Travel Advisories


Travel Advisories

Madagascar Travel Advisory

Travel Advisory
January 10, 2018
Madagascar - Level 1: Exercise Normal Precautions

Exercise normal precautions in Madagascar. Some areas have increased risk. Read the entire Travel Advisory. 

Exercise increased caution in:

  • High-traffic tourist areas due to crime.

Read the Safety and Security section on the country information page.

If you decide to travel to Madagascar:

High-traffic tourist areas

Violent crime, such as armed robbery and assaults, is common in:

  • Antananarivo, Nosy Be, Toamasina (Tamatave) and Mahajunga
  • Ankarana and Montagne d’Ambre National Parks adjacent to Diego
  • Isalo
  • General area surrounding Tolagnaro (Ft. Dauphin), south of National Route (RN) 7 and RN 27 (excluding the tourist area on the coastal roads between Ambovombe and Farafangana)
  • Batteie Beach, north of Toliara (Tuléar)
Travel Advisory Levels
1 Exercise normal precautions, 2 Exercise increased caution, 3 Reconsider travel, 4 Do not travel

Republic of Madagascar
Quick Facts

6 months at the time of entry


3 pages


Yes, available upon arrival


Yellow fever, if traveling from a yellow fever endemic country within six months of arrival





Embassies and Consulates

U.S. Embassy Antananarivo

Lot 207 A, Point Liberty
Andranoro, Antehiroka
105 Antananarivo

Telephone: +(261) (20) 23-480-00 (Monday through Thursday from 7:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.)

Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(261) (20) 23-480-00

Fax: +(261) (20) 23-480-35

Destination Description

See our Fact Sheet on Madagascar for information on U.S. – Madagascar relations.

Entry, Exit and Visa Requirements

Requirements for Entry:

  • Passport, valid for six months from your date of entry and with three blank pages
  • Visa, obtain before traveling or purchase at port of entry with U.S. dollars, Euros, or Malagasy Ariary if staying less than three months. Credit cards are not accepted.
  • Evidence of onward/return travel
  • Proof of sufficient funds
  • World Health Organization (WHO) card with yellow fever vaccination if entering from an infected zone within six months of your arrival.

Visit the Embassy of Madagascar website or the nearest Madagascar embassy or consulate for visa information and documents required for visa extensions.

Contact the Embassy of Madagascar to obtain your visa before traveling if you intend to either stay longer than three months or adjust your visa status. Per official sources, Malagasy visas, including the Residency Card, are now biometric. 

The website for the Ministry of Interior has information regarding how to request an extension of your visa. The U.S. Embassy in Antananarivo cannot help you extend your visa. Screening for Ebola infection will be conducted at the airports.

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

Minor children: Though not legally required, a parent traveling to and from Madagascar with minor children might find it advisable to have a notarized letter of consent to travel from the absent parent, preferably in French.  The letter of consent (in English) is a requirement for minor children transiting South Africa.

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

Special Note: Overseas departments and territories of France (e.g., Mayotte) are not included in the Schengen Agreement. See the Embassy of France website for further information.  

Safety and Security

While demonstrations and political violence have abated with the installation of a democratically elected government in January 2014, civil unrest and violence may occur and the security situation could deteriorate rapidly.  As an example, in June 2016, a series of grenade explosions killed three people and injured dozens in Antananarivo during Independence Day celebrations. Be especially vigilant in the vicinity of government buildings, the national stadium, and historical monuments in Antananarivo, where violent incidents have occurred.

Since 2012, violent confrontations between the Dahalo and security forces have increased in several regions of Madagascar, but particularly in areas south and west of the capital.

In the past year, there have been instances of mob violence and ‘popular justice’ sometimes directed toward foreign nationals, often precipitated by rumors or allegations of injuries to local citizens. Street altercations and traffic accidents can quickly draw large and sometimes violent crowds. Exercise caution and remain calm if you find yourself in a dispute, particularly in a public place. If you feel threatened by large crowds, immediately leave the scene, seek the direct intervention of local law enforcement, and contact the U.S. Embassy. 

CRIME: Petty crime in Madagascar is rampant. Skilled pickpockets are very active in downtown Antananarivo, and they primarily target jewelry, purses, and mobile phones. Additionally, criminals have stolen luggage from baggage claim areas at Antananarivo’s Ivato International Airport by simply grabbing items off the conveyor belt and exiting the airport.

