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Know Before You Go: Venezuela's Entry, Exit,
 and Visa Requirements

A valid passport and a visa or tourist card are required. Tourists arriving by air in Venezuela may stay up to 90 days on a tourist card issued upon arrival.

El Amor Beach, Coche Island, Venezuela

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. Travelers may be required to show immigration officials proof of accommodation while in Venezuela, an adequate means to support themselves and an onward departure itinerary. When entering Venezuela, travelers should only use official crossing points. It is the traveler’s responsibility to obtain an entry stamp to prove s/he entered the country legally. It should be noted that some entry points enforce the policy of stamping passports more than others.

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 for the latest information prior to travel.

Travelers to Margarita Island should be aware that the Government of Venezuela uses biometric equipment to register photos and fingerprints of all those entering Margarita Island. The equipment is intended to help authorities detect criminals or wanted criminal suspects, but U.S. citizen travelers to Margarita Island have on occasion not been allowed to enter the island without their physical passport in hand.

For the most current information concerning entry, tax, and customs requirements for Venezuela, travelers may contact the Embassy of Venezuela at 1099 30th Street, NW, Washington DC 20007, tel.: (202) 342-2214, or visit the Embassy of Venezuela web site, Travelers may also contact the Venezuelan Consulates in Boston, Chicago, Houston, New Orleans, New York, San Francisco, or San Juan. Although only in Spanish, the website for the Maiquetía International Airport, the main airport that provides service to Caracas, also has helpful information for travelers.

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, 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.

Dual Nationality:
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 U.S.-Venezuelan nationality must plan to travel between Venezuela and the United States with valid U.S. and Venezuelan passports. Please see our information on dual nationality for entry and exit requirements pertaining to dual nationals.

Traveling with children:
Venezuela's child protection law mandates that minors (under 18) of any nationality 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 Embassy of Venezuela 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.

Current Vaccination Certificate
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. The yellow fever vaccine is effective for 10 years, so travelers should check their shot records to be sure their vaccines 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 common in some areas and travelers should take precautions to prevent infection.

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


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