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Summary

  • Exercise a high degree of caution in Jordan due to the threat of terrorist attack. Pay attention to your personal security at all times. Pay attention to your personal security at all times.
  • Reconsider your need to travel to areas near the borders with Syria and Iraq due to ongoing conflict in those countries.
  • Monitor the media and other sources for information about possible new security risks. Take official warnings seriously and follow the instructions of local authorities. See Safety and security.
  • There's an increased possibility of large-scale protests in Jordan in response to the 6 December 2017 US announcement on Jerusalem, particularly after Friday noon prayers. Avoid demonstrations and large gatherings as they may turn violent. Monitor the media and other sources of information about planned and possible unrest. Pay close attention to your personal security at all times. See Safety and security.
  • Demonstrations have been taking place throughout Jordan since 2011, including in Amman. Avoid all protests as they may turn violent. Take particular care near mosques after Friday prayers. See Safety and security.
  • Extremists have expressed a desire to conduct attacks targeting Western visitors to Jordan. Jordanian authorities have disrupted several terrorist plots targeting Westerners. See Safety and security.
  • The ongoing conflicts in Iraq and Syria have the potential to cause instability in Jordan. Jordanian security forces have deployed additional forces to areas bordering Syria and Iraq and are monitoring the security environment closely. See Safety and security.
  • Since April 2014, there have been ongoing incidents of civil unrest in Ma'an. See Safety and security.
  • See Travel Smart for general advice for all travellers.

Entry and exit

Visas

You'll need a visa to visit Jordan. If you are visiting for tourism, you can get a single entry visa valid for one month on arrival at the airports or at the Sheikh Hussein/North Border crossing at the Jordan/Israel border. Entry visas are not issued at the Wadi Araba/South Border crossing (Aqaba/Eilat) or the Allenby/King Hussein Bridge (the other crossing on the Jordan/Israel border).

You'll need to arrange a visa in advance if:

  • you'll be staying for more than one month, or
  • you're travelling to Jordan for a purpose other than tourism (such as work or study), or
  • you'll be entering Jordan via the Wadi Araba/South Border or Allenby/King Hussein Bridge border crossings.

Visa and other entry and exit conditions (such as currency, customs and quarantine regulations) can change at short notice. Contact the nearest Embassy of Jordan for  up-to-date information.

Other formalities

Foreigners wishing to stay more than one month in Jordan must register with the police and may be required to undergo medical and HIV tests.

A valid yellow fever vaccination certificate is required for entry into Jordan if you have come from or transited an area where there is a risk of transmission.

Under Jordanian law, a husband may prevent his wife and children from leaving Jordan, even if they are Australian citizens. See Laws.

An exit tax is payable at all border crossings except the airports.

In March 2017, the UK and US governments announced new restrictions on carrying electronic devices for passengers travelling from or through Jordan to the UK and the US. See the Hand luggage restrictions at UK airports and/or the US Department of Homeland Security website for further details.  

If you plan to travel to other Arab or Muslim nations after Jordan, read the relevant travel advices on the Smartraveller site. Some countries may refuse you entry if your passport contains evidence of travel to Israel, including entry and exit stamps issued at border crossings in Jordan, or if your luggage has stickers indicating you have been to Israel.

Land borders

The border crossing between Jordan and the West Bank can be closed at very short notice. For details about travel to the West Bank, read Israel, the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.

The border crossings between Jordan and Syria, and Jordan and Iraq are currently closed.

Passport

Make sure your passport is valid for at least six months after the date you intend to return to Australia.

Your passport is a valuable document and attractive to criminals who may try to use your identity to commit crimes. Always keep it in a safe place.

Be aware of attempts to obtain access to your passport by deception.  If you are forced to handover your passport, contact the Embassy for advice.

By law, you must, as soon as possible:

Money

The currency of Jordan is the Jordanian Dinar (JOD). Declare all amounts over JOD15,000 on arrival.

ATMs are available throughout Amman and in other major cities. ATMs are less widely available in rural areas, though most petrol stations on major roads offer ATMs.