More serious crimes, including home invasions, have also plagued Madagascar. Over the last several years, the entire country has experienced a dramatic spike not only in the number of crimes, but also in their severity and type, including armed attacks, robberies, and assaults. U.S. Embassy personnel are instructed not to use taxi-bes (which operate within urban centers) and taxi-brousses (which travel to outlying regions) due to increased risk of carjacking and highway robbery. The majority of reported crimes were directed at Malagasy nationals but Westerners have likewise been targeted.

  • Avoid walking alone especially after dark.
  • Do not display cash and valuables.
  • Drive with doors locked and windows closed.
  • Always carry a copy of your U.S. passport and visa. Keep original documents in a secure location.

Coastal cities like Toamasina and Mahajunga have experienced a particularly significant rise in crime over the last year. Violent assaults on foreign travelers in high-traffic tourist areas have been reported in:

  • Nosy Be
  • Ankarana and Montagne d’Ambre National Parks adjacent to Diego
  • Isahlo
  • area surrounding Tolagnaro (Ft. Dauphin)
  • Batteie Beach, north of Toliara (Tuléar)

Visiting remote sites: While the government has increased the number of dedicated police units at popular tourist sites, only visit remote sites in large groups guided by reputable tour operators.

Exercise caution when traveling through these designated areas due to violent highway robberies:

  • The general area south of the National Route (RN) 7 and RN 27 including the RN 10, RN 13, and the surrounding areas. Except the tourist area on the coastal roads between Ambovombe and Farafangana, including Fort Dauphin/Tolagnaro area.
  • The RN 1B which is located to the west of Antananarivo between Tsiroanomandidy and Maintirano.

See the Department of State and the FBI pages for information on scams.

Victims of Crime:

Report crimes to the local police at 117, 22-227-35, or 22-357-09/10. U.S. citizens can also call the U.S. Embassy at (261) 20-23-480-00 if assistance is needed in communicating with law enforcement officials. 

Remember that local authorities are responsible for investigating and prosecuting the crime.

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

We can:

  • help you find appropriate medical care
  • assist you in reporting a crime to the police
  • contact relatives or friends with your written consent
  • explain the local criminal justice process in general terms
  • provide a list of local attorneys
  • provide our information on victim’s compensation programs in the U.S.
  • provide an emergency loan for repatriation to the United States and/or limited medical support in cases of destitution
  • help you find accommodation and arrange flights home
  • replace a stolen or lost passport

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

For further information:

Local Laws & Special Circumstances

Criminal Penalties: You are subject to local laws. If you violate local laws, even unknowingly, you may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned. 

Furthermore, some laws are also prosecutable in the U.S., regardless of local law. For examples, see our website on crimes against minors abroad and the Department of Justice website.

Arrest Notification: If you are arrested or detained, ask police or prison officials to notify the U.S. Embassy immediately. See our webpage for further information.

Drugs: Penalties for possession, use, or trafficking in illegal drugs in Madagascar are severe, and convicted offenders can expect long jail sentences and heavy fines. 

Visa overstays are a violation of local laws and U.S. citizens who overstay their visas will be subject to fines and potential prosecution.

Exporting Gemstones/Precious Materials: The government of Madagascar recently imposed restrictions on the export of precious gems. Before purchasing or transporting gemstones, seek clarification of the applicable laws. Any precious materials should be accompanied by a certificate of authenticity and a certificate to allow for exportation from Madagascar.

Currency: Madagascar is primarily a cash-driven economy. Although some high-end establishments accept credit cards (normally only Visa-network cards), most shops and restaurants are cash only.

Although the government changed the local currency from the Malagasy Franc (FMG) to the Ariary several years ago, many Malagasy still think in terms of FMG. When discussing prices, you should quantify whether the price is in Ariary or FMG (1 Ariary = 5 FMG). ATMs, which generally accept Visa-network cards only, are available in large cities. Dollars are not widely accepted, and $100 bills are frequently refused at banks and local businesses.

Faith-Based Travelers: See our following webpages for details:

LGBTI Travelers: Consensual same-sex sexual relations are criminalized in Madagascar with and between persons under the age of 21, and Malagasy law contains no anti-discrimination protections for LGBTI persons. Penalties can include imprisonment and fines.

