French Guiana

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Latest updates: The Health tab was updated - travel health notices (Public Health Agency of Canada).


Risk level(s)

Risk level(s)

French Guiana - Exercise normal security precautions

There is no nationwide advisory in effect for French Guiana. Exercise normal security precautions.

Travel Health Notice - Zika virus

The Public Health Agency of Canada has issued a Travel Health Notice for the Global Update: Zika virus infection recommending that Canadians practice special health precautions while travelling in affected countries. Pregnant women and those considering becoming pregnant should avoid travel to French Guiana. See Health for more information.

Safety and security

Safety and security

Crime

Petty crime occurs, particularly in urban areas. Ensure that your personal belongings, passports and other travel documents are secure at all times. Do not leave valuables unattended in vehicles. Motorcycle theft is common.

Jungle expeditions

Make prior arrangements before entering the jungle. It is considered a high-risk area owing to gold-panning activities and the potential targeting of foreign tourists by criminal gangs. Over the past few years, there have been cases of foreign tourists being kidnapped and held for ransom. If you intend to explore the jungle, exercise extreme caution and seek local advice in organizing expeditions.

Demonstrations

Strikes and demonstrations occur and have the potential to suddenly turn violent. They can lead to significant disruptions to traffic and public transportation. Avoid all demonstrations and large gatherings, follow the advice of local authorities and monitor local media. Roadblocks may be set up on main roads. Do not attempt to cross blockades, even if they appear unattended. Curfews may also be in effect.

Transportation

Major roads are paved and well maintained. Driving after dark can be dangerous, especially in the remote interior regions or on less-developed rural roads.

Emergency call boxes can be found alongside main highways, but few are functional due to vandalism. If possible, carry a cellular phone and check the local cellular phone coverage.

Rental cars and motorcycles are available in Cayenne, Kourou and St-Laurent.

Public taxis and vans are relatively safe.

Air travel

The Government of Canada does not assess foreign domestic airlines’ compliance with international aviation safety standards. See Foreign domestic airlines for more information.

Entry/exit requirements

Entry/exit requirements

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 French 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 one of the Consulates General of France 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.

Passport

Canadians must present a passport to visit French Guiana, which must be valid for at least  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.

Customs officials may ask you to show them a return ticket or a connecting flight.

Temporary passport holders may be subject to different entry requirements. Check with diplomatic representatives for up-to-date information.

Visas

Tourist visa: Not required for stays up to 90 days

Long-stay or residency visa: Required for stays more than 90 days

Professional visa: Required

Student visa: Required

An airport tax is charged upon departure. Your ticket may include the pre-payment of this tax.

Children and travel

Children need special documentation to visit certain countries. See Children for more information.

Yellow fever

See Health to obtain information on this country’s vaccination requirements.

Health

Health

Related Travel Health Notices
Consult a health care provider or visit a travel health clinic preferably six weeks before you travel.
Vaccines

Routine Vaccines

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

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

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.

Influenza

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

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.

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.
Risk
  • There is a risk of yellow fever in this country .
Country Entry Requirement*
  • Proof of yellow fever vaccination is required for travellers from all countries.
Recommendation
  • Vaccination is recommended.
  • Discuss travel plans, activities, and destinations with a health care provider.
  • Protect yourself from mosquito bites.
Food/Water

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 South America, food and water can also carry diseases like cholera, hepatitis A, schistosomiasis and typhoid. Practise safe food and water precautions while travelling in South America. Remember: Boil it, cook it, peel it, or leave it!

Typhoid

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

Insects and Illness

In some areas in South America, certain insects carry and spread diseases like American trypanosomiasis (Chagas disease), chikungunyadengue fever, leishmaniasis, malaria, onchocerciasis (river blindness)West Nile virus , yellow fever and Zika virus.

 

Travellers are advised to take precautions against bites.

Chikungunya

There is currently an outbreak of chikungunya in this country. Chikungunya is a viral disease spread through the bite of an infected mosquito that typically causes fever and pain in the joints. Protect yourself from mosquito bites, particularly around sunrise and sunset. There is no vaccine available for chikungunya.

