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Travel Advisories

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Alerts and Warnings

Tunisia Travel Warning

Travel Warning
May 2, 2017
Tunisia Travel Warning
O E N H U T C

The U.S. Department of State warns U.S. citizens to avoid travel to southeastern Tunisia along the Libyan border as well as certain mountainous areas in the country’s west, due to the threat of terrorism.  This replaces the Travel Warning issued September 29, 2016. 

The U.S. Department of State warns U.S. citizens to avoid travel to southeastern Tunisia along the Libyan border as well as certain mountainous areas in the country’s west, due to the threat of terrorism.  This replaces the Travel Warning issued September 29, 2016.

Terrorist attacks have previously targeted Tunisian government and security forces and popular tourist sites.  On March 7, 2016, an attack by ISIS-affiliated militants in the southeastern border town of Ben Guerdan resulted in the deaths of 12 Tunisian security officials and civilians.  Two attacks in 2015 targeted tourists: the Bardo Museum in Tunis on March 18 and two beach hotels near Sousse on June 26.  ISIS claimed responsibility for these attacks.  Groups of militants continue to operate in certain mountains of Western Tunisia, including Jebel Chaambi, Sammama, and Selloum.  The Tunisian government continues security force operations against Ansar al-Sharia in Tunisia (AAS-T), ISIS, and al-Qa’ida in the Lands of the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM).

U.S. Embassy Tunis regulations require advance notification to Embassy security officials of travel by Embassy personnel outside greater Tunis.  Certain cities and governorates in Tunisia have a fluid and unpredictable security environment, and these areas require additional scrutiny before U.S. government personnel may travel to them. U.S. citizens should avoid the following areas due to the unpredictable security environment:

  • Jendouba south of Ain Drahem and west of RN15, Kef, and Kasserine, next to the Algerian border
  • Ben Guerdan and Medenine, next to the Libyan border
  • Gafsa and Sidi Bou Zid in central Tunisia
  • The desert south of Remada is designated as a military zone by the Government of Tunisia.  If travelers wish to enter the military zone, special authorization is required.

On occasion, these travel restrictions prevent the provision of consular services in certain areas of the country.

For your safety:

  • Visit the U.S. Embassy website before traveling outside of the capital for more specific guidance and warnings;
  • Exercise caution in all parts of Tunisia when frequenting public venues, especially those heavily frequented by tourists, such as hotels, shopping centers, tourist sites, public beaches, and restaurants;
  • Exercise caution when using public transportation, due to safety and security concerns;
  • Avoid political gatherings, rallies, large crowds and demonstrations, as even demonstrations that are meant to be peaceful can be unpredictable;
  • Be alert to the possibility of kidnapping;
  • Monitor local events and take appropriate steps to bolster personal security;
  • Remain alert to local security developments, report suspicious activity to the local police, and heed directions given by uniformed security officials;
  • Carry a copy of your passport and a cell phone or other means of communication that works in Tunisia.

Government security forces, including the army, police, and National Guard, are visibly present throughout Tunisia.  On November 24, 2015, Tunisian President Beji Caid Essebsi issued a State of Emergency, which grants security forces more authority to maintain civil order and enables the government to focus on combating terrorism.  The state of emergency is still in effect.  The Minister of Interior has said that the state of emergency also assists in securing hotels and tourist areas. 

Developments in Libya continue to affect the security situation along the Tunisian-Libyan border in areas such as Ras Jedir and Dehiba along with the cities of Ben Guerdan and Medenine.  The Libyan border is frequently closed to all traffic with short notice for extended periods.  The Department of State warns U.S. citizens against all travel to Libya and advises those in Libya to depart immediately.  Travelers should avoid all travel to and through the Libyan border and should read the Department of State’s Travel Warning for Libya, as well as the Department of State’s Country Specific Information and other international travel safety and security information for Libya and Algeria.  The Embassy regularly reviews the security of these areas for possible modification.

For further information:

  • See the State Department's travel website for the Worldwide Caution, Travel Warnings, Travel Alerts, and Country Specific Information for Tunisia.
  • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security messages and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
  • Contact the U.S. Embassy in Tunisia located at North East Zone Berges du Lac, North of Tunis 2045 La Goulette, at +216 71 107 000, 8:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday.  After-hours emergency number for U.S. citizens is +216 71 107 000.
  • Call 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada, or 1-202-501-4444 from other countries, from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).
  • Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

Country Information

Tunisia
Tunisian Republic
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Embassy Messages
Quick Facts
PASSPORT VALIDITY:

Valid at time of entry

BLANK PASSPORT PAGES:

One page required for entry stamp

TOURIST VISA REQUIRED:

Not required for stays under 90 days

VACCINATIONS:

None

CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR ENTRY:

Import of Tunisian currency is prohibited

CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR EXIT:

Export of Tunisian currency is prohibited. 

