The Department of State warns U.S. citizens of continuing threats from terrorist groups in Bangladesh and to consider the risks of travel to and throughout the country. The Department is updating this travel warning to reflect the change in the U.S. Embassy in Dhaka’s status to “partially accompanied,” effective August 24, 2017, allowing all spouses/partners of U.S. government personnel to remain in or return to Dhaka. Previously, only adult family members employed by the U.S. government were permitted to remain or return to Dhaka. Minor dependents are still prohibited from residing in Dhaka. The U.S. Embassy remains open and will provide all consular services. This travel warning replaces the travel warning dated January 5, 2017.
While Bangladeshi security forces continue to identify and counter terrorist elements, the Islamic State of Iraq and ash Sham (ISIS) and al-Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS) persist in their efforts to plot and/or carry out terrorist attacks throughout the country. In March, two suicide bombing attempts occurred at Dhaka’s Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport and an explosion in the city of Sylhet killed seven people. These incidents were the first notable attacks since July 1, 2016, when terrorists killed more than 20 people, including one U.S. citizen, in a restaurant frequented by foreigners in Dhaka's diplomatic enclave.
In October 2016, ISIS threatened to target "expats, tourists, diplomats, garment buyers, missionaries, and sports teams" in the most "secured zones" in Bangladesh. Recurring threats and periodic terrorist activities have prompted the Embassy to require U.S. government personnel in Bangladesh to live, work, and travel under strict security guidelines. The internal security policies of the U.S. Mission in Bangladesh may be changed or adjusted at any time and without advance notice.
U.S. government officials and their adult family members are not permitted to travel on foot, motorcycle, bicycle, rickshaw, or other uncovered means on public thoroughfares and sidewalks in Bangladesh. In addition, U.S. government officials and their family members remain severely restricted in their ability to visit public establishments and places or to attend large gatherings in Bangladesh. U.S. citizens should take stringent security measures, remain vigilant, and be alert to local security developments.
For further information:
Bangladesh is located on the northern edge of the Bay of Bengal; it is bordered on three sides by India and also shares a border with Burma. Approximately 160 million people inhabit Bangladesh. Bangladesh is a parliamentary democracy with a unicameral legislature. The nation is a developing country with significant infrastructure shortcomings. Outside of Dhaka, tourist facilities are underdeveloped, as are capacities to deal with emergency situations.
See the Department of State’s Fact Sheet on Bangladesh for information about U.S.-Bangladesh relations.
Passports and Visas:
HIV/AIDS: Some HIV/AIDS entry restrictions exist for visitors to and foreign residents of Bangladesh. Please verify this information with the Embassy of Bangladesh before you travel.
Customs: For information about customs regulations, please read our Customs Information page
The U.S. government assesses that the terrorist threat remains real and credible and that further terrorist attacks could occur against foreigners in Bangladesh. U.S. citizens in Bangladesh should take precautions, remain vigilant, and be alert to local security developments.
Since 2015, ISIS-affiliated terrorists have conducted over 30 attacks that targeted foreigners, religious minorities, and local police/security services. In March 2017, ISIS claimed responsibility for at least three bombings in multiple locations in Bangladesh, including two suicide attacks that targeted security forces near Dhaka’s Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport. The third bombing transpired during a police raid against suspected terrorists, killing seven onlookers and injuring 40. If you observe high-profile police activity, depart the area immediately. These three bombings were the first major terrorist attacks in the country since July 2016, when ISIS attacked a Dhaka restaurant frequented by Westerners, killing 20 hostages, including a U.S. citizen.
Al-Qa’ida in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS) retains a presence in Bangladesh; the group last carried out attacks in 2015 and 2016 that killed several secular bloggers, publishers, and human rights activitists; a U.S. citizen was among the victims.
Current aviation safety and security protocols for Bangladeshi airports are not equivalent to those of the United States. The United States Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has raised significant aviation security concerns, as have the United Kingdom Department for Transport, and the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) regarding Dhaka’s Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport. In November 2016, an individual armed with a knife attempted to gain entry to the airport through the international departures access point. As of June 2017, the European Union joined Australia in banning direct air cargo services and shipments from Bangladesh pending improvements to Dhaka’s security screening procedures. DOD personnel are prohibited from using Biman Airlines.
