Explanation of Terms

Visa Classification: The type of nonimmigrant visa you are applying for.

Fee: The reciprocity fee, also known as the visa issuance fee, you must pay. This fee is in addition to the nonimmigrant visa application fee (MRV fee).

Number of Entries: The number of times you may seek entry into the United States with that visa. "M" means multiple times. If there is a number, such as "One", you may apply for entry one time with that visa.

Validity Period: This generally means the visa is valid, or can be used, from the date it is issued until the date it expires, for travel with that visa. If your Validity Period is 60 months, your visa will be valid for 60 months from the date it is issued.

Visa Classifications
A
B
C
D
E
F
G
H
I
J
K
L
M
N
O
P
Q
R
S
T
U
V

Untitled Document

Visa
Classification
Fee Number
of Entries
Validity
Period
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 None Multiple 60 Months 3
H-1C None Multiple 60 Months 3
H-2A None N/A N/A 3
H-2B None N/A N/A 3
H-2R None Multiple 60 Months 3
H-3 None Multiple 60 Months 3
H-4 None 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 None Multiple 60 Months
L-2 None 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 None Multiple 60 Months 3
O-2 None Multiple 60 Months 3
O-3 None Multiple 60 Months 3
P-1 None Multiple 60 Months 3
P-2 None Multiple 60 Months 3
P-3 None Multiple 60 Months 3
P-4 None Multiple 60 Months 3
Q-1 6 None Multiple 15 Months 3
R-1 None Multiple 60 Months
R-2 None 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 Months
U-2 None Multiple 48 Months
U-3 None Multiple 48 Months
U-4 None Multiple 48 Months
U-5 None Multiple 48 Months
V-1 None Multiple 120 Months
V-2 None Multiple 120 Months 8
V-3 None Multiple 120 Months 8
ALL /
ALL /
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.

ALL /
ALL /
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.

 

 

ALL /
ALL /
General Documents

Please check back for update

Birth, Death, Burial Certificates

Birth Certificates

Available. May be obtained from the Senior District Administrator, P.O. Box MS 174, Maseru. Request should include the applicant's name, date and place of birth.

Death and Burial Certificates

Available. May be obtained from the Senior District Administrator, P.O. Box MS 174, Maseru. Request should include the name of the deceased, place of residence prior to death, date of death and, if known, place of burial.

Marriage, Divorce Certificates

Marriage Certificates

Available. May be obtained from the Senior District Administrator, P.O, Box MS 174, Maseru. Request should include the names of the applicants, as well as the date and place of marriage.

Divorce Certificates

Please check back for update

Adoption Certificates

Please check back for update

ALL /
ALL /
Identity Card

Please check back for update

Police, Court, Prison Records

Police Records

Available. Police clearance certificates may be obtained from the Intelligence Branch, L.N.P.Headquarters, P.O. Box MS 13, Maseru. Requests should include the applicant's name, date and place of birth, approximate dates of residence and, (though not generally necessary), reason for request.

Prison Records

Available. A Prison Record may be obtained from the Prison Service, P.O. Box MS 41, Maseru. Request should include the name of the person incarcerated, approximate dates of incarceration, and reason for request.

Military Records

Please check back for update

Passports & Other Travel Documents

Please check back for update

Other Records

Not applicable

Visa Issuing Posts

Maseru, Lesotho (Embassy) -- Nonimmigrant visas only

Street Address:
254 Kingsway,
Maseru West, Lesotho

Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 333
Maseru 100, Lesotho

Tel: 266-312-666

Johannesburg, South Africa (Embassy) -- Immigrant and K visas

Visa Services

Provides nonimmigrant visa services for all of Lesotho. Immigrant visa and K visa applications for nationals of Lesotho are processed by the U.S. Consulate General, Johannesburg, South Africa.

Foreign Consular Office Contact Information

Washington, DC (202) 797-5533 (202) 234-6815

Assistance for U.S. Citizens

U.S. Embassy Maseru
254 Kingsway Avenue
Maseru 100, Lesotho
Telephone
+(266) 2231-2666
Emergency
+(266) 5888-4035
Fax
+(266) 2231-0116
Lesotho Country Map

Learn about your destination
Additional Information for Reciprocity

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.

Country Information

Lesotho
Kingdom of Lesotho
ALL /
ALL /
Embassy Messages
Quick Facts
PASSPORT VALIDITY:

Must be valid at time of entry; 3 months of remaining validity suggested

BLANK PASSPORT PAGES:

One page per entry stamp

TOURIST VISA REQUIRED:

Not required if stay is less than 180 days

VACCINATIONS:

Yellow fever if traveling from or through a yellow fever endemic country.

CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR ENTRY:

None

CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR EXIT:

None

ALL /
ALL /
Embassies and Consulates

U.S. Embassy Maseru

254 Kingsway Avenue
Maseru 100, Lesotho

Telephone: +(266) 2231-2666

Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(266) 5888-4035

Fax: +(266) 2231-0116

ALL /
ALL /
Destination Description

See the Department of State’s Fact Sheet on Lesotho for information on U.S. - Lesotho relations.

ALL /
ALL /
Entry, Exit and Visa Requirements

U.S. citizens entering Lesotho must present a valid passport. Visas are not required for U.S. citizens visiting for 30 days or fewer. U.S. citizens may apply for extensions of an additional 30 days at a time through the Office of Immigration. The maximum number of 30 day extensions permitted is five, totaling 180 days.  After 180 days U.S. citizens are required to apply for a visa online   Vaccination for yellow fever is a common requirement throughout the region, and you should carry your international vaccination cards with you. For more information concerning entry requirements, travelers may contact the Embassy of the Kingdom of Lesotho, 2511 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008, tel. (202) 797-5533.  Visit the Lesotho's E-Visa Website for the most current visa information.

Attention new South Africa Regulations: Travelers who intend to visit or transfer through South Africa must have at least two blank (unstamped) visa pages and carry unabridged birth certificates for all children under 18.  Please see Country Specific Information for South Africa for additional information.

While U.S. citizens normally do not need a visa for South Africa if you plan to stay less than 90 days, South African visa requirements are different for individuals who are residents of Lesotho.  It is common for foreigners residing in Lesotho to receive seven-day visas when crossing into South Africa by road.  Travelers who overstay in South Africa may be declared “undesirable” by the immigration authorities and barred from entering South Africa.  Travelers planning to visit South Africa for a longer period should check with the High Commission of South Africa in Maseru on how to obtain a visa for a longer stay.

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

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

ALL /
ALL /
Safety and Security

Crime: Lesotho has a high crime rate, and foreigners must remain vigilant at all times.  Foreigners are frequently targeted and robbed, and have been car-jacked and killed.  U.S. citizens have reported incidents – including sexual assault, armed and unarmed confrontation, and home invasion – occurring in broad daylight.  There are no indications that U.S. citizens are specifically targeted.

Crime is most prevalent in urban areas but can happen anywhere.  Criminal incidents have occurred in popular restaurants, along poorly lit or unlit roads, and locations frequented by foreigners.  Victims have included tourists, volunteer workers, and employees of non-governmental organizations.

Extra caution should be exercised while walking through downtown Maseru, both at night and during the day.  You are urged to exercise caution and avoid crowds, demonstrations, or any other form of public gathering.  Traveling alone or at night is particularly dangerous due to limited street lighting and undeveloped road conditions. 

There is a serious problem with theft from baggage at O.R. Tambo International Airport (Johannesburg), a required transit point for air travel to Lesotho.  You should secure your luggage with Transportation Security Administration (TSA) approved locks, use an airport plastic wrapping service, and avoid placing any items of value in checked luggage.  Make an inventory of items in checked baggage to aid in claims processing if theft does occur.

See the Department of State and the FBI pages for information on scams.

Victims of Crime:

Report crimes to the local police at (266) 2231 2943 or (266) 2232 2099.  These numbers should be answered by police 24/7, but have been known to be out of service.  Also contact the U.S. Embassy at (266) 2231-2666 Ext: 4124 or (266) 5885-4035 after hours.

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 Embassy for assistance.

For further information:

ALL /
ALL /
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. 

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.

Extreme weather preparation:  Visitors to the interior of Lesotho should bring clothing and equipment suitable for extreme cold weather during the winter months of June through August.  Weather conditions can deteriorate rapidly in the mountains, and snow may close mountain passes.  Temperatures can drop below freezing even in the lowlands.

Lesotho has one of the highest rates of lightning strikes per square mile in the world, and lightning-related deaths are not uncommon.  If you find yourself in a storm, find shelter in a building or car.

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

LGBTI Travelers:  Consensual same-sex sexual relations between men are criminalized in Lesotho, although the U.S. Embassy is not aware of any recent arrests or prosecutions.  There is no explicit prohibition of consensual same-sex sexual relations between women.  See our  LGBTI Travel Information page and section 6 of our Human Rights report for further details.

Travelers Who Require Accessibility Assistance:  The Buildings Control Act of 1995 requires that all buildings be made accessible, but enforcement thus far has been negligible.  There are no mandatory standards of accessibility for sidewalks, road crossings, public transportation, and parking areas.  There are no free or reduced fares for transport, and very few accessible places of lodging, medical facilities, restaurants, cafes, or bars.

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

Women Travelers:  See our travel tips for Women Travelers.

