Jordan - Consular Information Sheet
September 22, 2000
COUNTRY DESCRIPTION: The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan is
a constitutional monarchy with a developing economy. While Jordan
is modern and western-oriented, Islamic ideals and beliefs provide
the conservative foundation of the country's customs, laws and
practices. Tourist facilities are widely available, although quality
may vary depending on price and location. The local workweek for
Jordanian Government offices and most businesses is Saturday through
Thursday. The U.S. Embassy in Amman is open Sunday through Thursday.
ENTRY REQUIREMENTS: A passport and a visa are required.
Visitors may obtain a visa for Jordan at international ports of
entry, not including the King Hussein (Allenby) Bridge, upon arrival,
for a fee. For further information, travelers may contact the
Embassy of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, 3504 International
Drive, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20008, telephone (202) 966-2664.
Foreigners who wish to stay fourteen days or more in Jordan must
register at a Jordanian police station by their fourteenth day
in the country. Failure to do so subjects the traveler to a fine
of one Jordanian dinar (currently U.S. $1.40) per day overstay.
This fine is usually assessed at departure.
TRAVEL BETWEEN JORDAN AND ISRAEL: Travelers may contact
the U.S. Embassy in Amman for the latest information on border
crossing hours. Israel does not require advance visa issuance
for U.S. citizens traveling on tourist passports at any crossing
point. U.S. diplomatic and official passport holders are required
to obtain an Israeli visa prior to entering Israel. Jordan issues
visas at international border crossings (not including the King
Hussein/Allenby Bridge). To cross into Jordan at the King Hussein/Allenby
Bridge, U.S. citizens must already have either a visa for Jordan
in their passport or an entry permit from the Ministry of Interior.
Both Jordan and Israel assess an exit tax for tourist travelers
at all border crossings. Note: "King Hussein" and "Allenby"
denote the same crossing point, which is referred to by Jordan
as the King Hussein Bridge, and by Israel as the Allenby Bridge.
DUAL NATIONALITY: Although no longer subject to immediate
conscription, all U.S.- Jordanian dual national males under the
age of 37 are required to register for service in the Jordanian
military. Those subject to registration may be prevented from
leaving Jordan until permission to do so is obtained from competent
Jordanian authorities. This permission is often granted to U.S.
citizens, but may take some time to obtain, and it is limited
to one trip only. Consular assistance to dual nationals may be
limited in some instances.
SAFETY/SECURITY: Over the last nine months, the Jordanian
authorities arrested and prosecuted a group accused of planning
terrorist attacks against targets in Jordan.
In June, the U.S. Government announced that it had information
indicating a continuing terrorist threat in Jordan. While the
U.S. has confidence in the Government of Jordan's ability to address
such threats, it cannot be ruled out that terrorist elements may
remain at large.
U.S. citizens traveling or residing in Jordan are urged to continue
to review their security practices, to remain alert to changing
situations, and to exercise prudence. U.S. citizens should generally
avoid crowds and gatherings, keep a low profile, and vary routes
and times of travel.
SEXUAL HARASSMENT OF WOMEN: There have been isolated incidents
of sexual harassment, assault and unwelcome advances of a sexual
nature against western women, both visiting and residing in Jordan.
These incidents, while troubling, are not pervasive. However,
women are advised to use common sense and to take reasonable precautions:
dress conservatively and do not travel alone.
PROSELYTIZING: Islam is the state religion of Jordan.
The Government of Jordan does not interfere with public worship
by the country's Christian minority. However, although the majority
of Christians are allowed to practice freely, some activities,
such as proselytizing or encouraging conversion to the Christian
faith -- both considered legally incompatible with Islam -- are
prohibited. It is illegal for a Muslim to convert to Christianity.
In the past, American citizens have been detained or arrested
for discussing or trying to engage Jordanians in debate about
Christianity. Furthermore, the U.S. Embassy is often not notified
by Jordanian authorities when an American citizen has been arrested.
INFORMATION ON CRIME: The U.S. Embassy in Amman recommends
that American citizens traveling in Jordan avoid crowds and demonstrations
and exercise caution when using public transportation, especially
buses, and not leave vehicles unattended. Crime is generally not
a serious problem for travelers in Jordan, but petty crime is
prevalent in the downtown Amman Hashimiyah Square area and near
the Roman Theater. In the narrow streets of the Old City, crowded
conditions invite pickpockets and other petty criminals. It is
safer to travel in groups when visiting the center of Amman. Additional
caution and sensitivity should be exercised at religious sites
on holy days and Friday Sabbath. Modest attire should be worn
at all holy sites.
The loss or theft of a U.S. passport abroad should be reported
immediately to local police and the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate.
