Travel Advisories


Travel Advisories

Somalia Travel Advisory

Travel Advisory
January 10, 2018
Somalia - Level 4: Do Not Travel

Do not travel to Somalia due to crime, terrorism, and piracy.

Violent crime, such as kidnapping and murder, is common throughout Somalia, including in Puntland and Somaliland. Illegal roadblocks are also widespread.

Terrorists continue to plot kidnappings, bombings, and other attacks in Somalia. They may attack with little or no warning, targeting airports and seaports, government buildings, hotels, restaurants, shopping areas, and other areas where large crowds gather and Westerners frequent, as well as government, military, and Western convoys.    

Pirates are active in the waters off the Horn of Africa, especially in the international waters near Somalia.  

The U.S. government has limited ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens in Somalia due to the lack of permanent consular presence in Somalia.

Due to risks to civil aviation operating within or in the vicinity of Somalia, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has issued a Special Federal Aviation Regulation (SFAR).  For more information U.S. citizens should consult the Federal Aviation Administration’s Prohibitions, Restrictions and Notices.

Read the Safety and Security section on the country information page

If you decide to travel to Somalia:

  • Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas.
  • Avoid sailing near the coast of Somalia and review the Live Piracy Report published by the International Maritime Bureau.
  • Draft a will and designate appropriate insurance beneficiaries and/or power of attorney.
  • Discuss a plan with loved ones regarding care/custody of children, pets, property, belongings, non-liquid assets (collections, artwork, etc.), funeral wishes, etc.
  • Share important documents, login information, and points of contact with loved ones so that they can manage your affairs, if you are unable to return as planned to the United States. Find a suggested list of such documents here.
  • Establish your own personal security plan in coordination with your employer or host organization, or consider consulting with a professional security organization.
  • Develop a communication plan with family and/or your employer or host organization so that they can monitor your safety and location as you travel through high-risk areas. This plan should specify who you would contact first, and how they should share the information.
  • Identify key sources of possible assistance for you and your family in case of emergency, such as the local U.S. embassy or consulate, FBI, the State Department, your employer (if traveling on business), and local friends/family in the high-risk area. 
  • Be sure to appoint one family member to serve as the point of contact with hostage-takers, media, U.S. and host country government agencies, and Members of Congress, if you are taken hostage or detained.
  • Establish a proof of life protocol with your loved ones, so that if you are taken hostage, your loved ones can know specific questions (and answers) to ask the hostage-takers to be sure that you are alive (and to rule out a hoax)
  • Leave DNA samples with your medical provider in case it is necessary for your family to access them.
  • Erase any sensitive photos, comments, or other materials from your social media pages, cameras, laptops, and other electronic devices that could be considered controversial or provocative by local groups.
  • Leave your expensive/sentimental belongings behind.
  • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
  • Follow the Department of State on Facebook and Twitter.
  • Review the Crime and Safety Report for Somalia.
  • U.S. citizens who travel abroad should always have a contingency plan for emergency situations. Review the Traveler’s Checklist.
Travel Advisory Levels
1 Exercise normal precautions, 2 Exercise increased caution, 3 Reconsider travel, 4 Do not travel

The Somali Republic
Quick Facts

Duration of stay


1 page




Yellow Fever vaccination is not required but most countries that fly in and out of Somalia require proof of vaccination





Embassies and Consulates

U.S. Embassy Kenya

United Nations Avenue
Gigiri, Nairobi, Kenya
(254) (20) 363-6451 (Monday through Thursday, 7:15<br>a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Friday from 7:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.)
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: (254) (20) 363-6170
Fax: (254) (20) 363-6410

Destination Description

See our Fact Sheet on Somalia for information on U.S. - Somalia relations.

Entry, Exit and Visa Requirements

Requirements for Entry:

  • Passport
  • Visa (obtain before traveling or a 60-day tourist visa upon arrival in Mogadishu for $60)

Visit the Permanent Representative of the Somali Republic to the United Nations/Department of Immigration and Naturalization websites or the nearest Somali embassy or consulate for visa information. Direct visa inquiries for Somaliland and Puntland to the person/organization you will be visiting, as there is no office in Kenya to issue these visas.

