BruneiOfficial Name: Brunei Darussalam
6 months beyond arrival date
BLANK PASSPORT PAGES:
One page required for entry stamp
TOURIST VISA REQUIRED:
Not required for stays under 90 days
CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR ENTRY:
CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR EXIT:
Embassies and Consulates
Bandar Seri Begawan BC4115, Brunei Darussalam
Mail from the United States can be sent to the Embassy's address: U.S. Embassy, P.O. Box 2991, Bandar Seri Begawan BS8675, Negara Brunei Darussalam.
Emergency Telephone: (673) 873-0691
Fax number: (673) 238-4606
Brunei Darussalam is a small Islamic Sultanate on the northern coast of the Island of Borneo. It is divided into four districts: Brunei/Muara, Tutong, Belait, and Temburong. The capital, Bandar Seri Begawan, is its major city. Brunei’s official language is Malay, but English is widely understood and used in business. Tourist facilities and services are generally available throughout the country. Sunni Islam of the Shafi’i school is the official religion of Brunei. In April 2014, the country will begin implementation of Sharia (Islamic) criminal law in addition to existing civil criminal law. Brunei government offices are closed Fridays and Sundays; most private businesses operate Monday through Friday; all businesses are required to close from noon until 2:00 p.m. on Fridays for midday prayers. For more information concerning Brunei, please see the Government of Brunei website. Read the Department of State’s Fact Sheet on Brunei for additional information.
Entry, Exit & Visa Requirements
U.S. passport-holders must have at least six months’ validity remaining on their passport before entering Brunei for business or pleasure and are required to obtain a visa prior to arrival in Brunei for visits of 90 days or longer. Travelers may also be required to have at least six blank passport pages; persons with fewer than six blank pages have been referred by Brunei Immigration officials to the Embassy to obtain additional pages before their visas are extended. Diplomatic and official passport-holders are also required to apply for a visa to enter Brunei Darussalam for assignments to Brunei of more than 90 days. There is an airport departure tax. For further information about entry or exit requirements, travelers may consult the Consular Section of the Embassy of Brunei, 3520 International Court NW, Washington, DC 20008, tel. (202) 237-1838, or visit the Embassy of Brunei website for the most current visa information.
Immigration offenses are punishable by caning. Workers who overstay their visas can face jail sentences, fines, and caning. Persons associated with violators, such as contractors or employers, are subject to the same penalties if the violator is found guilty.
Brunei has imposed HIV/AIDS travel restrictions as part of a ban on communicable diseases. The Ministry of Health (MOH) of Brunei Darussalam requires all travelers entering Brunei to fill out a Health Declaration Card and submit it to the Officer-In-Charge (MOH) upon disembarkation. Under Section 7, Infectious Diseases Order 2003 of MOH, travelers may be subjected to a medical examination upon arrival in Brunei Darussalam. Travelers also may be quarantined if infected or suspected to be infected with an infectious disease or if travelers have had contact with such a person, under Section 15 of the same order of MOH. Please verify this information with the Embassy of Brunei before you travel.
Information about dual nationality or the prevention of international child abduction can be found on our website. For further information about customs regulations, please read our Customs Information page.
Safety and Security
Noting several past anti-Western terrorist bombings in Indonesia, the Department of State continues to be concerned that terrorist groups such as Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) have the capability to carry out terrorist attacks throughout the region. U.S. citizens in Brunei should be vigilant with regard to their personal security, maintain a low profile, vary times and routes during their daily routines, and report any suspicious activity to the local police or to the U.S. Embassy.
Brunei adheres to conservative Islamic social values, and U.S. citizens are advised to learn and respect local customs and traditions. Persons violating Brunei’s laws, even unknowingly, may be deported, arrested, or imprisoned. Any public criticism of His Majesty the Sultan or other members of the Royal Family is strongly discouraged. Alcohol cannot be purchased legally in Brunei; however, two liters of spirits/wine and 12 cans of beer may be imported per border entry by non-Muslim adults for personal consumption in private. Importing more than the allowed amount of alcohol per border entry will result in arrest. The Royal Brunei Police Force is generally professional and courteous. Most officers speak English but some, especially from the reserve units, have limited to no English speaking capability. Travelers are strongly urged to carry a copy of their passport as police will most always ask for identification for all parties involved in any type of incident. In the event of police detention, U.S. citizens should request to contact the U.S. Embassy. The Embassy local guard force operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and all guards speak English. The 24-hour number of the Embassy is 673-238-4616 and the Duty Officer is 673-873-0691. The emergency number for the police is 993.
