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Country Information

Venezuela

Country Information

Venezuela
Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela
Last Updated: February 13, 2017

The Department of State warns U.S. citizens to avoid travel to Venezuela due to concerns regarding violent crime, pervasive food and medicine shortages, and social unrest. Effective October 23, 2017, ordered departure of eligible family members of U.S. go

The Department of State warns U.S. citizens to avoid travel to Venezuela due to concerns regarding violent crime, pervasive food and medicine shortages, and social unrest. Effective October 23, 2017, ordered departure of eligible family members of U.S. government personnel posted to the U.S. Embassy in Caracas and authorized departure of U.S. direct-hire government personnel was lifted, allowing U.S. government personnel and family members to return to Venezuela. This replaces the Travel Warning dated July 27, 2017.

All U.S. direct-hire personnel and their families assigned to the U.S. Embassy in Caracas are subject to an embassy movement policy that limits their travel within Caracas and many parts of the country. They are prohibited from traveling within 50 miles of the Venezuela/Colombia border without prior approval. Inter-city travel by car during hours of darkness (6:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m.) is strongly discouraged and in some cases may be prohibited. Travel outside the Embassy's residential area by Embassy personnel after 9:00 p.m. is limited and must follow strict security requirements. U.S. government personnel must also request approval for travel more than 50 miles away from Caracas and/or overnight stays outside of Caracas. These security measures may limit the U.S. Embassy's ability to provide services.

The political and security situation in Venezuela is unpredictable and can change quickly. Protests and demonstrations occur with minimal public notice and, from April through August 2017, occurred daily and often turned violent. Security forces typically deployed a range of strong, and often excessive measures, including tear gas, pepper spray, water cannon, rubber bullets, birdshot, buckshot, and other live ammunition. Protests sometimes led to looting and vandalism. Armed, pro-government motorcycle gangs sometimes attacked and intimidated protesters. These clashes resulted in numerous serious injuries and deaths, including an estimated 160 killed between April and August. U.S. citizens have reported being arrested, detained, and robbed while in close proximity to protests.

Security forces have arrested individuals, including U.S. citizens, and detained them for long periods with little or no evidence of a crime. The U.S. Embassy may not be notified of the detention of a U.S. citizen and consular access to detainees may be denied or severely delayed. The detained citizen may be denied access to proper medical care, clean water, and food.

Violence and criminal activity - including homicide, armed robbery, kidnapping, and carjacking - pose significant and continuing security concerns. Indiscriminate violent crime is endemic throughout the country and can occur anywhere at any time. There are reports of authorities (e.g., police, airport, immigration) and criminals posing as authorities participating in robbery and extortion. Drug traffickers and illegal armed groups are active in the Colombian border states of Zulia, Tachira, and Apure.

The Simón Bolívar International Airport, in Maiquetía, is located in an extremely high-risk area for armed robbery and kidnappings.  Do not take unregulated taxis from this airport and avoid ATMs in this area. Travel between the Simón Bolívar International Airport and Caracas only during daylight hours, as armed bandits frequently target night-time motorists along this route.

Due to shortages of medicine and medical supplies, U.S. citizens should be prepared to cover their own needs for over-the-counter and prescription medicines while in country. You should have medical evacuation plans in place that do not rely solely on U.S. government assistance.  Comprehensive medical evacuation insurance is strongly advised for all travelers.

U.S. citizens may also be detained and/or deported by Venezuelan immigration officials for not complying with visa or immigration regulations.  U.S. citizens traveling to Venezuela must have a valid visa that is appropriate for their specific type of travel (journalism, employment, study, etc.) or risk being detained or deported. Journalists must possess the appropriate accreditation and work visa from the Venezuelan authorities before arriving. International journalists are closely scrutinized and have been expelled and/or detained for lacking appropriate permissions to work in Venezuela or for participation in what could be seen as anti-government activity, including observing and reporting on public health facilities.

For further information:

  • See the State Department's travel website (http://travel.state.gov) for the Worldwide CautionTravel Warnings, Travel Alerts, and Country Specific Information for Venezuela.
  • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security messages and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
  • Contact the U.S. Embassy in Venezuela, located at Calle F con Calle Suapure, Lomas de Valle Arriba, Caracas at +[58] 212-975-6411, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. The after-hours emergency number for U.S. citizens is +[58] 0212-907-8400 or, or 0212-907-8400 from within Venezuela.
  • To reach the Department of State's Overseas Citizen Services, call 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or 1-202-501-4444 from other countries from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).
  • Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.
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Embassy Messages
Quick Facts
PASSPORT VALIDITY:

6 months

BLANK PASSPORT PAGES:

One page required for entry stamp

TOURIST VISA REQUIRED:

You must get a Venezuelan visa before traveling to Venezuela. Visas are not available upon arrival. If you are a dual-national, you must have a valid Venezuelan passport in your possession.

VACCINATIONS:

See Entry Information below.

CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR ENTRY:

USD 10,000 (or equivalent) or more must be declared.

CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR EXIT:

USD 10,000 (or equivalent) or more must be declared.

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Embassies and Consulates

U.S. Embassy Caracas

Calle F con Calle Suapure,
Urb. Colinas de Valle Arriba,
Caracas, Venezuela 1080
Telephone: +(58) (212) 975-6411
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(58) (212) 907-8400
Fax: +(58) (212) 907-8199

Consulates

U.S. Consular Agent - Maracaibo
Calle 77 (5 de Julio) Con Avenida 3F No. 3F-13
Sector Valle Frio
Maracaibo, Venezuela
Telephone: Please contact the U.S. Embassy in Caracas +(58) (212) 907-8400
Emergency After-Hours  Telephone: Please contact the U.S. Embassy in Caracas +(58) (212) 907-8400
Fax: +(58) (212) 907-8199

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Destination Description

The Department of State warns U.S. citizens against travel to Venezuela. Travelers should review the latest Travel Warning. See the Department of State’s Fact Sheet on Venezuela for information on U.S. – Venezuela Relations. The political, economic and security situation in Venezuela is unstable.  Country-wide shortages of food, water, medicine, electricity, and other basic goods have led to social unrest, including violence and looting. Government of Venezuela actions include the erosion of human rights guarantees, the persecution of political opponents, curtailment of press freedoms, the use of violence and other human rights abuses in response to antigovernment protests, arbitrary arrests or detentions, postponements of elections, and wide-spread government corruption. Violent crime is pervasive throughout Venezuela. Homicides, kidnappings, assaults, and robberies occur throughout the country; no areas are safe. The Government of Venezuela has defined itself in part through opposition to the United States, regularly criticizing the U.S. government, its policies, and its relations with Latin America. As a result, the U.S. Embassy in Caracas can provide only limited services to U.S. citizens and warns U.S. citizens not to travel to Venezuela.

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Entry, Exit and Visa Requirements

You must have:

  • a valid U.S. passport in good condition, with at least six months of validity remaining from the date of arrival in Venezuela, and
  • a valid Venezuelan visa. Visas are not available upon arrival.   

Visas: Please check the website of the Embassy of Venezuela in the United States for the most current information about visa application requirements and procedures. 

Immigration officials often require proof of accommodation while in Venezuela, adequate means to support yourself, and an onward departure itinerary. Only use official crossing points when entering Venezuela. You must obtain an entry stamp to prove you entered the country legally.

Journalists: Journalists must have the appropriate accreditation and working visa from the Venezuelan authorities before arriving in the country. There have been recent cases of international journalists being expelled and/or detained for not having proper permission to work in Venezuela. The process for acquiring the Venezuelan documents is lengthy, so journalists are advised to apply well in advance of their travel date. 

Airport Security: You should arrive and depart during daylight hours due to the frequency of robberies at gunpoint along the roads leading to and from the airport. The Embassy strongly advises that all arriving passengers make advance plans for transportation from the airport to their place of lodging using a trusted party or dispatch taxi service. More information on taxis can be found in the SAFETY and LOCAL LAWS sections. 

Margarita Island: The Government of Venezuela uses biometric equipment to register photos and fingerprints of all travelers to Margarita Island. Please take your U.S. passport with you to travel to the Island. 

Traveling with children: Venezuela's child protection law mandates that minors (under 18) of any nationality who are traveling alone, with only one parent, or with a third party, must present a copy of their birth certificate and written, notarized authorization from the absent parent(s) or legal guardian, specifically granting permission to travel alone, with one parent, or with a third party. If documents are prepared in the United States, the authorization and the birth certificate must be translated into Spanish, notarized, and authenticated by the Embassy of Venezuela or a Venezuelan Consulate in the United States. Additional information on the prevention of international child abduction can be found on the travel.state.gov website.

Dual Nationality: Venezuelan law requires Venezuelan citizens to enter and depart Venezuela using Venezuelan passports. Therefore, if you hold dual U.S.-Venezuelan nationality, you must plan to travel between Venezuela and the United States with valid U.S. and Venezuelan passports. Please see our website for more information on entry and exit requirements pertaining to dual nationals.

Resident Visas: If you reside in Venezuela, you must plan to renew your residency visa well in advance of expiration. U. S citizens residing in Venezuela have experienced difficulties and delays renewing their residency visas. Venezuelan authorities ask foreigners for proof of their identification and legal status in the country. 

If you live in Venezuela, be sure to obtain legitimate Venezuelan residency documentation. Do not employ intermediaries to purchase Venezuelan resident visas and/or work permits. You must sign the resident visa in person at the Servicio Administrativo de Identificación, Migración y Extranjería (SAIME) at SAIME headquarters in Caracas.

Immunizations:
Yellow Fever: Travelers entering Venezuela from certain countries are required to have a current yellow fever vaccination certificate. Carry your International Certificate of Vaccination (or yellow card) with you, as they may ask you to present it upon arrival or departure. 

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

Customs: For the most current information concerning visa, tax, and customs requirements for Venezuela, travelers may contact the Embassy of Venezuela at: 1099 30th Street, NW, Washington DC 20007 (tel: +1(202) 342-2214).  

Travelers may also contact a Venezuelan Consulate in the U.S. Although only in Spanish, the website for the Maiquetía International Airport, the main airport in Caracas, has helpful information for travelers.

Stay up to date:

  • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program so we can keep you up-to-date with important safety and security announcements.
  • Bookmark our Bureau of Consular Affairs website which contains current Travel Warnings, Travel Alerts, and Worldwide Caution.
  • Follow us on Twitter and the Bureau of Consular Affairs page on Facebook.
  • In the event of an emergency, contact us at +1(888) 407-4747 toll-free within the United States and Canada, or via a regular toll line, +1 (202) 501-4444, from other countries.
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Safety and Security

Demonstrations: Political marches and demonstrations are frequent in all areas of Venezuela, including major cities and tourist destinations. Avoid demonstrations as even peaceful demonstrations may turn violent or result in arrests. Follow local news media reports or contact the U.S. Embassy for up-to-date information.  

Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security updates from the U.S. Embassy, including alerts about upcoming demonstrations (see below).

Crime: Violent crime is pervasive throughout Venezuela. Be alert to your surroundings at all times and take personal security precautions to avoid becoming a victim of crime.

  • Maintain a low profile.
  • Carry as little U.S. currency as possible.  
  • Do not display signs of wealth, such as wearing expensive watches or jewelry.
  • Avoid having cell phones or other electronic devices visible.
  • Remain vigilant even in upscale residential areas.
  • Do not take public transportation.
  • Be extra vigilant when visiting banks or ATMs.
  • Travel in groups. 
  • Provide your itinerary to a family member or friend.

Avoid police activity. Corruption within police forces is a concern. Individuals wearing uniforms and purporting to be police officers or National Guard members have committed robberies and other crimes. 

Criminal gangs operate openly and with little repercussion, often setting up fake police checkpoints. Armed robberies take place throughout the country, including in tourist areas. Heavily armed criminals have used grenades and assault rifles to commit crimes at banks, shopping malls, public transportation stations, and universities. Only a very small percentage of crimes result in trials and convictions.

Popular tourist attractions, such as the Avila National Park in Caracas, are associated with violent crime. Travel in groups of five or more and provide family or friends with your itineraries prior to departure.

Homicides: According to the non-governmental organization Venezuelan Violence Observatory (VVO), there were 28,479 homicides in Venezuela in 2016, amounting to a rate of 91.8 homicides per 100,000 inhabitants, among the highest in the world. In Caracas, the homicide rate is even higher at 140 homicides per 100,000 inhabitants. Most murders are never solved.

Kidnapping: Kidnappings are a serious problem.    

  • Express kidnappings: Individuals are kidnapped at gunpoint and taken to make purchases or to withdraw as much money as possible from ATMs.
  • Virtual kidnappings: Criminals collect information on minors and then use the data to call parents for ransom without the children being taken.
  • Inside kidnappings: Domestic employees are paid large sums of money for keys and information in order to kidnap children for ransom.

Drugs: There is an active narcotics trade in Venezuela. Do not accept packages from anyone, and keep your luggage with you at all times. U.S. citizens have been actively recruited to act as narcotics couriers or “drug mules.” U.S. citizens arrested at the airport with narcotics in their possession can expect to serve extended jail terms in Venezuela under extremely difficult prison conditions.  

Taxis: Do not use “libre” taxis or any taxis hailed on the street. Taxi drivers in Caracas are known to overcharge, rob, injure and even kidnap passengers. Use only radio-dispatched taxis or taxis from reputable hotels. Call a 24-hour radio-dispatched taxi service from a public phone or ask hotel, restaurant, or airline staff to contact a licensed taxi company.

Public Transportation: Do not use public transportation such as city buses and the metro (subway) in Caracas. When traveling by bus, travel only during daylight hours and only by first-class conveyance.

Avoid Driving. If you do drive, be aware of attacks in tunnels and avoid obstacles in the road.

