Moldova - Consular Information Sheet
June 29, 2001
COUNTRY DESCRIPTION: Moldova has been an independent nation
since 1991. Its capital, Chisinau, offers adequate hotels and
restaurants, but tourist facilities in other parts of the country
are not highly developed, and many of the goods and services taken
for granted in other countries are not yet available. Moldova
is a democracy with a freely elected government.
ENTRY REQUIREMENTS: Visas are required of American citizens
traveling to (or transiting) Moldova. All visas must be obtained
in advance of arrival from a Moldovan Embassy or Consulate. Only
those U.S. citizens who can provide evidence that they reside
in a country in which Moldova has no Embassy or Consulate are
permitted to obtain a tourist/business visa at the Chisinau airport.
No invitation is necessary. Any person applying for a visa for
a stay of more than three months must present a certificate showing
that the individual is HIV negative. Only tests performed at designated
clinics in Moldova are accepted. For more information on entry
requirements, please contact
the Moldovan Embassy, 2101 S. Street N.W., Washington, D.C.
20008, telephone: (202) 667-1130, (202) 667-1131, or (202) 667-1137,
fax: (202) 667-1204, e-mail: email@example.com.
IMPORTANT NOTE: All foreign citizens staying in Moldova
for more three days or longer are required to register with local
authorities at the Office of Visas and Registration. The place
of registration (usually, a district police station) depends on
where a visitor is staying in Moldova. Most hotels will register
guests automatically. The Embassy encourages U.S. citizens to
ask about registration when checking into a hotel. U.S. citizens
not staying in a hotel are responsible for registering with authorities.
To find out exactly where to register, a U.S. citizen may call
the central Office for Visas and Registration at (373) (2) 21-30-78,
and be prepared to give the address of the residence in Moldova.
Under Moldovan law, those who fail to register with authorities
may be required to appear in court and pay a fine. For more information
on registering with Moldovan authorities, U.S. citizens are encouraged
to call the Consular section at the U.S. Embassy in Chisinau (373)
In an effort to prevent international child abduction, many governments
have initiated procedures at entry/exit points. These often include
requiring documentary evidence of relationship and permission
for the child's travel from the parent(s) or legal guardian not
present. Having such documentation on hand, even if not required,
may facilitate entry/departure.
SAFETY/SECURITY: A separatist regime controls a narrow
strip of land in the Transnisteria region of eastern Moldova.
This regime is not recognized by the United States or other countries.
Since no formal diplomatic relations exist between the United
States and local authorities, the provision of consular assistance
to American citizens cannot be relied upon. Travelers should exercise
caution in visiting or transiting the area. Travelers should be
aware that there are numerous road checkpoints in the Trans-Dniester
CRIME INFORMATION: Moldova has experienced a rise in crime
due to worsening economic conditions in recent years, increasing
organized criminal activity, and more frequent travel by foreigners
to Moldova. These conditions have heightened the risk to visitors
of violent and/or other street crime. Many Americans have reported
theft of money and small valuables from hotel rooms and local
apartments. Cases of breaking and entering into homes and offices
have increased as well. It is wise for travelers to exercise the
same precautions with regard to personal safety and protection
of valuables in Chisinau that they would in any major U.S. city.
Train and bus service are below Western standards and an increasing
number of U.S. citizens have been victims of crime such as thefts,
while traveling on international trains to and from Moldova.
The loss or theft abroad of a U.S. passport should be reported
immediately to the local police and the nearest U.S. Embassy or
Consulate. U.S. citizens may refer to the Department of State's
pamphlet, A Safe Trip Abroad,
for ways to promote a trouble-free journey. The pamphlet is 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: Medical care in Moldova is limited,
with severe shortages of basic medical supplies. Elderly travelers
and those with existing health problems may be at risk due to
inadequate medical facilities. The U.S. Embassy maintains lists
of such facilities and English-speaking doctors. Rabies vaccinations
may be useful, as casual exposure to stray dogs is common throughout
Chisinau. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends the
Hepatitis A or IG, and B series for certain travelers. The CDC
also recommends typhoid vaccinations for the travelers to Moldova.
