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Posted on March 21, 2013 in Asia, Travel Advisory

Travel Warning For North Korea

Travel Warning For North Korea, DPRK

The Department of State continues to warn U.S. citizens about travel to North Korea (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, or DPRK). Travel by U.S. citizens to North Korea is not routine, and U.S. citizens crossing into North Korea, even accidentally, have been subject to arbitrary arrest and long-term detention. Since January 2009, four U.S. citizens have been arrested for entering North Korea illegally, and two U.S. citizens who entered on valid DPRK visas were arrested inside North Korea on other charges. This replaces the Travel Warning issued for North Korea on September 11, 2012, and it reminds U.S. citizens about the serious risks involved in traveling to the DPRK. (more…)

Posted on October 24, 2012 in Asia, Europe, Travel Advisory

Travel Warning for Turkey

We provide travel medical insurance to mission teams to Turkey.  Recently the US State Department issued the below warning:

The Embassy advises U.S. citizens that we have recently added the provinces of Hatay, Kilis, Gaziantep, and ?anl?urfa to the list of provinces in southeast Turkey for which special permission is required for any necessary official or unofficial travel by U.S. government employees. The other restricted provinces are ??rnak, Diyarbak?r, Van, Siirt, Mu?, Mardin, Batman, Bingöl, Tunceli, Hakkâri, Bitlis and Elazi?. U.S government employees are required to take special precautions when traveling in these provinces, to include consulting with local security officials on current threats. If road travel is necessary, drive only during daylight hours and on major highways. The Embassy reminds U.S. citizens that the situation in southeast Turkey, while usually calm, can change without warning. Over the past several months, provinces in southeast Turkey have experienced a substantial increase in terrorist attacks and kidnappings. Turkish towns located directly along the border with Syria have also been struck by bullets and artillery rounds originating in Syria, with some resulting in deaths or injuries.

In addition to the well-known, longstanding threat from terrorists associated with Kongra-Gel (KGK, also known as PKK), other violent extremists have transited Turkey en route to Syria. Therefore, we recommend that U.S. citizens take care in meetings with individuals claiming to represent the Syrian opposition movement.

We remind U.S. citizens traveling to the southeastern part of Turkey or residing in Turkey to provide their contact and next- of-kin information through the Department of State’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program. By enrolling, U.S. citizens make it easier for the Embassy to contact them in case of emergency. U.S. citizens without Internet access may register directly with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. For additional information, please refer to “A Safe Trip Abroad.”

U.S. citizens visiting or residing in Turkey for business or pleasure typically enjoy a richly rewarding and safe experience. Nevertheless, we encourage all U.S. citizens to pay attention to local news media and the advice of Turkish authorities, and to maintain a modest and respectful demeanor throughout Turkey. The Department of State advises all U.S. citizens abroad to take prudent steps to ensure personal safety: remain vigilant and aware of surroundings, listen to news reports, avoid crowds and demonstrations, and vary times and routes for all travel.

Copyright © 2012, U.S. Department of State

Posted on October 8, 2012 in Asia

US State Department Travel Warning for Kazakhstan

by Adam Bates

Following recent events in Western Kazakhstan, such as the September 5 explosion in Atyrau, the U.S. Mission Kazakhstan encourages U.S. citizens resident in, or traveling to, Western Kazakhstan to remain vigilant. Although previous violent activity has primarily been directed towards Kazakhstani governmental entities, it is possible that this focus could shift to other targets.

The U.S. Mission Kazakhstan recommends that all U.S. citizens resident in Kazakhstan register with the Consular Sections in Astana and Almaty either online through the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP), or in person during American Citizen Services (ACS) hours. Further information can be found online at http://kazakhstan.usembassy.gov/contact_acs.html. By enrolling, U.S. citizens make it easier for the Embassy or Consulate to contact them in case of emergency.

We remind U.S. citizens that even demonstrations intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational and possibly escalate into violence. Please avoid areas where demonstrations occur or are planned and exercise caution if within the vicinity of any large gatherings. Please stay current with media coverage of local events, be aware of your surroundings, and practice personal security awareness at all times.

