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Algeria - Exercise a high degree of caution
There is no nationwide advisory in effect for Algeria. However, you should exercise a high degree of caution due to the risk of civil unrest and the threat of terrorism.
Areas outside major urban centres in Algeria - Avoid all travel
Global Affairs Canada advises against all travel to areas outside major urban centres in Algeria.
Terrorist attacks, bandit activity and kidnappings occur in the mountainous region of Kabylia, which includes the wilayas (provinces) of Tizi Ouzou, Bouira, Boumerdes and Bejaia.
Armed groups operate in the remote desert areas in the wilayas of Illizi, Tamanrasset, Adrar and Tindouf that border the countries of Niger, Mali, Mauritania and Libya, and there is a risk of terrorism, banditry and kidnapping.
See Security for more information.
On 24 September 2014, a French national was kidnapped and murdered in Tizi Ouzou province by a group claiming allegiance to the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). On April 19, 2014, an attack by militants against the Algerian army in Tizi Ouzou left 11 soldiers dead. On January 16, 2013, terrorists attacked a Western oil operation in the region of In Amenas in the Sahara desert in order to take foreigners hostage. An estimated 37 hostages were killed in the attack. Canadian companies who are operating in remote areas of the wilayas of Adrar, Béjaïa, Bouïra, Boumerdès, El Oued, Illizi, Ouargla, Tamanrasset, Tébessa, Tindouf, and Tizi Ouzou should advise their employees to register with our Registration of Canadians Abroad service and closely follow the messages of the Embassy of Canada in Algeria.
Travel outside major urban centres in Algeria (see Advisory)
The security situation remains unpredictable. The threat of terrorism-related violence, including the use of improvised explosive devices, banditry, and kidnapping is high in the Kabylie region. Banditry and kidnappings have also taken place in outlying areas of Algeria. Terrorism-related incidentsand counter-insurgency operations occur regularly in the East and South of the country particularly in border areas..
While Algerian security forces are the primary target in most terrorist attacks, some attacks have resulted in the death or injury of civilians. Monitor developments and follow the advice of local authorities.
Algerian authorities have succeeded in reducing, but not eliminating, terrorism-related violence over the last decade. Terrorism-related incidents, causing deaths and injuries, occur regularly, particularly in the Kabylie region southeast of Algiers, but also elsewhere in the north of the country. Algerian security forces are usually the primary target; however, other interests have also been targeted. The security situation continues to be unstable, and a number of planned incidents have been thwarted by authorities. While urban centres are reported to be more secure than heavily wooded and mountainous rural areas, there is a risk of being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
On September 21, 2014, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) released a statement threatening retaliation for the American -led coalition campaign against ISIL in Iraq and Syria. The statement encouraged opportunistic and indiscriminate attacks against citizens and interests of countries supporting the coalition, including Canadians. Individuals and terrorist groups in the region may be inspired to carry out attacks in a show of solidarity with ISIL. Canadians could also be targeted by a terrorist attack and be considered kidnapping targets.
Exercise a high degree of personal security awareness, maintain a heightened level of vigilance, remain aware of your surroundings, monitor news reports, follow the advice of local authorities and remain in contact with the Embassy of Canada in Algiers.
Women travelling alone may be subject to certain forms of harassment and verbal abuse. Consult our publication entitled Her Own Way: A Woman’s Safe-Travel Guide for travel safety information specifically aimed at Canadian women.
Road conditions can be poor outside of Algiers and signposts are rare. Rent a car with a driver rather than driving yourself. Traffic can be very congested, especially in large urban centres, and speeding and poor driving habits are prevalent. Traffic-related accidents have injured and killed a large number of people.
Lock all belongings in the trunk and keep doors locked at all times. Park your car in a guarded parking lot.
Checkpoints are set up on the main roads heading into and out of larger cities as well as throughout Algiers.
Random terrorist or bandit roadblocks mean that all travellers, including foreigners, in rural Algeria are at risk of injury, robbery, kidnapping or murder. Be extremely vigilant at roadblocks and stop only for police in official uniforms.
Avoid using public transportation, including taxis, between the airport and the city centre, especially after dark. Make arrangements in advance to be picked up and dropped off at the airport by your hosts or by hotel shuttles.
Avoid buses and trains completely as driving is generally hazardous and both have been targeted by terrorists and bandits.
Taxis are not recommended as they generally service only the city centre and are not always available, especially late at night or at peak hours. Also, they are not dispatched to pick up single clients – they follow a standard route and pick up many clients going in the same direction.
The Government of Canada does not assess foreign domestic airlines’ compliance with international aviation safety standards. See Foreign domestic airlines for more information.
Use a reputable tour operator, accompanied by a professional guide, and obtain permission from the Algerian authorities if you are planning on travelling to the Sahara despite the warning that is in effect (see Advisory). You should also register with the Embassy of Canada in Algiers and contact the Embassy for information and advice.
