COUNTRY DESCRIPTION: The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan is a constitutional monarchy with a developing economy and a modern infrastructure. Western culture features prominently in the lives of many Jordanians. At the same time, traditional Islamic ideals and beliefs provide a conservative foundation for the country's customs, laws, and practices. Businesses and facilities catering to tourists are widely available, although quality may vary depending on price and location. Read the Department of State Background Notes on Jordan for additional information. Please also see the Special Circumstances section below.
SMART TRAVELER ENROLLMENT PROGRAM (STEP) / EMBASSY LOCATION: If you are going to live in or visit Jordan, please take the time to tell our Embassy about your trip. If you enroll, we can keep you up to date with important safety and security announcements. It will also help your friends and family get in touch with you in an emergency. Here’s the link to the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program.
U.S. Embassy in Amman
Al-Umawyeen Street, Abdoun neighborhood, PO Box 354, Amman 11118
Telephone:  (6) 590-6950
Emergency after-hours telephone:  (6) 590-6500
Facsimile:  (6) 592-0163
The U.S. Embassy is open Sunday through Thursday, and is closed on all U.S. and Jordanian holidays as well as the last Thursday of every month.
ENTRY / EXIT REQUIREMENTS FOR U.S. CITIZENS: A passport with a validity of at least six months and a visa are required. Jordan issues visas to U.S. citizens for a fee at most international ports of entry and at most international land border crossings upon arrival. The visa currently costs 25 JD ($37.50 USD) for a single entry, 45 JD ($67.50 USD) for two entries, and 65 JD ($97.50 USD) for a multiple entry. Please note that visas are not issued upon arrival at the King Hussein/Allenby Bridge land border crossing. U.S. citizens must already have a valid visa to Jordan or have a special entry permit from the Jordanian Ministry of Interior to enter Jordan at this crossing. U.S. citizens who depart Jordan via the King Hussein/Allenby Bridge may return to Jordan through the same bridge without a new visa as long as the current visa is still valid. An exit fee of 8 JD ($11.30) is assessed to all visitors departing through the Allenby Bridge. Visas can also be obtained from any Jordanian embassy or consulate ahead of travel for 25 JD (approximately $37) for single entry; 45 JD (approximately $67) for two entries; and 65 JD (approximately $97) for multiple entries.
For more information regarding travel to the West Bank and Jerusalem, please contact the U.S. Consulate General in Jerusalem.
U.S. citizens are typically given visas that are valid for 30 days. Foreigners who wish to stay longer than the time limit given to them by Jordanian immigration upon entry into Jordan must register at a Jordanian police station before expiration of that time limit. Travelers who fail to properly register subject themselves to a fine of 1.5 JD (approximately $2.25 USD) per day beyond their permitted length of stay. This fine is usually assessed at departure.
Some HIV/AIDS entry restrictions exist for visitors to and foreign residents of Jordan. Jordan does not permit entry or residency for foreign nationals with HIV/AIDS. Travelers known to have HIV are denied entry at ports of entry, including land border crossings. Travelers seeking to extend their stay beyond the initial timeframe are legally required to have an AIDS test performed at a government medical facility. Those who fail to submit to the test or who test positive for HIV are deported. For further information, please see the Embassy of Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan website before you travel.
Travelers should check the Country Specific Information and any existing Travel Warnings and TravelAlerts for all countries they plan to visit during their travel to the region. Border crossing requirements may change, and borders may be closed during periods of heightened security. For further information, travelers may contact the Embassyof the HashemiteKingdom of Jordan at 3504 International Drive NW, Washington, DC 20008, or by telephone at (202) 966-2861 or (202) 966-2664. Jordan also maintains Honorary Consulates in Detroit, MI, Chicago, IL, and San Francisco, CA.
Information about dual nationality or the prevention of international child abduction can be found on our website. For additional information about customs regulations, please read our Customs Information page.
THREATS TO SAFETY AND SECURITY: The threat of terrorism remains high in Jordan. Transnational and indigenous terrorist groups have demonstrated the capability to plan and implement attacks in Jordan. In August 2010, a roadside improvised explosive device (IED) detonated next to a vehicle carrying three USG contractors as it was traveling through an Amman suburb; the contractors did not suffer any serious injuries. In January 2010, an official Israeli motorcade was struck by an IED as it was traveling from Amman to the King Hussein/Allenby Bridge border crossing; passengers in the vehicles were unharmed and the vehicles sustained minor damage. Several rockets believed to have been launched from the Sinai Peninsula struck the port city of Aqaba in April and August 2010. In the latter attack, one rocket destroyed a taxi cab outside of a hotel, killing the driver.
