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Tonga
Official Name:

Kingdom of Tonga

Last Updated: June 17, 2016
Further Safety and Security Information

Travel Warnings: Issued when Protracted situations make a country dangerous or unstable. Defer or reconsider travel.

Travel Alerts: Issued when short-term conditions pose imminent threats. Defer or reconsider travel.

Embassy Messages: Issued when local security issues arise.

Assistance for U.S. Citizens

Assistance for U.S. Citizens

U.S. Embassy Suva

158 Princes Rd, Tamavua
Suva, Fiji Islands

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Quick Facts
PASSPORT VALIDITY:

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Six months

BLANK PASSPORT PAGES:

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One page required for entry stamp

TOURIST VISA REQUIRED:

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Not required for stays up to 30 days

VACCINATIONS:

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None

CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR ENTRY:

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Tongan Pa’anga (TOP) $10,000 

CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR EXIT:

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Maximum remittance of $TOP10,000 via bank/financial institution.  Approval required for higher amounts

Country Map

U.S. Embassy Suva

158 Princes Rd, Tamavua
Suva, Fiji Islands

Telephone: +(679) 331-4466

Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(679) 772-8049

Fax: +(679) 330-2267

See the Department of State’s Fact Sheet on Tonga for additional information on  U.S. – Tonga relations.

To enter Tuvalu, you need:

  • A passport with at least six months’ validity, and
  • an onward/return ticket .
  • Visas are required for stays over 30 days. 

For further information about entry requirements,  particularly if you plan to enter by sea, you may wish to contact the Embassy of the Kingdom of Tonga located at 250 East 51st Street, New York, NY 10022, telephone 917-369-1024 and 917-369-1025.  Tonga also has a Consulate General of Tonga at 1350 Bayshore Highway Suite 610, Burlingame, California 940140; telephone +1 650 685 1001; fax: +1 650 685 1003.

The U.S. Department of State is unaware of any HIV/AIDS entry restrictions for visitors to or foreign residents of Tonga.

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.

Public Safety: Messages regarding demonstrations and strikes, explosive device/suspicious packages, and weather-related events are posted on the embassy’s website.

Crime:  Although Tonga has a low crime rate, house break-ins and property theft do occur. Though rare, assaults, including sexual assaults, against foreigners have occurred, including on public beaches. You should avoid going out alone at night and early morning or to isolated locations. You should not be complacent regarding your personal safety or the protection of your valuables. 

See the Department of State and the FBI pages for information on scams.

Victims of Crime:  Tonga Police has worked with various NGOs such as the Women and Children Crisis Centre (WCCC) Tonga to provide shelter and counseling for abused women, girls, and boys who are under the age of 14.  Churches such as the Free Wesleyan Church operate a hotline for women, and the Salvation Army also offers counseling and rehabilitation programs.

U.S. citizen victims of sexual assault should first contact the U.S. Embassy. 

Report crimes to the local police at 922 and contact the U.S. Embassy at +(679) 772-8049.

Remember that local authorities are responsible for investigating and prosecuting the crime.

See our webpage on help for U.S. victims of crime overseas.

We can:

  • 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 our information on victim’s compensation programs in the U.S.
  • 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 U.S. Embassy for assistance.

For further information:

In Tonga, medical facilities are extremely limited and many medications are unavailable.

The cities of Nuku'alofa and Neiafu have hospitals with limited emergency and outpatient facilities. Local residents and visitors with serious medical problems are often referred to New Zealand for treatment. For additional information on medical visas for New Zealand, contact the Embassy of New Zealand, 37 Observatory Circle NW, Washington, DC 20008, (202) 328-4800 or the Consulate General in Los Angeles (310) 207-1605. Serious medical conditions requiring hospitalization and/or medical evacuation to the United States can cost thousands of dollars. Doctors and hospitals often expect immediate cash payment for health services.

We do not pay medical bills. Be aware that U.S. Medicare does not apply overseas.  

