Jordan

6 M
Population
Dinar
Currency
Terrorism

Terrorist attacks are highly likely. In 2016 there have been a number of incidents, most of which have targeted local security forces. The most high profile of these included:

On 18 December 2016, 10 people were killed, including 3 civilians, and at least 29 injured in a terrorist attack in Kerak; it’s not clear if tourists were deliberately targeted.

In June 2016, 5 people were killed after a gunman gained access to the General Intelligence Directorate’s base in Baqa’a, 10km north of Amman city centre.There was also an explosion near Rukban on the north-eastern border resulting in some 20 casualties.

In March 2016, Jordanian security forces conducted an operation against a terrorist cell in Irbid, northern Jordan. The operation resulted in a number of deaths.

You should be vigilant at all times and keep updated on the situation in the country through local media and travel reports, and by subscribing for updates to this travel advice.

Attacks could be indiscriminate including in places visited by foreigners, particularly hotels, shopping malls and tourist sites.

There is considered to be a heightened threat of terrorist attack globally against UK interests and British nationals, from groups or individuals motivated by the conflict in Iraq and Syria. You should be vigilant at this time.

Kidnap

Terrorist groups operating in Syria, who routinely use kidnapping as a tactic, are present in the Syrian border areas.

The long-standing policy of the British government is not to make substantive concessions to hostage takers. The British government considers that paying ransoms and releasing prisoners increases the risk of further hostage taking.

Find out more about the global threat from terrorism, how to minimise your risk and what to do in the event of a terrorist attack.

Safety and security

Political situation

Six years of war in the surrounding region, continued pressures of large refugee populations and economic reform programmes have helped create an atmosphere in which protests often occur. These have taken place in many parts of Jordan on Fridays and sometimes on other days of the week. Demonstrations may occur in town centres, refugee camps and other locations. Violent clashes have also been known to occur on university campuses. On 24 November 2016, a tribal dispute led to shooting and fighting on the University of Jordan campus, injuring 2 people.

Follow news reports and be aware of local sensitivities on these issues. Avoid all political gatherings and demonstrations. Take care, especially at night, when travelling to or via towns outside of Amman. Stay away from downtown Amman and the centres of other major towns and cities after Friday midday prayers and be aware of the possibility of spontaneous demonstrations and road blockages occurring elsewhere, particularly after sunset.

Border areas

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advises against all but essential travel within 3km of the entire Syrian border, and to within 6km of the Syrian border between routes 15 and 35. This is due to the risk of small arms fire, stray mortars, or other attacks in the area.

Jordan’s land borders are closed from time to time. Take care at all border crossings, particularly when travelling by taxi into neighbouring countries.

With the ongoing war in Syria, and the recent increased fighting in Iraq, Jordanian army and police units are patrolling the entire border area with both countries. They have been known to engage vehicles and people coming into Jordan illegally and will continue to monitor traffic.

Terrorist groups operating in Syria, including those like Daesh (formerly referred to as ISIL) who routinely use kidnapping as a tactic, are present in the Syrian border areas.

There have been cases where passengers travelling into Iraq have been handed over to kidnappers once over the Iraqi border.

Landmines

Landmines may be located near military installations and borders. Minefields are usually fenced off and marked with a skull and crossbones sign, but fences and signs may be in a poor state of repair.

Crime

Crime levels are generally low. Most crime is limited to pick pocketing, occasional bag snatching and theft from cars. Be vigilant and keep your money, passport and valuables secure.

Reports of cases of sexual assault against foreign women are still low, but there has been an increase in reports in recent years. Female visitors and residents should take care when walking or travelling alone. You should maintain at least the same level of personal security awareness as you would in the UK.

Don’t accept lifts from strangers. If you have to use a taxi ask your hotel to recommend a reliable driver. Women should not ride in the front seat of a taxi, particularly when travelling alone.

Jordanian police advise anyone who finds themselves stranded - even in daytime - to call the police on 911.

Road travel

You can drive in Jordan using an International Driving Permit. Make sure you have third party insurance. In Jordanian law a driver is always considered guilty if they hit a pedestrian. If you are involved in such an incident, you could face imprisonment and be liable for the payment of hospital bills and other compensation.

According to World Health Organisation data, Jordan ranks 36th in the world for the number of deaths as a result of road traffic accidents. Drive with care, especially at night, and avoid driving on unlit roads. Stray animals, broken-down vehicles and unmarked road works are common. If you have an accident, don’t leave the scene before the police have arrived and taken a statement. You can contact the police by calling 911.

The police carry out random security checks. Keep identification documents with you to present at these checkpoints. The police also strictly enforce the speed limit with fixed and hand-held speed traps. They issue on the spot fines of between 15 to 150 Jordanian Dinars.

Front seatbelts are required by law. Failure to wear one can result in a fine. All cars must carry a fire extinguisher and warning triangle. Using a mobile phone while driving is illegal.

Cars and coaches can become trapped by occasional heavy snow falls in winter and roads in mountain areas, including Petra and the surrounding area, can become blocked.