Safety and security

Civil unrest and political tension

Demonstrations have been common throughout Jordan since 2011, including in Amman. Demonstrations can be triggered by domestic and regional developments, economic issues and significant anniversaries. To date, most demonstrations have been peaceful but some have become violent.

There's an increased possibility of large-scale protests in Jordan in response to the 6 December 2017 US announcement on Jerusalem, particularly after Friday noon prayers. Pay close attention to your personal security at all times.

Demonstrations usually occur after Friday noon prayers, but can occur at other times. They are likely to occur near large mosques, ministries, diplomatic missions, at major intersections and in downtown areas of Amman. Demonstrations also happen in regional centres, including Irbid, Zarqa, Mafraq, Madaba, Karak, Tafileh, Ma'an, Ajloun, Salt and on the major highways connecting these towns.

  • Avoid all demonstrations and protests as they may turn violent.
  • Monitor the news and other sources for information on planned and possible unrest or strikes.
  • Plan your activities to avoid potential unrest on days of national or commemorative significance
  • Be prepared to change your travel plans in case of disruptions.
  • If you're affected by transport disruptions, contact your airline, travel agent or insurer for assistance.

The Desert Highway has occasionally been closed due to demonstrations and violence in Ma'an. Since April 2014, there have been ongoing incidents of civil unrest in Ma'an.

  • Avoid all protests and demonstrations.
  • Monitor local media and other sources for advice of possible unrest and avoid those areas
  • Follow the instructions of local authorities.

Reconsider your need to travel to areas near the borders with Syria and Iraq due to ongoing conflict in those countries. There is frequent military activity, including shelling and gun fire, which has resulted in fatalities and injuries on the Jordanian side of the border with Syria. Jordanian security forces have increased their presence in the area.

Australian officials have been advised to adopt enhanced security measures when travelling to the Za'atari refugee camp and areas close to the Syrian border.

Terrorism

Extremists have expressed a desire to conduct attacks targeting Western visitors in Jordan, and the Jordanian authorities have disrupted several terrorist plots targeting Westerners.

Recent attacks in Jordan include:

  • On 18 December 2016, several casualties were reported in a serious security incident in Al-Karak governorate, south of Amman.
  • On 21 June 2017, six members of the Jordanian security forces were killed in a ISIL-claimed attack on the Jordanian-Syria border post at Rukban.
  • On 6 June 2017, five members of the Jordanian security forces were killed in an attack at the Baqaa refugee camp north of Amman.

In 2005, al-Qaida was responsible for bombing international hotels in Amman. In October 2012, the Jordanian government foiled a terrorist plot targeting shopping malls and embassies in Amman.

Tourist areas and attractions throughout Jordan and tourists travelling to or from these places, including those in tour groups, could be targeted in future attacks. Other possible terrorist targets include places where there are concentrations of expatriates, such as embassies, expatriate residential areas and schools, outdoor recreation events or identifiably Western businesses, including hotels, restaurants, bars, nightspots, clubs, sporting venues, international fast food outlets, supermarkets, markets, shopping centres, malls, cinemas and theatres.

Extremist groups active in Syria and Iraq have threatened Jordan and a large number of Jordanian foreign fighters are engaged in the conflict in Syria and Iraq. Jordan has deployed additional forces to areas bordering Syria and Iraq and have arrested a number of extremist sympathisers in Jordan. Jordanian security forces monitor the security environment closely.

Minimise risks:

  • In planning your activities, consider the kinds of places known to be terrorist targets and the level of security provided.
  • Stay at hotels with a visible security presence, such as uniformed guards and functioning screening apparatus.
  • If you go to a crowded place or other possible target, have a clear exit plan for if there is a security incident.
  • Be alert to possible threats, especially at tourist locations, religious sites, identifiably Western businesses and crowded public places.
  • Pay close attention to your personal security at all times.
  • Report any suspicious activity or items to police.
  • Monitor local and social media for news of any new or emerging threats.
  • Take official warnings seriously and follow the instructions of local authorities.
  • If there is an attack, leave the affected area immediately if it is safe to do so. 

