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December 28, 2022

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International Travel

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Country Information

Moldova

Moldova
Moldova
Exercise increased caution while traveling to Moldova due to unresolved conflict between the breakaway region of Transnistria and the central government. Read the entire Travel Advisory.

Exercise increased caution while traveling to Moldova due to unresolved conflict between the breakaway region of Transnistria and the central government. Read the entire Travel Advisory.

Reconsider Travel To:

The Transnistria breakaway region due to the unresolved conflict with the central government and the armed conflict in neighboring Ukraine.

Country Summary: Approximately 90,000 refugees are residing in Moldova as a result of Russia’s war in Ukraine, but there has been no military spillover into Moldova from the conflict. The Moldovan government extended a State of Emergency until December 6. The Chisinau airport is operating normally although there are no flights available to or from Belarus, Russia or Ukraine.

Read the Moldova country information page for additional information on travel.

If you decide to travel to Moldova:

Transnistria – Level 3: Reconsider Travel

Transnistria is a breakaway region that is not under the control of the Moldovan government in Chisinau. Visitors may encounter difficulties at checkpoints along roads leading into and out of Transnistria. Ukraine has closed its border crossing points into the Transnistrian region. Taking photographs of military facilities and security forces is prohibited and may result in trouble with authorities.

The U.S. government’s ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens traveling in Transnistria maybe be limited or delayed since Transnistria’s de facto authorities control access to the region.

Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas.

... [READ MORE]

Embassy Messages

Alerts

Quick Facts

PASSPORT VALIDITY:


3 months

BLANK PASSPORT PAGES:


1 page

TOURIST VISA REQUIRED:


Not required for stays of up to 90 days within a six-month period

VACCINATIONS:


None

CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR ENTRY:


10,000 Euros or equivalent

CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR EXIT:


10,000 Euros or equivalent

Embassies and Consulates

U.S. Embassy Chisinau

103 Mateevici Street
Chisinau MD-2009
Republic of Moldova
Telephone: +(373)(22) 40-83-00
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(373)(22) 40-83-00
Fax: +(373)(22) 22-63-61
Email: ChisinauACS@state.gov

Entry, Exit and Visa Requirements

Please visit the Embassy's COVID-19 page here for more information on COVID-19 in Moldova.  

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

U.S. citizens may stay in Moldova for up to 90 days within a six-month period without a visa.

Residence permits are required for stays over 90 days and may be obtained at the Bureau for Migration and Asylum office at 124 Boulevard Stefan cel Mare in Chisinau.

You must register your visit with the government of Moldova. Visitors arriving via the airport or by land from Ukraine or Romania are automatically registered upon arrival.

If you are entering Moldova through the separatist region of Transnistria, you must register your visit within three days of arrival at one of the following offices:

  • Any local passport office or Public Services Agency located throughout Moldova.
  • Bureau for Migration and Asylum located at 124 Boulevard Stefan cel Mare, Chisinau or any district office of the Bureau of Migration and Asylum.
  • Foreigners’ registration offices at Sănătăuca, Rezina, Criuleni, Hîrbovăț, Hagimus, Pîrîta checkpoints.

You must present a valid passport and proof of travel (e.g. car insurance, if driving a vehicle into Moldova; plane, bus, or train ticket).

Failure to register may result in fines and difficulties when leaving Moldova.

If planning to stay in Transnistria, you should register with the passport division of the Ministry of Internal Affairs in the city or town in which you are staying within the first 24 hours of arrival.

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

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

Safety and Security

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

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

Police have the legal right to ask for identification on the street.

Carry your passport or a photocopy of it at all times.

If a police officer stops you, ask to see his or her identity card (“legiti-MAT-seeya” in Romanian, which is the official language in Moldova.).

Moldovan police have the word “POLITIA” printed on the backs of their uniforms.

Traffic police should also display a metal badge on the outside of their uniforms.

If a police officer harasses you or asks for a bribe, try to record the officer’s name, title, badge number, and physical description. Contact the U.S. Embassy to report the incident at the earliest opportunity.

Transnistria Region:  Transnistria is a breakaway region that is not under the control of the Moldovan government in Chisinau.  Visitors may encounter difficulties at checkpoints along roads leading into and out of Transnistria.  Taking photographs of military facilities and security forces is prohibited and may result in trouble with de facto authorities.

The U.S. government’s ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens traveling in Transnistria maybe be limited or delayed since Transnistria’s de facto authorities control access to the region.

Crime: Reported types of crime include:

  • Petty theft (money, passports, small valuables) from hotel rooms, local apartments, homes, offices, trains, and public transport.
  • Various financial scams, including:
    • inflated bar tabs
    • dating scams in which someone you meet over the internet asks for money to help family, buy plane tickets, pay medical bills, or gain an immigration benefit.
    • PIN theft from ATMs by “skimming” devices that record the card information, hidden cameras, and “shoulder surfing”
    • sale of credit card information by vendors to third parties
    • phishing schemes and bank account hacking
    • internet auction fraud in which buyers fail to pay for purchases or send counterfeit checks as payment
  • International letters and package mail are sometimes opened or pilfered.
  • Sexual harassment of female visitors (isolated reports of unwanted verbal attention or touching in parks, on major streets, and in bars/night clubs in Chisinau both during the day and night).

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

Victims of Crime: U.S. citizen victims of crime, including sexual assault, should report crimes to the local police at 112 and contact the U.S. Embassy at +(373) (22) 40-83-00. Remember that local authorities are responsible for investigating and prosecuting the crime.

