Traveling Legally, Traveling Smart


Traveler: Safety is not sexy, but in today’s world, it is necessary. Do not be the next person arrested in some foreign land and placed in a dank jail cell and made to do labor.

On October 1, 2022, I celebrated 42 years in the practice of law. I have traveled internationally. I understand law, and the difference between US laws and those in other countries. In some places, it is illegal to chew gum in public and you can be arrested. Get my County Summaries and let my research, experience and knowledge be with you (and “The Force” if you are a Star Wars fan).

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194 Countries Available

Protect yourself no matter where you travel.



Traveling can be fun. Getting arrested, getting sick, not knowing what to do - not so much.


Protect Your Customers

It's a beautiful world. Avoid the ugliness of a jail cell.

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Dear Traveller:

Don't Be The Next Brittney Griner!

Are You Smart Enough to avoid problems?

Maybe, but not without information.

I am attorney Paul Samakow, and I want to protect you.

My Country Summaries will give you that information!

Each Country Summary includes:

  • Entry, Exit & Visa Requirements
  • Safety and Security information
  • Local Laws and Special Circumstances – Drug & Alcohol Enforcement
  • Natural Disaster Concerns
  • Health and Medical Care Information, and Vaccination Concerns
  • Embassy and Consulate Information

You Need a Country Summary to Protect Yourself and Your Family

There is no perfect trip. It exists only in the imagination of highly optimistic travel brokers and newlyweds. Hopefully, there are only a few glitches that annoy will you but ultimately, they won’t detract from your overall experience. Sometimes, however, things can go significantly awry, causing not only ruined trips but also your safety, and even freedom.

The experiences of 170 vacationers to Mexico are a cautionary tale for travelers. Reported in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, these cases involved problems travelers and their family members reported after visiting Mexico’s Riviera Maya. The incidents ranged from getting robbed or sexually assaulted or even dying. Although the incidents were reported to the U.S. and Canadian consulates, travel brokers and tour operators doing business in Mexico allegedly failed to warn future travelers of the hazards of Mexico travel.

If these folks had my Country Summaries in advance, much of what happened would not have happened.

What’s more, even though travel fatalities are rare, you know very well that traveling abroad is far from risk-free. There are countless ways you can run into trouble abroad, potentially creating legal problems. Protect yourself by getting the information contained in my County Summaries.


Once you make your purchase, you will have access to the Lawyers section, where you can copy the contact information for criminal defense lawyers in both the United States, and in many instances, the country where you are going.

Note that I have grouped countries by region, as often, travelers do not go to one country only. Despite this grouping, the cost of purchase by region is still so inexpensive it would be crazy not to obtain the information. The cost of flight insurance is more in many instances.

North American Countries

2 North American Countries: $50

  • Canada
  • Mexico

Central American Countries

7 Central American Countries: $175

  • Belize
  • Costa Rica
  • El Salvador
  • Guatemala
  • Honduras
  • Nicaragua
  • Panama

South American Countries

13 South American Countries: $250

  • Argentina
  • Bolivia
  • Brazil
  • Chile
  • Colombia
  • Ecuador
  • French Guiana
  • Guyana
  • Paraguay
  • Peru
  • Suriname
  • Uruguay
  • Venezuela

Caribbean Countries

23 Caribbean Countries: $500

  • Anguilla
  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Aruba
  • Bahamas
  • Barbados
  • British Virgin Islands
  • Cayman Islands
  • Cuba
  • Curacao
  • Dominica
  • Dominican Republic
  • French West Indies (Guadeloupe, Martinique, French Saint Martin, Saint Barthelemy)
  • Grenada
  • Guyana
  • Haiti
  • Jamaica
  • Montserrat
  • Saint Kitts and Nevis
  • Saint Lucia
  • Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Sint Maarten
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • Turks and Caicos

African Countries

6 North African Countries: $150

  • Algeria
  • Egypt
  • Libya
  • Morocco
  • Sudan
  • Tunisia

18 East African Countries: $425

  • Burundi
  • Comoros
  • Djibouti
  • Eritrea
  • Ethiopia
  • Kenya
  • Madagascar
  • Malawi
  • Mauritius
  • Mozambique
  • Rwanda
  • Seychelles
  • Somalia
  • South Sudan
  • Tanzania
  • Uganda
  • Zambia
  • Zimbabwe