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Embassies and Consulates

U.S. Embassy Tunis

North East Zone
Les Berges du Lac
1053 Tunis, Tunisia

Telephone: +(216) 71-107-000

Emergency After-Hours Telephone: 71-107-000, press 0 and ask for the duty officer

Fax: +(216) 71964-360

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Destination Description

Read the Department of State’s Fact Sheet on Tunisia for information about U.S.-Tunisia relations.

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Entry, Exit and Visa Requirements

Passports and Visas:

  • A valid passport is required.
  • For U.S. passport holders, a visa is not necessary for stays up to 90 days.
  • A residence permit is needed for stays longer than 90 days.  The residence permit can be obtained from the central police station of the district of residence.
  • U.S. citizens born in the Middle East or with Arabic names have experienced delays in clearing immigration upon arrival.
  • U.S. citizens of Tunisian origin and dual American-Tunisian citizens are expected to enter and exit Tunisia on their Tunisian passports.  If a Tunisian-American succeeds in entering using a U.S. passport, he or she will still have to present a valid Tunisian passport to exit the country.

Exit Requirements: None

Visit the Embassy of Tunisia website or call the Embassy of Tunisia in Washington, D.C. at 202-862-1850 for the most current visa information.

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

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

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Safety and Security

The U.S. Government maintains a Travel Warning for Tunisia which warns U.S. citizens to avoid travel to southeastern Tunisia along the Libyan border as well as the mountainous areas in the country’s west, due to the threat of terrorism.  The U.S. Department of State recommends that U.S. citizens in Tunisia maintain a high level of vigilance throughout the country. 

A state of emergency was declared on November 24, 2015 and remains in effect.  Under the state of emergency, security forces have more authority to maintain civil order, enabling the government to focus on combating terrorism.  The Minister of Interior has stated that the state of emergency also assists in securing hotels and tourist areas. 

The following groups, including ones on the U.S. government’s list of designated Foreign Terrorist Organizations, pose a high risk to U.S. citizens in the region:

  • The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL)
  • Al-Qa’ida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM)
  • Ansar al-Sharia in Tunisia (AAS-T)

Two attacks in 2015 targeted foreign tourists:  March 18, 2015, at the Bardo Museum in Tunis; and June 26, 2015 near Sousse at the Riu Imperial Marhaba and Riu Bellevue Park hotels.  ISIL claimed responsibility for both attacks. 

The Tunisian government has shown its commitment to addressing security concerns and has visibly augmented its security presence at tourist locations, but challenges persist, and the threat of terrorism remains. 

Specific Areas to Avoid:

Embassy Tunis regulations require advance notification to Embassy security officials of travel by Embassy personnel outside greater Tunis.  Certain cities and governorates in Tunisia have a fluid and unpredictable security environment, and these areas require additional scrutiny before U.S. government personnel may travel to them.  U.S. citizens should avoid the following areas due to the unpredictable security environment:

  • Jendouba, Kef, and Kasserine
  • Ben Guerdan and Medenine, next to the Libyan border
  • Gafsa and Sidi Bou Zid in central Tunisia

All travel in or through the designated military zone in the south must be coordinated in advance with Tunisian authorities. 

Travel to the Borders:

Travel to the Libyan and Algerian borders is not recommended.  Security operations continue against armed extremists near the Algerian border including the Mount Chaambi region.

Developments in Libya continue to affect the security situation along the border with Tunisia.   The Department of State warns U.S. citizens against all travel to Libya. 

  • Due to tighter security, backups of several hours can occur on the Tunisian side of the border. 
  • Access to border crossings is strictly controlled by Tunisian and Algerian security forces.  Some crossings may be closed occasionally.
  • Travelers should consult local authorities before travelling to the Libyan border and should read the Department of State’s Travel Warning for Libya, as well as the Department of State’s Country Specific Information and other international travel safety and security information for Libya and Algeria
  • Travelers should consult local authorities before travelling to the Algerian border and read the Department of State’s Travel Warning for Algeria.

