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International Travel

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Country Information

Tuvalu

Country Information

Tuvalu
Tuvalu
Last Updated: December 30, 2016
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Embassy Messages
Quick Facts
PASSPORT VALIDITY:

6 months

BLANK PASSPORT PAGES:

1 page per stamp

TOURIST VISA REQUIRED:

none if less than 30 day stay

VACCINATIONS:

None

CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR ENTRY:

3000 Australian dollars

CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR EXIT:

3000 Australian dollars

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Embassies and Consulates

U.S. Embassy Suva
158 Princes Rd, Tamavua
Suva, Fiji Islands
Telephone: +(679) 331-4466
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(679) 772-8049
Fax: +(679) 330-2267
SuvaACS@state.gov

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Destination Description

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

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Entry, Exit and Visa Requirements

To enter Tuvalu, you will need:

  • A passport with 6 month validity;
  • Onward/return ticket;
  • Proof of sufficient funds for your stay- not necessary
  • Visitor permits valid for up to one month are issued free of charge upon arrival.

For further information about entry requirements, you may contact:

Tuvalu Permanent Mission to the United Nations
800 2nd Avenue, Suite 400 D
New York, New York 10017
Phone - (212) 490-0534

For individuals planning to enter by sea: Tuvalu’s customs authorities may enforce strict regulations concerning importation or exportation items such as agricultural products. Visit the Tuvalu Permanent Mission to the United Nations website for the most current visa information and customs restrictions. 

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

Information about dual nationality or the prevention of international child abduction can be found on our website. For further information about customs regulations, please read our Customs Information page.

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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:  Tuvalu has a low crime rate. However, visitors should review their own personal security practices, be alert to any unusual activity around their homes or businesses, and report any suspicious incidents to local police authorities. See the Department of State and the FBI pages for information on scams

Victims of Crime: Report crimes to the local police at 688-20726 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.

  • 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 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:

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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.

Customs: The Tuvalu Custom Act states that all visitors arriving and departing the country may not carry more than AUD $3,000.

Currency: The Australian dollar is the legal currency in Tuvalu. The Tuvalu National Bank accepts traveler’s checks and most major currencies, including U.S. dollars.

You should be prepared to pay cash for hotel bills and all other services, since credit card services are not available. There are no ATMs on Tuvalu, so it may not be possible to withdraw cash from overseas bank accounts.

Faith-Based Travelers:  See the Department of State’s International Religious Freedom Report.

LGBTI Travelers: Sexual conduct between males is illegal, with maximum penalties of seven to 15 years’ imprisonment depending on the nature of the offense.  We are not aware of any recent reports of violence against persons based on sexual orientation or gender identity or prosecutions of consenting adults under these provisions. See our LGBTI Travel Information page and section 6 of the Department of State's Human Rights report for further details.

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

Travelers Who Require Accessibility Assistance: Tuvalu prohibits discrimination on the basis of physical, sensory, intellectual, or mental disability. Supplementary state services to address the special needs of persons with disabilities are very limited.

There are no mandated building accessibility provisions for persons with disabilities. The only multi-story government building has elevators, but they are not operational. There are no elevators in private multi-story buildings.

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

Women Travelers:  See our travel tips for Women Travelers

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Health
  • Medical and dental care are very limited in Tuvalu.
  • Serious medical problems are referred to health professionals and hospitals in Guam or Hawaii.
  • Serious medical conditions requiring hospitalization and/or medical evacuation to the United States can cost thousands of dollars. Doctors and hospitals often expect immediate cash payment for health services.
  • We strongly recommend supplemental insurance to cover medical evacuation. 
  • Carry prescription medication in original packaging, along with your doctor’s prescription. 

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 (our webpage) to cover medical evacuation.

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: Traffic moves on the left in Tuvalu. The main roads on Funafuti are paved, but other roads on other islands are generally unpaved. Animals and unwary pedestrians walking in the road make night driving on unlit secondary roads hazardous. For specific information concerning Tuvalu driving permits, vehicle inspection, road tax, and mandatory insurance, contact the Tuvalu Permanent Mission to the United Nations.

Public Transportation: The main forms of public transportation are taxis or motorcycles. Please refer to our Road Safety page and Traffic Laws in Tuvalu for more information.

