All non-Yemeni citizens need a visa to enter the country. Visas must be organized before arrival through a Yemen embassy or consulate. Americans can obtain a single-entry visa that lasts for up to three months or a multiple-entry visa which lasts for six months. To be eligible for a visa, a doctor must confirm in writing the lack of any contagious or communicable diseases. Once in Yemen, a permit is needed to travel outside of the capital city of Sana’a. These permits can easily be obtained from the Tourist Police or travel agents.
Health and Safety
Yemen is presently in a state of civil unrest and it is therefore considered unsafe for travelers. Always check current national travel warnings before booking a trip here at: http://travel.state.gov/travel/cispatw/tw/tw_5814.html. Violent clashes and unrest may occur anywhere, at any time, and consular assistance for foreign travelers may be limited.
The main safety threats to travelers are kidnapping and terrorism. To stay safe, it is recommended to travel with a local guide and to avoid demonstrations and high profile venues which may be targeted by terrorists. The threat of crime against foreigners, however, is low. Travel off the beaten track requires local advice as some areas suffer from unexploded mines left over from the civil war.
The air is very dry, which poses a challenge to some, while for others it is the excessive dust that causes problems. The high elevations in the country can also be challenging, especially if hiking, but by drinking lots of bottled water, the risk of developing altitude sickness is reduced. Be sure not to drink tap water here.
Visitors should also take precautions against malaria and should be sure to update their polio vaccination prior to travel as this disease is present in towns along the Red Sea. Ensure you take out comprehensive travel insurance prior to travel here and be aware that medical facilities in the country are lacking.