VanuatuOfficial Name: Republic of Vanuatu
6 months beyond intended stay
BLANK PASSPORT PAGES:
One page required for entry stamp
TOURIST VISA REQUIRED:
Not required for stays under 30 days
CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR ENTRY:
Amounts over VUV 1,000,000 (USD 10,000) in local or foreign currency equivalent must be declared.
CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR EXIT:
Amounts over VUV 1,000,000 (USD 10,000) in local or foreign currency equivalent must be declared.
Embassies and Consulates
Douglas Street, adjacent to the Bank of Papua New Guinea,
Papua New Guinea
Telephone: +(675) 321-1455
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(675) 7200-9439
Fax: +(675) 321-1593
Vanuatu is located east of Australia and consists of more than 80 islands in a Y-shaped archipelago. It is an independent parliamentary democracy and a member of the British Commonwealth. Tourist facilities are limited outside the capital, Port Vila. The National Tourism Office of Vanuatu can be contacted at PO Box 209, Port Vila, Vanuatu, telephone (678) 22515, 22685, 22813, fax (678) 23889. Read the Department of State’s Fact Sheet on Vanuatu for additional information about Vanuatu’s geography, history, economy, and government.
Entry, Exit & Visa Requirements
U.S. citizens need a valid passport, onward ticket, and proof of sufficient funds in order to enter Vanuatu. Tourist visas are not required for stays of up to 30 days. If you plan to stay longer than 30 days, you may apply for a standard residence permit or for an extension of stay for up to 120 days at the Immigration Office. You should do so before your initial 30 day period expires. Please contact the Principal Immigration Officer, Immigration Department, at Private Mail Bag 9092, Port Vila, telephone: 678-22354.
For further information on entry requirements, particularly if you are planning to enter on a private sailing vessel, please visit the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Vanuatu to the United Nations website, 800 Second Avenue, Suite 400B, New York, NY 10017, telephone: (212) 661-4303; fax: (212) 422-3427, (212) 661-5544. They may also be contacted via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
HIV/AIDS Restrictions: The U.S. Department of State is unaware of any HIV/AIDS entry restrictions for visitors to or foreign residents of Vanuatu.
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
Civil disorder in Vanuatu is rare; however, you should avoid public demonstrations and/or political rallies if they occur.
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 Port Moresby 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: Although violent crime is rare in Vanuatu, there is a risk that you could be a victim of theft, burglary, sexual harassment, or sexual assault. Take reasonable precautions to avoid exposing yourself to undue risk, especially in tourist areas. Women should avoid going out alone at night or to isolated locations. The Embassy has also received some reports of ATM or credit card number theft after a card was used in Vanuatu. Although this does not appear to be widespread, travelers are advised to monitor their accounts after using their ATM or credit cards in Vanuatu for any unauthorized activity.
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 Port Vila is 111 for police, 112 for the public ambulance, 113 for fire, and 115 for private medical ambulance and emergency helath services.
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 Vanuatu, you are subject to its laws. Foreign laws and legal systems can be vastly different from those in the United States. Persons violating Vanuatu laws, even unknowingly, may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned. In Vanuatu, driving under the influence could land you immediately in jail. If you break local laws in Vanuatu, your U.S. passport won’t help you avoid arrest or prosecution.
There are also some things that might be legal in the country you visit, but still illegal in the United States. You can be prosecuted in the United States for engaging in sexual conduct with children or for using or disseminating child pornography in a foreign country regardless of the legality of these activities under that country’s laws. Counterfeit and pirated goods are illegal in the United States and if you purchase them in a foreign country, you may be breaking local law as well.
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: Vanuatu customs authorities may enforce strict regulations on importing or exporting items such as firearms, certain prescription drugs, wooden artifacts, exotic animals, food items, and sexually explicit material. Other products may be subject to quarantine. For specific information regarding customs requirements, contact the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Vanuatu to the United Nations,800 Second Avenue, Suite 400B, New York, NY 10017, Telephone: (212) 661-4303; fax: (212) 422-3427, (212) 661-5544.
Carry a copy of your U.S. passport with you at all times as proof of both identity and U.S. citizenship.
Cyclones: Cyclones can occur suddenly in Vanuatu. Cyclone season usually lasts from November to April, and severe flooding, landslides, and disruptions to services may occur. Local media and hotels will convey cyclone alerts issued by local authorities.
