Haiti travel advice
Latest updates: The Health section was updated - travel health information (Public Health Agency of Canada)
Last updated: ET
On this page
- Risk level
- Safety and security
- Entry and exit requirements
- Laws and culture
- Natural disasters and climate
- Need help?
Safety and security
The current security situation is volatile.
Gatherings by protesters are spontaneous and unpredictable. They sometimes lead to clashes with security forces and acts of violence. Roadblocks and burning barricades are sometimes erected suddenly, disrupting major roads in various regions, including Port-au-Prince and the area around the Canadian Embassy. Access to Toussaint-Louverture International Airport could be affected.
The country is experiencing significant shortages of fuel, water and food. Access to cash and commodities of all kinds is difficult. Emergency services and health care are also affected.
Further demonstrations could occur and suddenly turn violent. Telecommunications and Internet access could also be disrupted.
If you are in Haiti:
- limit your movements
- plan to have adequate water, food and fuel supplies
- avoid crossing road blockades, even if they appear unattended
- allow extra time to reach your destination
- monitor local media to stay informed on the evolving situation
- follow the instructions of local authorities
Crime rates are high in large centres such as downtown Port-au-Prince, where armed gangs operate, as well as near the border with the Dominican Republic, where criminal activities are widespread.
The number of violent incidents has been increasing since 2020, especially kidnappings in and around Port-au-Prince.
There has also been an increase in home invasions. These incidents generally occur in middle-class neighbourhoods, but have been increasing in number in affluent neighbourhoods in Port-au-Prince and outside Pétion-Ville.
Petty crime, such as pickpocketing and purse snatching, also occurs.
Criminality increases in the periods leading up to the holiday season in December, Carnival in February or March and the beginning of the school year in late August or early September.
Foreigners are viewed as wealthy and may arouse envy. To avoid becoming a target:
- don’t show signs of affluence
- avoid using your smartphone or camera in public
- be aware of your surroundings
- ensure that your personal belongings, including your passport and other travel documents, are secure at all times
- remain cautious with new acquaintances offering friendship or hospitality
- never walk alone and avoid travelling after nightfall
Greater Port-au-Prince area
Several areas in greater Port-au-Prince continue to be dangerous due to criminal activity and kidnappings. Local authorities may have difficulties assisting during an emergency in these areas:
- Artibonite Central
- Bel Air
- Carrefour Drouillard
- Cité Soleil
- Downtown Port-au-Prince
- Laboule 12
- Portail Léogane
- Road to the airport
- Toussant Brave
Police presence is not guaranteed in these areas and your personal safety might be at risk. Due to the local environment, security forces may not be able to provide emergency assistance in due time.
If you must travel to these areas, it’s imperative that you take appropriate security precautions:
- be vigilant at all times when moving about the city, towns and country
- ensure that your local contacts know when to expect you and your travel plans within these areas
- ask your local contacts to guide you in your travels
- keep windows closed and doors locked when travelling by car
- never use public transport of any kind
- ask the organizations, institutes or hosts that are taking care of you about the latest updates on the region to which you are travelling, since the security situation can change at any moment
- avoid going out after nightfall
- follow the advice of local authorities
Armed robberies occur regularly in Pétion-Ville. In most cases, armed thieves on motorcycles attack their victims in broad daylight. Attacks have been increasing, particularly against motorists. They usually occur in traffic jams during peak hours.
- Be vigilant at all times while travelling
- Keep windows closed and doors locked when travelling by car
Criminal gangs have committed robberies by erecting roadblocks along Route Nationale 2, between the Petit‑Goâve and Miragoane regions.
Toussaint Louverture International Airport
Thieves try to distract foreigners to steal their passports at Toussaint Louverture International Airport.
- Be cautious when claiming your luggage upon arrival
- Keep your valuables and identification on you
- Have your local contacts arrange for your pick-up from the airport
- Carry only small amounts of cash
Several shooting incidents have also occurred along the road to the airport. Gangs have committed armed robberies, particularly between Delmas 33 and the airport.
- Don’t resist if you’re threatened by robbers
- Be extremely vigilant when leaving the airport
Robberies in bank areas
Some criminals wait near banks, watching clients, and attempt to rob them when they leave.