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

Travelers Who Require Accessibility Assistance: There is ample public transportation, but entering and exiting vehicles is precarious, and they are not equipped to accommodate passengers with disabilities. Vehicles are often still in motion as passengers enter and exit. There are no sidewalks in the vast majority of the country, and the roads are hazardous for foot travel with swerving vehicles and uneven surfaces. There are no pedestrian crossing signs or designated pathways, and crossing any street involves an element of risk. Pedestrian injuries are common. Public spaces are not wheelchair-accessible.

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

Women Travelers: See our travel tips for Women Travelers.


Consult the CDC website for Madagascar prior to travel.

See the List of Health Care Providers on the Embassy Antananarivo web page.

You are responsible for all medical costs. U.S. Medicare does not cover you overseas.

Medical Insurance: If your health insurance plan does not provide coverage overseas, we strongly recommend supplemental insurance to cover medical evacuation.

Carry prescription medication in original packaging, along with your doctor’s prescription. 

The following diseases are prevalent:

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

Further health information:

Travel and Transportation

Road Conditions and Safety: Road conditions range from minimally acceptable to very poor. There are few pedestrian crosswalks and no working traffic signals.

U.S. Embassy personnel are prohibited from driving outside of major cities after dark. Certain roads in Antananarivo have restrictions on tractor trailers during the day, so trucks use the roads at night and do not always follow the traffic rules. Street lighting is limited, and it is difficult to see pedestrians, carts, and livestock. Additional risks include:

  • headlights that are extremely dim or not used
  • excessive speeding

There are random police vehicle checkpoints throughout Madagascar, so carry photo identification (residency card, U.S. passport) in the event of police questioning. These checkpoints are routine in nature and should not result in vehicle and/or person searches as long as valid identification and visas are shown. However, travelers have reported harassment and bribe solicitation.

  • Comply with the officers’ requests. Remain courteous and calm.
  • Stay inside your vehicle with doors locked and open the window slightly to communicate. Turn on your interior vehicle light at night.
  • Tell the officer you are a U.S. citizen and display your U.S. passport through the window. 
  • Do not leave until instructed to do so.
  • Report harassment to the U.S. Embassy.

Please note:

  • Local practice is to blow the horn before going around a curve, to let others know of one's presence.
  • Seatbelt use is mandatory.
  • You may not use cell phones while driving, even with a hands-free attachment.
  • Child safety seats are not mandatory, but we highly recommend you use them.
  • You are required to wear a helmet when on a motorcycle.
  • If you are caught driving under the influence of alcohol, your car will be impounded for a few days, and you will have to pay a fine.
  • If you are involved in an accident involving injuries and/or deaths, there is a mandatory court case. The losing party of the court case must then pay all costs.

Public Transportation: Public transportation is unreliable and vehicles are poorly maintained. Rail services are extremely limited and unreliable.

Domestic and international air services operate regularly but are subject to delays and occasional breakdowns. Air Madagascar often changes in-country flight schedules based on demand; flights that are not full may be cancelled with little or no prior warning to passengers. Overbooking is also common. Reconfirmation of tickets prior to flight day is recommended, especially when flying from provincial airports.

For more informatoin, please visit our Road Safety page. 

The Ministry of Public Works, telephone (20) 22-318-02, is Madagascar's authority responsible for road safety. 

Aviation Safety Oversight: As there is no direct commercial air service to the United States by carriers registered in Madagascar, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has not assessed the Government of Madagascar’s Civil Aviation Authority for compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards. Further information may be found on the FAA's safety assessment page.

Maritime Travel: Mariners planning travel to Madagascar should check for U.S. maritime advisories and alerts at the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Maritime Security Communications with Industry WebPortal. Information may also be posted to the  U.S. Coast Guard homeport website and as a broadcast warning on the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency’s website.

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

U.S. Embassy Antananarivo

Lot 207 A, Point Liberty
Andranoro, Antehiroka
105 Antananarivo

Telephone: +(261) (20) 23-480-00 (Monday through Thursday from 7:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.)

Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(261) (20) 23-480-00

Fax: +(261) (20) 23-480-35

General Information
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Hague Abduction Convention
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Retaining an Attorney
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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?
Are Intercountry Adoptions between this country and the United States possible?
Is this country a U.S. Hague Partner?
Hague Convention Information

Madagascar 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 Madagascar and the United States must meet the requirements of the Convention and U.S. law implementing the Convention.