Volcanoes/Earthquakes: Vanuatu is subject to volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, and tsunamis. If you plan to visit volcanic areas, contact the Department of Geology and Mines at (677) 22423 or the Vanuatu Tourism Office prior to traveling to areas where volcanic activity may occur. Detailed information about earthquakes is available from the National Earthquake Information Center of the United States Geological Survey. If a natural disaster occurs, follow the advice of local authorities.
Natural disaster preparedness information is available for the U.S. Federal Management Agency (FEMA).
WOMEN TRAVELER INFORMATION: If you are a woman traveling abroad, please review our travel tips for Women Travelers.
LGBT RIGHTS: Same-sex sexual relations are criminalized in Vanuatu. However, there are no known incidents of the prosecution, targeting, or harassment of consenting adults. Vanuatu is a conservative country, and we recommend that you avoid public displays of affection. For further information on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) travel, please read our LGBT Travel Information page.For more detailed information about LGBT rights in Vanuatu, you may review the State Department’s Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2013. For further information on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) travel, please read our LGBT Travel Information page
ACCESSIBILITY: Individuals with disabilities may find accessibility and accommodation very different from what they find in the United States. There is no law specifically prohibiting discrimination against persons with physical, sensory, intellectual, or mental disabilities. There are no special programs to assist persons with disabilities and no legislation mandating access to buildings, information, and communications. In practice, most buildings in Vanuatu are not accessible to persons with disabilities, and disabled persons often rely on assistance from friends and family.
Recreational Diving: Thousands of visitors participate in recreational dives each year in Vanuatu. However, diving is a dangerous activity, and medical assistance is often hours or even days away from diving sites. We suggest the following tips for visitors who plan to dive while in Vanuatu:
- Verify that your dive operator is currently certified through one of the international diving associations (PADI, NAUI, BSAC, CMAS, etc.), and
- Rental equipment is in good working condition , with up-to-date inspection stamps, and
- Equipment fits properly.
- Postpone or cancel diving activity if any equipment is faulty.
- Preferably, remain in pairs or in a group that includes a Dive Guide.
- Determine your level of training before engaging in deep water or wreck dives.
Confirm that dive operators have adequate onsite emergency equipment and diver-recall systems. The nearest hyperbaric chamber might be hours away, or require a plane flight. Please report any unsafe conditions or diving practices to either the certifying diving association or the local authorities.
Scuba diving in Vanuatu: There are two hyperbaric facilities in Port Vila, Vanuatu, far from some of the more remote dive sites. Due to the high costs for decompression services and associated emergency transportation, divers are strongly advised to obtain adequate medical evacuation and diver’s insurance.
Public hospital and medical facilities in Vanuatu are limited. Costs for treatment, including for pharmaceuticals, can be expensive. Doctors and hospitals often expect immediate cash payment for their services. Good quality basic medical services are available from private clinics in Port Vila, but can also be expensive and require payment up front. In the event of a serious illness or accident (including diving-related injuries), you would need a medical evacuation to a destination with appropriate facilities, usually Australia. A medical evacuation can cost tens of thousands of U.S. dollars. There are two hyperbaric chambers for diving accidents in Vanuatu, both currently located in Port Vila. Many of the popular dive sites are located on other islands, and it may take several hours or days to obtain medical assistance in the event of a diving accident.
Pharmacies are located only in urban centers and at missionary clinics. They are small and may be inadequately stocked; bring adequate supplies of medications for your stay in Vanuatu. There are no 24-hour pharmacies available.
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 Vanuatu, you may encounter road conditions that differ significantly from those in the United States. In general, traffic in Vanuatu moves on the right side of the road. Travel can be hazardous. Always use your seatbelt. Roads are generally narrow and in poor repair. Only the capital city of Port Vila and the town of Luganville have consistently paved roads, which have a maximum speed limit of 30 miles per hour (50 kilometers per hour). On all roads, give way to traffic coming from the right, and to traffic coming from the left at round-abouts. To avoid trespassing, seek permission from local landowners before accessing non-public areas, including beaches. Some landowners may charge a fee for access.
Please refer to our Road Safety page for more information. For specific information concerning Vanuatu driving permits, vehicle inspection, road tax, and mandatory insurance, please contact the National Tourism Office of Vanuatu or the Vanuatu Mission to the United Nations
AVIATION SAFETY OVERSIGHT: As there is no direct commercial air service to the United States by carriers registered in Vanuatu, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has not assessed the Government of Vanuatu’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.