U.S. citizens traveling abroad should regularly monitor the U.S. Department of State’s, Bureau of Consular Affairs website, where the current Worldwide Caution, Travel Warnings, Travel Alerts, and Country Specific Information can be found. The U.S. Embassy also encourages U.S. citizens to review “A Safe Trip Abroad,” which includes valuable security information for those living and traveling abroad.

Follow us on Twitter and the Bureau of Consular Affairs page on Facebook as well. You can also download our free Smart Traveler App available through iTunes and the Android market to have travel information at your fingertips. In addition to information on the internet, travelers may obtain the latest information on security conditions by calling 1.888.407.4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada, or outside the United States and Canada on a regular toll line at 1.202.501.4444. These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).

For further information, U.S. citizens may telephone the United States Embassy Astana at 7.7172.70.21.00 or for after-hours emergencies 8.7172.70.22.00 or the U.S. Consulate General Almaty at 7.727.250.49.00 (you may use the same number for after-hours emergencies).

Copyright © 2012, U.S. Department of State

For more travel safety tips visit our Facebook Page http://www.facebook.com/MissionaryHealth/app_4949752878

Posted on September 20, 2012 in Asia, Travel Advisory

US State Department Travel Warning for Pakistan

If you are traveling to Pakistan, then please contact Insurance Services of America to review your international health insurance benefits.  We highly recommend emergency medical evacuation coverage.  If you have a medical emergency, then your US health insurance policy will not cover medical evacuation if you need to be flown out of the country.  Speak with a Client Adviser at 800.647.4589 or get an instant travel medical insurance quote.

The Department of State warns U.S. citizens to defer all non-essential travel to Pakistan. This Travel Warning replaces the Travel Warning dated August 27, 2012, to remind U.S. citizens of ongoing security concerns in Pakistan. (more…)

Posted on August 13, 2012 in Asia, Travel Advisory

Updated US State Department Travel Warning for Israel

The Department of State warns U.S. citizens of the risks of traveling to Israel, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip, and about threats to themselves and to U.S. interests in those locations. The Department of State urges U.S. citizens to remain mindful of security factors when planning travel to Israel and the West Bank and to avoid all travel to the Gaza Strip. This replaces the Travel Warning issued March 19, 2012, to update information on the general security environment. (more…)

Posted on May 8, 2012 in Asia, Travel Advisory

Updated U.S. State Department Travel Warning for Lebanon

The US State Department updaet the Travel Warning for Lebanon and continues to urge U.S. citizens to avoid all travel to Lebanon due to current safety and security concerns. U.S. citizens living and working in Lebanon should understand that they accept risks in remaining and should carefully consider those risks. This supersedes the Travel Warning issued on October 12, 2011, to update information on security and the Special Tribunal for Lebanon. (more…)

Posted on April 30, 2012 in Asia, Travel Advisory

Updated U.S. State Department Travel Warning for Iran

The Department of State warns U.S. citizens to carefully consider the risks of travel to Iran. Dual national Iranian-American citizens may encounter difficulty in departing Iran. U.S. citizens should stay current with media coverage of local events and carefully consider nonessential travel. This replaces the Travel Warning for Iran issued October 21, 2011 to add information regarding additional time needed for citizenship documents processed by the Swiss Protecting Power in Tehran, and the Department’s ability to assist U.S. citizens in an emergency. (more…)

Posted on March 19, 2012 in Asia, Evacuation, Travel Advisory

Israel: Updated Travel Warning

Source: U.S. Department of State

The Department of State warns U.S. citizens of the risks of traveling to Israel, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip, and about threats to themselves and to U.S. interests in those locations. The Department of State urges U.S. citizens to remain mindful of security factors when planning travel to Israel and the West Bank and to avoid all travel to the Gaza Strip. This replaces the Travel Warning issued June 22, 2011, to update information on the general security environment.

The Gaza Strip and Southern Israel
The Department of State strongly urges U.S. citizens to avoid all travel to the Gaza Strip, which is under the control of Hamas, a designated foreign terrorist organization. American citizens in Gaza are advised to depart immediately. (more…)

Posted on February 13, 2012 in Asia, Travel

Preparing for My Trip Overseas: Helpful Tips You Can Use

I recently returned from a trip home to Vietnam to celebrate the Lunar New Year with my family. Here’s a list of all I did to help prepare for my long trip home: (more…)