Desert Travel:

The Tunisian National Guard encourages persons traveling into the desert to register their travel beforehand. 

  • No special authorization is required to travel to the desert as far south as Remada.  
  • The desert south of Remada is designated as a military zone by the Government of Tunisia.  If travelers wish to enter the military zone, for example to travel to Borma, a special authorization is required.
  • Please visit the U.S. Embassy’s desert travel page

Demonstrations/Strikes:

  • Protests, demonstrations, and civil unrest can occur with little warning throughout the country.  U.S. citizens should avoid large crowds and demonstrations, as even demonstrations that are meant to be peaceful have the potential to become unpredictable.  U.S. citizens should be aware of anti-U.S. and anti-Western sentiment held by several groups in country and monitor local events.
  • Report suspicious activity to the local police.

For further information:

  • Read the Tunisia Travel Warning.
  • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security messages and make it easier to locate you in an emergency. 
  • Follow the U.S. Embassy in Tunisia by visiting the Embassy’s website.
  • Call us in Washington at 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or 1-202-501-4444 from other countries from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).
  • See the State Department's travel website for Worldwide Caution, Travel Warnings, and Travel Alerts.
  • Follow us on Twitter and Facebook
  • See traveling safely abroad for useful travel tips.Crime:  Travelers should remain vigilant of their surroundings and take care to secure their valuables as prominently displayed cash or jewelry may attract unwanted attention. 
  • High value items left unattended and visible have been stolen from vehicles, hotel rooms, and private residences. 
  • Criminals have targeted tourists and business travelers for theft, pick pocketing, and scams. 
  • Muggings have occurred during daylight hours in upscale neighborhoods; in some cases these encounters have turned violent when the victim tried to resist. 
  • Any thefts or attempted robberies should be reported immediately to the local police and the U.S. Embassy.

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

Victims of Crime:  If you or someone you know becomes the victim of a crime abroad, you should contact the local police and the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate (see the Department of State’s list of embassies and consulates).

To Report a Crime Locally:  The local equivalent to the “911” emergency line in Tunisia is 197, although the service will be in Arabic or French.  Emergency services are widely available in the larger towns, but may be less reliable in rural areas.  Remember that local authorities are responsible for investigating and prosecuting crimes.

The U.S. Embassy can:

  • help you find appropriate medical care;
  • assist you in reporting a crime to the police, but only local authorities can investigate and prosecute crimes;
  • contact relatives or friends, with your written consent;
  • explain the local criminal justice process in general terms;
  • provide a list of local attorneys;
  • provide information on victim’s compensation programs in the U.S.;
  • provide an emergency loan;
  • help you find accommodation and arrange flights home;
  • replace a stolen or lost passport.

More info: 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.

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Local Laws & Special Circumstances

Criminal Penalties:  American citizens are subject to all laws in Tunisia. 

  • If you violate local Tunisian laws, even unknowingly, you may be arrested, imprisoned, or expelled from Tunisia. 
  • Penalties for possessing, using, or trafficking in illegal drugs in Tunisia are severe, and convicted offenders can expect long jail sentences and heavy fines. 
  • You may be taken in for questioning if you don’t have your passport with you or if you take pictures of certain buildings.  It is against Tunisian law to photograph government offices and other security facilities. 
  • Driving under the influence of alcohol could land you immediately in jail.  
  • If you break local laws in Tunisia, your U.S. passport won’t help you avoid arrest or prosecution.

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

Faith-Based Travelers:  Islam is the state religion of Tunisia.  The government does not interfere with the country's religious minorities’ public worship.  Many religious denominations hold regularly-scheduled services.  However, it is illegal to proselytize or engage in other activities that the Tunisian authorities could view as encouraging conversion to another faith.  In the past, U.S. citizens who engaged in such activities were asked to leave the country.  See the Department of State’s International Religious Freedom Report

LGBTI Travelers:  Consensual same-sex sexual relations are criminalized in Tunisia.  Penalties include sentences of up to three years in prison.  In February 2015, a Swedish man was sentenced to two years in prison, and in September 2015, a Tunisian man was sentenced to one year in prison for violating Tunisia’s law against consensual same-sex sexual relations.  See our LGBTI Travel Information page and section 6 of our Human Rights report for further details.