Dengue fever
  • Dengue fever occurs in this country. Dengue fever is a viral disease that can cause severe flu-like symptoms. In some cases it leads to dengue haemorrhagic fever, which can be fatal.  
  • The risk of dengue is higher during the daytime, particularly at sunrise and sunset.
  • Protect yourself from mosquito bites. There is no vaccine or medication that protects against dengue fever.
Zika Virus

Locally acquired mosquito-associated Zika virus is currently being reported in this country. Zika virus infection is primarily spread by the bite of an infected mosquito and can cause fever, rash, and joint pain. It can also be transmitted through blood, semen and from an infected pregnant woman to her developing baby. Most people do not develop symptoms and recover fully without severe complications. There is scientific consensus that Zika virus infection is a cause of both microcephaly and Guillain-Barre Syndrome. Other neurological disorders have also been associated with Zika virus infection. Protect yourself from mosquito bites in daylight and evening hours. There is no vaccine for Zika virus infection. 


Malaria

Malaria

  • There is a risk of malaria in certain areas and/or during a certain time of year in this country.
  • Malaria is a serious and occasionally fatal disease that is spread by the bite of an infected mosquito. There is no vaccine against malaria.
  • Protect yourself from mosquito bites. This includes covering up, using insect repellent and staying in enclosed air-conditioned accommodations. You may also consider pre-treating clothing and travel gear with insecticides and sleeping under an insecticide-treated bednet.
  • Antimalarial medication may be recommended depending on your itinerary and the time of year you are travelling. See a health care provider or visit a travel health clinic, preferably six weeks before you travel to discuss your options.

Animals

Animals and Illness

Travellers are cautioned to avoid contact with animals, including dogs, monkeys, snakes, rodents, and bats. Certain infections found in some areas in South America, like rabies, can be shared between humans and animals.


Person-to-Person

Person-to-Person Infections

Crowded conditions can increase your risk of certain illnesses. Remember to wash your hands often and practice proper cough and sneeze etiquette to avoid colds, the flu and other illnesses.

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and HIV are spread through blood and bodily fluids; practise safer sex.

HIV

HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) is a virus that attacks and impairs the immune system, resulting in a chronic, progressive illness known as AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome). 

High risk activities include anything which puts you in contact with blood or body fluids, such as unprotected sex and exposure to unsterilized needles for medications or other substances (for example, steroids and drugs), tattooing, body-piercing or acupuncture.


Medical services and facilities

Medical care is limited. Hospital facilities are available only in major centres.

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.

Canada and France are signatories to the European Convention on the Transfer of Sentenced Persons. This enables a Canadian imprisoned in France to request a transfer to a Canadian prison to complete a sentence. The transfer requires the agreement of both Canadian and French authorities.

Driving laws

You may drive with a Canadian driver’s licence for three months, however, an International Driving Permit is recommended. A driver’s licence is required to drive a four-wheeled vehicle.

Illegal drugs

Penalties for possession, use or trafficking of illegal drugs are strict. Convicted offenders can expect jail sentences and heavy fines.

Dual citizenship

Dual citizenship is legally recognized in France. However, Canadian officials may be limited in their ability to provide you with consular services if local authorities consider you a French citizen. 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 a French 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.

Money

The currency is the euro (EUR).

Natural disasters and climate

Natural disasters & climate

The rainy season extends from January to June. Flooding can occur during this period. Monitor weather forecasts and plan accordingly.

Assistance

Assistance

Local services

Emergency services

Dial 112 for emergency assistance.

Consular assistance

There is no resident Canadian government office in French Guiana. You can obtain consular assistance and further information from the High Commission of Canada in Georgetown, Guyana.

Georgetown - High Commission of Canada
Street AddressHigh and Young Streets, Georgetown, GuyanaPostal AddressP.O. Box 10880, Georgetown, GuyanaTelephone(592) 227-2081 / (592) 227-2082 / (592) 227-2083 / (592) 227-2084 / (592) 227-2085Fax(592) 225-8380Emailgrgtn@international.gc.caInternetwww.guyana.gc.caServicesPassport Services AvailableFacebookHigh Commission of Canada to GuyanaTwitter@CanAmbGuyana

For emergency assistance after hours, call the High Commission of Canada in Georgetown, Guyana, and follow the instructions. You may also make a collect call to the Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa at 613-996-8885.


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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