Moldova Traveler Information - Travel Advice
Travel Advice with a Travel Advisory overview from the US State Department. Here we cover Visa, Safety & Security, local Laws and Insurance in our Moldova Traveler Information guide.
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Note: Always check that your destination country is one approved for travel by your travel insurance provider.
PASSPORT VALIDITY: 6 months.
BLANK PASSPORT PAGES: 1 page.
TOURIST VISA REQUIRED: Not required for stays of up to 90 days within a six-month period.
CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR ENTRY: 10,000 Euros or equivalent.
CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR EXIT: 10,000 Euros or equivalent.
Embassies and Consulates
103 Mateevici Street
Republic of Moldova
Telephone: +(373)(22) 40-83-00
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(373)(22) 40-83-00
Fax: +(373)(22) 22-63-61
See the Department of State’s Fact Sheet on Moldova for information on U.S. – Moldova relations.
Entry, Exit and Visa Requirements
Visit the Embassy of Moldova website for the most current visa information.
- U.S. citizens may stay in Moldova for up to 90 days within a six-month period without a visa.
- Residence permits are required for stays over 90 days and may be obtained at the Bureau for Migration and Asylum office at 124 Boulevard Stefan cel Mare in Chisinau.
- You must register your visit with the government of Moldova. Visitors arriving via the airport or by land from Ukraine or Romania are automatically registered upon arrival.
If you are entering Moldova through the separatist region of Transnistria you must register your visit within three days of arrival at one of the following offices:
- Any local passport office or Public Services Agency located throughout Moldova.
- Bureau for Migration and Asylum located at 124 Boulevard Stefan cel Mare, Chisinau or any district office of the Bureau of Migration and Asylum.
- Foreigners’ registration offices at Sănătăuca, Rezina, Criuleni, Hîrbovăț, Hagimus, Pîrîta border crossings.
- You must present a valid passport and proof of travel (e.g. car insurance, if driving a vehicle into Moldova; plane, bus, or train ticket).
- Failure to register may result in fines and difficulties when leaving Moldova.
- If planning to stay in Transnistria, you should also register with the passport division of the Ministry of Internal Affairs in the city or town in which you are staying within the first 24 hours of arrival.
The U.S. Department of State is unaware of any HIV/AIDS entry restrictions for visitors to or foreign residents of Moldova.
Safety and Security
Credible information indicates terrorist groups continue plotting possible attacks in Europe. European governments are taking action to guard against terrorist attacks; however, all European countries remain potentially vulnerable to attacks from transnational terrorist organizations.
- Political and social demonstrations occur frequently in Chisinau.
- Traffic becomes heavily congested and roads are blocked for hours at a time.
- Avoid areas during demonstrations and monitor local news for current information.
- Police have the legal right to ask for identification on the street.
- Carry your passport or a photocopy of it at all times.
- If a police officer stops you, ask to see his or her identity card (“legiti-MAT-seeya” in Romanian, which is the official language in Moldova.)
- Moldovan police have the word “POLITIA” printed on the backs of their uniforms.
- Traffic police should also display a metal badge on the outside of their uniforms.
- If a police officer harasses you or asks for a bribe, try to record the officer’s name, title, badge number, and physical description. Contact the U.S. Embassy to report the incident at the earliest opportunity.
Due to allegations in 2015 that preschool employees were exploiting children for the purpose of producing pornography, U.S. Embassy personnel are currently prohibited from enrolling children in private preschool “Izvoraşul Cunoştinţelor”, strada George Meniuc No. 9, Chisinau, and the associated preschool “Casuţa din Poveşti” strada Universităţii No. 26 B, Chisinau.
Transnistria Region: A separatist regime controls the region and access to U.S. citizens is difficult. The U.S. Embassy may not be able to help if you encounter difficulties there. There are many checkpoints along roads leading into and out of Transnistria. Taking photographs of checkpoints, military facilities, and security forces is prohibited.
Crime: Reported types of crime include:
- Petty theft (money, passports, small valuables) from hotel rooms, local apartments, homes, offices, trains, and public transport.
- Various financial scams, including:
- inflated bar tabs
- dating scams in which someone you meet over the internet asks for money to help family, buy plane tickets, pay medical bills, or gain an immigration benefit.
- PIN theft from ATMs by “skimming” devices that record the card information, hidden cameras, and “shoulder surfing”
- sale of credit card information by vendors to third parties
- phishing schemes and bank account hacking
- internet auction fraud in which buyers fail to pay for purchases or send counterfeit checks as payment
- International letters and package mail are sometimes opened or pilfered.
- Sexual harassment of female visitors (isolated reports of unwanted verbal attention or touching in parks, on major streets, and in bars/night clubs in Chisinau both during the day and night).
Victims of Crime: U.S. citizen victims of crime, including sexual assault, should report crimes to the local police at 112 and contact the U.S. Embassy at +(373) (22) 40-83-00. Remember that local authorities are responsible for investigating and prosecuting the crime.
U.S. citizens should be aware that there have been reports of widespread corruption in all areas of the judicial system, including case dismissals without cause. In most cases, an investigation will not proceed if the complainant leaves the country prior to full conclusion. Persons wishing to report incidents of corruption may contact the National Anticorruption Center hotline: 0 800 55555 active 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
See our webpage on help for U.S. victims of crime overseas.
- help you find appropriate medical care
- assist you in reporting a crime to the police
- contact relatives or friends with your written consent
- explain the local criminal justice process in general terms
- provide a list of local attorneys
- provide information on victim’s compensation programs in the United States
- provide an emergency loan for repatriation to the United States and/or limited medical support in cases of destitution
- help you find accommodation and arrange flights home
- replace a stolen or lost passport
Domestic Violence: U.S. citizen victims of domestic violence may contact the Embassy for assistance.