The Department of State remains concerned about the continued threat of terrorist attacks, demonstrations, and other violent actions against U.S. citizens and interests overseas. In October 2012 the Jordanian government foiled a terrorist plot, arresting a number of Al-Qaeda operatives targeting public areas and the U.S. Embassy in Amman. Travelers to Jordan should be cognizant of the fact that Al-Qaida in Iraq affiliates have carried out terrorist activities against U.S. and Government of Jordan (GOJ) targets in Jordan.
Terrorists often do not distinguish between U.S. government personnel and private U.S. citizens. Terrorists may target areas frequented by Westerners, such as tourist sites, hotels, restaurants, bars, nightclubs, liquor stores, shopping malls, transportation hubs, places of worship, expatriate residential areas, and schools. In light of these security concerns, U.S. citizens should maintain a high level of vigilance, be aware of their surroundings, and take appropriate steps to increase their security awareness. It is especially important for travelers to be unpredictable in their movements by varying their times and routes and maintaining a low profile. Moreover, U.S. citizens should avoid contact with any suspicious or unfamiliar objects and immediately report the presence of such objects to local authorities. U.S. government personnel overseas have been advised to take the same precautions.
Demonstrations are common. Some, especially smaller ones, have turned violent, leading security officials to intercede. Because demonstrations intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational and possibly escalate into violence, travelers should avoid all protests and large gatherings of people. Many demonstrations occur on Fridays near mosques following noon prayers. Consequently, you should exercise special sensitivity and caution when visiting or traveling near mosques and religious sites during holy days and Fridays. Demonstrations and other forms of unrest have occurred on public university campuses in Jordan. Some acts of violence on university campuses have involved the use of firearms. Anti-U.S. demonstrations have also taken place in front of the U.S. Embassy. Travelers should avoid any demonstrations or large gatherings of people.
Tribal violence in Jordan remains a concern. Clashes between feuding clans or families periodically erupt without notice and sometimes involve an escalation in violence, including the use of firearms. In some cases, Jordanian security services are slow to respond or may opt to let the violence subside before intervening. When necessary, authorities have closed major roads, including a key road near Amman’s international airport, or parts of cities to contain the violence.
U.S. citizens should avoid the border area with Syria. Police and security officials have arrested weapons and drug smugglers, as well as foreign fighters attempting to enter Syria to fight in the country’s ongoing civil war. Some riots have occurred at the Ramtha/Jaber border crossing, resulting in the burning of key municipal facilities. The Department of State also advises against travel into Iraq. Please see the Travel Warnings and Country Specific Information for Syria and Iraq for further information.
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CRIME: Statistically, petty crime is the most common form that U.S. citizens and other Western nationals experience in Jordan, especially at tourist sites and in crowded areas. Pickpockets, purse snatchers, and opportunistic thieves are known to target foreigners in the narrow and crowded streets of the older parts of Amman’s city center. Travelers should be more guarded in these areas and in all tourist locations in Jordan to lessen the likelihood of becoming a victim of petty thefts. Jordanian police have warned the public to exercise vigilance when leaving banks or ATMs, as thieves have reportedly preyed upon persons soon after using these services.
Women from Western countries visiting and residing in Jordan have periodically reported incidents of sexual harassment, stalking, and indecent exposure. The Embassy continues to receive a limited number of reports regarding incidents of sexual assaults involving taxis and taxi drivers. Many of the incidents have involved verbal sexual harassment, staring, or following the victim, but some have included physical assaults. To decrease the likelihood of being victimized while using a taxi, foreign women should take precautions such as avoiding travel to unfamiliar areas at night, not traveling alone, not riding in the front seat of a taxi, and dressing modestly when in public. We also recommend carrying a cellular telephone at all times and immediately reporting incidents to the police.
Violent crime is infrequent and rarely targets U.S. citizens or other Westerners. In the past, the Embassy has received reports of firearms being discharged at vehicles being driven by Westerners. A dispute between two rival protection rackets led to shots being fired at multiple nightclubs, bars, liquor stores, and similar establishments in March 2011. While not common, thefts of vehicles, assaults, robbery, and attempted residential break-ins have also been reported.
Don’t buy counterfeit and pirated goods, even if they are widely available. Not only are the bootleg copies illegal in the United States, if you purchase them, you may also be breaking local law.
VICTIMS OF CRIME: If you or someone you know becomes the victim of a crime abroad, you should contact the local police and the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate. After the police has been contacted, the Embassy can:
The local equivalent to the “911” emergency line in Jordan is 191. In some areas of Amman, however, you may dial 911 for emergencies.
Please see our information on victims of crime, including possible victim compensation programs in the United States.
