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International Travel

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Country Information

Marshall Islands

Country Information

Marshall Islands
Republic of the Marshall Islands
Last Updated: December 23, 2017
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Embassy Messages
Quick Facts
PASSPORT VALIDITY:

Six Months

BLANK PASSPORT PAGES:

At least one blank page

TOURIST VISA REQUIRED:

Not for U.S. citizens

VACCINATIONS:

None

CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR ENTRY:

$10,000

CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR EXIT:

$10,000

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Embassies and Consulates

The U.S. Embassy in Majuro
Located on the ocean-side of the island's major road, approximately two miles east of the airport (There is no street address).
P.O. Box 1379
Majuro, MH 96960-1379
Telephone: (692) 247-4011
Emergency after-hours: (692)-455 8213
Fax: (692) 247-4012
Email: MAJConsular@state.gov

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Destination Description

See the Department of State's Fact Sheet on The Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) for information on U.S.-RMI relations.

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Entry, Exit and Visa Requirements

Under the Compact of Free Association, U.S. citizens do not need a visa to enter the Marshall Islands. There is a departure fee of $20 for individuals aged 13 through 59. Diplomats are exempt from this fee. Cholera immunizations are required for those arriving from infected areas. Visit the Embassy of the Republic of the Marshall Islands website for the most current visa information.

HIV/AIDS Restrictions:  Some HIV/AIDS entry restrictions exist for visitors to and foreign residents of the Marshall Islands. HIV testing is required for temporary visitors staying more than 30 days and applicants for residence and work permits. Foreign test results are accepted under certain conditions. Please verify this information with the Embassy of the Republic of the Marshall Islands before you travel.

Find information on dual nationalityprevention of international child abduction and customs regulations on our websites.

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Safety and Security

CRIME: The Marshall Islands has a low crime rate. The most common crimes are break-ins and thefts from homes, hotel rooms, and vehicles, as well as occasional random acts of vandalism. Keep your hotel room or residence locked at all times. There have been a few recent but isolated incidents in which foreigners were assaulted. It is recommended that visitors dress conservatively; Marshallese citizens typically dress very modestly with tops that cover their shoulders and pants, dresses, or shorts that fall below their knees. Occasionally, fights and assaults occur at nightclubs and bars. If you visit those establishments, especially late in the evening, be extra vigilant to ensure your personal security. Also, be careful driving or walking on the roads late at night as drunk-driving is prevalent and there is little or no room on the sides of roads for pedestrians to walk.

Victims of Crime:
Report crimes to the local police at 625-6911 and contact the U.S. Embassy at (692)-455 8213. 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 information on assistance programs such as Women United Together Marshall Islands (WUTMI) In Mour
  • 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:

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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.

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.

Faith-Based Travelers:  See our following webpages for details:

LGBTI Travelers: There are no legal restrictions on same-sex sexual relations or the organization of LGBT events in the Republic of the Marshall Islands. Same sex relations in the RMI are not criminalized. Section 13 of the RMI Bill of Rights states: “All persons shall be free from unreasonable interference in personal choices that do not injure others and from unreasonable intrusions into their privacy.” This clause, in Section 13, is respected in practice.

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

Travelers Who Require Accessibility Assistance: While in RMI, individuals with disabilities might find accessibility and accommodation very different from that in the United States. There are no mandated rules for special support for persons with disabilities. There are few ramps, almost no sidewalks, and few operational elevators in the Marshall Islands. Medical facilities have generally limited and inadequate accessibility.

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

Women Travelers: If you are a woman traveling abroad, please review our travel tips for Women Travelers. The RMI does not practice forced marriage or female genital mutilation. Domestic violence is an endemic problem in the country. A recent study found that seven out of ten Marshallese women experience violence at the hands of a family member or partner at some point in their lives. Women travelers should be aware of local modesty customs and dress conservatively while in public, with special care to cover shoulders and knees.

SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES:

Customs: Customs authorities of the Marshall Islands strictly prohibit the importation of firearms, ammunition, explosives, and indecent publications. Certification from the Quarantine Division is required to import animals, plants, and fruits. We advise you to contact the Embassy of the Republic of the Marshall Islands or one of the Marshall Islands' consulates in the United States for specific information regarding customs requirements, especially when dealing with the importation of animals into the Marshall Islands.

Communication: The Marshall Islands relies primarily on radio in the remote outer islands, which causes some communication problems. Local telephone service as well as worldwide international long distance is available on Majuro and Ebeye. The cost for international calls is quite expensive. Internet service is also available and is relatively expensive.

Currency: The currency of the Republic of the Marshall Islands is U.S. dollars. The three ATMs on Majuro can be found at the Bank of Guam, Payless Supermarket, and Robert Reimers Resort. A few hotels and restaurants accept Visa, MasterCard, and American Express credit cards. Most transactions are cash only. 

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Health

Health facilities in Majuro and Ebeye are adequate for routine medical problems. There are few or no health facilities available elsewhere in the Marshall Islands. Majuro has a private clinic and a public hospital. Ebeye also has a public hospital. Though the hospital has diagnostic medical equipment, it is not always functioning due to maintenance problems and technician staffing difficulties. Most outer islands have medical dispensaries. Serious medical problems requiring hospitalization and/or medical evacuation to the United States can cost tens of thousands of dollars. Prescription and over-the-counter medicines might not be available.  Doctors and hospitals often expect immediate cash payment for health services. However, the local cost for service is quite minimal.

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 the Marshall Islands to ensure the medication is legal in The Marshall Islands.  Always, carry your prescription medication in original packaging with your doctor’s prescription. 

The following diseases are prevalent: 

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

Further health information: 

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Travel and Transportation

Road Conditions and Safety: While in the Marshall Islands, you may encounter road conditions that differ significantly from those in the United States. The information below concerning the Marshall Islands is provided for general reference only and may not be completely accurate in a particular location or circumstance.

Majuro atoll has only one main road and there are no street addresses or house numbers. The road is paved, but there are few traffic signs and no traffic lights. While driving, you should be alert for dogs, chickens, and pigs roaming the streets, and children darting into the road, especially after dark. Children frequently play dangerous games with vehicles, running in front of or behind vehicles. Drinking and driving is common, especially on the weekends, so use caution. Walking beside the street can be dangerous due to poor lighting, the absence of sidewalks, and drivers who may have been drinking. On outer atolls, there is no transportation for evacuation to the rudimentary medical facilities on the two atolls with hospitals (Majuro and Kwajalein).

Traffic Laws: Vehicle traffic proceeds slowly, rarely more than 25 miles per hour. Roads experience temporary flooding after heavy rains and during especially high tides. Because there are few streetlights, visibility is poor, and night driving requires special caution. For specific information concerning drivers’ permits, vehicle inspection, road tax, and mandatory insurance, please contact the Embassy of the Republic of the Marshall Islands.

Public Transportation: The public transportation system is nonexistent, but taxis are inexpensive and widely available.

See our Road Safety page for more information. Visit the website of the RMI’s national tourist office and national authority responsible for road safety.

Flights: United Airlines flies once a day through Majuro, six days a week. Three days a week the flights in and out of the Marshall Islands are to the west toward Guam, and three days a week east to Honolulu. Nauru Airlines flies an island hopper once a week south to Brisbane and once a week west to Micronesia.  Air Marshall Islands also operates flights within the Marshall Islands; however, service is not reliable. Be aware that flights and boats to and from outer islands are often cancelled, sometimes leaving visitors stranded for one or more weeks.

AVIATION SAFETY OVERSIGHT: As there is no direct commercial air service to the United States by carriers registered in Republic of the Marshall Islands, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has not assessed the government of Republic of the Marshall Islands’ 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.

Hague Convention Participation
Party to the Hague Abduction Convention?
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U.S. Treaty Partner under the Hague Abduction Convention?
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Learn why the Hague Abduction Convention Matters.
What You Can Do
Learn how to respond to abductions FROM the US
Learn how to respond to abductions TO the US
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Embassies and Consulates

The U.S. Embassy in Majuro
Located on the ocean-side of the island's major road, approximately two miles east of the airport (There is no street address).
P.O. Box 1379
Majuro, MH 96960-1379
Telephone: (692) 247-4011
Emergency after-hours: (692)-455 8213
Fax: (692) 247-4012
Email: MAJConsular@state.gov

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General Information
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Hague Abduction Convention
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Return
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Visitation/Access
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Retaining an Attorney
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Mediation
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Exercising Custody Rights

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 when 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:

  • Endanger your child and others;
  • Prejudice any future judicial efforts; and
  • Could result in your arrest and imprisonment.

To understand the legal effect of a U.S. order in a foreign country, a parent should consult with a local attorney.  

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. 

 

Hague Convention Participation
Hague Adoption Convention Country?
No
Are Intercountry Adoptions between this country and the United States possible?
Is this country a U.S. Hague Partner?
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Hague Convention Information

Marshall Islands is not a party to the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption (Hague Adoption Convention).  Intercountry adoptions of children from non-Hague countries are processed in accordance with 8 Code of Federal Regulations, Section  204.3 as it relates to orphans as defined under the Immigration and Nationality Act, Section 101(b)(1)(F).  Under the Intercountry Adoption Universal Accreditation Act (UAA), which became effective on July 14, 2014, the accreditation requirement and standards, which previously only applied in Convention cases, now also apply in non-Convention or “orphan” cases.  The UAA requires that an accredited or approved adoption service provider acts as a primary provider in every case, and that adoption service providers providing adoption services on behalf of prospective adoptive parents be accredited or approved, or be a supervised or exempted provider.  Adoption service providers and prospective adoptive parents should review the State Department’s Universal Accreditation Act of 2012 webpage for further information.  Intercountry adoptions of children from non-Convention countries continue to be processed under the Orphan Process with the filing of the Forms I-600A and I-600.  However, adoption service providers should be aware of the information on the USCIS website on the impact on Form I-600A and Form I-600 adjudications under the UAA, including the requirement that all home studies, including home study updates and amendments, comply with the Convention home study requirements, which differ from the orphan home study requirements that were in effect before July 14, 2014.

Although the “Compact of Free Association” between the Marshall Islands and the United States permits Marshallese citizens to travel to and live in the United States without a U.S. visa, this provision is not applicable to adopted children who will reside permanently with U.S. families in the United States.  Prospective adoptive parents of Marshallese children must go through the appropriate Marshallese adoption procedures as well as the relevant U.S. immigration procedures related to adopted foreign orphans.  Adopted Marshallese children who enter the United States without a visa may later have difficulties adjusting their U.S. immigration status and, eventually, acquiring U.S. citizenship.

