International Travel

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Country Information

Kiribati

Kiribati
Republic of Kiribati
Exercise normal precautions in Kiribati.

Exercise normal precautions in Kiribati.

Health

  • Monitor local media.
  • Bring a sufficient supply of over-the-counter and prescription medicines.
  • Make contingency plans to leave the country.
  • Visit the CDC Travelers Page.

Read the Safety and Security section on the Country Information page.

If you decide to travel to Kiribati:

Last Update: Reissued after periodic review with changes to Health Information.

 

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Embassy Message

Alerts

Quick Facts

PASSPORT VALIDITY:


Six months

BLANK PASSPORT PAGES:


One page required for stamp

TOURIST VISA REQUIRED:


Not required for stays up to 30 days

VACCINATIONS:


None

CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR ENTRY:


5000 AUD (Australian Dollars)

CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR EXIT:


None

Embassies and Consulates

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

Destination Description

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

 

Entry, Exit and Visa Requirements

To enter Kiribati, you need:

  • a valid passport with a minimum of six months validity
  • a return or onward ticket (or sufficient funds to purchase them), and
  • sufficient funds to cover the duration of the intended stay.

For additional immigration and visa information, please contact the Consulate of Kiribati or the Kiribati National Tourism Office. For information on long-term visit or residency requirements, please contact the Consulate of the Republic of Kiribati, 95 Nakolo Place, Rm. 265, Honolulu, Hawaii 96819, tel. (808) 834-7603, fax (808) 834-7604.

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

Find information on dual nationality, prevention of international child abduction and customs regulations on our websites.

Safety and Security

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

Crime: The crime rate in Kiribati is low; however, you should still not be complacent regarding your personal safety or protecting your valuables.

International Financial Scams: See the Department of State and the FBI pages for information.

Victims of Crime: U.S. citizen victims of sexual assault are encouraged to contact the U.S. Embassy for assistance at +(679) 331-4466, or after hours to the Embassy duty officer at +(679) 772-8049.  Report crimes to the local police by dialing 992.

Remember that local authorities are responsible for investigating and prosecuting 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
  • Provide general information regarding the victim’s role during the local investigation and following its conclusion
  • 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 are encouraged to contact the Embassy for assistance.

For further information:

Local Laws & Special Circumstances

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

  • Individuals establishing a business or practicing a profession that requires additional permits or licensing should seek information from the competent local authorities, prior to practicing or operating a business.

Permission from the Government of Kiribati is required prior to research or filming in Kiribati.

Furthermore, some laws are also 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:

  • Kiribati’s customs authorities strictly prohibit the importation of firearms, ammunition, explosives, counterfeit money and goods, knives, and indecent publications or pornography.
  • Strict quarantine laws govern the import of any part of plants, fruits, or vegetables, as well as soil, animals, and animal products.
  • Visitors are not allowed to export human remains, artifacts that are 30 or more years old, traditional fighting swords, traditional tools, dancing ornaments, or suits of armor.
  • For more information, please contact the Consulate of the Republic of Kiribati in Honolulu at (808) 834-7603 or via e-mail.

Currency: The Australian dollar is the legal currency in Kiribati. Traveler’s checks and all major currencies are accepted by banks and may also be exchanged for local currency at some local hotels. Visa and MasterCard are accepted at most hotels.

Natural Disasters: Kiribati is located in an area of high seismic activity. Undersea earthquakes in the South Pacific region can also generate destructive tsunamis. The Government of Kiribati has only limited capability for notifying residents and visitors in the event of a tsunami. If you notice seismic activity and/or unusual tidal activity, you should take immediate precautions, such as seeking higher ground or refuge on an upper floor in a sturdy building. Strong winds are common, especially during the cyclone season from November to April.

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:  See the following webpages for details:

LGBTI Travelers:  Consensual same-sex sexual conduct between men is illegal, with a maximum penalty of five to 14 years’ imprisonment, depending on the nature of the offense.  However, the U.S. Embassy is not aware of any reports of prosecutions directed at gay, bisexual, or transgender persons under these provisions for sexual activity between consenting adults.

See our LGBTI Travel Information page and section 6 of our Human Rights report for further details.

Travelers Who Require Accessibility Assistance. Accessibility of buildings, and communications and information for persons with disabilities is not mandated. There are no special accommodations for persons with disabilities.

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

Women Travelers:  See our travel tips for Women Travelers.

Health

Health care throughout Kiribati, including Tarawa, is substandard. Travelers may encounter shortages of routine medications and supplies. Hospital accommodations are inadequate throughout the country, and advanced technology is lacking. Serious medical conditions requiring hospitalization or evacuation to the United States or elsewhere may cost thousands of dollars.