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

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

Safety and Security

The U.S. government cannot provide consular services to U.S. citizens in Somalia. You will have to rely on your own resources or journey to the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate in an emergency.

Terrorist organizations and armed groups in Somalia attack government authorities and facilities, African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) personnel and bases, and civilian and non-governmental targets, including, but not limited to: hotels, restaurants, airports, seaports, and shopping areas. Inter-clan and factional violence is also a regular occurrence throughout Somalia.

Al-Shabaab, an al-Qa’ida-affiliated foreign terrorist organization based in Somalia, has repeatedly attacked the Mogadishu Aden Adde International Airport (MGQ) and other locations in Somalia with mortars and vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices. In October 2017, the group detonated multiple bombs in the Zobe district of Mogadishu, killing more than 500 people in what is believed to be the single deadliest attack of their history in Somalia. In February 2016, terrorist operatives detonated an explosive device concealed in a laptop on a commercial flight shortly after take-off.

Protests and civil unrest occur regularly throughout the country, including in the capital, often without advanced warning and sometimes turning violent. U.S. citizens should:

  • Avoid walking alone, especially after dark.
  • Not display cash and valuable personal property.
  • Dress conservatively.
  • Carry a copy of your U.S. passport and visa. Keep original documents in a secure location.

Somalia - Kenya border: Cross-border violence occurs periodically, ranging from large-scale attacks attributed to al-Shabaab against civilians, government security forces and/or AMISOM troops, to kidnappings, improvised explosive devices, and grenade attacks targeting international aid workers and civilians. Al-Shabaab actively operates in border areas, including Lamu and Wajir counties of Kenya. In February 2018, al-Shabaab killed two teachers and injured another during an attack at a primary school. In January, after raiding a security outpost and killing five Kenyan security officers, al-Shabaab destroyed the only communications tower in the county.


  • Avoid demonstrations and use vigilance during your movements around the country. Even events intended to be peaceful can become violent.
  • Maintain caution in areas frequented by foreigners.
  • Be cautious when traveling outside of cities and along border areas.
  • Monitor news and consular messages.

Crime: Violent crime such as kidnapping, bombings, indirect fire attacks, murder, armed robbery, carjacking, and illegal roadblocks by armed individuals in uniforms occur throughout Somalia, including the semi-autonomous regions of Somaliland and Puntland.

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

Victims of Crime: Somali authorities have limited capacity and resources to investigate and prosecute criminal activity. U.S. citizen victims of sexual assault or domestic violence should contact the U.S. Embassy in Kenya for assistance.

Report crimes to the local police nearest to you and contact the U.S. Embassy in Kenya at (+254) (20) 363-6451. The emergency number in Mogadishu is 888.

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:

  • contact relatives or friends with your written consent
  • 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

Domestic Violence: U.S. citizen victims of domestic violence may contact the U.S. Embassy in Kenya 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. You may be taken in for questioning by the police if unable to produce an acceptable form of identification. Convictions for possessing, using, or trafficking in illegal drugs result in long prison sentences and heavy fines.

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

Locally established courts operate under a combination of Somali customary and Islamic Shari'a law, some of which may be hostile towards foreigners.

Arrest Notifications: If arrested or detained, ask police or prison officials to notify the U.S. Embassy in Kenya immediately. Such notification is unlikely. The U.S. Government’s ability to provide consular services is severely restricted as a result of ongoing security concerns. Furthermore, dual U.S. - Somali citizens are recognized as Somali citizens by authorities which impedes our ability to provide any consular assistance. See our webpage for further information.

SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES: Water, health, and electricity systems are poor.

Photography: It is illegal to take pictures of government buildings, military installations, and key infrastructure such as airports and border controls. You could be detained or arrested, fined, and have your equipment confiscated. Do not take photos of people without their permission.