Money: 

  • Credit cards are accepted at some establishments in Tunisia, mainly in urban or tourist areas. 
  • Traveler’s checks are not widely accepted for payment, even at large tourist hotels, and may only be cashed at a bank where the check holder has an account. 
  • Cash machines (ATMs) are available in urban and tourist areas.  The Tunisian dinar is not a fully convertible currency.
  • While the export or import of Tunisian banknotes and coins is prohibited, the export of foreign currency declared when entering Tunisia is allowed. 
  • Tourists are expected to make currency exchange transactions at authorized banks and to retain the receipts from those transactions.  Upon leaving the country, a tourist may reconvert 30 percent of the amount originally exchanged into dinars, up to a maximum of 100 USD. 
  • Declaring foreign currency when entering Tunisia and obtaining receipts for dinars purchased thereafter will facilitate the conversion of dinars to U.S. dollars when leaving the country.  Please keep all receipts of monetary transactions for presentation when departing.

Travelers Who Require Accessibility:  Disabled individuals in Tunisia may find accessibility and accommodation very different from that in the United States. Though the government has been generally progressive and forward-leaning on the rights of the disabled, there remains a significant gap between theory and practice.  Budgetary constraints have so far precluded the uniform retro-fitting of public buildings to make them accessible to disabled citizens.

Students:  See our Students Abroad page and FBI travel tips

Women Travelers:  If you are a woman traveling abroad, please review our travel tips for Women Travelers.

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Health

Medical care:  Medical care in Tunisia is adequate, with a number of new, private “polyclinics” available that function as simple hospitals and can provide a variety of procedures.  The U.S. Embassy in Tunis maintains a list of doctors and medical practitioners (dentists, etc.) who can be contacted for assistance.  If you are seeking medical attention in Tunisia, please keep in mind the following:

  • Specialized care or treatment may not be available. 
  • Facilities that can handle complex trauma cases are virtually non-existent. 
  • While most private clinics have a few physicians who are fluent in English, the medical establishment uses French and all of the ancillary staff in every clinic communicates in Arabic and/or French. 
  • Public hospitals are overcrowded, under-equipped, and understaffed.  Nursing care generally does not conform to U.S. standards.
  • Immediate ambulance service may not be available outside urban areas. 
  • Even in urban areas, emergency response times can be much longer than in the United States. 

Insurance:

  • Make sure your health insurance plan covers you when you are outside of the United States.
  • The U.S. government cannot pay your medical bills.
  • U.S. Medicare does not pay overseas.
  • Doctors and hospitals often expect cash payment for health services.  We strongly recommend supplemental insurance to cover medical evacuation, since medical transport out of the country can be prohibitively expensive or logistically impossible. See our webpage for more information on insurance providers for overseas coverage.

Medications:  Over-the-counter medications are available; however, travelers should bring with them a full supply of medications that are needed on a regular basis.

If traveling with prescription medication, check with the government of Tunisia to ensure the medication is legal in Tunisia.  Always carry your prescription medication in original packaging with your doctor’s prescription. 

Medical Insurance:

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

For further health information, go to:

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Travel and Transportation

Road Conditions and Safety: 

  • Driving in Tunisia can be dangerous. Visitors should avoid driving after dark outside Tunis or major resort areas.
  • Drivers often fail to obey the rules of the road even in the presence of police. Traffic signs and signals are often ignored, and drivers sometimes drive vehicles on the wrong side of the road.  Defensive driving is a must in Tunisia. 
  • Faster drivers tend to drive on the left while slower drivers stay to the right.  Traffic lane markings are widely ignored. 
  • Drivers may be stopped for inspection by police officers within cities and on highways at any time, and drivers should comply.
  • Bicycles, mopeds, and motorcycles are operated without sufficient lights or reflectors, making them difficult to see darting in and out of traffic.  Motorists should also be aware of animals on the roads, particularly in rural areas. 

Traffic Laws:  Drivers should be aware that if they are involved in a motor accident that results in death or serious injury of another person, the police may take them into protective custody until they are absolved of responsibility. This can mean spending up to several months in detention.  As with any arrest or detention, U.S. citizens taken into custody should immediately request that the police inform the Embassy of their whereabouts.

Pedestrians and Cyclists:  If you are a pedestrian or cyclist in Tunisia, you should be aware that drivers rarely yield and will not always stop at either crosswalks or stoplights. 

Public Transportation: Exercise caution when using public transportation, due to safety and security concerns.  Buses and trains can be crowded, and pickpocketing is not uncommon. 

