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Travel Security Advice for Algeria

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ALGERIAAlgeria_Overview


 

COUNTRY DESCRIPTION:

Algeria is the second-largest country in Africa, with over four-fifths of its territory covered by the Sahara desert. The country has a population of 35 million people mainly located near the northern coast. Algeria is a multi-party, constitutional republic. Facilities for travelers are available in populated areas, but sometimes limited in quality and quantity.Read the Department of State’s Background Notes on Algeria for additional information.

REGISTRATION / EMBASSY LOCATION:

U.S. citizens living or traveling in Algeria are encouraged to register with the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate at the Department of State’s travel registration page in order to obtain updated information on local travel and security. U.S. citizens withoutInternet access may register directly with the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate. Registration is important; it allows the State Department to assist U.S. citizens in an emergency. Local embassy information is available below and at the Department of State’s list of embassies and consulates.

US Embassy Algiers

5 Chemin Cheikh Bachir El-Ibrahimi, B.P. 408 (Alger-gare) 16000
Telephone: [213] 770-08-20-00 which can also be reached after hours. 
Facsimile: [213] 21-9822-99

ENTRY/EXIT REQUIREMENTS:

Passports and visas are required for U.S. citizens traveling to Algeria. The Algerian visa application must be typed in all capital letters. The Algerian Embassy no longer accepts handwritten visa applications. For further information on entry/exit requirements, travelers may contact the Embassy of the People's Democratic Republic of Algeria at 2137 Wyoming Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008, telephone (202) 265-2800. Visit the Embassy of the People's Democratic Republic of Algeria web site for the most current visa information.

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

Information about dual nationality or the prevention of international child abduction can be found on our website. For further information about customs regulations, please read our Customs Information page.

THREATS TO SAFETY AND SECURITY:

Terrorism continues to pose a threat to the safety and security of American citizens traveling to Algeria. Terrorist activities, including bombings, false roadblocks, kidnappings, ambushes, and assassinations occur regularly, particularly in the Kabylie region. Since early 2007, vehicle-borne suicide bomb attacks have emerged as a terrorist tactic in Algeria, including in the capital. Suicide car bomb attacks in December 2007 targeted the UN Headquarters and the Algerian Constitutional Council in Algiers. The attacks occurred in areas where many diplomatic missions and residences are located. The group that claimed credit for the December 2007 attacks has pledged more attacks against foreign targets, and specifically American targets.

The Travel Warning for Algeria contains the most current information concerning the threat from terrorism.

Currently, Embassy staffing is at full capacity, but may not be able to provide full emergency consular services in certain areas of the country due to security restrictions. U.S. Government employees traveling between cities must be accompanied by a security escort. Overland travel is not recommended. U.S. citizens should also carefully consider the security risks involved when using public transportation such as buses and taxis.

For the latest security information, U.S. citizens traveling abroad should regularly monitor the Department of State’s
, Bureau of Consular Affairs’ website, which contains the current Travel Warnings and Travel Alerts, including the Travel Warning for Algeria, as well as the Worldwide Caution.

Up-to-date information on safety and security can also be obtained by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the U.S. and Canada or, by calling a regular toll line, 1-202-501-4444, from other countries. for callers outside the United States and Canada, a regular toll line at 1-202-501-4444. These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).

The Department of State urges American citizens to take responsibility for their own personal security while traveling overseas. For general information about appropriate measures travelers can take to protect themselves in an overseas environment, see the Department of State’s extensive tips and advice on traveling safely abroad.

CRIME:

The crime rate in Algeria is moderately high and increasing. Serious crimes have been reported in which armed men posing as police officers have entered homes and robbed the occupants at gunpoint. False roadblocks/checkpoints have been employed to rob motorists (see Traffic Safety and Road Conditions section below). Some of these incidents resulted in the murder of the vehicles' occupants; there has been an increase in the kidnapping of vehicle occupants who appear to be wealthy. Petty theft and home burglary occur frequently, and muggings are on the rise, especially after dark in the cities. Theft of contents and parts from parked cars, pick-pocketing, theft on trains and buses, theft of items left in hotel rooms and purse snatching are common. Alarms, grills, and/or guards help to protect most foreigners' residences.

VICTIMS OF CRIME :

If you are the victim of a crime abroad, you should contact the local police, and the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate (see end of this sheet or see the Department of State’s list of embassies and consulates). This includes the loss or theft of a U.S. passport. The embassy/consulate staff can, for example, help you find appropriate medical care, contact family members or friends and explain how funds may be transferred. Although the investigation and prosecution of the crime are solely the responsibility of local authorities, consular officers can help you to understand the local criminal justice process and to find an attorney if needed.

