Due to the deteriorating security situation in Sana’a, the Department of State suspended embassy operations at U.S. Embassy Sana’a on February 11, 2015.
All consular services, routine and emergency, continue to be suspended until further notice. The level of instability and ongoing threats in Yemen remain extremely concerning. There are no plans for a U.S. government-coordinated evacuation of U.S. citizens at this time. If you wish to depart Yemen, you should stay alert for other opportunities to leave the country. U.S. citizens who are able to depart Yemen for another country and are in need of emergency assistance upon arrival may contact a U.S. embassy or consulate in that country.
For U.S. citizens departing Yemen, please consider all possible routes before deciding to depart via the Yemen-Saudi Arabia border. Travel to the border can be dangerous, and U.S. citizens who have attempted to cross have reported long delays in a harsh environment, and some have been detained or turned away by Saudi authorities.
At the time of this posting, the only open border crossing is at Al Wadiah, also written as “Al Wuday’ah”. The Saudi border post is not staffed or designed to handle high demand. At times, travelers have reported sleeping outdoors for days before being able to cross. The location is extremely remote, and there is no access to food, water, shelter, or other essentials there. Please plan your travel accordingly, and consider the risks involved. The journey may be very dangerous. There have been reports of attacks and airstrikes in several areas on both sided of the border. There may be checkpoints, and travelers have given accounts of extortion, armed robbery, questioning, and detentions. U.S. citizens have reported being singled out for extra attention at times, so it may be safer to conceal your citizenship in some situations. At this time we have no personnel in Yemen or near the border due to safety and security concerns.
It may be safer to wait and find another way to leave Yemen. We cannot guarantee that any one person will receive a visa, and Saudi authorities may ask you to find a sponsor who is a Saudi national or is legally resident in this country. Foreign relatives and undocumented U.S. citizens have been turned away by Saudi authorities despite our best efforts to assist them.
It is reported that travelers are required to pay a fee of 100 Saudi Riyals to leave Yemen. Travelers are recommended to obtain a police pass from the Yemen Interior Ministry or tourism police if possible otherwise they may face difficulties at government checkpoints inside Yemen. Contact us at +966 12-220-5000 if there is any trouble at the borderWe do not recommend that Yemeni family members travel to Saudi Arabia. The Saudi authorities may allow U.S. citizens to enter, but it is less likely they will give visas to Yemenis. If they come to the border and are turned away by Saudi authorities, they could be stranded in a very difficult situation. If they are allowed to enter Saudi Arabia, they will not be allowed by the Saudis to stay here long enough to complete the immigrant visa process. For these and other reasons, you will need to consider applying in another country. We are referring these cases primarily to our embassies in Malaysia, Algeria, Ethiopia and Sudan. If you do enter Saudi Arabia, you will need a plan for where to go next.