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Information for U.S. Citizens in the Middle East

International Travel

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Angola

Angola
Republic of Angola
Exercise normal precautions in Angola. Some areas Exercise increased caution in Angola due to crime and health. Some areas have increased risk. Read the entire Travel Advisory.

Reissued with updates to crime and health information.

Exercise increased caution in Angola due to crime and health. Some areas have increased risk. Read the entire Travel Advisory.

Violent crime, such as armed robbery, assault, carjacking, and homicide, is common. Local police lack the resources to respond effectively to serious criminal incidents.

Health facilities are under resourced and may not have adequate facilities or supplies of basic vaccines or medications, especially outside of large cities.  Always travel with required medicines; most medicine is unavailable, and healthcare is inconsistent.  

Read the country information page for additional information on travel to Angola.

If you decide to travel to Angola:

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Embassy Messages

Alerts

Quick Facts

PASSPORT VALIDITY:


Valid for at least the planned duration of stay

BLANK PASSPORT PAGES:


1 blank page

TOURIST VISA REQUIRED:


No. U.S. passport holders on tourism are eligible for visa-free entry for stays of up to 30 days at a time (90 days total per calendar year). All other travelers must obtain a visa or visa pre-approval.

VACCINATIONS:


Yellow fever no longer required for USCs

CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR ENTRY:


Declare amounts over $10,000

CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR EXIT:


Up to the equivalent of $10,000 in combined currency (See currency regulations below)

Embassies and Consulates

U.S. Embassy Luanda

Rua Presidente Houari Boumedienne #32
Miramar, Luanda
Angola

Telephone: + (244) 222-64-1000
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: + (244) 222-64-1112
Email: 

Entry, Exit and Visa Requirements

U.S. passport holders traveling to the Republic of Angola on tourism are eligible for visa-free entry for stays of up to 30 days at a time (90 days total per calendar year).

U.S. citizens traveling to Angola for tourism must present the following upon arrival:

  • A passport which is valid for at least the planned duration of stay within Angola; and,
  • A World Health Organization (WHO) card with proof of yellow fever vaccination.

All other travelers must obtain a visa or visa pre-approval before traveling to Angola. U.S. passport holders traveling to the Republic of Angola for other reasons, including: work, temporary residency, study, or medical treatment, should apply for the appropriate visa at the nearest Angolan Embassy or Consulate or through the Angolan Migration Service’s (Serviço de Migração e Estrangeiros, SME) site for visas and visa pre-approval. SME strives to complete visa processing within three business days, but delays may occur.

Foreign workers in Angola must arrive with a work visa and must keep the visa current. Doing otherwise risks fines and arrest.

Arrange reliable and secure ground transportation from the airport in advance.

Immigration and customs officials at the airport have detained foreigners without cause and demanded gratuities before allowing them to enter or depart Angola. If harassed at a port of entry, ask to speak with the U.S. Embassy or an immigration shift supervisor (chefe de turno da imigração).

Currency Regulations:  Any amount over $10,000 in combined currency must be declared upon entry. Non-residents and residents may also exit the country with up to $10,000. Expect to be searched at the airport and any amount over those limits to be confiscated.

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

Find information on dual nationality, prevention of international child abduction and customs regulations on our websites.

Safety and Security

Both spontaneous and planned civil disturbances and demonstrations, primarily related to governance and economic issues, can occur. U.S. citizens should avoid crowds, political rallies, and street demonstrations, and maintain security awareness at all times.

Landmines are a risk throughout the country outside major cities.

Crime: Armed assailants have killed some victims of muggings, robberies, and car-jackings, which occur frequently in all areas of the country. In fall 2019, a rash of violent robberies ended in homicides in Luanda.  The most commonly used tactic involves two individuals on a motorcycle who follow their victim to rob, usually at gunpoint. Criminals also target women by themselves, driving or walking. Lastly, motorcycles staging an accident is a tactic used to get you to stop and to lure you out of your vehicle or allow the criminals to enter your vehicle allegedly to take them to the hospital. Vehicle thefts, purse snatching, and theft from vehicles occur in areas frequented by foreigners.

  • Avoid walking alone, especially after dark, and displaying cash and valuable personal property like watches, jewelry, or smart phones.
  • Vary your routes and travel times and let someone know your daily routine.
  • Dress conservatively.
  • Drive with doors and windows locked and windows rolled up.
  • Keep valuables out of sight and do not use cell phones or laptops while stopped in traffic; criminals often brandishing guns use smash and grab tactics to steal valuables.
  • Travel with a certified copy of your U.S. passport and Angolan visa to prevent the originals from being taken. Keep original documents in a secure location.

See the Department of State and the FBI pages for information on scams.

Victims of Crime: The local equivalent to the “911” emergency line in Angola is 111: for police it’s 113; for firefighters, 115; and for ambulance services, 112. Emergency numbers listed may not have an English-speaking operator available. Responses from emergency services are frequently severely delayed and may not be available outside Luanda.