Prospective adoptive parents should either plan to remain in the Marshall Islands for approximately four to five weeks before returning to the United States with the child or plan to make two separate trips, the first to complete the local adoption process and file the child’s Form I-600 petition and DS-230 immigrant visa application and the second to receive the approved immigrant visa for the child and bring him or her home.  The U.S. Embassy in Manila, Philippines adjudicates and issues immigrant visas for children adopted in the Marshall Islands and delivers them to the U.S. Embassy in Majuro.  Prospective adoptive parents should not make non-refundable travel plans prior to receiving all necessary documentation and immigrant visa(s) for the adopted child(ren).  For more information, please see the ‘U.S. Immigrant Visa’ section below.

U.S. Immigration Requirements For Intercountry Adoptions

To bring an adopted child to the United States from the Marshall Islands, you must meet eligibility and suitability requirements.  The U.S. Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) determine who can adopt under U.S. immigration law.

Additionally, a child must meet the definition of orphan under U.S. immigration law in order to be eligible to immigrate to the United States on an IR-3 or IR-4 immigrant visa.

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Who Can Adopt

In addition to U.S. immigration requirements, you must also meet the following requirements in order to adopt a child from Marshall Islands:

  • Residency:  The Government of the Marshall Islands has no specific requirement or policy regarding the citizenship or residency of foreign prospective adoptive parents.
  • Age of Adopting Parents:  Any person 18 or older can petition to adopt a child; however, the petitioner must be at least 15 years older than the child to be adopted.
  • Marriage:  Under Marshallese law, both married couples and single individuals may adopt Marshallese children.  Marshallese law does not permit same-sex couples or individuals in same-sex relationships to adopt.
  • Income:  There is no minimum income requirement for adoptive parents. 
  • Other:  Prospective adoptive parents must have a home study completed by a U.S. state licensed adoption agency.  This can be the home study that U.S. prospective adoptive parents submit to USCIS as part of their Form I-600A filing.  The home study must include the following:
    • educational background and future educational plans;
    • employment history, current status and any changes in the foreseeable future;
    • income history and future projections, if available;
    • history of prior marriages, if any, including the basis for divorce, the age and gender of each child, and the history of child support for and current relationship with those children;
    • history of current marriage, age and gender of each child already in the home, and detailed report of any prior adoption experiences;
    • participation in any civic or religious activity of prospective adoptive parents;
    • nationwide criminal background search in the prospective adoptive parent’(s) country of residence or country of citizenship; and
    • original child abuse records search.
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Who Can Be Adopted

In addition to U.S. immigration requirements, Marshall Islands has specific requirements that a child must meet in order to be eligible for adoption:

  • Relinquishment:  The Central Adoption Authority (“CAA”), a governmental office in the Ministry of Internal Affairs, oversees the adoption process.  The CAA oversees the execution of an “Affidavit of Relinquishment of Parental Rights and Consent to Adoption and Emigration” by the birth parent(s).  No final adoption hearing can occur until at least 30 days have elapsed since the signing of the Affidavit of Relinquishment.

    In most relinquishments, birth mothers do not identify the father and no male has claimed paternity of the child.
  • Abandonment:  Under Marshallese law, “abandonment” means the failure to provide financial support for the child; or knowingly failing to provide a normal parent-child relationship with the child for a period of six or more months and deliberately failing to arrange for the provision of care and supervision of a child by another adult or adults who are willing and able to care for the child.
  •  Age of Adoptive Child:  No child 16 years of age or older may be adopted.  The Court will consider the objection of a child 12 years of age or older to be controlling and the adoption will not proceed.  A child under 12 years of age may object, however, the child’s objection is not controlling.  The Court will determine whether the adoption is in the child’s best interest.
  • Sibling Adoptions:  There are no specific eligibility requirements.
  • Special Needs or Medical Conditions:  There are no specific eligibility requirements.
  • Waiting Period or Foster Care:  In relinquishment cases, the High Court hearing to petition for adoption may not occur before 30 days have passed since the birth parent(s) signed the Affidavit of Relinquishment.
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How to Adopt

Marshall Islands’ Adoption Authority
Central Adoption Authority (“CAA”)

The Process

The process for adopting a child from Marshall Islands generally includes the following steps:

  1. Choose a U.S. Accredited or Approved Adoption Service Provider
  2. Apply to be found eligible to adopt
  3. Be matched with a child
  4. Adopt or gain custody of the child in Marshall Islands
  5. Apply for the child to be found eligible for orphan status
  6. Bring your child home

Marshall Islands also requires post-adoption reports.  See the “After Adoption” section of this Country Information Sheet for more details.

1. Choose a U.S. Accredited or Approved Adoption Service Provider

The recommended first step in adopting a child from Marshall Islands is to decide whether or not to use a licensed adoption service provider in the United States that can help you with your adoption.  Adoption service providers must be licensed by the U.S. state in which they operate.  The Department of State provides information on selecting an adoption service provider on its website.

2. Apply to be Found Eligible to Adopt

In order to adopt a child from Marshall Islands, you will need to meet the requirements of the Government of Marshall Islands and U.S. immigration law.  You must submit an application to be found eligible to adopt with the CAA.

To meet U.S. immigration requirements, you may also file an I-600A, Application for Advance Processing of an Orphan Petition with U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services to be found eligible and suitable to adopt.  As of July 14, 2014, unless an exception applies, the home study must comply with the requirements in 8 CFR 204.311 and 22 CFR Part 96.47.

3. Be Matched with a Child

If you are found eligible to adopt, and a child is available for intercountry adoption, the CAA in the Marshall Islands will provide you with a referral.  Each family must decide for itself whether or not it will be able to meet the needs of and provide a permanent home for a particular child.

The child must be eligible to be adopted according to Marshall Islands’ requirements, as described in the Who Can Be Adopted section.  The child must also meet the definition of orphan under U.S. immigration law.

4. Adopt or Gain Legal Custody of Child in Marshall Islands

The process for finalizing the adoption in Marshall Islands generally includes the following:

  • Role of Adoption Authority:  The CAA was established through the Adoptions Act of 2002.  The CAA is in the Ministry of Internal Affairs and is responsible for the supervision of all adoption proceedings in the Marshall Islands.  The duties of the CAA include:
    • Serving as a central receiving point for all referrals of children to be adopted;
    • Conducting background investigations of the birth parents.
    • Providing case management services to birth parents and children, including:
      • Birth parent counseling on options for effective parenting, including the possibility of traditional or intercountry adoption;
      • Pre-natal nutrition and medical referral services to the birth mother in cooperation with other government agencies, departments, or ministries, as appropriate;
      • Coordinating with licensed agencies to monitor the quality of applications, and providing a recommendation to the Court on individual applications;
    • For children whose consent to adoption is required, providing counseling to the child and providing a recommendation to the Court regarding  the child’s wishes regarding adoption;
    • Monitoring post-adoption progress in coordination with the foreign agencies; and
    • Providing a resource to adoptive parents for post-adoption consultation on issues related to the adoption.
               
  • Role of the Court:  The High Court determines the eligibility of prospective adoptive parents based on submitted evidence required by the Adoptions Act of 2002 and issues the decree of final adoption.  Prospective adoptive parents must petition the High Court for adoption.  There is a hearing at which the prospective adoptive parent(s) must appear in person.  If a husband and wife are adopting, both must appear.
  • Role of Adoption Agencies:  Adoption agencies interact with theCAA to match children with prospective adoptive parent(s).  Adoption agencies must be licensed by a state or government licensing board and must be represented by a locally licensed lawyer to appear before the Court.
  • Adoption Application:  Prospective adoptive parents must petition the Court for adoption through referral from CAA.
  • Time Frame:  The U.S. Embassy in Majuro has indicated that Marshallese adoptions generally take four to five weeks to complete, from the parents’ arrival on the island to receipt of the child’s immigrant visa.
  • Adoption Fees:  Court costs are approximately $500.  Certified copies of court documents are $5 and certified copies of birth certificates are $1.  Expedited passport issuance costs $85.  U.S. adoption service provider and local attorney fees vary.

    The U.S. Embassy in Majuro discourages the payment of any fees that are not properly receipted, including “donations” or “expediting” fees requested from prospective adoptive parents or their agents.  Such fees may have the appearance of “buying” a baby and put all future adoptions in Marshall Islands at risk.  Similarly, prospective adoptive parents and their agents should be mindful of whether any official, required fee has been exempted, and if so, who exempted the fees, and for what reason.  Further, the UAA and the Intercountry Adoption Act (IAA) make it unlawful to improperly influence relinquishment of parental rights, parental consent relating to adoption of a child, or a decision by an entity performing Central Authority functions.

  • Documents Required:  The High Court requires the following in order to determine the eligibility and suitability of prospective adoptive parent(s) and issue a final adoption decree:
    • In cases where birth parent(s) can be located, their Affidavit of Relinquishment;
    • Certified copy of petitioner’s marriage certificate;
    • Certified copy of birth certificate of each petitioner;
    • Photocopy of each petitioner’s passport;
    • Doctor’s statement attesting to the physical and mental capability of the petitioners to adopt.

Note:  Additional documents may be requested.

 Authentication of Documents:  The United States and the Marshall Islands are parties to the Hague Apostille Convention.  U.S. public documents may be authenticated with apostilles by the appropriate U.S. Competent Authority.

5. Apply for the Child to be Found Eligible for Orphan Status

After you finalize the adoption (or gain legal custody) in Marshall Islands, the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services must determine whether the child meets the definition oforphan under U.S. immigration law.  You will need to file a Form I-600, Petition to Classify Orphan as an Immediate Relative.  At the time you file your Form I-600 petition, the adjudicating officer will determine whether the UAA applies or if your case is UAA grandfathered.  For more information on UAA grandfathering and transition cases, please see Universal Accreditation Act of 2012.  Unless an exception applies, you must identify a primary provider in your case and the adjudicating officer may ask for the name and contact information of the primary provider if not provided in your Form I-600 petition.  This information is required and, without it, your Form I-600 petition cannot be approved. 

6. Bring Your Child Home

Once your adoption is complete (or you have obtained legal custody of the child), you need to apply for several documents for your child before you can apply for a U.S. immigrant visa to bring your child home to the United States:

Birth Certificate

If you have finalized the adoption in Marshall Islands, you will first need to apply for a new birth certificate for your child.  Your name will be added to the new birth certificate.

The adoptive parents take a copy of the adoption decree to the Marshall Islands vital records office at the Ministry of Internal Affairs, where the staff produces a new birth certificate within one business day.