Maiquetia International Airport: Only travel to and from Maiquetía International Airport near Caracas in daylight hours. Kidnappings, robberies at gunpoint, thefts and muggings are common. Be wary of all strangers, even those in official uniform or carrying official identification. Do not pack valuable items or documents in checked luggage. Individuals wearing what appear to be official uniforms and displaying airport or police credentials have been involved in crimes inside the airport, including extortion, express kidnappings or forcing travelers to sign documents in Spanish they do not understand. Make advance plans for transportation from the airport to your hotel or destination using a trusted party or dispatch taxi service.   

Money: Do not change money at the international airport. You are encouraged to use major credit cards, but be aware of the widespread theft of credit card data. Do not use travelers’ checks. It is possible to exchange U.S. currency at approved exchange offices near major hotel chains in Caracas. Hotels cannot provide currency exchange.

ATMs: Most ATMs do not accept U.S.-issued debit or credit cards and malfunctions are common. Use only those located in well-lit, public places. ATM data is often hacked and used to make unauthorized withdrawals from users’ accounts. Criminals target ATMs to rob people making withdrawals.

U.S. Embassy Movement Policy: All U.S. government direct-hire personnel and their families assigned to the U.S. Embassy in Caracas are subject to travel restrictions within the city for their safety and well-being. These security measures may restrict the services the Embassy can provide.

The policy divides Caracas into three zones: yellow, orange, and red.

When traveling to and from the Yellow Zone, U.S. personnel are strongly encouraged to notify the Embassy.

The Yellow Zone includes the Baruta neighborhood (Las Mercedes, Santa Rosa de Lima, San Román, Prados del Este, Valle Arriba, Cumbres de Curumo, La Trinidad, Cafetal, Santa Paula, San Luis, Caurimare, Cerro Verde and El Peñón), El Hatillo (Las Marias, Oripoto, La Boyera, Los Pinos, Los Geranjos, Los Naranjos, La Lagunita and El Hatillo), Chacao (El Bosque, La Castellana, El Rosal, Country Club, Chacao, Altamira, Los Palos Grandes and Campo Alegre).

Travel to areas within the Orange Zone is discouraged between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. and prohibited from midnight until 6:00 a.m. without first notifying the Embassy Regional Security Officer.

The Orange Zone includes the following neighborhoods: Certain areas of Chacao (Chacaito and Bello Campo) Eastern Libertador (Montalbán, El Paraíso, Vista Alegre, San Bernardino, Los Chaguaramos, Valle Abajo, Santa Monica, Bello Monte, Sabana Grande, Ciudad Universitaria and La Florida), and Western Sucre (Sebucán, Los Chorros, Montecristo, Los Dos Caminos, El Marquez, Horizonte, La Urbina, Macaracuay, Santa Cecilia, La Carlota, Terrazas del Avila, Urbanizacion Miranda, Boleita and Los Ruices). Catedral, La Candelaria, Teatro Teresa Carreño, Universidad Simon Bolivar, and El Poliedro have been placed in a category called “Orange Zone with Restrictions.” Embassy employees traveling to Catedral, La Candelaria, Teatro Teresa Carreño, or Universidad Simon Bolivar must use an approved driver. Embassy employees traveling to an event at El Poliedro may use their personal vehicle, but must go directly there via the Autopista Francisco Fajardo, and may not stop in any of the surrounding Red Zone neighborhoods.  When the event ends, employees must leave immediately, again utilizing the Autopista Francisco Fajardo. The Embassy strongly discourages transit along the Avenida Boyacá, as well as along the roads that connect to Avenida Boyacá.

Unofficial travel into the Red Zone is prohibited for U.S. government personnel. U.S. personnel are only authorized to transit through the Red Zone on official business during daylight hours provided they remain on one of the city’s highways.

The Red Zone includes the following areas: Western Libertador (Coche, El Valle, El Retiro, 23 de Enero, Blandin, La Vega, La Rinconada, Las Mayas, Tazón, Oropeza Castillo, Lomas de Urdaneta, Propatria, Casalta, Lomas De Propatria, Carapita, Antímano, Tacagua, Ruíz Pineda, Caricuao, La Quebradita, El Atlántico, Sarría, San Martín and La Yaguara), Eastern Sucre (Barrio Píritu, Barrio La Rubia, Barrio Altavista, Petare, Caucaguita, La Dolorita, Paulo Sexto, El Llanito) and specific neighborhoods in Baruta (Las Minas, Santa Cruz del Este, Ojo de Agua, La Naya, Las Minitas).

U.S. personnel are required to leave public establishments in all of the zones by 3:00 a.m. Inter-city travel by car during hours of darkness (6:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m.) is strongly discouraged and in some cases may be prohibited. U.S. government personnel must also request approval for travel outside of Caracas.

Victims of Crime: If you or someone you know becomes the victim of a crime, contact the local police and the U.S. embassy.

We can:

  • help you find appropriate medical care
  • guide you on how to report a crime to 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 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

Colombian Border: The area within a 50-mile radius along the entire Venezuela/Colombia border is extremely dangerous. Cross-border violence, kidnapping, drug trafficking and smuggling occur frequently in these areas. Some kidnap victims are released after ransom payments, while others are murdered.  

Do not attempt to cross the land border. The Government of Venezuela closes the border crossing between Venezuela and Colombia regularly.  

Seismic Activity: Venezuela is an earthquake-prone country and is occasionally subject to torrential rains, which can cause landslides. If you live in Venezuela, you are encouraged to seek a professional structural assessment of your housing.

For further information on seismic activity, you may wish to visit:

Aviation: Private aircraft companies and operators are strongly encouraged to consult with the Venezuelan Civil Aeronautical National Institute regarding current Venezuelan laws and regulations.  

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Local Laws & Special Circumstances

Criminal Penalties: While in Venezuela, you are subject to local laws and will be detained or arrested for violating them.     

In Venezuela, it is illegal to take pictures of sensitive buildings, including the presidential palace, military bases, government buildings, and airports.

Drug trafficking is a serious problem in Venezuela and treated as such by Venezuelan authorities. Convicted traffickers receive lengthy prison sentences, usually eight to ten years. If you do something illegal in Venezuela, your U.S. passport won’t help.

Some offenses committed overseas can be prosecuted in the United States, regardless of local law. For examples, see the Department of State website and the Department of Justice website  on crimes against minors abroad.  

Consular Access: There have been instances of arbitrary arrest and detention of U.S. citizens in recent months. The Embassy may not be informed of your arrest/detainment in a timely fashion. Detainees should not assume they will promptly be charged with a crime or brought before an independent judicial authority. If you are arrested, request that the U.S. Embassy be notified.

Currency and Exchange: The Venezuelan government maintains strict currency exchange controls. Authorized exchange houses are located in the international airports and near most major hotels. Some hotels are also authorized to offer exchange services.

Avoid black market currency exchange. You will likely encounter individuals in Venezuela who are willing to exchange bolivars for U.S. dollars at a rate significantly more favorable than the official exchange rates. These "black market" currency exchanges are prohibited under Venezuelan foreign exchange controls. Travelers charged in such activity may be detained by the Venezuelan authorities and face criminal penalties. The U.S. Embassy cannot provide currency exchange services.

Credit Cards: Most major U.S. credit cards are accepted for purchases in Venezuelan shops, restaurants, and other businesses. However, credit card fraud is a significant risk. Check your statements regularly to ensure that no unauthorized charges have been made.

Wire transfers: Wire transfers cannot be used reliably as a source of emergency funds.

Women Traveler Information: If you are a woman traveling abroad, please review our travel tips for Women Travelers.

LGBTI Rights: There are no legal restrictions on same-sex sexual relations or the organization of LGBTI events in Venezuela. For more detailed information about LGBTI rights in Venezuela, you may review the State Department’s annual Country Reports on Human Rights Practices. For further information on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) travel, please read our LGBTI Travel Information page.

Accessibility: Venezuela does not have national standard for accessibility, thus most buildings lack accommodations for those with disabilities.

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Health

Medical Services: There is a nationwide shortage of medicine and medical supplies. Medical care at private hospitals and clinics in Caracas and other major cities is adequate. However, public (government-funded) hospitals and clinics generally provide a lower level of care, and basic supplies at public facilities are in short supply or unavailable. Doctors and hospitals require cash payment in advance. Patients who cannot provide advance payment may be referred to a public hospital for treatment. Public ambulance service is unreliable.  

We strongly recommend supplemental insurance to cover medical evacuation. Serious medical conditions will require medical evacuation to the United States.

You should ensure that you have sufficient quantities of all medications for the duration of your stay.  Always carry your prescription medication in original packaging with your doctor’s prescription.

Illnesses: Be up to date on all vaccinations recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The following mosquito-borne illnesses are present:

  • Dengue fever
  • The Zika virus
  • Chikungunya virus

The following parasitic diseases are also present: 

  • Chagas
  • Malaria
  • Leishmaniasis
  • Schistosomiasis

For more information about outbreaks of infectious diseases abroad:

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Travel and Transportation

Traffic Safety and Road Conditions: Drive defensively as most drivers do not obey rules. Child car seats and seatbelts are not required and are seldom available in rental cars and taxis. Some Caracas municipalities have outlawed the use of hand held cell phones while driving.

Do not drive at night outside the major cities. Road damage is not clearly marked. Traffic jams are common within Caracas during most of the day and are frequently exploited by criminals.

Armed motorcycle gangs operate in traffic jams. Armed robberies by motorcyclists have increased. Comply with demands as victims may be killed for not complying.  

Stops at National Guard and local police checkpoints are mandatory. Follow all National Guard instructions and be prepared to show vehicle and insurance papers and passports. Vehicles may be searched.  

Do not use buses, even though they are plentiful and inexpensive, due to the high levels of criminal activity.  

Please refer to our Road Safety page for more information.

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

Maritime Travel: Incidents of piracy off the coast of Venezuela remain a concern. Yachters should note that anchoring off shore is not considered safe. Marinas, including those in Puerto la Cruz and Margarita Island (Porlamar), provide only  minimal security, and U.S. citizens should exercise a heightened level of caution in Venezuelan waters. 

Mariners planning travel to Venezuela should also check for U.S. maritime advisories and alerts. Information may also be posted to the  U.S. Coast Guard homeport website, and the NGA broadcast warnings website; select “broadcast warnings”).

Hague Convention Participation
Party to the Hague Abduction Convention?
Yes
U.S. Treaty Partner under the Hague Abduction Convention?
Yes
What You Can Do
Learn how to respond to abductions FROM the US
Learn how to respond to abductions TO the US
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Embassies and Consulates

U.S. Embassy Caracas

Calle F con Calle Suapure,
Urb. Colinas de Valle Arriba,
Caracas, Venezuela 1080
Telephone: +(58) (212) 975-6411
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(58) (212) 907-8400
Fax: +(58) (212) 907-8199

Consulates

U.S. Consular Agent - Maracaibo
Calle 77 (5 de Julio) Con Avenida 3F No. 3F-13
Sector Valle Frio
Maracaibo, Venezuela
Telephone: Please contact the U.S. Embassy in Caracas +(58) (212) 907-8400
Emergency After-Hours  Telephone: Please contact the U.S. Embassy in Caracas +(58) (212) 907-8400
Fax: +(58) (212) 907-8199

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General Information

 

Venezuela and the United States have been treaty partners under the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction (Hague Abduction Convention) since January 1, 1997.

For information concerning travel to Venezuela, including information about the location of the U.S. Embassy, the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program, entry/exit requirements, safety and security, crime, medical facilities and health information, traffic safety, road conditions and aviation safety, please see country-specific information for Venezuela.

The U.S. Department of State reports statistics and compliance information for individual countries in the Annual Report on International Parental Child Abduction (IPCA).  The report is located here.

 

 

 

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Hague Abduction Convention

 

The U.S. Department of State serves as the U.S. Central Authority (USCA) for the Hague Abduction Convention.  In this capacity, the Department's Bureau of Consular Affairs, Directorate for Overseas Citizens Services, Office of Children's Issues facilitates the submission of applications under the Hague Abduction Convention for the return of, or access to, children located in countries that are U.S. treaty partners, including Venezuela.  Parents are strongly encouraged to contact the Department of State for assistance prior to initiating the Hague process directly with the foreign Central Authority.

Contact information:

United States Department of State
Bureau of Consular Affairs
CA/OCS/CI
SA-17, 9th Floor
Washington, DC 20522-1709
Telephone:  1-888-407-4747
Outside the United States or Canada: 1-202-501-4444
Website

The Venezuelan Central Authority for the Hague Abduction Convention is the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Ministerio del Poder Popular para Relaciones Exteriores).  The Ministry of Foreign Affairs's role is to perform the duties given to central authorities under the Hague Abduction Convention, including processing Hague Abduction Convention applications for return of and access to children. 

They can be reached at:

Ministerio del Poder Popular para Relaciones Exteriores
Direcci's General para Relaciones Consulares
Av. Urdaneta, Esq. Carmelitas a Puente Llaguno
Torre MRE-Anexo
Caracas, Venezuela
Phone number: 58-212-802-8000
Website: Ministerio del Poder Popular para Relaciones Exteriores

To initiate a Hague case for return of, or access to, a child in Venezuela, the left-behind parent must submit a Hague application to the Venezuelan Central Authority, either directly or through the USCA.  The USCA is available to answer questions about the Hague application process, to forward a completed application to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; and to subsequently monitor its progress through the foreign administrative and legal processes.

There are no fees for filing Hague applications with either the United States or the Venezuelan Central Authority.  Attorney fees, if necessary, are the sole responsibility of the person hiring the attorney.  Additional costs may include airplane tickets for court appearances and for the return of the child, if so ordered.