Aviation Safety Oversight: As there is no direct commercial air service to the United States by carriers registered in Tuvalu, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has not assessed the government of Tuvalu’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.

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

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

Tuvalu is not party to the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption (Hague Adoption Convention). Therefore, when the Hague Adoption Convention entered into force for the United States on April 1, 2008, intercountry adoption processing for Tuvalu did not change.

There are two important points to consider when adopting a child from Tuvalu: 1) Only children below the age of 12 may be adopted; and 2) children who have attained the age of 10 years are usually, but not always, required to consent to their adoption.

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Who Can Adopt

To bring an adopted child to United States from Tuvalu, you must be found eligible to adopt by the U.S. Government. The U.S. Government agency responsible for making this determination is the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Learn more.

In addition to these U.S. requirements for prospective adoptive parents, Tuvalu also has the following requirements for prospective adoptive parents:

  • RESIDENCY REQUIREMENTS: There is no formal residency requirement for foreigners seeking to adopt in Tuvalu. However, adoptive parents must be physically present in court to file an application for adoption and must remain in Tuvalu until the final adoption order is granted.
  • AGE REQUIREMENTS: One prospective adoptive parent must be at least 25 years old, and both must be at least 21 years older than the child.
  • MARRIAGE REQUIREMENTS: Applicants for an adoption should be a married husband and wife. The law permits an adoption order in favor of one person in "exceptional circumstances." However, a single male cannot adopt a female child.
  • INCOME REQUIREMENTS: Income should be above average and prospective adoptive parents should live in a suitable environment. Proof of income will have to be submitted to the central adoption authority.
  • OTHER REQUIREMENTS: The applicants must be of good character and have no adverse criminal record relating to any offense involving violence or abuse towards a child.

    The applicants must be mentally and physically fit to fulfill the responsibilities, evidenced by a medical report.

    The applicant must be able to provide a secure and stable home environment for the child.
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Who Can Be Adopted

Tuvalu has specific requirements that a child must meet in order to be eligible for adoption. You cannot adopt a child in Tuvalu unless he or she meets the requirements outlined below.

In addition to these requirements, a child must meet the definition of an orphan under U.S. law for you to bring him or her back to the United States. Learn more about these U.S. requirements.

ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS:

RELINQUISHMENT REQUIREMENTS:

The prospective adoptive parents must obtain written consent from (a) the child, and (b) the child's parents or guardians.

ABANDONMENT REQUIREMENTS:

The prospective adoptive parents must obtain written consent from (a) the child, and (b) the child's parents or guardians.

AGE REQUIREMENTS:

Only children who have not attained the age of 12 years may be adopted. There is no provision in the law for adoption of children above the age of 12.

8. (1) Subject to this Act the Court may make an adoption order only where a child has not attained the age of 12 years before the date on which the application for adoption was filed in the Court.

SIBLING REQUIREMENTS:

None

REQUIREMENTS FOR SPECIAL NEEDS OR MEDICAL CONDITIONS:

welfare and interests of the child shall be regarded as the paramount consideration

WAITING PERIOD:

Two months or less if all requirements are met.

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How to Adopt

Tuvalu 's Adoption Authority
There is no support system or body in Tuvalu which oversees international adoptions. The Senior Magistrate Court handles international adoptions.

THE PROCESS

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

  1. Choose an Adoption Service Provider
  2. Apply to be Found Eligible to Adopt
  3. Be Matched with a Child
  4. Adopt the Child (or Gain Legal Custody) in Tuvalu
  5. Apply for the Child to be Found Eligible for Adoption
  6. Bring Your Child Home
  1. Choose an Adoption Service Provider

    The first step in adopting a child from Tuvalu is usually to select a licensed agency in the United States that can help with your adoption. Adoption service providers must be licensed by the U.S. state in which they operate. Learn more about choosing the right adoption service provider.

    There are no adoption agencies or non-government lawyers in Tuvalu. Attorneys resident in Suva, Fiji, occasionally handle cases in Tuvalu.

