See the Department of State's Fact Sheet for information on U.S.-Timor-Leste relations.
You need a passport valid for six months beyond the date of arrival in Timor-Leste. Travelers arriving by air may obtain a 30-day tourist visa-on-arrival for a fee of 30 USD.
If entering Timor-Leste by land, you will need a travel authorization letter prior to entry as visas-on-arrival are no longer available at the land border with Indonesia. You must renew this visa and pay an additional fee if you plan to stay longer than 30-days.
Please see the website of the Timor-Leste Immigration Department for the most current information on visas and extensions. Visitors traveling via air must transit Singapore, Darwin, Australia, or Bali, Indonesia, en route to Timor-Leste.
The U.S. Department of State is unaware of any HIV/AIDS entry restrictions for visitors to or foreign residents of Timor-Leste.
Timor-Leste has experienced several episodes of violence since becoming independent in 2002. There have been no major country-wide civil disturbances since 2008, however, and international peacekeepers departed the country at the end of 2012.
You should exercise caution, use common sense, avoid large gatherings, remain alert with regard to your personal security, and avoid travel after dark. Excercise caution in public places, including, but not limited to, clubs, restaurants, bars, schools, places of worship, outdoor recreational events, hotels, resorts and beaches, and other locations frequented by foreigners.
You should review U.S. Embassy security messages and maintain a high level of security awareness while moving around the country.
Timorese security forces occasionally establish official security checkpoints along roads. You may be expected to show your passport at these checkpoints.
Pick-pocketing, purse snatching, residential and automobile break-ins, and theft occur, especially in Dili. These crimes often happen in recreational areas and facilities frequented by foreigners. Victims of crime who resist may face physical violence by perpetrators.
Stone-throwing attacks on vehicles occur during gang conflicts and periods of civil unrest. Avoid travel at night or alone in unfamiliar areas. Women should avoid traveling or taking taxis alone, especially at night. Women walking or exercising alone in Dili have reported harassment, indecent exposure, and groping incidents.
Victims of Crime:
Report crimes to the local police at 112 and contact the U.S. Embassy at +670-7723-1328.
Remember that local authorities are responsible for investigating and prosecuting the crime.
See our webpage on help for U.S. victims of crime overseas.
Domestic Violence: U.S. citizen victims of domestic violence may contact the Embassy for assistance.
For further information:
Criminal Penalties: You are subject to local laws. If you violate local laws, even unknowingly, you may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned. If you are suspected of criminal activity, the law provides that you may be incarcerated for up to one year pending investigation.
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.
Timor-Leste continues to develop and strengthen its civil and governmental institutions. If you encounter problems while traveling or doing business in Timor-Leste you may find it difficult to identify legal or administrative remedies.
Currency: The U.S. dollar is the official currency of Timor-Leste. Only a few establishments accept credit cards, usually requiring a substantial additional fee, and you should be prepared to settle all bills in cash. Dili has several ATM machines that accept U.S.-issued bankcards, which are frequently inoperative and can charge high fees.
If you intend to travel to Australia from Timor-Leste, you should be aware that Australian immigration requires an Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) in advance of arrival. For more information, please consult the Australian Department of Immigration and Citizenship’s website.
Faith-Based Travelers: See our following webpages for details:
LGBTI Travelers: There is no legal protection based on sexual orientation or gender identity in Timor-Leste. However, since 2009, the penal code specifies that crimes motivated by the victim’s sexual orientation (as well as ethnicity, religion, disability, etc.) may be subject to higher penalties. Although there are some openly gay public personalities, LGBTI individuals generally maintain very low profiles. Severak LGBTI organization exists, and there have been no formal reports of discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity, due in part to limited awareness of the issue. Discrimination may be underreported due to the lack of recourse stemming from the absence of formal legal protections.
Travelers Who Require Accessibility Assistance: Although the Timorese Constitution guarantees the same rights to disabled citizens as it does to all other citizens, Timor-Leste does not currently have legislation that mandates access to transportation, communication, and public buildings for persons with disabilities. Currently most public places and public transportation are not accessible. Persons with disabilities will face difficulties in Timor-Leste as foot paths, rest rooms, road crossings, and tourist areas are not equipped to accomodate people with disabilities.
Women Travelers: Timor-Leste is socially conservative. Travelers should avoid wearing revealing clothing, particularly in crowded public areas such as markets. Timor-Leste has a very high rate of gender-based violence.
See our travel tips for Women Travelers.
Limited emergency medical care is available in Dili and options for routine medical care throughout the rest of the country are extremely limited. Serious medical problems may require medical evacuation to Australia (the nearest point with acceptable medical care), Singapore, or the United States, which can cost thousands of dollars.
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 Timor-Leste to ensure the medication is legal in Timor-Leste. Always carry your prescription medication in original packaging with your doctor’s prescription.
The following diseases are prevelant:
Vaccinations: Be up-to-date on all vaccinations recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Further health information:
While in Timor-Leste, you may encounter road conditions that differ significantly from those in the United States.
Road Conditions and Safety:
See our Road Safety page for more information.
Aviation Safety Oversight:
As there is no direct commercial air service to the United States by carriers registered in Timor-Leste, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has not assessed the government of Timor-Leste’s Civil Aviation Authority for compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards. Further information may be found on the FAA’s safety assessment page.
Maritime Travel: Those planning travel to Timor-Leste by sea should check for U.S. maritime advisories and alerts at www.marad.dot.gov/msci. Information may also be posted to the U.S. Coast Guard homeport website and the NGA broadcast warnings website under “broadcast warnings”.