The Government of Madagascar has ratified the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-Operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption. A new adoption law in Madagascar went into effect in 2007, which closely follows Hague Convention processing requirements. Practical implementation of the new law is still being tested as cases work their way through the system. Therefore, prospective adoptive parents are advised to read the below requirements, particularly regarding timing of documents required in the initial application, and follow developments closely.

Adoptive parents are advised to follow legal adoption procedures carefully. Madagascar adheres strictly to the law. Prospective adoptive parents are also advised that Madagascar has two adoption processes: simple adoption and plenary adoption. Only international plenary adoption, involving a long and sometimes difficult legal process, is recognized by both Madagascar and the United States as valid for intercountry adoption. Simple adoption, involving the mayor of the town where the child is located, is not a valid adoption for U.S. visa or Malagasy passport purposes.

Note: Special transition

Who Can Adopt

Adoption between the United States and Madagascar is governed by the Hague Adoption Convention. Therefore to adopt from Madagascar, 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.

In addition to these U.S. requirements for prospective adoptive parents, Madagascar also has the following requirements for prospective adoptive parents:

  • RESIDENCY REQUIREMENTS: Under Malagasy law, once the case moves from the administrative to the judicial phase, at least one of the adoptive parents must come to Madagascar and live with, or otherwise become familiar with the child for a one-month probationary period. After the end of this period, the final court proceedings will take place, and one parent will need to be present for these as well. The adoption is not final until these proceedings are complete, and the child will not be able to receive a passport or a visa until after the end of the court proceedings. Although the new law imposes several specific time requirements that govern the timing of each step in the process. However, past experience under the old law suggests these time periods could be much longer. Under the old law, cases often took four to six months or longer after the probationary period.
  • AGE REQUIREMENTS: At least one spouse must be over the age of 30 to adopt in Madagascar
  • MARRIAGE REQUIREMENTS: Only married heterosexual couples can adopt in Madagascar. If either spouse dies before the adoption is finalized, the process will be terminated.
  • OTHER REQUIREMENTS:The couple can have no more than three other children, either biological or adopted.

    They must possess good moral character and demonstrate the means to care for the physical and educational needs of the child.

    They must agree to keep the Malagasy Central Authority informed, through regular written reports, of the child's well-being, and progress in integrating until the child reaches age 18.

Who Can Be Adopted

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

How to Adopt

Malagasy Adoption Authority
The Malagasy Central Authority is coordinated by the Director of the Protection of the Family and Children (le Directeur de la Protection de la Famille et de l'Enfance) under the Ministry of Health and Family Planning and Social Protection (Ministère en charge de la Santé, du Planning Familial et de la Protection Sociale)


Because Madagascar is party to the Hague Adoption Convention, adopting from Madagascar 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 Madagascar 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 Madagascar
  6. Bring your Child Home
  1. Choose an Accredited Adoption Service Provider: 

    The first step in adopting a child from Madagascar 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 Madagascar. Learn more.

    Adoption in Madagascar is governed by the Malagasy law on adoption. This law requires parents to use an adoption agency accredited by the Central Authority of their country of residence or nationality. Prospective adoptive parents are advised to fully research any adoption agency or facilitator they plan to use for adoption services.

    Most prospective adoptive parents also choose to hire a Malagasy attorney to assist with the judicial phase of the process. For a list of attorneys in Madagascar, adoptive parents may contact the Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy in Antananarivo at

  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, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Learn how.

    Once the U.S. government determines that you are "eligible" and "suitable" to adopt, you or your agency will forward your information to the adoption authority in Madagascar. Madagascar's adoption authority will review your application to determine whether you are also eligible to adopt under Malagasy law.

  3. Be Matched with a Child:

    If both the United States and Madagascar determine that you are eligible to adopt, and a child is available for intercountry adoption, the central adoption authority in Madagascar may provide you with a referral for a child. Each family must decide for itself whether or not it will be able to meet the needs of the particular child and provide a permanent family placement for the referred child.

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

    After you accept a match with a child, 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, your adoption service provider or you will submit a visa application for 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 inelegibilities. If the Consular Office determines that the child appears eligible to immigrate to the United States, he/she will notify the Malagasy adoption authority (Article 5 letter). 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.

    Remember: The Consular Officer will make a final decision about the immigrant visa later in the adoption process. 

