Please note that creating presentations is not supported in Internet Explorer versions 6, 7. We recommend upgrading to the latest Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, or Firefox. If you are using IE 8 or later, make sure you turn off "Compatibility View".

National Geographic content straight to your inbox—sign up for our popular newsletters here

Is it safe to go there? The U.S. travel advisory system, explained

If you’re planning an international trip, here’s how to use the State Department’s country-by-country guide to minimize your risk of encountering crime, violence, or civil unrest.

A jet at an airport terminal gate.

On October 19, the U.S. Department of State issued a rare advisory that Americans overseas “exercise increased caution” due to heightened tensions and chances of terrorism around the world, spurred by the Israel-Hamas war. It’s part of a system of travel warnings that’s been around in some form since 1978, designed to help citizens assess how safe a destination might be at a given time.

The current version of the system, which launched in 2018, gives fluid rankings from Level 1 (exercise normal precautions) to Level 4 (do not travel), indicating how risky countries (and in some cases, regions) are for Americans to visit. Rankings are based on factors such as crime rates, civil unrest, and the threat of terrorism. They are meant to give “clear, timely, and reliable information about every country in the world so they can make informed travel decisions,” says a State Department spokesperson.  

Not surprisingly, on October 14, the State Department moved Israel and the West Bank to Level 3 (reconsider travel) and Gaza to Level 4.  

Here’s how the advisories work and how to use them.

What is a travel advisory?

The U.S. State Department inaugurated the travel advisory system in 1978, initially aiming warnings at airlines and travel companies. The system was scrutinized after the 1988 bombing of a Pan Am flight from London to New York , which exploded over Lockerbie, Scotland , killing all 259 passengers and crew plus 11 people on the ground.  

Investigations found U.S. authorities had been aware of a credible threat to a Pan Am flight but hadn’t informed the public. In response, the media and consular offices began issuing travel warnings. In 2018 the U.S. introduced its current four-tier advisory system. There are near-identical versions in Canada , Australia , and New Zealand .

To determine rankings, the State Department considers a nation’s political volatility, crime trends, medical care standards, and the threat of kidnappings or terrorism. (Politics also ends up playing an unspoken role.) Some countries, such as Russia , receive a Level 4 ranking partly because the U.S. government may have limited ability to assist citizens there. Others rise to Level 4 due to a crisis, such as the military coup that recently rocked Niger .  

When the travel advisory system relaunched in 2018, it also included state-by-state evaluations for Mexico , which draws more than 11 million American travelers a year. “Some Mexican states are quite safe for U.S. tourists, while others are riskier due to narco-trafficking violence,” says Ryan Larsen , executive director of the Institute for Global Engagement at Western Washington University. Yucatán and Campeche states are currently at Level 1, while six other Mexican states are at Level 4, including Sinaloa.

( Solo female travelers share tips for staying safe on the road .)

Epidemics and natural disasters also can prompt a travel advisory number to rise. Americans may be prompted to reconsider visiting a country recovering from a tsunami or major wildfires, since their presence could hinder rehabilitation efforts. This occurred after the February 2023 earthquakes in Turkey . Such advisories can remain in place for weeks or months.

The strictest-ever advisories came in April 2021, amid the COVID-19 pandemic , says Larsen, who did a thesis   on U.S. travel warnings. At that time, about 80 percent of the world’s countries were at Level 4.

At press time, about 70 percent of the world’s countries were rated Level 1 or Level 2 by the State Department, indicating they’re relatively safe. There are currently 21 countries at Level 3 and 21 at Level 4.

How to use travel advisories

Before booking an international trip, consult the State Department website to see where your destination ranks. While Level 1 and 2 countries are considered relatively safe, you should still register with the U.S. Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) . This lets Americans overseas use their smartphone to receive travel advisory updates and alerts about emerging dangers in their destination (protests, extreme weather).

Level 3 countries are considered more dangerous for foreign visitors, who should “reconsider travel,” according to the State Department. If you are headed to a Level 3 country, which currently includes Pakistan and Colombia , do wider research on its safety and on the places you’ll visit there, advises Jun Wen , a professor of tourism at Australia’s Edith Cowan University. For instance, while some remote areas in the Colombian Amazon still suffer from drug-related violence, cities such as Cartagena and Medellín are relatively safe. Going on a fully guided group or individual tour can also help you navigate destinations where political unrest or crime might impact your safety.

Travelers should study not only the advisories provided by their own country, but also by the U.S., United Kingdom, and Australia to broaden their understanding of the risks in Level 3 countries, Wen says. As for Level 4 countries, that “Do Not Travel” advice couldn’t be any clearer.

Other countries also issue warnings to their citizens about visiting the U.S. Canada recently informed its LGBTQ travelers they may be affected by laws in certain U.S. states. Australia, meanwhile, cautions its citizens visiting the U.S. to be wary of higher crime rates and gun violence, and even to learn safety strategies for active shooter scenarios.

People who visit countries with Level 3 or Level 4 travel advisories don’t just risk their safety. They also may have travel insurance complications, says Linchi Kwok , tourism management professor at California State Polytechnic University Pomona.

( How travel insurance can—and can’t—help when your plans change .)

They must pay much higher premiums, and their insurance can be invalidated if the advisory for their destination is elevated. “Medical coverage can be minimal, too, particularly if the travel advisory is put up against a disease or an outbreak,” says Kwok. “I encourage Americans to think twice before they travel to Level 3 and especially Level 4 destinations.”

Warnings and their impact on tourism

Travel advisories can be biased, Larsen argues. His research found that, while the U.S. didn’t often overstate the risk of travel to countries with which it had poor relations, it did often understate the danger of visiting nations that were its close allies. Elevating a travel advisory can stoke diplomatic tensions between two countries. Once a country is raised to Level 3 or 4, many tourists will avoid visiting, and many American universities won’t let students join study abroad programs.

The economic ramifications of a level change impact individual businesses such as hotels, restaurants, and travel agencies. For instance, J 2   adventures , a Jewish-focused tour company, saw most of its fall group trips to Israel canceled after the start of the Israel-Hamas war (and the higher advisory level), says cofounder Guy Millo. “This is not just because of the violence on the ground, but because of practical considerations like accessibility of commercial airline flights,” he says. “Most tourists from North America and places around the globe simply couldn’t get here even if they wanted to.”  

Related Topics


You May Also Like

us travel advisory us

PreCheck, Global Entry, CLEAR: We explain U.S. expedited travel programs

us travel advisory us

The perfect wrinkle-free wardrobe to pack for your next trip

Introducing nat geo kids book bundle.

us travel advisory us

The 8 best travel backpacks of 2024

us travel advisory us

The best Easter gift ideas for adults who love travel

us travel advisory us

The essential guide to visiting Canada

us travel advisory us

9 travel stories our readers loved in 2023

us travel advisory us

10 whimsical ways to experience Scotland

  • Environment
  • Paid Content

History & Culture

  • History & Culture
  • History Magazine
  • Mind, Body, Wonder
  • Destination Guide
  • Terms of Use
  • Privacy Policy
  • Your US State Privacy Rights
  • Children's Online Privacy Policy
  • Interest-Based Ads
  • About Nielsen Measurement
  • Do Not Sell or Share My Personal Information
  • Nat Geo Home
  • Attend a Live Event
  • Book a Trip
  • Inspire Your Kids
  • Shop Nat Geo
  • Visit the D.C. Museum
  • Learn About Our Impact
  • Support Our Mission
  • Advertise With Us
  • Customer Service
  • Renew Subscription
  • Manage Your Subscription
  • Work at Nat Geo
  • Sign Up for Our Newsletters
  • Contribute to Protect the Planet

Copyright © 1996-2015 National Geographic Society Copyright © 2015-2024 National Geographic Partners, LLC. All rights reserved

us travel advisory us

An official website of the United States government

Here’s how you know

Official websites use .gov A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS A lock ( Lock Locked padlock icon ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Visit the USAGov homepage

COVID-19 international travel advisories

Visitors to the U.S. do not need to be tested or vaccinated for COVID-19. U.S. citizens going abroad, check Department of State travel advisories for the country you will visit.

COVID-19 testing and vaccine rules for entering the U.S.

You do not need to show proof of being fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or take a COVID-19 test to enter the U.S. This applies to U.S. citizens and non-citizens.

U.S. citizens traveling to a country outside the U.S.

Find country-specific travel advisories, including COVID-19 restrictions, from the Department of State.

See the CDC's COVID-19 guidance for safer international travel to learn:

  • If you can travel if you recently had COVID-19
  • What you can do to help prevent COVID-19 

LAST UPDATED: May 31, 2024

Have a question?

Ask a real person any government-related question for free. They will get you the answer or let you know where to find it.

talk icon

  • First Name is a required field.
  • Last Name is a required field.
  • Please enter your email address.
  • Please enter a valid email address.
  • At least one Country must be selected.
  • Travel.State.Gov
  • U.S. Embassies & Consulates
  • Country Information
  • Latest Travel Advisories

24 Hour Consular Emergency Line: U.S. 1.888.407.4747 / Outside the U.S. 1.202.501.4444

This site is managed by the Bureau of Consular Affairs, U.S. Department of State. External links to other Internet sites should not be construed as an endorsement of the views contained therein.

OMB Control No: 1405-0152, Estimated Burden: 20 minutes, Expiration Date: 6/30/2026.

The Latest on U.S. Travel Restrictions

By Lauren Hard Oct. 19, 2021

  • Share full article

What to Know: U.S. Travel Restrictions

Lauren Hard

Beginning today, international visitors who are fully vaccinated against the coronavirus can enter the United States by air or across the land borders with Canada and Mexico.

Here’s the latest →

us travel advisory us

The new policy ends an 18-month ban on nonessential travel from 33 countries, including China, Brazil and European Union members. The ban had affected tourists and those hoping to visit family and friends in the U.S.

us travel advisory us

The rules reorient the U.S. approach to vetting its visitors during the pandemic.

Instead of basing entry decisions on travelers’ countries of origin, the U.S. is focusing on vaccination status.

International visitors flying into the U.S. now need to show proof of vaccination before boarding and a negative coronavirus test taken within three days of their flight.

The three vaccines available in the U.S. — Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson — are accepted, as are vaccines cleared for emergency use by the W.H.O., including AstraZeneca and Covaxin.

Unvaccinated foreign visitors cannot enter the country, with limited exemptions.

us travel advisory us

Unvaccinated Americans returning home need to test negative for the coronavirus within one day of their flight and show proof they have purchased another test to take after arriving.

us travel advisory us

The hope is with these longstanding bans being lifted, the U.S. tourism industry will start to recover. The halt on travel caused a loss of nearly $300 billion in visitor spending, according to the U.S. Travel Association.

Keep up with the latest travel news, trends and feature stories.

us travel advisory us


Places the U.S. Government Warns Not to Travel Right Now

You may want to reconsider traveling to these countries right now.

