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Military action is underway in Ukraine. If you’re in Ukraine, shelter in place until it’s safe to depart.
The Russian invasion of Ukraine is ongoing. The security situation continues to be volatile and is deteriorating rapidly. Heavy fighting, including bombardments, explosions and missile launches, is ongoing throughout Ukraine, including in major cities. Infrastructure and military facilities have been struck by rocket attacks. There have been many civilian casualties. Foreigners have been killed and may be targeted, including in areas not directly affected by fighting. Do not travel to Ukraine, there is a real risk to life. If you’re in Ukraine, shelter in place until you judge it’s safe to depart. Continue to monitor advice on Smartraveller and reputable local and international media. Where it is safe to do so, you should leave Ukraine.
Use your judgement to decide the best time and safest means of exit. Expect some congestion on routes, at checkpoints and lengthy queues. Roads may be crowded, exposed to military action or have damage, including to bridges and facilities. Make sure you have an adequate supply of food, water, medication and fuel.
The Australian Government will not be able to evacuate you from Ukraine.
Be aware that some borders may close without notice. Information may change and will be updated as details become available. You should also read the travel advice of the destination you’re travelling to - entry requirements may differ when entering by road, rail or air. Before leaving Ukraine, verify if the local authorities of your destination have implemented any restrictions or requirements related to this situation.
Expect some congestion on routes, at checkpoints and lengthy queues. Make sure you have an adequate supply of food, water, medication and fuel. Use your judgement to decide the best time and safest means of exit. Roads may be crowded, exposed to military action or have damage, including to bridges and facilities.
In most cases, Australians departing Ukraine must present a valid Australian passport.
Read our advice about Ukraine border regions.
+61 2 6261 3305 from overseas
1300 555 135 from within Australia
Health advice is continually changing as we learn more about COVID-19 and new variants may be discovered. Rules and restrictions to prevent outbreaks can change quickly. It’s important to regularly check the rules in the destinations you’re travelling to and transiting through, as well as the requirements at the Australian border. These may differ between state and territory jurisdictions.
Full travel advice: Safety
Full travel advice: Health
Full travel advice: Local laws
Full travel advice: Travel
Full travel advice: Local contacts
The security situation in Syria is extremely dangerous due to:
Chemical weapons have been used during the conflict in Syria. These weapons could be used again.
If you're in Syria despite this advice, prepare to leave as soon as possible. Get a valid exit visa in your passport in case you need to depart quickly.
For the time you're in Syria:
If you're out and about:
If there's an attack:
The security situation means access to food, water and fuel can be difficult. Plan ahead by keeping stocks of these basics as well as toiletries and prescription medication.
Terrorism is a threat worldwide.
Many foreigners have been kidnapped in Syria. Kidnappers often kill hostages.
Since 2014, reported kidnappings of aid workers and journalists have risen significantly.
The Australian Government's longstanding policy is that it doesn't make payments or concessions to kidnappers.
The security situation in the region remains unpredictable and could deteriorate with little or no warning.
Public protests and events that draw large groups of people can turn violent.
Syrian authorities have arrested people near demonstrations, regardless of their citizenship.
Civil unrest may limit your ability to travel by road.
If you're in Syria despite our advice:
The breakdown in law and order has led to an increase in crime, including:
If you're in Syria despite our advice:
Syria is subject to earthquakes. Dust storms and sandstorms also happen.
Get comprehensive travel insurance before you leave.
Your policy needs to cover all overseas medical costs, including medical evacuation. The Australian Government won't pay for these costs.
You'll probably need a special insurance policy that covers travel to high-risk destinations. Most Australian policies won't cover you for travel to Syria.
If you can't afford travel insurance, you can't afford to travel. This applies to everyone, no matter how healthy and fit you are.
If you're not insured, you may have to pay many 1000s of dollars up-front for medical care.
Consider your physical and mental health before you travel, especially if you have an existing medical condition. Consider whether you may be in a vulnerable category for COVID-19.
See your doctor or travel clinic to:
Not all medication available over the counter or by prescription in Australia is available in other countries. Some may even be considered illegal or a controlled substance, even if prescribed by an Australian doctor.
Due to the ongoing conflict, medications are in short supply in Syria.