Terrorism is a threat throughout the world.

More information: Terrorist threat worldwide

Crime

Petty crime is rising in Jordan. Robbery with violence, including bag-snatching, burglaries and assaults against foreigners in tourist destinations (including by unlicensed guides) have been reported. Unattended bags have been stolen from hotels and vehicles.

Women are often subject to harassment, which can include leering, unwanted physical contact and stalking. There have been incidents of sexual assault against foreign women. Friendliness can be misinterpreted.

Scammers operate in tourist areas, often targeting single women travellers with promises of companionship or marriage. The scams typically involve joint business ventures and are aimed at soliciting large sums of money. Prosecution in such cases may be influenced by Jordanian laws and attitudes to marriage and adultery (see Laws).

Credit card fraud has been reported in Jordan, including the use of sophisticated card skimming machines.

Firearms are more common in Jordan than Australia and there are sometimes incidents of crime involving firearms. While illegal, incidents of celebratory gunfire are common and occasionally result in death and injury.

Minimise risks:

  • Be alert to pickpockets and bag snatchers, particularly in tourist areas.
  • Carry only what you need. Leave other valuables, including your cash, jewellery and electronic items in a secure location.
  • Don't leave bags or valuables in a parked vehicle or unattended in a public place.
  • Keep your credit card in sight at all times.
  • Check for card skimming devices before using ATMs.
  • Be wary of friendly strangers, especially if marriage or business ventures are mentioned.
  • Stay indoors and away from windows if there is celebratory gunfire.

If you are female:

  • Avoid engaging or making eye contact with men you don't know.
  • Avoid walking alone after dark or in isolated places.
  • Don't ride in the front seat of taxis, particularly when travelling alone.
  • Always pay attention to your surroundings. If you feel uncomfortable, leave.

More information: Sexual Assault Overseas

Local travel

Unexploded munitions, including landmines, are a danger along Jordan's borders. Known minefields are usually fenced and marked, but these warnings may not be obvious. Seek local advice if travelling near Jordan's borders.

Female travellers

Sexual and other assaults against women are most frequently against women who are travelling alone, particularly at night. Wherever possible, travel during daylight hours and avoid travelling alone.

Tours

The safety standards you might expect of transport and tour operators, including adventure activities, are not always met. Sufficient safety equipment may not be provided and recommended maintenance standards and safety precautions may not be observed.

If you plan to participate in adventure activities, first talk to your travel insurer to check if the activity is covered by your insurance policy. Don't be afraid to ask about or insist on minimal safety requirements. Always use available safety equipment, such as lifejackets or seatbelts, even if others don't. If appropriate safety equipment is not available, use another provider.

Road travel

Road accidents are common in Jordan. Roads are hazardous at night, particularly in rural areas where stray livestock and unlit vehicles are common. Incidents of road rage are increasingly common and can escalate quickly.

Road travel in remote desert areas poses additional risks. Even routine vehicle breakdowns can be dangerous.

By law:

  • vehicles must carry an extinguisher and a warning triangle
  • drivers involved in a motor vehicle accident, no matter how minor, must remain at the scene until traffic police (tel: 911) have attended. 

If you drive in Jordan:

  • first learn the local road rules
  • make sure your vehicle has all required safety equipment
  • drive defensively
  • avoid driving outside cities after dark
  • carry identification documents to present at checkpoints
  • maintain a calm demeanour, particularly if faced with 'road rage'  
  • only leave the scene of an accident if your personal safety is threatened.

If you travel in remote desert areas such as on Highway 10, east of Highway 5, make sure you have sufficient food and water for if you break down and be cautious in your interactions with others.

Driver's licence

If you wish to drive in Jordan, you must obtain an international driver permit before you leave Australia and hold a valid Australian licence.