    There is only one private lawyer practicing in Tuvalu known as the "People's Lawyer" who is a volunteer on contract with the Tuvalu Government. The People's Lawyer may be contacted at:

    Office of the People's Lawyer 
    Private Mail Bag
    Funafuti, Tuvalu
    Telephone: (688) 20721
    Fax: (688) 20730

    Prospective adoptive parents may have to seek the assistance of the People's Lawyer. Alternatively, prospective adoptive parents may seek assistance from the Attorney General's office.

    The Attorney General's office contact information is:

    Office of the Attorney General
    Private Mail Bag
    Funafuti
    Telephone: (+688) 20823
    Facsimile: (+688) 20819

  2. Apply to be Found Eligible to Adopt

    To bring an adopted child from Tuvalu to the United States, you must apply to be found eligible to adopt (Form I-600A) by the U.S. Government, Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Learn how.

    In addition to meeting the U.S. requirements for adoptive parents, you need to meet the requirements of Tuvalu as described in the Who Can Adopt section.

  3. Be Matched with a Child 

    If you are eligible to adopt, , You are responsible to identitfy a child below the age of 12 years . Each family must decide for itself whether or not it will be able to meet the needs of a particular child and provide a permanent family placement for the referred child.

    The child must be eligible to be adopted according to Tuvalu's requirements, as described in the Who Can be Adopted section. The child must also meet the definition of an orphan under U.S. law. Learn more.

  4. Adopt the Child (or Gain Legal Custody) in Tuvalu

    The process for finalizing the adoption (or gaining legal custody) in Tuvalu generally includes the following:
    • ROLE OF THE ADOPTION AUTHORITY: There is no support system or body in Tuvalu which oversees international adoptions. There is one social welfare officer based at the Ministry of Home Affairs. The contact address is:

      Ministry of Home Affairs
      Phone number: (+688) 20174 or (+688) 20173.
      Facsimile number: (+688) 20821

      The Senior Magistrate Court is the Tuvaluan entity which handles adoption and remains involved throughout the adoption process. Their role is stated below.

      Note: Seek legal advice from the Attorney General's office and/or the People's Lawyer well in advance.

    • ROLE OF THE COURT: The prospective adoptive parents must file an Application for Adoption with the Senior Magistrate Court. The Court will then appoint the Tuvaluan Social Welfare Officer from the Ministry of Home Affairs as Guardian Ad Litem. The Social Welfare Department will conduct a home-study and investigation that assesses the prospective adoptive parents' character, financial competence and suitability, and report back to the Court. The Magistrate's Court will then consider whether to grant an Adoption Order based on the report. If the Social Welfare report is favorable, the court grants the Adoption Order.
    • ADOPTION APPLICATION: The best source for information about adoption in Tuvalu would be Tuvalu's Adoption Act, which can be located at: http://www.paclii.org/tv/legis/consol_act/aoca191/.

      Tuvalu's Adoption Act states at the outset that: "In all proceedings under this Act the welfare and interests of the child shall be regarded as the paramount consideration." Very generally, and in summary, the process as outlined in the legislation is as follows:
      • The prospective adoptive parents must obtain written consent from (a) the child, and (b) the child's parents or guardians.
      • The prospective adoptive parents may then file an Application for Adoption with the Senior Magistrate Court.
      • The Court appoints the Tuvaluan Social Welfare Officer from the Ministry of Home Affairs as Guardian Ad Litem. The Social Welfare Department conducts a home-study and investigation that assesses the prospective adoptive parents' character, financial competence and suitability, and reports back to the Court.
      • The Magistrate's Court considers whether to grant an Adoption Order based on the report. If the Social Welfare report is favorable, the court grants the Adoption Order.
      • The parents take the Adoption Order to the Tuvaluan Registrar General in order to amend the original birth record to reflect the completion of the adoption. The new parents are issued a new birth certificate showing the adoptive parents as the child's "Father" and "Mother."
    • TIME FRAME: The Department of State has been advised that it generally takes about two months to complete an adoption in Tuvalu, from filing the application until issuance of the adoption order.
    • ADOPTION FEES: The U.S. Government discourages the payment of any fees that are not properly receipted, "donations," or "expediting" fees, that may be requested from prospective adoptive parents. Such fees have the appearance of "buying" a baby and put all future adoptions in Tuvalu at risk.