There is also a higher risk of robbery from individuals using bank ATMs.
- Be extremely vigilant when entering or leaving a bank
- Only use ATMs inside a hotel or supermarket
- Deal directly with a teller if you are at a bank
- Avoid carrying large sums of money
Kidnappings are common in Haiti.
Kidnappers target both local people and foreigners, including dual citizens who live or travel in Haiti, regardless of rank or social class. Since September 2020, hundreds of Canadians and other foreign nationals have been abducted. Missionaries, aid workers and children can become victims. Most of the victims are released in exchange for ransom. In some exceptional cases, however, victims have disappeared or have been killed.
- Remain alert to small groups of loiterers, especially near your residence
- Keep doors and windows secure at all times
- Instruct domestic staff to permit into your home only pre-authorized visitors whose identities have been verified
- Keep all visitors under close scrutiny
- Remain extremely vigilant wherever you are in the country
Demonstrations and civil unrest take place frequently.
Due to ongoing political instability, some demonstrations have turned violent. Protesters have set up roadblocks across the country and blocked the access to the airport. In those circumstances, water, food and fuel shortages could occur.
Even peaceful demonstrations can turn violent at any time. They can also lead to disruptions to traffic and public transportation.
- Avoid areas where demonstrations and large gatherings are taking place
- Follow the instructions of local authorities
- Monitor local media for information on ongoing demonstrations
Women travelling alone may be subject to forms of harassment, violence and verbal abuse.
Service outages and supply shortages
Power outages are frequent, and shortages of essential supplies such as water and fuel occur.
Ensure that you plan adequately in case of outages and supply shortages.
Road conditions and road safety are poor throughout the country due to:
- narrow and poorly maintained roads
- insufficient traffic signs, traffic lights and road markings
- high rates of driving while impaired, with the vehicle’s lights off
- poor vehicle maintenance
- inadequate street lighting
Heavy rains can hamper overland travel and reduce the provision of essential services. Roads may become impassable and bridges damaged.
If you need to travel within Haiti, consider hiring a driver through a reputable agency or hotel. If you must drive:
- always keep your fuel tanks at least half full, as disruptions of fuel supplies are frequent
- always carry a cell phone and a list of emergency contact numbers with you, as roadside assistance services are deficient
- keep in mind that cell phone coverage may be intermittent in some rural areas
- avoid driving at night or in bad weather, even in the city
- be cautious about abandoned vehicle beside the road
- watch out for pedestrians and stray animals on the road
Public transportation is unsafe and unreliable. Drivers don’t always respect traffic laws. Vehicles are often in poor condition or overloaded, which leads to serious accidents involving injuries and sometimes death.
You should avoid all public transportation in Haiti, but most specifically trucks converted into buses, known as “tap taps.”
Ferry accidents occur and are often caused by poor safety practices or extreme weather conditions.
You should avoid ferry travel. If you choose to travel by ferry:
- make sure the vessel you are boarding is carrying appropriate safety equipment
- make sure that life jackets are provided for all passengers and accessible at all times
- avoid boarding vessels that appear overloaded or unseaworthy
- verify the safety standards of ferries with your tour operator
We do not make assessments on the compliance of foreign domestic airlines with international safety standards.
Entry and exit requirements
Every country or territory decides who can enter or exit through its borders. The Government of Canada cannot intervene on your behalf if you do not meet your destination’s entry or exit requirements.
We have obtained the information on this page from the Haitian authorities. It can, however, change at any time.
Verify this information with the Foreign Representatives in Canada.
Entry requirements vary depending on the type of passport you use for travel.
Before you travel, check with your transportation company about passport requirements. Its rules on passport validity may be more stringent than the country’s entry rules.
Regular Canadian passport
Your passport must be valid for the expected duration of your stay in Haiti.
Passport for official travel
Different entry rules may apply.
Passport with “X” gender identifier
While the Government of Canada issues passports with an “X” gender identifier, it cannot guarantee your entry or transit through other countries. You might face entry restrictions in countries that do not recognize the “X” gender identifier. Before you leave, check with the closest foreign representative for your destination.