Marshall Islands Passport

Your child is not yet a U.S. citizen, so he/she will need a travel document or passport from Marshall Islands.

After the adoptive family receives a new birth certificate listing them as adoptive parents, the adoptive family applies for a Marshall Islands passport for the child at the Attorney General’s office, located in the Republic of the Marshall Islands Capitol building.  New passports are usually produced within one business day.

U.S. Immigrant Visa

After you obtain the new birth certificate and passport for your child and you have filed Form I-600, Petition to Classify Orphan as an Immediate Relative, you then need to apply for a U.S. immigrant visa for your child.  This immigrant visa allows your child to travel home with you.

The U.S. Embassy in Majuro does not issue immigrant visas.  The closest U.S. Embassy to the Marshall Islands that processes immigrant visas is in Manila, Philippines.  The U.S. Embassy in Majuro can accept and review all required paperwork and forward it to the U.S. Embassy in Manila.  As part of this process, the panel physician must complete the medical report and forward it to the U.S. Embassy in Majuro and the consular officer must see the child in person before the immigrant visa is issued.

Note:  The adoptive parents and children do not have to travel to Manila to complete the U.S. immigrant visa application for the child.

Adoptive or prospective adoptive parents of Marshallese children should contact the U.S. Embassy in Majuro once they have completed all of the Marshall Islands’ required adoption procedures in order to process the necessary immigrant visa paperwork.  The U.S. Embassy in Majuro will mail all necessary documentation to Manila for final visa adjudication.  Please note that processing times for immigrant visas can take two to three weeks due to mailing times.  Families need not travel to Manila directly, as petitioners may present all documents to the U.S. Embassy in Majuro, and the consular officer in Majuro may conduct their interviews in Majuro.  Adoptive families should take this into account and thus not make non-refundable travel plans to return to the United States.

You can find instructions for applying for an immigrant visa on the U.S. Embassy in Manila’s website.

Child Citizenship Act

 

For adoptions finalized abroad prior to the child’s entry into the United States:  A child will acquire U.S. citizenship upon entry into the United States if the adoption was finalized prior to entry and the child otherwise meets the requirements of the Child Citizenship Act of 2000.

For adoptions finalized after the child’s entry into the United States:  An adoption will need to be completed following your child’s entry into the United States for the child to acquire U.S. citizenship.  Although the “Compact of Free Association” between Marshall Islands and the United States permits Marshallese citizens to travel to and live in the United States without a U.S. visa, this provision is NOT applicable to adopted children who will reside permanently with U.S. families in the United States.

*Please be aware that if your child did not qualify to become a citizen upon entry to the United States, it is very important that you take the steps necessary so that your child does qualify as soon as possible.  Failure to obtain citizenship for your child can impact many areas of his/her life including family travel, eligibility for education and education grants, and voting.

Read more about the Child Citizenship Act of 2000.

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Traveling Abroad

Applying for Your U.S. Passport

U.S. citizens are required by law to enter and depart the United States on a valid U.S. passport. Only the U.S. Department of State has the authority to grant, issue, or verify U.S. passports.

Getting or renewing a passport is easy.  The Passport Application Wizard will help you determine which passport form you need, help you to complete the form online, estimate your payment, and generate the form for you to print—all in one place.

Obtaining a Visa to Travel to Marshall Islands

A visa is an official document issued by a foreign country that formally allows you to visit.  Where required, visas are affixed to your passport and allow you to enter a foreign nation.

Citizens and nationals of the United States must have a passport valid for at least six months from the date of entry to the Marshall Islands.  A visa is not required for U.S. citizens visiting Marshall Islands for one year or less, provided the visitor otherwise complies with applicable regulations, for example, on employment.  For more information about entry requirements to Marshall Islands, travelers may consult with the Embassy of The Republic of the Marshall Islands.  To find information about obtaining a visa for Marshall Islands, see the Department of State’s Country Specific Information.

Staying Safe on Your Trip

Before you travel, it is always a good practice to investigate the local conditions, laws, political landscape, and culture of the country.  The Department of State provides Country Specific Information for every country of the world about various issues, including the health conditions, crime, unusual currency or entry requirements, and any areas of instability.

Staying in Touch on Your Trip

When traveling during the adoption process, we encourage you to enroll with the Department of State.  Enrollment makes it possible to contact you if necessary.  Whether there is a family emergency in the United States or a crisis in Marshall Islands, enrollment assists the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in reaching you.

Enrollment is free and can be done online via the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP).

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After Adoption

Sections 827 and 828 of the Marshall Islands’ Adoptions Act of 2002 address post-adoption reporting.  The adoptive parents must arrange for a post-adoption home visit during the first six months after the adoption and must file a Post Adoption Report with the CAA at the conclusion of the six month period.

The Post Adoption Report must contain a description of how the child and family are adjusting, whether bonding and attachment between the child and family are sufficient, whether the child’s health and emotional needs are being met, what the family is doing to encourage the child’s cultural heritage, and any other pertinent data sufficient to inform the birth family of the status of the child.

We strongly urge you to comply with Marshall Islands’ post-adoption requirements in a timely manner.  Your adoption agency may be able to help you with this process.  Your cooperation will contribute to that country’s positive experiences with U.S. citizen parents.

Post-Adoption Resources

Many adoptive parents find support services very helpful after completing an adoption.  There are many public and private nonprofit post-adoption services available in the United States for children and their families. There are also numerous adoptive family support groups and adoptee organizations active in the United States that provide a network of options for adoptees who seek out other adoptees from the same country of origin.  Take advantage of all the resources available to your family, whether it is another adoptive family, a support group, an advocacy organization, or your religious or community services.

Here are some places to start your support group search:

Note:  Inclusion of non-U.S. government links does not imply endorsement of contents.

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Contact Information

The U.S. Embassy in Marshall Islands is located in Majuro.  The U.S. Embassy in Majuro does not issue immigrant visas.  The closest U.S. Embassy to the Republic of the Marshall Islands that processes immigrant visas is in Manila, Philippines. 

U.S. Embassy in Majuro

P.O. Box 1379
Majuro, MH 96960
Marshall Islands
Tel:  (692) 247-4011
Fax:  (692) 247-4012
Email:  MajConsular@state.gov
Internet:  https://mh.usembassy.gov/embassy/majuro/

U.S. Embassy in Manila
1201 Roxas Blvd.
Ermita, Metro Manila – 1000
Philippines
Tel:  (632) 528-6300
Email:  IVManilaReplies@state.gov
Internet:  https://ph.usembassy.gov/embassy/manila/

Central Adoption Authority of the Marshall Islands
P.O. Box 18
Majuro, MH 96960
Tel:  +692 625-8240
Fax:  +692 625-5353

Embassy of the Republic of the Marshall Islands
2433 Massachusetts Ave N.W.
Washington, D.C.  20008      
Tel:  (202) 234-5414
Fax:  (202) 232-3236
Email:  info@rmiembassyus.org
Internet:  rmiembassyus.org

Office of Children’s Issues
U.S. Department of State
2201 C Street, N.W. (SA-29)
Washington, D.C.  20520
Tel:  1-888-407-4747
Email:  Adoption@state.gov
Internet:  adoption.state.gov

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)
For questions about immigration procedures:
National Customer Service Center (NCSC)
Tel:  1-800-375-5283 (TTY 1-800-767-1833)
Internet:  uscis.gov

For questions about filing a Form I-600A or I-600 petition:
National Benefits Center
Tel: 1-877-424-8374 (toll free); 1-816-251-2770 (local)
Email:  NBC.Adoptions@DHS.gov

Reciprocity Schedule

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.

Explanation of Terms

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.

Visa Classifications
A
B
C
D
E
F
G
H
I
J
K
L
M
N
O
P
Q
R
S
T
U
V
Visa
Classification
Fee Number
of Entries
Validity
Period
A-1 None Multiple 24 Months
A-2 None Multiple 24 Months
A-3 1 None One 12 Months
B-1 None One 3 Months
B-2 None One 3 Months
B-1/B-2 None One 3 Months
C-1 None Two 3 Months
C-1/D N/A N/A N/A
C-2 None Two 3 Months
C-3 None Two 3 Months
CW-1 11 None One 12 Months
CW-2 11 None One 12 Months
D None Multiple 12 Months
E-1 2 No Treaty N/A N/A
E-2 2 No Treaty N/A N/A
E-2C 12 None Two 6 Months
F-1 None Multiple 12 Months
F-2 None Multiple 12 Months
G-1 None Multiple 24 Months
G-2 None Multiple 24 Months
G-3 None Multiple 24 Months
G-4 None Multiple 24 Months
G-5 1 None One 12 Months
H-1B None One 12 Months 3
H-1C None One 12 Months 3
H-2A None N/A N/A 3
H-2B None N/A N/A 3
H-2R None One 12 Months 3
H-3 None One 12 Months 3
H-4 None One 12 Months 3
I None Multiple 24 Months
J-1 4 None Multiple 12 Months
J-2 4 None Multiple 12 Months
K-1 None One 6 Months
K-2 None One 6 Months
L-1 None Two 6 Months
L-2 None Two 6 Months
M-1 None Multiple 12 Months
M-2 None Multiple 12 Months
N-8 None Multiple 24 Months
N-9 None Multiple 24 Months
NATO 1-7 N/A N/A N/A
O-1 None Two 12 Months 3
O-2 None Two 12 Months 3
O-3 None Two 12 Months 3
P-1 None Two 12 Months 3
P-2 None Two 12 Months 3
P-3 None Two 12 Months 3
P-4 None Two 12 Months 3
Q-1 6 None One 15 Months 3
R-1 None Multiple 12 Months
R-2 None Multiple 12 Months
S-5 7 None One 1 Month
S-6 7 None One 1 Month
S-7 7 None One 1 Month
T-2 None One 6 Months
T-3 None One 6 Months
T-4 None One 6 Months
T-5 None One 6 Months
T-6 None One 6 Months
TD 5 N/A N/A N/A
U-1 None Multiple 48 Months
U-2 None Multiple 48 Months
U-3 None Multiple 48 Months
U-4 None Multiple 48 Months
U-5 None Multiple 48 Months
V-1 None Multiple 120 Months
V-2 None Multiple 120 Months 8
V-3 None Multiple 120 Months 8
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Country Specific Footnotes

Although care has been taken to ensure the accuracy, completeness and reliability of the information provided, please contact the U.S. Embassy or Consulate where you plan to apply if you believe this information is in error or if you have further questions.