      Australian currency is used in Tuvalu. A court fee of Australian $6.00 is required to file the motion and receive the Adoption Order.

    • DOCUMENTS REQUIRED: The Social Welfare Officer and the Senior Magistrate Court will require the prospective adoptive parents to submit the following documents:
      • Written consent of the child and the child's parents or guardians.
      • The child's original birth certificate.
      • Adoptive parents' criminal background, financial documents, employment references, evidence of property, etc.
      • Prospective adoptive parents' birth certificates, marriage license, and any divorce decrees from previous marriages.
      • Two written character references for the adoptive parents, preferably from people of high standing, such as church ministers, school principles, or government officials.
      • An independent home study report, conducted by their local social welfare agency.
      • Any other information tending to show that the adoption is in the best interest of the child. (e.g., a statement as to motives for adoption).

    NOTE: Additional documents may be requested. If you are asked to provide proof that a document from the United States is authentic, we can help. Learn how.

  5. Apply for the Child to be Found Eligible for Adoption

    After you finalize the adoption (or gain legal custody) in Tuvalu, the U.S Government, Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) MUST determine whether the child is eligible under U.S. law to be adopted (Form I-600). Learn how.

  6. Bring Your Child Home Now that your adoption is complete (or you have obtained legal custody of the child), there are a few more steps to take before you can head home. Specifically, you need to apply for several documents for your child before he or she can travel to the United States:
    • Birth Certificate 
      You will first need to apply for a new birth certificate for your child, so that you can later apply for a passport. Your name will be added to the new birth certificate.

      In order to do this, you will need to take the Adoption Order to the Tuvaluan Registrar General in order to amend the original birth record to reflect the completion of the adoption. The new birth certificate will show you, the adoptive parents, as the child's "Father" and "Mother."

    • Tuvaluan Passport
      Your child is not yet a U.S. citizen, so he/she will need a travel document or Passport from Tuvalu.

    • U.S. Immigrant Visa 
      After you obtain the new birth certificate and passport for your child, you also need to apply for an U.S. visa from the United States Embassy for your child. After the adoption (or custody for purpose of adoption) is granted, visit the U.S. Embassy for final review and approval of the child's I-600 petition and to obtain a visa for the child. This immigrant visa allows your child to travel home with you. As part of this process, the Consular Officer must be provided the "Panel Physician's" medical report on the child if it was not provided during the provisional approval stage. Learn more.

    NOTE : The U.S. Embassy cannot issue visas on the same day of the visa interview. Prospective adopting parents should expect a minimum of two days for the visa to be issued. American families should make their travel plans accordingly, including allowing for the possibility of computer difficulties or other problems that could potentially further delay visa issuance

CHILD CITIZENSHIP ACT

For adoptions finalized abroad: The Child Citizenship Act of 2000 allows your new child to acquire American citizenship automatically when he or she enters the United States as lawful permanent residents.

For adoptions finalized in the United States: The Child Citizenship Act of 2000 allows your new child to acquire American citizenship automatically when the court in the United States issues the final adoption decree.

* 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.

Learn more about the Child Citizenship Act.

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Traveling Abroad

APPLYING FOR YOUR U.S. PASSPORT

A valid U.S. passport is required to enter and leave Tuvalu. 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 YOUR VISA

In addition to a U.S. passport, you also need to obtain a visa. A visa is an official document issued by a foreign country that formally allows you to visit. Where required, visas are attached to your passport and allow you to enter a foreign nation.

To find information about obtaining a visa for Tuvalu, see the Department of State's Country Specific Information.

STAYING SAFE ON YOUR TRIP

Before you travel, it's always a good practice to investigate the local conditions, laws, political landscape, and culture of the country. The State Department is a good place to start.

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 register your trip with the Department of State. Travel registration makes it possible to contact you if necessary. Whether there's a family emergency in the United States, or a crisis in Tuvalu registration assists the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in reaching you.

Registration is free and can be done online.

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After Adoption

What does Tuvalu require of the adoptive parents after the adoption?

We strongly urge you to comply with the wish of Tuvalu and complete all 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 history of positive experiences with American parents.

What resources are available to assist families after the adoption?