Other travel documents
Different entry rules may apply when travelling with a temporary passport or an emergency travel document. Before you leave, check with the closest foreign representative for your destination.
Tourist visa: not required for stays up to 90 days
Business visa: not required
Student visa: required
Work permit: required
You must obtain a residency permit if you intend to stay for 90 days or more. This requirement doesn’t apply to Canadians of Haitian origin.
If you plan to extend your stay beyond 90 days and are a Canadian of non-Haitian origin, you must apply to the Haitian Immigration Service before the 90 days have expired. If you fail to do so, you will need an exit visa to leave the country.
Canadian investors, exporters/importers and workers must apply to the Haitian Immigration Service for a residency permit through their employer for stays of 6 months or more. You must obtain this document before leaving Canada.
How to obtain a visa - Embassy of Haiti in Canada (in French)
Other entry requirements
Customs officials may ask you to show them a return or onward ticket and proof of sufficient funds to cover your stay.
Children and travel
Learn about travel with children.
Learn about potential entry requirements related to yellow fever (vaccines section).
Rabies in Haiti
There are reports of a rise in rabies in dogs in Haiti. Rabies is a deadly disease that spreads to humans primarily through bites or scratches from an infected animal. If you are exposed while in Haiti, you may not have access to proper treatment given the current shortage of rabies treatment in Haiti.
Travellers are at increased risk of getting rabies if their work or recreational activities make them more likely to come into contact with free-roaming dogs. Children are at higher risk of getting rabies.
A vaccine is available for rabies. Talk to your health care provider or travel clinic to determine if, based on your risks, you should be vaccinated before travelling. While in Haiti, take precautions, including closely supervising children and keeping your distance from free-roaming dogs. If you are bitten or scratched by an animal, thoroughly clean your wound with soap and water and seek medical attention immediately. Make sure you get travel insurance that includes coverage for medical evacuation.
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.
Pre-travel vaccines and medications
You may be at risk for preventable diseases while travelling in this destination. Talk to a travel health professional about which medications or vaccines are right for you.
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 a country where yellow fever occurs.
- Vaccination is not recommended.
- Discuss travel plans, activities, and destinations with a health care professional.
- Contact a designated Yellow Fever Vaccination Centre well in advance of your trip to arrange for vaccination.
* 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.
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.
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 (e.g., are children, have an occupational risk, or in close contact with animals, including free roaming dogs in communities).
Measles is a highly contagious viral disease. It can spread quickly from person to person by direct contact and through droplets in the air..
Anyone who is not protected against measles is at risk of being infected with it when travelling internationally.
Regardless of where you are going, talk to a health care professional before travelling to make sure you are fully protected against measles.
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.
Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious viral disease. It can spread from person to person by direct contact and through droplets in the air.
It is recommended that all eligible travellers complete a COVID-19 vaccine series along with any additional recommended doses in Canada before travelling. Evidence shows that vaccines are very effective at preventing severe illness, hospitalization and death from COVID-19. While vaccination provides better protection against serious illness, you may still be at risk of infection from the virus that causes COVID-19. Anyone who has not completed a vaccine series is at increased risk of being infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 and is at greater risk for severe disease when travelling internationally.
For destination entry and exit requirements, including for COVID-19 vaccination requirements, please check the Entry/exit requirements section.
Regardless of where you are going, talk to a health care professional before travelling to make sure you are adequately protected against COVID-19.
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.
- There is a risk of malaria throughout the year in the whole 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.
- See a health care provider or visit a travel health clinic, preferably six weeks before you travel to discuss the benefits of taking antimalarial medication and to determine which one to take.
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 the Caribbean, food and water can also carry diseases like cholera, hepatitis A, schistosomiasis and typhoid. Practise safe food and water precautions while travelling in the Caribbean. Remember: Boil it, cook it, peel it, or leave it!
Cholera is a risk in parts of this country. Most travellers are at very low risk.
To protect against cholera, all travellers should practise safe food and water precautions.
