Do not travel to South Sudan due to crime and armed conflict.
Violent crime, such as carjackings, shootings, ambushes, assaults, robberies, and kidnappings is common throughout South Sudan, including Juba.
Armed conflict is ongoing throughout the country and includes fighting between various political and ethnic groups, and the population has ready access to weapons. In addition, cattle raids occur throughout the country and often lead to violence.
The U.S. government has limited ability to provide emergency consular services to U.S. citizens in South Sudan. U.S. government personnel in South Sudan are under a strict curfew. They must use armored vehicles for nearly all movements in the city, and official travel outside Juba is limited. Due to the critical crime threat in Juba, walking is also restricted; when allowed, it is limited to a small area in the immediate vicinity of the Embassy and must be conducted in groups of two or more during daylight hours. Family members cannot accompany U.S. government employees who work in South Sudan.
Due to risks to civil aviation operating within or in the vicinity of South Sudan, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has issued a Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) and/or a Special Federal Aviation Regulation (SFAR). For more information U.S. citizens should consult the Federal Aviation Administration’s Prohibitions, Restrictions and Notices.
Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas.
Read the Safety and Security section on the country information page.
If you decide to travel to South Sudan:
See the Department of State’s Fact Sheet on South Sudan for information on U.S.-South Sudan relations.
Requirements for Entry:
Visit the Embassy of the Republic of South Sudan website for current visa information.
If you are staying longer than three days, register with the Department of Immigration and Aliens Control at the Ministry of Interior in Juba.
Do not work without a work permit or your passport could be temporarily confiscated. A work permit and/or long term visa may be obtained at any Republic of South Sudan Immigration office.
Requirements for Exit:
The U.S. Department of State is unaware of any HIV/AIDS entry restrictions for visitors to or foreign residents of South Sudan.
See the Department of State’s Republic of South Sudan Travel Warning. Land mines remain a hazard, especially outside of Juba.
The U.S. Embassy’s ability to provide consular services outside of Juba, even in emergencies, is extremely limited.
Violent conflict between government forces and armed opposition groups continues throughout the country. In July 2016, violent clashes between government and opposition forces broke out in Juba, resulting in the evacuation of U.S. citizens and other foreigners. At the time of the conflict, U.S. citizens were assaulted by government soldiers during an attack on a civilian housing compound.
Armed clashes continue in:
Border disputes continue between South Sudan and:
Fighting among ethnic groups is common throughout the country. The “Lord’s Resistance Army” – a Ugandan rebel group – operates along South Sudan’s border with the Democratic Republic of Congo.
U.S. government personnel in South Sudan adhere to a strict curfew, are restricted to limited official travel outside of Juba, and utilize armored vehicles for nearly all movements in the city. Due to the high crime threat in Juba, walking movements are restricted; when allowed, they are limited to a small area in the immediate vicinity of the Embassy and must be conducted in groups of two or more during daylight hours.
Crime: The population has ready access to weapons due to years of civil war, tribal conflict, and political unrest.
In Juba, the most frequently reported violent crimes include armed robbery, carjackings, and home invasions. Criminals target people who are walking, traveling alone or in small groups, especially at night. Criminals frequently wear security service uniforms, carry military weapons, and use the ruse of security check points or official business to stop individuals or gain access to compounds.
Outside Juba, road ambushes and roadside crime are common and often involve violence. Violent crimes (murder, armed robbery, home invasions, cattle raiding, kidnapping) and non-violent petty theft and fraud are pervasive.
Throughout the country, crimes of opportunity include:
Thefts usually occur near restaurants, banks, or other areas in proximity of foreigners.
Victims of Crime:
U.S. citizen victims of sexual assault should first contact the U.S. Embassy.
Report crimes to the local police and contact the U.S. Embassy at +(211) 912-105-188.
Local authorities are responsible for investigating and prosecuting crime.
See our webpage on help for U.S. victims of crime overseas.
Domestic Violence: U.S. citizen victims of domestic violence may contact the Embassy for assistance.
For further information:
Criminal Penalties: You are subject to local laws. If you violate local laws, even unknowingly, you may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned.
South Sudan’s security services commit arbitrary arrests and often detain foreign nationals, including U.S. citizens.
Security forces often operate outside civilian control and do not always follow laws governing due process and treatment of detainees.
U.S. citizens may have little recourse to justice should they be detained. Legal proceedings can be lengthy and subjective.
Arrest Notification: If you are arrested or detained, ask police or prison officials to notify the U.S. Embassy immediately. As South Sudan is not yet a signatory to the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, local authorities are not bound by international law to alert the U.S. Embassy of your detention or provide consular access. South Sudanese law enforcement officials routinely block access to foreign nationals and dual nationals in detention.
If you have reason to believe a U.S. citizen may be detained or incarcerated in South Sudan, do not assume the Embassy is already aware. Contact the Embassy and provide as much information as possible. However, the Embassy’s ability to share information with you may be limited unless we receive a Privacy Act Waiver from the arrested person authorizing us to speak with you.