 

 

 

 

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Return

A parent or legal guardian may file an application under the Hague Abduction Convention for return to the United States of a child abducted to, or wrongfully retained in, Venezuela.  The U.S. Department of State can assist parents living in the United States to understand whether the Convention is an available civil remedy and can provide information on the process for submitting a Hague application.

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Visitation/Access

A person may file an application under the Hague Abduction Convention for access to a child living in Venezuela.  The criteria for acceptance of a Hague access application vary from country to country.  The U.S. Department of State can assist parents living in the United States to understand country-specific criteria and provide information on the process for submitting a Hague application.

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Retaining an Attorney

Venezuela does not offer free or reduced fee legal aid services.  A public defender will be appointed to intervene in the judicial proceedings solely for the best interest of the child, not to represent either parent.  A parent may retain a private attorney in Venezuela to have his or her interests represented in court.

The U.S. Embassy in Caracas, Venezuela posts list of attorneys including those who specialize in family law.

This list is provided as a courtesy service only and does not constitute an endorsement of any individual attorney. The Department of State assumes no responsibility or liability for the professional ability or reputation of, or the quality of services provided by, the following persons or firms. Professional credentials and areas of expertise are provided directly by the lawyers.

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Mediation

We are not aware of any government or non-governmental organizations in Venezuela that offer mediation services for custody disputes.

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 if 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.

The U.S. government cannot interfere with another country’s court or law enforcement system.

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

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?
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Hague Convention Information

Venezuela is party to the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption (Hague Adoption Convention). Therefore all adoptions between Venezuela and the United States must meet the requirements of the Convention and U.S. law implementing the Convention.

Venezuelan law does not allow for private adoptions. To apply for an international adoption, a U.S. citizen living in the U.S. has to go through the U.S. Central Authority (U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs, Office of Children's Issues) and they will send the request to the Venezuelan Central Authority (Ministry of Foreign Affairs or MFA). The MFA will then send it to the Venezuelan Adoption Authority which is the " Instituto Autónomo Consejo Nacional de Derechos de Niños, Niñas, y Adolescentes" IDENA (Autonomous Institute National Council for Children & Adolescent Rights).

According to Venezuelan law, before an international adoption is approved priority will be given as follows:

  1. Relatives
  2. Friend of relatives
  3. Venezuelans with domicile in Venezuela
  4. International Adoption

Every adopted child must have a pre-approved adoption in order to leave Venezuela. After a year of living as a family, a family judge will decide upon the final adoption decree.

Note: Special transition provisions apply to adoptions initiated before April 1, 2008.  Learn more.

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Who Can Adopt

Adoption between the United States and Venezuela is governed by the Hague Adoption Convention. Therefore to adopt from Venezuela, you must first be found eligible to adopt by the U.S. Government. The U.S. Government agency responsible for making this determination is the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Learn more.

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Who Can Be Adopted

Because Venezuela is party to the Hague Adoption Convention, children from Venezuela must meet the requirements of the Convention in order to be eligible for adoption. For example, the Convention requires that Venezuela attempt to place a child with a family in-country before determining that a child is eligible for intercountry adoption. In addition to Venezuela's requirements, a child must meet the definition of a Convention adoptee for you to bring him or her back to the United States.

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How to Adopt

VENEZUELA'S ADOPTION AUTHORITY

Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA)

THE PROCESS

Because Venezuela is party to the Hague Adoption Convention, adopting from Venezuela must follow a specific process designed to meet the Convention's requirements. A brief summary of the Convention adoption process is given below. You must complete these steps in the following order so that your adoption meets all necessary legal requirements.

NOTE: If you filed your I-600a with Venezuela before April 1, 2008, the Hague Adoption Convention may not apply to your adoption. Your adoption could continue to be processed in accordance with the immigration regulations for non-Convention adoptions. Learn more.

  1. Choose an Accredited Adoption Service Provider
  2. Apply to be Found Eligible to Adopt
  3. Be Matched with a Child
  4. Apply for the Child to be Found Eligible for Immigration to the United States
  5. Adopt the Child in Venezuela
  6. Bring your Child Home
  1. Choose an Accredited Adoption Service Provider:

    The first step in adopting a child from Venezuela is to select an adoption service provider in the United States that has been accredited. Only these agencies and attorneys can provide adoption services between the United States and Venezuela. Learn more.

    The adoption service provider will perform the home study and will assist the prospective adoptive parents in preparing the Form I-800A (Application for Advance Processing of Orphan Petition) and its supporting documents for approval by the Department of Homeland Security's U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services division.

  2. Apply to be Found Eligible to Adopt:

    After you choose an accredited adoption service provider, you apply to be found eligible to adopt (Form I-800A) by the U.S. Government, Department of Homeland Security (DHS), U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Learn how.

    Once the I-800A has been approved by DHS, the parents, together with the Adoption Service Provider, must compile a package of documents for submission to the Venezuelan Central Authority. This package of documents is called the "dossier." Once it is compiled, it should be given to the accredited U.S. Adoption Service Provider, to send directly to the Venezuelan Central Authority (MFA). The MFA will then send it to the Venezuelan Adoption Authority (IDENA). The MFA will contact the U.S. Central Authority with updates and the decision.
  3. Be Matched with a Child:

    The U.S. Central Authority will contact prospective adoptive parents about the availability of children in need of a family placement and the amount of time it is likely to take to complete the adoption. This timeline will depend on several factors, including the parent's age, the desired sex of the child, age of the desired child, and how many children are available at the time. Medical, social, psychological, and nutritional assessments are provided to the parents.

    After the parents are informed that they have been assigned a child, they then travel to Venezuela to begin the legal process with Venezuelan authorities. The IDENA will assist the family with obtaining the documents needed to complete the Venezuelan legal procedures.

  4. Apply for the Child to be Found Eligible for Adoption:

    After you accept a match with a child and after you complete the Venezuelan legal procedures, you will apply to the U.S Government, Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for provisional approval to adopt that particular child (Form I-800). USCIS will determine whether the child is eligible under U.S. law to be adopted and enter the United States. Learn how.

    After this, you will file an immigrant visa petition to a Consular Officer at the U.S. Embassy. The Consular Officer will review the child's information and evaluate the child for possible visa ineligibilities. For Convention country adoptions, prospective adoptive parent(s) may not proceed with the adoption or obtain custody for the purpose of adoption until this takes place. If the Consular Office determines that the child appears eligible to immigrate to the United States, he/she will notify the Venezuela's adoption authority (Article 5 letter). The final decision and issuance of the immigrant visa will take place later in the process.

    The following is a list of the documents required by the U.S. Embassy in order to file immigrant visa petitions for Venezuelan children who have been adopted by U.S. citizens. To file a petition at post, you must have been living in Venezuela 6 months or have a valid resident visa or Venezuelan passport. If not, you will file the petition in the United States.

    • Proof of United States citizenship from the Petitioner(valid U.S. passport and U.S. birth certificate or Consular Report of Birth Abroad or U.S. naturalization certificate), originals and copies;
    • Child's passport and one copy of the passport's biographic information page;
    • Payment of U.S $355 or the equivalent in local currency (Bolivares Fuertes), per applicant (cash only);
    • Form I-800: "Petition to Classify an Orphan as an Immediate Relative." This form has to be filled out completely, signed by both adoptive parents and filed with the U.S. Embassy beforethe child reaches his/her sixteenth (16) birthday;
    • Child's Birth Certificates (originals or authenticated copies): All visa applicants must have their original birth certificate and a photocopy; Venezuelan birth certificates must be on sealed paper (papel sellado) and must be legalized (Hague Convention Apostille). 
    • Abandonment Decree or Custodial Parent's Release (original or authenticated copy): This document should have the Venezuelan Family Welfare Institute's (ICBF) approval. Along with one simple copy of the decree;
    • Approved I-800A: Proof of approval by USCIS of the I-800A petition, Application for Determination of Suitability to Adopt a Child from a Convention Country
  5. Adopt the Child in Venezuela

    Ministerio del Poder Popular de Relaciones Exteriores 
    Oficina de Relaciones Consulares
    Attn: Carolina Iguaro
    Piso 15
    Avenida Urdaneta con Esquina Carmelitas
    Caracas 1010
    Venezuela
    Tel: (58-212) 806-4504

    Instituto Autónomo Consejo Nacional de Derechos del Niño, Niña y Adolescente
    Avenida Francisco de Miranda, Edificio Mene Grande, Piso 2
    Caracas-Venezuela
    Tel: (58-212)287-0005/0757
    Internet: http://www.idena.gob.ve

    TIME FRAME: It is hard to predict how long an adopting family should expect for the adoption to be completed. There are many factors that determine how long the adoption and immigrant visa process takes, including how long it takes to have paperwork approved in the United States and in Venezuela.

    ADOPTION FEES: The U.S. Embassy in Venezuela discourages the payment of any fees that are not properly receipted. "Donations," or "expediting" fees, that may be requested from prospective adoptive parents, have the appearance of "buying" a child and put all future adoptions in Venezuela at risk.

    It is difficult to predict how much the entire adoption process will cost as each case has unique circumstances. The international adoption process in Venezuela is free of charge, however, fees are incurred if a private attorney is hired and in the immigrant visa process.

  6. Bring Your Child Home 
    Now that your adoption is complete (or you have obtained legal custody of the child), there are a few more steps to take before you can head home. Specifically, you need to apply for three documents for your child before he or she can travel to the United States:

    • Birth Certificate 
      You will first need to apply for a new birth certificate for your child, so that you can later apply for a passport. Your name will be added to the new birth certificate.

    • Venezuela Passport
      Your child is not yet a U.S. citizen, so he/she will need a travel document or Passport from Venezuela.

    • U.S. Immigrant Visa 
      Once the I-800 is approved an appointment can be made for the immigrant visa interview once the following requirements are ready. It is at this point in the process that the immigrant visa will be issued.

    FEES: The total fees for an Immigrant Visa are $400 dollars or the equivalent in local currency (Bolivares Fuertes). Each applicant must be prepared to pay this fee, in cash or with a credit card that accepts USD charges, at the time of interview. The fees will be paid with the Embassy Cashier on the date of interview. If the petitioner has already paid the fees to the National Visa Center (NVC) in the U.S., please bring a copy of the receipt. The $400 fee is non-refundable.

    Instructions on scheduling an interview can be found below. Each applicant must appear in person on the day of the interview. The following should be presented at the time of interview:

    • COLOR PHOTOGRAPHS : Three (3) color photographs with white background, with a front view Size: 5cmx5cm.

    • PASSPORT: Passports must be in good condition. Passports must be valid and must have at least six months validity beyond the issuance date of the visa. The passport must not have a lapse of more than 5 years between renewals. Children must have their own passports. All Applicants must bring any and all previous passports and/or passports from another nationality.

    • FORMS: Biographic data forms DS-260 Part I & Part II ( https://eforms.state.gov/ )

    • MEDICAL EXAMINATIONS: Forms DS-2053, 3026, 3025, 3024. Medical examinations are valid for six (6) months only. A U.S. Embassy Panel Physician must be used.

    • EVIDENCE OF SUPPORT : Form I-864 (Affidavit of Support) must be submitted for family- based applicants. The petitioner's federal income tax return (1040) and W-2 from the last three years must also be included. An additional sponsor may be submitted if needed. Any "co-sponsor" must also fill out the I-864 and submit tax documents as well. Sponsors must be domiciled in the Unites States.

    • BIRTH CERTIFICATE: All applicants must have their original birth certificate and a photocopy. Venezuelan birth certificates must be on sealed paper (papel sellado) and must be legalized (Hague Convention Apostille) see the Venezuelan web site for the requirements (www.mre.gov.ve). In the case of adoptions we must have both birth certificates - the one before the adoption and the one after.

    • FINAL ADOPTION DECREE (original or authenticated copy): Along with one simple copy of the decree.

    • TRAVEL AUTHORIZATION: Both parents have to be present the day of the interview. A travel authorization is required in case one of the parents is not able to appear in person the day of the interview.

    • MARRIAGE CERTIFICATE : Applicants must have original and one photocopy of marriage certificate, if applicable.

    • DIVORCE DECREE, DEATH CERTIFICATE OR ANNULMENT :Proof of the termination of any previous marriage(s) must also be submitted (e.g. death certificate, final decree of divorce or annulment). If applicable.

    • MILITARY RECORDS : Original and copy, if applicable.

    • POLICE CERTIFICATE : Required for all applicants from any country where the applicant lived more than twelve (12) months after the age of sixteen (16), for Venezuelan (Antecedentes Penales) see the Venezuelan web site for the requirements.

      If you have been deported or have a voluntary departure, bring all your support documents related to your case. Also, if you have lived in the U.S. for more than six (6) months please bring all authorized extension documents issued by USCIS.

COURIER FEE: All approved applicants must pay a fee to the courier service who will deliver the passport, visa and all additional documents after the interview. The passport visa and documents will be returned to a Venezuelan address. It normally takes 5-10 working days.

Appointments must be made through our email address at: ImmigrantCaracas@state.gov.

CHILD CITIZENSHIP ACT

For adoptions finalized abroad: The Child Citizenship Act of 2000 allows your child to acquire American citizenship when he or she enters the United States as lawful permanent residents.

For adoptions to be finalized in the United States: The Child Citizenship Act of 2000 allows your child to typically acquire American citizenship when the U.S. state court issues the final adoption decree. We urge your family to finalize the adoption in a U.S. State
court as quickly as possible.

*Please be aware that if your child did not qualify to become a citizen upon entry to the United States, it is very important that you take the steps necessary so that your child does qualify as soon as possible. Failure to obtain citizenship for your child can impact many areas of his/her life including family travel, eligibility for education and education grants, and voting.

Learn more about the Child Citizenship Act.

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Traveling Abroad

APPLYING FOR YOUR U.S. PASSPORT

A valid U.S. passport is required to enter and leave Venezuela. Only the U.S. Department of State has the authority to grant, issue, or verify U.S. passports.