Do Not Travel to These Countries

Man walking through an airport with his suitcase

Getty Images

Crime, civil unrest and terrorism are common risk factors for countries that end up on the State Department's "Do Not Travel" advisory list.

In 2024, tourism across the globe is “well on track” to return to pre-pandemic levels, according to projections by UN Tourism.

Global conflicts and natural disasters , ranging from a series of coups across Africa to catastrophic earthquakes in the Middle East affected international travel patterns throughout 2023. Still, international tourist arrivals reached 87% of pre-pandemic levels in 2023, according to estimates by UN Tourism .

In January 2024 alone, about 4.6 million U.S. citizens left the country for international destinations, 17% higher than the same month in 2019, according to the International Trade Administration . But some destinations warrant more caution than others.

On Oct. 19, 2023, following the outbreak of war between Israel and Gaza and flaring tensions in the region, the U.S. State Department issued a worldwide caution advisory due to “increased tensions in various locations around the world, the potential for terrorist attacks, demonstrations or violent actions against U.S. citizens and interests.” Prior to this update, the most recent worldwide caution advisory was issued in 2022 after a U.S. strike killed Ayman al-Zawahiri, Osama bin Laden’s successor as leader of Al Qaeda, causing “a higher potential for anti-American violence.” The worldwide caution advisory remains in effect.

The U.S. State Department also issues individual travel advisory levels for more than 200 countries globally, continually updating them based on a variety of risk indicators such as health, terrorism and civil unrest. Travel advisory levels range from Level 1, which means exercise normal precautions, to Level 4, which means do not travel there.

About 10% of countries – 19 total – have a Level 4: “Do Not Travel” advisory as of Mar. 4. In Level 4 countries, the U.S. government may have “very limited ability” to step in should travelers’ safety or security be at risk, according to the State Department. Crime, civil unrest, kidnapping and terrorism are common risk factors associated with Level 4 countries.

So far in 2024, the State Department made changes to the existing Level 4 advisories for Myanmar, Iran and Gaza, and moved Niger and Lebanon off of the Level 4 list.

Places With a Level 4 Travel Advisory

These are the primary areas the U.S. government says not to travel to right now, in alphabetical order:

Jump to Place: Afghanistan Belarus Burkina Faso Central African Republic Myanmar (formerly Burma) Gaza Haiti Iran Iraq Libya Mali Mexico North Korea (Democratic People's Republic of Korea) Russia Somalia South Sudan Sudan Syria Ukraine Venezuela Yemen

Afghanistan: The Central Asian country is wrestling with “terrorism, risk of wrongful detention, kidnapping and crime,” according to the State Department. U.S. citizens are specifically at risk for wrongful detention and kidnapping. In 2022, the government reinstituted public floggings and executions, and women’s rights are disappearing under Taliban control. The U.S. Embassy in Kabul halted operations in August 2021. Since the Taliban took control , many forms of international aid have been halted . Meanwhile, in 2023, some of the year’s deadliest earthquakes killed more than 2,400 in Afghanistan while the country continues to face a years-long extreme drought.

Belarus: Belarus, which shares a western border with Russia and a southern border with Ukraine, has been flagged for “Belarusian authorities’ continued facilitation of Russia’s war against Ukraine, the buildup of Russian military forces in Belarus, the arbitrary enforcement of local laws, the potential of civil unrest, the risk of detention, and the Embassy’s limited ability to assist U.S. citizens residing in or traveling to Belarus.” The U.S. Embassy in Minsk halted operations in February 2022.

Burkina Faso: Terrorism, crime and kidnapping are plaguing this West African nation. Terrorist attacks may target hotels, restaurants and schools with little to no warning, and the East and Sahel regions of the country are under a state of emergency. In late November 2023, hundreds died in clashes between state security forces and rebels near the country’s border with Mali. In June, more than 2 million people in Burkina Faso were displaced due to “violence linked to al-Qaida and the Islamic State group.”

Central African Republic: While there have not been specific incidents of U.S. citizens targeted with violence or crime, violent crime and sudden closure of roads and borders is common. The advisory states that “Embassy Bangui’s limited capacity to provide support to U.S. citizens, crime, civil unrest, and kidnapping” is a factor in its assessment. Recent data from UNICEF suggests the country has the worst drinking water accessibility of all countries in 2022.

Myanmar (Formerly Burma): Armed conflict and civil unrest are the primary reasons to not travel to this Southeast Asian country, which experienced a military coup in early 2021. Limited health care resources, wrongful detentions and “areas with land mines and unexploded ordnance” are also listed as risk factors. After Ukraine and Israel, Myanmar had the highest conflict-related death toll in 2023.

Gaza : Hamas, a foreign terrorist organization as designated by the State Department, controls much of the Gaza Strip, which shares borders with both Israel and Egypt. On Oct. 7, 2023, Hamas fighters broke across the border into Israel, killing hundreds of civilians and soldiers in a brazen attack that stunned Israelis. On Oct. 10, Israel hit the Gaza Strip with “the fiercest air strikes in its 75-year conflict” according to Reuters . The conflict has since escalated into war between Israel and Hamas, with regular Israeli airstrikes leading to extensive civilian casualties in Gaza. As of mid-December, nearly 85% of Gaza’s population were displaced from their homes, according to UN estimates . The region continues to face shortages of food , water, electricity and medical supplies , with conditions deemed “far beyond a humanitarian crisis.” The State Department warns of terrorism and armed conflict within Gaza’s borders.

Haiti: In July 2023, the Department of State ordered all non-emergency U.S. government personnel and family members to leave the U.S. Embassy in Port-au-Prince in response to the increased risk of kidnapping and violent crime in the country , as well as armed conflict between gangs and police. The travel advisory states that cases of kidnapping “often involve ransom negotiations and U.S. citizen victims have been physically harmed during kidnappings.” The travel advisory also states that “U.S. citizens in Haiti should depart Haiti as soon as possible” given “the current security situation and infrastructure challenges.” A series of gang attacks in late September 2023 caused thousands to flee their homes, and many aid groups have been forced to cut or suspend operations amid escalating violence in recent months.

Iran: Terrorism, kidnapping and civil unrest are risk factors for all travelers to Iran, while U.S. citizens are specifically at risk for “arbitrary arrest.” U.S.-Iranian nationals such as students, journalists and business travelers have been arrested on charges of espionage and threatening national security. Executions in Iran rose sharply between 2021 and 2022, bringing the country’s total to nearly 580 people over the year, according to a report by Amnesty International released in May 2023.

Iraq: The State Department cites “terrorism, kidnapping, armed conflict [and] civil unrest” as cause for the country’s Level 4 distinction. Iraq’s northern borders, and its border with Syria, are especially dangerous. Since the escalation of conflict in neighboring Israel in October, there has been an increase in attacks against Iraqi military bases, which host U.S. troops and other international forces. In October 2023, non-emergency U.S. government personnel and eligible family members were ordered to leave the U.S. embassy in Baghdad.

Libya: Following the end of its dictatorship over a decade ago, Libya has been wrought with internal conflict between armed groups in the East and West. Armed conflict, civil unrest, crime, kidnapping and terrorism are all risk factors. U.S. citizens have been targets of kidnapping for ransom, with terrorists targeting hotels and airports frequented by Westerners. The U.S. Embassy in Tripoli halted operations in 2014. In mid-September 2023, floods, which some say were intensified by climate change , killed thousands in eastern Libya. Clashes between armed factions escalated across the country in the latter half of 2023, including in the capital city of Tripoli and in Benghazi.

Mali: After experiencing military coups in 2020 and 2021, crime, terrorism and kidnapping are all prevalent threats in this West African landlocked nation. In July 2022, non-emergency U.S. government employees and their families were ordered to leave the country due to higher risk of terrorist activity. A U.N. report in August 2023 said that military groups in the country, including both Mali security forces and possibly Russian Wagner mercenaries, were spreading terror through the use of violence against women and human rights abuses. Democratic elections were supposed to occur in February 2024, but Mali’s military junta postponed the plans indefinitely. In December, the U.N. officially ended a decade-long peacekeeping presence in the country, which had been among the agency’s deadliest missions, with hundreds of the mission personnel killed since 2013.

Mexico: Each state in Mexico is assessed separately for travel advisory levels. Six of the 32 states in Mexico are designated as Level 4: Colima, Guerrero, Michoacan, Sinaloa, Tamaulipas and Zacatecas. Crime and kidnapping are listed as the primary risk factors throughout the country. Nearly 112,000 people were missing across the country as of October, a number the U.N. has called “alarming.”

North Korea (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea): U.S. passports are not valid for travel “to, in, or through” this country, home to one of the world's longest-running dynastic dictatorships. The travel advisory states that the Level 4 distinction is due to “the continuing serious risk of arrest and long-term detention of U.S. nationals.” In July 2023, a U.S. soldier fled across the border into North Korea, where he is believed to be in North Korean custody, the first American detained in the North in nearly five years. He was returned to U.S. custody in September 2023.

Russia: The travel advisory for Russia cites its invasion of Ukraine , harassment of U.S. citizens by Russian government officials and arbitrary law enforcement as a few of the reasons for the Level 4 designation. Chechnya and Mount Elbrus are specifically listed as Level 4 regions. Terrorism, civil unrest, health, kidnapping and wrongful detention are all noted as risks.

Russia Invades Ukraine: A Timeline

TOPSHOT - Black smoke rises from a military airport in Chuguyev near Kharkiv  on February 24, 2022. - Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a military operation in Ukraine today with explosions heard soon after across the country and its foreign minister warning a "full-scale invasion" was underway. (Photo by Aris Messinis / AFP) (Photo by ARIS MESSINIS/AFP via Getty Images)

Somalia: A severe drought resulting from five failed rainy seasons in a row killed 43,000 people in 2022, and caused a famine amid conflict with Islamist insurgents . Violent crime is common throughout Somalia , pirates frequent its coast off the Horn of Africa, and medical facilities, where they exist, have limited capacity. Crime, terrorism, civil unrest, health and kidnapping are all risk factors. In January 2024, some passengers aboard a U.N.-contracted helicopter were taken hostage by al-Shabaab militants after the vehicle crashed in central Somalia.

South Sudan: Crime, kidnapping and armed conflict are the primary risk factors for South Sudan, which separated from Sudan in 2011, making it the world’s newest country . Weapons are readily available, and travelers have been victims of sexual assault and armed robbery.

Sudan: The U.S. evacuated its embassy in Khartoum in April 2023, and the country closed its airspace due to the ongoing conflict in the country, only permitting humanitarian aid and evacuation efforts. Fighting has escalated in the region between two warring generals seeking to gain control after a military coup in 2021 ousted the country’s prime minister. Civil unrest is the primary risk factor for Africa’s third largest country by area. Crime, terrorism, kidnapping and armed conflict are also noted. The International Criminal Court began investigating alleged war crimes and violence against African ethnic groups in the country in 2023. Millions have fled their homes due to conflict, and the U.N. has said its efforts to provide aid have been hindered by a lack of support, safety and resources. As recently as December 2023, the United Nations warned of catastrophic famine , with millions of children at-risk for malnutrition .

