Safety and Security
See the Department of State’s travel advisory for Haiti.
Embassy employees are prohibited from using public transportation and visiting certain areas of Port-au-Prince due to high crime. Political violence and violent crimes are common in Haiti, including murders, robberies, assaults, vehicle break-ins, and home invasions. Travelers are often targeted, followed, and violently attacked and robbed shortly after leaving the Port-au-Prince international airport. For this reason, Embassy personnel are prohibited from traveling in personal vehicles to and from the airport. Also, the Embassy has procedures in place to detect surveillance and deter attacks on its employees.
Labadee, a port near Cap Haitien in the north – only accessible by cruise ship passengers – has private security and low rates of reported crime. Travelers should exercise reasonable precautions.
- Be careful about providing your destination address in Haiti. Do not provide personal information to unauthorized individuals located in the immigration, customs, or other areas inside or near any airports in Haiti.
- Arrange airport transfers and hotels in advance, or have your host meet you upon arrival.
- As you leave the airport, make sure you are not being followed. If you notice you are being followed, drive to the nearest police station immediately.
- Be aware of your surroundings.
- Keep a low profile.
- Do not display signs of wealth, such as jewelry or watches.
- Embassy employees are prohibited from visiting banks and using ATMs. U.S. citizens are often followed, attacked and robbed soon after withdrawing money. If you must use an ATM, select one that is out of sight from the general public (such as inside your hotel), and be cautious at all times.
- Do not resist a robbery or car-jacking attempt. Criminals may kill those who resist.
- If a situation makes you feel uncomfortable, leave immediately.
- Be aware: drug traffickers have duped travelers into transporting narcotics aboard on commercial flights.
- Be aware: crime rates tend to go up during holidays, particularly in crowded street festivities.
See the Department of State and the FBI pages for information on scams.
Victims of Crime, Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault: Local authorities are responsible for investigating and prosecuting crimes. Police investigations may not meet U.S. standards and forensic medical services are very basic. Rape kits do not exist in Haiti. Report crimes to the local police at (+509) 3838-1111 or (+509) 3733-3640, then call the U.S. Embassy at (+509) 2229-8900 during business hours, or (+509) 2229-8000 after hours.
See our webpage on help for U.S. victims of crime overseas.
- help you find appropriate medical care
- assist you in reporting a crime to the police
- contact relatives or friends if we receive your written consent
- explain the local criminal justice process in general terms
- provide a list of attorneys in Haiti
- provide information on victim’s compensation programs in the United States
- in cases of destitution, provide an emergency loan for repatriation to the United States and/or limited medical support
- help you find hotel accommodations and arrange a flight home
- replace a stolen or lost passport
Hurricanes: Hurricane season runs from June 1 – November 30 in the Atlantic. Roads and bridges may become impassible. Poor rescue services and weak infrastructure hamper the government’s ability to respond to storms.
For information on how to prepare and respond to storms and hurricanes:
- Haiti Météo website
- Local media broadcasts in Creole or French
- National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
- U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency
Earthquakes: Haiti is prone to earthquakes. For information on what to do before, during, and after an earthquake, visit https://www.ready.gov/earthquakes.
For further information:
- Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security messages and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
- Call us in Washington at 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or 1-202-501-4444 in other countries from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).
- See the State Department’s travel website for the worldwide caution and travel advisories.
- Follow us on Facebook and Twitter and U.S. Embassy Port-au-Prince’s social media.
- See traveling safely abroad for useful travel tips.