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Visa Category Footnotes
  1. The validity of A-3, G-5, and NATO 7 visas may not exceed the validity of the visa issued to the person who is employing the applicant. The "employer" would have one of the following visa classifications:

    • A-1
    • A-2
    • G-1 through G-4
    • NATO 1 through NATO 6

  2. An E-1 and E-2 visa may be issued only to a principal alien who is a national of a country having a treaty, or its equivalent, with the United States. E-1 and E-2 visas may not be issued to a principal alien if he/she is a stateless resident. The spouse and children of an E-1 or E-2 principal alien are accorded derivative E-1 or E-2 status following the reciprocity schedule, including any reciprocity fees, of the principle alien’s country of nationality.  

    Example: John Doe is a national of the country of Z that has an E-1/E-2 treaty with the U.S. His wife and child are nationals of the country of Y which has no treaty with the U.S. The wife and child would, therefore, be entitled to derivative status and receive the same reciprocity as Mr. Doe, the principal visa holder.  

  3. The validity of H-1 through H-3, O-1 and O-2, P-1 through P-3, and Q visas may not exceed the period of validity of the approved petition or the number of months shown, whichever is less.

    Under 8 CFR §214.2, H-2A and H-2B petitions may generally only be approved for nationals of countries that the Secretary of Homeland Security has designated as participating countries. The current list of eligible countries is available on USCIS's website for both H-2A and H-2B visas. Nationals of countries not on this list may be the beneficiary of an approved H-2A or H2-B petition in limited circumstances at the discretion of the Department of Homeland Security if specifically named on the petition.  

    Derivative H-4, L-2, O-3, and P-4 visas, issued to accompanying or following-to-join spouses and children, may not exceed the validity of the visa issued to the principal alien.

  4. There is no reciprocity fee for the issuance of a J visa if the alien is a United States Government grantee or a participant in an exchange program sponsored by the United States Government.

    Also, there is no reciprocity fee for visa issuance to an accompanying or following-to-join spouse or child (J-2) of an exchange visitor grantee or participant.

    In addition, an applicant is eligible for an exemption from the MRV fee if he or she is participating in a State Department, USAID, or other federally funded educational and cultural exchange program (program serial numbers G-1, G-2, G-3 and G-7).

    However, all other applicants with U.S. Government sponsorships, including other J-visa applicants, are subject to the MRV processing fee.

  5. Under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), Canadian and Mexican nationals coming to engage in certain types of professional employment in the United States may be admitted in a special nonimmigrant category known as the "trade NAFTA" or "TN" category. Their dependents (spouse and children) accompanying or following to join them may be admitted in the "trade dependent" or "TD" category whether or not they possess Canadian or Mexican nationality. Except as noted below, the number of entries, fees and validity for non-Canadian or non-Mexican family members of a TN status holder seeking TD visas should be based on the reciprocity schedule of the TN principal alien.

    Canadian Nationals

    Since Canadian nationals generally are exempt from visa requirement, a Canadian "TN' or "TD" alien does not require a visa to enter the United States. However, the non-Canadian national dependent of a Canadian "TN", unless otherwise exempt from the visa requirement, must obtain a "TD" visa before attempting to enter the United States. The standard reciprocity fee and validity period for all non-Canadian "TD"s is no fee, issued for multiple entries for a period of 36 months, or for the duration of the principal alien's visa and/or authorized period of stay, whichever is less. See 'NOTE' under Canadian reciprocity schedule regarding applicants of Iranian, Iraqi or Libyan nationality.

    Mexican Nationals

    Mexican nationals are not visa-exempt. Therefore, all Mexican "TN"s and both Mexican and non-Mexican national "TD"s accompanying or following to join them who are not otherwise exempt from the visa requirement (e.g., the Canadian spouse of a Mexican national "TN") must obtain nonimmigrant visas.

    Applicants of Iranian, Iraqi or Libyan nationality, who have a permanent resident or refugee status in Canada/Mexico, may not be accorded Canadian/Mexican reciprocity, even when applying in Canada/Mexico. The reciprocity fee and period for "TD" applicants from Libya is $10.00 for one entry over a period of 3 months. The Iranian and Iraqi "TD" is no fee with one entry over a period of 3 months.

  6. Q-2 (principal) and Q-3 (dependent) visa categories are in existence as a result of the 'Irish Peace Process Cultural and Training Program Act of 1998'. However, because the Department anticipates that virtually all applicants for this special program will be either Irish or U.K. nationals, the Q-2 and Q-3 categories have been placed only in the reciprocity schedules for those two countries. Q-2 and Q-3 visas are available only at the Embassy in Dublin and the Consulate General in Belfast.

  7. No S visa may be issued without first obtaining the Department's authorization.

  8. V-2 and V-3 status is limited to persons who have not yet attained their 21st birthday. Accordingly, the period of validity of a V-2 or V-3 visa must be limited to expire on or before the applicant's twenty-first birthday.

  9. Posts may not issue a T-1 visa. A T-1 applicant must be physically present in the United States, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands or a U.S. port of entry, where he/she will apply for an adjustment of status to that of a T-1. The following dependents of a T-1 visa holder, however, may be issued a T visa at a U.S. consular office abroad:

    • T-2 (spouse)
    • T-3 (child)
    • T-4 (parent)
  10. The validity of NATO-5 visas may not exceed the period of validity of the employment contract or 12 months, whichever is less.

  11. The validity of CW-1 and CW-2 visas shall not exceed the maximum initial period of admission allowed by DHS (12 months) or the duration of the transition period ending December 31, 2014, whichever is shortest.

  12. The validity of E-2C visas shall not exceed the maximum initial period of admission allowed by DHS (24 months) or the duration of the transition period ending December 31, 2014, whichever is shortest.

 

 

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General Documents

Please check back for update

Birth, Death, Burial Certificates

Birth Certificates

Available. Provide name of applicant plus mother's maiden name. Send one dollar (US) plus self-addressed and stamped envelope to: Registrar's Office, P.O. Box 546, Majuro, Marshall Islands 96960.

Death Certificates

Available from: Registrar's Office, P.O. Box 546, Majuro, Marshall Islands 96960. There may be a fee for this service. Send self-addressed, stamped envelope.

Marriage, Divorce Certificates

Available from: Registrar's Office, P.O. Box 546, Majuro, Marshall Islands 96960. There may be a fee for this service. Send self-addressed, stamped envelope.

Adoption Certificates

Please check back for update

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Identity Card

Please check back for update

Police, Court, Prison Records

Police Records

Available. A police certificate listing any police record or no police record is available by writing to: Chief of Police, Majuro, Republic of the Marshall Islands, 96960.

Prison Records

Available. A prison record is available by writing to: Chief of Police, Majuro, Republic of the Marshall Islands, 96960.

Military Records

Unavailable. (The Marshall Islands have no military)

Passports & Other Travel Documents

The Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) is a freely associated state (FAS), with the United States under the Compact of Free Association. The Compact took effect on October 21, 1986 and was further amended effective June 30, 2004. The RMI was previously a part of the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands (TTPI), a UN trusteeship administered by the U.S.

RMI citizens are not U.S. citizens or nationals. The Compact, as amended, regulates immigration between the RMI and the U.S. and states that most RMI citizens are eligible to live and work in the U.S. in a nonimmigrant status without a visa. Eligibility to travel under the Compact is restricted, however, based on the method of acquiring RMI citizenship, relationship to other RMI citizens, or the purpose of travel to the United States. Marshallese citizens residing in the U.S. are also still subject to inadmissibility and deportability requirements of the Immigration and Nationality Act.

Per Section 141 of the Compact, as amended, the following categories of RMI citizens are permitted to "lawfully engage in occupations, and establish residence as a nonimmigrant in the United States…without regard to paragraphs (5) or (7)(B)(i)(II) of section 212(a) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, as amended:"

  • A person who, on October 21, 1986, was a citizen of the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands,
  • A person who acquires the citizenship of the Republic of the Marshall Islands at birth,
  • An immediate relative of a person in the previous two categories, provided the citizen has been an actual resident of the RMI for 5 years or more after attaining naturalization and who holds a certificate of actual residence,
  • A naturalized citizen of the RMI who was an actual resident and citizen for 5 years or more on April 30, 2003, who holds a certificate of actual residence, who continues to be an actual resident, and whose name was included on a list furnished by the Government of the RMI to the United States,
  • An immediate relative of an RMI citizen who is serving in the United States Armed Forces.

Two categories of Marshallese citizens are declared ineligible to travel visa-free to the United States regardless of the previous provisions:

  • A person who is coming to the United States pursuant to an adoption outside the United States, or for the purpose of adoption in the United States.
  • A person who has been or is granted citizenship in the Republic of the Marshall Islands or has been or is issued an RMI passport as part of an investment or passport sale program.

RMI passport bearers that do not meet the conditions for travel under the Compact, as amended, need to apply and qualify for U.S. visas.

Marshallese citizens are not precluded from becoming U.S. citizens if otherwise eligible under the immigration laws, either by acquiring citizenship by birth, through the immigrant visa process, or by adjustment of status within the United States. Immigrant visas for RMI citizens and residents are processed by the U.S. Embassy in Manila.

For third country nationals, it should be noted that there are only three international gateways to Majuro--Guam, Honolulu and Fiji. Therefore, a two entry C-1 visa would be required for third country nationals traveling to and from the Marshall Islands by two of those routes.

The RMI government issues its own passport. U.S. consular posts are authorized to issue a "travel letter of identity" on post letterhead for RMI passport applicants abroad who are awaiting receipt of a new passport. All posts are requested to notify the Department of any action taken concerning amendment, extension or replacement of an RMI passport, utilizing the CPAS tags and the term "Passport Services to FAS Citizens." For more information, refer to 7 FAM 1300 Appendix U.

Other Records

Not applicable

Visa Issuing Posts
Visa Services

Nonimmigrant visas for the Marshall Islands. Immigrant visa applications for residents of the Marshall Islands are processed by the U.S. Embassy in Manila, Philippines.

Foreign Consular Office Contact Information

Washington, DC (202) 234-5414 (202) 232-3236

Assistance for U.S. Citizens

The U.S. Embassy in Majuro
P.O. Box 1379
Majuro, MH 96960-1379
Telephone
(692) 247-4011
Emergency
(692)-455 8213
Fax
(692) 247-4012
Marshall Islands Country Map

Learn about your destination
Additional Information for Reciprocity

Although care has been taken to ensure the accuracy, completeness and reliability of the information provided, please contact the U.S. Embassy or Consulate where you plan to apply if you believe this information is in error or if you have further questions.

