See the Department of State’s Fact Sheet on Papua New Guinea for information on U.S.-Papua New Guinea relations.
To enter Papua New Guinea, you must have a passport that is valid for at least six months from the date of intended travel, an onward/return airline ticket, and proof of sufficient funds. You may obtain a tourist visa (valid for stays of up to 60 days, with extensions available for an additional 30 days) and single-entry business visas (valid for stays of up to 30 days) when you arrive at Jacksons International Airport in Port Moresby. You must apply for a visa in advance if you are traveling for reasons other than business or tourism. The Embassy of Papua New Guinea is located at 1779 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Suite 805, Washington, DC 20036; telephone: 202-745-3680. Visit the Embassy of Papua New Guinea website and the Papua New Guinea Immigration website for the most current visa information.
If you transit other countries en route to PNG, please follow all necessary exit/entry procedures for the countries that you transit. You may need to obtain visas or travel authorizations for some of those countries. If you anticipate transiting or visiting Australia, we advise you to obtain an Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) for Australia before leaving the United States
HIV/AIDS Restrictions: The Government of Papua New Guinea imposes HIV/AIDS entry restrictions for visitors and foreign residents. If you request residency or intend to remain long term in Papua New Guinea, you are required to have an AIDS test performed at a U.S. medical facility. Please verify this information with the Embassy of Papua New Guinea before you travel.
Crime: Papua New Guinea has a high crime rate. U.S. citizens have been victims of violent crime, including gang-rape, carjacking, home invasions, kidnappings, and armed robberies. Crime rates are highest in and around major cities such as Port Moresby, Lae, Madang, Mount Hagen, and Goroka, but crimes can occur anywhere. You are at a greater risk of violent crimes such as robbery or sexual assault if you travel alone, especially if you plan to hike in isolated rural areas. Pickpockets and opportunistic bag-snatchers frequent crowded public areas, including parks, golf courses, beaches, and cemeteries. Bag-snatchers may try to open doors of automobiles that are stopped or moving slowly in traffic. Please see our page on Personal Safety.
Organized tours booked through travel agencies remain the safest means to visit Papua New Guinea, although on rare occasions, even persons participating in organized tours have been subject to violent robbery, assault, or serious injury. Excursions to local shops, restaurants, and tourist sights should be done in groups.
Avoid using local taxis or buses, known as Public Motor Vehicles (PMVs). Rely on your sponsor or hotel to arrange for hotel transportation or a rental car.
See Road Conditions and Safety below for information on road security and areaas to avoid.
Hiking Trails: Exercise caution if you plan to hike the Kokoda Track, the Black Cat Track, or other trails in Papua New Guinea. Travel with guides from a reputable tour company. Local landowners occasionally threaten to close parts of the tracks due to local land and compensation disputes. Check with your travel agent and/or tour operator for contingency plans in the event that a track is blocked. Hikers have been attacked even though they are part of an organized tour, some sustaining serious injuries or death. You are strongly advised to purchase appropriate travelers/medical insurance, including medical evacuation coverage, before arriving in Papua New Guinea. The Kokoda Track Authority (KTA) has stationed rangers along the track and at airports to collect fees from trekkers who have not obtained a valid trekking permit. The KTA can be contacted by telephone at 675-325-5540 or 675-325-1887 regarding payment of applicable fees.
Victims of Crime: To report crimes to the local police, contact your nearest police station and contact the U.S. Embassy at +675-308-2100. There is no nation-wide number like 911. Remember that local authorities are responsible for investigating and prosecuting the crime. Police have been known to demand gas money or other forms of compensation before leaving the station to investigate a crime. For petty crime, they will often not investigate.
See our webpage on help for U.S. victims of crime overseas.
Domestic Violence: U.S. citizen victims of domestic violence may contact the Embassy for assistance.
For further information:
Criminal Penalties: You are subject to local laws. If you violate local laws, even unknowingly, you may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned. Penalties for possessing, using, or trafficking in illegal drugs in Papua New Guinea are severe. Driving under the influence could land you immediately in jail.
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.
Faith-Based Travelers: See our following webpages for details:
LGBTI Travelers: Same-sex sexual relations are criminalized in Papua New Guinea. However, there are no known incidents of the prosecution of consenting adults. Papua New Guinea is a conservative country and public displays of affection are not welcomed.
Travelers Who Require Accessibility Assistance: Papua New Guinea does not have legislation that mandates access to transportation, communication, and public buildings for persons with disabilities. The road network in Papua New Guinea is in poor condition and foot paths and road crossings in most major towns are congested and uneven, limiting access and movement for people with disabilities.