Syria: The advisory states that “No part of Syria is safe from violence,” with terrorism, civil unrest, kidnapping, armed conflict and risk of unjust detention all potential risk factors. U.S. citizens are often a target for kidnappings and detention. The U.S. Embassy in Damascus halted operations in 2012. Fighting in neighboring Israel has escalated since October, and the conflict has spilled over into Syria, where the U.S. has carried out air strikes following drone and rocket attacks against American troops in Syria and Iraq, triggered by the Israel-Hamas war.

Ukraine: Russian setbacks in their invasion of Ukraine buoyed hopes in Ukraine in 2023. However, Ukraine is a Level 4 country due to Russia’s invasion, with crime and civil unrest also noted as risk factors. The country’s forces shot down two Russian fighter jets on Christmas Eve 2023, in a move Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said “sets the right mood for the entire year ahead.”

Venezuela: Human rights abuses and lack of health care plague this South American nation, which has been in a political crisis since 2014. In 2019, diplomatic personnel were withdrawn from the U.S. Embassy in Caracas. Threats in the country include crime, civil unrest, kidnapping, wrongful detention and poor health infrastructure.

Yemen: Six of the nine risk factors defined by the State Department – terrorism, civil unrest, health risks, kidnapping, armed conflict and landmines – are all present in Yemen. Despite private companies offering tourist visits to the Yemeni island of Socotra, the U.S. government argues those arranging such visits “are putting tourists in danger.” Civil war and cholera are also both present throughout the country. The U.S. Embassy in Sanaa halted operations in 2015. The country has experienced a relative lull in the civil war fighting, but as peace negotiations have gotten traction, flare ups in the fighting have jeopardized progress. Most recently, the U.S. and U.K. have carried out a series of airstrikes in the country, targeting Iran-backed Houthi sites.

Other Countries to Watch

Since Jan. 1, the State Department has updated travel advisories for 17 different countries as well as for the West Bank and Gaza, adding information about specific regions or risk factors, or simply renewing an existing advisory. Travel advisory levels can change based on several factors in a nation, such as increased civil unrest, policies that affect human rights or higher risks of unlawful detention.

The State Department has given about 25 countries an assessment of Level 3, meaning it recommends people “reconsider travel” to those destinations.

On Oct. 14, one week after the deadly Hamas attack on Israel, Israel and the West Bank were both moved from Level 2 to Level 3, while Gaza remains at Level 4. The region’s travel advisory was updated in November to reflect travel restrictions for certain government employees who have not already left the area, and it was updated again on Jan. 3.

Following the outbreak of the Israel-Hamas war in early October, the U.S. State Department raised Lebanon ’s travel advisory level from a Level 3 to a Level 4 level due to “the unpredictable security situation related to rocket, missile, and artillery exchanges” between Israel and Hezbollah or other militant groups. In December, the U.S. Embassy in Beirut returned to normal staffing and presence, and on Jan. 29, the country was moved back to Level 3. Crime, terrorism, armed conflict, civil unrest, kidnapping and unexploded landmines are listed as the country’s primary risk factors. However, the country’s borders with Syria and with Israel, as well as refugee settlements within Lebanon, are specifically noted as Level 4 regions.

China became a Level 3 country in late 2020, with an update in December 2022 citing “the surge in COVID-19 cases, arbitrary enforcement of local laws, and COVID-19-related restrictions” as the reason for the advisory. In June 2023, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) was moved from the Level 3 to the Level 2 list, but travelers are still advised to be cautious in the area due to “arbitrary enforcement of local laws.” Meanwhile, Macau remains at Level 3.

Following an attempted coup in August 2023, Niger was elevated to Level 4 in August and the Department of State ordered all non-emergency U.S. government personnel and family members to leave the U.S. Embassy in Niamey. In early January 2024, the overall risk level for the country was lowered back to Level 3. Despite the new classification, the State Department still asks non-emergency government personnel and eligible family members to depart the country.

In mid-December 2023 there was an explosion at Guinea’s main fuel depot which has since affected access to health care and basic goods and services. The country was subsequently designated a Level 3 nation after having previously been Level 2. Concerns about civil unrest, health, crime and fuel shortages impacting local infrastructure were listed as the primary risk factors contributing to the change.

Several Level 3 countries are among the worst countries for human trafficking, as designated by the State Department’s annual Trafficking in Persons Report . Level 3 countries on this list include Papua New Guinea, Guinea Bissau, China and Chad. There are also nine Level 4 countries designated as among the worst for human trafficking: Afghanistan, Belarus, Iran, Myanmar, North Korea, Russia, Syria, South Sudan and Venezuela.

Over 70 countries are currently at Level 2, meaning the State Department recommends travelers “exercise increased caution” when traveling to those destinations.

Botswana became the newest Level 2 country on Feb. 26 after having previously been Level 1, with crime noted as the primary risk factor.

France, which saw nationwide protests throughout 2023, has civil unrest and terrorism noted as risk factors for its Level 2 status, and Sweden’s Level 2 status is associated with risks of terrorism.

The Level 2 travel advisory for the Bahamas was updated in January to reflect water safety concerns. The advisory warns that “activities involving commercial recreational watercraft, including water tours, are not consistently regulated” and notes that government personnel are “not permitted to use independently operated jet-ski rentals on New Providence and Paradise Islands.” It also warns visitors to be mindful of sharks, weather and water conditions. The advisory also says that crime is a primary risk factor with gang-on-gang violence contributing to high homicide rates in some areas. Visitors are asked to “be vigilant” and to not physically resist robbery attempts.

Bangladesh 's Level 2 travel advisory was updated in October 2023 to add a note about the country’s general election , which took place Jan. 7, 2024. The advisory states “demonstrations intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational and escalate into violence.” The U.S. has since claimed the country’s election was not free nor fair.

In November 2023, several Level 2 travel advisories were updated with new cautionary information. The advisory for Ghana was updated to reflect threats against LGBTQI+ travelers specifically, noting “anti-LGBTQI+ rhetoric and violence have increased in recent years.” Meanwhile, the advisory for South Africa was updated in February to note that routes recommended by GPS may be unsafe with higher risk for crime.

Turkmenistan was moved off of the Level 2 list to become the newest addition to the Level 1 list on Jan. 22, meaning normal precautions are recommended but there are no risk factors causing travelers to practice increased caution.

The State Department asks travelers to pay attention to travel advisory levels and alerts , review country information pages for their destinations and read related country security reports before going abroad.

Join the Conversation

Tags: Russia , Ukraine , Travel , Coronavirus , Travel Tips , Israel , Gaza , violence , Civil War , crime , kidnapping , international relations

Recent Articles

Best countries.

us travel advisory us

Best Countries Rankings

  • # 1 Switzerland
  • # 5 Australia
  • # 5 United States

Healthiest Communities

Your trusted source for in-depth analysis on the issues impacting your community’s well-being delivered right to your inbox.

Sign in to manage your newsletters »

Sign up to receive the latest updates from U.S News & World Report and our trusted partners and sponsors. By clicking submit, you are agreeing to our Terms and Conditions & Privacy Policy .

You May Also Like

Switzerland is world's best country.

Julia Haines Sept. 6, 2023

us travel advisory us

Photos: Best Countries Around the World

Sept. 6, 2023

us travel advisory us

The 25 Best Countries in the World

Elliott Davis Jr. Sept. 6, 2023

us travel advisory us

Analysis-How the Far-Right Gained Traction With Europe's Youth

Reuters June 13, 2024

us travel advisory us

Milei's Radical Overhaul Advances in Argentina's Senate as Protesters Clash With Police

Associated Press June 13, 2024

us travel advisory us

Enable JavaScript

Please enable JavaScript to fully experience this site. How to enable JavaScript

Travel alerts

When severe weather or other uncontrollable events impact your flight and travel dates, you may be able to change your trip with no change fee.

We understand you may have questions about your upcoming travel. We’re working around the clock to care for you on your travel journey.

Current travel alerts

Information current as of June 12, 2024

If you're traveling to / through / from:

  • Fort Lauderdale, Florida (FLL)
  • Fort Myers, Florida (RSW)
  • Miami, Florida (MIA)
  • Sarasota / Bradenton, Florida (SRQ)
  • West Palm Beach, Florida (PBI)

Your change fee is waived if you:

  • Are traveling on an American Airlines flight
  • Are booked in any fare class, including Basic Economy
  • Bought your ticket by June 11, 2024
  • Are scheduled to travel June 12 - 16, 2024
  • Can travel June 12 - 20, 2024
  • Don't change your origin or destination city
  • Rebook in the same cabin or pay the difference

Keep in mind:

  • Changes must be booked by June 16, 2024
  • Travel must be completed within 1 year of original ticket date; difference in fare may apply

Change your trip

If your trip is eligible, you can make a one-time change online. Here's how:

Find your trip

  • If your trip is eligible, you'll see the option to 'change trip' in the toolbar

Contact Reservations

If you can't change your trip online, call Reservations for help.

  • Caxias do Sul, Brazil (CXJ)
  • Chapeco, Brazil (XAP)
  • Passo Fundo, Brazil (PFB)
  • Pelotas, Brazil (PET)
  • Porto Alegre, Brazil (POA)
  • Santo Angelo, Brazil (GEL)
  • Bought your ticket by May 6, 2024
  • Are scheduled to travel May 6 - August 31, 2024
  • Can travel May 12 - September 20, 2024
  • Change your origin and destination to: Canoas Air Force Base, Brazil - Alternative for Porto Alegre (QNS), Caxias do Sul (CXJ), Chapeco (XAP), Florianopolis (FLN), Navegantes (NVT) Passo Fundo (PFB), Pelotas (PET) or Santo Angelo (GEL); difference in fare may apply
  • Your ticket must be issued by American (ticket number starts with 001)
  • Changes must be booked by August 31, 2024
  • Tel Aviv, Israel (TLV)
  • Bought your ticket by February 11, 2024
  • Are scheduled to travel October 7, 2023 - October 28, 2024
  • Can travel October 26, 2024 - November 24, 2024
  • Cancel your trip and request a refund
  • Changes must be booked by October 28, 2024

You may also like...

  • Check your flight status
  • Mobile and app
  • Sign up for flight notifications

Is it safe to go there? What State Department travel advisories mean for your vacation

us travel advisory us

If you're planning an international trip, you're probably researching the safety of your destination.

The U.S. Department of State offers guidance based on the most up-to-date information about potential hazards that can disrupt travel or threaten personal safety. The department issues advisories that classify how safe a place is to travel on a given moment.

Each country has an advisory level from 1 to 4, from lowest risk to highest risk. The most dangerous places to visit, including areas affected by war and unrest, are classified under Level 4, which means "do not travel." Some countries, including Mexico, have different advisory levels for different regions.

Here's what the State Department travel advisories mean.