  5. Adopt the Child (or Gain Legal Custody) in Madagascar:

    Remember: Before you adopt (or gain legal custody of) a child in Madagascar, you must have completed the above four steps. Only after completing these steps, can you proceed to finalize the adoption or grant of custody for the purposes of adoption in Madagascar.

    The process for finalizing the adoption (or gaining legal custody) in Madagascar generally includes the following:

    • ROLE OF THE ADOPTION AUTHORITY: The Malagasy Central Authority, coordinated by the Director of the Protection of the Family and Children (le Directeur de la Protection de la Famille et de l'Enfance) under the Ministry of Health and Family Planning and Social Protection (Ministère en charge de la Santé, du Planning Familial et de la Protection Sociale), oversees international plenary adoptions in Madagascar.
    • TIME FRAME: Under the prior Malagasy law, the process commonly took two to three years. The new Malagasy law promises a faster process, and Malagasy authorities informally estimate a year. Until cases are brought under the new law and processed to completion, however, it is difficult to predict how streamlined the new process actually is.
    • ADOPTION APPLICATION: The U.S. Embassy has been provided with the following as general information regarding Malagasy adoption procedures. Note that while the below time requirements are written into Malagasy law, there is no mechanism to enforce these limits:
      • The prospective adoptive parents or the adoption agency sends the dossier of required documents to the U.S. Central Authority for forwarding to Madagascar via the Embassy of Madagascar in the U.S who in turn will transmit it to the Malagasy Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Important note: After the ratification of the Hague Convention by the American Government, the Office of Children's Issues will serve the function of the U.S. Central Authority.
      • The dossier is routed to the Malagasy Central Authority (MCA);
      • The MCA reviews the dossier to ensure it meets the technical standards;
      • Once the dossier is deemed technically complete, it is reviewed by the MCA to determine if it will be approved;
      • Once approved by the MCA, the MCA will choose a child, under the age of 12, to be offered to the adoptive parents. Note: Under Malagasy law, the adoptive parents do not choose the child. However, with Plenary International Adoption it is possible to adopt a specific child if there is a genuine family relationship, and proof of such a relationship;
      • Once the child has been identified, the MCA will prepare a dossier on the child and send it to the prospective adoptive parents;
      • The prospective adoptive parents are given six months to review the dossier and accept or reject the child;
      • If the parents accept the child, they send an acceptance package to the U.S. Central Authority for transmission to Madagascar;
      • Within two months, the MCA reports the case to the court and gives the court a favorable recommendation of the case;
      • The court case is opened;
      • The court orders a one month probationary period for one or both parents to get to know the child in Madagascar;
      • Before the end of the probationary period, the judge will set the hearing date, which will occur during the probationary period. The hearing requires their presence with the child;
      • Once the hearing date is set, the file is sent to the prosecutor's office to complete required paperwork within three days;
      • The hearing is held, at which the child, if capable of participating, participates; and a preliminary decision announced in open court;
      • The written judgment is issued within 5 days, beginning a one-month objection period;
      • The written decision is passed to the Civil Register of the child's place of birth to be noted on the child's birth registration;
      • The child is then entitled to a copy of the birth certificate showing the adoption, a passport, and is eligible to apply for the necessary visa.
    • ADOPTION FEES: In the adoption services contract that you sign at the beginning of the adoption process, your agency will itemize the fees and estimated expenses related to your adoption process.

      The U.S. Embassy in Madagascar discourages the payment of any fees that are not properly receipted, "donations," or "expediting" fees, that may be requested from prospective adoptive parents. Such fees have the appearance of "buying" a baby and put all future adoptions in Madagascar at risk.

      The government of Madagascar imposes a fee of 800 Euros (approximately $1,185 at current exchange rates), which goes to pay the expenses of caring for the child during the adoption proceedings as well as the costs of the Malagasy Central Authority. If additional living expenses are incurred during the adoption proceedings, additional fees may be charged. Attorney's fees, should the adoptive parents' choose to hire a local attorney, are additional, as are U.S. visa fees.