Women Travelers: There have been multiple cases of sexual assault, including gang rapes. Sexual violence occurs not only in the capital of Port Moresby but is common in many parts of the country, against both local and expatriate women. Women especially are cautioned not to travel alone in Papua New Guinea. Women should observe stringent security precautions, including avoiding use of public transport, especially after dark, restricting evening entertainment to venues with good security, and avoiding isolated areas when alone at any time of day. When possible, travel with groups of well-known, trusted people rather than alone. Women traveling in Papua New Guinea are advised to respect local dress and customs. Customary everyday dress for women throughout the country is conservative, and even more so in non-urban areas, with women wearing clothing that covers their shoulders and their legs past the knees. Some hotels in Papua New Guinea offer a female-only floor or section for added safety, so women traveling alone may wish to inquire if their lodging offers such a choice. See our travel tips for Women Travelers.
Customs: Papua New Guinean customs authorities enforce strict regulations governing firearms, certain prescription drugs, wooden artifacts, animal products, food, and sexually explicit material. Firearms should not be brought into the country. Other products may be subject to quarantine. You should contact the Embassy of Papua New Guinea in Washington, D.C. for specific information regarding customs requirements.
Natural Disasters: Papua New Guinea lies in an active seismic zone. Earthquakes, destructive tsunamis, and landslides can occur. There are active volcanoes in PNG with regular eruptions around Rabaul, Bougainville, West New Britain, and Manam Island. Ash from volcanoes in the Rabaul region occasionally disrupts airline schedules at Kokopo airport. Flights may be cancelled at short notice.
Documentation: Carry a copy of your U.S. passport at all times so that you can demonstrate your proof of identity and U.S. citizenship to authorities if asked.
The quality of medical facilities in Papua New Guinea varies greatly between larger towns and remote areas.Medical care in remote areas is poor and access can be very difficult. With the development of the New PIH hospital in Port Moresby the standard of general medical care has improved. They offer 24/7 Emergency service with fully equipped ambulances. They have specialty clinics including Pathology, X-rays,U/S and CT scanner. Severe injuries will almost always require medical evacuation. The Medevac Centre for Port Morseby is Singapore. Urgent cases can be medevaced to Australia. Medical evacuation companies may charge thousands of dollars for transport to Australia or the United States. If you anticipate the possible need for medical treatment in Australia, obtain a visa or entry permission for Australia in advance and confirm if your health insurance will cover the costs of a medical evacuation.
Pharmacies in Papua New Guinea are found mainly in urban centers. Pharmacy care in Port Morseby is improving. There are now some bigger chain pharmacies available that offer a wide range of medications. The medications in these larger pharmacies are now sourced from reliable vendors. There have been some reported problems with counterfeit drugs that are not efficacious being sold at pharmacies in PNG. Doctors and hospitals often expect immediate cash payment for medical services. Additional Health and Medical Information is available on the Embassy website.
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 to cover medical evacuation.
If traveling with prescription medication, check with the government of Papua New Guinea to ensure the medication is legal in Papua New Guinea. Always carry your prescription medication in original packaging with your doctor’s prescription.
The following diseases are prevelant:
Vaccinations: Be up-to-date on all vaccinations recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Drinking Water: The water supply is chlorinated and fluoridated but it is advisable to boil before consumption.
Further health information:
Water Sports: If you scuba dive or snorkel while in Papua New Guinea, be sure to check the references, licenses, and equipment of tour operators before agreeing to a tour. Confirm that the dive operator you use is certified through one of the international diving associations, and that their certification is current. Confirm with the diving association directly that the operator is certified. Local dive masters may not consider your skill level when they organize a trip.
Rent equipment only from trustworthy operators and be sure to receive training before using the equipment. Some rental diving equipment may not be properly maintained or inspected. Ensure that your travel insurance covers what some consider “risky” outdoor activities. You can also look at the Divers Alert Network (DAN) website for diver’s insurance.
Deaths and serious accidents have occurred in the past because basic safety measures were not taken during diving and snorkeling trips. Remember that safety precautions and emergency responses may not meet U.S. standards.
Papua New Guinea has one hyperbaric recompression chamber to provide medical assistance for dive-related injuries, which is located in Port Moresby. However, it is routinely inaccessible or non-operational. Diving injuries will therefore almost always require medical evacuation to Australia. Many of the popular dive sites are located on other islands, and it may take several hours to reach facilities in the event of an accident.
Road Conditions and Safety: Motor vehicle accidents are a common cause of serious injury in Papua New Guinea. Road travel outside of major towns can be hazardous due to criminal roadblocks near bridges, curves in the road, or other areas where vehicle speed and mobility is restricted. If possible, hire a local driver, who knows the roads and safety conditions. Be sure to:
Safety risks include:
Traffic Laws: Traffic in Papua New Guinea moves on the left. Police roadblocks to check vehicle registrations are a regular occurrence at night in Port Moresby. As a driver, you should ensure that your vehicle registration and safety stickers are up-to-date in order to minimize difficulties at roadblocks.