Many adoptive parents find it important to find support after the adoption. Take advantage of all the resources available to your family -- whether it's another adoptive family, a support group, an advocacy organization, or your religious or community services.

Here are some good 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

U.S. Embassy in Tuvalu 
The United States does not have an Embassy or Mission in Tuvalu. The Embassy that covers Tuvalu is located in Fiji. That Embassy's Consular Section is located at:

The Embassy of the United States, Suva, Fiji
31 Loftus Street
P.O. Box 218
Suva, Fiji
Tel: (679) 331-4466
Fax: (679) 330-2267
Email: consularsuva@state.gov
Internet: https://fj.usembassy.gov/embassy/suva/

Tuvalu's Adoption Authority 
Magistrate's Court
Funafuti, Tuvalu
Tel: (+688) 20837

Embassy of Tuvalu 
Tuvalu does not have an Embassy or Consulate in Washington, D.C. Tuvalu's only official representative in the United States is at the United Nations in New York:

The Permanent Mission of Tuvalu to the United Nations
800 Second Avenue, Suite 400 B
New York, NY 10017
Tel: (+1 212) 490-0534
Fax: (+1 212) 808-4975

Office of Children's Issues 
U.S. Department of State  
CA/OCS/CI  
SA-17, 9th Floor  
Washington, DC 20522-1709
Tel: 1-888-407-4747
E-mail: AskCI@state.gov
Intenet: http://adoption.state.gov

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) 
For questions about immigration procedures, call the National Customer Service Center (NCSC)
1-800-375-5283 (TTY 1-800-767-1833)

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 60 Months
A-2 None Multiple 60 Months
A-3 1 None Multiple 24 Months
B-1 None Multiple 120 Months
B-2 None Multiple 120 Months
B-1/B-2 None Multiple 120 Months
C-1 None Multiple 60 Months
C-1/D None Multiple 60 Months
C-2 None Multiple 12 Months
C-3 None Multiple 60 Months
CW-1 11 None Multiple 12 Months
CW-2 11 None Multiple 12 Months
D None Multiple 60 Months
E-1 2 No Treaty N/A N/A
E-2 2 No Treaty N/A N/A
E-2C 12 None Multiple 24 Months
F-1 None Multiple 60 Months
F-2 None Multiple 60 Months
G-1 None Multiple 60 Months
G-2 None Multiple 60 Months
G-3 None Multiple 60 Months
G-4 None Multiple 60 Months
G-5 1 None Multiple 24 Months
H-1B None Multiple 60 Months 3
H-1C None Multiple 60 Months 3
H-2A None Multiple 60 Months 3
H-2B None Multiple 60 Months 3
H-2R None Multiple 60 Months 3
H-3 None Multiple 60 Months 3
H-4 None Multiple 60 Months 3
I None Multiple 60 Months
J-1 4 None Multiple 60 Months
J-2 4 None Multiple 60 Months
K-1 None One 6 Months
K-2 None One 6 Months
K-3 None Multiple 24 Months
K-4 None Multiple 24 Months
L-1 None Multiple 60 Months
L-2 None Multiple 60 Months
M-1 None Multiple 60 Months
M-2 None Multiple 60 Months
N-8 None Multiple 60 Months
N-9 None Multiple 60 Months
NATO 1-7 N/A N/A N/A
O-1 None Multiple 60 Months 3
O-2 None Multiple 60 Months 3
O-3 None Multiple 60 Months 3
P-1 None Multiple 60 Months 3
P-2 None Multiple 60 Months 3
P-3 None Multiple 60 Months 3
P-4 None Multiple 60 Months 3
Q-1 6 None Multiple 15 Months 3
R-1 None Multiple 60 Months
R-2 None Multiple 60 Months
S-5 7 None One 1 Month
S-6 7 None One 1 Month
S-7 7 None One 1 Month
T-1 9 N/A N/A N/A
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 click on the individual categories along the left menu for more information.

Birth, Death, Burial Certificates

Birth and Death Certificates

Available from the Office of Chief Minister. There may be a fee for this service.

Ministry of Health
Vaiaku
Funafuti

Telephone: (+688) 20403
Facsimile: (+688) 20832
Email: soh@tuvalu.tv

 

 

Marriage, Divorce Certificates

Marriage Certificates

Available from the Office of Chief Minister. There may be a fee for this service.