Controlled Items: Certain items which are normal and legal to possess elsewhere are tightly controlled in South Sudan. Bringing them into the country without government permission, or even traveling internally with them, can result in extra scrutiny by security officials, the confiscation of your items, and your arrest.
Traveling with professional photography equipment will trigger extra scrutiny regardless of occupation. Metal detectors, which can be used for prospecting, are tightly controlled, especially if you are traveling to an area where mining takes place. Some forms of communication equipment such as satellite phones (commonly referred to by their trade names: Thurayas or Iridiums) are required to be registered with the government. Imports of any form of military material or “dual-use” items are highly scrutinized. Entering South Sudan or traveling internally with large quantities of cash also typically requires government permission.
U.S. citizens should contact the Embassy of the Republic of South Sudan for questions regarding what equipment they may or may not import into the country and how to obtain authorizations for specific equipment or to bring in large sums of cash.
Dual Nationals: The embassy recommends all dual nationals obtain visas for their U.S. passport covering the duration of their stay in South Sudan. If staying longer than a typical visa will allow, dual nationals are strong encouraged to obtain a five-year residency permit. These documents are available for a fee at any local Government of South Sudan Immigration office.
Aid Workers: Consult with the security personnel representing your organization. Compounds housing aid workers have been breached and aid workers, including U.S. citizens, have been the targets of shootings, ambushes, violent assaults, harassment, and robberies.
Currency: The South Sudanese pound (SSP) is the official currency. It is a cash exclusive society. Carry sufficient funds in to cover all your expenses for the duration of your stay. ATMs draw on local banks only. Exchange currency only at reputable banks. U.S. currency issued prior to 2006 or blemished is not accepted.
Photography: A permit is required and may be obtained from the Ministry of Interior for $50. Even with a permit, you must be careful taking pictures, as police have arrested and physically assaulted tourists for using a camera.
Faith-Based Travelers: See our following webpages for details:
LGBTI Travelers: Consensual same-sex sexual relations are illegal in South Sudan with penalties up to 10 years’ imprisonment. If non-consensual, the penalty is up to 14 years imprisonment. Societal discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) persons is widespread, and there are no known LGBTI organizations.
Travelers Who Require Accessibility Assistance: Persons with disabilities face limited access to transportation, public buildings, hotels, and communication accommodations. There are few sidewalks and no curb-cuts, and most buildings lack elevators.
Women Travelers: Since the return to civil conflict, women have suffered unprecedented levels of sexual violence, including abduction, rape, and forced marriage. The law does not prohibit domestic violence. Spousal abuse is common and police seldom intervene. There are reports police tried to charge SSP 20 ($7) when victims of rape or abuse attempted to file a criminal complaint. While the official form is not mandatory, police often told women they needed to complete it prior to receiving medical treatment. See our travel tips for Women Travelers.
Consult the CDC website for South Sudan prior to travel.
Medical facilities in Juba fall far short of western standards. Outside Juba, the few hospitals and clinics that exist are poorly equipped and staffed. Ambulance services are generally not available.
Pharmacies have severely limited stock of prescription medications and many are counterfeit. Bring a sufficient supply of needed medicines. Carry medication in its original packaging with your doctor’s prescription. Be sure to verify with South Sudanese customs your medications are legal before traveling.
You are responsible for all medical costs. U.S. Medicare does not cover you overseas. Most care providers expect payment in U.S. dollars before treatment is performed.
Medical Insurance: If your health insurance plan does not provide coverage overseas, we strongly recommend supplemental medical insurance and medical evacuation plans.
The following diseases are prevalent in the country or region:
Further health information:
Road Conditions and Safety: There are very few paved roads; most are narrow, rutted, and poorly maintained. Roads are often impassable during the rainy season, March to November. Pedestrians and animals in the roadways, excessive speed, erratic driving, lack of street lights, and overloaded or poorly maintained vehicles pose additional risks.
When driving in remote areas, travel during daylight hours only and use convoys of multiple vehicles to mitigate the threat of roadside hoodlums. Carry spare tires, parts, fuel, and provisions. Service stations are separated by long distances. Professional roadside assistance service is not available.
Checkpoints: Approach all vehicle checkpoints with caution, especially after dark or during times of heightened political or military tensions. Even stops at checkpoints operated by the government of South Sudan may become hostile or violent.
Landmines: Years of conflict have left the threat of unexploded ordnance, including landmines, as a hazard on or near major roads. Stay on main roads marked as cleared by a competent de-mining authority.
Traffic Laws: An international driver's license and third-party liability insurance from the government is required. Those convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol face fines, jail sentences, and corporal punishment.
Accidents: If involved in an accident resulting in death or injury, report the incident to the nearest police station or police officer as soon as possible. Remain inside the vehicle and wait for police. If a hostile mob forms or you feel your safety is in danger, leave the scene and proceed directly to the nearest police station to report the incident. Do not stop at the scene of an accident or at intersections where people have gathered, as mobs can develop quickly. Many local drivers are uninsured.