Tourism: The tourism industry is unevenly regulated in regard to safety inspections for equipment and facilities. Hazardous areas/activities are not always identified with appropriate signage, and staff may not be trained or certified either by the host government or by recognized authorities in the field. In the event of an injury, appropriate medical treatment is typically available only in/near major cities. First responders are generally not available outside of major cities to provide urgent medical treatment. U.S. citizens are encouraged to purchase medical evacuation insurance. See our webpage for more information on insurance providers for overseas coverage.
Local Laws & Special Circumstances
Criminal Penalties: You are subject to local laws. If you violate local laws, even unknowingly, you may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned.
Arrest Notification: If you are arrested or detained, ask police or prison officials to notify the U.S. Embassy immediately. See our webpage for further information.
If you are arrested, you can face extended periods, even years, in pre-trial detention.
Penalties for possessing, using, or trafficking illegal drugs are severe, and if convicted, you can expect long jail sentences and heavy fines.
You should register large sums of foreign currency (equivalent of 10,000 Euros and above) and declare all valuable goods with Moldovan customs authorities when you arrive in Moldova. Failure to do so can result in confiscation, fines, and/or arrest.
For more information about customs requirements, see the Moldovan Customs webpage.
Faith-Based Travelers: See the following webpages for details:
- Faith-Based Travel Information
- International Religious Freedom Report– see country reports
- Human Rights Report – see country reports
- Hajj Fact Sheet for Travelers
- Best Practices for Volunteering Abroad
LGBTI Travelers: There are no legal restrictions on same-sex sexual relations or the organization of LGBTI events in Moldova. However, traditional cultural attitudes towards LGBTI individuals may result in discrimination and harassment.
Travelers Who Require Accessibility Assistance: Conditions for persons with mobility issues vary from those in the United States:
- Narrow and steep wheelchair ramps with limited access.
- Streets, sidewalks, and other public paths are not well maintained.
- Call ahead to your hotel and inquire about accessibility before traveling to Moldova.
Women Travelers: See our travel tips for Women Travelers.
Special Circumstances: A separatist regime controls a narrow strip of land in eastern Moldova along the Ukraine border, known as Transnistria (“Pridnestrovie”). Individuals considering doing business in Transnistria should exercise extreme caution. Many Transnistrian firms are not legally registered with Moldovan authorities, which may complicate or prevent the import or export of goods.
The government of Moldova will not recognize the validity of contracts for the privatization of firms in Transnistria without the approval of the appropriate Moldovan authorities.
The Embassy may not be able to offer consular or commercial services to U.S. citizens in Transnistria because of limited access.
Moldova is mostly a cash-only economy. Credit cards are accepted in Chisinau, and occasionally in the rest of the country, but rarely in small villages. Use your credit card with caution and protect your personal information.
Hospital accommodations are inadequate, technology is not advanced, and there may be shortages of routine medications and supplies. Pharmacies are not always stocked to Western standards, and products may not be labeled in English. Poor quality and/or counterfeit medications have been reported.
- If you are sick or injured, go to Western Europe or return to the United States for treatment.
- Tuberculosis is an increasingly serious health concern in Moldova.
- The U.S. Embassy maintains a list of medical facilities and English-speaking doctors, but does not make any recommendations.
- In an emergency, contact the local ambulance service at 112.
We do not pay medical bills. Be aware that U.S. Medicare does not apply overseas.
Medical Insurance: Make sure your health insurance plan provides coverage overseas. Most care providers overseas only accept cash payments. See our webpage for more information on insurance providers for overseas coverage.
We strongly recommend supplemental insurance to cover medical evacuation.
If traveling with prescription medication, check with the government of Moldova to ensure the medication is legal in Moldova. Always carry your prescription medication in original packaging with your doctor’s prescription.
Vaccinations: Be up-to-date on all vaccinations recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Further health information:
Travel and Transportation
Road Conditions and Safety: Road conditions in Moldova are different from those in the United States.
- Roads often lack signage and are unevenly maintained.
- Avoid driving at night due to poorly lit roads.
- It is common to see tractors, bicyclists, horse-drawn carts, pedestrians, and livestock on the same road.
- Moldovan drivers are aggressive by U.S. standards.
- Be cautious in pedestrian areas; not all drivers stop for pedestrians at crosswalks.
Traffic Laws: To be safe, don’t drink alcohol before driving. The maximum legal blood alcohol content is 0.03 percent (well under the acceptable limit in the United States).
If you are stopped by traffic police for driving under the influence of alcohol and are told that you will receive a fine or will be arrested, request a blood test to confirm your actual blood alcohol level.
Public Transportation: The public transportation network is well developed but differences to keep in mind include:
- Some trains, trolleybuses, and buses are old and can break down.
- Taxis are available in most urban areas and vary from very old and poorly maintained to new western European or U.S. vehicles.
- Road emergency services are generally responsive, although you may not find an English-speaking operator.
- Call the police and/or the ambulance at 112.
See our Road Safety page for more information.
Aviation Safety Oversight: As there is no direct commercial air service to the United States by carriers registered in Moldova, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has not assessed the government of Moldova’s Civil Aviation Authority for compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards. Further information may be found on the FAA’s safety assessment page.
For additional travel information
- Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security messages and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
- Call us in Washington, D.C. at 1-888-407-4747 (toll-free in the United States and Canada) or 1-202-501-4444 (from all other countries) from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).
- See the State Department’s travel website for the Worldwide Caution and Travel Advisories.
- Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.
- See traveling safely abroad for useful travel tips.
International Parental Child Abduction
Review information about International Parental Child Abduction in Moldova. For additional IPCA-related information, please see the International Child Abduction Prevention and Return Act (ICAPRA) report.
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