Country Information

Marshall Islands
Republic of the Marshall Islands
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Embassy Messages
Quick Facts
PASSPORT VALIDITY:

Six Months

BLANK PASSPORT PAGES:

At least one blank page

TOURIST VISA REQUIRED:

Not for U.S. citizens

VACCINATIONS:

None

CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR ENTRY:

$10,000

CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR EXIT:

$10,000

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Embassies and Consulates

The U.S. Embassy in Majuro
Located on the ocean-side of the island's major road, approximately two miles east of the airport (There is no street address).
P.O. Box 1379
Majuro, MH 96960-1379
Telephone: (692) 247-4011
Emergency after-hours: (692)-455 8213
Fax: (692) 247-4012
Email: MAJConsular@state.gov

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Destination Description

See the Department of State's Fact Sheet on The Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) for information on U.S.-RMI relations.

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Entry, Exit and Visa Requirements

Under the Compact of Free Association, U.S. citizens do not need a visa to enter the Marshall Islands. There is a departure fee of $20 for individuals aged 13 through 59. Diplomats are exempt from this fee. Cholera immunizations are required for those arriving from infected areas. Visit the Embassy of the Republic of the Marshall Islands website for the most current visa information.

HIV/AIDS Restrictions:  Some HIV/AIDS entry restrictions exist for visitors to and foreign residents of the Marshall Islands. HIV testing is required for temporary visitors staying more than 30 days and applicants for residence and work permits. Foreign test results are accepted under certain conditions. Please verify this information with the Embassy of the Republic of the Marshall Islands before you travel.

Find information on dual nationalityprevention of international child abduction and customs regulations on our websites.

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Safety and Security

CRIME: The Marshall Islands has a low crime rate. The most common crimes are break-ins and thefts from homes, hotel rooms, and vehicles, as well as occasional random acts of vandalism. Keep your hotel room or residence locked at all times. There have been a few recent but isolated incidents in which foreigners were assaulted. It is recommended that visitors dress conservatively; Marshallese citizens typically dress very modestly with tops that cover their shoulders and pants, dresses, or shorts that fall below their knees. Occasionally, fights and assaults occur at nightclubs and bars. If you visit those establishments, especially late in the evening, be extra vigilant to ensure your personal security. Also, be careful driving or walking on the roads late at night as drunk-driving is prevalent and there is little or no room on the sides of roads for pedestrians to walk.

Victims of Crime:
Report crimes to the local police at 625-6911 and contact the U.S. Embassy at (692)-455 8213. 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 information on assistance programs such as Women United Together Marshall Islands (WUTMI) In Mour
  • 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:

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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.

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.

Faith-Based Travelers:  See our following webpages for details:

LGBTI Travelers: There are no legal restrictions on same-sex sexual relations or the organization of LGBT events in the Republic of the Marshall Islands. Same sex relations in the RMI are not criminalized. Section 13 of the RMI Bill of Rights states: “All persons shall be free from unreasonable interference in personal choices that do not injure others and from unreasonable intrusions into their privacy.” This clause, in Section 13, is respected in practice.

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

Travelers Who Require Accessibility Assistance: While in RMI, individuals with disabilities might find accessibility and accommodation very different from that in the United States. There are no mandated rules for special support for persons with disabilities. There are few ramps, almost no sidewalks, and few operational elevators in the Marshall Islands. Medical facilities have generally limited and inadequate accessibility.

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

Women Travelers: If you are a woman traveling abroad, please review our travel tips for Women Travelers. The RMI does not practice forced marriage or female genital mutilation. Domestic violence is an endemic problem in the country. A recent study found that seven out of ten Marshallese women experience violence at the hands of a family member or partner at some point in their lives. Women travelers should be aware of local modesty customs and dress conservatively while in public, with special care to cover shoulders and knees.

SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES:

Customs: Customs authorities of the Marshall Islands strictly prohibit the importation of firearms, ammunition, explosives, and indecent publications. Certification from the Quarantine Division is required to import animals, plants, and fruits. We advise you to contact the Embassy of the Republic of the Marshall Islands or one of the Marshall Islands' consulates in the United States for specific information regarding customs requirements, especially when dealing with the importation of animals into the Marshall Islands.

Communication: The Marshall Islands relies primarily on radio in the remote outer islands, which causes some communication problems. Local telephone service as well as worldwide international long distance is available on Majuro and Ebeye. The cost for international calls is quite expensive. Internet service is also available and is relatively expensive.

Currency: The currency of the Republic of the Marshall Islands is U.S. dollars. The three ATMs on Majuro can be found at the Bank of Guam, Payless Supermarket, and Robert Reimers Resort. A few hotels and restaurants accept Visa, MasterCard, and American Express credit cards. Most transactions are cash only. 

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Health

Health facilities in Majuro and Ebeye are adequate for routine medical problems. There are few or no health facilities available elsewhere in the Marshall Islands. Majuro has a private clinic and a public hospital. Ebeye also has a public hospital. Though the hospital has diagnostic medical equipment, it is not always functioning due to maintenance problems and technician staffing difficulties. Most outer islands have medical dispensaries. Serious medical problems requiring hospitalization and/or medical evacuation to the United States can cost tens of thousands of dollars. Prescription and over-the-counter medicines might not be available.  Doctors and hospitals often expect immediate cash payment for health services. However, the local cost for service is quite minimal.

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 the Marshall Islands to ensure the medication is legal in The Marshall Islands.  Always, carry your prescription medication in original packaging with your doctor’s prescription. 

The following diseases are prevalent: 

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

Further health information: 

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Travel and Transportation

Road Conditions and Safety: While in the Marshall Islands, you may encounter road conditions that differ significantly from those in the United States. The information below concerning the Marshall Islands is provided for general reference only and may not be completely accurate in a particular location or circumstance.

Majuro atoll has only one main road and there are no street addresses or house numbers. The road is paved, but there are few traffic signs and no traffic lights. While driving, you should be alert for dogs, chickens, and pigs roaming the streets, and children darting into the road, especially after dark. Children frequently play dangerous games with vehicles, running in front of or behind vehicles. Drinking and driving is common, especially on the weekends, so use caution. Walking beside the street can be dangerous due to poor lighting, the absence of sidewalks, and drivers who may have been drinking. On outer atolls, there is no transportation for evacuation to the rudimentary medical facilities on the two atolls with hospitals (Majuro and Kwajalein).

Traffic Laws: Vehicle traffic proceeds slowly, rarely more than 25 miles per hour. Roads experience temporary flooding after heavy rains and during especially high tides. Because there are few streetlights, visibility is poor, and night driving requires special caution. For specific information concerning drivers’ permits, vehicle inspection, road tax, and mandatory insurance, please contact the Embassy of the Republic of the Marshall Islands.

Public Transportation: The public transportation system is nonexistent, but taxis are inexpensive and widely available.

See our Road Safety page for more information. Visit the website of the RMI’s national tourist office and national authority responsible for road safety.

Flights: United Airlines flies once a day through Majuro, six days a week. Three days a week the flights in and out of the Marshall Islands are to the west toward Guam, and three days a week east to Honolulu. Nauru Airlines flies an island hopper once a week south to Brisbane and once a week west to Micronesia.  Air Marshall Islands also operates flights within the Marshall Islands; however, service is not reliable. Be aware that flights and boats to and from outer islands are often cancelled, sometimes leaving visitors stranded for one or more weeks.

AVIATION SAFETY OVERSIGHT: As there is no direct commercial air service to the United States by carriers registered in Republic of the Marshall Islands, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has not assessed the government of Republic of the Marshall Islands’ 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.

Hague Convention Participation
Party to the Hague Abduction Convention?
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U.S. Treaty Partner under the Hague Abduction Convention?
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Learn why the Hague Abduction Convention Matters.
What You Can Do
Learn how to respond to abductions FROM the US
Learn how to respond to abductions TO the US
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Embassies and Consulates

The U.S. Embassy in Majuro
Located on the ocean-side of the island's major road, approximately two miles east of the airport (There is no street address).
P.O. Box 1379
Majuro, MH 96960-1379
Telephone: (692) 247-4011
Emergency after-hours: (692)-455 8213
Fax: (692) 247-4012
Email: MAJConsular@state.gov

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General Information
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Hague Abduction Convention
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Return
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Visitation/Access
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Retaining an Attorney
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Mediation
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Exercising Custody Rights

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 when 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:

  • Endanger your child and others;
  • Prejudice any future judicial efforts; and
  • Could result in your arrest and imprisonment.

To understand the legal effect of a U.S. order in a foreign country, a parent should consult with a local attorney.  

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. 

 

Hague Convention Participation
Hague Adoption Convention Country?
No
Are Intercountry Adoptions between this country and the United States possible?
Is this country a U.S. Hague Partner?
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Hague Convention Information

Marshall Islands is not a party to the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption (Hague Adoption Convention).  Intercountry adoptions of children from non-Hague countries are processed in accordance with 8 Code of Federal Regulations, Section  204.3 as it relates to orphans as defined under the Immigration and Nationality Act, Section 101(b)(1)(F).  Under the Intercountry Adoption Universal Accreditation Act (UAA), which became effective on July 14, 2014, the accreditation requirement and standards, which previously only applied in Convention cases, now also apply in non-Convention or “orphan” cases.  The UAA requires that an accredited or approved adoption service provider acts as a primary provider in every case, and that adoption service providers providing adoption services on behalf of prospective adoptive parents be accredited or approved, or be a supervised or exempted provider.  Adoption service providers and prospective adoptive parents should review the State Department’s Universal Accreditation Act of 2012 webpage for further information.  Intercountry adoptions of children from non-Convention countries continue to be processed under the Orphan Process with the filing of the Forms I-600A and I-600.  However, adoption service providers should be aware of the information on the USCIS website on the impact on Form I-600A and Form I-600 adjudications under the UAA, including the requirement that all home studies, including home study updates and amendments, comply with the Convention home study requirements, which differ from the orphan home study requirements that were in effect before July 14, 2014.

Although the “Compact of Free Association” between the Marshall Islands and the United States permits Marshallese citizens to travel to and live in the United States without a U.S. visa, this provision is not applicable to adopted children who will reside permanently with U.S. families in the United States.  Prospective adoptive parents of Marshallese children must go through the appropriate Marshallese adoption procedures as well as the relevant U.S. immigration procedures related to adopted foreign orphans.  Adopted Marshallese children who enter the United States without a visa may later have difficulties adjusting their U.S. immigration status and, eventually, acquiring U.S. citizenship.