Kiribati has no funeral homes with embalming or cremation services.

For emergency services in Kiribati, dial 994 for ambulance and 993 for fire.

Ambulance services are

  • not equipped with state-of-the-art medical equipment.
  • not staffed with trained paramedics and often have little or no medical equipment.
  • Injured or seriously ill travelers may prefer to take a taxi or private vehicle to the nearest major hospital rather than wait for an ambulance.

We do not pay medical bills.  Be aware that U.S. Medicare/Medicaid does not apply overseas.  Most hospitals and doctors overseas do not accept U.S. health insurance.

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.

Visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for more information on type of insurance you should consider before you travel overseas.

We strongly recommend supplemental insurance to cover medical evacuation.

Always carry your prescription medication in original packaging, along with your doctor’s prescription.  Check with the Kiribati Customs and MFA to ensure the medication is legal in Kiribati.

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

Further health information:

Air Quality: Visit AirNow Department of State

The U.S. Embassy maintains a list of doctors and hospitals.  We do not endorse or recommend any specific medical provider or clinic.

Health facilities in general:

  • Public medical clinics lack basic resources and supplies.
  • Hospitals and doctors may require payment “up front” prior to service or admission. Credit card payment is not always available.  Hospitals and medical professionals may require cash payments.
  • Medical staff may speak little or no English.

 Water Quality

  • Tap water is not potable. Bottled water and beverages are generally safe, although you should be aware that many restaurants and hotels serve tap water unless bottled water is specifically requested.  Be aware that ice for drinks may be made using tap water.

  • You should regard all water as a potential health risk. You should not drink any water that is not bottled, boiled, or otherwise sterilized. You should cook vegetables and peel fruit before eating it.

Adventure Travel

  • Visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website for more information about Adventure Travel.

General Health Language

The following diseases are prevalent:

  • Use the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended mosquito repellents and sleep under insecticide-impregnated mosquito nets.  Chemoprophylaxis is recommended for all travelers even for short stays.
  • Visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website for more information about Resources for Travelers regarding specific issues in Kiribati. 

Travel and Transportation

Road Conditions and Safety: 

  • Traffic moves on the left side of the road in Kiribati.
  • While satisfactory in some areas, roads in urban Tarawa and Christmas Island generally need repair.
  • The main sealed roads are on South Tarawa and Kiribati, and the unsealed roads are distributed among 20 islands.
  • Much of the major island atolls, including that of North Tarawa, are actually closely connected islets. 
  • Unsealed roads in North Tarawa and on outer islands are mostly not connected by bridges, making transit between islets possible only during low tide.
  • Road safety is a major concern with a growing incidence of road accidents due to increased traffic, the age and condition of vehicles, and dangerous driving.
  • Many local residents use small motorbikes and mopeds for transport; motorists should be aware of these smaller vehicles sharing the road.
  • After heavy rains and high tides, some road sections temporarily flood. Traffic proceeds at a relatively slow rate.
  • Although it is illegal to drink and drive in Kiribati, it is nonetheless a common occurrence especially on the weekends.
  • Since visibility is poor, with no streetlights, driving long distances at night is not recommended, particularly outside of Betio.
  • For specific information concerning Kiribati drivers’ permits, vehicle inspection, road tax and mandatory insurance, please contact the Consulate of the Republic of Kiribati in Honolulu, Hawaii at (808) 834-7603 or KiribatiConsul@aol.com.

Traffic Laws:

  • The traffic speed has been reduced in places to 20 km/h or less as a result of road damage, and driving conditions are hazardous, particularly after rain.
  • Driving under the influence of alcohol is illegal in Kiribati. Mobile phone use while driving is illegal.
  • Drivers and passengers are required to use seat belts.

See our Road Safety page for more information.

Aviation Safety Oversight: As there is no direct commercial air service to the United States by carriers registered in Kiribati, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has not assessed the government of Kiribati’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 Kiribati should also check for U.S. maritime advisories and alerts.  Information may also be posted to the  U.S. Coast Guard homeport website, and the NGA broadcast warnings.  While Kiribati is an island nation dependent on maritime transportation, vessel conditions and inspection regimens can be less than ideal.  Be aware of boat and ferry exits, and life jacket placement.  Travel schedules and timetables can vary from advertised, with cancellations are not uncommon; build liberal extra timing into other- and outer-island transport.

For additional travel information

International Parental Child Abduction

Review information about International Parental Child Abduction in Kuwait. For additional IPCA-related information, please see the International Child Abduction Prevention and Return Act (ICAPRA) report. 

Last Updated: November 7, 2019

Travel Advisory Levels

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
+(679) 772-8049
Fax
+(679) 330-2267

Kiribati Map