If you plan to bring medication, check if it's legal in Syria. Take enough legal medicine for your trip.
Carry a copy of your prescription or a letter from your doctor stating:
COVID-19 remains a risk in Syria.
Consult your local health professional for advice on vaccine options, including assistance that may be available locally. The Australian Government cannot provide advice on the safety, quality and efficacy of vaccines that have been approved for use outside of Australia's regulatory process.
Syria is exposed to the international spread of polio.
If you're staying longer than 4 weeks, you'll need to show proof on exit that you've had the polio vaccine or a booster within the past 12 months. If you don't, you may need to be vaccinated before leaving Syria.
Insect-borne diseases, such as leishmaniasis, are common.
Malaria occurs in the northern border region, particularly Al Hasakah Province.
To protect yourself from disease:
Get medical advice if you have a fever, muscle pain, a rash or a severe headache.
Waterborne, foodborne, parasitic and other infectious diseases are common. These include:
Serious outbreaks sometimes happen.
To protect yourself from illness:
Get medical advice if you have a fever or diarrhoea.
Access to hospitals may be limited due to the ongoing conflict. The quality of healthcare in Syria has deteriorated significantly.
If you become seriously ill or injured, you'll need to be evacuated to a place with suitable facilities. Medical evacuation can be very expensive. It may be difficult to arrange due to the security situation.
You're subject to all local laws and penalties, including those that may appear harsh by Australian standards. Research local laws before travelling.
If you're arrested or jailed, the Australian Government will do what it can to help you under our Consular Services Charter. But we can't get you out of trouble or out of jail.
Penalties for drug offences are severe and may include the death penalty.
If you're involved in local legal matters, get professional advice. Know your rights and responsibilities, especially in family law matters like:
Serious crime, such as murder, can attract the death penalty.
These activities are illegal in Syria:
If you wish to preach a religion other than Islam, get local advice. Restrictions can apply.
It's illegal under Australian law for Australian citizens, including dual citizens, to support any armed groups in Syria. This includes:
Australia has imposed sanctions on Syria, including a ban on weapons.
Some Australian criminal laws still apply when you're overseas. If you break these laws, you may face prosecution in Australia.
Syria recognises dual nationality. However, Syrian citizenship ranks over the second nationality.
If you're an Australian-Syrian dual national, you'll be treated as Syrian by Syrian authorities. This limits the consular services we can give if you're arrested or detained.
Children of Syrian men get Syrian citizenship at birth.
Syria has compulsory military service.
If you're a male dual national, you may have to do military service if you go to Syria. Having an Australian passport does not exclude you from this obligation.
Standards of dress and behaviour are conservative, particularly around religious sites.
If you're female, wear loose clothing that covers your arms and legs. Wear a headscarf.
Take care not to offend. If in doubt, seek local advice.
The Islamic holiday month of Ramadan is observed in Syria. Respect religious and cultural customs and laws at this time.
During Ramadan, eating, drinking and smoking may be illegal in public during the day. If you're not fasting, avoid these activities around people who are. Seek local advice to avoid offence.
Explore our Ramadan page to learn more, including dates for Ramadan.
Every country or territory decides who can enter or leave through its borders. For specific information about the evidence you'll need to enter a foreign destination, including COVID-19 vaccinations and tests, check with the nearest embassy, consulate or immigration department of the destination you're entering.
Do not travel to Syria.
If, despite our advice, you travel to Syria without Syrian identity documents, you'll need a visa.
You can apply for a visa at the nearest Syrian embassy or consulate. You can't get a visa when you arrive.
Parts of Syria, including north-east Syria, are controlled by groups that may issue local travel permits. Even so, you'll still need a visa issued by the Syrian Government if travelling to Syria.
Leave Syria immediately by commercial means.
For the latest information on travelling between Syria and Lebanon, contact Lebanese and Syrian authorities. In addition to these requirements, you need to show a negative COVID-19 (PCR) test or proof of vaccination to enter Lebanon. Entry and exit measures may change without notice.
Most commercial airlines have stopped flying to Syria. Other commercial air services and airports could stop operating without notice.
Civilian airports could come under attack at any time, including in Damascus and Aleppo.
Telecommunication and travel restrictions may limit your exit options:
To minimise risks to your safety:
If you've overstayed your visa, you'll need an exit visa for you and your children before leaving.