There are around 80 wadis (valleys) in Jordan. During the rainy season there’s a risk of flash floods in these valleys. The rainy season is roughly between mid-November to the end of March. Before travelling to a wadi check the weather forecast and don’t travel to places where heavy rain is expected and for at least one day afterwards. If you’re caught in a flash flood go to a high point and don’t attempt to cross the water. If you’re in a vehicle try to drive to a dry spot. Contact the civil defence if the situation continues.

Local laws and customs

Local laws reflect the fact that Jordan is an Islamic country. You should respect local traditions, customs, laws and religions at all times and be aware of your actions to ensure that they don’t offend, especially during the holy month of Ramadan or if you intend to visit religious areas.

In 2017, the holy month of Ramadan is expected to start on 27 May and finish on 25 June. See Travelling during Ramadan

You should take extra care if you’re attending a special occasion, such as a wedding, since celebratory live gunfire regularly occurs at such events despite being illegal in Jordan.

The Jordanian government doesn’t interfere with the practice of Christianity but encouraging conversion to the Christian faith is illegal. It is also illegal for a Muslim to convert to Christianity.

Jordan is a conservative society. You should dress modestly and behave courteously.

There are strict alcohol limits for drivers, similar to that of the UK. If you’re found guilty of drink driving you could face a driving ban, a fine or even imprisonment.

Possession, use or trafficking in illegal drugs is a serious offence and can result in a lengthy prison sentence and a heavy fine.

While Jordanian law may not explicitly prohibit homosexual acts, Jordan is a conservative society and public displays of affection between homosexual couples are not generally tolerated. You could be arrested under other Jordanian laws.

Entry requirements

The information on this page covers the most common types of travel and reflects the UK government’s understanding of the rules currently in place. Unless otherwise stated, this information is for travellers using a full ‘British Citizen’ passport.

The authorities in the country or territory you’re travelling to are responsible for setting and enforcing the rules for entry. If you’re unclear about any aspect of the entry requirements, or you need further reassurance, you’ll need to contact the embassy, high commission or consulate of the country or territory you’re travelling to.

You should also consider checking with your transport provider or travel company to make sure your passport and other travel documents meet their requirements.

Visas

You’ll need a visa to enter Jordan. You can get a single entry visa valid for 1 month on arrival at the airports or the Sheikh Hussein/North Border crossing at the Jordan/Israel border.

Entry visas aren’t issued at the Wadi Araba/South Border crossing (Aqaba/Eilat) or the Allenby/King Hussein Bridge (the other crossing on the Jordan/Israel border).

An exit tax, currently 8JD, is payable at all border crossings, except the airports.

If you wish to combine travel to Jordan with a visit to Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories, it’s usually better to get a multiple entry visa before you travel from the Embassy of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan in London.

You can extend your visa after you arrive in Jordan up to a maximum period of 6 months. If you overstay your visa you will be fined.  

If you’re entering for tourism you can get a combination of a visa and reduced cost entry to the major tourism sites by applying for a Jordan Pass online.

Passport validity

Your passport should be valid for a minimum period of 6 months from the date of entry into Jordan.

Previous travel to Israel

Evidence of a previous visit to Israel like an Israeli entry/exit stamp in your passport does not normally cause any difficulties when entering Jordan. It is, however, for the Jordanian authorities to determine the right of entry into the country. If you have any concerns, you should contact the Consulate of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan in London.

Yellow fever certificate requirements

Check whether you need a yellow fever certificate by visiting the National Travel Health Network and Centre’s TravelHealthPro website.

HIV test

You must undergo an HIV test if you intend to stay in Jordan for more than 30 days, either as a resident or as a long-term visitor. The fee to obtain the health certificate is currently 20 Jordanian Dinars.

Dual nationals

If you are a British/Jordanian national, you are allowed to use your British passport on arrival, but will need to show your Jordanian passport on departure.

UK Emergency Travel Documents

UK emergency travel documents are accepted for entry, transit and exit from Jordan. However, for entry and transit using an emergency travel document, you’ll need to get a visa from the Jordanian Embassy in the country where the document was issued. For exit using an emergency travel document, you’ll need to get a stamp from the Immigration & Residency department in Amman (not at the airport). A minimum of one month remaining validity is required on an emergency travel document.

Health

Visit your health professional at least 4 to 6 weeks before your trip to check whether you need any vaccinations or other preventive measures. Country specific information and advice is published by the National Travel Health Network and Centre on the TravelHealthPro website and by NHS (Scotland) on the fitfortravel website. Useful information and advice about healthcare abroad is also available on the NHS Choices website.

Medical facilities outside Amman are basic. In an emergency you should seek treatment in Amman. Emergency treatment is also available in Aqaba. Make sure you have adequate travel health insurance and accessible funds to cover the cost of any medical treatment abroad and repatriation.

Temperatures in summer months can be very high. Drink plenty of water and use high factor sun-block.

Cases of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus in patients from Jordan have been reported to the World Health Organization. You can find more information on this virus on the website of the National Travel Health Network and Centre.

If you need emergency medical assistance during your trip, dial 911 and ask for an ambulance. You should contact your insurance/medical assistance company promptly if you are referred to a medical facility for treatment.

Money

Cash machines are available throughout Amman and at the Queen Alia airport. ATMs are available less widely in the rest of the country.