New CaledoniaOfficial Name: New Caledonia
BLANK PASSPORT PAGES:
One page required for entry stamp
TOURIST VISA REQUIRED:
Not required for stays under 90 days per six months
CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR ENTRY:
CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR EXIT:
Embassies and Consulates
158 Princes Rd, Tamavua
Suva, Fiji Islands
Telephone: +(679) 331-4466
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(679) 772-8049
Fax: +(679) 330-2267
New Caledonia is a French overseas territory located in the Southwest Pacific near Australia. It consists of the large island of New Caledonia, the Loyalty Islands, the Isle of Pines, and several small, sparsely populated island groups. The capital is Noumea. New Caledonia's moderately developed economy is based on mining and, to a lesser degree, tourism. Tourist facilities can be found throughout New Caledonia, the Loyalty Islands, and the Isle of Pines. The French Government Tourism Office, which has a wide range of information available to travelers, can be contacted by telephone at (212) 838-7800.
Entry, Exit & Visa Requirements
You need a passport valid for six months beyond the duration of your stay in New Caledonia.You do not need a visa if your stay in New Caledonia is less than three months in a six month time period. Some travelers may be asked to show proof of medical insurance. For longer stays, you must apply for a visa at the nearest French embassy or consulate well beforehand, as the processing time can be quite long. For further information about entry requirements, particularly for those planning to enter by sea, please contact the French Embassy at 4101 Reservoir Road NW, Washington, DC 20007, telephone 202 944-6200, fax 202-944-6212, or visit the Embassy of France website.
As New Caledonia and the Loyalty Islands are part of the French Republic, there are no HIV/AIDS entry restrictions because France considers such restrictions to be contrary to the principle of the confidentiality of medical records.
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
Marches highlighting labor or political issues take place in the greater Noumea area from time to time. Any protests and demonstrations has a potential to turn violent. You should avoid large public demonstrations at all times.
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 Fiji (which covers New Caledonia) on Twitter 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: The crime rate in New Caledonia is low; however, petty crime such as pick pocketing and purse-snatching does occur. Fights and assaults sometimes occur outside discotheques and bars, especially over weekends and holidays and at closing time.
Do not buy counterfeit and pirated goods, even if they are widely available. Not only are the bootlegs illegal in the United States, you are breaking local law, too.
The import or possession of counterfeit items is a crime in New Caledonia and even having any such items in your baggage on arrival can lead to their seizure and serious fines for the person involved.
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 equivalents to the “911” emergency lines in New Caledonia are 17 for police (gendarmes), 18 for fire, 15 for ambulance and medical emergencies, and 16 for rescue at sea.
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 New Caledonia, you are subject to its laws even if you are a U.S. citizen. Foreign laws and legal systems can be vastly different from our own. In New Caledonia, you may be taken in for questioning if you don’t have your passport with you, and driving under the influence could land you immediately in jail. There are also some things that might be legal in New Caledonia, but still illegal in the United States, and you can be prosecuted under U.S. law if you buy pirated goods. 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 New Caledonia, 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 in New Caledonia and other places to which you travel.
Arrest notifications in host country: While some countries will automatically notify the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate if a U.S. citizen is detained or arrested in that country, others may not. To ensure that the United States is aware of your circumstances, request that the police and prison officials notify the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate as soon as you are arrested or detained overseas.
SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES: We are not aware of any special currency or customs circumstances for this country.
New Caledonia is a small, remote tropical island. The main international airport in New Caledonia, La Tontouta, offers a limited number of international flights each day, mainly to Australia, Japan, and New Zealand. A number of cruise ships, most from Australia, do visit New Caledonia and the Loyalty Islands each week, but they generally do not take on passengers within the Territory. Transportation may be interrupted due to weather, political or labor disputes, economic difficulties, or other reasons. If you travel to New Caledonia and an emergency arises, you should be prepared to remain in New Caledonia until the emergency passes or to arrange for a private air or sea charter from the island, which may cost thousands of dollars. For more information, please see our Emergency Assistance for U.S. Citizens information page. .