Ministry of Health

Vaiaku
Funafuti

Telephone: (+688) 20403
Facsimile: (+688) 20832
Email: soh@tuvalu.tv

Adoption Certificates

Available.  Contact:

High Court
Vaiaku, Funafuti
Telephone: (+688) 20-837

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Identity Card

Not applicable; Tuvalu does not produce a national identity card.

Police, Court, Prison Records

Police Records

Available from the Chief of Police, Police Headquarters, Funafuti.

Tuvalu Police Force
Private Mail Bag
Vaiaku
Funafuti

Telephone: (+688) 20726
Facsimile: (+688) 20149
email: police@tuvalu.tv

Prison Records

Available. See Police Records.

Military Records

Not applicable. Tuvalu has no armed forces.

Passports & Other Travel Documents

Available by contacting:

Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Vaiaku
Funafuti
Telephone: (+688) 20-102
Fascimile: (+688) 20-820

Other Records

Not applicable.

Visa Issuing Posts

Fiji, Suva (Embassy)

Visa Services

IV and NIV applications for nationals of Tuvalu are processed by the U.S. Embassy in Fiji, Suva.

Foreign Consular Office Contact Information

New York, NY (212) 490-0534 (212) 808-4975

Assistance for U.S. Citizens

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

Tuvalu
Tuvalu
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Embassy Messages
Quick Facts
PASSPORT VALIDITY:

6 months

BLANK PASSPORT PAGES:

1 page per stamp

TOURIST VISA REQUIRED:

none if less than 30 day stay

VACCINATIONS:

None

CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR ENTRY:

3000 Australian dollars

CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR EXIT:

3000 Australian dollars

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Embassies and Consulates

U.S. Embassy Suva
158 Princes Rd, Tamavua
Suva, Fiji Islands
Telephone: +(679) 331-4466
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(679) 772-8049
Fax: +(679) 330-2267
SuvaACS@state.gov

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Destination Description

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

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Entry, Exit and Visa Requirements

To enter Tuvalu, you will need:

  • A passport with 6 month validity;
  • Onward/return ticket;
  • Proof of sufficient funds for your stay- not necessary
  • Visitor permits valid for up to one month are issued free of charge upon arrival.

For further information about entry requirements, you may contact:

Tuvalu Permanent Mission to the United Nations
800 2nd Avenue, Suite 400 D
New York, New York 10017
Phone - (212) 490-0534

For individuals planning to enter by sea: Tuvalu’s customs authorities may enforce strict regulations concerning importation or exportation items such as agricultural products. Visit the Tuvalu Permanent Mission to the United Nations website for the most current visa information and customs restrictions. 

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

Information about dual nationality or the prevention of international child abduction can be found on our website. For further information about customs regulations, please read our Customs Information page.

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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:  Tuvalu has a low crime rate. However, visitors should review their own personal security practices, be alert to any unusual activity around their homes or businesses, and report any suspicious incidents to local police authorities. See the Department of State and the FBI pages for information on scams

Victims of Crime: Report crimes to the local police at 688-20726 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.

  • 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 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:

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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.

Customs: The Tuvalu Custom Act states that all visitors arriving and departing the country may not carry more than AUD $3,000.

Currency: The Australian dollar is the legal currency in Tuvalu. The Tuvalu National Bank accepts traveler’s checks and most major currencies, including U.S. dollars.

You should be prepared to pay cash for hotel bills and all other services, since credit card services are not available. There are no ATMs on Tuvalu, so it may not be possible to withdraw cash from overseas bank accounts.

Faith-Based Travelers:  See the Department of State’s International Religious Freedom Report.

LGBTI Travelers: Sexual conduct between males is illegal, with maximum penalties of seven to 15 years’ imprisonment depending on the nature of the offense.  We are not aware of any recent reports of violence against persons based on sexual orientation or gender identity or prosecutions of consenting adults under these provisions. See our LGBTI Travel Information page and section 6 of the Department of State's Human Rights report for further details.

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

Travelers Who Require Accessibility Assistance: Tuvalu prohibits discrimination on the basis of physical, sensory, intellectual, or mental disability. Supplementary state services to address the special needs of persons with disabilities are very limited.