More information: Australian Embassy website

Motorcycles

Avoid using motorcycles due to the low standard of driving and road maintenance. Check with your travel insurer whether your policy covers you when riding a motorcycle. Wear, and ensure your passenger wears, a correctly fastened and approved helmet.

Taxis

Use only licenced taxis or reputable limousine services, preferably those arranged through your hotel. Avoid taxis that openly tout for business, especially outside the airport, hotels and tourist attractions as they will often try to charge high prices. Always insist that the meter is used.

Several serious assaults by taxi drivers on lone female passengers have been reported. If you're female, avoid sitting in the front seat of a taxi.

Public transport

Transport by bus can be crowded, particularly around major holidays and peak commuter times. Safety standards, usual in Australia, may not be observed.

Sea travel

A number of international cruise ship services visit the port of Aqaba on the Red Sea.

More information: Cruises

Air travel

The Australian Government does not provide information on the safety of individual commercial airlines or flight paths. See the Aviation Safety Network website for information on aviation safety in Jordan.

Australian officials have been advised against travelling on flights that cross over Syrian airspace due to the conflict in Syria. If you have concerns, check your airline's flight path before booking. Flight paths are subject to change.

More information: Air travel

Laws 

You're subject to all local laws and penalties, including those that appear harsh by Australian standards. Research local laws before travelling, especially for an extended stay.

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.

Drug laws

Penalties for drug offences are severe and include life imprisonment. Penalties for possession of even small quantities of recreational drugs include mandatory prison sentences. More information: Drugs

Family and business laws

Jordan's laws regarding family issues such as divorce, child custody and child support are different to Australia's laws on these matters.

If you engage in activities that involve local legal matters, particularly family and business issues, first seek professional legal advice to ensure you understand your rights and responsibilities under local law.

If you want to get married in Jordan, check the legal requirements before you travel. Contact the Jordanian Embassy in Canberra for advice.

Criminal law

Punishments for criminal offences can be harsh by Australian standards. Serious crimes, such as terrorism, murder, treason and rape of a minor, may attract the death penalty. Hard labour may be imposed for offences causing personal injury or property damage.

If you engage in any of the following activities in Jordan, you could be imprisoned:

  • 'adultery' (which includes consensual sex between unmarried couples)
  • photographing embassies, military or security installations or sites
  • driving a car that is involved in an accident in which a pedestrian is injured
  • missionary work, preaching or other religious activities in breach of local regulations.

There are other differences between Jordan's and Australia's criminal laws too. Research local laws before you travel.

Australian laws

Some Australian criminal laws apply overseas. If you commit these offences, you may be prosecuted in Australia. Laws include those relating to:

  • bribery of foreign public officials
  • child pornography
  • child sex tourism
  • female genital mutilation
  • forced marriage
  • money laundering
  • terrorism.

More information: Staying within the law

Local customs

During Ramadan, take care to respect religious and cultural sensitivities, rules and customs. In Jordan, it is illegal to eat, drink and smoke in public during daylight hours in Ramadan. If you are not fasting, also avoid eating, drinking or smoking in the presence of people who are fasting. More information: Ramadan

In Jordan, the following activities are not socially acceptable and may cause offence:

  • public displays of affection between couples
  • unmarried couples living together or sharing accommodation
  • homosexual relations – more information: LGBTI travellers
  • photographing people without first getting their consent.

Other cultural and social expectations can vary between regions of Jordan. Take care not to offend. If in doubt, seek local advice.

Dual nationals

Under Jordanian law, dual nationals are considered Jordanian while in Jordan.

Compulsory military service has been suspended. However, all Jordanian males between 18 and 40 years, including dual nationals, are required to register for Jordanian military service and postpone their service each year. Eligible males who fail to register may be prevented from leaving Jordan.

More information: Dual nationals

 

Health

Travel insurance

Take out comprehensive travel insurance before you depart to cover overseas medical costs, including medical evacuation.

Remember, regardless of how healthy and fit you are, if you can't afford travel insurance, you can't afford to travel. The Australian Government will not pay for a traveller's medical expenses overseas or medical evacuation costs. This can be very expensive and cost you many thousands of dollars upfront.

