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Read the Department of State’s Fact Sheet on Tunisia for information about U.S.-Tunisia relations.
Passports and Visas:
Exit Requirements: None
Visit the Embassy of Tunisia website or call the Embassy of Tunisia in Washington, D.C. at 202-862-1850 for the most current visa information.
HIV/AIDS: The U.S. Department of State is unaware of any HIV/AIDS entry restrictions for visitors to or foreign residents of Tunisia.
The current Travel Advisory warns U.S. citizens to avoid travel to southeastern Tunisia along the Libyan border as well as the mountainous areas in the country’s west, due to the threat of terrorism. The U.S. Department of State recommends that U.S. citizens in Tunisia maintain a high level of vigilance throughout the country. U.S. citizens living and working in Tunisia should understand that they accept the risks of remaining in the country and should carefully consider those risks. The threat of anti-Western terrorist activity persists, as does the risk of death or injury as a non-targeted bystander.
The following groups, including ones on the U.S. government’s list of designated Foreign Terrorist Organizations, pose a high risk to U.S. citizens in the region:
Terrorists may target areas frequented by Westerners, such as tourist sites, hotels, restaurants, bars, nightclubs, liquor stores, shopping malls, transportation hubs, places of worship, expatriate residential areas, and schools. In light of these security concerns, U.S. citizens should maintain a high level of vigilance. Two attacks in 2015 targeted foreign tourists in Tunisia: March 18, 2015, at the Bardo Museum in Tunis; and June 26, 2015 near Sousse at the Riu Imperial Marhaba and Riu Bellevue Park hotels. ISIS claimed responsibility for both attacks.
A state of emergency was declared on November 24, 2015 and remains in effect. Under the state of emergency, security forces have more authority to maintain civil order, enabling the government to focus on combating terrorism. The Minister of Interior has stated that the state of emergency also assists in securing hotels and tourist areas.
Terrorist incidents in 2017 included:
The Tunisian government has attempted to address security concerns and has visibly augmented its security presence at tourist locations, but challenges persist, and the threat of terrorism remains.
Specific Areas to Avoid:
Embassy Tunis regulations require advance notification to Embassy security officials of travel by Embassy personnel outside greater Tunis. Certain cities and governorates in Tunisia have a fluid and unpredictable security environment, and these areas require additional scrutiny before U.S. government personnel may travel to them. U.S. citizens should avoid the following areas due to terrorist activity:
U.S. citizens should also avoid the desert south of Remada due to military restrictions.
Travel to the Borders:
The Tunisian National Guard encourages persons traveling into the desert to register their travel beforehand.
Protests, demonstrations, and civil unrest can occur with little warning throughout the country. U.S. citizens should avoid large crowds and demonstrations, as even demonstrations that are meant to be peaceful have the potential to become unpredictable. U.S. citizens should be aware of anti-U.S. and anti-Western sentiment held by several groups in country and monitor local events.
For further information:
Victims of Crime: If you or someone you know becomes the victim of a crime abroad, you should contact the local police and the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate (see the Department of State’s list of embassies and consulates).
To Report a Crime Locally: The local equivalent to the “911” emergency line in Tunisia is 197 for police and 190 for an ambulance, although the service will be in Arabic or French. Emergency services are widely available in the larger towns, but may be less reliable in rural areas. Remember that local authorities are responsible for investigating and prosecuting crimes.
The U.S. Embassy can:
More info: See our webpage on help for U.S. victims of crime overseas.
Domestic Violence: U.S. citizen victims of domestic violence may contact the Embassy for assistance.
Tourism: The tourism industry is generally regulated and rules with regard to best practices and safety inspections are generally enforced, though are somewhat unevenly regulated. Hazardous areas/activities are not always identified with appropriate signage, but staff are usually 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; outside of a major metropolitan center, it may take more time for first responders and medical professionals to stabilize a patient and provide life-saving assistance. U.S. citizens are encouraged to purchase medical evacuation insurance. See our webpage for more information on insurance providers for overseas coverage.
Criminal Penalties: American citizens are subject to all laws in Tunisia.
Arrest: If you are arrested or detained, ask police or prison officials to notify the U.S. Embassy immediately. See our webpage for further information.
Faith-Based Travelers: Islam is the state religion of Tunisia. The government does not interfere with the country's religious minorities’ public worship. Many religious denominations hold regularly-scheduled services. However, it is illegal to proselytize or engage in other activities that the Tunisian authorities could view as encouraging conversion to another faith. In the past, U.S. citizens who engaged in such activities were asked to leave the country. See the Department of State’s International Religious Freedom Report.
LGBTI Travelers: Consensual same-sex sexual relations are criminalized in Tunisia. Penalties include sentences of up to three years in prison. See our LGBTI Travel Information page and section 6 of our Human Rights report for further details.
Travelers Who Require Accessibility: Disabled individuals in Tunisia may find accessibility and accommodation very different from that in the United States. Though the government has been generally progressive and forward-leaning on the rights of the disabled, there remains a significant gap between theory and practice. Budgetary constraints have so far precluded the uniform retro-fitting of public buildings to make them accessible to disabled citizens.
Women Travelers: If you are a woman traveling abroad, please review our travel tips for Women Travelers.
Medical care: Medical care in Tunisia is adequate, with a number of new, private “polyclinics” available that function as simple hospitals and can provide a variety of procedures. The U.S. Embassy in Tunis maintains a list of doctors and medical practitioners (dentists, etc.) who can be contacted for assistance. If you are seeking medical attention in Tunisia, please keep in mind the following:
Medications: Over-the-counter medications are available, buttravelers should bring with them a full supply of medications that are needed on a regular basis.
If traveling with prescription medication, check with the government of Tunisia to ensure the medication is legal in Tunisia. Always carry your prescription medication in original packaging with your doctor’s prescription.
Vaccinations: Be up-to-date on all vaccinations recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
For further health information, go to:
Road Conditions and Safety:
Traffic Laws: Drivers should be aware that if they are involved in a motor vehicle accident that results in death or serious injury of another person, the police may take them into protective custody until they are absolved of responsibility. This can mean spending up to several months in detention. As with any arrest or detention, U.S. citizens taken into custody should immediately request that the police inform the Embassy of their whereabouts.
Pedestrians and Cyclists: If you are a pedestrian or cyclist in Tunisia, you should be aware that drivers rarely yield and will not always stop at either crosswalks or stoplights.
Public Transportation: Exercise caution when using public transportation, due to safety and security concerns. Buses and trains can be crowded, and pickpocketing is not uncommon.
Police (Police Secours): dial 197
Fire Department: dial 198
Ambulance (SAMU): dial 190
Towing (SOS Remorquage 24/24): dial 71 801 211 or 71 840 840
Aviation Safety Oversight: As there is no direct commercial air service to the United States by carriers registered in Tunisia, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has not assessed Tunisia’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.