Travellers at higher risk of getting cholera include those:
- visiting, working or living in areas with limited access to safe food, water and proper sanitation
- visiting areas where outbreaks are occurring
Vaccination may be recommended for high-risk travellers, and should be discussed with a health care professional.
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 children, travellers going to rural areas, travellers visiting friends and relatives or those travelling for a long period of time.
Travellers visiting regions with a risk of typhoid, especially those exposed to places with poor sanitation, should speak to a health care professional about vaccination.
Insects and Illness
Travellers are advised to take precautions against bites.
There is a risk of chikungunya in this country. The risk may vary between regions of a country. Chikungunya is a virus spread through the bite of an infected mosquito. Chikungunya can cause a viral disease that typically causes fever and pain in the joints. In some cases, the joint pain can be severe and last for months or years.
Protect yourself from mosquito bites at all times. There is no vaccine available for chikungunya.
- In this country, dengue is a risk to travellers. It is a viral disease spread to humans by mosquito bites.
- Dengue can cause flu-like symptoms. In some cases, it can lead to severe dengue, which can be fatal.
- The level of risk of dengue changes seasonally, and varies from year to year. The level of risk also varies between regions in a country and can depend on the elevation in the region.
- Mosquitoes carrying dengue typically bite during the daytime, particularly around sunrise and sunset.
- Protect yourself from mosquito bites. There is no vaccine or medication that protects against dengue.
Zika virus is a risk in this country.
Zika virus is primarily spread through the bite of an infected mosquito. It can also be sexually transmitted. Zika virus can cause serious birth defects.
Pregnant women and women planning a pregnancy should visit a health care professional before travelling to discuss the potential risks of travelling to this country. Pregnant women may choose to avoid or postpone travel to this country.
- Prevent mosquito bites at all times.
- If you are pregnant, always use condoms correctly or avoid sexual contact with anyone who has travelled to this country for the duration of your pregnancy.
- Women: Wait 2 months after travel to this country or after onset of illness due to Zika virus (whichever is longer) before trying for a pregnancy. If your male partner travelled with you, wait 3 months after travel or after onset of illness due to Zika virus (whichever is longer).
- Men: Wait 3 months after travel to this country or after onset of illness due to Zika virus (whichever is longer) before trying for a pregnancy.
For more travel recommendations, see the travel health notice: Zika virus: Advice for travellers
Animals and Illness
Travellers are cautioned to avoid contact with animals, including dogs, monkeys, snakes, rodents, birds, and bats. Some infections found in some areas in the Caribbean, like 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 professional.
High-risk travellers include those visiting or working in prisons, refugee camps, homeless shelters, or hospitals, or travellers visiting friends and relatives.
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
Health care is inadequate throughout the country. It’s extremely limited and clinics and hospitals are easily overwhelmed.
Ambulances are also limited and may not have the basic required medical supplies onboard. As a result, emergency response is not guaranteed.
Physicians and hospitals generally expect immediate cash payment for care even if you have proof of valid travel health insurance. You will have to pay the full amount of the bill before your departure.
Medications sold in Haiti may be of inferior quality to those available in Canada. Pharmacies may carry expired medications while some medications may simply not be available.
Bring a sufficient supply of medications for the duration of your stay.
Medical evacuation can be very expensive and you may need it in case of serious illness or injury.
Make sure you get travel insurance that includes coverage for medical evacuation and hospital stays.
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
You must abide by local laws.
Learn about what you should do and how we can help if you are arrested or detained abroad.
Legal fees can be very high and judicial procedures are slow. Some Canadians have experienced an over a year detention period before being sent to trial. Prison conditions are extremely difficult. Penal facilities are overcrowded, unsanitary and under-resourced.
Penalties for possession, use or trafficking of illegal drugs are severe. Convicted offenders can expect lengthy legal proceedings, heavy jail sentences and fines.
Dual citizenship is legally recognized in Haiti.
If you are a Canadian citizen, but also a citizen of Haiti, our ability to offer you consular services may be limited while you're there. You may also be subject to different entry/exit requirements.
International Child Abduction
The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction is an international treaty. It can help parents with the return of children who have been removed to or retained in certain countries in violation of custody rights. It does not apply between Canada and Haiti.