Confirm:

  • what circumstances and activities are and are not covered under your policy
  • that you are covered for the whole time you will be away.

More information: Travel insurance

Physical and mental health

It's important to consider your physical and mental health before travelling, especially if you have an existing medical condition.

  • At least eight weeks before you depart, see your doctor or travel clinic for a basic health check-up, and to discuss your travel plans and implications for your health.
  • Get vaccinated before you travel.

More information:

Medication

Not all medications available over the counter or by prescription in Australia are available in other countries. Some may even be considered illegal or a controlled substance, even if prescribed by an Australian doctor.  Before you leave Australia, check if your medication is legal in each country you're travelling to.

Take with you prescription medicines to cover you for your entire stay so you remain in good health. Always carry on your person a copy of your prescription or a letter from your doctor stating what the medicine is, how much you'll take and that it's for personal use only. 

More information: Prescription medicines

Health risks

MERS-CoV

Cases of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) have been reported in Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, Oman and the United Arab Emirates. Other countries outside the Middle East have also reported imported cases from returned travellers. More information: MERS-CoV

Other Infectious diseases

Water-borne, food-borne, insect-borne and other infectious diseases (including hepatitis, typhoid, measles, brucellosis, sand fly fever, rabies and schistosomiasis) are prevalent with more serious outbreaks occurring from time-to-time.

  • Boil all drinking water or drink bottled water.
  • Avoid ice cubes.
  • Avoid uncooked and undercooked food.
  • Ensure your accommodation is mosquito proof.
  • Take measures to avoid insect bites, including using insect repellent and wearing long, loose-fitting, light-coloured clothing.

Seek medical attention if you suspect poisoning, if you have a fever or suffer from diarrhoea.

Medical facilities

High quality private medical services are available in Amman but, outside major cities, Jordan's health services are basic. Paramedic and ambulance services in Jordan are also basic compared to those in Australia.

Health care providers in Jordan may seek upfront payment for medical treatment even if you have travel insurance.

If you become seriously ill or injured, you may need to be evacuated to a destination with appropriate facilities. Medical evacuation and treatment could be very expensive.

Where to get help

Depending on what you need, your best option may be to first contact your family, friends, travel agent, travel insurance provider, employer or airline. Your travel insurer should have a 24-hour emergency number.

Emergencies

  • Fire: 911
  • Medical emergencies: 911
  • Criminal issues: contact the local police 911

Always get a police report when reporting a crime. 

Tourism services and products

For complaints relating to tourism services or products, contact your service provider directly.

Australian Government

Read the Consular Services Charter for what the Australian Government can and can't do to help you overseas.

For consular assistance, contact:

Australian Embassy

41 Kayed Al Armouti Street
Abdoun Al Jonoubi
Amman, JORDAN
Telephone: +962 6 580 7000
Facsimile: +962 6 580 7001
Email: amman.consular@dfat.gov.au
Website: jordan.embassy.gov.au

The working week is Sunday to Thursday, in accordance with local practice.

Check the Embassy website for information about opening hours and temporary closures that may affect service provision.

If you are unable to contact the embassy in a consular emergency, contact the 24-hour Consular Emergency Centre on +61 2 6261 3305, or 1300 555 135 within Australia.

 

Additional information

Natural disasters, severe weather and climate

Jordan is located in an active earthquake zone.

Rock falls and landslides can occur, particularly in valleys. 

You could encounter sand or dust storms, particularly in desert areas. Snow storms can also occur.

The rainy season (usually November to March) can bring flooding, including flash flooding. Valleys (wadis) are most at risk.  

If there is a natural disaster or severe weather:

  • secure your passport in a safe, waterproof location or carry it on you at all times (in a waterproof bag)
  • contact friends and family in Australia with regular updates about your welfare and whereabouts
  • closely monitor the media, other local sources of information and the Global Disaster Alert and Coordination System
  • follow the advice of local authorities.

More information:

Additional Resources