The following groups, including several on the U.S. government’s list of designated Foreign Terrorist Organizations, are active in Bangladesh:
U.S. government officials and their adult family members must follow these security and travel restrictions:
Specific Areas to Avoid:
Fire: Fires in Bangladesh are both common and extremely dangerous. To call the fire department, dial 199 in Dhaka or (88) (02) 199 outside of Dhaka, or call by mobile phone from anywhere in Bangladesh by dialing (88) 01713-038181, (88) 01713-038182 or (88) 01730-336699.
Crime: Dhaka's crime rate is high. Crime dramatically increases at night. Urban crime can be organized or opportunistic, conducted by individuals or groups, and commonly encompasses acts such as fraud, theft, robbery carjacking, rape, assault, and burglary. Incidents of crime and levels of violence are higher in low-income residential and congested commercial areas, but are seen in wealthier areas as well, including the Diplomatic Enclave in Dhaka.
Victims of Crime: Victims of crime should contact the U.S. Embassy and the police. Remember that local authorities are responsible for investigating and prosecuting the crime.
To report a crime locally you may contact:
The U.S. Embassy can:
Domestic Violence: U.S. citizen victims of domestic violence may contact the Embassy for assistance.
For further information:
Criminal Penalties: You must obey all laws in Bangladesh.
Arrest Notification: If you are arrested or detained, ask police or prison officials to notify the U.S. Embassy immediately. See our webpage for further information.
Dual Nationality: U.S. citizens holding both U.S. and Bangladeshi citizenship may not be immediately recognized as U.S. citizens by the local authorities and may initially be treated as Bangladeshi citizens.
Forced Marriage: A marriage must be entered into with the full and free consent of both individuals. The Embassy can provide help and advice if a U.S. citizen is being forced into a marriage against his or her will. Please refer to the U.S. Embassy’s information on forced marriage. All travelers to Bangladesh, including Bangladeshi citizens, should maintain possession of their passports and return plane tickets to ensure independence to travel.
Registration for Renters: The Bangladesh Government registers all residents, requesting biodata and other personal information. This registration is mandatory for all renters, but is voluntary for home-owners and for foreigners. Foreigners who are dual nationals or who once held Bangladesh nationality or who have a “no visa required” stamp in their passports will be considered Bangladeshi for registration purposes.
Bangladesh is in a zone 2B earthquake fault region, with a moderate probability of damaging ground motion. The overwhelming majority of structures in Bangladesh would not withstand a moderate earthquake. Although earthquakes are more likely to occur in the north of the country, destruction from an earthquake is expected to be most acute in urban areas. Post-earthquake disaster relief capabilities are extremely limited.
You should make contingency plans for your travel in Bangladesh and leave emergency contact information with family members outside of Bangladesh. General information about natural disaster preparedness is available from the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and at Ready.gov. For more information on disaster preparedness, please click on the following links:
Women Travelers: If you are a woman traveling abroad, please review our travel tips for Women Travelers.
Faith-Based Travelers: See our following webpages for details:
LGBTI Rights: Consensual same-sex sexual activity is criminalized in Bangladesh and penalties include up to life imprisonment. See our LGBTI Travel Information page and section 6 of our Human Rights report for further details. In 2016, AQIS specifically targeted and killed a prominent member of the Bangladesh LGBTI community in his apartment because of his human rights activism and sexual orientation.
Persons with Mobility Issues: Public transportation, sidewalks, many buildings, and public areas are not wheelchair accessible.
Medical Insurance: Make sure your health insurance plan covers you when you are outside of the United States.
Medical Care: Quality of care is below U.S. standards, but most common illnesses can be treated locally. U.S. citizens often travel outside of Bangladesh for complicated medical treatment, including routine surgical procedures.