Desert Travel:

  • Travel in the desert areas of southern Tunisia presents additional challenges, as many roads are not paved and even well-traveled routes are subject to blowing sands that can create hazards for vehicles. 
  • Persons driving off the major paved roads are encouraged to ensure that their vehicles are appropriate for off-road driving conditions and are equipped with appropriate spares and supplies, including water and food. 
  • Groups should travel in multiple vehicles, so if a vehicle becomes disabled or immobilized, the group can return in the operable vehicle(s). 
  • Desert regions are subject to extreme temperatures, from sub-freezing evenings in the winter to dangerously hot daytime temperatures in the summer. 
  • There are many areas in the southern desert regions with little or no cellular telephone service. 
  • The Tunisian National Guard encourages persons traveling into the desert to register their travel beforehand. For details on how and where to register, please visit the U.S. Embassy’s desert travel page.

Emergency services:

Police (Police Secours): dial 197
Fire Department: dial 198
Ambulance (SAMU): dial 190
Towing (SOS Remorquage 24/24): dial 71 801 211 or 71 840 840

Please refer to our Road Safety page for more information.  Also, we suggest that you visit the website of Tunisia’s national tourist office.

Aviation Safety Oversight:  As there is no direct commercial air service to the United States by carriers registered in Tunisia, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has not assessed Tunisia’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.

Hague Convention Participation
Party to the Hague Abduction Convention?
Yes
U.S. Treaty Partner under the Hague Abduction Convention?
No
What You Can Do
Learn how to respond to abductions FROM the US
Learn how to respond to abductions TO the US
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Embassies and Consulates

U.S. Embassy Tunis

North East Zone
Les Berges du Lac
1053 Tunis, Tunisia

Telephone: +(216) 71-107-000

Emergency After-Hours Telephone: 71-107-000, press 0 and ask for the duty officer

Fax: +(216) 71964-360

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General Information

For information concerning travel to Tunisia, including information about the location of the U.S. Embassy, the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program, entry/exit requirements, safety and security, crime, medical facilities and health information, traffic safety, road conditions and aviation safety, please see country-specific information for Tunisia.

The U.S. Department of State reports statistics and compliance information for individual countries in the Annual Report on International Parental Child Abduction (IPCA).  The report is located here.

 

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Hague Abduction Convention

Tunisia acceded to the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction (Convention) on July 10, 2017.  However, the United States and Tunisia are not yet treaty partners.  Until Tunisia and the United States establish a treaty relationship per Article 38 of the Convention, parents whose children have been abducted from the United States to Tunisia or wrongfully retained in Tunisia are unable to invoke the Convention to pursue their children’s return or seek access to them.

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Return

Legal systems and laws pertaining to custody, divorce, and parental abduction vary widely from country to country.  Official versions of Tunisian family law may be found on the Ministry of Justice website. Parents are encouraged to consult with an attorney who specializes in family law in Tunisia and who can provide accurate legal guidance that is specific to their circumstances. 

The Department of State’s Bureau of Consular Affairs, Directorate for Overseas Citizens Services, Office of Children’s Issues provides assistance in cases of international parental child abduction.  For U.S. citizen parents whose children have been wrongfully removed to or retained in countries that are not U.S. partners under the Hague Abduction Convention, the Office of Children’s Issues can provide information and resources about country-specific options for pursuing the return of or access to an abducted child.  The Office of Children’s Issues may also coordinate with appropriate foreign and U.S. government authorities about the welfare of abducted U.S. citizen children.  Parents are strongly encouraged to contact the Department of State for assistance.

Contact Information

Bureau of Consular Affairs
Office of Children's
CA/OCS/CI
SA-17, 9th Floor
Washington, DC 20522-1709
Telephone:  1-888-407-4747
Outside the United States or Canada: 1-202-501-4444
Website
Email: AskCI@state.gov

 

Parental child abduction is a crime in Tunisia.  Tunisia’s penal code can be found at: http://www.e-justice.tn  

 

Parents may wish to consult with an attorney in the United States and in the country to which the child has been removed or retained to learn more about how filing criminal charges may impact a custody case in the foreign court.  Please see Pressing Criminal Charges for more information. 

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Visitation/Access

Legal systems and laws pertaining to custody, divorce, and parental abduction vary widely from country to country.  Parents are encouraged to consult with an attorney who specializes in family law in Tunisia and who can provide accurate legal guidance that is specific to their circumstances.