Getting or renewing a passport is easy. The Passport Application Wizard will help you determine which passport form you need, help you to complete the form online, estimate your payment, and generate the form for you to print-all in one place.

OBTAINING YOUR VISA

In addition to a U.S. passport, you also need to obtain a visa. A visa is an official document issued by a foreign country that formally allows you to visit. Where required, visas are attached to your passport and allow you to enter a foreign nation.

To find information about obtaining a visa for Venezuela, see the Department of State's Country Specific Information.

STAYING SAFE ON YOUR TRIP

Before you travel, it's always a good practice to investigate the local conditions, laws, political landscape, and culture of the country. The State Department is a good place to start.

The Department of State provides Country Specific Information for every country of the world about various issues, including the health conditions, crime, unusual currency or entry requirements, and any areas of instability.

STAYING IN TOUCH ON YOUR TRIP

When traveling during the adoption process, we encourage you to register your trip with the Department of State. Travel registration makes it possible to contact you if necessary. Whether there's a family emergency in the United States, or a crisis in Venezuela, registration assists the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in reaching you.

Registration is free and can be done online.

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After Adoption

What does Venezuela require of the adoptive parents after the adoption? 

There are no post-adoption requirements for adoption in Venezuela.

What resources are available to assist families after the adoption? 

Many adoptive parents find it important to find support after the adoption. Take advantage of all the resources available to your family -- whether it's another adoptive family, a support group, an advocacy organization, or your religious or community services.

Here are some good places to start your support group search:

Note: Inclusion of non-U.S. Government links does not imply endorsement of contents.

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Contact Information

U.S. Embassy in Venezuela 
Calle F con Calle Suapure,
Urb. Colinas de Valle Arriba,
Caracas, Venezuela 1080
Tel: 011-58-212-975-6411
Email: ImmigrantCaracas@state.gov
Internet: ve.usembassy.gov/

Venezuela's Adoption Authority 
Ministerio del Poder Popular de Relaciones Exteriores
Oficina de Relaciones Consulares
Attn: Carolina Iguaro
Piso 15
Avenida Urdaneta con Esquina Carmelitas
Caracas 1010
Venezuela
Tel: (58-212) 806-4504

Instituto Autónomo Consejo Nacional del Niño, Niña y Adolescente (IDENA)
Avenida Francisco de Miranda, Edificio Mene Grande, Piso 2
Caracas-Venezuela
Tel: (58-212) 287-0005/0757
Internet: http://www.idena.gob.ve

Embassy of Venezuela 
1099 30th St., N.W.,
Washington D.C. 20007
Tel: (202) 342 2214
Fax: (202) 342 6820

* Venezuela also has consulates in Boston, Chicago, Houston, Miami, New Orleans, New York, San Francisco, and San Juan.

Office of Children's Issues 
U.S. Department of State  
CA/OCS/CI  
SA-17, 9th Floor  
Washington, DC 20522-1709
Tel: 1-888-407-4747
E-mail: AskCI@state.gov
Internet: adoption.state.gov


U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) 

For questions about immigration procedures, call the National Customer Service Center (NCSC)

1-800-375-5283 (TTY 1-800-767-1833)

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
Visa
Classification
Fee Number
of Entries
Validity
Period
A-1 A None Multiple 60 Months
A-2 A None Multiple 60 Months
A-3 1 A 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 A None Multiple 60 Months
G-2 A None Multiple 60 Months
G-3 A None Multiple 60 Months
G-4 A None Multiple 60 Months
G-5 1 A 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
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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.

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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.

 

 

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General Documents

Important: Posts are required to check with Caracas prior to issuing A and G visas for Venezuelan diplomats and officials applying at posts outside of Venezuela. 

 

Birth, Death, Burial Certificates

Birth

  • Available:  Yes
  • Fees: No fee is required.
  • Document Name: Partida de Nacimiento
  • Issuing Authority: Civil Registry (Registro Civil) of the municipality or rural area in which the birth occurred
  • Special Seal(s) / Color / Format: Birth certificates have no security features as they are a copy of the book where they are registered.  Each copy must have a blue or black stamp with a legend stating “ es copia fiel del original”.
  • Issuing Authority Personnel Title: Must contain stamp and signature of the registry’s authority.
  • Registration Criteria: N/A
  • Procedure for Obtaining:  Procedures vary depending on the state/ registry from which it must be obtained.
  • Certified Copies Available: Yes
  • Alternate Documents: In the event that a birth certificate is unavailable, Venezuelans and foreign nationals residing in Venezuela may apply for Datos Filiatorios with Servicio Administrativo Identificacion Migracion y Extranjeria (SAIME). A Dato Filiatorio is a certified document signed by the Director of Central File Fingerprinting and SAIME that contains and verifies identifying information. Individuals can apply for Datos Filiatorios on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays between the hours of 7:30 to 3:30 at the SAIME office nearest them. For further information regarding this process, visit SAIME's website.
  • Comments:  Birth certificates are available for all persons born in Venezuela. A certified birth certificate serves as evidence of date and place of birth. Birth registration is mandatory and it must be filed immediately, although this doesn’t always occur. Civil registry offices are available in most maternity hospitals in Venezuela.
  • If the birth took place in a health care center in which the civil registrar does not have a presence or if it took place outside of a health care center (e.g. at home assisted by a midwife), parents have up to 90 days to file a birth registration at the nearest office of the registrar. Exceptions: If parents fail to register a birth within the 90 days deadline, they must request an extemporaneous Statement Report at the Council for the Protection of Children and Adolescents. This document must be presented along with the rest of the normal requisites for birth registration at a Civil registrar.

 

Death Certificate

 

  • Available:  Yes
  • Fees:  No fee is required.
  • Document Name: Acta de Defunción
  • Issuing Authority: Civil Registry (Registro Civil) where the death occurred
  • Special Seal(s) / Color / Format:  Death certificates have no security features and are copies from the book where the death was registered. They must have a blue or black stamp stating “ es copia fiel del original”
  • Issuing Authority Personnel Title:  Must contain stamp and signature of the registry’s authority.
  • Registration Criteria: It is mandatory to report deaths to the Civil Registrar within 48 hours of their occurrence. Direct family members, spouses or couples in a registered common law marriage, the captains of a vessel where a death took place, any civil, medic, and military or police authority with knowledge of an unknown deceased person may report deaths and obtain a registered death certificate. Upon registration of a death certificate the deceased person should automatically be disincorporated from the Venezuelan Voter Registry (CNE).
  • Procedure for Obtaining: Procedures vary depending on the state/ registry from which it must be obtained.
  • Certified Copies Available: Yes
  • Alternate Documents: N/A
  • Exceptions: N/A
  • Comments: N/A

 

Marriage, Divorce Certificates

Marriage

  • Available:  Yes
  • Fees: N/A
  • Document Name:  Acta de Matrimonio
  • Issuing Authority:  Civil Registry (Registro Civil) where the marriage was performed.
  • Special Seal(s) / Color / Format:  Marriage certificates have no security features as they are a copy of the book in which the registration was recorded.  They must have a blue or black stamp that states “es copia fiel del original”.
  • Issuing Authority Personnel Title:  Chief Civil Authority (Jefe Civil) of a district, or Parrish Judge (Juez de Parroquia), or Communal Council (Junta Comunal). Must contain stamp and signature of the registry’s authority.
  • Registration Criteria: N/A
  • Procedure for Obtaining:  Procedures vary depending on the province/registry from which it must be obtained.
  • Certified Copies Available:  Yes
  • Alternate Documents: Venezuela legally recognizes registered de facto or common law marriages (“concubinato”). In order to register a de facto marriage the parties must present proof that they are free to do so. They must be either single or present proof that any previous legal or de facto marriages have been legally terminated. The couple must present two (or more) witnesses who can testify the couple has been living together for at least five consecutive years. Upon the act of registration of a de facto marriage the couple can recognize any children they have together. De facto marriages do not entitle the parties the same rights as a legal civil marriage.
  • Exceptions: N/A
  • Comments: The Venezuelan Civil Code states that a civil marriage can only be contracted between a woman and a man, and it must be performed in the municipality where either the man or the woman resides. Once the civil marriage ceremony is performed, the couple may have a religious marriage ceremony.  The religious ceremony may not be performed until the minister or priest has received the marriage certificate issued by the Venezuelan government. In order to be legally married, females must be at least fourteen (14) years of age, and males must be at least sixteen (16) years of age. Parties under 18 years of age cannot contract a marriage without the written consent of their parents. Both parties must enter the marriage voluntarily and of their own free will and must be legally free to marry.  If either party’s prior marriage, religious or civil, has not been legally terminated (i.e. death or divorce) they cannot be married.
  • Same-sex marriage is not legally recognized in Venezuela.

 

Divorce

  • Available:  Yes
  • Fees:  Yes
  • Document Name: Sentencia de Divorcio (Divorce Decree)
  • Issuing Authority: Civil tribunal of the Court of First Instance (Juzgado de la Primera Instancia en lo Civil)
  • Special Seal(s) / Color / Format: Decrees of divorce have no security features and are only the judge’s written sentence of divorce.  
  • Issuing Authority Personnel Title: Judge. Must contain stamp and signature of the Court and Judge that issued divorce decree.
  • Registration Criteria: N/A
  • Procedure for Obtaining:  Procedures vary depending on the state/ court.
  • Certified Copies Available:  Yes
  • Alternate Documents:  N/A
  • Exceptions: N/A
  • Comments:  It is important that the document reflects divorce (divorcio) and not separation (separacion de cuerpos). Divorce suits originate in Civil Courts of First Instance (Juzgados de la Primera Instancia en lo Civil), and the decree is confirmed by the superior courts. There may be a fee for this service.
Adoption Certificates

Unavailable.

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Identity Card

National ID Cards

  • Available:  Yes
  • Fees: No fee is required.
  • Document Name: Cédula de Identidad C.I.
  • Issuing Authority: Servicio Administrativo de Identificación Migración y Extranjería, (SAIME)
  • Special Seal(s) / Color / Format: Features several security features for newer cards (post 2012), including lamination with embedded SAIME logo and black light threads in the paper. Cards issued in 2016 and on feature a black light-reactive seal of Venezuela on the back.
  • Issuing Authority Personnel Title: Current Director of SAIME.
  • Registration Criteria: Available for citizens and permanent residents, whose cards state “Extranjero” and have a yellow background.
  • Procedure for Obtaining: Citizens or residents must apply for it at the Servicio Administrativo de Identificación Migración y Extranjería, (SAIME).
  • Certified Copies Available: N/A
  • Alternate Documents: N/A
  • Exceptions:  N/A
  • Comments:  N/A
Police, Court, Prison Records

Police Certificates 

  

  • Available: Yes. To those 18 and older.
  • Fees: Free of charge
  • Document Name: Certificación de Antecedentes Penales
  • Issuing Authority: Records are issued by the División de Antecedentes Penales del Ministerio de Interior y Justicia, Av. Urdaneta, Esq. Platanal, Edificio Sede MPPRIJP, Piso 4, La Candelaria, Caracas, Venezuela.  
  • Special Seal(s) / Color / Format:  There is a QR code on the top right corner and there are two barcodes on both bottom corners. The document also exhibits a unique fourteen digit number between the bottom barcodes. There is a pre-scanned signature that corresponds to the signing authority along with a scanned stamp of the coat of arms with a line that says: “Certificacion de Antecedentes Penales”
  • Issuing Authority Personnel Title:  Viceministra de Politica Interior y Seguridad Juridica (Viceminister of Inner Affairs and Judicial Security)
  • Registration Criteria: Applicants without criminal records will have "No Registra de Antecedentes Penales" (does not have records) printed on the form.
  • Procedure for Obtaining: Police records are available free of charge to Venezuelans and non-Venezuelans over the age of 18 who consult the following web site: http://www.mpprij.gob.ve/ and select the option “certificaciones para trámites internacionales.” The validity of the document is verifiable through the same website.
  • Certified Copies: Not Available.
  • Alternate Documents:  Not Available
  • Exceptions: None
  • Comments: This document certifies that the subject does not have any convictions or pending court cases. It does not certify that they have never been arrested. Non-Venezuelans who are not residents of Venezuela (do not possess a national identity card) are unable to request police certificates at this time.  Applicants falling into this category should be prepared to show their current visa or explanation of non-resident status at the time of the visa interview.
  • Arrest records are unavailable to individuals and are not well centralized. The Certificación de Antecedentes Penales certifies that an individual has no prior convictions

 

Prison Records

  • Unavailable to individuals, although state institutions may request a prison record for official purposes for no charge.
Military Records

Unavailable.

Passports & Other Travel Documents

Passports

  • Types Available (Regular, Diplomatic, Official, etc.): Regular, Diplomatic, and Official
  • Fees: Bs. 2,124.00
  • Document Name:  Pasaporte de la República Bolivariana de Venezuela
  • Issuing Government Authority: Servicio Administrativo de Identificación Migración y Extranjería, (SAIME)
  • Special Seal(s) / Color / Format: Electronic passport, Mercosour compliant. Maroon cover prior to 2015, when the current blue cover debuted.
  • Issuing Authority Personnel Title: Current Director of SAIME.
  • Registration Criteria: Must present birth certificate or cédula de identidad during an application appointment.
  • Procedure for Obtaining: Must schedule an online appointment.
  • Alternate Documents: N/A
  • Exceptions: N/A
  • Comments: N/A
  • Other Documents Available: N/A

 

Other Travel Documents

  • Available:  Yes
  • Fees: Fees may vary.
  • Document Name: Permiso de viaje para menores
  • Issuing Authority: Consejo de Protección del Niño y del Adolescente
  • Special Seal(s) / Color / Format: Notarized document.
  • Issuing Authority Personnel Title: Current Director of SAIME.
  • Registration Criteria: Travel permits for minors allow children under 18 to travel within the Venezuelan territory or abroad, either alone, with a guardian or with only one parent.
  • Procedure for Obtaining: This permit consists of an authenticated notarized written consent from the parents or other parent. This document must be authenticated by the Consejo de Protección del Niño y del Adolescente. Its validity is limited to each trip or group of trips and has a validity of no more than one year.
  • Certified Copies Available: Yes.
  • Alternate Documents: N/A
  • Exceptions:  N/A
  • Comments:  N/A
Other Records

Penal Certificates

Unavailable to individuals, although state institutions may request a penal certificate for official purposes for no charge.