Vaccinations: Be up-to-date on all vaccinations recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention specific for Bangladesh
Further Health Information:
Road Conditions and Safety:
Road accidents, including fatal head-on collisions, are common in Bangladesh. When traveling by road you should:
If a serious accident occurs, or if a driver hits a pedestrian or livestock, crowds quickly gather and the behavior of the crowd is often unpredictable. The vehicle and its occupants may be at risk of being attacked in such circumstances depending on who the crowd believes is at fault and what damage has occurred. Such attacks may pose significant risk of injury or death to the vehicle's occupants or damage to the vehicle. It is unsafe to remain at the scene of an accident of this nature. Seek shelter at the nearest police station.
Aviation Safety Oversight:
The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has assessed the government of Bangladesh’s Civil Aviation Authority as not being in compliance with ICAO aviation safety standards for oversight of Bangladesh’s air carrier operations. Further information may be found on the FAA’s safety assessment page.
DISCLAIMER: THE INFORMATION IS PROVIDED FOR GENERAL INFORMATION ONLY AND MAY NOT BE TOTALLY ACCURATE IN A SPECIFIC CASE. QUESTIONS INVOLVING INTERPRETATION OF SPECIFIC FOREIGN LAWS SHOULD BE ADDRESSED TO THE APPROPRIATE FOREIGN AUTHORITIES OR FOREIGN COUNSEL.
For information concerning travel to Bangladesh, 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 Bangladesh.
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.
Bangladesh is not a signatory to the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction (Hague Abduction Convention), nor are there any bilateral agreements in force between Bangladesh and the United States concerning international parental child abduction.
Legal systems and laws pertaining to custody, divorce, and parental abduction vary widely from country to country. The government of Bangladesh maintains information about custody, visitation, and family law on the Internet at here and here.
Parents are encouraged to consult with an attorney who specializes in family law in Bangladesh and who can provide accurate legal guidance that is specific to their circumstances.
The Department of State’s Bureau of Consular Affairs, Directorate for Overseas Citizens Services, Office of Children’s Issues provides assistance in cases of international parental child abduction. For U.S. citizen parents whose children have been wrongfully removed to or retained in countries that are not U.S. partners under the Hague Abduction Convention, the Office of Children’s Issues can provide information and resources about country-specific options for pursuing the return of or access to an abducted child. The Office of Children’s Issues may also coordinate with appropriate foreign and U.S. government authorities about the welfare of abducted U.S. citizen children. Parents are strongly encouraged to contact the Department of State for assistance.
Parental child abduction is not a crime in Bangladesh.
Parents may wish to consult with an attorney in the United States and in the country to which the child has been removed or retained to learn more about how filing criminal charges may impact a custody case in the foreign court. Please see Pressing Criminal Charges for more information.
Legal systems and laws pertaining to custody, divorce, and parental abduction vary widely from country to country. Parents are encouraged to consult with an attorney who specializes in family law in Bangladesh and who can provide accurate legal guidance that is specific to their circumstances.
The Office of Children’s Issues may be able to assist parents seeking access to children who have been wrongfully removed from or retained outside the United States. Parents who are seeking access to children who were not wrongfully removed from or retained outside the United States should contact the U.S. Embassy in Bangladesh for information and possible assistance.
Neither the Office of Children’s Issues nor consular officials at the U.S. Embassy in Bangladesh are authorized to provide legal advice.
The U.S. Embassy in Dhaka, Bangladesh, posts a 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 persons or firms included in this list. Professional credentials and areas of expertise are provided directly by the lawyers.
Recently, the Bangladesh Ministry of Law began an active campaign to formally incorporate mediation in both criminal and civil cases. However, to date mediation is not mandatory and remains up to the discretion and agreement of the mediating parties in both civil and criminal courts. There are also a number of local NGOs in Bangladesh that may provide Alternative Dispute Resolution and mediation services.
While travelling in a foreign country, you are subject to the laws of that country. It is important for parents to understand that, although a left behind parent in the United States may have custody or visitation rights pursuant to a U.S. custody order, that order may not be valid and enforceable in the country in which the child is located. For this reason, we strongly encourage you to speak to a local attorney when planning to remove a child from a foreign country without the consent of the other parent. Attempts to remove your child to the United States may:
To understand the legal effect of a U.S. order in a foreign country, a parent should consult with a local attorney.