Phone Service: Cellular phones are used extensively. SIM cards can be purchased locally and used with a compatible cell phone.

Currency: The Somali shilling is the unit of currency except in Somaliland, which uses the Somaliland shilling. U.S. dollars are accepted. You are advised against using your credit card in Somalia, even if accepted. It is not possible to obtain currency advances against a credit card. Credit cards and traveler's checks are generally not accepted, and there are only a very limited number of ATMs in Mogadishu.

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

LGBTI Travelers: Same-sex sexual contact is punishable by imprisonment from three months to three years. Antidiscrimination provisions do not apply to LGBTI individuals. Society considers sexual orientation a taboo topic, and so there is no known public discussion of this issue in any region. Severe societal stigma typically prevents LGBTI individuals from making their sexual orientation publicly known.

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

Travelers Who Require Accessibility Assistance: Access to transportation, lodging, and public buildings is limited. There are few sidewalks and no curb-cuts, and most buildings lack functioning elevators.

Students: See our Students Abroad page and FBI travel tips. We are aware of allegations that some boarding schools in Somalia engage in abusive practices such as corporal punishment, physical restraint, and confiscation of travel documents.

Youths: We are aware of cases of forced marriage. Some facilities involved in “cultural rehabilitation” (“dhaqan celis,” meaning “returning to Somali culture”) engage in abusive practices such as corporal punishment, physical restraint, and confiscation of travel documents.

Women Travelers: There are no laws against spousal violence, including rape. There are documented patterns of rape perpetrated with impunity, particularly of displaced women and members of minority clans. Authorities rarely use formal structures to address rape. Survivors suffer from subsequent discrimination based on the attribution of “impurity.” Domestic and sexual violence against women remain serious problems despite the provisional federal constitution provision prohibiting any form of violence against women.

Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting (FGM/C): Although the provisional federal constitution prohibits the circumcision of girls, FGM/C is almost universally practiced throughout the country. Up to 98 percent of women and girls have reportedly undergone FGM/C, primarily between the ages of 5-14 years.


Medical care and services are extremely limited. Medicines are in short supply and many pharmacies stock ineffective or counterfeit medications. Most care providers expect payment in U.S. dollars/Somali shillings prior to treatment.

We do not pay medical bills. Be aware that U.S. Medicare does not apply overseas. 

Medical Insurance: Make sure your health insurance plan provides coverage overseas. Most care providers overseas only accept cash payments. See our webpage for more information on insurance providers for overseas coverage

We strongly recommend supplemental insurance to cover medical evacuation.

Carry personal supplies of medications. Always carry your prescription medication in original packaging with your doctor’s prescription.

Malaria is endemic. Use CDC recommended mosquito repellents containing DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, or IR-3535. Sleep under insecticide-impregnated mosquito nets. Chemoprophylaxis is strongly recommended for all travelers, even for short stays.

Food-borne and water-borne illnesses are common. 

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 are poor. Night driving is particularly dangerous due to the absence of lighting. Other risks include:

  • no traffic lights
  • landmines
  • pedestrians
  • animals

Refer to our Road Safety page for more information.

AVIATION SAFETY OVERSIGHT: As there is no direct commercial air service to the United States by carriers registered in Somalia, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has not assessed the government of Somalia’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.

The FAA has issued a Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) containing information on the U.S. prohibition against U.S. civil aviation operations in airspace over Somalia. For background information and advisories consult the Federal Aviation Administration’s Prohibitions, Restrictions and Notices.