Local authorities are responsible for investigating and prosecuting crime.

Due to the prevalence of HIV/AIDS, victims of violent crime, especially rape, are strongly encouraged to seek immediate medical assistance.

See our webpage on help for U.S. victims of crime overseas. The U.S. Embassy can:

  • Help you find appropriate medical care,
  • Assist you in reporting a crime to the police,
  • Contact relatives or friends with your written consent,
  • Explain the local criminal justice process in general terms,
  • Provide a list of local attorneys,
  • Provide information on victim’s compensation programs in the United States,
  • Provide an emergency loan for repatriation to the United States and/or limited medical support in cases of destitution,
  • Replace a stolen or lost passport.

Domestic Violence: U.S. citizen victims of domestic violence may contact the embassy for assistance.

Tourism: The tourism industry is unevenly regulated, and safety inspections for equipment and facilities do not commonly occur. Hazardous areas/activities are not always identified with appropriate signage, and staff may not be trained or certified either by the host government or by recognized authorities in the field. Tourists participate in activities at their own risk. Emergency response and subsequent appropriate medical treatment is not widely available in-country. U.S. citizens are encouraged to purchase medical evacuation insurance. See our webpage for more information on insurance providers for overseas coverage.  

Local Laws & Special Circumstances

Criminal Penalties: You are subject to local laws. If you violate local laws, even unknowingly, you may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned. You may be taken in for questioning by the police if unable to produce an acceptable form of identification or passport. Convictions for possessing, using, or trafficking in illegal drugs result in long prison sentences and heavy fines. Furthermore, some laws are also prosecutable in the United States, regardless of local law. For examples, see our website on crimes against minors abroad and the Department of Justice website.

Photography: It is illegal to take pictures or use binoculars, maps, or GPS near government buildings, military installations, and key infrastructure.  Angolan law defines key infrastructure broadly, to include historic or abandoned train stations or airfields, and bridges of any dimension. You could be fined, have your photographic equipment confiscated, and risk detention and arrest. Do not take photos of people without their permission.

Libel Laws/Slander: Disrespecting government officials is illegal and can lead to expulsion from the country. Angolan authorities confiscated the U.S. passports of a family for several weeks after they complained to immigration officials about the time it took to process their visas and passports at the airport.

Arrest Notification: If you are arrested or detained, ask police or prison officials to notify the U.S. Embassy immediately. See our webpage for further information.

Employment: Angolan companies often have trouble transferring funds to foreign bank accounts, which can delay payments to foreign employees.

Phone Service: Cell phones are the norm, as landlines are non-existent. It is possible to purchase a SIM card locally and use a U.S.-compatible cell phone. The major cellular providers are Angola Movicel, Africell, and Unitel.

Currency: The kwanza (AOA) is the official currency, athough U.S. dollars are accepted in some situations. Bills should be new and unblemished. Local ATMs (multicaixas) only dispense kwanzas and frequently malfunction or run out of cash. While U.S. debit cards can sometimes be used to withdraw local currency at ATMs, there is a low daily limit of around 100,000 kwanzas (with a per-transaction limit of around 40,000). Aside from a handful of major, international hotels in Luanda, American or international credit cards are rarely accepted. It is recommended to bring a sufficient amount of cash to cover your trip and any emergency services (medical, roadside, etc.) that could occur.

Currency Regulations:

  • Residents and non-residents must declare combined currency amounts over the equivalent of $10,000 upon arrival. Amounts over this limit may be seized. 
  • Limits may change—verify with the Angolan Embassy or the National Bank.
  • Show your original declaration form to the airport customs officials to export currency over the authorized limit. You are not permitted to export more money than you entered with.
  • Destruction of Kwanza notes is illegal.

Faith-Based Travelers: See our following webpages for details:

LGBTQI+ Travelers: There are no legal restrictions on LGBTQI+ conduct or identity, nor on the organization of LGBTQI+ events in Angola, but, societal biases against LGBTQI+ persons does sometimes result in discrimination, violence and/or abuse. Same-sex couples have been harassed and, in recent years, LGBTQI+ foreigners have been the victims of harassment, assault, and homicide. Foreigners should be cautious prior to meeting someone from an online dating application. See our LGBTQI+ Travel Information page and Section 6 of our Human Rights report for further details.

Travelers Who Require Accessibility Assistance: Major hotels in Luanda have ramps.  Persons with disabilities face limited access to transportation, public buildings, hotels, and communication accommodations, particularly outside the capital. There are few sidewalks and no curb-cuts, and most buildings lack elevators.

Students: See our Students Abroad page and FBI travel tips.

Women Travelers: Statistics on prosecutions for violence against women are not available. Most rape cases are not prosecuted. Domestic violence counseling centers, shelters, and various treatment centers and free legal assistance are available to abused women.