8 Central African Countries: $200

  • Angola
  • Cameroon
  • Central African Republic
  • Chad
  • DR Congo
  • Equitorial Guinea
  • Gabon
  • Sao Tome and Principe

5 South African Countries: $125

  • Botswana
  • Eswatini (Swaziland)
  • Lesotho
  • Namibia
  • South Africa

13 West African Countries: $250

  • Cote D Ivoire
  • Gambia
  • Ghana
  • Guinea-Bissau
  • Guinea
  • Liberia
  • Mali
  • Mauritania
  • Niger
  • Nigeria
  • Senegal
  • Sierra Leone
  • Togo

European Countries

13 South European Countries: $275

  • Albania
  • Andorra
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Croatia
  • Greece
  • Italy
  • Malta
  • Montenegro
  • North Macedonia
  • Portugal
  • Serbia
  • Slovenia
  • Spain

8 West European Countries: $200

  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • France
  • Germany
  • Liechtenstein
  • Luxembourg
  • Netherlands
  • Switzerland

14 East European Countries: $275

  • Armenia
  • Azerbaijan
  • Belarus
  • Bulgaria
  • Czech Republic
  • Georgia
  • Hungary
  • Kazakhstan
  • Moldova
  • Poland
  • Romania
  • Russia
  • Slovakia
  • Ukraine

10 North European Countries: $250

  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • Iceland
  • Ireland
  • Latvia
  • Lithuania
  • Norway
  • Sweden
  • United Kingdom

2 Southeast European Countries: $50

  • Kosovo
  • Turkey

Asian Countries

9 South Asian Countries: $225

  • Afghanistan
  • Bangladesh
  • Bhutan
  • India
  • Iran
  • Maldives
  • Nepal
  • Pakistan
  • Sri Lanka

16 West Asian Countries: $375

  • Armenia
  • Azerbaijan
  • Bahrain
  • Cyprus
  • Georgia
  • Iraq
  • Israel
  • Jordan
  • Kuwait
  • Lebanon
  • Oman
  • Qatar
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Syria
  • United Arab Emirates
  • Yemen

11 Southeast Asian Countries: $250

  • Brunei
  • Cambodia
  • Indonesia
  • Laos
  • Malaysia
  • Myanmar
  • Philippines
  • Singapore
  • Thailand
  • Timor-Leste
  • Vietnam

8 East Asian Countries: $200

  • China
  • Hong Kong
  • Japan
  • Macau
  • Mongolia
  • North Korea
  • South Korea
  • Taiwan

6 Central Asian Countries: $150

  • Kazakhstan
  • Kyrgyzstan
  • Russia
  • Tajikistan
  • Turkmenistan
  • Uzbekistan

Australia and New Zealand

Australia and New Zealand: $50

  • Australia

  • New Zealand

How To Find a Criminal Defense Attorney When You Are Arrested and Charged With a Crime outside of the United States

Getting arrested in another country can be terrifying. What you may be used to, or know, or understand about your “rights” in the United States most probably does not apply in other countries. Therefore, it is critical that you find and hire qualified legal counsel to protect you, or the consequences might be utterly devastating.

There are listings of U.S. and International attorneys on this website. Some U.S. law firms have offices in other countries. Some U.S. law firms will travel overseas and represent you. It is wise to also consider hiring an attorney in the country where you are arrested.

If you or a loved one is facing criminal charges in a foreign country, it is important to seek legal representation as soon as possible. Here are some tips to help you find a qualified attorney:

  1. Look for an attorney with experience in international criminal defense. The legal system in foreign countries can be very different from the U.S., so it is important to find an attorney who has experience working in the country where you are facing charges.
  2. Find an attorney who is authorized to practice law in the country where you are facing charges. Some countries require foreign attorneys to have special permission to practice law there, so make sure your attorney is authorized to represent you in the country where you are facing charges.
  3. Schedule a consultation. Once you have identified a potential attorney, schedule a consultation to discuss your case and evaluate their experience and qualifications.