Maritime Travel: Recreational vessels should avoid the region. Consult the International Maritime Bureau's Live Piracy Report for information. See also,, and

Hague Convention Participation
Party to the Hague Abduction Convention?
enter text here
U.S. Treaty Partner under the Hague Abduction Convention?
enter text here
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 Kenya

United Nations Avenue
Gigiri, Nairobi, Kenya
(254) (20) 363-6451 (Monday through Thursday, 7:15<br>a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Friday from 7:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.)
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: (254) (20) 363-6170
Fax: (254) (20) 363-6410

General Information
enter link here
Hague Abduction Convention
enter text here
enter text here
enter text here
Retaining an Attorney
enter text here
enter text here

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

Somalia is not party to the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption (Hague Adoption Convention).  Intercountry adoptions of children from non-Hague countries are processed in accordance with 8 Code of Federal Regulations, Section 204.3 as it relates to orphans as defined under the Immigration and Nationality Act, Section 101(b)(1)(F).

The Department of State has occasionally received inquiries from U.S. citizens concerned about the plight of the children of Somalia and wondering about the possibility of adopting them.  Our office shares this concern for children in Somalia and we understand that some U.S. citizens want to respond by offering to open their homes and adopting these children in need.  At this time, however, it is not generally possible to adopt Somali children for several reasons.

Although the United States has recently recognized the Somali government, an adoption authority does not yet exist in Somalia for adoption processing.

Laws in Somalia regarding adoption are unclear and may vary according to a prospective adoptive parent's religious background.  Islamic Shari'a law does not allow for full adoption of a child, as generally understood in the United States.  (Please refer to our flyer on Islamic Family Law for more information on this issue.)

Additionally, it can be extremely difficult in Somalia to determine whether children who appear to be orphans truly are eligible for adoption.  Children may be temporarily separated from their parents or other family members, and their parents may be looking for them.  It is not uncommon in a hostile situation for parents to send their children out of the area, or for families to become separated during an evacuation.  Even when it can be demonstrated that children are indeed orphaned or abandoned, they are often taken in by other relatives.  During times of crisis, it can also be exceptionally difficult to fulfill the legal requirements for adoption of both the United States and the child's country of origin.  It can be very difficult to gather documents necessary to fulfill the legal requirements of U.S. immigration law.

There are ways in which U.S. citizens can help the children of Somalia.  Many U.S. and international non-governmental organizations (NGOs) working in Somalia say that what is needed most at this time are financial contributions to sustain their ongoing work.  Individuals who wish to assist can often do the most good by making a monetary donation to an established NGO that will be well placed to respond to Somalia's most urgent needs, including those related to its children.

The Department of State continues to warn U.S. citizens against travel to Somalia, which remains very dangerous.  (Read the full text of Somalia Travel Warning issued by the Department of State, Office of Consular Affairs.)

Please visit the Department of State’s Country Specific Information for more information on travelling to Somalia and the U.S. Embassy Nairobi’s website for information on consular services.

Who Can Adopt
enter text here
Who Can Be Adopted
enter text here
How to Adopt
enter text here
Traveling Abroad
enter text here
After Adoption
enter text here
Contact Information
enter text here

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 One 3 Months
A-2 None One 3 Months
A-3 1 None One 3 Months
B-1 None One 3 Months
B-2 None One 3 Months
B-1/B-2 None One 3 Months
C-1 None One 3 Months
C-1/D None One 3 Months
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 One 3 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 One 3 Months
G-2 None One 3 Months
G-3 None One 3 Months
G-4 None One 3 Months
G-5 1 None One 3 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 One 3 Months
N-9 None One 3 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 One 3 Months
V-2 None One 3 Months 8
V-3 None One 3 Months 8
Country Specific Footnotes


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

General Document Information

Although the United States formally recognized the new government of Somalia on January 17, 2013, there continues to be no recognized competent civil authority to issue civil documents. The Government of Somalia ceased to exist in December of 1990, and the country underwent a destructive and brutal civil war, in the course of which most records were destroyed. Those few records not destroyed are in the hands of private individuals or are otherwise not retrievable. There are no circumstances under which immigrant visa applicants can reasonably be expected to recover original documents held by the former government of Somalia.


Birth, Death, Burial Certificates

Birth Certificates

Affidavits of Birth:  Applicants should submit a sworn affidavit by at least two individuals before a lawyer or attorney that contains the following information - where the birth took place, when it took place, and the full name of both parents to whom the child was born to.