 

Visa Issuing Posts

Caracas, Venezuela (Embassy)

Mailing Address:
APO AA 34037-3140

Street Address:
Calle Suapure and Calle F,
Colinas de Valle Arriba
Caracas, Venezuela

Tel: (58) (212) 975-6411 /

(58) (212) 975-9821-after hour emergencies

 

Visa Services

All visa categories for all of Venezuela.

Immigrant Visa Services for Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao have been transferred to Embassy Bogota.

 

Foreign Consular Office Contact Information

Washington, DC (202) 627-1444 (202) 342-6820 (202) 342-6827

Boston, MA (617) 266-9475 (617) 266-9368 (617) 266-2350

Chicago, IL (312) 324-0907 (312) 580-1010

Houston, TX (713) 974-0027 (713) 974-0028 (713) 974-1413

Miami, FL (305) 577-4214 (305) 372-5167

New Orleans, LA (504) 210-1020 (504) 524-6700 (504) 522-7092

New York, NY (212) 826-1660 (212) 644-7471

San Francisco, CA (415) 294-2252 (415) 296-6479

San Juan, PR (787) 766-4250 (787) 766-4255

Assistance for U.S. Citizens

U.S. Embassy Caracas
Calle F con Calle Suapure,
Urb. Colinas de Valle Arriba,
Caracas, Venezuela 1080
Telephone
+(58) (212) 975-6411
Emergency
+(58) (212) 907-8400
Fax
+(58) (212) 907-8199
Venezuela 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

Venezuela
Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela
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Embassy Messages
Quick Facts
PASSPORT VALIDITY:

6 months

BLANK PASSPORT PAGES:

One page required for entry stamp

TOURIST VISA REQUIRED:

You must get a Venezuelan visa before traveling to Venezuela. Visas are not available upon arrival. If you are a dual-national, you must have a valid Venezuelan passport in your possession.

VACCINATIONS:

See Entry Information below.

CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR ENTRY:

USD 10,000 (or equivalent) or more must be declared.

CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR EXIT:

USD 10,000 (or equivalent) or more must be declared.

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Embassies and Consulates

U.S. Embassy Caracas

Calle F con Calle Suapure,
Urb. Colinas de Valle Arriba,
Caracas, Venezuela 1080
Telephone: +(58) (212) 975-6411
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(58) (212) 907-8400
Fax: +(58) (212) 907-8199

Consulates

U.S. Consular Agent - Maracaibo
Calle 77 (5 de Julio) Con Avenida 3F No. 3F-13
Sector Valle Frio
Maracaibo, Venezuela
Telephone: Please contact the U.S. Embassy in Caracas +(58) (212) 907-8400
Emergency After-Hours  Telephone: Please contact the U.S. Embassy in Caracas +(58) (212) 907-8400
Fax: +(58) (212) 907-8199

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Destination Description

The Department of State warns U.S. citizens against travel to Venezuela. Travelers should review the latest Travel Warning. See the Department of State’s Fact Sheet on Venezuela for information on U.S. – Venezuela Relations. The political, economic and security situation in Venezuela is unstable.  Country-wide shortages of food, water, medicine, electricity, and other basic goods have led to social unrest, including violence and looting. Government of Venezuela actions include the erosion of human rights guarantees, the persecution of political opponents, curtailment of press freedoms, the use of violence and other human rights abuses in response to antigovernment protests, arbitrary arrests or detentions, postponements of elections, and wide-spread government corruption. Violent crime is pervasive throughout Venezuela. Homicides, kidnappings, assaults, and robberies occur throughout the country; no areas are safe. The Government of Venezuela has defined itself in part through opposition to the United States, regularly criticizing the U.S. government, its policies, and its relations with Latin America. As a result, the U.S. Embassy in Caracas can provide only limited services to U.S. citizens and warns U.S. citizens not to travel to Venezuela.

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Entry, Exit and Visa Requirements

You must have:

  • a valid U.S. passport in good condition, with at least six months of validity remaining from the date of arrival in Venezuela, and
  • a valid Venezuelan visa. Visas are not available upon arrival.   

Visas: Please check the website of the Embassy of Venezuela in the United States for the most current information about visa application requirements and procedures. 

Immigration officials often require proof of accommodation while in Venezuela, adequate means to support yourself, and an onward departure itinerary. Only use official crossing points when entering Venezuela. You must obtain an entry stamp to prove you entered the country legally.

Journalists: Journalists must have the appropriate accreditation and working visa from the Venezuelan authorities before arriving in the country. There have been recent cases of international journalists being expelled and/or detained for not having proper permission to work in Venezuela. The process for acquiring the Venezuelan documents is lengthy, so journalists are advised to apply well in advance of their travel date. 

Airport Security: You should arrive and depart during daylight hours due to the frequency of robberies at gunpoint along the roads leading to and from the airport. The Embassy strongly advises that all arriving passengers make advance plans for transportation from the airport to their place of lodging using a trusted party or dispatch taxi service. More information on taxis can be found in the SAFETY and LOCAL LAWS sections. 

Margarita Island: The Government of Venezuela uses biometric equipment to register photos and fingerprints of all travelers to Margarita Island. Please take your U.S. passport with you to travel to the Island. 

Traveling with children: Venezuela's child protection law mandates that minors (under 18) of any nationality who are traveling alone, with only one parent, or with a third party, must present a copy of their birth certificate and written, notarized authorization from the absent parent(s) or legal guardian, specifically granting permission to travel alone, with one parent, or with a third party. If documents are prepared in the United States, the authorization and the birth certificate must be translated into Spanish, notarized, and authenticated by the Embassy of Venezuela or a Venezuelan Consulate in the United States. Additional information on the prevention of international child abduction can be found on the travel.state.gov website.

Dual Nationality: Venezuelan law requires Venezuelan citizens to enter and depart Venezuela using Venezuelan passports. Therefore, if you hold dual U.S.-Venezuelan nationality, you must plan to travel between Venezuela and the United States with valid U.S. and Venezuelan passports. Please see our website for more information on entry and exit requirements pertaining to dual nationals.

Resident Visas: If you reside in Venezuela, you must plan to renew your residency visa well in advance of expiration. U. S citizens residing in Venezuela have experienced difficulties and delays renewing their residency visas. Venezuelan authorities ask foreigners for proof of their identification and legal status in the country. 

If you live in Venezuela, be sure to obtain legitimate Venezuelan residency documentation. Do not employ intermediaries to purchase Venezuelan resident visas and/or work permits. You must sign the resident visa in person at the Servicio Administrativo de Identificación, Migración y Extranjería (SAIME) at SAIME headquarters in Caracas.

Immunizations:
Yellow Fever: Travelers entering Venezuela from certain countries are required to have a current yellow fever vaccination certificate. Carry your International Certificate of Vaccination (or yellow card) with you, as they may ask you to present it upon arrival or departure. 

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

Customs: For the most current information concerning visa, tax, and customs requirements for Venezuela, travelers may contact the Embassy of Venezuela at: 1099 30th Street, NW, Washington DC 20007 (tel: +1(202) 342-2214).  

Travelers may also contact a Venezuelan Consulate in the U.S. Although only in Spanish, the website for the Maiquetía International Airport, the main airport in Caracas, has helpful information for travelers.

Stay up to date:

  • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program so we can keep you up-to-date with important safety and security announcements.
  • Bookmark our Bureau of Consular Affairs website which contains current Travel Warnings, Travel Alerts, and Worldwide Caution.
  • Follow us on Twitter and the Bureau of Consular Affairs page on Facebook.
  • In the event of an emergency, contact us at +1(888) 407-4747 toll-free within the United States and Canada, or via a regular toll line, +1 (202) 501-4444, from other countries.
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Safety and Security

Demonstrations: Political marches and demonstrations are frequent in all areas of Venezuela, including major cities and tourist destinations. Avoid demonstrations as even peaceful demonstrations may turn violent or result in arrests. Follow local news media reports or contact the U.S. Embassy for up-to-date information.  

Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security updates from the U.S. Embassy, including alerts about upcoming demonstrations (see below).

Crime: Violent crime is pervasive throughout Venezuela. Be alert to your surroundings at all times and take personal security precautions to avoid becoming a victim of crime.

  • Maintain a low profile.
  • Carry as little U.S. currency as possible.  
  • Do not display signs of wealth, such as wearing expensive watches or jewelry.
  • Avoid having cell phones or other electronic devices visible.
  • Remain vigilant even in upscale residential areas.
  • Do not take public transportation.
  • Be extra vigilant when visiting banks or ATMs.
  • Travel in groups. 
  • Provide your itinerary to a family member or friend.

Avoid police activity. Corruption within police forces is a concern. Individuals wearing uniforms and purporting to be police officers or National Guard members have committed robberies and other crimes. 

Criminal gangs operate openly and with little repercussion, often setting up fake police checkpoints. Armed robberies take place throughout the country, including in tourist areas. Heavily armed criminals have used grenades and assault rifles to commit crimes at banks, shopping malls, public transportation stations, and universities. Only a very small percentage of crimes result in trials and convictions.

Popular tourist attractions, such as the Avila National Park in Caracas, are associated with violent crime. Travel in groups of five or more and provide family or friends with your itineraries prior to departure.

Homicides: According to the non-governmental organization Venezuelan Violence Observatory (VVO), there were 28,479 homicides in Venezuela in 2016, amounting to a rate of 91.8 homicides per 100,000 inhabitants, among the highest in the world. In Caracas, the homicide rate is even higher at 140 homicides per 100,000 inhabitants. Most murders are never solved.

Kidnapping: Kidnappings are a serious problem.    

  • Express kidnappings: Individuals are kidnapped at gunpoint and taken to make purchases or to withdraw as much money as possible from ATMs.
  • Virtual kidnappings: Criminals collect information on minors and then use the data to call parents for ransom without the children being taken.
  • Inside kidnappings: Domestic employees are paid large sums of money for keys and information in order to kidnap children for ransom.

Drugs: There is an active narcotics trade in Venezuela. Do not accept packages from anyone, and keep your luggage with you at all times. U.S. citizens have been actively recruited to act as narcotics couriers or “drug mules.” U.S. citizens arrested at the airport with narcotics in their possession can expect to serve extended jail terms in Venezuela under extremely difficult prison conditions.  

Taxis: Do not use “libre” taxis or any taxis hailed on the street. Taxi drivers in Caracas are known to overcharge, rob, injure and even kidnap passengers. Use only radio-dispatched taxis or taxis from reputable hotels. Call a 24-hour radio-dispatched taxi service from a public phone or ask hotel, restaurant, or airline staff to contact a licensed taxi company.

Public Transportation: Do not use public transportation such as city buses and the metro (subway) in Caracas. When traveling by bus, travel only during daylight hours and only by first-class conveyance.

Avoid Driving. If you do drive, be aware of attacks in tunnels and avoid obstacles in the road.

Maiquetia International Airport: Only travel to and from Maiquetía International Airport near Caracas in daylight hours. Kidnappings, robberies at gunpoint, thefts and muggings are common. Be wary of all strangers, even those in official uniform or carrying official identification. Do not pack valuable items or documents in checked luggage. Individuals wearing what appear to be official uniforms and displaying airport or police credentials have been involved in crimes inside the airport, including extortion, express kidnappings or forcing travelers to sign documents in Spanish they do not understand. Make advance plans for transportation from the airport to your hotel or destination using a trusted party or dispatch taxi service.   

Money: Do not change money at the international airport. You are encouraged to use major credit cards, but be aware of the widespread theft of credit card data. Do not use travelers’ checks. It is possible to exchange U.S. currency at approved exchange offices near major hotel chains in Caracas. Hotels cannot provide currency exchange.

ATMs: Most ATMs do not accept U.S.-issued debit or credit cards and malfunctions are common. Use only those located in well-lit, public places. ATM data is often hacked and used to make unauthorized withdrawals from users’ accounts. Criminals target ATMs to rob people making withdrawals.

U.S. Embassy Movement Policy: All U.S. government direct-hire personnel and their families assigned to the U.S. Embassy in Caracas are subject to travel restrictions within the city for their safety and well-being. These security measures may restrict the services the Embassy can provide.

The policy divides Caracas into three zones: yellow, orange, and red.

When traveling to and from the Yellow Zone, U.S. personnel are strongly encouraged to notify the Embassy.

The Yellow Zone includes the Baruta neighborhood (Las Mercedes, Santa Rosa de Lima, San Román, Prados del Este, Valle Arriba, Cumbres de Curumo, La Trinidad, Cafetal, Santa Paula, San Luis, Caurimare, Cerro Verde and El Peñón), El Hatillo (Las Marias, Oripoto, La Boyera, Los Pinos, Los Geranjos, Los Naranjos, La Lagunita and El Hatillo), Chacao (El Bosque, La Castellana, El Rosal, Country Club, Chacao, Altamira, Los Palos Grandes and Campo Alegre).

Travel to areas within the Orange Zone is discouraged between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. and prohibited from midnight until 6:00 a.m. without first notifying the Embassy Regional Security Officer.

