Travel Consideration: Syria, Syria Official Info - RealAdventures

Travel Consideration: Syria

Syria Official Info


Details of Travel Consideration: Syria, Syria Official Info
Details for Travel Consideration: Syria

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The Syrian Arab Republic has a developing, mixed-sector economy. The ruling Baíth party espouses a largely secular ideology, but Islamic traditions and beliefs provide a conservative foundation for the countryís customs and practices. The constitution refers to Islamic jurisprudence as a principal source of legislation, but the legal system remains influenced by French practice. Tourist facilities are widely available, but vary in quality depending on price and location. The workweek in Syria is Saturday through Thursday. The U.S. Embassy is open Sunday through Thursday.



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A passport and a visa are required. Visas must be obtained prior to arrival in Syria. Entry to Syria is not granted to persons with passports bearing an Israeli visa or entry/exit stamps, or to persons born in the Gaza region or of Gazan descent. Entry into Syria via the land border with Israel is not possible. Foreigners who wish to stay 15 days or more in Syria must register with Syrian Immigration by their 15th day in Syria. Americans between the ages of 18 and 45 who are of Syrian birth or recent descent are subject to the Syrian compulsory military service requirement, unless they receive an exemption from the Syrian Embassy in the United States prior to their entry into Syria. An AIDS test is not required for foreigners prior to arrival in Syria. However, tests are mandatory for foreigners (age 15 to 60) wishing to reside in Syria. The AIDS test must be conducted in Syria at a facility approved by the Syrian Ministry of Health. A residence permit will not be issued until the absence of the HIV virus has been determined. Foreigners wishing to marry Syrian nationals must also be tested for HIV. For further entry information, travelers may contact the Embassy of the Syrian Arab Republic, 2215 Wyoming Ave. N.W., Washington, D.C. 20008, tel. (202) 232-6313.

American citizens are cautioned that the Syrian government rigidly enforces restrictions on prior travel to Israel. Travelers with Israeli stamps in their passports, Jordanian entry cachets or cachets from other countries which suggest prior travel to Israel, or the absence of any entry stamps from a country adjacent to Israel which the traveler has just visited, will cause Syrian immigration authorities to refuse the traveler admission to Syria. In one case in 1998, a group of American citizen travelers suspected of traveling to Israel were detained overnight for questioning.

Although Syria is a signatory to the Vienna Convention, consular notification and access to arrested Americans is problematic. Syrian officials generally do not notify the American Embassy when American citizens are arrested. When the American Embassy learns of arrests of Americans and requests consular access, individual police officials have, on their own initiative, responded promptly and allowed consular officers to visit the prisoners. However, security officials have also in the past denied Embassy requests for consular access.

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Crime is generally not a serious problem for travelers in Syria. The loss or theft of a U.S. passport abroad should be reported immediately to local police and the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. Useful information on safeguarding valuables, protecting personal security, and other matters while traveling abroad is provided in the Department of State pamphlets, A Safe Trip Abroad and Tips for Travelers to the Middle East and North Africa. They are available from the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C. 20402, via the Internet at http://www.access.gpo.gov/su_docs, or via the Bureau of Consular Affairs home page at http://travel.state.gov.

Syria is included on the Department of Stateís list of state sponsors of terrorism. There is no record of terrorist attacks against Americans in Syria and Syrian government officials have repeatedly stated their commitment to protect Americans. However, a number of terrorist groups which oppose U.S. policies in the Middle East have a presence in this country.

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Basic medical care and medicines are available in the principal cities of Syria, but not necessarily in outlying areas. Doctors and hospitals often expect immediate cash payment for health care services. The Medicare/Medicaid program does not always provide for payment of medical services outside the United States. U.S. medical insurance is not always valid outside the United States. Supplemental medical insurance with specific overseas coverage, including a provision for emergency evacuation, has proven useful. Information on health problems can be obtained from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at 1-877-FYI-TRIP (1-877-394-8747), fax: 1-888-CDC-FAXX (1-888-232-3299), or on the Internet at http://www.cdc.gov.

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Children under the age of eighteen whose fathers are Syrian must have the fatherís permission in order to depart Syria, even if the mother has been granted full custody by a Syrian court. Women in Syria are often subject to strict family controls; on occasion families of Syrian/American women visiting Syria have attempted to prevent them from leaving the country. This can be a particular problem for young single women of marriageable age. Finally, although this occurs only rarely, a Syrian husband is permitted to take legal action to prevent his wife from leaving the country, regardless of her nationality.

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Children under the age of eighteen whose fathers are Syrian must have the fatherís permission in order to depart Syria, even if the mother has been granted full custody by a Syrian court. Women in Syria are often subject to strict family controls; on occasion families of Syrian/American women visiting Syria have attempted to prevent them from leaving the country. This can be a particular problem for young single women of marriageable age. Finally, although this occurs only rarely, a Syrian husband is permitted to take legal action to prevent his wife from leaving the country, regardless of her nationality.

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: Syrian-American males of draft age who are planning to visit Syria are strongly urged to check with the Syrian Embassy in Washington concerning their requirement for compulsory military service. Even Americans who have never resided in or visited Syria before may be considered Syrian and required to complete military service if their fathers were Syrian. Possession of a U.S. passport does not absolve the bearer of this obligation.

IRAQ: Syrian security officials are sensitive about travel to Iraq. There have been past instances of Iraqi-Americans or Americans believed to have traveled to Iraq being detained for questioning at ports of entry/exit.

Syrian currency cannot be exchanged for any other currency except at government-approved exchange centers within Syria. Travelers must declare all foreign currency when they enter Syria. Amounts in excess of $5,000 (US) [or $2,000 (US) for those holding dual Syrian-American nationality] are subject to confiscation upon leaving Syria.

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Children under the age of eighteen whose fathers are Syrian must have the fatherís permission in order to depart Syria, even if the mother has been granted full custody by a Syrian court. Women in Syria are often subject to strict family controls; on occasion families of Syrian/American women visiting Syria have attempted to prevent them from leaving the country. This can be a particular problem for young single women of marriageable age. Finally, although this occurs only rarely, a Syrian husband is permitted to take legal action to prevent his wife from leaving the country, regardless of her nationality.

Contributed By RealAdventures Support

Children under the age of eighteen whose fathers are Syrian must have the fatherís permission in order to depart Syria, even if the mother has been granted full custody by a Syrian court. Women in Syria are often subject to strict family controls; on occasion families of Syrian/American women visiting Syria have attempted to prevent them from leaving the country. This can be a particular problem for young single women of marriageable age. Finally, although this occurs only rarely, a Syrian husband is permitted to take legal action to prevent his wife from leaving the country, regardless of her nationality.

Contributed By RealAdventures Support

Children under the age of eighteen whose fathers are Syrian must have the fatherís permission in order to depart Syria, even if the mother has been granted full custody by a Syrian court. Women in Syria are often subject to strict family controls; on occasion families of Syrian/American women visiting Syria have attempted to prevent them from leaving the country. This can be a particular problem for young single women of marriageable age. Finally, although this occurs only rarely, a Syrian husband is permitted to take legal action to prevent his wife from leaving the country, regardless of her nationality.



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