Consult your physician about immunizations.
MEDICAL INSURANCE: The Department of State strongly urges
Americans to consult with their medical insurance company prior
to traveling abroad to confirm whether their policy applies overseas
and whether it will cover emergency expenses such as a medical
evacuation. U.S. medical insurance plans seldom cover health costs
incurred outside the United States unless supplemental coverage
is purchased. Further, U.S. Medicare and Medicaid programs do
not provide payment for medical services outside the United States.
However, many travel agents and private companies offer insurance
plans that will cover health care expenses incurred overseas including
emergency services such as medical evacuations.
When making a decision regarding health insurance, Americans
should consider that many foreign doctors and hospitals require
payment in cash prior to providing service and that a medical
evacuation to the U.S. may cost well in excess of $50,000. Uninsured
travelers who require medical care overseas often face extreme
difficulties. When consulting with your insurer prior to your
trip, ascertain whether payment will be made to the overseas healthcare
provider or whether you will be reimbursed later for expenses
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 precautions may be obtained from the
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's hotline for international
travelers at 1-877-FYI-TRIP (1-877-394-8747); fax 1-888-CDC-FAXX
(1-888-232-3299), or via their Internet site 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 Moldova is provided for general reference only,
and may not be totally accurate in a particular location or circumstance.
Safety of Public Transportation: Poor
Urban Road Conditions/Maintenance: Poor
Rural Road Conditions/Maintenance: Poor
Availability of Roadside Assistance: Poor
Moldova's highway infrastructure consists mainly of two-lane
roads, unevenly maintained and unlighted. Caution should be taken
to prevent collisions with agricultural vehicles. Travel before
dawn and after dusk should be avoided if at all possible. Drivers
and pedestrians should exercise extreme caution to avoid accidents,
which are commonplace. Many accidents involve drunk drivers.
For additional general information
about road safety, including links to foreign government sites,
see the Department of State, bureau of Consular Affairs home page
AVIATION SAFETY OVERSIGHT: As there is no direct commercial
service by local carriers at present, or economic authority to
operate such service, between the U.S and Moldova, the U.S. Federal
Aviation Administration (FAA) has not assessed Moldova's Civil
Aviation Authority for compliance with international aviation
safety standards. For further information, travelers may contact
the Department of Transportation within the U.S. at 1-800-322-7873,
or visit the
FAA's Internet 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 (618) 229-4801.
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
Moldova's laws, even unknowingly, may be expelled, arrested or
imprisoned. Penalties for possession, use, or trafficking in illegal
drugs in Moldova are strict and convicted offenders can expect
jail sentences and heavy fines.
SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES: Travelers may have difficulty finding
public telephones and receiving and making international and local
calls. Losses have been reported from international letter and
package mail, both of which are subject to a customs inspection
before delivery. "Express" mailing services such as
DHL and Federal Express are available in Chisinau, although prices
are expensive in most cases, and shipments arrive from (or reach)
the U.S. in no less than five (5) business days.
Moldova is generally a cash-only economy. Traveler's checks and
credit cards are accepted only at a few select locations in Chisinau.
CHILDREN'S ISSUES: On May 29, 2001, the Moldovan Government
issued a decree temporarily banning adoption of Moldovan orphans
by non-Moldovan citizens. For further information on the temporary
ban, contact the Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy in Moldova
at telephone (373) (2) 40-83-00. For
information on international adoption of children, international
parental child abduction, and international child support enforcement
issues, please refer to our Internet site at http://travel.state.gov/children's_issues.html
or telephone (202) 736-7000.
REGISTRATION/EMBASSY AND CONSULATE LOCATION: Americans
living in or visiting Moldova are encouraged to register at the
Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy in Chisinau and obtain updated
information on travel and security within Moldova. The U.S. Embassy
is located in Chisinau, Moldova, Strada Alexei Mateevici 103;
telephone (373)(2) 23-37-72, after-hours telephone (373)(2) 23-73-45.