What are the travel advisory levels in the US?

The State Department classifies how safe a place is to travel by assigning an advisory level, from Level 1 to Level 4. Here's what the advisory levels mean:

Level 1: Exercise normal precautions. This indicates the least risky places to travel to, but the State Department cautions that "there is some risk in any international travel."

Level 2: Exercise increased caution. Travelers should be aware of higher safety and security risks in their destination, and that conditions can change at any time.

Level 3: Reconsider travel. Serious safety and security risks exist and conditions can change at any time. The State Department provides more specific guidance for travelers in Level 3 areas.

Level 4: Do not travel. Level 4 countries represent the highest risk of life-threatening danger and little to no ability for the U.S. government to assist when an emergency occurs. The State Department advises travelers to avoid Level 4 countries, that Americans in those countries leave as soon as it's safe to do so, and to write a will and leave DNA samples before travel in case of worst-case scenarios.

Some countries have varying advisory levels with different guidance based on the region. This includes Mexico, where most states are under advisories ranging from Level 2 to Level 4.

Is there a worldwide travel alert?

Yes. The State Department issued a worldwide caution for international travel in October 2023, which was updated in May 2024, because of the "potential for terrorist attacks, demonstrations or violent actions against U.S. citizens and interests."

The worldwide caution was first issued shortly after the Israel-Hamas war began, and was updated to warn travelers of "increased potential for foreign terrorist organization-inspired violence against LGBTQI+ persons and events."

What countries are on high alert for travel?

Any country classified with a Level 4 advisory is considered high risk for travel, according to the State Department. High risk means local conditions are very hazardous and/or the U.S. government has little to no ability to help travelers in trouble.

What countries have a Level 4 travel warning?

As of May 2024, these countries and regions are under a Level 4 advisory, meaning do not travel:

  • The Gaza Strip
  • Afghanistan
  • South Sudan
  • Central African Republic
  • Burkina Faso
  • North Korea

Six states in Mexico have a Level 4 travel warning: Colima, Guerrero, Michoacan, Sinaloa, Tamaulipas and Zacatecas.

What countries have a Level 3 travel warning?

As of May 2024, these countries and regions are under a Level 3 advisory, meaning reconsider travel:

  • Israel and the West Bank
  • Mainland China and Macau
  • Guinea-Bissau
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • El Salvador

What level of advisory is Mexico?

Mexico has 32 federal entities: 31 states and the capital, Mexico City. Six Mexican states have a Level 4 travel warning:

Seven states in Mexico have Level 3 advisories:

  • Baja California

Travelers to Puerto Peñasco , the popular Sonora resort town also known as Rocky Point, should follow safety precautions that include only using Federal Highway 8 via the Lukeville Port of Entry and only driving during daylight hours .

Mexico City is under a Level 2 advisory.

Where should Americans not travel right now?

Travelers should be cautious if planning to travel anywhere with a Level 3 or Level 4 travel advisory from the State Department.

The department does not restrict people from traveling to Level 4 countries, except for North Korea. Americans can only visit North Korea for limited humanitarian purposes and must apply for a special passport that allows this travel.

Is it safe to travel to Europe right now? 

It depends where you're going. Destinations such as Greece, Hungary, Norway, Portugal and Switzerland are under Level 1 advisories, the State Department's lowest level. Exercise normal caution when you visit.

France , Germany and the United Kingdom, the three European countries with nonstop flights out of Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, are under Level 2 advisories because of the risk of terrorist attacks. The State Department advises travelers to be aware of their surroundings when in crowded public spaces and follow instructions from authorities.

Visitors to France should also be aware that pickpocketing and civil unrest are also possible in their travels, according to the State Department .

Is it safe for Americans to travel to China?

Most of China, which consists of the mainland, Hong Kong and Macau, is under a Level 3 advisory.

The State Department advises travelers to reconsider travel to mainland China because of arbitrary enforcement of local laws, including exit bans that ensnared travelers in recent years , and the risk of wrongful detentions. Travel to Macau should be reconsidered because of the U.S. government's limited ability to provide consular services there.

Hong Kong is under a Level 2 advisory because of arbitrary enforcement of local laws.

How to check for travel advisory? 

Visit for detailed advisories on the country or countries you plan to visit.

Michael Salerno is an award-winning journalist who’s covered travel and tourism since 2014. His work as The Arizona Republic’s consumer travel reporter aims to help readers navigate the stresses of traveling and get the best value for their money on their vacations. He can be reached at  [email protected] . Follow him on X, formerly Twitter:  @salerno_phx .

Support local journalism.   Subscribe to  today.

We’re sorry, this site is currently experiencing technical difficulties. Please try again in a few moments. Exception: request blocked

  • Skip to main content
  • Skip to "About this site"

Language selection


Help us to improve our website. Take our survey !

COVID-19: travel health notice for all travellers

United States travel advice

Latest updates: Editorial change

Last updated: June 5, 2024 15:46 ET

On this page

Safety and security, entry and exit requirements, laws and culture, natural disasters and climate, united states - take normal security precautions.

Take normal security precautions in the United States

Back to top

Border with Mexico

Criminal incidents associated with drug trafficking are more frequent at the border with Mexico, in the following states:

If crossing the U.S.– Mexico border by car:

  • remain extremely vigilant
  • only use officially recognized border crossings
  • avoid travelling at night

Petty crime

Petty crime, such as pickpocketing and purse snatching, occurs, particularly in urban centres and tourist locations.

  • Don’t leave bags or valuables unattended in parked cars, especially rental vehicles, even in trunks
  • Ensure that your belongings, including passports and other travel documents, are secure at all times

Violent crime

Within large urban areas, violent crime more commonly occurs in poor neighbourhoods, particularly from dusk to dawn. It often involves intoxication.  Incidents of violent crime are mainly carried out by gangs or members of organized crime groups but may also be perpetrated by lone individuals. Although violent crime rarely affects tourists:

  • be mindful of your surroundings at all time
  • verify official neighbourhood crime statistics before planning an outing
  • if threatened by robbers, stay calm and don’t resist

Crime Data Explorer – Federal Bureau of Investigation

Gun violence

The rate of firearm possession in the US is high. It’s legal in many states for US citizens to openly carry firearms in public.

Incidences of mass shootings occur, resulting most often in casualties. Although tourists are rarely involved, there is a risk of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. 

Familiarize yourself on how to respond to an active shooter situation.

Active Shooter Event Quick Reference Guide - Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency

Home break-ins

Canadians living in holiday homes have been the victims of break-ins and burglary.

Make sure you lock windows and doors securely at night and when you are away.

Common criminal strategies

Be on alert for robbery ploys targeting visitors.

Some criminals on highways target travellers leaving airports or other tourist destinations. They signal tourists to stop due to an issue with their vehicle. They then wait for the driver to pull over or exit the car before grabbing exposed valuables. Criminals may also throw items at the windshield, obscuring the view of the road and forcing the driver to pull over. 

If you’re the victim of such a ploy:

  • avoid pulling over on the side of the road
  • put on your hazard lights and slowly drive to a gas station, police station or other safe and populated area


Demonstrations may occur. Even peaceful demonstrations can turn violent at any time. They can also lead to disruptions to traffic and public transportation.

  • Avoid areas where demonstrations and large gatherings are taking place
  • Follow the instructions of local authorities
  • Monitor local media for information on ongoing demonstrations

Mass gatherings (large-scale events)

Credit card and ATM fraud occurs, including debit card cloning. Be cautious when using debit or credit cards:

  • pay careful attention when your cards are being handled by others
  • use ATMs located in well-lit public areas or inside a bank or business
  • avoid using card readers with an irregular or unusual feature
  • cover the keypad with one hand when entering your PIN
  • check for any unauthorized transactions on your account statements

Overseas fraud

There is a threat of terrorism. Terrorist attacks could occur at any time.

Targets could include:

  • government buildings, including schools
  • places of worship
  • airports and other transportation hubs and networks
  • public areas such as tourist attractions, restaurants, bars, coffee shops, shopping centres, markets, and hotels 

Always be aware of your surroundings when in public places.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) maintains a public alert system on terrorism to communicate information about terrorist threats.

National Terrorism Advisory System  – U.S. Department of Homeland Security

Hiking and mountaineering

If you intend on hiking, backpacking or skiing:

  • never practise these activities alone and always hire an experienced guide from a reputable company
  • buy travel insurance that includes helicopter rescue and medical evacuation
  • obtain detailed information on hiking routes or ski slopes before setting out and do not venture off marked trails or slopes
  • ensure that your physical condition is good enough to meet the challenges of your activity
  • ensure that you are properly equipped and well informed about weather and other conditions that may pose a hazard
  • inform a family member or friend of your itinerary, including when you expect to be back to camp
  • know the symptoms of acute altitude sickness, which can be fatal

We do not make assessments on the compliance of foreign domestic airlines with international safety standards.

Information about foreign domestic airlines

Every country or territory decides who can enter or exit through its borders. The Government of Canada cannot intervene on your behalf if you do not meet your destination’s entry or exit requirements.

We have obtained the information on this page from the US authorities. It can, however, change at any time.

Verify this information with the  Foreign Representatives in Canada .

You must provide proof of your Canadian citizenship upon entry to the U.S. There are several documents that can satisfy this requirement.

Travel by air

Canadian citizens travelling by air to the United States must present one of the following documents:

  • a passport, which must be valid for the duration of their stay
  • a valid NEXUS card, used at self-serve kiosks at designated airports

This requirement applies to all Canadian citizens, including children, travelling by air to or even just transiting through the United States.

Useful links

  • Canadian passports
  • Mobile Passport Control app – U.S. Customs and Border Protection

Travel by land or water

As per the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI), Canadian citizens aged 16 years and older must present one of the following documents when entering the United States by land or water:

  • a valid passport
  • a Trusted Traveler Program card
  • an enhanced driver’s licence (EDL) or enhanced identification card (EIC) from a province or territory where a U.S. approved EDL/EIC program has been implemented
  • a Secure Certificate of Indian Status

The WHTI-compliant document you choose to use must be valid for the duration of your stay.

Canadian citizens aged 15 years and under entering the United States by land or water require one of the following documents:

  • an original or a copy of a birth certificate
  • an original Canadian citizenship certificate
  • Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI ) – U.S. Customs and Border Protection
  • Trusted Traveler Programs  – U.S. Customs and Border Protection
  • Enhanced Driver’s Licenses: What Are They?  – U.S. Department of Homeland Security
  • Apply for a Secure Certificate of Indian Status  – Indigenous Services Canada

Other travel documents

Different entry rules may apply when travelling with a temporary passport or an emergency travel document. Before you leave, check with the closest diplomatic mission for your destination.

  • Foreign representatives in Canada

Additional information at borders

Customs officials may ask you to provide your address while in the United States (including Puerto Rico). Customs Border Protection (CBP) officers may also ask for:

  • evidence of residential, employment or educational ties to Canada
  • proof that the trip is for a legitimate purpose and is of a reasonable length
  • proof of sufficient funds to cover your stay     

Dual citizens

Although U.S. authorities don’t formally require dual nationals to carry both a U.S. and a Canadian passport, carrying both documents as proof of citizenship may facilitate your entry into the United States and your return to Canada.