For information about hiring an attorney abroad, see our section on Retaining a Foreign Attorney.
Although we cannot recommend an attorney to you, most U.S. Embassies have lists of attorneys available online. Please visit the local U.S. Embassy or Consulate website for a full listing.
For more information on consular assistance for U.S. citizens arrested abroad, please see our website.
Country officers are available to speak with you Monday - Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. For assistance with an abduction in progress or any emergency situation that occurs after normal business hours, on weekends, or federal holidays, please call toll free at 1-888-407-4747. See all contact information
DISCLAIMER: The information in this flyer is provided for general information only, is not intended to be legal advice, and may change without notice. Questions involving interpretation of law should be addressed to an attorney licensed in the relevant jurisdiction.
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.
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.
Please check back for update.
Available. Registration of birth is required in Bangladesh under Construct 21 Rules. The Government of Bangladesh has designated local registrar offices throughout Bangladesh for issuance of birth certificates. Applicants should contact the designated office in the locality where they were born. The authorized registrar office is usually the City Corporation, the Pourashava Office, the Union Porishad Office or the Cantonment Board. In some rural areas, the municipal Chairman's office provides registered birth certificates. The format of the birth certificate should include biographic data, the serial number of the register, the page number of the register where the data was recorded and the identity of person who registered the birth. Embassy Dhaka will not accept affidavits of birth from relatives, friends and neighbors.
Available. A registered death certificate is issued in compliance with the Construct 21 rules of the Government of Bangladesh. The Government of Bangladesh has designated local registrar offices throughout Bangladesh for issuance of death certificates. Applicants should contact the designated office in the locality where the deceased was buried. The authorized registrar office is usually the City Corporation, the Pourashava Office, the Union Porishad Office or the Cantonment Board. In some rural areas, the municipal Chairman's office provides registered death certificates. The format of the death certificate should have biographic information about the deceased, the serial number of the register, the page number of the register where the data, and the identity of person who registered the death. Embassy Dhaka will not accept death certificates from hospitals, clinics or doctors. If your spouse, previous spouse, or any family member related to your case is deceased, you must obtain the death certificate from the designated death registry office.
Available. In the case of divorce in Muslim marriages, all divorces should be registered with the local Kazi office. Applicants must obtain the Talak Nama (Bengali and English version) from the Kazi office where the divorce was registered. In the case of Christian marriages, The Divorce Act of 1869 confers matrimonial jurisdiction on certain courts and permits divorce of Christians on specified grounds. Applications for divorce in these cases can be made to the High Court. For other religions in Bangladesh, there is no standard civil or religious authority for registering a divorce.
Not available. Adoption has not been permitted in Bangladesh since approximately 1981. Certificates of abandonment are no longer issued.
Available. In order to obtain a police certificate from Bangladesh, a fee of Taka 500 (for each police certificate) payable to Bangladesh Bank or Sonali Bank is required by the Government of Bangladesh. Applicants should contact their local police station with a copy of the fee receipt (TR form No. 6), their passports and an application requesting the Officer-In-Charge to issue a police certificate. The police certificate should be reviewed, cleared and signed by the Deputy Police Commissioner and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Government of Bangladesh. The foregoing procedures may be changed at any time by the Government of Bangladesh. For additional instructions applicants should contact the local police station.
For Bangladeshis living outside of Bangladesh, you can obtain guidance concerning police records from the nearest Bangladesh Consulate or contact the U.S. Embassy in Dhaka for further information.
ARREST RECORD: If any applicant has prior arrest record(s), he or she should submit police certificate(s) showing a record of all arrests, the reason for the arrest(s), and the disposition of each case. The documentation must cite the section of law covering the offense.
Available only on request from the Embassy at Dhaka to the Inspector General of Prisons in the district where the prison is located. Contact Embassy Dhaka for additional information.
Dhaka, Bangladesh (Embassy)
Tel: (880) (2) 885-5500 through 885-5522
Fax: (880) (2) 882-3744
All visa categories for all of Bangladesh.
The workweek is Sunday through Thursday.