Prospective adoptive parents should either plan to remain in the Marshall Islands for approximately four to five weeks before returning to the United States with the child or plan to make two separate trips, the first to complete the local adoption process and file the child’s Form I-600 petition and DS-230 immigrant visa application and the second to receive the approved immigrant visa for the child and bring him or her home.  The U.S. Embassy in Manila, Philippines adjudicates and issues immigrant visas for children adopted in the Marshall Islands and delivers them to the U.S. Embassy in Majuro.  Prospective adoptive parents should not make non-refundable travel plans prior to receiving all necessary documentation and immigrant visa(s) for the adopted child(ren).  For more information, please see the ‘U.S. Immigrant Visa’ section below.

U.S. Immigration Requirements For Intercountry Adoptions

To bring an adopted child to the United States from the Marshall Islands, you must meet eligibility and suitability requirements.  The U.S. Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) determine who can adopt under U.S. immigration law.

Additionally, a child must meet the definition of orphan under U.S. immigration law in order to be eligible to immigrate to the United States on an IR-3 or IR-4 immigrant visa.

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Who Can Adopt

In addition to U.S. immigration requirements, you must also meet the following requirements in order to adopt a child from Marshall Islands:

  • Residency:  The Government of the Marshall Islands has no specific requirement or policy regarding the citizenship or residency of foreign prospective adoptive parents.
  • Age of Adopting Parents:  Any person 18 or older can petition to adopt a child; however, the petitioner must be at least 15 years older than the child to be adopted.
  • Marriage:  Under Marshallese law, both married couples and single individuals may adopt Marshallese children.  Marshallese law does not permit same-sex couples or individuals in same-sex relationships to adopt.
  • Income:  There is no minimum income requirement for adoptive parents. 
  • Other:  Prospective adoptive parents must have a home study completed by a U.S. state licensed adoption agency.  This can be the home study that U.S. prospective adoptive parents submit to USCIS as part of their Form I-600A filing.  The home study must include the following:
    • educational background and future educational plans;
    • employment history, current status and any changes in the foreseeable future;
    • income history and future projections, if available;
    • history of prior marriages, if any, including the basis for divorce, the age and gender of each child, and the history of child support for and current relationship with those children;
    • history of current marriage, age and gender of each child already in the home, and detailed report of any prior adoption experiences;
    • participation in any civic or religious activity of prospective adoptive parents;
    • nationwide criminal background search in the prospective adoptive parent’(s) country of residence or country of citizenship; and
    • original child abuse records search.
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Who Can Be Adopted

In addition to U.S. immigration requirements, Marshall Islands has specific requirements that a child must meet in order to be eligible for adoption:

  • Relinquishment:  The Central Adoption Authority (“CAA”), a governmental office in the Ministry of Internal Affairs, oversees the adoption process.  The CAA oversees the execution of an “Affidavit of Relinquishment of Parental Rights and Consent to Adoption and Emigration” by the birth parent(s).  No final adoption hearing can occur until at least 30 days have elapsed since the signing of the Affidavit of Relinquishment.

    In most relinquishments, birth mothers do not identify the father and no male has claimed paternity of the child.
  • Abandonment:  Under Marshallese law, “abandonment” means the failure to provide financial support for the child; or knowingly failing to provide a normal parent-child relationship with the child for a period of six or more months and deliberately failing to arrange for the provision of care and supervision of a child by another adult or adults who are willing and able to care for the child.
  •  Age of Adoptive Child:  No child 16 years of age or older may be adopted.  The Court will consider the objection of a child 12 years of age or older to be controlling and the adoption will not proceed.  A child under 12 years of age may object, however, the child’s objection is not controlling.  The Court will determine whether the adoption is in the child’s best interest.
  • Sibling Adoptions:  There are no specific eligibility requirements.
  • Special Needs or Medical Conditions:  There are no specific eligibility requirements.
  • Waiting Period or Foster Care:  In relinquishment cases, the High Court hearing to petition for adoption may not occur before 30 days have passed since the birth parent(s) signed the Affidavit of Relinquishment.
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How to Adopt

Marshall Islands’ Adoption Authority
Central Adoption Authority (“CAA”)

The Process

The process for adopting a child from Marshall Islands generally includes the following steps:

  1. Choose a U.S. Accredited or Approved Adoption Service Provider
  2. Apply to be found eligible to adopt
  3. Be matched with a child
  4. Adopt or gain custody of the child in Marshall Islands
  5. Apply for the child to be found eligible for orphan status
  6. Bring your child home

Marshall Islands also requires post-adoption reports.  See the “After Adoption” section of this Country Information Sheet for more details.

1. Choose a U.S. Accredited or Approved Adoption Service Provider

The recommended first step in adopting a child from Marshall Islands is to decide whether or not to use a licensed adoption service provider in the United States that can help you with your adoption.  Adoption service providers must be licensed by the U.S. state in which they operate.  The Department of State provides information on selecting an adoption service provider on its website.

2. Apply to be Found Eligible to Adopt

In order to adopt a child from Marshall Islands, you will need to meet the requirements of the Government of Marshall Islands and U.S. immigration law.  You must submit an application to be found eligible to adopt with the CAA.

To meet U.S. immigration requirements, you may also file an I-600A, Application for Advance Processing of an Orphan Petition with U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services to be found eligible and suitable to adopt.  As of July 14, 2014, unless an exception applies, the home study must comply with the requirements in 8 CFR 204.311 and 22 CFR Part 96.47.

3. Be Matched with a Child

If you are found eligible to adopt, and a child is available for intercountry adoption, the CAA in the Marshall Islands will provide you with a referral.  Each family must decide for itself whether or not it will be able to meet the needs of and provide a permanent home for a particular child.

The child must be eligible to be adopted according to Marshall Islands’ requirements, as described in the Who Can Be Adopted section.  The child must also meet the definition of orphan under U.S. immigration law.

4. Adopt or Gain Legal Custody of Child in Marshall Islands

The process for finalizing the adoption in Marshall Islands generally includes the following:

  • Role of Adoption Authority:  The CAA was established through the Adoptions Act of 2002.  The CAA is in the Ministry of Internal Affairs and is responsible for the supervision of all adoption proceedings in the Marshall Islands.  The duties of the CAA include:
    • Serving as a central receiving point for all referrals of children to be adopted;
    • Conducting background investigations of the birth parents.
    • Providing case management services to birth parents and children, including:
      • Birth parent counseling on options for effective parenting, including the possibility of traditional or intercountry adoption;
      • Pre-natal nutrition and medical referral services to the birth mother in cooperation with other government agencies, departments, or ministries, as appropriate;
      • Coordinating with licensed agencies to monitor the quality of applications, and providing a recommendation to the Court on individual applications;
    • For children whose consent to adoption is required, providing counseling to the child and providing a recommendation to the Court regarding  the child’s wishes regarding adoption;
    • Monitoring post-adoption progress in coordination with the foreign agencies; and
    • Providing a resource to adoptive parents for post-adoption consultation on issues related to the adoption.
               
  • Role of the Court:  The High Court determines the eligibility of prospective adoptive parents based on submitted evidence required by the Adoptions Act of 2002 and issues the decree of final adoption.  Prospective adoptive parents must petition the High Court for adoption.  There is a hearing at which the prospective adoptive parent(s) must appear in person.  If a husband and wife are adopting, both must appear.
  • Role of Adoption Agencies:  Adoption agencies interact with theCAA to match children with prospective adoptive parent(s).  Adoption agencies must be licensed by a state or government licensing board and must be represented by a locally licensed lawyer to appear before the Court.
  • Adoption Application:  Prospective adoptive parents must petition the Court for adoption through referral from CAA.
  • Time Frame:  The U.S. Embassy in Majuro has indicated that Marshallese adoptions generally take four to five weeks to complete, from the parents’ arrival on the island to receipt of the child’s immigrant visa.
  • Adoption Fees:  Court costs are approximately $500.  Certified copies of court documents are $5 and certified copies of birth certificates are $1.  Expedited passport issuance costs $85.  U.S. adoption service provider and local attorney fees vary.

    The U.S. Embassy in Majuro discourages the payment of any fees that are not properly receipted, including “donations” or “expediting” fees requested from prospective adoptive parents or their agents.  Such fees may have the appearance of “buying” a baby and put all future adoptions in Marshall Islands at risk.  Similarly, prospective adoptive parents and their agents should be mindful of whether any official, required fee has been exempted, and if so, who exempted the fees, and for what reason.  Further, the UAA and the Intercountry Adoption Act (IAA) make it unlawful to improperly influence relinquishment of parental rights, parental consent relating to adoption of a child, or a decision by an entity performing Central Authority functions.

  • Documents Required:  The High Court requires the following in order to determine the eligibility and suitability of prospective adoptive parent(s) and issue a final adoption decree:
    • In cases where birth parent(s) can be located, their Affidavit of Relinquishment;
    • Certified copy of petitioner’s marriage certificate;
    • Certified copy of birth certificate of each petitioner;
    • Photocopy of each petitioner’s passport;
    • Doctor’s statement attesting to the physical and mental capability of the petitioners to adopt.

Note:  Additional documents may be requested.

 Authentication of Documents:  The United States and the Marshall Islands are parties to the Hague Apostille Convention.  U.S. public documents may be authenticated with apostilles by the appropriate U.S. Competent Authority.

5. Apply for the Child to be Found Eligible for Orphan Status

After you finalize the adoption (or gain legal custody) in Marshall Islands, the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services must determine whether the child meets the definition oforphan under U.S. immigration law.  You will need to file a Form I-600, Petition to Classify Orphan as an Immediate Relative.  At the time you file your Form I-600 petition, the adjudicating officer will determine whether the UAA applies or if your case is UAA grandfathered.  For more information on UAA grandfathering and transition cases, please see Universal Accreditation Act of 2012.  Unless an exception applies, you must identify a primary provider in your case and the adjudicating officer may ask for the name and contact information of the primary provider if not provided in your Form I-600 petition.  This information is required and, without it, your Form I-600 petition cannot be approved. 

6. Bring Your Child Home

Once your adoption is complete (or you have obtained legal custody of the child), you need to apply for several documents for your child before you can apply for a U.S. immigrant visa to bring your child home to the United States:

Birth Certificate

If you have finalized the adoption in Marshall Islands, you will first need to apply for a new birth certificate for your child.  Your name will be added to the new birth certificate.

The adoptive parents take a copy of the adoption decree to the Marshall Islands vital records office at the Ministry of Internal Affairs, where the staff produces a new birth certificate within one business day.