If your child was wrongfully taken to, or is being held in Haiti by an abducting parent:
- act as quickly as you can
- consult a lawyer in Canada and in Haiti to explore all the legal options for the return of your child
- report the situation to the nearest Canadian government office abroad or to the Vulnerable Children’s Consular Unit at Global Affairs Canada by calling the Emergency Watch and Response Centre.
If your child was removed from a country other than Canada, consult a lawyer to determine if The Hague Convention applies.
Be aware that Canadian consular officials cannot interfere in private legal matters or in another country’s judicial affairs.
- International Child Abduction: A Guidebook for Left-Behind Parents
- Travelling with children
- Canadian embassies and consulates by destination
- Emergency Watch and Response Centre
Haitian law does not prohibit sexual acts between individuals of the same sex.
However, 2SLGBTQI+ travellers could be discriminated against based on their sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression or sex characteristics.
In order to fight insecurity, local authorities have temporarily forbidden to drive vehicles with tinted windows throughout the country.
You may use your Canadian driver’s licence to drive in Haiti for up to 3 months. For stays of 3 months or more, you will require a Haitian driver’s permit.
You should carry an international driving permit.
People may feel exploited or insulted by being subjects of photography in poor or urban areas.
Obtain permission before photographing individuals.
Donations entering the country are subject to import rules. They could be seized and taxed in accordance with local legislation. This includes:
- new or used material goods
- personal care products
Contact the Embassy of the Republic of Haiti or one of its consulates before sending goods to Haiti.
The currency in Haiti is the Haitian gourde (HTG).
Although all prices should be in gourde since March 2018, they are still often quoted in Haitian dollars (5 gourdes = 1 Haitian dollar) or in U.S. dollars.
Canadian currency is not accepted. Most leading hotels accept major credit cards. You can also use your Canadian bank cards to access funds from some ATMs, but the withdrawal limit is much lower than in Canada. Haitian ATMs are unreliable and you should not depend upon them in emergency situations.
Make sure to have sufficient cash in case you’re unable to access an ATM or use your credit card.
Natural disasters and climate
Hurricanes usually occur from mid-May to the end of November. During this period, even small tropical storms can quickly develop into major hurricanes.
These severe storms can put you at risk and hamper the provision of essential services.
If you decide to travel to Haiti during the hurricane season:
- know that you expose yourself to serious safety risks
- be prepared to change your travel plans on short notice, including cutting short or cancelling your trip
- stay informed of the latest regional weather forecasts
- carry emergency contact information for your airline or tour operator
- follow the advice and instructions of local authorities
- Hurricanes, typhoons, cyclones and monsoons
- Large-scale emergencies abroad
- Active storm tracking and hurricane watches and warnings - United States National Hurricane Center
Earthquakes and tsunamis
Haiti is located in an active seismic zone. Earthquakes occur. Tsunamis can also affect coastal areas.
A tsunami can occur within minutes of a nearby earthquake. However, the risk of tsunami can remain for several hours following the first tremor. If you’re staying on the coast, familiarize yourself with the region’s evacuation plans in the event of a tsunami warning.
In the event of an earthquake:
- monitor local media for the latest information
- follow the instructions of local authorities
In case of emergency, dial 114.
The Embassy of Canada to Haiti, in Port-au-Prince, is temporarily closed due to the security situation. Contact the Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa if you need emergency consular assistance.
Port-au-Prince - Embassy of Canada
For emergency consular assistance, call the Embassy of Canada to Haiti, in Port-au-Prince, and follow the instructions. At any time, you may also call the Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa.
The decision to travel is your choice and you are responsible for your personal safety abroad. We take the safety and security of Canadians abroad very seriously and provide credible and timely information in our Travel Advice to enable you to make well-informed decisions regarding your travel abroad.
The content on this page is provided for information only. While we make every effort to give you correct information, it is provided on an "as is" basis without warranty of any kind, expressed or implied. The Government of Canada does not assume responsibility and will not be liable for any damages in connection to the information provided.
If you need consular assistance while abroad, we will make every effort to help you. However, there may be constraints that will limit the ability of the Government of Canada to provide services.
Learn more about consular services.
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