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Latest updates: The Laws and culture tab was updated - Ramadan 2018.
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 bordering Libya, Tunisia, Mali, Niger, and Mauritania - Avoid all travel
Global Affairs Canada advises against all travel to the areas bordering Libya, Tunisia, Mali, Niger, and Mauritania in the wilayas of Adrar, El Oued, Illizi, Ouargla, Tamanrasset, Tébessa, and Tindouf, due to armed group operations, and the threat of terrorism, banditry and kidnapping.
See Safety and security for more information.
Kabylia region and Wilayas of Annaba, Béchar, Biskra, El Bayadh, El Taref, Jijel, Khenchela, Laghouat, Skikda, Souk Ahras - Avoid non-essential travel
Global Affairs Canada advises against non-essential travel to the mountainous region of Kabylia (wilayas of Bejaia, Bouira, Boumerdes, and Tizi Ouzou), and to the wilayas of Annaba, Béchar, Biskra, El Bayadh, El Taref, Jijel, Khenchela, Laghouat, Skikda, Souk Ahras, due to the threat of terrorism, banditry and kidnapping.
See Safety and security for more information.
Safety and security
Safety and security
Provinces bordering Mali, Mauritania, Libya, Niger, and Tunisia
The security situation in these areas is unpredictable.
Armed groups operate in the remote desert areas in the wilayas of Adrar, El Oued, Illizi, Ouargla, Tamanrasset, Tébessa, and Tindouf that border the countries of Mali, Mauritania, Libya, Niger, and Tunisia, and there is a threat of terrorism, banditry and kidnapping. Terrorist attacks and counter-insurgency operations occur regularly in the East and South of the country, particularly in border areas.
Banditry and kidnappings have also taken place.
Kabylia region and wilayas of Annaba, Béchar, Biskra, El Bayadh, El Taref, Jijel, Khenchela, Laghouat, Skikda, Souk Ahras
Terrorist attacks, including the use of improvised explosive devices, banditry and kidnappings occur in the mountainous region of Kabylia, which includes the wilayas (provinces) of Bejaia, Bouira, Boumerdes, and Tizi Ouzou.
There is a risk of injury, robbery, kidnapping or murder in the wilayas of Annaba, Béchar, Biskra, El Bayadh, El Taref, Jijel, Khenchela, Laghouat, Skikda, Souk Ahras from random terrorist or bandit roadblocks. Be extremely vigilant at roadblocks and stop only for police in official uniforms.
There is a threat of terrorism. Terrorist attacks, causing deaths and injuries, have occured regularly, particularly in the mountains of the Kabylie region southeast of Algiers. Algerian security forces are usually the primary target; however, civilians have been killed and injured in attacks. Foreign interests have also been targeted, including foreign oil and natural gas operations in the Sahara.
Though a number of planned incidents have been thwarted by authorities, the security situation continues to be unstable. 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.
Targets could include government buildings, places of worship, schools, transportation hubs and public areas such as tourist attractions, restaurants, bars, coffee shops, shopping centres, markets, hotels, and sites frequented by foreigners.
Be aware of your surroundings at all times in public places. Stay at hotels that have robust security measures; however, keep in mind that even the most secure locations cannot be considered completely free of risk. Sign up to the Registration of Canadians Abroad service and closely follow the messages issued by the Canadian embassy in Algiers.
There is a threat of kidnapping in Algeria. Foreigners have been taken hostage, and in some cases executed. Terrorist groups have attacked oil and natural gas operations in Algeria and taken and killed hostages during these attacks.
Demonstrations occur regularly throughout the country. Though these are mostly peaceful, some can develop into clashes between police and protestors. Avoid political gatherings and demonstrations, and follow the instructions of local authorities.
Street crime, such as robbery and theft, can occur in larger cities, particularly after dark. If you are travelling by car, lock your belongings in the trunk and keep the doors locked at all times. Park your car in a guarded parking lot.
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. Traffic can be very congested, particularly in large urban centres, and speeding and poor driving habits are prevalent. Traffic-related accidents are comparatively far more common than in Canada.
There are checkpoints on the main roads heading into and out of larger cities, and on roads throughout Algiers.
Road fatalities increase during Ramadan due to fatigue. Avoid using public transportation, including taxis, between airports and city centres, 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, as they have been targeted by terrorists and bandits.
Taxis follow a standard route and pick up many clients going in the same direction. They generally only serve the city centre, and their availability is sporadic, particularly late at night and during peak hours.
The Government of Canada does not assess foreign domestic airlines’ compliance with international aviation safety standards. See Foreign domestic airlines for more information.
General safety information
Ensure you are briefed on hotel security measures on arrival. Retain your hotel key at all times.
Avoid travelling on foot particularly at night.
Security forces are present on roads, at airports, and in front of government buildings throughout the country. Comply with their directives 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 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.
See Health to obtain information on this country’s vaccination requirements.
Children and travel
Children need special documentation to visit certain countries. See Children for more information.
Children born to 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 citizen if the father is Algerian A person is considered adult in Algeria at the age of 19 years old + 1 day. Under this age, a child travelling alone or with a third person other than one of his/her parents or legal guardians must produce a paternal authorisation when leaving the country. Confirm the requirements with the Embassy of Algeria in Ottawa before departing Canada.
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Be sure that your routine vaccines, as per your province or territory, are up-to-date regardless of your travel destination.
Some of these vaccines include: measles-mumps-rubella (MMR), diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, varicella (chickenpox), influenza and others.
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 - Country Entry Requirements
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.
- There is no risk of yellow fever in this country.
Country Entry Requirement*
- Proof of vaccination is required if you are coming from or have transited through an airport of a country where yellow fever occurs.
- Vaccination is not recommended.
- Discuss travel plans, activities, and destinations with a health care provider.
- There is currently a shortage of the yellow fever vaccine in Canada. It is important for travellers to contact a designated Yellow Fever Vaccination Centre well in advance of their trip to ensure that the vaccine is available.
About Yellow Fever
Yellow Fever Vaccination Centres in Canada
* 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.
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 for children, travellers going to rural areas, visiting friends and relatives or travelling for a long period of time. Travellers 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 and 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.
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 over the age of 19 must complete their military service. Canadian-Algerian dual citizens have been refused permission to leave the country because they did not possess a deferment card exempting them from military service, a certificate of census registration, 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.
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 2018, Ramadan is expected to begin on or around May 15.
Declare all foreign currency on the currency declaration form that is issued on arrival, and that you will have to present on departure. You must also record all transactions made during your stay. Foreign exchange transactions should be made through official channels.
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 businesses, such as airline companies. Automated banking machines (ABMs) are available in a few major hotels and banks, although they are often unreliable. It is forbidden to leave the country with more than 10,000 CAD or its equivalent in Algerian dinars.
Natural disasters and 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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