The Office of Children’s Issues may be able to assist parents seeking access to children who have been wrongfully removed from or retained outside the United States.   Parents who are seeking access to children who were not wrongfully removed from or retained outside the United States should contact the appropriate U.S. Embassy or Consulate in Tunisia for information and possible assistance.

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Retaining an Attorney

Neither the Office of Children’s Issues nor consular officials at the U.S. Embassy or Consulates in Tunisia are authorized to provide legal advice.

The U.S. Embassy in Tunis, Tunisia, posts a list of attorneys, including those who specialize in family law.

This list is provided as a courtesy service only and does not constitute an endorsement of any individual attorney. The Department of State assumes no responsibility or liability for the professional ability or reputation of, or the quality of services provided by, the persons or firms included in this list. Professional credentials and areas of expertise are provided directly by the lawyers.

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Mediation

The government of Tunisia does not offer mediation services to parents in custody disputes. However, a judge or attorney has the authority to offer alternative dispute resolution mechanisms such as conciliation or mediation.

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?
No
Are Intercountry Adoptions between this country and the United States possible?
Is this country a U.S. Hague Partner?
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Hague Convention Information

Tunisia is not party to the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption (Hague Adoption Convention). Therefore, when the Hague Adoption Convention entered into force for the United States on April 1, 2008, intercountry adoption processing for Tunisia did not change.

The Department of State does not maintain information on the adoption process in Tunisia because adoptions from Tunisia are rare; fewer than five adoptions by American citizen parents have taken place in the past five years. Please visit the Department's Country Specific Information sheets for more information on travelling to Tunisia and the U.S. Embassy Tunis's website for information on consular services.

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Who Can Adopt
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Who Can Be Adopted
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Traveling Abroad
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After Adoption
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Contact Information
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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
A
B
C
D
E
F
G
H
I
J
K
L
M
N
O
P
Q
R
S
T
U
V
 
Visa
Classification
Fee Number
of Entries
Validity
Period
A-1 None Multiple 60 Months
A-2 None Multiple 60 Months
A-3 1 None Multiple 12 Months
B-1 None Multiple 120 Months
B-2 None Multiple 120 Months
B-1/B-2 None Multiple 120 Months
C-1 None Multiple 60 Months
C-1/D None Multiple 60 Months
C-2 None Multiple 12 Months
C-3 None Multiple 12 Months
CW-1 11 None Multiple 12 Months
CW-2 11 None Multiple 12 Months
D None Multiple 60 Months
E-1 2 No Treaty N/A N/A
E-2 2 None Multiple 60 Months
E-2C 12 None Multiple 24 Months
F-1 None Multiple 60 Months
F-2 None Multiple 60 Months
G-1 None Multiple 60 Months
G-2 None Multiple 60 Months
G-3 None Multiple 60 Months
G-4 None Multiple 60 Months
G-5 1 None Multiple 12 Months
H-1B None Multiple 60 Months 3
H-1C None Multiple 60 Months 3
H-2A None N/A N/A 3
H-2B None N/A N/A 3
H-2R None Multiple 60 Months 3
H-3 None Multiple 60 Months 3
H-4 None Multiple 60 Months 3
I None Multiple 60 Months
J-1 4 None Multiple 60 Months
J-2 4 None Multiple 60 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 Multiple 60 Months
L-2 None Multiple 60 Months
M-1 None Multiple 60 Months
M-2 None Multiple 60 Months
N-8 None Multiple 60 Months
N-9 None Multiple 60 Months
NATO 1-7 N/A N/A N/A
O-1 None Multiple 60 Months 3
O-2 None Multiple 60 Months 3
O-3 None Multiple 60 Months 3
P-1 None Multiple 60 Months 3
P-2 None Multiple 60 Months 3
P-3 None Multiple 60 Months 3
P-4 None Multiple 60 Months 3
Q-1 6 None Multiple 15 Months 3
R-1 None Multiple 60 Months
R-2 None Multiple 60 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
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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.

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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.

 

 

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General Documents

Please check back for update.

Birth, Death, Burial Certificates

Birth Certificates

 

Available: Yes, only when the birth was reported and recorded by a civil authority.

Fees: 0.75 TD

Document Name: Birth certificates (Extrait de Naissance)

Issuing Authority: Office of the Registrar (Bureau de l'Etat-Civil)

Special Seal(s) / Color / Format: Government stamp

Issuing Authority Personnel Title: Registrar (Officier de l'Etat-Civil)

Registration Criteria: Hospital record

Procedure for Obtaining: Compulsory registration of births of Tunisian Muslims and Tunisian Jews began on December 30, 1908. This measure was extended on August 1, 1957, to all births, regardless of faith, nationality or race. Birth certificates (Extrait de Naissance) are obtainable from the Office of the Registrar (Bureau de l'Etat-Civil) where the birth occurred.