ALL /
ALL /
Health

Medical facilities in Lesotho are limited and ambulance service is unreliable.  Specialist care is available in Bloemfontein, South Africa, 90 miles away.  U.S. Embassy Maseru maintains a list of physicians and other health care professionals, but does not guarantee service or provide recommendations.

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.

If traveling with prescription medication, check with the government of Lesotho, and its MFA to ensure the medication is legal in Lesotho.  Always carry an adequate supply of your prescription medication in original packaging with your doctor’s prescription. 

Lesotho has one of the highest HIV rates in the world.  Approximately one-quarter of the adult population of Lesotho infected with HIV.  Travelers are advised to practice safe sex if engaging in sexual activity, or if exposed to blood products through injuries or rendering assistance to accident victims. 

The following diseases are prevalent:

  • Tuberculosis

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

Further health information:

ALL /
ALL /
Travel and Transportation

Road Conditions and Safety: The majority of Lesotho’s 5,000 miles of roads remain unpaved.  A few main rural highways are comparable to U.S. two-lane rural roads, but lane markings, signs, shoulders and guardrails do not meet U.S. standards.  Lesotho's mountainous terrain makes driving on secondary roads hazardous.  Unpaved roads in the interior—often narrow, winding, and steep—are poorly maintained.  For travel in the interior, especially in wet or snowy weather, a high ground clearance or four-wheel-drive vehicle is recommended.  Four-wheel-drive is also a requirement for entering or departing Lesotho through the Sani Pass on the eastern border.  The authority for road safety issues rests with the Lesotho Mounted Police Service; there are no auto clubs or reliable ambulance services.  Drivers should contact the police in case of road emergencies.

Traffic Laws: Traffic moves on the left, with right-hand drive vehicles.  Never assume right-of-way, as aggressive and unpredictable local driving habits result in frequent collisions.  Lesotho has a high number of traffic-related deaths and injuries.  Driving after dark is dangerous due to the absence of street lighting, livestock on the roads, and the prevalence of crime—including incidents of carjacking.  Travel is best done by private car.  Rental cars are available in Maseru, and cars rented in neighboring South Africa may be brought into Lesotho with the written permission of the rental company.

Public Transportation: Although bus and public taxi services exist, chronic overloading combined with inadequate vehicle maintenance and lack of driver training make them unsafe.  Some private taxi services are available in the capital, but roving mini-bus taxis should be avoided.  There is no passenger train service in Lesotho.

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 Lesotho, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has not assessed the government of Lesotho’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.

 

Hague Convention Participation
Party to the Hague Abduction Convention?
enter text here
U.S. Treaty Partner under the Hague Abduction Convention?
enter text here
Learn why the Hague Abduction Convention Matters.
What You Can Do
Learn how to respond to abductions FROM the US
Learn how to respond to abductions TO the US
ALL /
ALL /
Embassies and Consulates

U.S. Embassy Maseru

254 Kingsway Avenue
Maseru 100, Lesotho

Telephone: +(266) 2231-2666

Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(266) 5888-4035

Fax: +(266) 2231-0116

ALL /
ALL /
General Information
enter link here
ALL /
ALL /
Hague Abduction Convention
enter text here
ALL /
ALL /
Return
enter text here
ALL /
ALL /
Visitation/Access
enter text here
ALL /
ALL /
Retaining an Attorney
enter text here
ALL /
ALL /
Mediation
enter text here

Exercising Custody Rights

While travelling in a foreign country, you are subject to the laws of that country.  It is important for parents to understand that, although a left behind parent in the United States may have custody or visitation rights pursuant to a U.S. custody order, that order may not be valid and enforceable in the country in which the child is located.   For this reason, we strongly encourage you to speak to a local attorney when planning to remove a child from a foreign country without the consent of the other parent.  Attempts to remove your child to the United States may:

  • Endanger your child and others;
  • Prejudice any future judicial efforts; and
  • Could result in your arrest and imprisonment.

To understand the legal effect of a U.S. order in a foreign country, a parent should consult with a local attorney.  

For information about hiring an attorney abroad, see our section on Retaining a Foreign Attorney. 

Although we cannot recommend an attorney to you, most U.S. Embassies have lists of attorneys available online. Please visit the local U.S. Embassy or Consulate website for a full listing.

For more information on consular assistance for U.S. citizens arrested abroad, please see our website.

Country officers are available to speak with you Monday - Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.  For assistance with an abduction in progress or any emergency situation that occurs after normal business hours, on weekends, or federal holidays, please call toll free at 1-888-407-4747. See all contact information

DISCLAIMER: The information in this flyer is provided for general information only, is not intended to be legal advice, and may change without notice. Questions involving interpretation of law should be addressed to an attorney licensed in the relevant jurisdiction. 