Useful information on safeguarding valuables, protecting personal
security, and other matters while traveling abroad is provided
in the Department of State's pamphlets, A
Safe Trip Abroad and Tips
for Travelers to the Middle East and North Africa. They are
available by mail from the
Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office,
Washington, D.C. 20402, via the Internet at http://www.access.gpo.gov/su_docs,
or via the
Bureau of Consular Affairs home page at http://travel.state.gov.
MEDICAL FACILITIES: Basic modern medical care and medicines
are available in the principal cities of Jordan, but not necessarily
in outlying areas. Doctors and hospitals often expect immediate
cash payment for services. Serious medical problems requiring
hospitalization and/or medical evacuation to the United States
can cost thousands of dollars or more.
MEDICAL INSURANCE: U.S. medical insurance is not always
valid outside the United States.
U.S. Medicare and Medicaid programs do not provide payment for
medical services outside the United States. Uninsured travelers
who require medical care overseas may face extreme difficulties.
Please check with your own insurance company to confirm whether
your policy applies overseas, including provision for medical
evacuation. Please ascertain whether payment will be made to the
overseas hospital or doctor or whether you will be reimbursed
later for expenses that you incur. Some insurance policies also
include coverage for psychiatric treatment and for disposition
of remains in the event of death. Useful information on medical
emergencies abroad, including overseas insurance programs, is
provided in the Department of State's Bureau of Consular Affairs
brochure, Medical Information for
Americans Traveling Abroad, available via the Bureau of Consular
Affairs home page or autofax: (202) 647-3000.
OTHER HEALTH INFORMATION: Information on vaccinations
and other health problems can be obtained from the
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at telephone 1-887-FYI-TRIP
(877-394-8747), the toll-free CDC autofax, 1-888-CDC-FAXX (888-232-3299)
or on the Internet at http://www.cdc.gov.
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 Jordan is provided for general reference only,
and may not be totally accurate in a particular location or circumstance.
Safety of Public Transportation: Fair
Urban Road Conditions/Maintenance: Fair
Rural Road Conditions/Maintenance: Fair
Availability of Roadside Assistance: Poor
Extra caution must be exercised at all times, especially when
driving at night because of poor lighting and road conditions.
Land mines are often located within two miles of military installations
and borders, including the popular Dead Sea area. Mine fields
are usually fenced off and marked with signs carrying a skull
and crossbones, but the fences and signs may be in poor repair
or hard to see. Avoiding these areas reduces the risk of accidentally
setting off a mine. Highways are more crowded around the Muslim
holidays, when many Jordanians return from their work in the Gulf
States. Also, city driving in Amman is more hazardous in the summer
months, when many Gulf residents come to Amman for marriages and
vacations; streets are significantly more crowded then.
AVIATION SAFETY OVERSIGHT: The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration
(FAA) has assessed the government of Jordan's civil aviation authority
as Category 1 - in compliance with international aviation safety
standards for oversight of Jordan's air carrier operations. For
further information, travelers may contact the Department of Transportation
within the U.S. at 1-800-322-7873, or visit the
FAA's web site at http://www.faa.gov/avr/iasa/. The U.S. Department
of Defense (DOD) separately assesses some foreign air carriers
for suitability as official providers of air services. For information
regarding the DOD policy on specific carriers, travelers may contact
the DOD at tel. (618) 229-4801.
CUSTOMS REGULATIONS: Items, such as drugs, firearms, poisons,
chemicals, explosives and pornographic materials, among others,
may not be imported into Jordan.
CRIMINAL PENALTIES: While in a foreign country, U.S. citizens
are 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 Jordanian
laws, even unknowingly, may be expelled, arrested or imprisoned.
Penalties for possession, use, or trafficking in illegal drugs
in Jordan are severe, and convicted offenders can expect jail
sentences and heavy fines.
CONSULAR ACCESS: U.S. citizens are encouraged to carry
a copy of their U.S. passports with them at all times, so that,
if questioned by local officials, proof of identity and U.S. citizenship
are readily available. As stated previously, the U.S. Embassy
is often not notified by Jordanian authorities when an American
citizen has been arrested. Consular assistance to dual nationals
may be limited in some instances.
CHILDREN'S ISSUES: Child custody decisions are made in
religious courts; it is difficult for an American woman, even
a Muslim, to obtain custody of her children in an Islamic court
unless she agrees to stay in Jordan. Husbands/fathers may deny
permission to travel to their wives and children, regardless of
religion or nationality.
on international adoption of children and international parental
child abduction, please refer to our Internet site at http://travel.state.gov/children's_issues.html,
or telephone (202) 736-7000.
REGISTRATION/U.S. EMBASSY LOCATION: U.S. citizens who
register at the U.S. Embassy are encouraged to obtain updated
information on travel and security within Jordan and the region.
U.S. Embassy in Amman, Jordan is located at Abdoun, P.O. Box
354. The telephone number is  (6) 592-0101 and the fax number
is 592-4102. The after-hours emergency telephone number is (6)
592-0120. The Embassy's web site is http://www.usembassy-amman.org.jo.