Certified Copies Available: Not applicable, one can request an original at any time.

Alternate Documents: Family Books are also available.

Exceptions:  Not available

Comments: Persons of European descent born in Tunisia before August 1, 1957, whose births were not recorded with the appropriate Office of the Registrar may have their births recorded in their respective Consulates in Tunis. The French Consulate in Tunis appears to have records of all French citizens as of January 1, 1920. The Italian Consulate in Tunis maintains records of birth from 1873, provided the birth was reported.

 

Death Certificates
 

Available

Fees: 0.50 TD

Document Name: Death Certificate (Certificat Deces)

Issuing Authority: Office of the Registrar (Bureau de l'Etat-Civil)

Special Seal(s) / Color / Format: Government stamp

Issuing Authority Personnel Title: Registrar (Officier de l'Etat-Civil)

Registration Criteria: Death attestation issued by registered doctor.

Procedure for Obtaining: They are obtainable from any Office of the Registrar (Bureau de l'Etat-Civil).

Certified Copies Available:  Not applicable, originals are available at any time.

Alternate Documents:  Not applicable

Exceptions: Not applicable

Comments: None

Marriage, Divorce Certificates

Marriage Certificates

 

Available: For all marriages celebrated in Tunisia on or after August 1, 1957, regardless of the race, religion, or nationality of the contracting parties.

Fees:  1TD

Document Name: Marriage Contract (Certificat de Marriage)

Issuing Authority: Office of the Registrar (Bureau de l'Etat-Civil)

Special Seal(s) / Color / Format: Government stamp

Issuing Authority Personnel Title: Registrar (Officier de l'Etat-Civil)

Registration Criteria: Automatically registered if married at town hall. If married by notary/bailiff, the notary/bailiff will register the marriage.

Procedure for Obtaining: They are obtainable from any Office of the Registrar (Bureau de l'Etat-Civil).

Certified Copies Available:  Not applicable, originals are available at any time.

Alternate Documents:  Family book

Exceptions:  Not applicable

Comments:  In order for a foreign national to get married in Tunisia, the non-Tunisian will have to produce his or her passport, birth certificate, proof of legal capacity to enter into a marriage contract, and a prenuptial marriage certificate (certificate pré-nuptial/ chahadatou el tobya li ittimam el zaouaj الشهادة الطبية لأتمام الزواج ). The groom must be over 20 years of age and the bride over 17. If the bride was previously married, at least three months must have elapsed since her last divorce before she can register a new marriage.

The civil marriage takes place at the registrar (Mairie/ Baladya البلدية) at any local town hall (في أي بلدية كانت ليس بالضرورة التابعة لمكان الاقامة). A civil marriage certificate (certificate de marriage/madhmoun zaouaj مضمون الزواج) is provided. Copies of the marriage certificate are available from any town hall in Tunisia.

For traditional marriages, the contract is signed by a notary public (Notaire/Adel ichhad عدل اشهاد), and a marriage contract (contrat de marriage/aked zaouaj عقد زواج) is issued.

This marriage contract is not valid unless it is registered at the Town Hall (Mairie / Baladia البلدية). After registering the marriage at the town hall, the bride and groom may obtain a civil marriage registration (Certificate de marriage/, madhmoun zaouaj مضمون زواج).

Marriages which took place prior to August 1, 1957:

With regard to Tunisian Muslims or Tunisian Jews: If the marriage was celebrated before the magistrate in charge of the Office of the Registrar, application should be made to the office (Bureau de L'Etat-Civil) where the marriage took place. If the marriage was celebrated by a Cadi or a Rabbi or before two Muslim or Rabbinical notaries, the parties may apply for their marriage certificates or notarial acts to the Tribunal of First Instance of the place where the marriage took place.

With regard to persons of European descent: If their marriage was celebrated before the magistrate in charge of the Office of the Registrar, application should be made to the office (Bureau de l'Etat-Civil) where their marriage took place. If the marriage was celebrated by the Controleur Civil, the marriage record may be obtained from the French Consulate General in Tunis.