  • Travelling as a dual citizen
  • Dual Nationality  – U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs

Canadian visitors can usually stay in the United States for 6 months without a visa. You must declare your intended duration of stay upon entry into the United States.

In most circumstances, Canadian citizens don’t require visitor, business, transit or other visas to enter the United States from Canada but there are some exceptions.

Canadians Requiring Visas  – U.S. Embassy & Consulates in Canada

Canadian permanent residents

Canadian permanent residents may need a non-immigrant visa to enter the United States.

You must obtain this visa from the U.S. authorities before entering the country. You must also have a valid passport from your country of citizenship.

Cross U.S. Borders – U.S. Customs and Border Protection

Visa Waiver Program

If you are a citizen of a country that is part of the visa waiver program (VWP), you don’t need a visa to enter the U.S. for stays up to 90 days. Instead, you must obtain pre-travel authorization via the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) prior your departure.

  • Visa Waiver Program  – U.S. Customs and Border Protection
  • Countries participating in the Visa Waiver Program  – U.S. Customs and Border Protection
  • Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA)  – U.S. Department of Homeland Security

You must also carry proof of Permanent Resident Status in Canada upon re-entry into Canada.

U.S. permanent residents

Canadians who are permanent residents of the United States must present a valid U.S. permanent resident card upon entry.

International travel as a U.S. Permanent Resident  – U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

First Nations and Native Americans born in Canada

Members of Canada’s First Nations and Native Americans born in Canada may freely enter the United States for the purposes of employment, study, retirement, investing, or immigration.

  • Entry and exit for First Nations and Native Americans  – U.S. Embassy & Consulates in Canada
  • Green Card for an American Indian Born in Canada – U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

Working in the United States

Most Canadian business travellers may apply for admission at a U.S. port of entry without first obtaining a non-immigrant visa. However, travellers entering the United States in certain business-related categories are required to present specific documents to establish eligibility for admission.

If you plan to work in the United States, contact the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate for specific requirements.

  • Foreign Representatives in Canada

Studying in the United States

Canadian citizens don’t need visas to study or participate in a student exchange program in the United States. However, they need to be registered with SEVIS, a U.S. student tracking system. Students must present their registration form to CBP officers each time they enter the United States.

  • SEVIS – U.S. Department of Homeland Security
  • Canadian students  – U.S. Embassy & Consulates in Canada

Length of stay

If you wish to stay longer than 6 months, you must apply for an extension at the nearest U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) office once you are in the United States and before the expiry of your initial authorized stay. Immigration officers may ask you to demonstrate that you are a temporary visitor in the United States.

The U.S. government strictly enforces immigration regulations. Remaining in the United States beyond your authorized period of stay can result in serious consequences such as detention or deportation.

There is no set period that you must wait to re-enter the United States after the end of your authorized stay. However, if a CBP officer suspects you are spending more time in the United States than in Canada, it will be up to you to prove to the officer that you are a temporary visitor, not a U.S. resident.

Extend your stay  –  U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

Upon entry into the United States, non-U.S. citizens must provide biometrics, such as digital fingerprints and a photograph.

Most Canadian citizens are exempt from this requirement. However, it will apply to Canadian citizens who:

  • need a visa or a waiver of ineligibility
  • must obtain an I-94 Arrival/Departure Record form to document dates of entry and exit from the country

Random screenings of exempt Canadians have occurred at border crossings and airports. If you feel that your information has been wrongfully collected, you can address the issue directly with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

  • Biometrics  – U.S. Department of Homeland Security
  • Arrival/Departure Forms: I-94 and I-94W – U.S. Customs and Border Protection

Electronic devices

U.S. border agents are entitled to search your electronic devices, such as your phones, computers or tablets, when you are entering the United States. They don’t need to provide a reason when requesting a password to open your device.

If you refuse, they may seize your device. The border agent could also delay your travel or deny entry if you are not a U.S. citizen.

Before crossing the border, put your device in airplane mode to ensure remote files don’t get downloaded accidentally.

Inspection of Electronic Devices  – U.S. Customs and Border Protection


The preclearance service provides clearance for entry into the United States for persons and their luggage at a Canadian preclearance airport before departure instead of on arrival in the United States.

When using U.S. preclearance facilities at a Canadian airport, you must meet U.S. entry requirements. You will be interviewed by a U.S. preclearance officer. They are authorized to inspect your luggage and can refuse you entry into the United States.

It’s an offence under Canada’s Preclearance Act to knowingly make a false or deceptive statement to a preclearance officer.  While you are in a preclearance area, you are subject to Canadian law, including:

  • the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms
  • the Canadian Bill of Rights
  • the Canadian Human Rights Act
  • Canada’s Preclearance Act
  • Canadian criminal law

You may withdraw your request to enter the United States and leave the preclearance area at any time unless a U.S. preclearance officer suspects on reasonable grounds that you have made a false or deceptive statement or obstructed an officer. The officer may then detain you for violations of Canadian law.

Preclearance Locations  –  U.S. Customs and Border Protection

Criminal Record

If you have a criminal record, no matter the severity or the date of the offence, you may be refused entry to the United States. You may also experience problems when travelling through U.S. airport facilities. A pardon for an offence issued by Canadian authorities is not recognized under U.S. law to enter the United States.

If you are ineligible to enter the United States, you may apply directly to U.S. Customs and Border Protection for a temporary waiver of inadmissibility via the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate. Canadian citizens may also apply at land borders.

U.S. ports of entry are computerized and connected to a centralized database. Information is readily available on criminal convictions in both Canada and the United States. Even though you may have entered the United States without hindrance in the past, you could run into difficulty if your record shows a criminal conviction or a previous denial of entry. Attempting to gain entry without a waiver could result in several weeks of detention and a permanent ban from entering the United States.

  • Applying for Waiver  – Person entering into the United States with criminal record or overstay – U.S. Customs and Border Protection

Previous use of cannabis, or any substance prohibited by U.S. federal laws, could mean that you are denied entry to the U.S. If you attempt to enter the U.S. for reasons related to the cannabis industry, you may be deemed inadmissible.

  • Cannabis and international travel
  • Cannabis and the U.S. – U.S. Embassy and Consulates in Canada
  • Laws pertaining to cannabis

Boating in U.S. waters

Operators of small pleasure vessels arriving in the United States from a foreign port must report their arrival to U.S. Customs and Border Protection immediately for face-to-face inspection at a designated reporting location.

Some exceptions apply, including under Nexus Marine.

Pleasure Boat Reporting Requirements  – U.S. Customs and Border Protection

You must have a valid Canadian passport to take a cruise from the United States. Some of the countries you visit will not permit entry without a passport. A passport is also important to re-enter the United States at the end of the cruise.

Ship authorities might retain your passport during the cruise, in accordance with their own administrative regulations and to facilitate clearance with U.S. Immigration.

If your passport is kept:

  • obtain a receipt
  • ensure you recuperate your passport at the end of the cruise
  • always keep a photocopy of your passport with you

When examined at a port of entry, cats and dogs must show no signs of diseases communicable to humans. If there is evidence of poor animal health, you may need to get your pet examined by a licensed veterinarian, at your own expense. U.S. authorities may also require a health certificate.

Dogs must be vaccinated against rabies at least 30 days before entry, except for puppies under 3 months of age. Vaccination against rabies is not required for cats.

Other animals are also subject to controls or quarantine requirements.

Bringing Pets and Wildlife into the United States  – U.S. Customs and Border Protection

  • Children and travel

Canadian citizens under 19 travelling with a school or other organized group under adult supervision must travel with written consent from their own parent/guardian.

  • Children: Traveling into the U.S. as Canadian Citizen  – U.S. Customs and Border Protection
  • Consent letter for travel with children
  • Travelling with children

Yellow fever

Learn about potential entry requirements related to yellow fever (vaccines section).

Relevant Travel Health Notices

  • Global Measles Notice - 13 March, 2024
  • Zika virus: Advice for travellers - 31 August, 2023
  • COVID-19 and International Travel - 13 March, 2024

This section contains information on possible health risks and restrictions regularly found or ongoing in the destination. Follow this advice to lower your risk of becoming ill while travelling. Not all risks are listed below.

Consult a health care professional or visit a travel health clinic preferably 6 weeks before you travel to get personalized health advice and recommendations.

Routine vaccines

Be sure that your  routine vaccinations , as per your province or territory , are up-to-date before travelling, regardless of your destination.

Some of these vaccinations include measles-mumps-rubella (MMR), diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, varicella (chickenpox), influenza and others.

Pre-travel vaccines and medications

You may be at risk for preventable diseases while travelling in this destination. Talk to a travel health professional about which medications or vaccines may be right for you, based on your destination and itinerary. 

Yellow fever is a disease caused by a flavivirus from the bite of an infected mosquito.

Travellers get vaccinated either because it is required to enter a country or because it is recommended for their protection.

  • There is no risk of yellow fever in this country.

Country Entry Requirement*

  • Proof of vaccination is not required to enter this country.


  • Vaccination is not recommended.

* It is important to note that country entry requirements may not reflect your risk of yellow fever at your destination. It is recommended that you contact the nearest diplomatic or consular office of the destination(s) you will be visiting to verify any additional entry requirements.

About Yellow Fever

Yellow Fever Vaccination Centres in Canada

Measles is a highly contagious viral disease. It can spread quickly from person to person by direct contact and through droplets in the air.

Anyone who is not protected against measles is at risk of being infected with it when travelling internationally.

Regardless of where you are going, talk to a health care professional before travelling to make sure you are fully protected against measles.

  Hepatitis B is a risk in every destination. It is a viral liver disease that is easily transmitted from one person to another through exposure to blood and body fluids containing the hepatitis B virus.  Travellers who may be exposed to blood or other bodily fluids (e.g., through sexual contact, medical treatment, sharing needles, tattooing, acupuncture or occupational exposure) are at higher risk of getting hepatitis B.

Hepatitis B vaccination is recommended for all travellers. Prevent hepatitis B infection by practicing safe sex, only using new and sterile drug equipment, and only getting tattoos and piercings in settings that follow public health regulations and standards.

 The best way to protect yourself from seasonal influenza (flu) is to get vaccinated every year. Get the flu shot at least 2 weeks before travelling.  

 The flu occurs worldwide. 

  •  In the Northern Hemisphere, the flu season usually runs from November to   April.
  •  In the Southern Hemisphere, the flu season usually runs between April and   October.
  •  In the tropics, there is flu activity year round. 

The flu vaccine available in one hemisphere may only offer partial protection against the flu in the other hemisphere.

The flu virus spreads from person to person when they cough or sneeze or by touching objects and surfaces that have been contaminated with the virus. Clean your hands often and wear a mask if you have a fever or respiratory symptoms.