The Orange Zone includes the following neighborhoods: Certain areas of Chacao (Chacaito and Bello Campo) Eastern Libertador (Montalbán, El Paraíso, Vista Alegre, San Bernardino, Los Chaguaramos, Valle Abajo, Santa Monica, Bello Monte, Sabana Grande, Ciudad Universitaria and La Florida), and Western Sucre (Sebucán, Los Chorros, Montecristo, Los Dos Caminos, El Marquez, Horizonte, La Urbina, Macaracuay, Santa Cecilia, La Carlota, Terrazas del Avila, Urbanizacion Miranda, Boleita and Los Ruices). Catedral, La Candelaria, Teatro Teresa Carreño, Universidad Simon Bolivar, and El Poliedro have been placed in a category called “Orange Zone with Restrictions.” Embassy employees traveling to Catedral, La Candelaria, Teatro Teresa Carreño, or Universidad Simon Bolivar must use an approved driver. Embassy employees traveling to an event at El Poliedro may use their personal vehicle, but must go directly there via the Autopista Francisco Fajardo, and may not stop in any of the surrounding Red Zone neighborhoods.  When the event ends, employees must leave immediately, again utilizing the Autopista Francisco Fajardo. The Embassy strongly discourages transit along the Avenida Boyacá, as well as along the roads that connect to Avenida Boyacá.

Unofficial travel into the Red Zone is prohibited for U.S. government personnel. U.S. personnel are only authorized to transit through the Red Zone on official business during daylight hours provided they remain on one of the city’s highways.

The Red Zone includes the following areas: Western Libertador (Coche, El Valle, El Retiro, 23 de Enero, Blandin, La Vega, La Rinconada, Las Mayas, Tazón, Oropeza Castillo, Lomas de Urdaneta, Propatria, Casalta, Lomas De Propatria, Carapita, Antímano, Tacagua, Ruíz Pineda, Caricuao, La Quebradita, El Atlántico, Sarría, San Martín and La Yaguara), Eastern Sucre (Barrio Píritu, Barrio La Rubia, Barrio Altavista, Petare, Caucaguita, La Dolorita, Paulo Sexto, El Llanito) and specific neighborhoods in Baruta (Las Minas, Santa Cruz del Este, Ojo de Agua, La Naya, Las Minitas).

U.S. personnel are required to leave public establishments in all of the zones by 3:00 a.m. Inter-city travel by car during hours of darkness (6:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m.) is strongly discouraged and in some cases may be prohibited. U.S. government personnel must also request approval for travel outside of Caracas.

Victims of Crime: If you or someone you know becomes the victim of a crime, contact the local police and the U.S. embassy.

We can:

  • help you find appropriate medical care
  • guide you on how to report a crime to 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 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

Colombian Border: The area within a 50-mile radius along the entire Venezuela/Colombia border is extremely dangerous. Cross-border violence, kidnapping, drug trafficking and smuggling occur frequently in these areas. Some kidnap victims are released after ransom payments, while others are murdered.  

Do not attempt to cross the land border. The Government of Venezuela closes the border crossing between Venezuela and Colombia regularly.  

Seismic Activity: Venezuela is an earthquake-prone country and is occasionally subject to torrential rains, which can cause landslides. If you live in Venezuela, you are encouraged to seek a professional structural assessment of your housing.

For further information on seismic activity, you may wish to visit:

Aviation: Private aircraft companies and operators are strongly encouraged to consult with the Venezuelan Civil Aeronautical National Institute regarding current Venezuelan laws and regulations.  

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Local Laws & Special Circumstances

Criminal Penalties: While in Venezuela, you are subject to local laws and will be detained or arrested for violating them.     

In Venezuela, it is illegal to take pictures of sensitive buildings, including the presidential palace, military bases, government buildings, and airports.

Drug trafficking is a serious problem in Venezuela and treated as such by Venezuelan authorities. Convicted traffickers receive lengthy prison sentences, usually eight to ten years. If you do something illegal in Venezuela, your U.S. passport won’t help.

Some offenses committed overseas can be prosecuted in the United States, regardless of local law. For examples, see the Department of State website and the Department of Justice website  on crimes against minors abroad.  

Consular Access: There have been instances of arbitrary arrest and detention of U.S. citizens in recent months. The Embassy may not be informed of your arrest/detainment in a timely fashion. Detainees should not assume they will promptly be charged with a crime or brought before an independent judicial authority. If you are arrested, request that the U.S. Embassy be notified.

Currency and Exchange: The Venezuelan government maintains strict currency exchange controls. Authorized exchange houses are located in the international airports and near most major hotels. Some hotels are also authorized to offer exchange services.

Avoid black market currency exchange. You will likely encounter individuals in Venezuela who are willing to exchange bolivars for U.S. dollars at a rate significantly more favorable than the official exchange rates. These "black market" currency exchanges are prohibited under Venezuelan foreign exchange controls. Travelers charged in such activity may be detained by the Venezuelan authorities and face criminal penalties. The U.S. Embassy cannot provide currency exchange services.

Credit Cards: Most major U.S. credit cards are accepted for purchases in Venezuelan shops, restaurants, and other businesses. However, credit card fraud is a significant risk. Check your statements regularly to ensure that no unauthorized charges have been made.

Wire transfers: Wire transfers cannot be used reliably as a source of emergency funds.

Women Traveler Information: If you are a woman traveling abroad, please review our travel tips for Women Travelers.

LGBTI Rights: There are no legal restrictions on same-sex sexual relations or the organization of LGBTI events in Venezuela. For more detailed information about LGBTI rights in Venezuela, you may review the State Department’s annual Country Reports on Human Rights Practices. For further information on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) travel, please read our LGBTI Travel Information page.

Accessibility: Venezuela does not have national standard for accessibility, thus most buildings lack accommodations for those with disabilities.

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Health

Medical Services: There is a nationwide shortage of medicine and medical supplies. Medical care at private hospitals and clinics in Caracas and other major cities is adequate. However, public (government-funded) hospitals and clinics generally provide a lower level of care, and basic supplies at public facilities are in short supply or unavailable. Doctors and hospitals require cash payment in advance. Patients who cannot provide advance payment may be referred to a public hospital for treatment. Public ambulance service is unreliable.  

We strongly recommend supplemental insurance to cover medical evacuation. Serious medical conditions will require medical evacuation to the United States.

You should ensure that you have sufficient quantities of all medications for the duration of your stay.  Always carry your prescription medication in original packaging with your doctor’s prescription.

Illnesses: Be up to date on all vaccinations recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The following mosquito-borne illnesses are present:

  • Dengue fever
  • The Zika virus
  • Chikungunya virus

The following parasitic diseases are also present: 

  • Chagas
  • Malaria
  • Leishmaniasis
  • Schistosomiasis

For more information about outbreaks of infectious diseases abroad:

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Travel and Transportation

Traffic Safety and Road Conditions: Drive defensively as most drivers do not obey rules. Child car seats and seatbelts are not required and are seldom available in rental cars and taxis. Some Caracas municipalities have outlawed the use of hand held cell phones while driving.

Do not drive at night outside the major cities. Road damage is not clearly marked. Traffic jams are common within Caracas during most of the day and are frequently exploited by criminals.

Armed motorcycle gangs operate in traffic jams. Armed robberies by motorcyclists have increased. Comply with demands as victims may be killed for not complying.  

Stops at National Guard and local police checkpoints are mandatory. Follow all National Guard instructions and be prepared to show vehicle and insurance papers and passports. Vehicles may be searched.  

Do not use buses, even though they are plentiful and inexpensive, due to the high levels of criminal activity.  

Please refer to our Road Safety page for more information.

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

Maritime Travel: Incidents of piracy off the coast of Venezuela remain a concern. Yachters should note that anchoring off shore is not considered safe. Marinas, including those in Puerto la Cruz and Margarita Island (Porlamar), provide only  minimal security, and U.S. citizens should exercise a heightened level of caution in Venezuelan waters. 

Mariners planning travel to Venezuela should also check for U.S. maritime advisories and alerts. Information may also be posted to the  U.S. Coast Guard homeport website, and the NGA broadcast warnings website; select “broadcast warnings”).

Hague Convention Participation
Party to the Hague Abduction Convention?
Yes
U.S. Treaty Partner under the Hague Abduction Convention?
Yes
What You Can Do
Learn how to respond to abductions FROM the US
Learn how to respond to abductions TO the US
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Embassies and Consulates

U.S. Embassy Caracas

Calle F con Calle Suapure,
Urb. Colinas de Valle Arriba,
Caracas, Venezuela 1080
Telephone: +(58) (212) 975-6411
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(58) (212) 907-8400
Fax: +(58) (212) 907-8199

Consulates

U.S. Consular Agent - Maracaibo
Calle 77 (5 de Julio) Con Avenida 3F No. 3F-13
Sector Valle Frio
Maracaibo, Venezuela
Telephone: Please contact the U.S. Embassy in Caracas +(58) (212) 907-8400
Emergency After-Hours  Telephone: Please contact the U.S. Embassy in Caracas +(58) (212) 907-8400
Fax: +(58) (212) 907-8199

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General Information

 

Venezuela and the United States have been treaty partners under the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction (Hague Abduction Convention) since January 1, 1997.

For information concerning travel to Venezuela, including information about the location of the U.S. Embassy, the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program, entry/exit requirements, safety and security, crime, medical facilities and health information, traffic safety, road conditions and aviation safety, please see country-specific information for Venezuela.

The U.S. Department of State reports statistics and compliance information for individual countries in the Annual Report on International Parental Child Abduction (IPCA).  The report is located here.

 

 

 

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Hague Abduction Convention

 

The U.S. Department of State serves as the U.S. Central Authority (USCA) for the Hague Abduction Convention.  In this capacity, the Department's Bureau of Consular Affairs, Directorate for Overseas Citizens Services, Office of Children's Issues facilitates the submission of applications under the Hague Abduction Convention for the return of, or access to, children located in countries that are U.S. treaty partners, including Venezuela.  Parents are strongly encouraged to contact the Department of State for assistance prior to initiating the Hague process directly with the foreign Central Authority.

Contact information:

United States Department of State
Bureau of Consular Affairs
CA/OCS/CI
SA-17, 9th Floor
Washington, DC 20522-1709
Telephone:  1-888-407-4747
Outside the United States or Canada: 1-202-501-4444
Website

The Venezuelan Central Authority for the Hague Abduction Convention is the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Ministerio del Poder Popular para Relaciones Exteriores).  The Ministry of Foreign Affairs's role is to perform the duties given to central authorities under the Hague Abduction Convention, including processing Hague Abduction Convention applications for return of and access to children. 

They can be reached at:

Ministerio del Poder Popular para Relaciones Exteriores
Direcci's General para Relaciones Consulares
Av. Urdaneta, Esq. Carmelitas a Puente Llaguno
Torre MRE-Anexo
Caracas, Venezuela
Phone number: 58-212-802-8000
Website: Ministerio del Poder Popular para Relaciones Exteriores

To initiate a Hague case for return of, or access to, a child in Venezuela, the left-behind parent must submit a Hague application to the Venezuelan Central Authority, either directly or through the USCA.  The USCA is available to answer questions about the Hague application process, to forward a completed application to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; and to subsequently monitor its progress through the foreign administrative and legal processes.

There are no fees for filing Hague applications with either the United States or the Venezuelan Central Authority.  Attorney fees, if necessary, are the sole responsibility of the person hiring the attorney.  Additional costs may include airplane tickets for court appearances and for the return of the child, if so ordered.

 

 

 

 

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Return

A parent or legal guardian may file an application under the Hague Abduction Convention for return to the United States of a child abducted to, or wrongfully retained in, Venezuela.  The U.S. Department of State can assist parents living in the United States to understand whether the Convention is an available civil remedy and can provide information on the process for submitting a Hague application.

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Visitation/Access

A person may file an application under the Hague Abduction Convention for access to a child living in Venezuela.  The criteria for acceptance of a Hague access application vary from country to country.  The U.S. Department of State can assist parents living in the United States to understand country-specific criteria and provide information on the process for submitting a Hague application.

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Retaining an Attorney

Venezuela does not offer free or reduced fee legal aid services.  A public defender will be appointed to intervene in the judicial proceedings solely for the best interest of the child, not to represent either parent.  A parent may retain a private attorney in Venezuela to have his or her interests represented in court.

The U.S. Embassy in Caracas, Venezuela posts list of attorneys including those who specialize in family law.

This list is provided as a courtesy service only and does not constitute an endorsement of any individual attorney. The Department of State assumes no responsibility or liability for the professional ability or reputation of, or the quality of services provided by, the following persons or firms. Professional credentials and areas of expertise are provided directly by the lawyers.

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Mediation

We are not aware of any government or non-governmental organizations in Venezuela that offer mediation services for custody disputes.

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 if 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.

The U.S. government cannot interfere with another country’s court or law enforcement system.

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

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?
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Hague Convention Information

Venezuela is party to the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption (Hague Adoption Convention). Therefore all adoptions between Venezuela and the United States must meet the requirements of the Convention and U.S. law implementing the Convention.

Venezuelan law does not allow for private adoptions. To apply for an international adoption, a U.S. citizen living in the U.S. has to go through the U.S. Central Authority (U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs, Office of Children's Issues) and they will send the request to the Venezuelan Central Authority (Ministry of Foreign Affairs or MFA). The MFA will then send it to the Venezuelan Adoption Authority which is the " Instituto Autónomo Consejo Nacional de Derechos de Niños, Niñas, y Adolescentes" IDENA (Autonomous Institute National Council for Children & Adolescent Rights).

According to Venezuelan law, before an international adoption is approved priority will be given as follows:

  1. Relatives
  2. Friend of relatives
  3. Venezuelans with domicile in Venezuela
  4. International Adoption

Every adopted child must have a pre-approved adoption in order to leave Venezuela. After a year of living as a family, a family judge will decide upon the final adoption decree.