Public Transportation: You should hire private transportation from a reputable source. The use of public transportation (small buses, vans, or motorbike taxis “boda-bodas”) is off-limits to U.S. Embassy personnel and should be avoided whenever possible. Drivers of these vehicles frequently have little training and are reckless, and the vehicles are often poorly maintained. Schedules are unpublished and subject to change without notice. There is some public transit to rural communities by irregularly scheduled mini-buses.
See 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 South Sudan, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has not assessed the government of South Sudan’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.
DISCLAIMER: THE INFORMATION IS PROVIDED FOR GENERAL INFORMATION ONLY AND MAY NOT BE TOTALLY ACCURATE IN A SPECIFIC CASE. QUESTIONS INVOLVING INTERPRETATION OF SPECIFIC FOREIGN LAWS SHOULD BE ADDRESSED TO THE APPROPRIATE FOREIGN AUTHORITIES OR FOREIGN COUNSEL.
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:
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.
Select a visa category below to find the visa issuance fee, number of entries, and validity period for visas issued to applicants from this country*/area of authority.
Visa Classification: The type of nonimmigrant visa you are applying for.
Fee: The reciprocity fee, also known as the visa issuance fee, you must pay. This fee is in addition to the nonimmigrant visa application fee (MRV fee).
Number of Entries: The number of times you may seek entry into the United States with that visa. "M" means multiple times. If there is a number, such as "One", you may apply for entry one time with that visa.
Validity Period: This generally means the visa is valid, or can be used, from the date it is issued until the date it expires, for travel with that visa. If your Validity Period is 60 months, your visa will be valid for 60 months from the date it is issued.
NOTE: South Sudan has been an autonomous state since the country achieved independence on July 9, 2011. South Sudan issues its own civil documents. Documents from previous regimes are no longer valid or in circulation.
Birth certificates and age assessments are available only to those resident in South Sudan. For children born in a hospital, the children's parents can apply for a birth certificate within the first few days of the child's birth. If the child was born in a hospital and a birth certificate was not immediately obtained, then the child may be able obtain one, but would likely need an age assessment.
Children born outside of a hospital obtain an age assessment from each state health commission. The document contains the full name of the child, the parents' names, the city and state where the child was born. A day/month/year is given at the time of the age assessment. The age is determined based on information gained at an interview with the child and parents, clan elders, dental exam, and circumference of the head, among other things.
All birth certificates and age assessments must be done in South Sudan. In the near future, each state will be able to process age assessments, which are only processed in Juba at this time. Embassies do not issue birth certificates.
Available. Hospitals issue death certificates on behalf of each state's ministry of health. If the death occurred in a hospital, a death certificate may be issued by the hospital.
Available. Marriage certificates may be obtained from the church or mosque only. A civil registry act and registrar have yet to be established. The South Sudan Mission in Nairobi may verify marriage certificates.
The Ministry of Interior issues identity cards to those eighteen years and older. To apply for an identity card, an applicant must present a birth certificate or age assessment. The national identity card requires at least one witness and biometrics.
Certificates of good conduct from the police are currently available for applicants residing in South Sudan. Police certificates cannot currently be obtained by applicants outside South Sudan. Consular officers should make a determination that such certificates are unobtainable for applicants outside South Sudan. Persons released from prison are normally given an official release record and must appear before the court prior to their release. Prison records are available for applicants residing in South Sudan, but cannot currently be obtained by applicants outside South Sudan. Consular officers should make a determination that such records are unobtainable for applicants outside South Sudan. Consular officers should follow the guidance in 9 FAM 42.65 N6 when determining that a document is unobtainable.
In practice, military records are not available. Since the signing of the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Treaty and South Sudan achieved independence on July 9, 2011, the Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) has been in the process of transitioning from a guerrilla rebel group into a professional national army. Although the SPLA has designed a bio data system to register all SPLA soldiers, it will take time for the SPLA to fully implement the system.
Passports are issued by the Ministry of Interior, Department of Nationality, Immigration, and Passports, for a five year period. At this time, the Ministry issues new and renewal passports in Juba only. South Sudan Embassies will issue and renew passports in the near future.
Juba, South Sudan--A and G visas only
U.S. Embassy Juba
Kololo Road, next to EU compound
Juba, South Sudan
U.S. Embassy Juba
4420 Juba Place
Washington, DC 20521
U.S. Embassy Juba
4420 Juba Place
Dulles, VA 20189
U.S. Embassy Juba
Kololo Street, Tong Ping
Juba, South Sudan
Office hours: +211 912 105 188
After hours (duty officer): +211 912 105 107
Nairobi, Kenya (Embassy)
United Nations Avenue,
APO AE 09831-8900
International Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 30137
After hours emergencies: 254-2-363-6170
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