Crowds can react emotionally and violently after road accidents. Crowds form quickly after an accident and may attack those whom they hold responsible by stoning and/or burning vehicles. Friends and relatives of an injured party may demand immediate compensation from the party they hold responsible for injuries, regardless of legal responsibility. If you are involved in an accident and you feel threatened, go directly to the nearest police station instead of remaining at the scene of the accident.
Public Transportation: Avoid using local taxis or buses, known as Public Motor Vehicles (PMVs). Rely on your sponsor or hotel to arrange for hotel transportation or a rental car.
See our Road Safety page for more information. For specific information concerning Papua New Guinea driving permits, vehicle inspection, road tax, road safety and mandatory insurance, please call the Papua New Guinea’s Motor Vehicle Institute Limited at 675-325-9666 or 675-302-4600.
Aviation Safety Oversight: As there is no direct commercial air service to the United States by carriers registered in Papua New Guinea, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has not assessed the government of Papua New Guinea’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.
Maritime Travel: Mariners planning travel to Papua New Guinea should also check for U.S. maritime advisories and alerts at www.marad.dot.gov/msci. Information may also be posted to the U.S. Coast Guard homeport website and the NGA broadcast warnings website (select “broadcast warnings”)
DISCLAIMER: THE INFORMATION IS PROVIDED FOR GENERAL INFORMATION ONLY AND MAY NOT BE TOTALLY ACCURATE IN A SPECIFIC CASE. QUESTIONS INVOLVING INTERPRETATION OF SPECIFIC FOREIGN LAWS SHOULD BE ADDRESSED TO THE APPROPRIATE FOREIGN AUTHORITIES OR FOREIGN COUNSEL.
While travelling in a foreign country, you are subject to the laws of that country. It is important for parents to understand that, although a left-behind parent in the United States may have custody or visitation rights pursuant to a U.S. custody order, that order may not be valid and enforceable in the country in which the child is located. For this reason, we strongly encourage you to speak to a local attorney if planning to remove a child from a foreign country without the consent of the other parent. Attempts to remove your child to the United States may:
The U.S. government cannot interfere with another country’s court or law enforcement system.
To understand the legal effect of a U.S. order in a foreign country, a parent should consult with a local attorney in the country in which the child is located.
For information about hiring an attorney abroad, see our section on Retaining a Foreign Attorney.
Although we cannot recommend an attorney to you, most U.S. Embassies have lists of attorneys available online. Please visit the local U.S. Embassy or Consulate website for a full listing.
For more information on consular assistance for U.S. citizens arrested abroad, please see our website.
Country officers are available to speak with you Monday - Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. For assistance with an abduction in progress or any emergency situation that occurs after normal business hours, on weekends, or federal holidays, please call toll free at 1-888-407-4747. See all contact information.
DISCLAIMER: The information in this flyer is provided for general information only, is not intended to be legal advice, and may change without notice. Questions involving interpretation of law should be addressed to an attorney licensed in the relevant jurisdiction.
Select a visa category below to find the visa issuance fee, number of entries, and validity period for visas issued to applicants from this country*/area of authority.
Visa Classification: The type of nonimmigrant visa you are applying for.
Fee: The reciprocity fee, also known as the visa issuance fee, you must pay. This fee is in addition to the nonimmigrant visa application fee (MRV fee).
Number of Entries: The number of times you may seek entry into the United States with that visa. "M" means multiple times. If there is a number, such as "One", you may apply for entry one time with that visa.
Validity Period: This generally means the visa is valid, or can be used, from the date it is issued until the date it expires, for travel with that visa. If your Validity Period is 60 months, your visa will be valid for 60 months from the date it is issued.
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Available from the Registrar General's Office, P.O. Box 470, Waigani, N.C.D. 131, Papua New Guinea; Phone:(675) 327-1732; Fax: (675) 327-1523. Most foreign nationals and residents of towns register births with this office. Births in rural areas are frequently not registered. A fee may be charged for this service.
Available from the Registrar General's Office, P.O. Box 470, Waigani, N.C.D. 131, Papua New Guinea; Phone: (675) 327-1732; Fax: (675) 327-1523. The deaths of some foreign nationals and residents of towns are registered with this office. Deaths occurring in isolated or rural areas are frequently not registered with the Registrar General's Office. In these cases a medical certificate of death will normally be issued by the hospital where the death occurred or by the attending physician.