 

Hague Convention Participation
Hague Adoption Convention Country?
Yes
Are Intercountry Adoptions between this country and the United States possible?
Is this country a U.S. Hague Partner?
ALL /
ALL /
Hague Convention Information
enter text here
ALL /
ALL /
Who Can Adopt
enter text here
ALL /
ALL /
Who Can Be Adopted
enter text here
ALL /
ALL /
How to Adopt
enter text here
ALL /
ALL /
Traveling Abroad
enter text here
ALL /
ALL /
After Adoption
enter text here
ALL /
ALL /
Contact Information
enter text here

Reciprocity Schedule

Select a visa category below to find the visa issuance fee, number of entries, and validity period for visas issued to applicants from this country*/area of authority.

Explanation of Terms

Visa Classification: The type of nonimmigrant visa you are applying for.

Fee: The reciprocity fee, also known as the visa issuance fee, you must pay. This fee is in addition to the nonimmigrant visa application fee (MRV fee).

Number of Entries: The number of times you may seek entry into the United States with that visa. "M" means multiple times. If there is a number, such as "One", you may apply for entry one time with that visa.

Validity Period: This generally means the visa is valid, or can be used, from the date it is issued until the date it expires, for travel with that visa. If your Validity Period is 60 months, your visa will be valid for 60 months from the date it is issued.

Visa Classifications
A
B
C
D
E
F
G
H
I
J
K
L
M
N
O
P
Q
R
S
T
U
V

Untitled Document

Visa
Classification
Fee Number
of Entries
Validity
Period
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 None Multiple 60 Months 3
H-1C None Multiple 60 Months 3
H-2A None N/A N/A 3
H-2B None N/A N/A 3
H-2R None Multiple 60 Months 3
H-3 None Multiple 60 Months 3
H-4 None 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 None Multiple 60 Months
L-2 None 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 None Multiple 60 Months 3
O-2 None Multiple 60 Months 3
O-3 None Multiple 60 Months 3
P-1 None Multiple 60 Months 3
P-2 None Multiple 60 Months 3
P-3 None Multiple 60 Months 3
P-4 None Multiple 60 Months 3
Q-1 6 None Multiple 15 Months 3
R-1 None Multiple 60 Months
R-2 None 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 Months
U-2 None Multiple 48 Months
U-3 None Multiple 48 Months
U-4 None Multiple 48 Months
U-5 None Multiple 48 Months
V-1 None Multiple 120 Months
V-2 None Multiple 120 Months 8
V-3 None Multiple 120 Months 8
ALL /
ALL /
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.

ALL /
ALL /
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.

 

 

ALL /
ALL /
General Documents

Please check back for update

Birth, Death, Burial Certificates

Birth Certificates

Available. May be obtained from the Senior District Administrator, P.O. Box MS 174, Maseru. Request should include the applicant's name, date and place of birth.

Death and Burial Certificates

Available. May be obtained from the Senior District Administrator, P.O. Box MS 174, Maseru. Request should include the name of the deceased, place of residence prior to death, date of death and, if known, place of burial.

Marriage, Divorce Certificates

Marriage Certificates

Available. May be obtained from the Senior District Administrator, P.O, Box MS 174, Maseru. Request should include the names of the applicants, as well as the date and place of marriage.

Divorce Certificates

Please check back for update

Adoption Certificates

Please check back for update

ALL /
ALL /
Identity Card

Please check back for update

Police, Court, Prison Records

Police Records

Available. Police clearance certificates may be obtained from the Intelligence Branch, L.N.P.Headquarters, P.O. Box MS 13, Maseru. Requests should include the applicant's name, date and place of birth, approximate dates of residence and, (though not generally necessary), reason for request.

Prison Records

Available. A Prison Record may be obtained from the Prison Service, P.O. Box MS 41, Maseru. Request should include the name of the person incarcerated, approximate dates of incarceration, and reason for request.

Military Records

Please check back for update

Passports & Other Travel Documents

Please check back for update

Other Records

Not applicable

Visa Issuing Posts

Maseru, Lesotho (Embassy) -- Nonimmigrant visas only

Street Address:
254 Kingsway,
Maseru West, Lesotho

Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 333
Maseru 100, Lesotho

Tel: 266-312-666

Johannesburg, South Africa (Embassy) -- Immigrant and K visas

Visa Services

Provides nonimmigrant visa services for all of Lesotho. Immigrant visa and K visa applications for nationals of Lesotho are processed by the U.S. Consulate General, Johannesburg, South Africa.

Foreign Consular Office Contact Information

Washington, DC (202) 797-5533 (202) 234-6815

Assistance for U.S. Citizens

U.S. Embassy Maseru
254 Kingsway Avenue
Maseru 100, Lesotho
Telephone
+(266) 2231-2666
Emergency
+(266) 5888-4035
Fax
+(266) 2231-0116
Lesotho Country Map

Learn about your destination
Additional Information for Reciprocity

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.