Marshall Islands Passport

Your child is not yet a U.S. citizen, so he/she will need a travel document or passport from Marshall Islands.

After the adoptive family receives a new birth certificate listing them as adoptive parents, the adoptive family applies for a Marshall Islands passport for the child at the Attorney General’s office, located in the Republic of the Marshall Islands Capitol building.  New passports are usually produced within one business day.

U.S. Immigrant Visa

After you obtain the new birth certificate and passport for your child and you have filed Form I-600, Petition to Classify Orphan as an Immediate Relative, you then need to apply for a U.S. immigrant visa for your child.  This immigrant visa allows your child to travel home with you.

The U.S. Embassy in Majuro does not issue immigrant visas.  The closest U.S. Embassy to the Marshall Islands that processes immigrant visas is in Manila, Philippines.  The U.S. Embassy in Majuro can accept and review all required paperwork and forward it to the U.S. Embassy in Manila.  As part of this process, the panel physician must complete the medical report and forward it to the U.S. Embassy in Majuro and the consular officer must see the child in person before the immigrant visa is issued.

Note:  The adoptive parents and children do not have to travel to Manila to complete the U.S. immigrant visa application for the child.

Adoptive or prospective adoptive parents of Marshallese children should contact the U.S. Embassy in Majuro once they have completed all of the Marshall Islands’ required adoption procedures in order to process the necessary immigrant visa paperwork.  The U.S. Embassy in Majuro will mail all necessary documentation to Manila for final visa adjudication.  Please note that processing times for immigrant visas can take two to three weeks due to mailing times.  Families need not travel to Manila directly, as petitioners may present all documents to the U.S. Embassy in Majuro, and the consular officer in Majuro may conduct their interviews in Majuro.  Adoptive families should take this into account and thus not make non-refundable travel plans to return to the United States.

You can find instructions for applying for an immigrant visa on the U.S. Embassy in Manila’s website.

Child Citizenship Act

 

For adoptions finalized abroad prior to the child’s entry into the United States:  A child will acquire U.S. citizenship upon entry into the United States if the adoption was finalized prior to entry and the child otherwise meets the requirements of the Child Citizenship Act of 2000.

For adoptions finalized after the child’s entry into the United States:  An adoption will need to be completed following your child’s entry into the United States for the child to acquire U.S. citizenship.  Although the “Compact of Free Association” between Marshall Islands and the United States permits Marshallese citizens to travel to and live in the United States without a U.S. visa, this provision is NOT applicable to adopted children who will reside permanently with U.S. families in the United States.

*Please be aware that if your child did not qualify to become a citizen upon entry to the United States, it is very important that you take the steps necessary so that your child does qualify as soon as possible.  Failure to obtain citizenship for your child can impact many areas of his/her life including family travel, eligibility for education and education grants, and voting.

Read more about the Child Citizenship Act of 2000.

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Traveling Abroad

Applying for Your U.S. Passport

U.S. citizens are required by law to enter and depart the United States on a valid U.S. passport. Only the U.S. Department of State has the authority to grant, issue, or verify U.S. passports.

Getting or renewing a passport is easy.  The Passport Application Wizard will help you determine which passport form you need, help you to complete the form online, estimate your payment, and generate the form for you to print—all in one place.

Obtaining a Visa to Travel to Marshall Islands

A visa is an official document issued by a foreign country that formally allows you to visit.  Where required, visas are affixed to your passport and allow you to enter a foreign nation.

Citizens and nationals of the United States must have a passport valid for at least six months from the date of entry to the Marshall Islands.  A visa is not required for U.S. citizens visiting Marshall Islands for one year or less, provided the visitor otherwise complies with applicable regulations, for example, on employment.  For more information about entry requirements to Marshall Islands, travelers may consult with the Embassy of The Republic of the Marshall Islands.  To find information about obtaining a visa for Marshall Islands, see the Department of State’s Country Specific Information.

Staying Safe on Your Trip

Before you travel, it is always a good practice to investigate the local conditions, laws, political landscape, and culture of the country.  The Department of State provides Country Specific Information for every country of the world about various issues, including the health conditions, crime, unusual currency or entry requirements, and any areas of instability.

Staying in Touch on Your Trip

When traveling during the adoption process, we encourage you to enroll with the Department of State.  Enrollment makes it possible to contact you if necessary.  Whether there is a family emergency in the United States or a crisis in Marshall Islands, enrollment assists the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in reaching you.

Enrollment is free and can be done online via the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP).

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After Adoption

Sections 827 and 828 of the Marshall Islands’ Adoptions Act of 2002 address post-adoption reporting.  The adoptive parents must arrange for a post-adoption home visit during the first six months after the adoption and must file a Post Adoption Report with the CAA at the conclusion of the six month period.

The Post Adoption Report must contain a description of how the child and family are adjusting, whether bonding and attachment between the child and family are sufficient, whether the child’s health and emotional needs are being met, what the family is doing to encourage the child’s cultural heritage, and any other pertinent data sufficient to inform the birth family of the status of the child.

We strongly urge you to comply with Marshall Islands’ post-adoption requirements in a timely manner.  Your adoption agency may be able to help you with this process.  Your cooperation will contribute to that country’s positive experiences with U.S. citizen parents.

Post-Adoption Resources

Many adoptive parents find support services very helpful after completing an adoption.  There are many public and private nonprofit post-adoption services available in the United States for children and their families. There are also numerous adoptive family support groups and adoptee organizations active in the United States that provide a network of options for adoptees who seek out other adoptees from the same country of origin.  Take advantage of all the resources available to your family, whether it is another adoptive family, a support group, an advocacy organization, or your religious or community services.

Here are some places to start your support group search:

Note:  Inclusion of non-U.S. government links does not imply endorsement of contents.

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Contact Information

The U.S. Embassy in Marshall Islands is located in Majuro.  The U.S. Embassy in Majuro does not issue immigrant visas.  The closest U.S. Embassy to the Republic of the Marshall Islands that processes immigrant visas is in Manila, Philippines. 

U.S. Embassy in Majuro

P.O. Box 1379
Majuro, MH 96960
Marshall Islands
Tel:  (692) 247-4011
Fax:  (692) 247-4012
Email:  MajConsular@state.gov
Internet:  https://mh.usembassy.gov/embassy/majuro/

U.S. Embassy in Manila
1201 Roxas Blvd.
Ermita, Metro Manila – 1000
Philippines
Tel:  (632) 528-6300
Email:  IVManilaReplies@state.gov
Internet:  https://ph.usembassy.gov/embassy/manila/

Central Adoption Authority of the Marshall Islands
P.O. Box 18
Majuro, MH 96960
Tel:  +692 625-8240
Fax:  +692 625-5353

Embassy of the Republic of the Marshall Islands
2433 Massachusetts Ave N.W.
Washington, D.C.  20008      
Tel:  (202) 234-5414
Fax:  (202) 232-3236
Email:  info@rmiembassyus.org
Internet:  rmiembassyus.org

Office of Children’s Issues
U.S. Department of State
2201 C Street, N.W. (SA-29)
Washington, D.C.  20520
Tel:  1-888-407-4747
Email:  Adoption@state.gov
Internet:  adoption.state.gov

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)
For questions about immigration procedures:
National Customer Service Center (NCSC)
Tel:  1-800-375-5283 (TTY 1-800-767-1833)
Internet:  uscis.gov

For questions about filing a Form I-600A or I-600 petition:
National Benefits Center
Tel: 1-877-424-8374 (toll free); 1-816-251-2770 (local)
Email:  NBC.Adoptions@DHS.gov

Reciprocity Schedule

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.

Explanation of Terms

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.

Visa Classifications
A
B
C
D
E
F
G
H
I
J
K
L
M
N
O
P
Q
R
S
T
U
V
Visa
Classification
Fee Number
of Entries
Validity
Period
A-1 None Multiple 24 Months
A-2 None Multiple 24 Months
A-3 1 None One 12 Months
B-1 None One 3 Months
B-2 None One 3 Months
B-1/B-2 None One 3 Months
C-1 None Two 3 Months
C-1/D N/A N/A N/A
C-2 None Two 3 Months
C-3 None Two 3 Months
CW-1 11 None One 12 Months
CW-2 11 None One 12 Months
D None Multiple 12 Months
E-1 2 No Treaty N/A N/A
E-2 2 No Treaty N/A N/A
E-2C 12 None Two 6 Months
F-1 None Multiple 12 Months
F-2 None Multiple 12 Months
G-1 None Multiple 24 Months
G-2 None Multiple 24 Months
G-3 None Multiple 24 Months
G-4 None Multiple 24 Months
G-5 1 None One 12 Months
H-1B None One 12 Months 3
H-1C None One 12 Months 3
H-2A None N/A N/A 3
H-2B None N/A N/A 3
H-2R None One 12 Months 3
H-3 None One 12 Months 3
H-4 None One 12 Months 3
I None Multiple 24 Months
J-1 4 None Multiple 12 Months
J-2 4 None Multiple 12 Months
K-1 None One 6 Months
K-2 None One 6 Months
L-1 None Two 6 Months
L-2 None Two 6 Months
M-1 None Multiple 12 Months
M-2 None Multiple 12 Months
N-8 None Multiple 24 Months
N-9 None Multiple 24 Months
NATO 1-7 N/A N/A N/A
O-1 None Two 12 Months 3
O-2 None Two 12 Months 3
O-3 None Two 12 Months 3
P-1 None Two 12 Months 3
P-2 None Two 12 Months 3
P-3 None Two 12 Months 3
P-4 None Two 12 Months 3
Q-1 6 None One 15 Months 3
R-1 None Multiple 12 Months
R-2 None Multiple 12 Months
S-5 7 None One 1 Month
S-6 7 None One 1 Month
S-7 7 None One 1 Month
T-2 None One 6 Months
T-3 None One 6 Months
T-4 None One 6 Months
T-5 None One 6 Months
T-6 None One 6 Months
TD 5 N/A N/A N/A
U-1 None Multiple 48 Months
U-2 None Multiple 48 Months
U-3 None Multiple 48 Months
U-4 None Multiple 48 Months
U-5 None Multiple 48 Months
V-1 None Multiple 120 Months
V-2 None Multiple 120 Months 8
V-3 None Multiple 120 Months 8
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Country Specific Footnotes

Although care has been taken to ensure the accuracy, completeness and reliability of the information provided, please contact the U.S. Embassy or Consulate where you plan to apply if you believe this information is in error or if you have further questions.

