How to Enter Sudan

Do I need a passport or visa to enter?

The Government of Sudan requires U.S. citizens to present a passport and an entry visa or entry permit upon arrival at any port of entry. Most U.S. citizen travelers must obtain an entry visa from a Sudanese embassy before arriving in Sudan. There are two exceptions to this requirement: U.S. citizens possessing a Sudanese national identification document (such as a Sudanese passport or national identification card), and travelers with a sponsor (a business or organization) that has obtained an entry permit for them in advance from the Sudanese Ministry of Interior may apply for an entry visa at Khartoum International Airport. The Government of Sudan routinely denies entry visas to travelers whose passports contain visas issued by the Government of Israel or other evidence of travel to Israel, such as exit or entry stamps.

You must obtain an exit visa before departing from Sudan and pay any airport departure tax not included in your airline ticket. Travelers with expired entry visas or residence permits are regularly refused exit visas, except for those with a written request from the Sudanese sponsor of the visa. Spouses and children of Sudanese citizens (including Sudanese-U.S. citizens and U.S. citizens of Sudanese origin) are generally required by authorities to provide evidence that the Sudanese spouse/parent has consented to their departure when applying for an exit visa. Sudanese (and Sudanese/U.S. dual national) children under 18 years of age cannot leave Sudan without written approval from their father, even when the child is traveling with his/her mother. Visit the Embassy of Sudan website for the most current visa information.

Personal baggage, including computers, is routinely searched upon arrival in and departure from Sudan. The authorities will seize material deemed objectionable, such as alcohol or pornography, and may detain or arrest a traveler who has such items. If you intend to bring electronic items you should inquire about entry requirements when you apply for a visa; restrictions apply to many devices including video cameras, satellite phones, facsimile machines, laptop/desktop computers, tablets, iPhone, iPads, televisions, and telephones. These items may be held for inspection for periods of days and/or weeks following arrival. You will not be allowed to depart Sudan with ivory, certain other animal products, or large quantities of gold.

Visitors must register at the Ministry of Interior within three days after arriving in Sudan. All foreigners traveling more than 25 kilometers outside of Khartoum must obtain a travel permit from the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs in Khartoum. Travelers without these permits may be detained by Sudanese authorities. This requirement applies to travel for any purpose, including private, commercial, and humanitarian activities. You must register again with the police within 24 hours of arriving at a destination outside Khartoum. A separate travel permit is required for travel to Darfur. These regulations are strictly enforced, and even travelers with proper documentation may expect delays or temporary detention by security forces, especially outside the capital. Authorities expect travelers to strictly respect roadblocks and other checkpoints.

You must obtain a photography permit from the Sudanese Ministry of Interior, Department of Aliens before taking any photos. Cameras and other recording devices are subjectto seizure, even when the user holds a photography permit.

In April 2009, the Government of Sudan’s Ministry of Animal Resources issued a decree prohibiting importation of all animals (including domestic pets) or animal products into Sudan in order to protect its citizens from swine flu. Although the ban has been lifted, it could be imposed again with little warning. You should check with the Embassy of Sudan in Washington before traveling to Sudan with any animals.

Visit the Embassy of Sudan website for the most current visa information.

Special Travel Circumstances in Sudan

In November 1997, the United States imposed comprehensive financial and commercial sanctions on Sudan. Travelers intending to visit Sudan should contact the Department of the Treasury, Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), Office of Compliance, telephone 1-800-540-6322 or 202-622-2490, regarding the effect of these sanctions.

You must be prepared to pay cash for all purchases, including hotel bills, airfares purchased locally, and all other travel expenses. Major credit cards, including Visa, MasterCard, or American Express, cannot be used in Sudan due to U.S. sanctions. Sudan has no international ATMs. Local ATMs draw on local banks only.

Exchanging money on the black market is illegal. U.S. currency issued prior to 1996 is generally not accepted anywhere in Sudan, and $100 bills must be issued after 2006. Travelers often experience difficulty transferring cash into the country, and travelers carrying large amounts of U.S. currency have been detained. Western Union operates in Khartoum.

Sudan is a conservative society, particularly in the capital and other areas where the Muslim population is the majority. Modest dress and behavior is expected for both men and women. Loose, long-sleeved shirts and full-length skirts or slacks are recommended attire for female visitors. Women who are not Muslim are not expected or required to cover their heads. Men may wear short-sleeved shirts, but short pants are not acceptable in public.


You are responsible for ensuring that you meet and comply with foreign entry requirements, health requirements and that you possess the appropriate travel documents. Information provided is subject to change without notice. One should confirm content prior to traveling from other reliable sources. Information published on this website may contain errors. You travel at your own risk and no warranties or guarantees are provided by us.

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