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Vanuatu
Official Name:

Republic of Vanuatu

Last Updated: March 1, 2017

Embassy Messages

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 Port Moresby

Douglas Street, adjacent to the Bank of Papua New Guinea,
Port Moresby
Papua New Guinea

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Quick Facts
PASSPORT VALIDITY:

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6 months 

BLANK PASSPORT PAGES:

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1 page per stamp  

TOURIST VISA REQUIRED:

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Not required for stays under 30 days

VACCINATIONS:

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None

CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR ENTRY:

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Amounts over VUV 1,000,000 (USD 10,000) in local or foreign currency equivalent must be declared. 

CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR EXIT:

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Amounts over VUV 1,000,000 (USD 10,000) in local or foreign currency equivalent must be declared.   

Country Map

U.S. Embassy Port Moresby

Douglas Street, adjacent to the Bank of Papua New Guinea,
Port Moresby
Papua New Guinea

Telephone: +(675) 321-1455

Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(675) 7200-9439

Fax: +(675) 321-1593

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

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 vanumis@aol.com.

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.

Public Safety: Civil disorder in Vanuatu is rare; however, you should avoid public demonstrations and/or political rallies if they occur.

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.

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

Victims of 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 health services. 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 Embassy for assistance.

For further information:

  • Public hospital and medical facilities in Vanuatu are limited. There are private medical facilities in Port Vila.
  • Costs for treatment, including for pharmaceuticals, can be expensive. Doctors and hospitals often expect immediate cash payment for their services.
  • 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.

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

Medical Insurance: 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 (our webpage) to cover medical evacuation.

Vaccinations: Be up-to-date on all vaccinations recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Further 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 also prosecutable in the U.S., 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: 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.

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.

Faith-Based Travelers: See the Department of State’s International Religious Freedom Report.

LGBTI Travelers: 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. See our LGBTI Travel Information page and section 6 of the Department of State's Human Rights report for further details.

Travelers Who Require Accessibility Assistance: 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: Diving in Vanuatu has the potential to be dangerous. 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.).
  • Ensure that rental equipment is in good working condition, with up-to-date inspection stamps.
  • Make sure your equipment fits properly.
  • Postpone or cancel diving activity if any equipment is faulty.
  • Try to 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.
  • Know that the nearest hyperbaric chamber might be hours away, or require a plane flight. 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.
  • Please report any unsafe conditions or diving practices to either the certifying diving association or the local authorities.

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

Women Travelers: See our travel tips for Women Travelers

 

Road Conditions and Safety: 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.

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.

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