U.S. citizens should be aware that there have been reports of widespread corruption in all areas of the judicial system, including case dismissals without cause. In most cases, an investigation will not proceed if the complainant leaves the country prior to full conclusion of proceedings. Persons wishing to report incidents of corruption may contact the National Anticorruption Center hotline: 0 800 55555 active 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

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

We can:

  • Help you find appropriate medical care
  • Assist you in reporting a crime to the police
  • Contact relatives or friends with your written consent
  • Provide general information regarding the victim’s role during the local investigation and following its conclusion
  • Provide a list of local attorneys
  • Provide our information on victim’s compensation programs in the U.S.
  • Provide an emergency loan for repatriation to the United States and/or limited medical support in cases of destitution
  • Help you find accommodation and arrange flights home
  • Replace a stolen or lost passport

Domestic Violence: U.S. citizen victims of domestic violence may contact the Embassy for assistance.

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

Local Laws & Special Circumstances

Criminal Penalties: You are subject to local laws.  If you violate local laws, even unknowingly, you may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned.  Individuals establishing a business or practicing a profession that requires additional permits or licensing should seek information from the competent local authorities, prior to practicing or operating a business.

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.

If you are arrested, you can face extended periods, even years, in pre-trial detention.

Penalties for possessing, using, or trafficking illegal drugs are severe, and if convicted, you can expect long jail sentences and heavy fines.

You should register large sums of foreign currency (equivalent of 10,000 Euros and above) and declare all valuable goods with Moldovan customs authorities when you arrive in Moldova. Failure to do so can result in confiscation, fines, and/or arrest.

For more information about customs requirements, see the Moldovan Customs webpage.

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: There are no legal restrictions on same-sex sexual relations or the organization of LGBTQI+ events in Moldova. However, traditional cultural attitudes towards LGBTQI+ individuals may result in discrimination and harassment. 

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

Travelers with Disabilities:  The law in Moldova prohibits discrimination against persons with physical, sensory, intellectual, or mental disabilities, and the law is enforced.  Social acceptance of persons with disabilities in public is not as prevalent as in the United States.  Expect accessibility to be limited in lodging and general infrastructure and common in public transportation and information. The general infrastructure for disabled people is not developed in the villages and in the small cities as it is in the capital.  Some accessibility equipment and devices can be bought and repaired in Moldova.  It’s difficult to find a sign language interpreter service in Moldova.

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

Women Travelers: See our travel tips for Women Travelers.

Special Circumstances:  Credit cards are accepted in Chisinau, and occasionally in the rest of the country, but rarely in small villages. Use your credit card with caution and protect your personal information.

Individuals considering doing business in Transnistria, a breakaway region that is not under the control of the Moldovan government in Chisinau, should exercise extreme caution.  Many Transnistrian firms are not legally registered with Moldovan authorities, which may complicate or prevent the import or export of goods.  The government of Moldova will not recognize the validity of contracts for the privatization of firms in Transnistria without the approval of the appropriate Moldovan authorities.  Western credit cards and cell phones do not work in Transnistria; Moldovan leii are not accepted as a form of payment in Transnistria.

The U.S. government’s ability to provide services to U.S. citizens traveling in Transnistria may be limited or delayed since Transnistria’s de facto authorities control access to the region.

Health

Please visit the Embassy's COVID-19 page here for more information on COVID-19 in Moldova.  

For emergency services in Moldova, dial 112.

Ambulance services are:

  • widely available but training and availability of emergency responders may be below U.S. standards.

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 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 Moldovan Medicines and Medical Devices Agency to ensure the medication is legal in Moldova.

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

Further health information:

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

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

Health facilities in general:

  • Adequate health facilities are available in Chisinau and other major cities but health care in rural areas may be below U.S. standards.
  • Public medical clinics lack basic resources and supplies.
  • Hospitals and doctors sometimes require payment “up front” prior to service or admission.
  • In small cities and villages, medical staff may speak little or no English.
  • Generally, in public hospitals only minimal staff is available overnight.
  • Pharmacies are not always stocked to Western standards, and products may not be labeled in English. Poor quality and/or counterfeit medications have been reported.

Tuberculosis is an increasingly serious health concern in Moldova.

Travel and Transportation

Road Conditions and Safety

Road conditions in Moldova are different from those in the United States.

Roads often lack signage and are unevenly maintained.

Avoid driving at night due to poorly lit roads.

It is common to see tractors, bicyclists, horse-drawn carts, pedestrians, and livestock on the same road.

Be cautious in pedestrian areas; not all drivers stop for pedestrians at crosswalks.

Traffic Laws:

To be safe, don’t drink alcohol before driving. The maximum legal blood alcohol content is 0.03 percent (well under the acceptable limit in the United States).

If you are stopped by traffic police for driving under the influence of alcohol and are told that you will receive a fine or will be arrested, request a blood test to confirm your actual blood alcohol level.

Public Transportation

The public transportation network is well developed but differences to keep in mind include:

  • Some trains, trolleybuses, and buses are old and can break down.
  • Taxis are available in most urban areas and vary from very old and poorly maintained to new western European or U.S. vehicles.
  • Road emergency services are generally responsive, although you may not find an English-speaking operator.

To reach the police and/or an ambulance, call 112.

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

For additional travel information

International Parental Child Abduction

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

Last Updated: November 9, 2022

Travel Advisory Levels

Information for Vaccinated Travelers

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

Assistance for U.S. Citizens

U.S. Embassy Chisinau
103 Mateevici Street
Chisinau MD-2009
Republic of Moldova
Telephone
+(373)(22) 40-83-00
Emergency
+(373)(22) 40-83-00
Fax
+(373)(22) 22-63-61

Moldova Map