Carry a copy of your U.S. passport with you at all times, so that if questioned by local officials, you will have proof of identity and U.S. citizenship readily available. If detained, immediately ask detention law enforcement officials to notify a consular officer at the U.S. Embassy in Suva, Fiji.
Customs authorities may enforce strict regulations concerning temporary importation into or export from New Caledonia of items such as agricultural products. Please contact the Embassy of France in Washington or one of the French consulates in the United States for specific information regarding customs requirements.
Tropical Storms: The cyclone season in the South Pacific is November through April. The Fiji Meteorological Service maintains a Tropical Cyclone Warning Center (TCWC) in Nadi serving the Southwest Pacific Region. It collaborates with the French Meteorological Service and the French High Commission, which in turn alert the press and the public when necessary. General information about natural disaster preparedness is available from the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) web site.
WOMEN TRAVELER INFORMATION: If you are a woman traveling abroad, please review our travel tips for Women Travelers.
LGBT RIGHTS: According to French law, same sex marriage is allowed and applies to all French territories. Laws prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity have been enacted in France since 1985. New Caledonian residents who have chosen special customary law status, i.e. Kanaks, Wallisian and Futunans, are governed by customary law which does not allow same-sex marriages. For more detailed information about LGBT rights in New Caledonia, you may review the State Department’s annual Country Reports on Human Rights Practices. For further information on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) travel, please read our LGBT Travel Information page.
ACCESSIBILITY: While in New Caledonia, individuals with disabilities may find accessibility and accommodation different from what you find in the United States. The law prohibits discrimination against persons with physical or mental disabilities in employment, education, access to health care, and the provision of other state services. The government generally enforces these provisions effectively.
Given that New Caledonia subscribes to laws that require disability accommodations, many new buildings with public or community space are accessible. However, some existing buildings as well as transportation systems do not yet meet these requirements.
Medical treatment on the main island is generally good but not up to standards of industrialized countries and it is more limited on the outer islands. The Centre Hospitalier Territorial in Noumea provides emergency and outpatient services, as does the smaller Centre Hospitalier Nord in Koumac in the northern part of the main island of New Caledonia and the Centre Hospitalier Est in Poindimie on the east coast of the main island. Doctors and hospitals often expect immediate cash payment for health services. Patients with more serious illnesses are often referred to Noumea, Australia, or France for treatment. In the event of a medical evacuation to Australia, you need to submit a referral from a doctor in New Caledonia, proof of acceptance by an Australian doctor, and proof of the patient's ability to pay for the medical treatment to Australian visa authorities in order to get a visa. Serious medical problems requiring hospitalization and/or medical evacuation to the United States can cost thousands of dollars. A recompression chamber is located in Noumea. Many popular dive sites are far from Noumea, so it may take some time to reach the recompression facility. Before diving, check that facilities are operational.
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: In a foreign country, road conditions may differ significantly from those in the United States. The information below concerning New Caledonia is for general reference only and may not be accurate in each location or circumstance:
Roads in New Caledonia are generally well maintained, except in remote areas. Animals and unwary pedestrians walking in the road make night driving on unlit secondary roads hazardous.
Please refer to our Road Safety page for more information.
AVIATION SAFETY OVERSIGHT: Civil aviation operations in New Caledonia fall under the jurisdiction of French authorities. The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has assessed the government of France’s Civil Aviation Authority as being in compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards for oversight of France’s air carrier operations. Further information may be found on the FAA’s safety assessment page.
Assistance for U.S. Citizens
U.S. Embassy Suva, Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru, Tonga, Tuvalu
158 Princes Rd, Tamavua
Suva, Fiji Islands
- Telephone +(679) 331-4466
- Emergency After-Hours Telephone +(679) 772-8049
- Fax +(679) 330-2267
- Email ConsularSuva@state.gov
- U.S. Embassy Suva, Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru, Tonga, Tuvalu