Available for church and civil marriages (known as statutory marriages, to distinguish them from customary marriages) from the Registrar General's Office, P.O. Box 470, Waigani, N.C.D. 131, Papua New Guinea; Phone (675) 327-1732; Fax: (675) 327-1523. A fee may be charged for this service.
Customary marriages between Papua New Guineans are legal provided they are carried out in accordance with the custom or customs of the tribes involved, but they are not registered and no certificates are issued. It is not clear from Papua New Guinea marriage law whether expatriates or naturalized citizens may legally enter into customary marriages in Papua New Guinea.
Available. A certified copy of a final divorce decree can be obtained from the Registrar of the National Court, P.O. Box 7018, Boroko, N.C.D.111, Papua New Guinea; Phone: (675) 325-709. A fee may be charged for this service.
Available. A certified copy of a final adoption decree can be obtained from the Registrar of the National Court, P.O. Box 7018, Boroko, N.C.D 111, Papua New Guinea; Phone (675) 325-7099. A fee may be charged for this service.
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Clients in the National Capital District: To obtain your police record; submit the following to the National Criminal Records Office, Police Headquarters, P.O. Box 85, Konedobu, N.C.D 125, Papua New Guinea: 1) a Character Check Application, 2) an official service fee receipt of PGK10.00, and 3) a copy of your current passport, visa and work permit. The Character Check Application Form can only be obtained at National Criminal Records Office at Police Headquarters, Konedobu, Telephone: (675) 325-4188 / 325- 4472 ; Fax: (675) 325-5365. The Service Fee Receipt can be obtained at the Public Accounts Finance Haus Valupindi, Waigani, at the Firearms Registry Office at Boroko Police Station, or at the Central Provincial Government Cash Office at Konedobu. You must apply in person. Your fingerprints will be taken to verify identity.
Clients in other Provinces (Papua New Guinea): To obtain your police record; submit the following to the National Criminal Records Office, Police Headquarters, P.O. Box 85, Konedobu, N.C.D 125, Papua New Guinea: 1) a Character Check Application, 2) an official service fee receipt of PGK10.00, and 3) a copy of your current passport, visa and work permit. The Character Check Application Form can only be obtained at National Criminal Records Office at Police Headquarters, Konedobu, Telephone: (675) 325-4188 / 325-4472; Fax: (675) 325-5365. The Service Fee Receipt can be obtained at the Provincial Treasury Office (BMS) in the province where you reside. You must also submit a set of fingerprints taken on Form FD-258 from the Provincial Police Station where you reside.
Clients in other countries: To obtain your police record; submit the following to the National Criminal Records Office, Police Headquarters, P.O. Box 85, Konedobu, N.C.D 125, Papua New Guinea: 1) a Character Check Application, 2) an official service fee receipt of PGK10.00, and 3) a copy of your current passport, visa and work permit. The Character Check Application Form can only be obtained at National Criminal Records Office at Police Headquarters, Konedobu, Telephone: (675) 325-4188 / 325-4472; Fax: (675) 325-5365. You must also submit your fingerprints on Form FD-258. To obtain this form from the National Criminal Records Office, call or send an e-mail request to, firstname.lastname@example.org. Send the USD equivalent of the PGK 10.00 fee through “WESTERN UNION” Bank South Pacific (BSP). Send an e-mail to the abovementioned addresses to notify the National Criminal Records Office that you have sent the fee.
NOTE: The Police Clearance Certificate will be processed and mailed to you within appropriately two weeks. For the quickest turnaround, send the completed form by DHL or FEDEX and include a Pre-paid Return envelope for the return of the certificate when issued. Otherwise, certificates will be returned through the domestic mailing service, and the certificate may take 3-6 weeks to reach the applicant.
Available. The police clearance certificate will contain a complete record of any criminal convictions and imprisonment.
Available. All members of the Papua New Guinea Defense Force receive a discharge card at the time they leave the service. If they have misplaced this card, they may request another copy by writing the Director of Manpower, Murray Barracks, Free Mail.
Bag, Boroko, N.C.D. 111, Papua New Guinea; Phones: (675-325-6166 or 324-2480; Fax: (675) 325-6117. Applicants should provide regimental numbers and dates of service.
The Papua New Guinea Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade issues Certificates of Identity to Papua New Guineans, foreign nationals who must travel when a passport is not available, and refugees. These documents are passport-like documents with a gray cover and can be valid up to 24 months. Papua New Guinea's embassies and consulates overseas issue Documents of Identity to Papua New Guinea citizens under emergency conditions which are valid only for the return trip to Papua New Guinea and must be surrendered to the immigration officials upon entering the country. This document meets the requirements of section 101(A)(30) of the Immigration and Nationality Act.
All visa categories for all of Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, and Vanuatu.