USA country information and facts for travelers.

United States of America

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Country Description: The United States of America is a highly developed democracy. The country is rich in natural resources, not the least of which is the variety and drama of its landscape; some of the most spectacular scenery in the world can be found in its mountains, gorges, deserts, and fertile plains. United States cities offer exciting diversity in location and culture, too. The United States is the world's fourth-largest country, after the USSR, Canada, and China.

Passport and/or Visa Requirements: All visitors to the United States, with the exception of Canadians entering from the Western hemisphere, must have a valid passport and a valid visa. Visas can only be obtained from an American consular office abroad. Visas for tourists and businessmen may be issued for a single entry or for multiple entries over a four-year period. In a few cases, they may be issued for multiple entries over an indefinite period. A smallpox vaccination certificate is required only of those who have been in an infrected country within the previous 14 days.

Travel Warnings, Advisories and Areas of Instability: Crime rates have been diminishing in most major cities. New York City has had a significant drop in crime over the past couple of years. However, pickpocketing and purse-snatching do occur during peak tourist periods (such as summer and Christmas) and when major conferences, shows, or exhibits are scheduled in major cities. Most crime is restricted to specific localities in major cities that are avoided by the prudent traveler and residents, such as areas frequented by drug dealers and users, the vicinity of train and bus stations, and some public parks.

Road travel hazards: Road safety standards are high.

Medical FacilitiesGood medical care is widely available. U.S. medical insurance is not valid for foreign visitors. Information on specific health matters is available through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's hotline for international travelers at (404) 332-4559 or via the CDC home page on the Internet:http://www.cdc.gov.

Drug Penalties: Foreign visitors are subject to the laws of the United States. Penalties for possession, use, and dealing in illegal drugs are strict, and convicted offenders can expect jail sentences and fines.

Consular Location: United States Consular Offices are found in most every major city around the world. Check your local government for telephone numbers and locations in your area.

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