    • DOCUMENTS REQUIRED: The initial dossier requires the following documents:
      • A written request to adopt in Madagascar, with notarized signatures of both parents;
      • Photos of the family in their everyday life;
      • A signed contract with an accredited adoption agency;
      • A social and psychological report prepared by an accredited agency. The home study fulfills this requirement;
      • A certified copy of the Livret d'Famille (family book). As this document does not exist in the U.S., in place of it the parents can submit a certified copy of their marriage certificate and certified copies of the birth certificates of each of their children;
      • A certified copy of the marriage certificate;
      • A certified birth certificate for each spouse;
      • A police certificate for each spouse, from their place of residence;
      • A certificate of nationality for each spouse. As this document is unusual in the U.S., certified copies of each spouse's passport, valid for at least six months form the date the dossier is submitted, can be submitted instead;
      • Pay receipts for each spouse and/or the spouse's tax return;
      • A certificate of morality from each employed spouse's employer. This is a recommendation letter from the employer testifying to the employee's good character;
      • certificat de bonne vie et moeurs (certificate of good citizenship) from the city or state government. As this document is not available in the U.S., Malagasy authorities have stated they will accept the approved home study;
      • Medical certificates for both spouses noting they are both healthy enough to adopt; and
      • A plain copy of U.S. Embassy Antananarivo Diplomatic Note 559 of September 13, 2007, available from the Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy in Antananarivo. This copy is requested by the Malagasy Central Authority so they will accept the substitutions for the livret de famille, certificate of nationality, and the certificat de bonne vie et moeurs.

      All documentation listed above, with the exception of the passport, the contract with the adoption agency, and the diplomatic note, must be no more than six months old at the time of filing. All documents except the diplomatic note must be originals or certified copies. All documents not in French must be accompanied by a certified or official translation. Five copies of the dossier must also be submitted.

      If the parents accept the proposed child, the acceptance package must include:

      • A letter of acceptance of the adoption with the notarized signatures of both parents;
      • An agreement to send a report on the child's integration into the family and the U.S. every six months during the first year after adoption, and thereafter every year until the child reaches 18;
      • A request for adoption addressed to the president of the Tribunal de première instance of the residence of the child, dated, signed and notarized by both parents;
      • If only one parent will be present in Madagascar throughout the probationary period and adoption proceedings, a power of attorney form the absent parent.

      Again all documents must be in French or accompanied by a certified or official translation.

      Before traveling to Madagascar for the probationary period, each traveling parent will need to have:

      • A passport valid for at least 6 months after the date of arrival in Madagascar. In addition, if the parent will be transiting South Africa to or from Madagascar, the passport will need to have at least two completely blank visa pages for each entry into South Africa;
      • A Malagasy visa. Because of the high possibility the process could take longer than 60 days, adoptive parents should request an extendable visa from a Malagasy Embassy or Consulate in the United States prior to their trip. While available, airport visas issued upon arrival in Madagascar are not extendable and could expire before the process is complete. Without a valid visa, American Citizens are not permitted to leave Madagascar and are subject to arrest, imprisonment and deportation.
      • Although not required, each traveling parent is urged to register with the U.S. Embassy in Antananarivo at prior to their trip or in person after their arrival.

      NOTE: Additional documents may be requested. If you are asked to provide proof that a document from the United States is authentic, we can help. Learn how.

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

    • U.S. Immigrant Visa 
      After you obtain the new birth certificate and passport for your child, you also need to apply for an U.S. visa from the United States Embassy for your child. After the adoption (or custody for purpose of adoption) is granted, visit the U.S Embassy for final review and approval of the child's I-800 petition and to obtain a visa for the child. This immigrant visa allows your child to travel home with you. As part of this process, the Consular Officer must be provided the "Panel Physician's" medical report on the child if it was not provided during the provisional approval stage.

      All immigrant visas, including visas for adopted children, are processed at the U.S. Embassy in Antananarivo. All adoptions must be full and complete adoptions and must severe the parental relationship between the biological parent(s) and the adoptive child.

      Upon arrival in Madagascar, the prospective adoptive parent should contact the Consular Section of the Embassy at 22-212-57 for information on processing procedures and requirements for the immigrant visa.

      Note: Visa issuance after the final interview now generally takes at least 24 hours and it will not normally be possible to provide the visa to adoptive parents on the day of the interview. Adoptive parents should verify current processing times at the appropriate consulate or embassy before making final travel arrangements.


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.

Traveling Abroad


A valid U.S. passport is required to enter and leave Madagascar. 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.


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 Madagascar, see the Department of State's Country Specific Information.


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.


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 Madagascar, registration assists the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in reaching you.

Registration is free and can be done online.