See our travel tips for Women Travelers.

Health

Medical facilities and services, including emergency care, are severely limited outside of Luanda and do not meet U.S. standards. In the capital, some private clinics offer modern medical equipment, internationally trained staff, and 24-hour emergency services including ambulances, but quality and consistency of medical care varies greatly. These clinics typically require pre-payment before admission and do not accept international credit cards or private medical insurance. We do not pay medical bills.  Be aware that U.S. Medicare does not apply overseas and U.S. embassies and consulates do not cover medical bills.

Medical Insurance: Make sure your health insurance plan provides coverage overseas. Most medical providers in Angola only accept cash payments and require pre-payment for service. See our webpage for more information on overseas insurance coverage.

We strongly recommend supplemental insurance to cover air medical evacuation.

Always carry prescription medication in original packaging with your doctor’s prescription. Bring preventative and over-the-counter medicines. Check with the Embassy of Angola to verify your medications are legal before you travel.

Consult the CDC website for Angola prior to travel.

The following diseases are prevalent:

Other considerations are rabies, typhoid fever, traveler’s diarrhea, Chikugunya, Zika, marine hazards, Tuberculosis, Schistosomiasis, and Hepatitis C.

Vaccinations: Be up-to-date on all vaccinations recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Vaccinations against yellow fever are required.

Further health information:

Travel and Transportation

Road Conditions and Safety: Major roads between Luanda and the provincial capitals are improving, but some road conditions remain poor while the infrastructure for pedestrians is lacking: Large potholes require reduced speed and can limit main roads to single-lanes, and it is common for people and animals to walk along the road. Drunk driving is also a problem. Other hazards include potholes, lack of or attention to traffic signals, erratic driving habits, poorly maintained vehicles without headlights/taillights/brake lights, excessive speed, pedestrians, and roaming animals. During the rainy season, November-April, roads and bridges that are already in poor condition can become impassable and landmines may become displaced and surface outside known mine fields.

When driving outside of Luanda on other than primary roads between major cities, a four-wheel-drive vehicle is useful. Secondary roads are often unpaved and nearly impassable. Major routes are paved in most areas and feature gas stations and other roadside services. Driving during daylight hours is recommended outside Luanda.

Traffic Laws: You will need an international driving permit or Angolan drivers license to drive. You may use a U.S. license for up to one month.

Checkpoints: Both inside and around Luanda, police set up spontaneous roadblocks to check for vehicle documentation. They may also solicit bribes or request immediate payment of "fines" for alleged minor infractions. Police and military officials are sometimes undisciplined, and their authority should not be challenged. 

  • Make sure all vehicle documentation is available for inspection.
  • Resist paying bribes. Politely ask for a ticket or for the officer’s name and badge number if no violation is alleged. Ask to contact the U.S. Embassy if you are not let go.
  • Remain inside your vehicle with doors locked and open the window slightly to communicate.
  • Carry color photocopies of your passport and other identity documents to give to security or police officials.
  • Report any incident to the U.S. Embassy in Luanda.

Accidents: In the event of an automobile accident, remain at the scene until the police arrive.

If a hostile mob forms or you feel your safety is in danger, leave the scene and proceed directly to the nearest police station to report the incident.  Do not stop at the scene of an accident where people have gathered, as mobs can develop quickly.

Landmines: Use caution in remote areas or off main roads outside of Luanda. Landmines are most common in the southern provinces. The provinces of Bie, Cuando Cubango Cuanza Sul, Moxico, and Huila have a higher prevalence of landmines than other areas of the country.

Public Transportation: Avoid all use of public transportation in multi-passenger vans known as candongueiros or motorcycles, taxistas, and hire private transport from a reliable source. All public transportation is unregulated, unreliable, and generally unsafe. The U.S. Embassy has determined Allo Taxi is an acceptable rideshare service.

See our Road Safety page for more information.

Aviation Safety Oversight: As there is no direct commercial air service to the United States by carriers registered in Angola, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has not assessed the government of Angola’s civil aviation authority for compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards. Further information may be found on the FAA’s safety assessment page.

Maritime Travel: Mariners planning travel to Angola should also check for U.S. maritime advisories and alerts. Information may also be posted to the U.S. Coast Guard homeport website (https:homeport.uscg.mil), and the NGA broadcast warnings website select “broadcast warnings.”

For additional travel information

International Parental Child Abduction

Review information about International Parental Child Abduction in Angola.  For additional IPCA-related information, please see the International Child Abduction Prevention and Return Act (ICAPRA) report.

Last Updated: December 4, 2023

Travel Advisory Levels

Assistance for U.S. Citizens

U.S. Embassy Luanda
Rua Presidente Houari Boumedienne #32
Miramar, Luanda
Angola
Telephone
+(244) 222-64-1000
Emergency
+(244) 222-64-1000
Fax
+(244) 222-64-1232

Angola Map