International Travel

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Country Information

Tonga

Tonga
Tonga
Exercise normal precautions in Tonga.

Exercise normal precautions in Tonga.

Read the Safety and Security section on the country information page.

If you decide to travel to Tonga:

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Embassy Message

Alerts

Quick Facts

PASSPORT VALIDITY:


Six months

BLANK PASSPORT PAGES:


One page required for entry stamp

TOURIST VISA REQUIRED:


Not required for stays up to 31 days

VACCINATIONS:


None

CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR ENTRY:


Tongan Pa’anga (TOP) $10,000

CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR EXIT:


Maximum remittance of TOP $10,000 via bank/financial institution. Approval required for higher amounts

Embassies and Consulates

U.S. Embassy Suva, Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru, Tonga, Tuvalu

158 Princes Rd, Tamavua
Suva, Fiji Islands
Telephone:
+(679) 331-4466
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(679) 772-8049
Fax: +(679) 330-2267

Destination Description

See the Department of State’s Fact Sheet on Tonga for information on United States - Tonga relations.

Entry, Exit and Visa Requirements

To enter Tonga, you need:

  • A passport with at least six months’ validity, and
  • an onward/return ticket .
  • Visas are required for stays over 31 days.

For further information about entry requirements, particularly if you plan to enter by sea, you may wish to contact the Embassy of the Kingdom of Tonga located at 250 East 51st Street, New York, NY 10022, telephone +1-917-369-1024 and +1-917-369-1025. Tonga also has a Consulate General of Tonga at 1350 Bayshore Highway Suite 610, Burlingame, California 940140; telephone +1-650-685-1001; fax: +1-650-685-1003.

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

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

Safety and Security

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

Crime: Although Tonga has a low crime rate, house break-ins and property theft do occur. Though rare, sexual assaults against foreigners have occurred, including on public beaches. You should avoid going out alone at night or to isolated locations. You should not be complacent regarding your personal safety or the protection of your valuables.

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

Victims of Crime:

Tonga Police work with various NGOs such as the Women and Children Crisis Centre (WCCC) Tonga (telephone: 0800444) to provide shelter and counseling for abused women, girls, and boys who are under the age of 14. The Women & Children Crisis Center also has partner organizations, including the Tonga Life Line (operated by the Free Wesleyan Church), the Salvation Army, the Police Domestic Violence Unit, Ministry of Health, Tonga National Youth Congress, Ma’a Fanine mo e Famili, and Tonga Leiti Association. All offer counseling and rehabilitation programs.

  • U.S. citizen victims of sexual assault should contact the U.S. Embassy after receiving any needed emergency medical attention.
  • Report crimes to the local police at 911 and contact the U.S. Embassy at +(679) 772-8049.
  • 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 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:

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 United States, regardless of local law. For examples, see our website on crimes against minors abroad and the Department of Justice website.

Arrest Notification: If you are arrested or detained, ask police or prison officials to notify the U.S. Embassy immediately. See our webpage for further information.

Customs: Tonga’s customs authorities may enforce strict regulations concerning temporary importation into or export from Tonga of items such as firearms, explosives, motor vehicles, eggs, and certain types of alcohol. It is advisable to contact the Tongan Embassy in New York or the Consulate General of Tonga in Burlingame, CAfor specific information regarding customs requirements.

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

Citizenship Documents: U.S. citizens are encouraged to carry a copy of their U.S. passports with them at all times, so that if questioned by local officials, proof of identity and U.S. citizenship is readily available.

Cyclone Season: The official cyclone season is November through April. The Fiji Meteorological Service maintains a Tropical Cyclone Warning Center (TCWC) in Nadi serving the Southwest Pacific Region. General information about natural disaster preparedness is available at the State Department’s website, as well as from the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) website.

LGBTI Travelers: Under Tonga law, “sodomy with another person” is a crime, with a maximum penalty of ten years’ imprisonment. We are not aware of reports of prosecutions under this provision for consensual sexual conduct between adults, regardless of the gender of the parties. We are also not aware of any reports of violence against persons based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

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

Travelers Who Require Accessibility Assistance: While in the Kingdom of Tonga, individuals with disabilities may find accessibility and accommodation to be very different from what they find in the United States. There are no legally mandated provisions for services for persons with physical, sensory, intellectual, or mental disabilities. There also are no programs to ensure access to communications and information for persons with disabilities. The Tonga Red Cross Society operates a school for children with disabilities and conducts occasional home visits. There is no specific government agency with responsibility for protecting the rights of persons with disabilities.