Natural disasters, earthquakes and typhoons are rare in Brunei. Brunei has not been affected by industrial accidents and kidnappings are not common.
To stay connected:
- Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program so we can keep you up to date with important safety and security announcements.
- Follow the Bureau of Consular Affairs on Twitter and Facebook.
- Bookmark the Bureau of Consular Affairs website, which contains the current Travel Warnings and Travel Alerts as well as the Worldwide Caution.
- Follow the U.S. Embassy in Brunei on Facebook and visiting the Embassy’s website.
- In the event of an emergency, contact us at 1-888-407-4747 toll-free within the United States and Canada, or via a regular toll line, 1-202-501-4444, from other countries.
- Take some time before traveling to consider your personal security and checking for useful tips for traveling safely abroad.
CRIME: Most crimes that occur in Brunei are non-violent and crimes of opportunity, including residential burglaries and vehicle break-ins. While traveling or residing in Brunei, you can generally avoid being victim to a crime of opportunity by simply practicing good security awareness. For example, securing valuables (remove from plain view), avoid secluded locations, properly secure your residence and vehicle, and not traveling alone late at night.
Crime in Brunei peaks in July and December, due to the holidays and schools being out of session. Overall, many crimes carry severe penalties and punishments such as jail, fines, caning, or deportation (for foreigners).
VICTIMS OF CRIME: If you or someone you know becomes the victim of a crime abroad, you should contact the local police and the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate. We can:
- Replace a stolen passport.
- Help you find appropriate medical care if you are the victim of violent crimes such as assault or rape.
- Put you in contact with the appropriate police authorities, and if you want us to, contact family members or friends.
- Help you understand the local criminal justice process and direct you to local attorneys, although it is important to remember that local authorities are responsible for investigating and prosecuting the crime.
The local equivalent to the “911” emergency line in Brunei is 993 for Brunei Police, 995 for Fire and Rescue, and 998 for Search and Rescue.
Please see our information for victims of crime, including possible victim compensation programs in the United States.
Local Laws & Special Circumstances
CRIMINAL PENALTIES: While you are traveling in Brunei, you are subject to its laws even if you are a U.S. citizen. Foreign laws and legal systems can be vastly different than our own. In some places you may be taken in for questioning if you don’t have your passport with you. In some places, it is illegal to take pictures of certain buildings. In some places driving under the influence could land you immediately in jail. These criminal penalties will vary from country to country. There are also some things that might be legal in the country you visit, but still illegal in the United States, and you can be prosecuted under U.S. law if you buy pirated goods, which are prevalent in Brunei. Engaging in sexual conduct with children or using or disseminating child pornography in a foreign country is a crime prosecutable in the United States. If you break local laws in Brunei, your U.S. passport won’t help you avoid arrest or prosecution. It’s very important to know what’s legal and what’s not where you are going.
Beginning in April 2014, Brunei will implement a criminal code based on Sharia Islamic law. The law applies to both Muslims and non-Muslims. Prospective travelers to Brunei are strongly urged to review the law itself for more information. For further information about the new law and how it will affect U.S. citizens in Brunei, please contact the Embassy of Brunei in Washington DC at (202) 237-1838.
If you violate Brunei laws, even unknowingly, you may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned. Penalties for possession of, use of, or trafficking in illegal drugs in Brunei are severe, and convicted offenders can expect long jail sentences, heavy fines, and, possibly, death. Brunei has a mandatory death penalty for many narcotics offenses. Under the current law, the possession of more than 15 grams of heroin, ecstasy, or morphine derivatives, 30 grams or more of cocaine, 500 grams or more of cannabis, 50 grams or more of methamphetamine, or 1.2 kg or more of opium carries the death penalty. Possession of lesser amounts can result in a minimum twenty-year jail term and caning. Importation of firearms is prohibited; the illegal possession of firearms or explosives and drug use/possession carry severe penalties, including the possibility of the death penalty. Any attempts to circumvent alcohol controls can result in arrest and criminal prosecution. Gambling is illegal in Brunei.
Prostitution is illegal and harsh penalties can result from engaging in the solicitation of prostitution. In addition, due to the conservative Muslim culture, any extramarital relations between a Muslim and non-Muslim, from simple acts such as holding hands or public displays of affection to sexual activity may be considered a crime in Brunei. Please consult a guide book or other travel information on Brunei for more information about respecting local cultural norms.
If you are arrested in Brunei, authorities of Brunei are required to alert the U.S. Embassy of your arrest. If you are concerned the Department of State may not be aware of your situation, you should request the police to notify the U.S. Embassy of your arrest.