CRIMINAL PENALTIES: While you are traveling in Jordan, you are subject to its laws even if you are a U.S. citizen. Foreign laws and legal systems can be vastly different from our own. In some places driving under the influence can land you in jail. Criminal penalties will vary from country to country. There are also some things that might be legal in the country you visit, but still illegal in the United States, and you can be prosecuted under U.S. law. Engaging in sexual conduct with children or using or disseminating child pornography in a foreign country is a crime prosecutable in the United States. If you break local laws in Jordan, your U.S. passport won’t help you avoid arrest or prosecution. It’s very important to know what’s legal and what’s not wherever you go.
The Jordanian constitution provides for freedom of speech and of the press; however, in practice the government has imposed some restrictions on these rights. In particular, insulting the King or members of the Royal Family may lead to detainment or imprisonment. Additionally, activities that the Jordanian government considers proselytizing to Muslims are forbidden under the law and anyone undertaking these activities are subject to prosecution, imprisonment, and deportation. Please see the information below on Islam as the state religion of Jordan
While some countries will automatically notify the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate if a U.S. citizen is detained or arrested in a foreign country, that might not always be the case. To ensure that the United States is aware of your circumstances, request that the police and prison officials notify the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate as soon as you are arrested or detained overseas.
SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES: Currently under Jordanian law, any adult male may prevent a female or child relative from leaving Jordan by registering a hold on their travel with the Jordanian authorities. This is possible even if the child or woman holds only U.S. nationality. Jordanian authorities consider disputes surrounding travel holds as private family matters, and the Embassy is limited in its ability to intervene. Travel holds may only be removed by the person who placed them or by a court. Please see the section below on Children’s Issues. U.S. citizens are subject to Jordanian laws while in Jordan. U.S. citizens who possess Jordanian nationality may also be subject to laws that impose special obligations on Jordanians. For example, all Jordanian men under the age of 37 are required to register for service in the Jordanian military. Those subject to registration may be prevented from leaving Jordan until exit permission is obtained from appropriate Jordanian authorities. This permission is often granted to U.S. citizens, but may take some time to obtain and may be limited to a single exit.
The Government of Jordan considers U.S.-Jordanian dual nationals to be Jordanian citizens. Local authorities typically do not notify the U.S. Embassy of arrests, detentions, or accidents involving dual nationals. For this reason, dual nationals in particular should carry a copy of their U.S. passport with them at all times so that evidence of their identity and U.S. citizenship is readily available for local authorities.
For additional information, see our information on Dual Nationality.
Islam is the state religion of Jordan. The Jordanian government generally does not interfere in religious practices. However, some religious groups cannot obtain legal recognition of their denominations. On official documents such as birth and wedding certificates, the Government of Jordan only allows affiliation with legally recognized faiths, including Islam, Christianity, and Judaism. Not listing an affiliated faith, or listing a faith outside those recognized by the government, is generally not permitted. Activities such as proselytizing or encouraging conversion to any faith other than Islam are prohibited. U.S. citizens have been deported, detained, and arrested for discussing or trying to engage Jordanians in discussions about religion.
Jordanian customs authorities may enforce strict regulations concerning temporary importation into or export from Jordan of items such as drugs, firearms, poisons, chemicals, explosives, and pornographic materials, communications equipment, and antiquities, among other items. You should contact the Embassy of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan in Washington, D.C., or one of the Jordanian consulates in the United States, if you seek specific information regarding customs requirements.
Please also refer to our Customs Information page for additional information.
LGBT Travelers: Consensual same-sex sexual relations are not illegal in Jordan. However, homosexual behavior is not considered culturally acceptable. Foreigners exhibiting such behavior are likely to be targeted by violence or harassment by individuals, including authorities. Laws against adultery or breaches of modesty may be used against homosexual travelers. Gay and lesbian Jordanians hide their sexuality, especially from family members. Family members who discover that a relative is LGBT may target them for an honor killing. The Jordanian government does not grant or recognize same-sex marriage. For further information on LGBT travel, please review the LGBT Travel Information page.
The local work week for Jordanian government offices and most businesses is Sunday through Thursday.
Accessibility: While in Jordan, individuals with disabilities may find accessibility and accommodation very different from what is found in the United States. Outside of a few of the more expensive hotels in the capital, individuals with disabilities will find almost no accessible accommodations. Similarly there are very few accessible restaurants, shops, or historical sites. Transportation is not accessible, and sidewalks and crosswalks, even in the main cities, are not accessible. Handicap-accessible toilets and bathrooms, even in major hospitals, are generally not available.