The Prelature of Tunis maintains records of all Catholic marriages celebrated in Tunisia.|
 

Divorce Certificates
 

Unavailable: There is no divorce certificate. The court will issue a divorce decree in the jurisdiction where the divorce took place. The court will then notify the registrar so that the next time a birth certificate is requested it will say Divorced. Without this a person will not be able to remarry. Many people take the decree directly to the registrar because of delays between the court and registrar. 

Adoption Certificates

 Adoptions are possible, but there is no certificate, just a court order. 

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Identity Card

Available

Fees: 25 TD (+80TD if old card is damaged).

Document Name: ID Card (Carte d’Identite Nationale)

Issuing Authority: Ministry of Interior

Special Seal(s) / Color / Format: Information not available

Issuing Authority Personnel Title: Police station where issued

Registration Criteria: Tunisian citizens over 18 years of age, (different card for residents)

Procedure for Obtaining: Police station with birth certificate, work certificate, proof of residence (utility bill), and photos.

Certified Copies Available: Not applicable

Alternate Documents:  Passport

Exceptions:   Not available

Comments:  All Tunisian citizens are fingerprinted when applying for an ID card.  This card then becomes the basis for applying for a Tunisian passport.

Police, Court, Prison Records

Police and Prison Records
 

Available

Fees: 3TD

Document Name: An extract from the Judicial records (Extrait du Casier Judiciaire)

Issuing Authority: Direction de la Surete Nationale, Service d'identification, Tunis

Special Seal(s) / Color / Format:  Green banner for no record, red banner for criminal record

Issuing Authority Personnel Title: Directeur de la Police Technique et Scientifique

Registration Criteria:  A combined police and prison record is available to:

Nationals of Tunisia;

Foreigners born in Tunisia; and

Foreigners presently residing in Tunisia

Procedure for Obtaining: The interested party must file an application either directly to the above-named issuing service or to the Tunisian Embassy or Consulate abroad having jurisdiction over the place of residence of the applicant. In support of such a request, the applicant must present an identity document such as a birth certificate, identify card, passport, etc.

Certified Copies Available: Not necessary, originals are available at any time.

Alternate Documents: Not available

Exceptions:  The Tunisian authorities do not issue police records to former foreign residents, unless they were born in Tunisia. In the case of a former foreign resident not born in Tunisia, the Tunisian authorities transmit any criminal record or other derogatory information to authorities with jurisdiction over the foreigner's birthplace.

Comments: Police record is for military and civilians alike.

Military Records

Available

Fees: Unknown

Document Name: Discharge Certificate

Issuing Authority: Ministry of Defense

Special Seal(s) / Color / Format: Information not available

Issuing Authority Personnel Title: Information not available

Registration Criteria:  Information not available

Procedure for Obtaining: Request from recruitment and mobilization dept. in Omrane

Certified Copies Available:  Yes

Alternate Documents:  Information not available

Exceptions: Information not available

Comments:  None

Passports & Other Travel Documents

The Government of Tunisia considers as valid, only those Tunisian passports issued on or after July 26, 1985.

Types Available:  Regular, diplomatic, special (official)

Fees: 80TD for regular, others are free

Document Name: Passport

Issuing Government Authority:  Ministry of Interior for regular and special, Ministry of Foreign Affairs for diplomatic

Special Seal(s) / Color / Format:  Regular passports are green, Special passports are red, and Diplomatic passports are blue.

Issuing Authority Personnel Title: The Ministry of Interior for regular and special passports; The Ministry of Foreign Affairs for diplomatic passports.

Registration Criteria:  Adults: ID card; Children need to have parental authorization.

Procedure for Obtaining: Police station with documents

Alternate Documents:  Emergency travel document while abroad

Exceptions:  No exceptions

Comments: None

Other Documents Available:  Not available

Other Records

Not applicable.

Visa Issuing Posts

Post Title: Tunis, Tunisia (Embassy)

Address:  Berges du Lac, Tunis, Tunisia

Phone Number:  +216 71 107 000

Visa Services: NIV, IV

Comments / Additional Information:  None

Visa Services

All visa categories for all of Tunisia

Foreign Consular Office Contact Information

Washington, DC (202) 862-1850 (202) 862-1858

Assistance for U.S. Citizens

U.S. Embassy Tunis
North East Zone
Les Berges du Lac
1053 Tunis, Tunisia
Telephone
+(216) 71-107-000
Emergency
71-107-000, press 0 and ask for the duty officer
Fax
+(216) 71964-360
Tunisia Country Map

Learn about your destination
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.