Immigration Violations: U.S. citizens in Brunei are subject to the laws of the country and may be arrested for violation of immigration regulations or any other law. In such cases, the U.S. Embassy will provide consular services to U.S. citizens arrested in Brunei, in accordance with international law and U.S. regulations. However, the Embassy may not intervene in local judicial matters.
Dual Nationality: Brunei does not recognize or permit dual nationality. Brunei nationals are expected to enter and exit the country on their Brunei passports. Should Brunei authorities learn that a person is a dual national, they may require immediate renunciation of the citizenship of either the other nation or Brunei.
Customs Regulations: Brunei customs authorities may enforce strict regulations concerning temporary importation or export of items such as firearms, religious materials, antiquities, medications, business equipment, currency, ivory, and alcohol. For non-Muslims, limited amounts of alcohol for personal, private consumption are permitted. It is advisable to contact the Embassy of Brunei in Washington, D.C., for specific information regarding customs requirements.
If you are a woman traveling abroad, please review our travel tips for Women Travelers.
LGBT RIGHTS: LGBT sex acts are criminalized in Brunei under Penal Code, Chapter 22, revised edition 2001, Section 377 (which criminalizes “unnatural offences”) and also under Brunei’s Sharia Criminal Code. Possible punishments under current law include a fine and up to 10 years’ imprisonment. Brunei’s Sharia Criminal Code, which has not yet been implemented, increases the possible penalty for men convicted in Sharia court of having sex with another man to a maximum penalty of death by stoning and lesser penalties of caning and imprisonment of up to seven years. While local media have reported on court hearings and police raids in such cases as male prostitution and underage sodomy, punishment for LGBT sex acts has not been actively enforced. For more detailed information about LGBT rights in Brunei, you may review the State Department’s Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2012. For further information on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) travel, please read our Information for LGBT Travelers.
ACCESSIBILITY: While in Brunei, individuals with disabilities may find accessibility and accommodation very different from what they find in the United States. For example, wheelchair ramps may not be available on all sidewalks, which often have very deep and wide gutters that may not be covered. Buildings may not always have wheelchair-accessible doorways or elevators. Crosswalks, elevators, and buildings do not generally have signage or warnings for the visually or hearing impaired. There is no specific law governing accessibility, although a “Persons with Disabilities Order” reportedly is under development.
There is adequate care for basic medical conditions in Brunei; however, for certain elective surgery or complicated care, the best medical care in the region is obtained in Singapore. Brunei has a number of public hospitals and clinics. The biggest ones are RIPAS Hospital in Bandar Seri Begawan and Tutong Hospital in the district of the same name. The largest private hospital is Jerudong Park Medical Center about 20 minutes outside of Bandar Seri Begawan. It is a facility comparable to modern hospitals in the United States. Brunei also hosts a number of private clinics, many of which are staffed by expatriates. More information can be found at the U.S. Embassy Website. Medication and prescriptions are readily available, but may not be the same brands as those found in the U.S.
You can find detailed information on vaccinations and other health precautions on the CDC website. For information about outbreaks of infectious diseases abroad, consult the World Health Organization (WHO) website, which contains additional health information for travelers, including detailed country-specific health information.
Travel & Transportation
TRAFFIC SAFETY AND ROAD CONDITIONS: While in a foreign country, you may encounter road conditions that differ significantly from those in the United States.
Brunei has an extensive network of roads comparable to those in most western countries and they are well maintained. Traffic moves on the left side of the road. Holders of a foreign driver’s license are permitted to drive in Brunei Darussalam for 90 days only. For longer stays, a foreign driver’s license must be endorsed to a Brunei driver’s license, available at any Land Transport Department office. Drivers must obey traffic rules at all times and should take extra caution when approaching traffic signals. In urban areas, several deadly accidents have occurred in recent years when local drivers drove through red lights.
The Royal Brunei Police Force routinely sets up checkpoints and traffic stops, particularly at night. These checkpoints are normally set up for one of two reasons: 1) for routine license and registration checks and 2) DWI/search for contraband (drugs and alcohol). In case you are stopped, be prepared to show identification card and vehicle registration. In addition to registration, you should always have your insurance policy in the car. In case of an accident you will need all three.
Please refer to our Road Safety page for more information. Also, we suggest that you visit the website of the Brunei National Tourism Office and the web site of Brunei Land Transport Department for more details on road safety information.
AVIATION SAFETY OVERSIGHT: As there is no direct commercial air service to the United States by carriers registered in Brunei, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has not assessed the government of Brunei’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.