Venezuela Travel Advisory

Travel Advisory
January 12, 2023

Venezuela - Level 4: Do Not Travel

O D K E N H U T C

Last Update: Reissued with updates to the risk indicators.

Do not travel to Venezuela due to crime, civil unrest, kidnapping, and the arbitrary enforcement of local laws.  Reconsider travel due to wrongful detentions, terrorism, and poor health infrastructure.

Country Summary:  On March 11, 2019, the U.S. Department of State announced the withdrawal of diplomatic personnel from U.S. Embassy Caracas.  All consular services, routine and emergency, remain suspended until further notice.  The U.S. government has limited ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens in Venezuela.  U.S. citizens in Venezuela who require consular services should try to leave the country as soon as safely possible and contact a U.S. embassy or consulate in another country.

Violent crimes, such as homicide, armed robbery, kidnapping, and carjacking, are common.  Political rallies and demonstrations occur, often with little notice.  Demonstrations typically elicit a strong police and security force response that includes the use of tear gas, pepper spray, and rubber bullets against participants and occasionally devolve into looting and vandalism.  Reports from the Independent International Fact-Finding Mission document human rights abuses attributed to the Maduro regime, including torture, extrajudicial killings, forced disappearances, and detentions without due process and/or fair trial guarantees or as a pretext for an illegitimate purpose.  Shortages of gasoline, food, electricity, water, medicine, and medical supplies continue throughout much of Venezuela.  The CDC issued a Level 3 ‘Avoid Nonessential Travel’ notice on September 30, 2021, due to inadequate healthcare and the breakdown of the medical infrastructure in Venezuela.

The Department has determined that there is a risk of wrongful detention of U.S. nationals by the Maduro regime.

Regime-aligned security forces have detained U.S. citizens for long periods.  The Maduro regime does not notify the U.S. government of the detention of U.S. citizens and the U.S. government is not granted routine access to those U.S. citizens.

Colombian terrorist groups, such as the National Liberation Army (ELN), Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia – People’s Army (FARC-EP), and Segunda Marquetalia, operate in Venezuela’s border areas with Colombia, Brazil, and Guyana.

Due to risks to civil aviation operating within or in the vicinity of Venezuela, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has issued a Notice to Air Missions (NOTAM) prohibiting all flight operations in the territory and airspace of Venezuela at altitudes below 26,000 feet. .  For more information, U.S. citizens should consult the Federal Aviation Administration’s Prohibitions, Restrictions and Notices.  Emergency medical evacuation flights between the United States and Venezuela may not be possible.

Read the country information page for additional information on travel to Venezuela.

If you decide to travel to Venezuela:

  • Read the Department of State’s COVID-19 page before planning any international travel, and read the Venezuela Affairs Unit’s webpage for country-specific COVID-19 information.
  • Avoid all land border crossings into Venezuela on the Colombian border.
  • Ensure you have a valid Venezuelan visa.  Visas are not available upon arrival.
  • Draft a will and designate appropriate insurance beneficiaries and/or power of attorney.
  • Develop a communication plan with family and/or your employer or host organization. Establish a “proof of life” protocol with your loved ones, so that if you are taken hostage, your loved ones know specific questions (and answers) to ask the hostage-takers to be sure that you are alive (and to rule out a hoax).
  • Have a contingency plan in place that does not rely on U.S. government assistance.
  • Keep travel documents up to date and easily accessible.
  • Avoid travel between cities, or between Simón Bolívar International Airport and Caracas at night.
  • Do not take unregulated taxis from Simón Bolívar International Airport and avoid ATMs in this area.
  • Consider hiring a professional security organization.
  • Bring a sufficient supply of over the counter and prescription medicines for the duration of travel.
  • Consider purchasing medical evacuation insurance.
  • Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas.
  • 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 Country Security Report for Venezuela.
  • Visit the CDC page for the latest Travel Health Information related to your travel.
  • Review the Traveler’s Checklist.
  • Be prepared for the high risk of indefinite arbitrary detention on specious charges without consular access.

Travel Advisory Levels

Information for Vaccinated Travelers

The CDC's latest guidance on international travel for vaccinated people can be found here.

Assistance for U.S. Citizens

U.S. Embassy, Venezuela
Calle 24 Bis No. 48-50 Bogotá, D.C. Colombia
Telephone
+(57)(1) 275-2000
Emergency
+(57)(1) 275-2000
Fax
No Fax

Venezuela Map