In the Sahara, the extreme climate, the lack of water and infrastructure, and the visibility of Algeria's petroleum and gas industry (which is well guarded by both the Algerian military and private security services) create a different security environment. Tours organized by reputable tour operators in the region are considered safer; however, the risk of groups being targeted by terrorists and bandits always exists.
General safety information
Remain vigilant at all times. You should be briefed on hotel security measures on arrival. Retain your hotel key at all times.
Limit travel on foot, especially at night.
Security forces are present throughout the country on roads, at the airport, and in front of government buildings. Fully cooperate with security personnel at all times.
It is the sole prerogative of every country or territory to determine who is allowed to enter or exit. Canadian consular officials cannot intervene on your behalf if you do not meet entry or exit requirements. The following information has been obtained from the Algerian authorities and is subject to change at any time. The country- or territory-specific entry/exit requirements are provided on this page for information purposes only. While every effort is made to provide accurate information, information contained here is provided on an "as is" basis without warranty of any kind, express or implied. The Government of Canada assumes no responsibility, and shall not be liable for any damages in connection to the information provided. It is your responsibility to check with the Embassy of the People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria or one of its consulates for up-to-date information.
Official (special and diplomatic) passport holders must consult the Official Travel page, as they may be subject to different entry requirements.
Canadians must present a passport to visit Algeria, which must be valid for at least six months months beyond the date of expected departure from that country. Prior to travelling, ask your transportation company about its requirements related to passport validity, which may be more stringent than the country's entry rules.
Temporary passport holders may be subject to different entry requirements. Check with diplomatic representatives for up-to-date information.
Canadians must be in possession of a visa to visit Algeria.
Tourist visa: Required
Business visa: Required
Student visa: Students are issued a tourist visa.
Declare all foreign currency upon arrival. A currency declaration form will be issued, and all transactions made during your stay must be recorded. You must present this form upon departure. Foreign exchange transactions should be made through official channels. Contact the Embassy of the People's Democratic Republic of Algeria in Ottawa for specific information regarding customs requirements.
Violations of entry and exit requirements may result in serious penalties.
Children and travel
Children need special documentation to visit certain countries. See Children for more information.
Children of Algerian fathers automatically acquire Algerian citizenship at birth, regardless of where they were born. Even if the child is listed on the mother's foreign passport, Algerian authorities may consider the child an Algerian national if the father is Algerian. The father's permission is required for any child under 20 years of age to travel, whether the child is travelling on a foreign or an Algerian passport. Confirm the requirements with the Embassy of Algeria in Ottawa before departing Canada.
See Health to obtain information on this country’s vaccination requirements.
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Be sure that your routine vaccines are up-to-date regardless of your travel destination.
Vaccines to Consider
You may be at risk for these vaccine-preventable diseases while travelling in this country. Talk to your travel health provider about which ones are right for you.
Hepatitis A is a disease of the liver spread through contaminated food and water or contact with an infected person. All those travelling to regions with a risk of hepatitis A infection should get vaccinated.
Hepatitis B is a disease of the liver spread through blood or other bodily fluids. Travellers who may be exposed (e.g., through sexual contact, medical treatment, sharing needles, tattooing, acupuncture or occupational exposure) should get vaccinated.
Seasonal influenza occurs worldwide. The flu season usually runs from November to April in the northern hemisphere, between April and October in the southern hemisphere and year round in the tropics. Influenza (flu) is caused by a virus spread from person to person when they cough or sneeze or by touching objects and surfaces that have been contaminated with the virus. Get the flu shot.
Measles is a highly contagious viral disease and is common in most parts of the world. Be sure your measles vaccination is up-to-date regardless of your travel destination.
Rabies is a deadly illness spread to humans through a bite, scratch or lick from an infected animal. Vaccination should be considered for travellers going to areas where rabies exists and who have a high risk of exposure (i.e., close contact with animals, occupational risk, and children).
Yellow Fever Vaccination
Yellow fever is a disease caused by a flavivirus from the bite of an infected mosquito.
Travellers get vaccinated either because it is required to enter a country or because it is recommended for their protection.
|* It is important to note that country entry requirements may not reflect your risk of yellow fever at your destination. It is recommended that you contact the nearest diplomatic or consular office of the destination(s) you will be visiting to verify any additional entry requirements.|
|Country Entry Requirement*|
Food and Water-borne Diseases
Travellers to any destination in the world can develop travellers' diarrhea from consuming contaminated water or food.
In some areas in North Africa, food and water can also carry diseases like hepatitis A, schistosomiasis and typhoid. Practise safe food and water precautions while travelling in North Africa. Remember: Boil it, cook it, peel it, or leave it!
- Travellers' diarrhea is the most common illness affecting travellers. It is spread from eating or drinking contaminated food or water.
- Risk of developing travellers' diarrhea increases when travelling in regions with poor standards of hygiene and sanitation. Practise safe food and water precautions.