MEDICAL FACILITIES AND HEALTH INFORMATION: Modern medical care and medicines are generally available in the principal cities of Jordan, but not necessarily in outlying areas. Most acute and chronic medical conditions can be appropriately handled. When called, ambulance vehicles are often slow to arrive and personnel generally have only a basic level of training. Seasonal dust storms that envelop the country for days or weeks each spring may significantly aggravate respiratory conditions such as asthma or sinus problems. Most hospitals in Jordan, especially in Amman, are privately owned. Doctors and hospitals often expect immediate cash payment for services. Because serious medical problems requiring hospitalization and/or medical evacuation to the United States could cost over US $150,000, we strongly advise travelers to carry medical evacuation insurance.
You can find good information on vaccinations and other health precautions on the CDC website. For information about outbreaks of infectious diseases abroad, consult the World Health Organization (WHO) website. The WHO website also contains additional health information for travelers, including detailed country-specific health information.
Travelers should take normal precautions against contracting the flu, including frequent handwashing and covering sneezes. It is a good idea to postpone traveling while ill.
MEDICAL INSURANCE: You can’t assume your insurance will go with you when you travel. It’s very important to find out BEFORE you leave whether or not your medical insurance will cover you overseas. You need to ask your insurance company two questions:
In many places, doctors and hospitals still expect payment in cash at the time of service. Your regular U.S. health insurance may not cover doctors’and hospital visits in other countries. If your policy doesn’t go with you when you travel, it’s a very good idea to take out another one for your trip. For more information, please see our medical insurance overseas page.
TRAFFIC SAFETY AND ROAD CONDITIONS: While in Jordan, U.S. citizens may encounter road conditions that differ significantly from those in the United States. The information below concerning Jordan is provided for general reference only and may not be completely accurate in a particular location or circumstance.
U.S. Embassy Amman has advised its employees to avoid driving at night outside the Amman metropolitan area due to road conditions, poorly lit rural roads, and erratic behavior by other drivers.
It is typical for drivers in Jordan to not signal turns or lane changes. Drivers can also be aggressive, and cars operate very closely together on the highways. Jordanian roads are particularly treacherous during the rainy season, which runs from December to March. Driving in Amman is also more hazardous in the summer months of June to September when Jordan experiences an influx of visitors from other countries in the region. Highways are more crowded around the Muslim holidays when many Jordanian expatriates return to Jordan for family visits. Poor lighting and road conditions prevail, so extra caution must be exercised at all times, especially when driving at night.
The Desert Highway outside Aqaba, a popular tourist destination, is particularly dangerous because it is narrow, winding, steep, and crowded with trucks. If possible, you should try to avoid this area at night. When driving in both urban and rural areas, motorists should be aware of both unmarked speed bumps and livestock, including camels, sheep, and goats. Collisions between livestock and automobiles are common.
As a result of all these factors, traffic accidents are very frequent and continue to be the largest cause of injury and death in Jordan. Drivers and passengers are required to wear seatbelts, and all cars must have a fire extinguisher and warning triangle in the vehicle. Child car seats are not required by law. Violators of speed limits may be assessed fines up to US $140. Police routinely pull over reckless drivers as well as those believed to be driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Talking on a cell phone while driving is officially prohibited, although the practice is common. If stopped by police, drivers may face a fine. Licensed drivers must carry local third-party insurance with sufficient coverage for accidents resulting in injury or death. Drivers who are involved in an accident should remain at the scene and immediately call the police and emergency personnel in case injuries have occurred. Police may hold the driver’s license or passport in order to prevent the driver from fleeing. Identification documents can be recovered at the police station.
Landmines are often located within two miles of military installations and borders, including the popular Dead Sea area. Minefields are usually fenced off and marked with skull-and-crossbones notices, 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.
Jordan has abundant bus and taxi services. Please see the Crime section for more information about incidents of sexual harassment and assault involving taxi drivers and important safety tips when using public or private transportation in Jordan. Visitors should arrange for their transportation needs via their hotel and should request that drivers not pick up additional passengers en route to their destinations. We do not recommend other forms of public transportation. Jordanian security authorities often establish checkpoints, especially on roads leading to popular tourist destinations, where drivers are expected to stop and present their identity documents. All drivers should stop when directed to do so and comply with the instructions provided to them by the authorities.
Emergencies should be referred to the Civil Defense Department at telephone number 199. Visit the website of Jordan’sMinistry of Tourism and Antiquities. For information on driving regulations, please contact the Embassy of the HashemiteKingdom of Jordan at 3504 International Drive NW, Washington, DC 20008, by telephone at (202) 966-2664.
Please additionally refer to our Road Safety page for more information.
AVIATION SAFETY OVERSIGHT: The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has assessed the Government of Jordan’s Civil Aviation Authority as being in compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards for oversight of Jordan’s air carrier operations. Further information may be found on the FAA’s safety assessment page.
This replaces the Country Specific Information for Jordan dated March 26, 2013 to update the sections on Threats to Safety and Security, Crime, Special Circumstances, and Traffic Safety and Road Conditions.