The local equivalent to the “911” emergency line in Algeria is: 17 for the police and 14 in case of fire. These numbers may only be dialed from landline phones. From a mobile phone, dial 021-71-14-14 in case of fire; 021-23-63-81 for an ambulance; 021-73-53-50 for the police. Reliability and response time of emergency services vary, but are not to U.S. standards. Emergency operators may or may not speak French, and normally do not speak English.

Please see our information on victims of crime, including possible victim compensation programs in the United States.

CRIMINAL PENALTIES:

While in a foreign country, a U.S. citizen is subject to that country's laws and regulations, which sometimes differ significantly from those in the United States and may not afford the protections available to the individual under U.S. law. Penalties for breaking the law can be more severe than in the United States for similar offenses. Persons violating Algerian laws, even unknowingly, may be expelled, arrested or imprisoned. Penalties for possession, use, or trafficking in illegal drugs in Algeria are severe, and convicted offenders can expect long jail sentences and heavy fines. Engaging in sexual conduct with children or using or disseminating child pornography in a foreign country is a crime, prosecutable in the United States.

SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES:

Algeria maintains restrictions on the import and export of local currency. Foreign currency must be exchanged only at banks or authorized currency exchange locations, such as major hotels. Photography of military and government installations is prohibited. It is also illegal to import weapons, body armor, handcuffs or binoculars.Please see our Customs Information sheet.

Proselytizing

Islam is the state religion of Algeria. The Algerian government allows non-Muslim religious worship only in structures exclusively intended and approved for that purpose. Activities such as proselytizing, engaging in activities which the Algerian authorities could view as encouraging conversion to another faith, and convening religious ceremonies in private residences are prohibited under a March 2006 law.

MEDICAL FACILITIES AND HEALTH INFORMATION:

Hospitals and clinics in Algeria are available and improving in the large urban centers, but are still not up to Western standards. Doctors and hospitals often expect immediate cash payment for services. Most medical practitioners speak French; English is not widely used.

Prescription medicines are not always readily available. Some pharmacies may at times be out-of-stock. In addition, the medicine may be sold under a different brand name and may contain a different dosage than in the U.S. Please be aware that some newer medications may not yet be available in Algeria. It is usually easy to obtain over-the-counter products.

Emergency services are satisfactory, but response time is often unpredictable. In all cases, response time is not as fast as in the U.S.

Cases of tuberculosis are regularly reported, but do not reach endemic levels. Every summer, public health authorities report limited occurrences of water-borne diseases, such as typhoid. In addition, HIV/AIDS is a concern in the remote southern part of the country, especially in border towns.

For information about outbreaks of infectious diseases abroad, consult the infectious diseases section of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) website. The WHO website also contains additional health information for travelers, including detailed country-specific health information.

MEDICAL INSURANCE:

The Department of State strongly urges U.S. citizens to consult their medical insurance company prior to traveling abroad to determine it covers emergency expenses such as a medical evacuation. For more information please see our medical insurance overseas page.

TRAFFIC SAFETY AND ROAD CONDITIONS:

While in a foreign country, U.S. citizens may encounter road conditions that differ significantly from those in the United States. The information below concerning Algeria is provided for general reference only, and may not be totally accurate in a particular location or circumstance.

Algerian roads are overcrowded and traffic-related accidents kill a large number of people every year. Drivers will encounter police and military checkpoints on major roads within and on the periphery of Algiers and other major cities. Security personnel at these checkpoints expect full cooperation. Motorists should be aware that terrorists employ false roadblocks as a tactic for ambushes and kidnappings, primarily in the central regions of Boumerdes and Tizi Ouzou and some parts of eastern Algeria (see Crime section above).

Travel overland, particularly in the southern regions, may require a permit issued by the Algerian government. For specific information concerning Algerian driver's permits, vehicle inspection, road tax, and mandatory insurance, contact the Algerian Embassy.

Please refer to our Road Safety page for more information.

AVIATION SAFETY OVERSIGHT:

As there is no direct commercial air service to the United States by carriers registered in Algeria, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has not assessed the government of Algeria’sCivil Aviation Authority for compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards. Further information may be found on the FAA's safety assessment page .

CHILDREN'S ISSUES:

Please see our Office of Children’s Issues web pages on intercountry adoption and international parental child abduction.

This replaces the Country Specific Information for Algeria dated May 19, 2009 to update the section on Entry/Exit Requirements.

 


 

We also have a Travel Warning for this Country, please check it HERE

You can also see what the UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office has to offer with regards to travel advice for Algeria HERE

Looking for an Embassy ?, Check out our WorldWide Embassy listings HERE (For US Citizens) and HERE (For UK Citizens)......

Regards

The SW Team.......

 

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