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

Women Travelers: See our travel tips for Women Travelers.

Health

We do not pay medical bills. Be aware that 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 Ministry of Health to ensure the medication is legal and available in Tonga. Always, carry your prescription medication in original packaging with your doctor’s prescription.

Vaiola Hospital, a private “referral” hospital is in Tonga’s capital, Nuku’alofa, with a 24/7 emergency department, and with medical and surgical capabilities to respond to emergencies of differing levels, and is able to stabilize patients if needed to medevac overseas. All essential drugs are available according to Essential drug list, and if specific drugs are not available, there may be other alternative of the same brand available from six nearby private pharmacies.

The islands of Vava’u, Ha’apai and ‘Eua have hospitals. The hospital in Eua offers very limited medical services compared to that of Vava’u and Ha’apai.

Local residents with serious medical/surgical problems beyond capabilities available in Tonga are often referred to New Zealand for treatment. For additional information on medical visas for New Zealand, contact the Embassy of New Zealand, 37 Observatory Circle NW, Washington, DC 20008, (202) 328-4800 or the Consulate General in Los Angeles (310) 207-1605.

Serious medical conditions requiring hospitalization and/or medical evacuation to the United States can cost thousands of dollars.

Medical services offered from Tonga Government/Public hospitals are free of charge for all Tongans/naturalized Tongans but varying fees are charged to non-Tongans or tourists at all health care facilities, Public or Private. Cash payment or by electronic debit (EFTPOS) are preferred means.

No hyperbaric chamber is available to treat diving-related injuries in Tonga. Medical evacuation to the nearest chamber is expensive. Travelers should consider travel insurance.

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

Tonga is a malaria and rabies-free country.

Dengue fever is more prevalent in Tonga than Zika and Chigungunya virus. All these three viruses are transmitted by same clan of mosquitoes. All of these viruses had been reported in Tonga.

Zika Virus: Zika virus has been reported in Tonga. Zika virus is a mosquito-borne illness that can be spread from a pregnant woman to her unborn baby as well as through sexual contact. The CDC has concluded that the Zika virus is a cause of microcephaly and other severe fetal brain defects in some fetuses and babies born to infected mothers. For additional information about Zika, including travel advisories, visit the CDC website.

Further health information:

Travel and Transportation

Road Conditions and Safety: Road conditions vary throughout the country. A driver must look out for changes in traffic, road and weather conditions, and reduce speed accordingly. The information below concerning Tonga is provided for general reference only and may not be totally accurate in a particular location or circumstance.

No roadside assistance is available. Traffic moves on the left in Tonga. While roads in Nuku’alofa are paved, most other roads are not. Animals and pedestrians walking in the road make night driving on unlit secondary roads hazardous. There are no stop lights in the country; drivers are required to stop at all roundabouts and allow vehicles on the right side to proceed. For specific information concerning Tonga driving permits, vehicle inspection, road tax, and mandatory insurance, please contact the Consulate General of Tonga in San Francisco.

Traffic Laws: Contact local authorities if you are involved in a road accident.

Public Transportation: Buses and taxis are the only public transport available in Tonga. Bicycles must be registered with the Police Office before being used on public roads.

See our Road Safety page for more information. Visit the website of Tonga’s Ministry of Infrastructure for more information.

Airport: Note that no international or domestic flights are scheduled on Sundays. Flight schedules change frequently and are subject to change, sometimes with only a few hours’ notice.

Aviation Safety Oversight: As there is no direct commercial air service to the United States by carriers registered in Tonga, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has not assessed the government of Tonga’s Civil Aviation Authority for compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards. Further information may be found on the FAA’s safety assessment page.

Maritime Travel: Mariners planning travel to Tonga should also check for U.S. maritime advisories and alerts.  Information may also be posted to the U.S. Coast Guard homeport website, and the NGA broadcast warnings.

Last Updated: November 7, 2018

Travel Advisory Levels

Assistance for U.S. Citizens

U.S. Embassy Suva, Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru, Tonga, Tuvalu
158 Princes Rd, Tamavua
Suva, Fiji Islands
Telephone
+(679) 331-4466
Emergency
+(679) 772-8049
Fax
+(679) 330-2267

Tonga Map