- The most important treatment for travellers' diarrhea is rehydration (drinking lots of fluids). Carry oral rehydration salts when travelling.
Typhoid is a bacterial infection spread by contaminated food or water. Risk is higher among pediatric travellers, travellers going to rural areas, visiting friends and relatives or travelling for a long period of time. Travellers at high risk visiting regions with typhoid risk, especially those exposed to places with poor sanitation should speak to a health care provider about vaccination.
Insects and Illness
Travellers are advised to take precautions against bites.
Leishmaniasis, cutaneous and mucosal
Cutaneous and mucosal leishmaniasis causes skin sores and ulcers. It is caused by a parasite spread through the bite of a female sandfly. Risk is generally low for most travellers. Protect yourself from sandfly bites, which typically occur after sunset in rural and forested areas and in some urban centres. There is no vaccine or medication to protect against leishmaniasis.
There is no risk of malaria in this country.
Animals and Illness
Travellers are cautioned to avoid contact with animals, including dogs, monkeys, snakes, rodents, birds, and bats. Certain infections found in some areas in North Africa, like avian influenza and rabies, can be shared between humans and animals.
Tuberculosis is an infection caused by bacteria and usually affects the lungs.
For most travellers the risk of tuberculosis is low.
Travellers who may be at high risk while travelling in regions with risk of tuberculosis should discuss pre- and post-travel options with a health care provider.
High-risk travellers include those visiting or working in prisons, refugee camps, homeless shelters, or hospitals, or travellers visiting friends and relatives.
Medical services and facilities
Medical services are adequate in large urban centres, though private clinics tend to be better equipped. Outside of major centres, medical facilities are poor to non-existent. Doctors and hospitals usually expect immediate cash payment for their services.
Keep in Mind...
The decision to travel is the sole responsibility of the traveller. The traveller is also responsible for his or her own personal safety.
Be prepared. Do not expect medical services to be the same as in Canada. Pack a travel health kit, especially if you will be travelling away from major city centres.
Laws & culture
Laws & culture
You are subject to local laws. See Arrest and detention for more information.
The general work week is from Sunday to Thursday. State institutions work Saturday to Wednesday.
An International Driving Permit is recommended.
Illegal or restricted activities
Penalties for possession, use or trafficking of illegal drugs are strict. Convicted offenders can expect detention or other penalties.
Dual citizenship is not legally recognized in Algeria. If local authorities consider you an Algerian citizen, they may refuse to grant you access to Canadian consular services, thereby preventing Canadian consular officials from providing you with those services. You should always travel using your valid Canadian passport and present yourself as Canadian to foreign authorities at all times to minimize this risk. You may also need to carry and present an Algerian passport for legal reasons, for example to enter and exit the country (see Entry/exit requirements to determine passport requirements). Citizenship is determined solely by national laws, and the decision to recognize dual citizenship rests completely with the country in which you are located when seeking consular assistance. See Travelling as a dual citizen for more information.
Under Algerian law, men under the age of 35 must complete their military service. There have been cases of Canadian citizens who also have Algerian citizenship being refused permission to leave the country because they did not possess a card exempting them from military service, a deferment card, or evidence that they have completed their military service. While the Embassy of Canada will attempt to help individuals in this situation, they are considered to be Algerian citizens by Algerian authorities.
Dress and behaviour
Islamic practices and beliefs are closely adhered to in the country’s customs, laws and regulations. Dress conservatively, behave discreetly, and respect religious and social traditions to avoid offending local sensitivities. It would be prudent for women to cover their arms and legs and wear a headscarf.
During the lunar month of Ramadan (the ninth month of the Muslim calendar), refrain from drinking, eating, and smoking in public between sunrise and sunset. In 2017, Ramadan is expected to begin on or around May 27.
The currency is the Algerian dinar (DZD), which is non-convertible. Convert any excess currency prior to departure from Algeria. Cash is the preferred method of payment in Algeria. Traveller's cheques and credit cards are not accepted outside of major hotels and some business establishments such as airline companies. Automated banking machines (ABMs) are available in a few major hotels and banks, although they are often unreliable.
Natural disasters & climate
Natural disasters & climate
Algeria is located in an active seismic zone.
Seasonal rains can cause flooding.
In case of emergency, dial:
- police: 17
- tourist police: 1548
- medical assistance: 213 (0) 21-235-050
- firefighters: 14
Algiers - Embassy of Canada
For emergency consular assistance, call the Embassy of Canada in Algiers and follow the instructions. At any time, you may also contact the Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa.
The decision to travel is your choice and you are responsible for your personal safety abroad. The Government of Canada takes the safety and security of Canadians abroad very seriously and provides credible and timely information in its Travel Advice to enable you to make well-informed decisions regarding your travel abroad. In the event of a large-scale emergency, every effort will be made to provide assistance. However, there may be constraints that will limit the ability of the Government of Canada to provide services.
See Large-scale emergencies abroad for more information.
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