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. 

Carry prescription medication in original packaging, along with your doctor’s prescription. 

Zika Virus: Zika virus is a mosquito-borne illness that can be spread from a pregnant woman to her unborn baby as well as through sexual contact. The CDC has concluded that the Zika virus is a cause of microcephaly and other severe fetal brain defects in some fetuses and babies born to infected mothers. For additional information about Zika, including travel advisories, visit the CDC website

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.

Criminal Penalties:   You are subject to local laws. If you violate local laws, even unknowingly, you may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned. 

Furthermore, some laws are prosecutable in the United States regardless of local law.  For examples, see our website on crimes against minors abroad and the Department of Justice website.

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.

Customs:  Tonga’s customs authorities may enforce strict regulations concerning temporary importation into or export from Tonga of items such as firearms, explosives, motor vehicles, eggs, and certain types of alcohol.  It is advisable to contact the Tongan Embassy in New York or the Consulate General of Tonga in San Francisco for specific information regarding customs requirements.  Please see our Customs Information.

Citizenship Documents:  U.S. citizens are encouraged to carry a copy of their U.S. passports with them at all times, so that if questioned by local officials, proof of identity and U.S. citizenship is readily available.  U.S. citizens who are detained are encouraged to request that a consular officer from the U.S. Embassy in Fiji be notified.

Cyclone Season:  The official cyclone season is November through April. The Fiji Meteorological Service maintains a Tropical Cyclone Warning Center (TCWC) in Nadi serving the Southwest Pacific Region. General information about natural disaster preparedness is available at the State Department’s website, as well as from the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) website.

Faith-Based Travelers:  Tonga is a deeply religious country.  On Sundays, many services are not provided and offices are routinely closed.  . See the Department of State’s International Religious Freedom Report.

LGBTI Travelers:  Under Tonga law, “sodomy with another person” is a crime, with a maximum penalty of ten years’ imprisonment.  We are not aware of reports of prosecutions under this provision for consensual sexual conduct between adults, regardless of the gender of the parties.  We are also not aware of any reports of violence against persons based on sexual orientation or gender identity.  See our LGBTI Travel Information page and section 6 of the Department of State's Human Rights report for further details.

Persons with Mobility Issues:  While in the Kingdom of Tonga, individuals with disabilities may find accessibility and accommodation to be very different from what they find in the United States.  There are no legally mandated provisions for services for persons with physical, sensory, intellectual, or mental disabilities.  There also are no programs to ensure access to communications and information for persons with disabilities.  The Tonga Red Cross Society operates a school for children with disabilities and conducts occasional home visits.  There is no specific government agency with responsibility for protecting the rights of persons with disabilities.

Students:  See our Students Abroad page and FBI travel tips.

Women Travelers:  See our travel tips for Women Travelers.

Road Conditions and Safety: Road conditions vary throughout the country. A driver must look out for changes in traffic, road and weather conditions, and reduce speed accordingly. The information below concerning Tonga is provided for general reference only and may not be totally accurate in a particular location or circumstance.

No roadside assistance is available. Traffic moves on the left in Tonga. While roads in Nuku’alofa are paved, most other roads are not. Animals and unwary pedestrians walking in the road make night driving on unlit secondary roads hazardous.  There are no stop lights in the country; drivers are required to stop at all roundabouts and allow vehicles on the right side to proceed. For specific information concerning Tonga driving permits, vehicle inspection, road tax, and mandatory insurance, please contact the Consulate General of Tonga in San Francisco.

Traffic Laws: Contact local authorities if you are involved in a road accident.

Public Transportation: Buses and taxis are the only public transport available in Tonga. Bicycles must be registered with the Police Office before being used on public roads.

Please refer to our Road Safety page and Ministry of Transport in Tonga for more information. 

Aviation Safety Oversight: As there is no direct commercial air service to the United States by carriers registered in Tonga, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has not assessed the government of Tonga’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.

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