If you have a residence permit, you'll also need an 'exit and return' stamp before you can leave.
Be aware that:
To prevent the spread of COVID-19, Syria has tightened its border controls, this may involve the closure of some border crossings at short notice. Monitor media and announcements from local authorities.
To visit the Australian Embassy in Beirut, you may need to prove you have an appointment before entry to Lebanon from Syria is granted. To contact the Australian Embassy in Beirut. See Local contacts.
Due to COVID-19, Jordan has closed its borders. See Jordan travel advice.
Border crossings with Iraq remain closed because of military operations. Don't travel to Iraq from Syria by land.
Syrian border authorities have held Australians of Arab origin for long periods without charge.
To enter Syria, a negative COVID-19 (PCR) test result is required, and Syrian authorities require home isolation for 5 days. Check entry requirements with Syrian authorities before travelling.
You must declare all foreign currency and electronic equipment when you arrive in Syria. If you don't, you could face delays when you leave.
Declare all amounts in excess of $US5,000 or equivalent when you arrive and depart. This covers all forms of currency, not only cash.
Do not use mobile phones at check points.
The Syrian Government enforces restrictions on prior travel to Israel.
Authorities can hold anyone, regardless of their nationality, for questioning for several days and then deport them.
If there's evidence that you've travelled to Israel, authorities will refuse your entry to Syria or deport you. Evidence includes:
If you travel to Syria despite our advice, note that some countries won't let you enter unless your passport is valid for 6 months after you plan to leave that country. This can apply even if you're just transiting or stopping over.
Some foreign governments and airlines apply this rule inconsistently. Travellers can receive conflicting advice from different sources.
You may end up stranded if your passport is not valid for more than 6 months.
The Australian Government does not set these rules. Check your passport's expiry date before you travel. If you're not sure if it will be valid for long enough, consider getting a new passport.
Your passport is a valuable document. It's attractive to people who may try to use your identity to commit crimes.
Some people may try to trick you into giving them your passport. Always keep it in a safe place.
If your passport is lost or stolen, tell the Australian Government as soon as possible.
The local currency is the Syrian Pound (SYP).
It's illegal to change money on the streets in Syria.
You can change money in government banks or at recognised exchange bureaus. However, many exchange bureaus can no longer exchange foreign currency.
You can't convert Syrian pounds into other currencies when you leave.
International sanctions mean financial organisations in several countries have stopped doing business with Syrian companies.
Credit cards may not be accepted in Syria. You may not be able to access your money via ATMs.
Carry enough cash to cover your needs in either US dollars or euros.
Travel within Syria is dangerous. Some services and venues remain closed due to COVID-19. These restrictions can change frequently with little notice from local authorities.
If you're in Syria despite our advice, consider the security environment before travelling within the country. See Safety
Access to international border crossings may be limited due to roadblocks, road closures and fighting. This can happen with little to no warning.
Major highways may become, or are already, blocked due to conflict. These include:
If you need to travel by road, first:
Don't travel to Syria by sea due to the extremely dangerous security situation.
The international airport in Damascus is the only airport operating international flights in Syria.
Australian officials have been advised against travelling on flights that cross Syrian airspace.
DFAT does not provide information on the safety of individual commercial airlines or flight paths.
Check Syria's air safety profile with the Aviation Safety Network.
Depending on what you need, contact your:
Call 110 or go direct to a hospital.
Call 112 or visit the nearest police station.
Always get a police report when you report a crime.
Your insurer should have a 24-hour emergency number.
Read the Consular Services Charter for what the Australian Government can and can't do to help you overseas.
Australia doesn't have an embassy or consulate in Syria. The ability of the Australian Government to provide consular help in Syria is extremely limited.
The Romanian Embassy in Damascus may be able to provide limited emergency consular services to Australians in Syria. They provide these services under a consular assistance arrangement in conjunction with the Australian Embassy in Beirut.
Embassy Complex, Serail Hill
Downtown Beirut, Lebanon
Phone: +961 1 960 600
Fax: +961 1 960 601
In a consular emergency, if you can't contact an embassy, call the 24-hour Consular Emergency Centre on:
Be the first to know official government advice when travelling.