International Travel

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Before You Go

Our Consular Safety and Security Messaging

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We have made it easy for you to get clear, timely, and reliable safety and security information about every country in the world and access it at home or on the go via our mobile-friendly website, travel.state.gov.

Take Us With You Wherever You Go Abroad

The mission of the Department of State’s Bureau of Consular Affairs is to protect the lives and serve the interests of U.S. citizens abroad. We provide information to help you assess for yourself the risks of international travel and what steps to take to ensure your safety when you decide to go abroad.

Before You Go

You can access all of our safety and security information on one country page. So before you travel, check our Travel Advisory and Alerts for your destination(s) at travel.state.gov/destination. Be sure to read further country-specific details on the same page that could affect your travel, such as entry/exit requirements, local laws and customs, health conditions, transportation, and other relevant topics.

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Travel Advisory

We issue a Travel Advisory for each country of the world. Travel Advisories follow a consistent format and use plain language to help U.S. citizens find and use important security information. Travel Advisories apply up to four standard levels of advice, describe the risks, and provide clear actions U.S. citizens should take to help ensure their safety.

To see a complete list of Travel Advisories for every country in the world, see travel.state.gov/traveladvisories.  Click on our color-coded world map at travelmaps.state.gov for a global view.

Levels 1-4

The Travel Advisory appears at the top of each country page, with a color corresponding to each level: 

Level 1 - Exercise Normal Precautions: This is the lowest advisory level for safety and security risk. There is some risk in any international travel. Conditions in other countries may differ from those in the United States and may change at any time.    

Level 2 - Exercise Increased Caution:  Be aware of heightened risks to safety and security. The Departments of State provides additional advice for travelers in these areas in the Travel Advisory. Conditions in any country may change at any time.  

Level 3 - Reconsider Travel: Avoid travel due to serious risks to safety and security. The Department of State provides additional advice for travelers in these areas in the Travel Advisory. Conditions in any country may change at any time.  

Level 4 – Do Not Travel:  This is the highest advisory level due to greater likelihood of life-threatening risks. During an emergency, the U.S. government may have very limited ability to provide assistance. The Department of State advises that U.S. citizens not travel to the country or to leave as soon as it is safe to do so. The Department of State provides additional advice for travelers in these areas in the Travel Advisory. Conditions in any country may change at any time.   

Varying Levels

We issue an overall Travel Advisory level for a country, but levels of advice may vary for specific locations or areas within a country. For instance, we may advise U.S. citizens to “Exercise increased caution” (Level 2) in a country, but to “Reconsider travel” (Level 3) to a particular area within the country.

Risk Indicators

Travel Advisories at Levels 2-4 contain clear reasons for the level assigned, using established risk indicators and specific advice to U.S. citizens who choose to travel there. These are:

  • C – Crime: Widespread violent or organized crime is present in areas of the country. Local law enforcement may have limited ability to respond to serious crimes.
  • T – Terrorism: Terrorist attacks have occurred and/or specific threats against civilians, groups, or other targets may exist.
  • U – Civil Unrest: Political, economic, religious, and/or ethnic instability exists and may cause violence, major disruptions, and/or safety risks.
  • H – Health: Health risks, including current disease outbreaks or a crisis that disrupts a country’s medical infrastructure, are present. The issuance of a Centers for Disease Control Travel Notice may also be a factor. 
  • N - Natural Disaster: A natural disaster, or its aftermath, poses danger.
  • E - Time-limited Event: Short-term event, such as elections, sporting events, or other incidents that may pose safety risks.
  • O – Other: There are potential risks not covered by previous risk indicators. Read the country’s Travel Advisory for details.

Interactive Map

An interactive map is on each country page. Click on “View Larger Map”  on the page or see travelmaps.state.gov to view countries color-coded with the Travel Advisory levels. Countries with varying levels of travel advice have stripes to indicate you should read the whole Travel Advisory for more details.

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Alerts

U.S. embassies and consulates abroad issue Alerts to inform U.S. citizens of specific safety and security concerns in a country, such as demonstrations, crime trends, and weather events. A standard, easy-to-read format makes them easy to access, understand, and take action.

Recent Alerts for a country appear below the Travel Advisory. Here is an example of what an Alert looks like:

Health Alert - U. S. Embassy Bridgetown (January 10, 2018)

Location: South Coast of Barbados between Hastings and St. Lawrence Gap

Event: There is an overflow of raw sewage due to mechanical failure on the island’s south coast that is affecting the water quality at certain beaches between the Hastings and St. Lawrence gap areas.  Sewage has periodically bubbled up onto the streets, and there are reports that the overflow is reaching the beach areas.

Actions to Take:

  • Avoid water activities in the affected areas (south coast between St. Lawrence gap and Hastings.).
  • Beware of sewage on the streets.  If you come into contact with sewage, wash your hands, shoes, and any clothing that may have come into contact with the effluence.
  • Seek medical attention if you become ill.

Assistance:

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Stay Connected

There are a number of ways to receive updates of our safety and security information. Choose the one that is right for you.  

 

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