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious viral disease. It can spread from person to person by direct contact and through droplets in the air.

It is recommended that all eligible travellers complete a COVID-19 vaccine series along with any additional recommended doses in Canada before travelling. Evidence shows that vaccines are very effective at preventing severe illness, hospitalization and death from COVID-19. While vaccination provides better protection against serious illness, you may still be at risk of infection from the virus that causes COVID-19. Anyone who has not completed a vaccine series is at increased risk of being infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 and is at greater risk for severe disease when travelling internationally.

Before travelling, verify your destination’s COVID-19 vaccination entry/exit requirements. Regardless of where you are going, talk to a health care professional before travelling to make sure you are adequately protected against COVID-19.

In this destination, rabies  may be present in some wildlife species, including bats. Rabies is a deadly disease that spreads to humans primarily through bites or scratches from an infected animal. 

If you are bitten or scratched by an animal while travelling, immediately wash the wound with soap and clean water and see a health care professional. 

Before travel, discuss rabies vaccination with a health care professional. It may be recommended for travellers who will be working directly with wildlife. 

Polio (poliomyelitis) is an infectious disease that can be prevented by vaccination. It is caused by poliovirus type 1, 2 or 3. Circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus 2 (cVDPV2) is present in this country. Polio is spread from person to person and through contaminated food and water. Infection with the polio virus can cause paralysis and death in individuals of any age who are not immune.


  • Be sure that your polio vaccinations are up to date before travelling. Polio is part of the routine vaccine schedule for children in Canada.
  • One booster dose of the polio vaccine is recommended as an adult .

Safe food and water precautions

Many illnesses can be caused by eating food or drinking beverages contaminated by bacteria, parasites, toxins, or viruses, or by swimming or bathing in contaminated water.

  • Learn more about food and water precautions to take to avoid getting sick by visiting our eat and drink safely abroad page. Remember: Boil it, cook it, peel it, or leave it!
  • Avoid getting water into your eyes, mouth or nose when swimming or participating in activities in freshwater (streams, canals, lakes), particularly after flooding or heavy rain. Water may look clean but could still be polluted or contaminated.
  • Avoid inhaling or swallowing water while bathing, showering, or swimming in pools or hot tubs. 

Insect bite prevention

Many diseases are spread by the bites of infected insects such as mosquitoes, ticks, fleas or flies. When travelling to areas where infected insects may be present:

  • Use insect repellent (bug spray) on exposed skin
  • Cover up with light-coloured, loose clothes made of tightly woven materials such as nylon or polyester
  • Minimize exposure to insects
  • Use mosquito netting when sleeping outdoors or in buildings that are not fully enclosed

To learn more about how you can reduce your risk of infection and disease caused by bites, both at home and abroad, visit our insect bite prevention page.

Find out what types of insects are present where you’re travelling, when they’re most active, and the symptoms of the diseases they spread.

Zika virus may be a risk in some areas of the United States. 

Zika virus is primarily spread through the bite of an infected mosquito. It can also be sexually transmitted. Zika virus can cause serious birth defects.

Visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s webpage Areas at Risk for Zika  for the most up-to-date information on Zika risk in the United States.

During your trip to a Zika risk area:

  • Prevent mosquito bites at all times.
  • Use condoms correctly or avoid sexual contact, particularly if you are pregnant.

If you are pregnant or planning a pregnancy, you should discuss the potential risks of travelling to areas where Zika is a risk with your health care provider. You may choose to avoid or postpone travel to these areas.

For more information, see Zika virus: Pregnant or planning a pregnancy .

  • In this country, risk of  dengue  is sporadic. It is a viral disease spread to humans by mosquito bites.
  • Dengue can cause flu-like symptoms. In some cases, it can lead to severe dengue, which can be fatal.
  • Visit the Centers for Disease Control and Preventions webpage on Dengue in the U.S. States and Territories for the most up-to-date information on dengue outbreaks in the United States
  • Mosquitoes carrying dengue typically bite during the daytime, particularly around sunrise and sunset.
  • Protect yourself from mosquito bites . There is no vaccine or medication that protects against dengue fever.

Animal precautions

Some infections, such as rabies and influenza, can be shared between humans and animals. Certain types of activities may increase your chance of contact with animals, such as travelling in rural or forested areas, camping, hiking, and visiting wet markets (places where live animals are slaughtered and sold) or caves.

Travellers are cautioned to avoid contact with animals, including dogs, livestock (pigs, cows), monkeys, snakes, rodents, birds, and bats, and to avoid eating undercooked wild game.

Closely supervise children, as they are more likely to come in contact with animals.

Human cases of avian influenza have been reported in this destination. Avian influenza   is a viral infection that can spread quickly and easily among birds and in rare cases it can infect mammals, including people. The risk is low for most travellers.

Avoid contact with birds, including wild, farm, and backyard birds (alive or dead) and surfaces that may have bird droppings on them. Ensure all poultry dishes, including eggs and wild game, are properly cooked.

Travellers with a higher risk of exposure include those: 

  • visiting live bird/animal markets or poultry farms
  • working with poultry (such as chickens, turkeys, domestic ducks)
  • hunting, de-feathering, field dressing and butchering wild birds and wild mammals
  • working with wild birds for activities such as research, conservation, or rehabilitation
  • working with wild mammals, especially those that eat wild birds (e.g., foxes)

All eligible people are encouraged to get the seasonal influenza shot, which will protect them against human influenza viruses. While the seasonal influenza shot does not prevent infection with avian influenza, it can reduce the chance of getting sick with human and avian influenza viruses at the same time.

Person-to-person infections

Stay home if you’re sick and practise proper cough and sneeze etiquette , which includes coughing or sneezing into a tissue or the bend of your arm, not your hand. Reduce your risk of colds, the flu and other illnesses by:

  •   washing your hands often
  • avoiding or limiting the amount of time spent in closed spaces, crowded places, or at large-scale events (concerts, sporting events, rallies)
  • avoiding close physical contact with people who may be showing symptoms of illness 

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) , HIV , and mpox are spread through blood and bodily fluids; use condoms, practise safe sex, and limit your number of sexual partners. Check with your local public health authority pre-travel to determine your eligibility for mpox vaccine.  

Medical services and facilities

Health care is excellent. Service is available throughout the country. However, treatment costs are expensive.

All hospitals must accept and treat emergencies, regardless of the person’s ability to pay. Clients will, however, be charged for all services rendered. Foreign visitors without travel health insurance will have to pay out of pocket for their medical treatment.

Make sure you get travel insurance that includes coverage for medical evacuation and hospital stays.

Travel health and safety

There are restrictions and prohibitions on the import of certain prescription drugs into the United States.

Some medication that can be purchased over-the-counter in Canada is restricted to prescription-only status in the United States.

  • Bring sufficient quantities of your medication
  • Ensure to have a physician’s note explaining your medical condition, if applicable

Keep in Mind...

The decision to travel is the sole responsibility of the traveller. The traveller is also responsible for his or her own personal safety.

Be prepared. Do not expect medical services to be the same as in Canada. Pack a   travel health kit , especially if you will be travelling away from major city centres.

You must abide by local laws.

Learn about what you should do and how we can help if you are arrested or detained abroad .

Laws vary greatly from state to state. Consult the website of the state you wish to visit prior to arrival.

Penalties and transfer of offenders

A serious violation of the law may lead to a jail sentence or, in some states, a death sentence. Canadian citizenship confers no immunity, special protection or rights to preferential treatment.

If a jail sentence is imposed, it will be served in a U.S. prison, unless a request for a transfer to a Canadian prison is approved by the United States and Canada. Both countries have signed a treaty that permits a Canadian imprisoned in the United States to request a transfer to complete the sentence in a Canadian prison.

Penalties for possession, use or trafficking of illegal drugs are severe. Convicted offenders can expect lengthy jail sentences and heavy fines.

Drugs, alcohol and travel

Although the possession of cannabis is legal in some U.S. states, it remains illegal under U.S. federal laws in any form and quantity, making it illegal to bring across the Canada-U.S. border.

Don’t attempt to cross the Canada-U.S. border with any amount of cannabis in any form, even if you are traveling to a U.S. state that has legalized possession of cannabis. If you do so, you can expect legal prosecution and fines, and possibly jail time.

  • Entry/exit requirements pertaining to cannabis

Prescription medication

Personal medication may be subject to U.S. drug importation laws and regulations.

In general, personal importation of a 90-day supply of medication is allowed. U.S. Customs and Border Protection has absolute discretion to allow or not your Canadian-purchased medication into the United States.

When taking any prescription medication to the United States, it’s important to:

  • take only the quantity that you would normally take for the number of days you will be in the United States, plus an additional week’s worth
  • pack medicines in their original packaging with the dispensary label intact that shows your name and other pertinent information such as the drug’s name, dosage and DIN (drug identification number)
  • keep a duplicate of your original prescription, listing both the generic and trade names of the drug
  • have a physician’s note explaining your condition and the reason for you to be legitimately carrying syringes, if applicable

Prohibited and restricted items  – U.S. Customs and Border Protection

2SLGBTQI+ travellers 

Some states have enacted laws and policies that may affect 2SLGBTQI+ persons. Check relevant state and local laws.

Travel and your sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression and sex characteristics

Dual citizenship

Dual citizenship is legally recognized in the United States .

If you are a Canadian citizen, but also a citizen of the United States , our ability to offer you consular services may be limited while you're there. You may also be subject to different entry/exit requirements .

  • General information for travellers with dual citizenship

International Child Abduction

The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction is an international treaty. It can help parents with the return of children who have been removed to or retained in certain countries in violation of custody rights. The convention applies between Canada and the United States.

If your child was wrongfully taken to, or is being held in the United States, and if the applicable conditions are met, you may apply for the return of your child to the American court.

If you are in this situation:

  • act as quickly as you can
  • contact the Central Authority for your province or territory of residence for information on starting an application under The Hague Convention
  • consult a lawyer in Canada and in the United States to explore all the legal options for the return of your child
  • report the situation to the nearest Canadian government office abroad or to the Vulnerable Children's Consular Unit at Global Affairs Canada by calling the Emergency Watch and Response Centre

If your child was removed from a country other than Canada, consult a lawyer to determine if The Hague Convention applies.

Be aware that Canadian consular officials cannot interfere in private legal matters or in another country's judicial affairs.

  • List of Canadian Central Authorities for the Hague Convention
  • International Child Abductions: A guide for affected parents
  • The Hague Convention – Hague Conference on Private International Law
  • Canadian embassies and consulates by destination
  • Request emergency assistance

Expedited removal

U.S. Customs and Border Protection can bar non-citizens from the United States for five years if, in their judgment, the individuals presented false documentation or misrepresented themselves. Lying to a customs official is a serious offence.

There is no formal appeal process under expedited removal. However, if you believe the law has been misapplied in your case, you can request a supervisory review by writing to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services district director responsible for the port of entry where the decision was made.