There are no mandated building accessibility provisions for persons with disabilities. The only multi-story government building has elevators, but they are not operational. There are no elevators in private multi-story buildings.

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

Women Travelers:  See our travel tips for Women Travelers

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Health
  • Medical and dental care are very limited in Tuvalu.
  • Serious medical problems are referred to health professionals and hospitals in Guam or Hawaii.
  • Serious medical conditions requiring hospitalization and/or medical evacuation to the United States can cost thousands of dollars. Doctors and hospitals often expect immediate cash payment for health services.
  • We strongly recommend supplemental insurance to cover medical evacuation. 
  • Carry prescription medication in original packaging, along with your doctor’s prescription. 

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 (our webpage) to cover medical evacuation.

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: Traffic moves on the left in Tuvalu. The main roads on Funafuti are paved, but other roads on other islands are generally unpaved. Animals and unwary pedestrians walking in the road make night driving on unlit secondary roads hazardous. For specific information concerning Tuvalu driving permits, vehicle inspection, road tax, and mandatory insurance, contact the Tuvalu Permanent Mission to the United Nations.

Public Transportation: The main forms of public transportation are taxis or motorcycles. Please refer to our Road Safety page and Traffic Laws in Tuvalu for more information.

Aviation Safety Oversight: As there is no direct commercial air service to the United States by carriers registered in Tuvalu, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has not assessed the government of Tuvalu’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.

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

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

Tuvalu is not party to the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption (Hague Adoption Convention). Therefore, when the Hague Adoption Convention entered into force for the United States on April 1, 2008, intercountry adoption processing for Tuvalu did not change.

There are two important points to consider when adopting a child from Tuvalu: 1) Only children below the age of 12 may be adopted; and 2) children who have attained the age of 10 years are usually, but not always, required to consent to their adoption.

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Who Can Adopt

To bring an adopted child to United States from Tuvalu, you must be found eligible to adopt by the U.S. Government. The U.S. Government agency responsible for making this determination is the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Learn more.

In addition to these U.S. requirements for prospective adoptive parents, Tuvalu also has the following requirements for prospective adoptive parents:

  • RESIDENCY REQUIREMENTS: There is no formal residency requirement for foreigners seeking to adopt in Tuvalu. However, adoptive parents must be physically present in court to file an application for adoption and must remain in Tuvalu until the final adoption order is granted.
  • AGE REQUIREMENTS: One prospective adoptive parent must be at least 25 years old, and both must be at least 21 years older than the child.
  • MARRIAGE REQUIREMENTS: Applicants for an adoption should be a married husband and wife. The law permits an adoption order in favor of one person in "exceptional circumstances." However, a single male cannot adopt a female child.
  • INCOME REQUIREMENTS: Income should be above average and prospective adoptive parents should live in a suitable environment. Proof of income will have to be submitted to the central adoption authority.
  • OTHER REQUIREMENTS: The applicants must be of good character and have no adverse criminal record relating to any offense involving violence or abuse towards a child.

    The applicants must be mentally and physically fit to fulfill the responsibilities, evidenced by a medical report.

    The applicant must be able to provide a secure and stable home environment for the child.
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Who Can Be Adopted

Tuvalu has specific requirements that a child must meet in order to be eligible for adoption. You cannot adopt a child in Tuvalu unless he or she meets the requirements outlined below.

In addition to these requirements, a child must meet the definition of an orphan under U.S. law for you to bring him or her back to the United States. Learn more about these U.S. requirements.

ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS:

RELINQUISHMENT REQUIREMENTS:

The prospective adoptive parents must obtain written consent from (a) the child, and (b) the child's parents or guardians.

ABANDONMENT REQUIREMENTS:

The prospective adoptive parents must obtain written consent from (a) the child, and (b) the child's parents or guardians.

AGE REQUIREMENTS:

Only children who have not attained the age of 12 years may be adopted. There is no provision in the law for adoption of children above the age of 12.

8. (1) Subject to this Act the Court may make an adoption order only where a child has not attained the age of 12 years before the date on which the application for adoption was filed in the Court.