After Adoption

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

Adoptive Parents must agree to keep the Malagasy Central Authority informed, through regular written reports, of the child's well-being, and progress in integrating until the child reaches age 18. Reports should be sent to the Malagasy Central Authority every six months during the first year after adoption, and thereafter every year until the child reaches 18.

We strongly urge you to comply with the wish of Madagascar and complete all post-adoption requirements in a timely manner. Your adoption agency may be able to help you with this process. Your cooperation will contribute to that country's history of positive experiences with American parents.

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.

Contact Information

The United States Embassy in Antananarivo 
U.S. Embassy Madagascar
Lot 207 A, Point Liberty-Andranoro, Antehiroka
105 Antananarivo, Madagascar
Tel: (261) 20 23 480 00
Fax:(261) 33443 2835

Madagascar's Adoption Authority 
Coordinator of the Central Authority for Adoption
Batiment Ex Population Ambohijatovo
101 Antananarivo
Tel: 261-20-22-22-018

Embassy of Madagascar 
Embassy of the Republic of Madagascar
2374 Massachusetts Avenue N.W.
Washington, DC 20008
Tel: 202-265-5525
Fax: 202 265 3034

Madagascar also has Honorary Consulates in Solana Beach, California and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Office of Children's Issues
U.S. Department of State  
SA-17, 9th Floor
Washington, DC 20522-1709
Tel: 1-888-407-4747

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
Fee Number
of Entries
A-1 None Multiple 12 Months
A-2 None Multiple 12 Months
A-3 1 None Multiple 12 Months
B-1 None Multiple 3 Months
B-2 None Multiple 3 Months
B-1/B-2 None Multiple 3 Months
C-1 None Multiple 3 Months
C-1/D N/A N/A N/A
C-2 None One 3 Months
C-3 None One 3 Months
CW-1 11 None One 3 Months
CW-2 11 None One 3 Months
D None Multiple 48 Months
E-1 2 No Treaty N/A N/A
E-2 2 No Treaty N/A N/A
E-2C 12 None One 3 Months
F-1 None One 3 Months
F-2 None One 3 Months
G-1 None Multiple 12 Months
G-2 None Multiple 12 Months
G-3 None Multiple 12 Months
G-4 None Multiple 12 Months
G-5 1 None Multiple 12 Months
H-1B None One 3 Months 3
H-1C None One 3 Months 3
H-2A None One 3 Months 3
H-2B None One 3 Months 3
H-2R None One 3 Months 3
H-3 None One 3 Months 3
H-4 None One 3 Months 3
I None One 3 Months
J-1 4 None One 3 Months
J-2 4 None One 3 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 One 3 Months
L-2 None One 3 Months
M-1 None One 3 Months
M-2 None One 3 Months
N-8 None Multiple 12 Months
N-9 None Multiple 12 Months
NATO 1-7 N/A N/A N/A
O-1 None One 3 Months 3
O-2 None One 3 Months 3
O-3 None One 3 Months 3
P-1 None One 3 Months 3
P-2 None One 3 Months 3
P-3 None One 3 Months 3
P-4 None One 3 Months 3
Q-1 6 None One 3 Months 3
R-1 None One 3 Months
R-2 None One 3 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
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.

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.



General Documents

Please check back for update

Birth, Death, Burial Certificates

Birth Certificates

Available. Birth certificates (actes de naissance) are available to all persons, regardless of nationality, resident or non-resident born in Madagascar and are obtainable from the Mairie (Mayor's Office) of applicant's birth. A fee may be charged for this service. All actions affecting the civil position of applicants born in Madagascar (such as marriage and divorce) are normally recorded at the place of birth and are noted on the birth certificate. Pertinent extracts of these certificates may be also requested when applying for a birth certificate.

Death Certificates

Available. Actes de deces are available from the Mayor's Office (Marie) at the place of death. Available for all persons, regardless of nationality. A fee may be charged for this service.

Marriage, Divorce Certificates

Marriage Certificates

Available. Actes de Mariage are available from the Mayor's Office at the place of marriage. Locally, people often use the Family Book (Livret de Famille) issued at the time of marriage in lieu of the marriage certificate. Available for all persons (resident or non-resident) regardless of nationality. A fee may be charged for this service.

Divorce Certificates

Available. Jugements de divorce. Records available to all persons regardless of nationality, resident or non-resident, from the Clerk of the Court of First Instance in the province where the divorce took place. A fee may be charged for this service.