Find a USCIS office  – U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

Imports and exports

Contact the specific U.S. Customs and Border Protection office at the Canada/U.S. border crossing you are planning to use before starting your trip for the latest information on allowances and restrictions on bringing items into the United States. These change frequently.

Declare all items at your point of entry.

Contact information for USCBP  – U.S. Customs and Border Protection

Travel to Cuba from the United States

Existing U.S. sanctions restrict travel between the United States and Cuba. Tourists may not travel between the two countries. However, you may go to Cuba from the United States on other types of travel, if you meet certain requirements.

Cuba sanctions  – U.S. Department of the Treasury

You can drive in the United States if you have a valid Canadian driver’s license.

Traffic laws can vary from state to state.

Automobile insurance

Many states have mandatory automobile insurance requirements, and many require motorists to carry appropriate proof of insurance. Each state’s motor vehicles department can give you more specific information.

If you are in the United States and wish to drive to Mexico in your personal vehicle, you may need to purchase liability insurance and additional auto insurance.

  • Foreign Nationals Driving in the U.S.  – U.S. government
  • States’ motor vehicle department  – U.S. government
  • Canadian Automobile Association
  • American Automobile Association
  • Road safety risks when travelling by land to Mexico
  • Travel advice for Mexico


Never cross the border with a hitchhiker or as a hitchhiker. Though you may not be carrying anything illegal, the hitchhiker or driver might be, and you could be implicated.

Be equally careful about who and what you carry in your vehicle. As the driver, you could be held responsible for the misdeeds and belongings of your passengers, even if you were unaware of the problem.

The currency in the United States is the U.S. dollar (USD).

Canadian currency and personal cheques from Canadian banks are not widely accepted. Most banking transactions require a U.S. bank account.

There’s no limit to the amount of money that you may legally take into or out of the United States. However, you must declare to U.S. Customs and Border Protection:

  • if you carry more than US$10,000 (in cash, cheque, money order,      travellers’ cheque or any other convertible asset) into or out of the      United States
  • if you will receive more than US$10,000 while in the United States

Failure to comply can result in civil and criminal penalties, including seizure of the currency or monetary instruments.

Natural disasters can occur at any time.

Plan Ahead for Disasters  – U.S. Department of Homeland Security

Hurricanes usually occur from:

  • May to November in the eastern Pacific Ocean, including Hawaii and Guam
  • June to November in the Atlantic Ocean, the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico

These severe storms can put you at risk and hamper the provision of essential services.

If you decide to travel to these regions during the hurricane season:

  • know that you expose yourself to serious safety risks
  • be prepared to change your travel plans on short notice, including cutting short or cancelling your trip
  • stay informed of the latest regional weather forecasts
  • carry emergency contact information for your airline or tour operator
  • follow the advice and instructions of local authorities
  • Tornadoes, cyclones, hurricanes, typhoons and monsoons
  • Large-scale emergencies abroad
  • Latest advisories  – U.S. National Hurricane Center
  • US National Weather Service  

Seasonal flooding can hamper overland travel and reduce the provision of essential services. Roads may become impassable and bridges damaged.

  • Stay away from flooded areas
  • Follow the advice of local authorities
  • Monitor local news to stay up-to-date on the current situation


Earthquakes pose a risk in the following states:

  • Washington State

If you’re in an area prone to earthquakes, familiarize yourself with emergency procedures.

  • Earthquake - Get prepared
  • Earthquakes  – Federal Emergency Management

Heat and humidity

Humidity and heat may be most severe during the hot season, from June to September, particularly in the South and South-West of the country.

Know the symptoms of dehydration and heatstroke, which can both be fatal.

  • Sun and heat safety tips for travellers – Government of Canada
  • Heat & Health Tracker – Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Bush and forest fires

Bush and forest fires are common and a risk across much of the United States, particularly during the summer months. 

Wildfires can occur year-round but they are most common during periods of low rainfall and high temperatures.

The air quality in areas near active fires may deteriorate due to heavy smoke. In case of a major fire:

  • stay away from the affected area, particularly if you suffer from respiratory ailments
  • always follow the instructions of local emergency services personnel, including any evacuation order
  • monitor local media for up-to-date information on the situation
  • Forest fire information - National Interagency Fire Centre 
  • National Wildfire Risk Index – Federal Emergency Management Agency
  • Latest wildfire information  - United States National Wildfire Coordinating Group
  • Map of wildfires  – Fire weather & Avalanche Center
  • California forest fires   – California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection

Tornadoes pose a risk in states east of the Rocky Mountains, particularly in:

  • Mississippi

U.S. National Weather Service

There are several active volcanoes in the United States.

In the event of a volcanic eruption, ash could lead to air travel disruptions. The air quality may deteriorate and affect you, especially if you suffer from respiratory ailments.

  • Monitor local media for the latest updates
  • Follow the advice of local authorities, including evacuation order
  • Be prepared to modify your travel arrangements or even evacuate the area on short notice
  • Volcanic eruptions  - U.S. National Park Service
  • Vog  – Government of Hawaii


The state of Hawaii is prone to tsunamis. A tsunami can occur within minutes of a nearby earthquake. However, the risk of tsunami can remain for several hours following the first tremor.

If you’re staying on the coast, familiarize yourself with the region’s evacuation plans in the event of a tsunami warning.

Tsunami Evacuation Zones  – Government of Hawaii

Local services

Dial 911 for emergency assistance.

Consular assistance

Delaware, District of Columbia, Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia.

Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee.

Illinois, Indiana (Jasper, Lake, Laporte, Newton, and Porter counties), Kansas City, Kansas, Missouri, Wisconsin.

Colorado, Kansas, Montana, Utah, Wyoming.

Indiana (excluding Jasper, Lake, LaPorte, Newton and Porter counties), Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio.

Arizona, Nevada, Southern California

Florida, Puerto Rico, US Virgin Islands

Bermuda, Connecticut, New Jersey, New York State and Pennsylvania.

Northern California, Hawaii.

Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, Washington.

For emergency consular assistance, call the Embassy of Canada to the United States, in Washington, and follow the instructions. At any time, you may also contact the Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa.

You may call the Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa toll-free at 1-888-949-9993.

The decision to travel is your choice and you are responsible for your personal safety abroad. We take the safety and security of Canadians abroad very seriously and provide credible and timely information in our Travel Advice to enable you to make well-informed decisions regarding your travel abroad.

The content on this page is provided for information only. While we make every effort to give you correct information, it is provided on an "as is" basis without warranty of any kind, expressed or implied. The Government of Canada does not assume responsibility and will not be liable for any damages in connection to the information provided.

If you need consular assistance while abroad, we will make every effort to help you. However, there may be constraints that will limit the ability of the Government of Canada to provide services.

Learn more about consular services .

Risk Levels

  take normal security precautions.

Take similar precautions to those you would take in Canada.

  Exercise a high degree of caution

There are certain safety and security concerns or the situation could change quickly. Be very cautious at all times, monitor local media and follow the instructions of local authorities.

IMPORTANT: The two levels below are official Government of Canada Travel Advisories and are issued when the safety and security of Canadians travelling or living in the country or region may be at risk.

  Avoid non-essential travel

Your safety and security could be at risk. You should think about your need to travel to this country, territory or region based on family or business requirements, knowledge of or familiarity with the region, and other factors. If you are already there, think about whether you really need to be there. If you do not need to be there, you should think about leaving.

  Avoid all travel

You should not travel to this country, territory or region. Your personal safety and security are at great risk. If you are already there, you should think about leaving if it is safe to do so.

Security Alert May 17, 2024

Worldwide caution, update may 10, 2024, information for u.s. citizens in the middle east.

  • Travel Advisories |
  • Contact Us |
  • MyTravelGov |

Find U.S. Embassies & Consulates, congressional liaison, special issuance agency, u.s. passports, international travel, intercountry adoption, international parental child abduction, records and authentications, popular links, travel advisories, mytravelgov, stay connected, legal resources, legal information, info for u.s. law enforcement, replace or certify documents.

Share this page:

Jamaica Travel Advisory

Travel advisory january 23, 2024, jamaica - level 3: reconsider travel.

Last Update: Reissued with updates to crime and health information

Reconsider travel to Jamaica due to  crime and medical services . U.S. government personnel under Chief of Mission (COM) security responsibility are prohibited from traveling to many areas due to increased risk. Please read the entire Travel Advisory. 

Country Summary:  Violent crimes, such as home invasions, armed robberies, sexual assaults, and homicides, are common. Sexual assaults occur frequently, including at all-inclusive resorts.

Local police often do not respond effectively to serious criminal incidents. When arrests are made, cases are infrequently prosecuted to a conclusive sentence. Families of U.S. citizens killed in accidents or homicides frequently wait a year or more for final death certificates to be issued by Jamaican authorities. The homicide rate reported by the Government of Jamaica has for several years been among the highest in the Western Hemisphere. U.S. government personnel under COM security responsibility are prohibited from traveling to the areas listed below, from using public buses, and from driving outside of prescribed areas of Kingston at night.

Emergency services and hospital care vary throughout the island, and response times and quality of care may vary from U.S. standards. Public hospitals are under-resourced and cannot always provide high level or specialized care. Private hospitals require payment up front before admitting patients and may not have the ability to provide specialized care. Ambulance services are not always readily available, especially in rural areas, and are not always staffed by trained personnel.

We strongly encourage you to obtain traveler’s insurance, including medical evacuation insurance, before traveling to Jamaica. The Department of State does not pay medical bills.

Be aware that U.S. Medicare/Medicaid does not apply overseas. Most hospitals and doctors overseas do not accept U.S. health insurance. U.S. citizens with medical emergencies can face bills in the tens of thousands of dollars, with air ambulance service to the United States in the range of $30,000-50,000.  Read the  country information page  for additional information on travel to Jamaica.

If you decide to travel to Jamaica:

  • Do not attempt to bring firearms or ammunition.  This includes stray rounds, shells or empty casings . The penalties for carrying firearms and/or ammunition, even inadvertently, are severe, and can include lengthy prison sentences.
  • Avoid walking or driving at night.
  • Avoid public buses.
  • Avoid secluded places or situations.
  • Do not physically resist any robbery attempt.
  • Be aware of your surroundings and keep a low profile.
  • 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 Jamaica.
  • Prepare a contingency plan for emergency situations. Review the  Traveler’s Checklist .
  • Visit the CDC page for the latest  Travel Health Information  related to your travel.

Violence and shootings occur regularly in many neighborhoods, communities, and parishes in Jamaica. 

U.S. government personnel under COM security responsibility are prohibited from traveling to the following areas of Jamaica due to crime:

St. Ann’s Parish—Do Not Travel - Steer Town and the Buckfield neighborhood near Ocho Rios

St. Catherine’s Parish—Do Not Travel

  • Spanish Town
  • Central Village
  • Areas within Portmore, including: Naggo Head, New Land, Old Braeton, Portmore Lane, Gregory Park, and Waterford

All of Clarendon Parish—Do Not Travel

All of Clarendon Parish, except passing through Clarendon Parish using the T1 and A2 highways.