Comments: The autonomous region of Somalia known as Somaliland has a better system of record keeping. If an applicant has a document from this region, they should submit a copy of that document in addition to a sworn affidavit. If the interview is at US Embassy Addis Ababa, please acquire a birth certificate from the Somali Embassy in Addis Ababa and bring it to their interview.


Death Certificates

Affidavits of Death: Applicants should submit a sworn affidavit by at least two individuals before a lawyer or attorney that contains the following information - where the death took place, when it took place, and who confirmed the death (if anyone).

Comments: The autonomous region of Somalia known as Somaliland has a better system of record keeping. If an applicant has a document from this region, they should submit a copy of that document in addition to a sworn affidavit.


Marriage, Divorce Certificates

Marriage Certificates

Affidavits of Marriage: Applicants should submit a sworn affidavit by at least two individuals before a lawyer or attorney that contains the following information - where the marriage took place, when it took place, and full names of the parties married.

Comments: The autonomous region of Somalia known as Somaliland has a better system of record keeping. If an applicant has a document from this region, they should submit a copy of that document in addition to a sworn affidavit.


Divorce Certificates

Affidavits of Divorce: Applicants should submit a sworn affidavit by at least two individuals before a lawyer or attorney that contains the following information - where the divorce took place, when it took place, and full names of the parties divorced.

Comments: The autonomous region of Somalia known as Somaliland has a better system of record keeping. If an applicant has a document from this region, they should submit a copy of that document in addition to a sworn affidavit.

Adoption Certificates


Identity Card

National ID Cards


Comments: If an applicant has refugee status in another country, please submit copies of refugee or asylee documents. Examples include: 1) Government of Kenya Refugee Certificate or Alien Card or 2) United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) identification (often called the "UNHCR Mandate") 3) Government of Kenya/UNHCR Proof of Registration for refugees, 4) Ugandan Asylum Seeker/Family Attestation Certificate or Ugandan Refugee Identity Card.

Police, Court, Prison Records


Military Records


Passports & Other Travel Documents

Travel Documents

Types Available (Regular, Diplomatic, Official, etc.):

Comments:  If the interview is at US Embassy Addis Ababa, please acquire a passport from the Somali Embassy in Addis Ababa and bring it to their interview.

The Department has determined that Somali passports are not valid for visa-issuance purposes. Most immigrant visa beneficiaries will not be required to present a passport under the various subsections of 22 CFR 42.2 and will be issued visas using Form DS-232 per 9 FAM 9 FAM 504.10-3(B)(2). Diversity visas for Somalis may require individual passport waivers per 22 CFR 42.2(g) and will be issued using Form DS-232 per 9 FAM 9 FAM 504.10-3(B) (2). Somali nonimmigrant visa beneficiaries, including K1 visa recipients, will also require a passport waiver per guidance in 9 FAM 9 FAM 403.9-6(B).


Other Records



Visa Issuing Posts

Post Contact Information

Post Title:

Physical Address:
United Nations Avenue,
Gigiri, Nairobi

Mailing Address: 
APO AE 09831-8900

International Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 30137
Nairobi, Kenya

Phone Number:
Tel: 254-2-363-6000, After hours emergencies: 254-2-363-6170
Fax: 254-2-363-6410

Visa Services

IV and NIV cases for nationals of Somalia are processed by the Embassy in Nairobi, Kenya.


Foreign Consular Office Contact Information

Washington, DC (202) 830-5003

New York, NY (212) 688-9410 (212) 759-0651

Assistance for U.S. Citizens

U.S. Embassy Kenya
United Nations Avenue
Gigiri, Nairobi, Kenya
(254) (20) 363-6451 (Monday through Thursday, 7:15 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Friday from 7:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.)
(254) (20) 363-6170
(254) (20) 363-6410
Somalia Map

Search for Travel Advisories
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.