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Visa Category Footnotes
  1. The validity of A-3, G-5, and NATO 7 visas may not exceed the validity of the visa issued to the person who is employing the applicant. The "employer" would have one of the following visa classifications:

    • A-1
    • A-2
    • G-1 through G-4
    • NATO 1 through NATO 6

  2. An E-1 and E-2 visa may be issued only to a principal alien who is a national of a country having a treaty, or its equivalent, with the United States. E-1 and E-2 visas may not be issued to a principal alien if he/she is a stateless resident. The spouse and children of an E-1 or E-2 principal alien are accorded derivative E-1 or E-2 status following the reciprocity schedule, including any reciprocity fees, of the principle alien’s country of nationality.  

    Example: John Doe is a national of the country of Z that has an E-1/E-2 treaty with the U.S. His wife and child are nationals of the country of Y which has no treaty with the U.S. The wife and child would, therefore, be entitled to derivative status and receive the same reciprocity as Mr. Doe, the principal visa holder.  

  3. The validity of H-1 through H-3, O-1 and O-2, P-1 through P-3, and Q visas may not exceed the period of validity of the approved petition or the number of months shown, whichever is less.

    Under 8 CFR §214.2, H-2A and H-2B petitions may generally only be approved for nationals of countries that the Secretary of Homeland Security has designated as participating countries. The current list of eligible countries is available on USCIS's website for both H-2A and H-2B visas. Nationals of countries not on this list may be the beneficiary of an approved H-2A or H2-B petition in limited circumstances at the discretion of the Department of Homeland Security if specifically named on the petition.  

    Derivative H-4, L-2, O-3, and P-4 visas, issued to accompanying or following-to-join spouses and children, may not exceed the validity of the visa issued to the principal alien.

  4. There is no reciprocity fee for the issuance of a J visa if the alien is a United States Government grantee or a participant in an exchange program sponsored by the United States Government.

    Also, there is no reciprocity fee for visa issuance to an accompanying or following-to-join spouse or child (J-2) of an exchange visitor grantee or participant.

    In addition, an applicant is eligible for an exemption from the MRV fee if he or she is participating in a State Department, USAID, or other federally funded educational and cultural exchange program (program serial numbers G-1, G-2, G-3 and G-7).

    However, all other applicants with U.S. Government sponsorships, including other J-visa applicants, are subject to the MRV processing fee.

  5. Under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), Canadian and Mexican nationals coming to engage in certain types of professional employment in the United States may be admitted in a special nonimmigrant category known as the "trade NAFTA" or "TN" category. Their dependents (spouse and children) accompanying or following to join them may be admitted in the "trade dependent" or "TD" category whether or not they possess Canadian or Mexican nationality. Except as noted below, the number of entries, fees and validity for non-Canadian or non-Mexican family members of a TN status holder seeking TD visas should be based on the reciprocity schedule of the TN principal alien.

    Canadian Nationals

    Since Canadian nationals generally are exempt from visa requirement, a Canadian "TN' or "TD" alien does not require a visa to enter the United States. However, the non-Canadian national dependent of a Canadian "TN", unless otherwise exempt from the visa requirement, must obtain a "TD" visa before attempting to enter the United States. The standard reciprocity fee and validity period for all non-Canadian "TD"s is no fee, issued for multiple entries for a period of 36 months, or for the duration of the principal alien's visa and/or authorized period of stay, whichever is less. See 'NOTE' under Canadian reciprocity schedule regarding applicants of Iranian, Iraqi or Libyan nationality.

    Mexican Nationals

    Mexican nationals are not visa-exempt. Therefore, all Mexican "TN"s and both Mexican and non-Mexican national "TD"s accompanying or following to join them who are not otherwise exempt from the visa requirement (e.g., the Canadian spouse of a Mexican national "TN") must obtain nonimmigrant visas.

    Applicants of Iranian, Iraqi or Libyan nationality, who have a permanent resident or refugee status in Canada/Mexico, may not be accorded Canadian/Mexican reciprocity, even when applying in Canada/Mexico. The reciprocity fee and period for "TD" applicants from Libya is $10.00 for one entry over a period of 3 months. The Iranian and Iraqi "TD" is no fee with one entry over a period of 3 months.

  6. Q-2 (principal) and Q-3 (dependent) visa categories are in existence as a result of the 'Irish Peace Process Cultural and Training Program Act of 1998'. However, because the Department anticipates that virtually all applicants for this special program will be either Irish or U.K. nationals, the Q-2 and Q-3 categories have been placed only in the reciprocity schedules for those two countries. Q-2 and Q-3 visas are available only at the Embassy in Dublin and the Consulate General in Belfast.

  7. No S visa may be issued without first obtaining the Department's authorization.

  8. V-2 and V-3 status is limited to persons who have not yet attained their 21st birthday. Accordingly, the period of validity of a V-2 or V-3 visa must be limited to expire on or before the applicant's twenty-first birthday.

  9. Posts may not issue a T-1 visa. A T-1 applicant must be physically present in the United States, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands or a U.S. port of entry, where he/she will apply for an adjustment of status to that of a T-1. The following dependents of a T-1 visa holder, however, may be issued a T visa at a U.S. consular office abroad:

    • T-2 (spouse)
    • T-3 (child)
    • T-4 (parent)
  10. The validity of NATO-5 visas may not exceed the period of validity of the employment contract or 12 months, whichever is less.

  11. The validity of CW-1 and CW-2 visas shall not exceed the maximum initial period of admission allowed by DHS (12 months) or the duration of the transition period ending December 31, 2014, whichever is shortest.

  12. The validity of E-2C visas shall not exceed the maximum initial period of admission allowed by DHS (24 months) or the duration of the transition period ending December 31, 2014, whichever is shortest.

 

 

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General Documents

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Birth, Death, Burial Certificates

Birth Certificates

Available. Provide name of applicant plus mother's maiden name. Send one dollar (US) plus self-addressed and stamped envelope to: Registrar's Office, P.O. Box 546, Majuro, Marshall Islands 96960.

Death Certificates

Available from: Registrar's Office, P.O. Box 546, Majuro, Marshall Islands 96960. There may be a fee for this service. Send self-addressed, stamped envelope.

Marriage, Divorce Certificates

Available from: Registrar's Office, P.O. Box 546, Majuro, Marshall Islands 96960. There may be a fee for this service. Send self-addressed, stamped envelope.

Adoption Certificates

Please check back for update

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Identity Card

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Police, Court, Prison Records

Police Records

Available. A police certificate listing any police record or no police record is available by writing to: Chief of Police, Majuro, Republic of the Marshall Islands, 96960.

Prison Records

Available. A prison record is available by writing to: Chief of Police, Majuro, Republic of the Marshall Islands, 96960.

Military Records

Unavailable. (The Marshall Islands have no military)

Passports & Other Travel Documents

The Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) is a freely associated state (FAS), with the United States under the Compact of Free Association. The Compact took effect on October 21, 1986 and was further amended effective June 30, 2004. The RMI was previously a part of the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands (TTPI), a UN trusteeship administered by the U.S.

RMI citizens are not U.S. citizens or nationals. The Compact, as amended, regulates immigration between the RMI and the U.S. and states that most RMI citizens are eligible to live and work in the U.S. in a nonimmigrant status without a visa. Eligibility to travel under the Compact is restricted, however, based on the method of acquiring RMI citizenship, relationship to other RMI citizens, or the purpose of travel to the United States. Marshallese citizens residing in the U.S. are also still subject to inadmissibility and deportability requirements of the Immigration and Nationality Act.

Per Section 141 of the Compact, as amended, the following categories of RMI citizens are permitted to "lawfully engage in occupations, and establish residence as a nonimmigrant in the United States…without regard to paragraphs (5) or (7)(B)(i)(II) of section 212(a) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, as amended:"

  • A person who, on October 21, 1986, was a citizen of the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands,
  • A person who acquires the citizenship of the Republic of the Marshall Islands at birth,
  • An immediate relative of a person in the previous two categories, provided the citizen has been an actual resident of the RMI for 5 years or more after attaining naturalization and who holds a certificate of actual residence,
  • A naturalized citizen of the RMI who was an actual resident and citizen for 5 years or more on April 30, 2003, who holds a certificate of actual residence, who continues to be an actual resident, and whose name was included on a list furnished by the Government of the RMI to the United States,
  • An immediate relative of an RMI citizen who is serving in the United States Armed Forces.

Two categories of Marshallese citizens are declared ineligible to travel visa-free to the United States regardless of the previous provisions:

  • A person who is coming to the United States pursuant to an adoption outside the United States, or for the purpose of adoption in the United States.
  • A person who has been or is granted citizenship in the Republic of the Marshall Islands or has been or is issued an RMI passport as part of an investment or passport sale program.

RMI passport bearers that do not meet the conditions for travel under the Compact, as amended, need to apply and qualify for U.S. visas.

Marshallese citizens are not precluded from becoming U.S. citizens if otherwise eligible under the immigration laws, either by acquiring citizenship by birth, through the immigrant visa process, or by adjustment of status within the United States. Immigrant visas for RMI citizens and residents are processed by the U.S. Embassy in Manila.

For third country nationals, it should be noted that there are only three international gateways to Majuro--Guam, Honolulu and Fiji. Therefore, a two entry C-1 visa would be required for third country nationals traveling to and from the Marshall Islands by two of those routes.

The RMI government issues its own passport. U.S. consular posts are authorized to issue a "travel letter of identity" on post letterhead for RMI passport applicants abroad who are awaiting receipt of a new passport. All posts are requested to notify the Department of any action taken concerning amendment, extension or replacement of an RMI passport, utilizing the CPAS tags and the term "Passport Services to FAS Citizens." For more information, refer to 7 FAM 1300 Appendix U.

Other Records

Not applicable

Visa Issuing Posts
Visa Services

Nonimmigrant visas for the Marshall Islands. Immigrant visa applications for residents of the Marshall Islands are processed by the U.S. Embassy in Manila, Philippines.

Foreign Consular Office Contact Information

Washington, DC (202) 234-5414 (202) 232-3236

Assistance for U.S. Citizens

The U.S. Embassy in Majuro
P.O. Box 1379
Majuro, MH 96960-1379
Telephone
(692) 247-4011
Emergency
(692)-455 8213
Fax
(692) 247-4012
Marshall Islands Country Map

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Additional Information for Reciprocity

Although care has been taken to ensure the accuracy, completeness and reliability of the information provided, please contact the U.S. Embassy or Consulate where you plan to apply if you believe this information is in error or if you have further questions.