Note: Special transition provisions apply to adoptions initiated before April 1, 2008.  Learn more.

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Who Can Adopt

Adoption between the United States and Venezuela is governed by the Hague Adoption Convention. Therefore to adopt from Venezuela, you must first be found eligible to adopt by the U.S. Government. The U.S. Government agency responsible for making this determination is the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Learn more.

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Who Can Be Adopted

Because Venezuela is party to the Hague Adoption Convention, children from Venezuela must meet the requirements of the Convention in order to be eligible for adoption. For example, the Convention requires that Venezuela attempt to place a child with a family in-country before determining that a child is eligible for intercountry adoption. In addition to Venezuela's requirements, a child must meet the definition of a Convention adoptee for you to bring him or her back to the United States.

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How to Adopt

VENEZUELA'S ADOPTION AUTHORITY

Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA)

THE PROCESS

Because Venezuela is party to the Hague Adoption Convention, adopting from Venezuela must follow a specific process designed to meet the Convention's requirements. A brief summary of the Convention adoption process is given below. You must complete these steps in the following order so that your adoption meets all necessary legal requirements.

NOTE: If you filed your I-600a with Venezuela before April 1, 2008, the Hague Adoption Convention may not apply to your adoption. Your adoption could continue to be processed in accordance with the immigration regulations for non-Convention adoptions. Learn more.

  1. Choose an Accredited Adoption Service Provider
  2. Apply to be Found Eligible to Adopt
  3. Be Matched with a Child
  4. Apply for the Child to be Found Eligible for Immigration to the United States
  5. Adopt the Child in Venezuela
  6. Bring your Child Home
  1. Choose an Accredited Adoption Service Provider:

    The first step in adopting a child from Venezuela is to select an adoption service provider in the United States that has been accredited. Only these agencies and attorneys can provide adoption services between the United States and Venezuela. Learn more.

    The adoption service provider will perform the home study and will assist the prospective adoptive parents in preparing the Form I-800A (Application for Advance Processing of Orphan Petition) and its supporting documents for approval by the Department of Homeland Security's U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services division.

  2. Apply to be Found Eligible to Adopt:

    After you choose an accredited adoption service provider, you apply to be found eligible to adopt (Form I-800A) by the U.S. Government, Department of Homeland Security (DHS), U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Learn how.

    Once the I-800A has been approved by DHS, the parents, together with the Adoption Service Provider, must compile a package of documents for submission to the Venezuelan Central Authority. This package of documents is called the "dossier." Once it is compiled, it should be given to the accredited U.S. Adoption Service Provider, to send directly to the Venezuelan Central Authority (MFA). The MFA will then send it to the Venezuelan Adoption Authority (IDENA). The MFA will contact the U.S. Central Authority with updates and the decision.
  3. Be Matched with a Child:

    The U.S. Central Authority will contact prospective adoptive parents about the availability of children in need of a family placement and the amount of time it is likely to take to complete the adoption. This timeline will depend on several factors, including the parent's age, the desired sex of the child, age of the desired child, and how many children are available at the time. Medical, social, psychological, and nutritional assessments are provided to the parents.

    After the parents are informed that they have been assigned a child, they then travel to Venezuela to begin the legal process with Venezuelan authorities. The IDENA will assist the family with obtaining the documents needed to complete the Venezuelan legal procedures.

  4. Apply for the Child to be Found Eligible for Adoption:

    After you accept a match with a child and after you complete the Venezuelan legal procedures, you will apply to the U.S Government, Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for provisional approval to adopt that particular child (Form I-800). USCIS will determine whether the child is eligible under U.S. law to be adopted and enter the United States. Learn how.

    After this, you will file an immigrant visa petition to a Consular Officer at the U.S. Embassy. The Consular Officer will review the child's information and evaluate the child for possible visa ineligibilities. For Convention country adoptions, prospective adoptive parent(s) may not proceed with the adoption or obtain custody for the purpose of adoption until this takes place. If the Consular Office determines that the child appears eligible to immigrate to the United States, he/she will notify the Venezuela's adoption authority (Article 5 letter). The final decision and issuance of the immigrant visa will take place later in the process.

    The following is a list of the documents required by the U.S. Embassy in order to file immigrant visa petitions for Venezuelan children who have been adopted by U.S. citizens. To file a petition at post, you must have been living in Venezuela 6 months or have a valid resident visa or Venezuelan passport. If not, you will file the petition in the United States.

    • Proof of United States citizenship from the Petitioner(valid U.S. passport and U.S. birth certificate or Consular Report of Birth Abroad or U.S. naturalization certificate), originals and copies;
    • Child's passport and one copy of the passport's biographic information page;
    • Payment of U.S $355 or the equivalent in local currency (Bolivares Fuertes), per applicant (cash only);
    • Form I-800: "Petition to Classify an Orphan as an Immediate Relative." This form has to be filled out completely, signed by both adoptive parents and filed with the U.S. Embassy beforethe child reaches his/her sixteenth (16) birthday;
    • Child's Birth Certificates (originals or authenticated copies): All visa applicants must have their original birth certificate and a photocopy; Venezuelan birth certificates must be on sealed paper (papel sellado) and must be legalized (Hague Convention Apostille). 
    • Abandonment Decree or Custodial Parent's Release (original or authenticated copy): This document should have the Venezuelan Family Welfare Institute's (ICBF) approval. Along with one simple copy of the decree;
    • Approved I-800A: Proof of approval by USCIS of the I-800A petition, Application for Determination of Suitability to Adopt a Child from a Convention Country
  5. Adopt the Child in Venezuela

    Ministerio del Poder Popular de Relaciones Exteriores 
    Oficina de Relaciones Consulares
    Attn: Carolina Iguaro
    Piso 15
    Avenida Urdaneta con Esquina Carmelitas
    Caracas 1010
    Venezuela
    Tel: (58-212) 806-4504

    Instituto Autónomo Consejo Nacional de Derechos del Niño, Niña y Adolescente
    Avenida Francisco de Miranda, Edificio Mene Grande, Piso 2
    Caracas-Venezuela
    Tel: (58-212)287-0005/0757
    Internet: http://www.idena.gob.ve

    TIME FRAME: It is hard to predict how long an adopting family should expect for the adoption to be completed. There are many factors that determine how long the adoption and immigrant visa process takes, including how long it takes to have paperwork approved in the United States and in Venezuela.

    ADOPTION FEES: The U.S. Embassy in Venezuela discourages the payment of any fees that are not properly receipted. "Donations," or "expediting" fees, that may be requested from prospective adoptive parents, have the appearance of "buying" a child and put all future adoptions in Venezuela at risk.

    It is difficult to predict how much the entire adoption process will cost as each case has unique circumstances. The international adoption process in Venezuela is free of charge, however, fees are incurred if a private attorney is hired and in the immigrant visa process.

  6. Bring Your Child Home 
    Now that your adoption is complete (or you have obtained legal custody of the child), there are a few more steps to take before you can head home. Specifically, you need to apply for three documents for your child before he or she can travel to the United States:

    • Birth Certificate 
      You will first need to apply for a new birth certificate for your child, so that you can later apply for a passport. Your name will be added to the new birth certificate.

    • Venezuela Passport
      Your child is not yet a U.S. citizen, so he/she will need a travel document or Passport from Venezuela.

    • U.S. Immigrant Visa 
      Once the I-800 is approved an appointment can be made for the immigrant visa interview once the following requirements are ready. It is at this point in the process that the immigrant visa will be issued.

    FEES: The total fees for an Immigrant Visa are $400 dollars or the equivalent in local currency (Bolivares Fuertes). Each applicant must be prepared to pay this fee, in cash or with a credit card that accepts USD charges, at the time of interview. The fees will be paid with the Embassy Cashier on the date of interview. If the petitioner has already paid the fees to the National Visa Center (NVC) in the U.S., please bring a copy of the receipt. The $400 fee is non-refundable.

    Instructions on scheduling an interview can be found below. Each applicant must appear in person on the day of the interview. The following should be presented at the time of interview:

    • COLOR PHOTOGRAPHS : Three (3) color photographs with white background, with a front view Size: 5cmx5cm.

    • PASSPORT: Passports must be in good condition. Passports must be valid and must have at least six months validity beyond the issuance date of the visa. The passport must not have a lapse of more than 5 years between renewals. Children must have their own passports. All Applicants must bring any and all previous passports and/or passports from another nationality.

    • FORMS: Biographic data forms DS-260 Part I & Part II ( https://eforms.state.gov/ )

    • MEDICAL EXAMINATIONS: Forms DS-2053, 3026, 3025, 3024. Medical examinations are valid for six (6) months only. A U.S. Embassy Panel Physician must be used.

    • EVIDENCE OF SUPPORT : Form I-864 (Affidavit of Support) must be submitted for family- based applicants. The petitioner's federal income tax return (1040) and W-2 from the last three years must also be included. An additional sponsor may be submitted if needed. Any "co-sponsor" must also fill out the I-864 and submit tax documents as well. Sponsors must be domiciled in the Unites States.

    • BIRTH CERTIFICATE: All applicants must have their original birth certificate and a photocopy. Venezuelan birth certificates must be on sealed paper (papel sellado) and must be legalized (Hague Convention Apostille) see the Venezuelan web site for the requirements (www.mre.gov.ve). In the case of adoptions we must have both birth certificates - the one before the adoption and the one after.

    • FINAL ADOPTION DECREE (original or authenticated copy): Along with one simple copy of the decree.

    • TRAVEL AUTHORIZATION: Both parents have to be present the day of the interview. A travel authorization is required in case one of the parents is not able to appear in person the day of the interview.

    • MARRIAGE CERTIFICATE : Applicants must have original and one photocopy of marriage certificate, if applicable.

    • DIVORCE DECREE, DEATH CERTIFICATE OR ANNULMENT :Proof of the termination of any previous marriage(s) must also be submitted (e.g. death certificate, final decree of divorce or annulment). If applicable.

    • MILITARY RECORDS : Original and copy, if applicable.

    • POLICE CERTIFICATE : Required for all applicants from any country where the applicant lived more than twelve (12) months after the age of sixteen (16), for Venezuelan (Antecedentes Penales) see the Venezuelan web site for the requirements.

      If you have been deported or have a voluntary departure, bring all your support documents related to your case. Also, if you have lived in the U.S. for more than six (6) months please bring all authorized extension documents issued by USCIS.

COURIER FEE: All approved applicants must pay a fee to the courier service who will deliver the passport, visa and all additional documents after the interview. The passport visa and documents will be returned to a Venezuelan address. It normally takes 5-10 working days.

Appointments must be made through our email address at: ImmigrantCaracas@state.gov.

CHILD CITIZENSHIP ACT

For adoptions finalized abroad: The Child Citizenship Act of 2000 allows your child to acquire American citizenship when he or she enters the United States as lawful permanent residents.

For adoptions to be finalized in the United States: The Child Citizenship Act of 2000 allows your child to typically acquire American citizenship when the U.S. state court issues the final adoption decree. We urge your family to finalize the adoption in a U.S. State
court as quickly as possible.

*Please be aware that if your child did not qualify to become a citizen upon entry to the United States, it is very important that you take the steps necessary so that your child does qualify as soon as possible. Failure to obtain citizenship for your child can impact many areas of his/her life including family travel, eligibility for education and education grants, and voting.

Learn more about the Child Citizenship Act.

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Traveling Abroad

APPLYING FOR YOUR U.S. PASSPORT

A valid U.S. passport is required to enter and leave Venezuela. Only the U.S. Department of State has the authority to grant, issue, or verify U.S. passports.

Getting or renewing a passport is easy. The Passport Application Wizard will help you determine which passport form you need, help you to complete the form online, estimate your payment, and generate the form for you to print-all in one place.

OBTAINING YOUR VISA

In addition to a U.S. passport, you also need to obtain a visa. A visa is an official document issued by a foreign country that formally allows you to visit. Where required, visas are attached to your passport and allow you to enter a foreign nation.

To find information about obtaining a visa for Venezuela, see the Department of State's Country Specific Information.

STAYING SAFE ON YOUR TRIP

Before you travel, it's always a good practice to investigate the local conditions, laws, political landscape, and culture of the country. The State Department is a good place to start.

The Department of State provides Country Specific Information for every country of the world about various issues, including the health conditions, crime, unusual currency or entry requirements, and any areas of instability.

STAYING IN TOUCH ON YOUR TRIP

When traveling during the adoption process, we encourage you to register your trip with the Department of State. Travel registration makes it possible to contact you if necessary. Whether there's a family emergency in the United States, or a crisis in Venezuela, registration assists the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in reaching you.

Registration is free and can be done online.

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After Adoption

What does Venezuela require of the adoptive parents after the adoption? 

There are no post-adoption requirements for adoption in Venezuela.

What resources are available to assist families after the adoption? 

Many adoptive parents find it important to find support after the adoption. Take advantage of all the resources available to your family -- whether it's another adoptive family, a support group, an advocacy organization, or your religious or community services.

Here are some good places to start your support group search:

Note: Inclusion of non-U.S. Government links does not imply endorsement of contents.

