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Venezuela Entry Requirements

Venezuela FlagVenezuela

The U.S. Department of State strongly recommends U.S. citizens do not travel to Venezuela. If you must travel to Venezuela, we recommend you avoid all land border crossings into Venezuela on the Colombian border. Detentions of U.S. citizens at formal or informal border crossings into Venezuela are common.

A valid passport and a Venezuela visa are required. Tourist cards are no longer issued on flights from the U.S. to Venezuela. Visas must now be obtained in advance of travel from the Venezuelan Embassy or nearest Venezuelan consulate.

Venezuelan immigration authorities require that U.S. passports have at least six months validity remaining from the date of arrival in Venezuela. Some U.S. citizens have been turned back to the United States because their passports were to expire in less than six months. Passports should also be in good condition, as some U.S. citizens have been delayed or detained overnight for having otherwise valid passports in poor condition.

U.S. citizens residing in Venezuela should be careful to obtain legitimate Venezuelan documentation appropriate to their status. There have been numerous cases of U.S. citizens who, having employed intermediaries, received what they believed to be valid Venezuelan resident visas and work permits. They were subsequently arrested and charged with possessing fraudulent Venezuelan documentation.SAIME (Servicio Administrativo de Identificacion, Migracion y Extranjero), the Venezuelan government agency responsible for immigration documents, has informed the Embassy that the only valid resident visas are those for which the bearer has personally signed at SAIME headquarters in Caracas.

Venezuelan law requires Venezuelan citizens to enter and depart Venezuela using Venezuelan passports and Venezuelan immigration authorities are increasingly enforcing this requirement. In order to comply with U.S. and Venezuelan law, persons who hold dual American-Venezuelan nationality must plan to travel between Venezuela and the United States with valid U.S. and Venezuelan passports.

Venezuela's child protection law mandates that minors (under 18) who are citizens or non-citizen residents of Venezuela and who are traveling alone, with only one parent, or with a third party, must present a copy of their birth certificate and written, notarized authorization from the absent parent(s) or legal guardian, specifically granting permission to travel alone, with one parent, or with a third party. This authorization must reflect the precise date and time of the travel, including flight and/or other pertinent information. Without this authorization, immigration authorities will prevent the child's departure from Venezuela. The Venezuelan Government no longer recognizes blanket or non-specific travel authorizations. When a parent is deceased, a notarized copy of the death certificate is required in lieu of the written authorization. If documents are prepared in the United States, the authorization and the birth certificate must be translated into Spanish, notarized, and authenticated by the Venezuela Embassy or a Venezuelan consulate in the United States. If documents are prepared in Venezuela, only notarization by a Venezuelan notary is required. A permission letter prepared outside Venezuela is valid for 90 days. A permission letter prepared in Venezuela is valid for 60 days.

Travelers entering Venezuela from certain countries are required to have a current yellow fever vaccination certificate. The Venezuelan Ministry of Health recommends the Yellow Fever vaccine for those travelers departing Venezuela, whose final destination is a country that requires that vaccine. This vaccine needs to be given at least 10 days prior to travel. Yellow Fever vaccine is effective for 10 years so travelers should check their shot records to be sure they are updated as needed. In addition, per the Venezuelan Ministry of Health, travelers should carry their International Certificate of Vaccination (or yellow card) with them, as they may be asked to present it upon arrival or departure. Mosquito-borne diseases such as malaria and dengue fever are also common in some areas and travelers should take precautions to prevent infection.

An exit tax and airport fee must be paid when departing Venezuela by airline. Most airlines now include the exit tax and airport fee in the airline ticket price. In the event that the fee has not been paid, authorities usually require that payment be made in local currency. Both the departure tax and the airport fee are subject to change with little notice. Travelers should always confirm with their airlines the latest information prior to travel.

For current information concerning entry, tax, and customs requirements for Venezuela, travelers may contact the Venezuelan Embassy at 1099 30th Street, NW, Washington DC 20007, tel.: (202) 342-2214, or visit the Embassy of Venezuela website. Travelers may also contact the Venezuelan consulates in Boston,Chicago, Houston, Miami, New Orleans, New York, San Francisco, or San Juan.

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

About the Author: For over 20 years, the U.S. Passport Service Guide team has helped hundreds of thousands of travelers with their travel document questions and shared advice about how to make traveling abroad simpler, safer, and more enjoyable.

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