Adoption Certificates

Available. Adoption Certificate (certificat d'adoption) or Acknowledgment of Paternity or Maternity (certificate de reconnaissance) for a legal adoption must be requested from the court that issued the adoption decree. Simple adoptions performed at the Mayor's office have no legal effect. A fee may be charged for this service.

Identity Card

Please check back for update

Police, Court, Prison Records

Police Records

Available. A judicial record (Bulletin de casier judiciaire, also called Bulletin No. 3) is obtainable by all persons born in Madagascar from the "Procureur General" in the province of their birth. Persons not born but having resided in Madagascar may obtain a similar record from the "Procureur General" or Cours d'appel of Antananarivo. Requests for this document must be accompanied with a notarized copy of the requestor's passport. A fee may be charged for this service.

Good Conduct Record


Military Records

Available. Madagascar citizens who joined the Army before 1961 may obtain their military record (certificat de position militaire) from the Bureau Militaire of their Sous-Prefecture, whereas Madagascar citizens who have joined since then may obtain it from the Bureau de Recrutement of the Service National of the Madagascar Army. Reservists who have entered since 1948 may obtain their record at the latter office, also, provided that they retained their Madagascar citizenship following independence in 1960. Reservists who chose or were of French nationality can obtain their records from the Bureau Central de Recrutement Francais in Paris or, if in a French overseas department or dependency, at the Bureau Militaire in their Prefecture. French citizens in Madagascar may obtain the record from the French Consulate General in Antananarivo. A fee may be charged for this service. Note: Processing time for all documents listed above is approximately one month from date of receipt. Applicants who appear in person can receive the documentation in seven days. Applications by mail must be accompanied by postal money order covering the appropriate fees and the return postage for response by registered mail.

Passports & Other Travel Documents

Madagascar began issuing a new tourist passport in late January 2007. Like the prior passport, the new passport has a maroon cover. but unlike prior passports is only valid for five years. The new passports include a digital photo and a ghost image of the photo, and a 2D barcode above the machine readable zone. The passport number and the book number are the same. Prior 10-year passports will be automatically invalidated on January 1, 2008, even though the expiration date may be as late as January 2017. Some, but not all, of these passports include an entry for the passport number ("Nomeraon'ny Pasipaoro") consisting of 14 numbers and letters. This number is not used by local authorities or the Embassy as the passport number. The real passport number, as reflected in the machine readable zone, is the book number, found burned into the passport pages, which starts with A followed by 8 numbers and letters. Press reports stated new diplomatic (black cover) and service (official, green cover) passports issued after January 2007 will include the same security features and format as the new tourist passports. However, these have not yet appeared in circulation. Currently, these passports are typed or occasionally handwritten, with slightly oversized pages and short validity periods, frequently extended by annotations in the passport.

Other Records

Not Applicable.

Visa Issuing Posts

Antananarivo, Madagascar (Embassy)

Street Address:

Lot207 A, Point Liberty
Andranoro - Antehiroka - Antananarivo 105

Mailing Address:

B.P. 5253
Andranoro - Antehiroka - Antananrivo 105, Madagascar

Tel: (261)(20) 22-212-57

Fax: (261)(20) 22-345-39

Panel Physician Address:

Dr. Nirina Georges Rakotoarison
Polyclinique d'Ilafy
Ambohitrarahaba Andafiavaratra, Antananarivo 101

Visa Services

All visa categories for all of Madagascar, the Union of Comoros, and Mayotte.

Also issues visas (NIV and IV) to residents of:

  • Amsterdam Island (French)
  • Bassas de India (French)
  • Ices Glorieuses (French)
  • Ile Europa (French)
  • Ile Saint-Paul (French)
  • Illes Crozet (French)
  • Illes Kerguelen (French)
  • Tromelin (French)

Foreign Consular Office Contact Information

Washington, DC (202) 265-5525 (202) 265-3034

New York, NY (212) 986-9491 (212) 599-5021

Assistance for U.S. Citizens

U.S. Embassy Antananarivo
Lot 207 A, Point Liberty
Andranoro, Antehiroka
105 Antananarivo
+(261) (20) 23-480-00 (Monday through Thursday from 7:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.)
+(261) (20) 23-480-00
+(261) (20) 23-480-35
Madagascar Map

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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.