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Contact Information

U.S. Embassy in Venezuela 
Calle F con Calle Suapure,
Urb. Colinas de Valle Arriba,
Caracas, Venezuela 1080
Tel: 011-58-212-975-6411
Email: ImmigrantCaracas@state.gov
Internet: ve.usembassy.gov/

Venezuela's Adoption Authority 
Ministerio del Poder Popular de Relaciones Exteriores
Oficina de Relaciones Consulares
Attn: Carolina Iguaro
Piso 15
Avenida Urdaneta con Esquina Carmelitas
Caracas 1010
Venezuela
Tel: (58-212) 806-4504

Instituto Autónomo Consejo Nacional del Niño, Niña y Adolescente (IDENA)
Avenida Francisco de Miranda, Edificio Mene Grande, Piso 2
Caracas-Venezuela
Tel: (58-212) 287-0005/0757
Internet: http://www.idena.gob.ve

Embassy of Venezuela 
1099 30th St., N.W.,
Washington D.C. 20007
Tel: (202) 342 2214
Fax: (202) 342 6820

* Venezuela also has consulates in Boston, Chicago, Houston, Miami, New Orleans, New York, San Francisco, and San Juan.

Office of Children's Issues 
U.S. Department of State  
CA/OCS/CI  
SA-17, 9th Floor  
Washington, DC 20522-1709
Tel: 1-888-407-4747
E-mail: AskCI@state.gov
Internet: adoption.state.gov


U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) 

For questions about immigration procedures, call the National Customer Service Center (NCSC)

1-800-375-5283 (TTY 1-800-767-1833)

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
Visa
Classification
Fee Number
of Entries
Validity
Period
A-1 A None Multiple 60 Months
A-2 A None Multiple 60 Months
A-3 1 A 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 A None Multiple 60 Months
G-2 A None Multiple 60 Months
G-3 A None Multiple 60 Months
G-4 A None Multiple 60 Months
G-5 1 A 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
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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.

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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.

 

 

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General Documents

Important: Posts are required to check with Caracas prior to issuing A and G visas for Venezuelan diplomats and officials applying at posts outside of Venezuela. 

 

Birth, Death, Burial Certificates

Birth

  • Available:  Yes
  • Fees: No fee is required.
  • Document Name: Partida de Nacimiento
  • Issuing Authority: Civil Registry (Registro Civil) of the municipality or rural area in which the birth occurred
  • Special Seal(s) / Color / Format: Birth certificates have no security features as they are a copy of the book where they are registered.  Each copy must have a blue or black stamp with a legend stating “ es copia fiel del original”.
  • Issuing Authority Personnel Title: Must contain stamp and signature of the registry’s authority.
  • Registration Criteria: N/A
  • Procedure for Obtaining:  Procedures vary depending on the state/ registry from which it must be obtained.
  • Certified Copies Available: Yes
  • Alternate Documents: In the event that a birth certificate is unavailable, Venezuelans and foreign nationals residing in Venezuela may apply for Datos Filiatorios with Servicio Administrativo Identificacion Migracion y Extranjeria (SAIME). A Dato Filiatorio is a certified document signed by the Director of Central File Fingerprinting and SAIME that contains and verifies identifying information. Individuals can apply for Datos Filiatorios on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays between the hours of 7:30 to 3:30 at the SAIME office nearest them. For further information regarding this process, visit SAIME's website.
  • Comments:  Birth certificates are available for all persons born in Venezuela. A certified birth certificate serves as evidence of date and place of birth. Birth registration is mandatory and it must be filed immediately, although this doesn’t always occur. Civil registry offices are available in most maternity hospitals in Venezuela.
  • If the birth took place in a health care center in which the civil registrar does not have a presence or if it took place outside of a health care center (e.g. at home assisted by a midwife), parents have up to 90 days to file a birth registration at the nearest office of the registrar. Exceptions: If parents fail to register a birth within the 90 days deadline, they must request an extemporaneous Statement Report at the Council for the Protection of Children and Adolescents. This document must be presented along with the rest of the normal requisites for birth registration at a Civil registrar.

 

Death Certificate

 

  • Available:  Yes
  • Fees:  No fee is required.
  • Document Name: Acta de Defunción
  • Issuing Authority: Civil Registry (Registro Civil) where the death occurred
  • Special Seal(s) / Color / Format:  Death certificates have no security features and are copies from the book where the death was registered. They must have a blue or black stamp stating “ es copia fiel del original”
  • Issuing Authority Personnel Title:  Must contain stamp and signature of the registry’s authority.
  • Registration Criteria: It is mandatory to report deaths to the Civil Registrar within 48 hours of their occurrence. Direct family members, spouses or couples in a registered common law marriage, the captains of a vessel where a death took place, any civil, medic, and military or police authority with knowledge of an unknown deceased person may report deaths and obtain a registered death certificate. Upon registration of a death certificate the deceased person should automatically be disincorporated from the Venezuelan Voter Registry (CNE).
  • Procedure for Obtaining: Procedures vary depending on the state/ registry from which it must be obtained.
  • Certified Copies Available: Yes
  • Alternate Documents: N/A
  • Exceptions: N/A
  • Comments: N/A

 

Marriage, Divorce Certificates

Marriage

  • Available:  Yes
  • Fees: N/A
  • Document Name:  Acta de Matrimonio
  • Issuing Authority:  Civil Registry (Registro Civil) where the marriage was performed.
  • Special Seal(s) / Color / Format:  Marriage certificates have no security features as they are a copy of the book in which the registration was recorded.  They must have a blue or black stamp that states “es copia fiel del original”.
  • Issuing Authority Personnel Title:  Chief Civil Authority (Jefe Civil) of a district, or Parrish Judge (Juez de Parroquia), or Communal Council (Junta Comunal). Must contain stamp and signature of the registry’s authority.
  • Registration Criteria: N/A
  • Procedure for Obtaining:  Procedures vary depending on the province/registry from which it must be obtained.
  • Certified Copies Available:  Yes
  • Alternate Documents: Venezuela legally recognizes registered de facto or common law marriages (“concubinato”). In order to register a de facto marriage the parties must present proof that they are free to do so. They must be either single or present proof that any previous legal or de facto marriages have been legally terminated. The couple must present two (or more) witnesses who can testify the couple has been living together for at least five consecutive years. Upon the act of registration of a de facto marriage the couple can recognize any children they have together. De facto marriages do not entitle the parties the same rights as a legal civil marriage.
  • Exceptions: N/A
  • Comments: The Venezuelan Civil Code states that a civil marriage can only be contracted between a woman and a man, and it must be performed in the municipality where either the man or the woman resides. Once the civil marriage ceremony is performed, the couple may have a religious marriage ceremony.  The religious ceremony may not be performed until the minister or priest has received the marriage certificate issued by the Venezuelan government. In order to be legally married, females must be at least fourteen (14) years of age, and males must be at least sixteen (16) years of age. Parties under 18 years of age cannot contract a marriage without the written consent of their parents. Both parties must enter the marriage voluntarily and of their own free will and must be legally free to marry.  If either party’s prior marriage, religious or civil, has not been legally terminated (i.e. death or divorce) they cannot be married.
  • Same-sex marriage is not legally recognized in Venezuela.

 

Divorce

  • Available:  Yes
  • Fees:  Yes
  • Document Name: Sentencia de Divorcio (Divorce Decree)
  • Issuing Authority: Civil tribunal of the Court of First Instance (Juzgado de la Primera Instancia en lo Civil)
  • Special Seal(s) / Color / Format: Decrees of divorce have no security features and are only the judge’s written sentence of divorce.  
  • Issuing Authority Personnel Title: Judge. Must contain stamp and signature of the Court and Judge that issued divorce decree.
  • Registration Criteria: N/A
  • Procedure for Obtaining:  Procedures vary depending on the state/ court.
  • Certified Copies Available:  Yes
  • Alternate Documents:  N/A
  • Exceptions: N/A
  • Comments:  It is important that the document reflects divorce (divorcio) and not separation (separacion de cuerpos). Divorce suits originate in Civil Courts of First Instance (Juzgados de la Primera Instancia en lo Civil), and the decree is confirmed by the superior courts. There may be a fee for this service.
Adoption Certificates

Unavailable.

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Identity Card

National ID Cards

  • Available:  Yes
  • Fees: No fee is required.
  • Document Name: Cédula de Identidad C.I.
  • Issuing Authority: Servicio Administrativo de Identificación Migración y Extranjería, (SAIME)
  • Special Seal(s) / Color / Format: Features several security features for newer cards (post 2012), including lamination with embedded SAIME logo and black light threads in the paper. Cards issued in 2016 and on feature a black light-reactive seal of Venezuela on the back.
  • Issuing Authority Personnel Title: Current Director of SAIME.
  • Registration Criteria: Available for citizens and permanent residents, whose cards state “Extranjero” and have a yellow background.
  • Procedure for Obtaining: Citizens or residents must apply for it at the Servicio Administrativo de Identificación Migración y Extranjería, (SAIME).
  • Certified Copies Available: N/A
  • Alternate Documents: N/A
  • Exceptions:  N/A
  • Comments:  N/A
Police, Court, Prison Records

Police Certificates 

  

  • Available: Yes. To those 18 and older.
  • Fees: Free of charge
  • Document Name: Certificación de Antecedentes Penales
  • Issuing Authority: Records are issued by the División de Antecedentes Penales del Ministerio de Interior y Justicia, Av. Urdaneta, Esq. Platanal, Edificio Sede MPPRIJP, Piso 4, La Candelaria, Caracas, Venezuela.  
  • Special Seal(s) / Color / Format:  There is a QR code on the top right corner and there are two barcodes on both bottom corners. The document also exhibits a unique fourteen digit number between the bottom barcodes. There is a pre-scanned signature that corresponds to the signing authority along with a scanned stamp of the coat of arms with a line that says: “Certificacion de Antecedentes Penales”
  • Issuing Authority Personnel Title:  Viceministra de Politica Interior y Seguridad Juridica (Viceminister of Inner Affairs and Judicial Security)
  • Registration Criteria: Applicants without criminal records will have "No Registra de Antecedentes Penales" (does not have records) printed on the form.
  • Procedure for Obtaining: Police records are available free of charge to Venezuelans and non-Venezuelans over the age of 18 who consult the following web site: http://www.mpprij.gob.ve/ and select the option “certificaciones para trámites internacionales.” The validity of the document is verifiable through the same website.
  • Certified Copies: Not Available.
  • Alternate Documents:  Not Available
  • Exceptions: None
  • Comments: This document certifies that the subject does not have any convictions or pending court cases. It does not certify that they have never been arrested. Non-Venezuelans who are not residents of Venezuela (do not possess a national identity card) are unable to request police certificates at this time.  Applicants falling into this category should be prepared to show their current visa or explanation of non-resident status at the time of the visa interview.
  • Arrest records are unavailable to individuals and are not well centralized. The Certificación de Antecedentes Penales certifies that an individual has no prior convictions

 

Prison Records

  • Unavailable to individuals, although state institutions may request a prison record for official purposes for no charge.
Military Records

Unavailable.

Passports & Other Travel Documents

Passports

  • Types Available (Regular, Diplomatic, Official, etc.): Regular, Diplomatic, and Official
  • Fees: Bs. 2,124.00
  • Document Name:  Pasaporte de la República Bolivariana de Venezuela
  • Issuing Government Authority: Servicio Administrativo de Identificación Migración y Extranjería, (SAIME)
  • Special Seal(s) / Color / Format: Electronic passport, Mercosour compliant. Maroon cover prior to 2015, when the current blue cover debuted.
  • Issuing Authority Personnel Title: Current Director of SAIME.
  • Registration Criteria: Must present birth certificate or cédula de identidad during an application appointment.
  • Procedure for Obtaining: Must schedule an online appointment.
  • Alternate Documents: N/A
  • Exceptions: N/A
  • Comments: N/A
  • Other Documents Available: N/A

 

Other Travel Documents

  • Available:  Yes
  • Fees: Fees may vary.
  • Document Name: Permiso de viaje para menores
  • Issuing Authority: Consejo de Protección del Niño y del Adolescente
  • Special Seal(s) / Color / Format: Notarized document.
  • Issuing Authority Personnel Title: Current Director of SAIME.
  • Registration Criteria: Travel permits for minors allow children under 18 to travel within the Venezuelan territory or abroad, either alone, with a guardian or with only one parent.
  • Procedure for Obtaining: This permit consists of an authenticated notarized written consent from the parents or other parent. This document must be authenticated by the Consejo de Protección del Niño y del Adolescente. Its validity is limited to each trip or group of trips and has a validity of no more than one year.
  • Certified Copies Available: Yes.
  • Alternate Documents: N/A
  • Exceptions:  N/A
  • Comments:  N/A
Other Records

Penal Certificates

Unavailable to individuals, although state institutions may request a penal certificate for official purposes for no charge.

 

Visa Issuing Posts

Caracas, Venezuela (Embassy)

Mailing Address:
APO AA 34037-3140

Street Address:
Calle Suapure and Calle F,
Colinas de Valle Arriba
Caracas, Venezuela

Tel: (58) (212) 975-6411 /

(58) (212) 975-9821-after hour emergencies

 

Visa Services

All visa categories for all of Venezuela.

Immigrant Visa Services for Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao have been transferred to Embassy Bogota.

 

Foreign Consular Office Contact Information

Washington, DC (202) 627-1444 (202) 342-6820 (202) 342-6827

Boston, MA (617) 266-9475 (617) 266-9368 (617) 266-2350

Chicago, IL (312) 324-0907 (312) 580-1010

Houston, TX (713) 974-0027 (713) 974-0028 (713) 974-1413

Miami, FL (305) 577-4214 (305) 372-5167

New Orleans, LA (504) 210-1020 (504) 524-6700 (504) 522-7092

New York, NY (212) 826-1660 (212) 644-7471

San Francisco, CA (415) 294-2252 (415) 296-6479

San Juan, PR (787) 766-4250 (787) 766-4255

Assistance for U.S. Citizens

U.S. Embassy Caracas
Calle F con Calle Suapure,
Urb. Colinas de Valle Arriba,
Caracas, Venezuela 1080
Telephone
+(58) (212) 975-6411
Emergency
+(58) (212) 907-8400
Fax
+(58) (212) 907-8199
Venezuela 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.