Here are some specific questions you may want to consider asking a potential criminal defense attorney:

  1. What is your experience representing clients in international criminal cases?
  2. Have you ever handled a case like mine?
  3. How do you plan to approach my case?
  4. How often do you plan to communicate with me about my case and in what format?
  5. What are the potential outcomes of my case, and how will you work to achieve the best possible outcome for me?
  6. Can you provide references from previous clients who were facing similar charges?
  7. How will you work with other professionals, such as translators or experts, to build my defense?
  8. What kind of support staff do you have to assist with my case?
  9. How will you keep me informed about the status of my case and any updates or changes?
  10. Can you provide a breakdown of the costs associated with my case, including legal fees, expenses, and any other costs I may be responsible for?

Remember, facing criminal charges in a foreign country can be a daunting experience, but having a qualified attorney on your side can make all the difference in protecting your rights and achieving the best possible outcome for your case.

International Experience

It is essential to hire a defense attorney with experience in handling such cases. The right attorney can make a significant difference in the outcome of your case. As you narrow down your list of potential attorneys, consider their experience in international criminal law, including their experience with the specific country or countries involved in your case and their experience handling similar charges. Accessibility and responsiveness are also critical factors, so find an attorney who will keep you updated and is available to answer your questions. It is also important to discuss billing for legal services and understand the potential costs of representation. Finally, make sure you choose an attorney who inspires confidence and provides clear and honest interpretations of the legal matters you are facing.

Note that the United States has Mutual Legal Assistance Treaties that allow for cross-border cooperation, so it is crucial to ensure that your defense counsel has the expertise to navigate international criminal law.

It’s essential to ensure that your criminal defense attorney has experience working with the specific international criminal tribunal or court handling your case, such as the International Criminal Court or the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia. These courts have unique rules, procedures, and standards of evidence, and it’s crucial to have an attorney who understands and can navigate them effectively.

Communication, Responsiveness, Accessibility

Communication is a vital component of an international criminal case. Your defense attorney should be fluent in the languages spoken in the countries involved in your case, as well as English, to effectively communicate with other attorneys, witnesses, and officials.

It is also important to find an international criminal defense attorney who understands the cultural differences that may arise in your case. They should be sensitive to the nuances of each country’s legal system and cultural norms, which can play a significant role in your defense.
Again, important to be repeated here: when looking for a criminal defense attorney, consider their experience with international criminal law, their familiarity with the laws and procedures of the countries involved in your case, their experience with the specific tribunal or court handling your case, their communication skills, and their cultural sensitivity.

The attorney you choose should be available to answer questions and address concerns throughout the course of the case.

One way an attorney can ensure accessibility is by providing multiple means of communication, such as phone, email, and messaging apps. They should also be clear about their office hours and how soon they will respond to messages.

Responsiveness is important because it shows that the attorney is actively working on the case and making progress. They should provide regular updates on the case’s progress, respond promptly to any requests for information or updates, and be available to meet with you as needed.

Finally, a criminal defense attorney should be sensitive to your cultural and linguistic needs. They should be able to communicate effectively with clients who speak different languages or come from different cultural backgrounds. This can involve using interpreters or translators and being aware of any cultural differences that may impact the case.

Finding a criminal defense attorney who is accessible, responsive, and culturally sensitive can make a big difference in your experience and the outcome of your case.

Legal Fees

Make sure you understand the attorney’s fee structure and what services are included in their fees. Some attorneys charge a flat fee for their services, while others bill by the hour. You should also find out what expenses, such as travel costs or expert witness fees, are included in the attorney’s fees and what expenses you may be responsible for paying. By understanding the attorney’s fees and services, you can make an informed decision about whether they are the right fit for your needs.

Finally, it is important to remember that choosing an attorney is a personal decision, and you should feel comfortable and confident with the attorney you select. Take the time to ask questions and assess your options to find the best attorney to represent you in your international criminal case.