St. Elizabeth’s Parish—Do Not Travel

Vineyard District Community, between the communities of Salt Spring and Burnt Savanna, St. Elizabeth

Hanover Parish—Do Not Travel

Logwood and Orange Bay

St. James Parish/Montego Bay—Do Not Travel

All of Montego Bay on the inland side of the A1 highway and The Queen’s Drive from San San to Harmony Beach Park

Kingston and St. Andrew Parish—Do Not Travel

  • Cassava Piece
  • Downtown Kingston, defined as between Mountain View Avenue and Hagley Park Road, and south of Half Way Tree and Old Hope Roads. Downtown Kingston includes Arnett Gardens, Cockburn Gardens, Denham Town, Olympic Gardens, Seaview Gardens, Trench Town, and Tivoli Gardens.
  • Duhaney Park
  • Swallowfield
  • Elleston Flats
  • August Town

Manchester Parish—Do Not Travel

Green Vale, Gray Ground, Red Ground, and Vineyard neighborhoods of Mandeville

St. Thomas Parish—Do Not Travel

  • Black Lane neighborhood in Seaforth
  • Grands Penn
  • Church Corner neighborhood near Yallahs
  • Town of Yallahs, except when driving through on the main highway

Trelawny Parish—Do Not Travel

  • Clarks Town

Westmoreland Parish—Do Not Travel

  • Russia community in Savanna-la-Mar (The Southeastern quadrant of Savannah la Mar east of Darling Street and south of the A2 highway/Barracks Road)
  • Kings Valley
  • The Whitehall, Bethel Town, and Red Ground neighborhoods of Negril

If you do decide to travel to the above-listed Do Not Travel areas, please visit our website for  Travel to High-Risk Areas .

Travel Advisory Levels

Assistance for u.s. citizens, jamaica map, search for travel advisories, external link.

You are about to leave for an external website that is not maintained by the U.S. Department of State.

Links to external websites are provided as a convenience and should not be construed as an endorsement by the U.S. Department of State of the views or products contained therein. If you wish to remain on, click the "cancel" message.

You are about to visit:


  1. OnlMaps on Twitter: "US travel advisory levels w/ subdivisions Red

    us travel advisory us

  2. US State Department says of New Zealand, "Reconsider Travel" as at 1

    us travel advisory us

  3. US Government urges citizens to avoid travelling to Jamaica

    us travel advisory us

  4. Dept. of State issues new travel advisory system > 445th Airlift Wing

    us travel advisory us

  5. How to Read Travel Advisories to Increase Your Safety Abroad

    us travel advisory us

  6. U.S. State Department Travel Advisory Level for U.S. Nationals by

    us travel advisory us


  1. US Travel Advisory Reaction

  2. US travel Advisory Level 3, to Ja over concern about medical services & crime, citizens avoid JA


  1. Travel Advisories

    Israel, the West Bank and Gaza Travel Advisory : Other: April 11, 2024: Liechtenstein Travel Advisory: Level 1: Exercise Normal Precautions: July 26, 2023: North Macedonia Travel Advisory: ... Subscribe to get up-to-date safety and security information and help us reach you in an emergency abroad.

  2. Travel Advisory Updates

    Office of the Spokesperson. April 19, 2021. State Department Travel Advisory Updates. In order to provide U.S. travelers detailed and actionable information to make informed travel decisions, the Department of State regularly assesses and updates our Travel Advisories, based primarily on the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC ...

  3. Travelers

    Please enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive alerts and be located in an emergency. Please call 1 (888) 407-4747 (U.S. and Canada) or 1 (202) 501-4444 (overseas) or contact the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate. As a first step in planning any trip abroad, check the Travel Advisories for your intended destination.

  4. Travel Advisories

    You are about to leave for an external website that is not maintained by the U.S. Department of State. Links to external websites are provided as a convenience and should not be construed as an endorsement by the U.S. Department of State of the views or products contained therein.

  5. Mexico Travel Advisory

    Reissued after periodic review with general security updates, and the removal of obsolete COVID-19 page links. Country Summary: Violent crime - such as homicide, kidnapping, carjacking, and robbery - is widespread and common in Mexico.The U.S. government has limited ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens in many areas of Mexico, as travel by U.S. government employees to ...

  6. Travel.State.Gov CSI

    Explore the U.S. State Department's travel advisory updates, safety tips, and services for American travelers.

  7. Is it safe to go there? The U.S. travel advisory system, explained

    When the travel advisory system relaunched in 2018, it also included state-by-state evaluations for Mexico, which draws more than 11 million American travelers a year. ... United States (Change)

  8. COVID-19 international travel advisories

    U.S. citizens traveling to a country outside the U.S. Find country-specific travel advisories, including COVID-19 restrictions, from the Department of State. See the CDC's COVID-19 guidance for safer international travel to learn: If you can travel if you recently had COVID-19. What you can do to help prevent COVID-19. LAST UPDATED: May 31, 2024.

  9. New Travel Advisories for U.S. Travelers

    Under the new system, every country will have a Travel Advisory, providing levels of advice ranging from 1 to 4: Level 1 - Exercise Normal Precautions: This is the lowest advisory level for safety and security risk. There is some risk in any international travel. Conditions in other countries may differ from those in the United States and may ...

  10. Smart Traveler Enrollment Program

    The Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) is a free service to allow U.S. citizens and nationals traveling and living abroad to enroll their trip with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. Receive important information from the Embassy about safety conditions in your destination country, helping you make informed decisions about your travel ...

  11. The Latest on U.S. Travel Restrictions

    What to Know: U.S. Travel Restrictions. Lauren Hard 📍 Reporting from New Jersey. Stephanie Keith for The New York Times. The hope is with these longstanding bans being lifted, the U.S. tourism ...

  12. USA Travel Guide: What to Know About Travels Alerts and Updates

    Travel advisories and warnings in the USA. For the most up-to-date information regarding U.S. entry and visa policy, Brand USA encourages all travelers to refer to the following resources provided by the U.S. government as they make their travel arrangements and prior to embarking on a trip to the USA.

  13. China Travel Advisory

    Check with the PRC Embassy in the United States for the most updated information on travel to the PRC. In some limited circumstances travelers to Mainland China may face additional COVID-19 testing requirements to enter some facilities or events. ... Travel Advisory Levels. Assistance for U.S. Citizens. U.S. Embassy Beijing . No. 55 An Jia Lou ...

  14. COVID-19 Travel Advisory Updates

    However, if the CDC raises a country's COVID-19 THN to a Level 4, the State Department's Travel Advisory for that country will also be raised to a Level 4: Do Not Travel due to COVID-19. This update will leave approximately 10% of all Travel Advisories at Level 4: Do Not Travel. This 10% includes Level 4 Travel Advisories for all risk ...

  15. Places the U.S. Government Warns Not to Travel Right Now

    So far in 2024, the State Department made changes to the existing Level 4 advisories for Myanmar, Iran and Gaza, and moved Niger and Lebanon off of the Level 4 list. Places With a Level 4 Travel ...

  16. Be Informed Before Takeoff: Travel Advisories Define Country-Specific

    Travel Advisories include a level for each country, ranging from Level 1: Exercise Normal Precautions to Level 4: Do Not Travel. Each Travel Advisory also includes specific risk indicators to provide additional context for the advice level. Risk indicators include C for crime, T for terrorism, and U for civil unrest, among others.

  17. Travel alerts − Travel information − American Airlines

    Are booked in any fare class, including Basic Economy. Bought your ticket by May 6, 2024. Are scheduled to travel May 6 - August 31, 2024. Can travel May 12 - September 20, 2024. Change your origin and destination to: Canoas Air Force Base, Brazil - Alternative for Porto Alegre (QNS), Caxias do Sul (CXJ), Chapeco (XAP), Florianopolis (FLN ...

  18. State Department travel advisories: What they mean for your vacation

    Here's what the advisory levels mean: Level 1: Exercise normal precautions. This indicates the least risky places to travel to, but the State Department cautions that "there is some risk in any ...

  19. Egypt Travel Advisory

    Travel Advisory. July 13, 2023. Egypt - Level 3: Reconsider Travel. O T. Reissued with obsolete COVID-19 page links removed. Reconsider travel to Egypt due to terrorism . Exercise increased caution in Egypt due to the Embassy's limited ability to assist dual national U.S.-Egyptian citizens who are arrested or detained. Do not travel to:

  20. Here are other countries' warnings, advice for U.S. travel

    New Zealand. New Zealand has four levels of travel advisories: exercise normal safety and security precautions; exercise increased caution; avoid non-essential travel; and do not travel. Its travel advisory for the U.S. falls under level 2 of 4: Exercise increased caution. The country says this designation is "due to the threat of terrorism.".

  21. Travel Advisory: Update for Mexico

    Read the Mexico Travel Advisory, including the detailed state summaries and advisory levels for information on your specific travel destination. Read the Mexico country information page. Assistance: Contact Form. U.S. Embassy and Consulates in Mexico. From Mexico: (55) 8526 2561. From the United States: +1-844-528-6611

  22. Travel alerts

    Travel to or from certain airports might be impacted. Check here for the most up-to-date information about your flight options. Original travel dates. Airports affected. Original ticket purchased on or before. January 8, 2024. Birmingham, AL, US (BHM) Baton Rouge, LA, US (BTR) Panama City, FL, US (ECP)

  23. Travel

    × External Link. You are about to leave for an external website that is not maintained by the U.S. Department of State. Links to external websites are provided as a convenience and should not be construed as an endorsement by the U.S. Department of State of the views or products contained therein.

  24. Travel advice and advisories for United States (USA)

    Tourists may not travel between the two countries. However, you may go to Cuba from the United States on other types of travel, if you meet certain requirements. Cuba sanctions - U.S. Department of the Treasury. Driving. You can drive in the United States if you have a valid Canadian driver's license. Traffic laws can vary from state to state.

  25. International Travel Recommendations

    Office of the Spokesperson. April 26, 2022. U.S. citizens considering international travel should plan ahead and be informed about travel requirements before making decisions or firm travel plans. We urge U.S. citizens considering international travel to check their passport expiration date early and if renewal is needed, to submit applications ...

  26. Latest Information for U.S. Citizens

    Please see the latest Israel Security Alert. U.S. citizens should heed the Travel Advisory for Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza. The U.S. Embassy continues to closely monitor the dynamic security situation in Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza. There are active military operations and active rocket and mortar fire in Gaza and the Gaza periphery.

  27. Jamaica Travel Advisory

    Please read the entire Travel Advisory. Country Summary: Violent crimes, such as home invasions, armed robberies, sexual assaults, and homicides, are common. Sexual assaults occur frequently, including at all-inclusive resorts. ... with air ambulance service to the United States in the range of $30,000-50,000. Read the country information page ...