How to Enter Yemen

Do I need a passport or visa to enter?

Passports and visas are required for travel to Yemen. Visas must be obtained from Yemeni embassies abroad. All visitors to Yemen are required to obtain a visa prior to travel; airport visas will not be issued upon arrival. U.S. citizens are typically issued visas that are valid for 30 days.

Travelers to Yemen are not required to have an affiliation with or arrange travel through a Yemeni-based individual or organization. However, at the port of entry, a traveler may be asked for supporting evidence of character, purpose of visit, and length of stay.

Travelers are initially granted a visa to visit Sana’a or Aden and must obtain permission from the tourist policeif the traveler would like to visit other parts of Yemen. Travelers without permission risk arrest and detention.

Yemeni law requires that all visitors/tourists register at a Yemeni police station or at the Passport and Immigration Authority within two weeks after arrival to Yemen. Failure to register will result in complications upon departure and a possible fine of 5,000 Yemeni Riyals (approximately $23.00 USD).

If a traveler overstays the duration of stay granted by Yemeni authorities at the port of entry, the traveler must pay 300 Yemeni Riyal (approximately $1.50 USD) per day in overstay finesand obtain an exit visa from the Passport and Immigration Authority before being allowed to depart Yemen.

Yemeni law requires that foreign travelers staying longer than 30 days obtain exit visas before leaving the country. If staying in Yemen for less than 30 days, an exit visa is not required. Travelers wishing to extend their stay beyond 30 days must file an extension with the Passport and Immigration Authority. The Passport and Immigration Authority requires a non-refundable fee of 4,400 Yemeni Riyal (approximately $20 USD) for a one-time extension of 30 days. Further extensions may not be approved.

Residence permits are issued by the Passport and Immigration Authority. In order to obtain a residence permit, U.S. citizens must be sponsored by a Yemen-based individual or organization. U.S. citizens with a valid residence permit wishing to leave Yemen are required to obtain an exit visafrom the Passport and Immigration Authority. The exit (and re-entry) visa is valid for two months from the date of issuance or until the date the residence permit expires, whichever comes first.The Passport and Immigration Authority will not issue an exit visa until the sponsoring organization or individual gives permission for an exit visa to be granted.

In certain situations, however, foreign visitors (travelers and residents) are required to obtain exit visas from the Immigration and Passport Authority headquarters in Sana’a

regardless of their legal status in Yemen.

A lost passport can cause considerable delay. Yemeni law requires that a traveler attempt to recover the passport by placing an advertisement in a newspaper and waiting three days for a response before starting the process of reporting the passport lost/stolen with the local police. Even if the U.S. Embassy is able to replace a lost/stolen U.S. passport, Yemeni authorities may require U.S. citizens to complete these procedures prior to departing Yemen with the replacement passport.

All minor/underage U.S. citizens should be accompanied by their legal guardian(s) or provide a notarized letter in Arabic of parental consent when obtaining exit visas to depart Yemen. U.S. citizen women who are married to Yemeni or Yemeni-American men often must obtain permission from their husbands before receiving an exit visa. They also may not be permitted to take their children out of Yemen without permission from the father, regardless of who has legal custody of the children. (See Special Circumstances section below.)

In sum, in the types of cases described above and in other complex cases, obtaining an exit visa requires the permission of one of the following: the employing company, the sponsoring Yemeni family member, the sponsoring school, or the court in which the legal action is pending. Without this permission, foreigners -- including U.S. citizens -- may not be allowed to leave Yemen.

The Yemeni government rigidly enforces restrictions on prior travel to Israel, and does not allow persons with passports bearing Israeli visas or entry/exit stamps to enter the country. Likewise, the absence of entry stamps from a country adjacent to Israel, which the traveler has just visited, may cause Yemeni immigration officials to refuse admittance.

For further information, contact the Embassy of the Republic of Yemen, 2319 Wyoming Avenue, NW, Washington, D.C. 20008, telephone 202-965-4760, or the Yemeni Mission to the U.N., 413 E 51st Street, New York, NY 10022, telephone (212) 355-1730. Also visit the Yemeni Embassy website.

Special Travel Circumstances in Yemen

U.S. citizens are encouraged to carry a photocopy of their U.S. passport with them at all times so that, if questioned by local officials, they will have proof of their identity and U.S. citizenship.

Photography of military installations, including airports, equipment, or troops is forbidden. In the past, such photography has led to the arrest of U.S. citizens. Military sites are not always obvious. If in doubt, it is wise to ask specific permission from Yemeni authorities.

The Government of Yemen may not recognize the U.S. citizenship of persons who are citizens of both Yemen and the United States.Yemeni law recognizes those who have a claim to Yemeni citizenship as Yemeni, even if they do not hold a Yemeni passport.This may hinder the ability of U.S. consular officials to assist U.S. citizens of Yemeni descent -- even if they use their U.S. passport to enter Yemen. Dual nationals may also be subject to Yemeni national obligations such as taxes or military service. For further information, travelers can contact the nearest embassy or consulate of Yemen.

U.S. citizens who travel to Yemen are subject to the jurisdiction of Yemeni courts, as well as to the country's laws, customs, and regulations. This holds true for all legal matters, including child custody and travel restrictions.Women in custody disputes in Yemen will not enjoy the same rights that they do in the United States, as Yemeni law often does not work in favor of the mother. Parents planning to travel to Yemen with their children should bear this in mind. Parents should also note that U.S. custody orders might not be enforced in Yemen.

U.S. citizen women who are married to Yemeni or Yemeni-American men should be aware that their children may not be able to depart if the children are brought to Yemen. In many instances, women must obtain permission from their husbands to obtain an exit visa. They also may not be able to take their children out of Yemen without the permission of the father, regardless of who has legal custody (see the section on Entry/Exit Requirements for U.S. Citizens above.) Women should bear in mind that U.S. divorce decrees may not be recognized in Yemen, especially if the marriage took place in Yemen. U.S. citizen women who have married in Yemen and divorced in the United States have been prevented from departing Yemen by their ex-husbands.

U.S. citizen students and workers in Yemen have reported that the sponsors of their residence permits have seized their U.S. passports as a means of controlling domestic and international travel. While sponsors may claim to do so on behalf of local security services, there is no law or instruction from Yemeni passport or security offices requiring that passports be seized. Other U.S. citizens have been prevented from leaving Yemen because their sponsors have refused to give permission for the Passport and Immigration Authority to issue an exit visa.

Yemeni government security organizations have arrested and expelled foreign Muslims, including U.S. citizens, who have associated with local Muslim organizations considered to be extremist by the Yemeni government. U.S. citizens risk arrest if they engage in political or other activities that violate the terms of their admission to Yemen.


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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