JORDAN

Jordan Flag
Country Description: The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan is a constitutional monarchy with a developing economy. While Jordan is modern and Western-oriented, Islamic ideals and beliefs provide the conservative foundation of the country's customs, laws and practices. Tourist facilities are widely available, although quality may vary depending on price and location. The local workweek for Jordanian government offices and most businesses is Saturday through Thursday. The U.S. Embassy in Amman is open Sunday through Thursday.

Passport and/or Visa Requirements: Passports and visas are required. Visitors may obtain a visa for Jordan at international ports of entry, not including the King Hussein (Allenby) Bridge, upon arrival, for a fee. For further information, travelers can contact the Embassy of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, 3504 International Drive N.W., Washington, D.C. 20008, telephone (202) 966-2664.

Customs Requirements: Internationally prohibited items, which include but are not limited to drugs, firearms, poisons, chemicals, explosive and pornographic materials, may not be imported into Jordan.

Medical Facilities: Basic modern medical care and medicines are available in the principal cities of Jordan, but not necessarily in outlying areas. Doctors and hospitals often expect immediate cash payment for services. U.S. medical insurance is not always valid outside the United States. Supplemental medical insurance with specific overseas coverage has proved useful. Information on health problems can be obtained from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's international travelers hotline at (404) 332-4559 or on the Internet at http://www.cdc.gov.

Travel Warnings, Advisories and Areas of Instability: The U.S. Embassy in Amman recommends that American citizens traveling in Jordan avoid crowds and demonstrations and exercise caution when using public transportation, especially buses, and not leave vehicles unattended. Crime is generally not a serious problem for travelers in Jordan, but petty crime is prevalent in the downtown Amman Hashimiyah Square area and near the Roman theater. In the narrow streets of the Old City, crowded conditions invite pickpockets and other petty criminals. It is safer to travel in groups when visiting the center of Amman. Additional caution and sensitivity should be exercised at religious sites on holy days and Friday Sabbath. Modest attire should be worn at all holy sites.

The loss or theft of a U.S. passport abroad should be reported immediately to local police and the U.S. Embassy. 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.

Drug Penalties: U.S. citizens are subject to the laws and legal practices of the country in which they travel. Penalties for possession, use or trafficking in illegal drugs are severe in Jordan, and convicted offenders can expect jail sentences and fines.

Travel Between Jordan and Israel: Travelers may contact the U.S. Embassy in Amman for the latest information on border crossing hours. Israel does not require advance visa issuance for U.S. citizens traveling on tourist passports at any crossing point. U.S. diplomatic and official passport holders are required to obtain an Israeli visa prior to entering Israel. Jordan will issue visas at international border crossings (not including the King Hussein/Allenby Bridge). To cross into Jordan at the King Hussein/Allenby Bridge, U.S. citizens must already have either a visa for Jordan in their passport or an entry permit from the Ministry of Interior. Both Jordan and Israel assess an exit tax for tourist travelers at all border crossings. Note: "King Hussein" and "Allenby" denote the same crossing point, which is referred to by Jordan as the King Hussein Bridge, and by Israel as the Allenby Bridge.

Road Conditions and Other Areas of Concern: The main desert highway in the south of Jordan from Aqaba to Has Al Naqeb (the mountain pass between Aqaba and Ma'am) will be undergoing construction until about 1998. This stretch of highway has had a large number of fatal accidents in recent years, usually while one vehicle was in the process of passing another.

Land mines are often located within two miles of military installations and borders, including the popular Dead Sea area. Mine fields are usually fenced off and marked with signs carrying a skull and crossbones, but the fences and signs may be in poor repair or hard to see. Avoiding these areas reduces the risk of accidentally setting off a mine.

Terrorism: Although there is no specific information on threats against U.S. citizens in Jordan, the threat of terrorism and violence in Jordan from terrorist groups or individuals opposed to the Middle East Peace Process is high.

Dual Nationality: Although no longer subject to immediate conscription, all U.S.-Jordanian dual national males under the age of thirty-seven are required to register for service in the Jordanian military. Those subject to registration may be prevented from leaving Jordan until permission to do so is obtained from competent Jordanian authorities. This permission is often granted to U.S. citizens, but may take some time to obtain and is limited to one trip only. Consular assistance to dual nationals may be limited in some instances.

Registration/U.S. Embassy Location: U.S. citizens who register at the U.S. Embassy can obtain updated information on travel and security within Jordan and the region. The U.S. Embassy in Amman, Jordan, is located in Abdoun, P.O. Box 354. The telephone number is (962) (6) 820-101 or 866-121.

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