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Travel Warning & Consular Information Sheet

Your Trip Abroad Guide

Whether you are traveling overseas for business, pleasure or study, the best way to ensure a carefree and relaxing trip is to prevent problems before they happen. The more you learn about passports, visas, customs, immunizations, and other travel basics, the less likely you are to have difficulties during your travels.

We have written this guide to help you organize and take a pleasant, trouble-free trip. In the back of the book, we refer you to other sources of travel information covering such matters as customs regulations, agricultural restrictions, visa requirements, U.S. embassy addresses, foreign country information, and more. For your convenience, the addresses of the U.S. passport agencies are listed at the end of the pamphlet.

The Department of State in Washington, D.C., and its more than 250 U.S. embassies and consulates worldwide, as well as other U.S. Government agencies, are ready and pleased to offer assistance whenever possible. This is your trip. Make it an enjoyable one.

YOUR TRIP ABROAD

BEFORE YOU GO

There is much that you can do to prepare for your trip abroad, depending on where you are going, how long you are staying, and your reasons for traveling.

LEARN ABOUT THE COUNTRIES THAT YOU PLAN TO VISIT

The following suggestions and sources may be useful:

  • Read as much as possible about the countries in which you plan to travel. Informing yourself about a nation's history, culture, customs and politics will make your stay more meaningful. Such information can be found in most libraries, bookstores and tourist bureaus. Although English is spoken in many countries, it is a good idea to learn what you can of the language of the country in which you will be traveling.

  • Travel agents can provide brochures and tourist information about the countries that you wish to visit.

  • Most international airlines can supply you with travel brochures about the countries that they serve. Many countries have tourist information offices in main cities in the United States where you can obtain travel brochures and maps.

  • Foreign embassies or consulates in the United States can provide up-to-date information on their countries. Addresses and telephone numbers of the embassies of foreign governments are listed in the Congressional Directory, available at most public libraries. In addition to their embassies, some countries also have consulates in major U.S. cities. Look for their addresses in your local telephone directory, or find them in the publication, Foreign Consular Offices in the United States, available in many public libraries, or on the Internet http://www.state.gov

  • The Department of State publishes Background Notes on countries worldwide. These are brief, factual pamphlets with information on each country's culture, history, geography, economy, government, and current political situation. The Background Notes are available for approximately 170 countries. They often include a reading list, travel notes and maps. To purchase copies, you can contact the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C. 20402, or call (202) 512-1800. Select issues are also available from the Department of State's Bureau of Public Affairs, fax-on-demand, by calling (202) 736-7720 from your fax machine or on the Department of State's home page on the Internet at http://www.state.gov.

  • The Consular Information Program provides pertinent information for travelers. The U.S. Department of State issues fact sheets, known as Consular Information Sheets, on every country in the world. You should obtain the Department of State's Consular Information Sheet for any country that you will visit. The sheets contain information about crime and security conditions, areas of instability, and other details pertaining to travel in a particular country.

Whether you are traveling overseas for business, pleasure or study, the best way to ensure a carefree and relaxing trip is to prevent problems before they happen. The more you learn about passports, visas, customs, immunizations, and other travel basics, the less likely you are to have difficulties during your travels.

We have written this guide to help you organize and take a pleasant, trouble-free trip. In the back of the book, we refer you to other sources of travel information covering such matters as customs regulations, agricultural restrictions, visa requirements, U.S. embassy addresses, foreign country information, and more. For your convenience, the addresses of the U.S. passport agencies are listed at the end of the pamphlet.

The Department of State in Washington, D.C., and its more than 250 U.S. embassies and consulates worldwide, as well as other U.S. Government agencies, are ready and pleased to offer assistance whenever possible. This is your trip. Make it an enjoyable one.

YOUR TRIP ABROAD

BEFORE YOU GO

There is much that you can do to prepare for your trip abroad, depending on where you are going, how long you are staying, and your reasons for traveling.

LEARN ABOUT THE COUNTRIES THAT YOU PLAN TO VISIT

The following suggestions and sources may be useful:

  • Read as much as possible about the countries in which you plan to travel. Informing yourself about a nation's history, culture, customs and politics will make your stay more meaningful. Such information can be found in most libraries, bookstores and tourist bureaus. Although English is spoken in many countries, it is a good idea to learn what you can of the language of the country in which you will be traveling.

  • Travel agents can provide brochures and tourist information about the countries that you wish to visit.

  • Most international airlines can supply you with travel brochures about the countries that they serve. Many countries have tourist information offices in main cities in the United States where you can obtain travel brochures and maps.

  • Foreign embassies or consulates in the United States can provide up-to-date information on their countries. Addresses and telephone numbers of the embassies of foreign governments are listed in the Congressional Directory, available at most public libraries. In addition to their embassies, some countries also have consulates in major U.S. cities. Look for their addresses in your local telephone directory, or find them in the publication, Foreign Consular Offices in the United States, available in many public libraries, or on the Internet http://www.state.gov

  • The Department of State publishes Background Notes on countries worldwide. These are brief, factual pamphlets with information on each country's culture, history, geography, economy, government, and current political situation. The Background Notes are available for approximately 170 countries. They often include a reading list, travel notes and maps. To purchase copies, you can contact the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C. 20402, or call (202) 512-1800. Select issues are also available from the Department of State's Bureau of Public Affairs, fax-on-demand, by calling (202) 736-7720 from your fax machine or on the Department of State's home page on the Internet at http://www.state.gov.

  • The Consular Information Program provides pertinent information for travelers. The U.S. Department of State issues fact sheets, known as Consular Information Sheets, on every country in the world. You should obtain the Department of State's Consular Information Sheet for any country that you will visit. The sheets contain information about crime and security conditions, areas of instability, and other details pertaining to travel in a particular country.

The Department of State also issues Travel Warnings and Public Announcements. Travel Warnings are issued when the Department of State recommends deferral of travel by Americans to a country because of civil unrest, dangerous conditions, terrorist activity and/or because the United States has no diplomatic relations with the country and cannot assist an American citizen in distress. Public Announcements are issued as a means to disseminate information quickly about terrorist threats and other relatively short-term and/or transnational conditions, which would pose significant risks to American travelers.

If the Department of State has issued a Travel Warning or Public Announcement for any country that you plan to visit, you should obtain this information. Instructions on how to access the Consular Information Program follow.

 



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