SIBLING REQUIREMENTS:

None

REQUIREMENTS FOR SPECIAL NEEDS OR MEDICAL CONDITIONS:

welfare and interests of the child shall be regarded as the paramount consideration

WAITING PERIOD:

Two months or less if all requirements are met.

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How to Adopt

Tuvalu 's Adoption Authority
There is no support system or body in Tuvalu which oversees international adoptions. The Senior Magistrate Court handles international adoptions.

THE PROCESS

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

  1. Choose an Adoption Service Provider
  2. Apply to be Found Eligible to Adopt
  3. Be Matched with a Child
  4. Adopt the Child (or Gain Legal Custody) in Tuvalu
  5. Apply for the Child to be Found Eligible for Adoption
  6. Bring Your Child Home
  1. Choose an Adoption Service Provider

    The first step in adopting a child from Tuvalu is usually to select a licensed agency in the United States that can help with your adoption. Adoption service providers must be licensed by the U.S. state in which they operate. Learn more about choosing the right adoption service provider.

    There are no adoption agencies or non-government lawyers in Tuvalu. Attorneys resident in Suva, Fiji, occasionally handle cases in Tuvalu.

    There is only one private lawyer practicing in Tuvalu known as the "People's Lawyer" who is a volunteer on contract with the Tuvalu Government. The People's Lawyer may be contacted at:

    Office of the People's Lawyer 
    Private Mail Bag
    Funafuti, Tuvalu
    Telephone: (688) 20721
    Fax: (688) 20730

    Prospective adoptive parents may have to seek the assistance of the People's Lawyer. Alternatively, prospective adoptive parents may seek assistance from the Attorney General's office.

    The Attorney General's office contact information is:

    Office of the Attorney General
    Private Mail Bag
    Funafuti
    Telephone: (+688) 20823
    Facsimile: (+688) 20819

  2. Apply to be Found Eligible to Adopt

    To bring an adopted child from Tuvalu to the United States, you must apply to be found eligible to adopt (Form I-600A) by the U.S. Government, Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Learn how.

    In addition to meeting the U.S. requirements for adoptive parents, you need to meet the requirements of Tuvalu as described in the Who Can Adopt section.

  3. Be Matched with a Child 

    If you are eligible to adopt, , You are responsible to identitfy a child below the age of 12 years . Each family must decide for itself whether or not it will be able to meet the needs of a particular child and provide a permanent family placement for the referred child.

    The child must be eligible to be adopted according to Tuvalu's requirements, as described in the Who Can be Adopted section. The child must also meet the definition of an orphan under U.S. law. Learn more.

  4. Adopt the Child (or Gain Legal Custody) in Tuvalu

    The process for finalizing the adoption (or gaining legal custody) in Tuvalu generally includes the following:
    • ROLE OF THE ADOPTION AUTHORITY: There is no support system or body in Tuvalu which oversees international adoptions. There is one social welfare officer based at the Ministry of Home Affairs. The contact address is:

      Ministry of Home Affairs
      Phone number: (+688) 20174 or (+688) 20173.
      Facsimile number: (+688) 20821

      The Senior Magistrate Court is the Tuvaluan entity which handles adoption and remains involved throughout the adoption process. Their role is stated below.

      Note: Seek legal advice from the Attorney General's office and/or the People's Lawyer well in advance.

    • ROLE OF THE COURT: The prospective adoptive parents must file an Application for Adoption with the Senior Magistrate Court. The Court will then appoint the Tuvaluan Social Welfare Officer from the Ministry of Home Affairs as Guardian Ad Litem. The Social Welfare Department will conduct a home-study and investigation that assesses the prospective adoptive parents' character, financial competence and suitability, and report back to the Court. The Magistrate's Court will then consider whether to grant an Adoption Order based on the report. If the Social Welfare report is favorable, the court grants the Adoption Order.
    • ADOPTION APPLICATION: The best source for information about adoption in Tuvalu would be Tuvalu's Adoption Act, which can be located at: http://www.paclii.org/tv/legis/consol_act/aoca191/.

      Tuvalu's Adoption Act states at the outset that: "In all proceedings under this Act the welfare and interests of the child shall be regarded as the paramount consideration." Very generally, and in summary, the process as outlined in the legislation is as follows:
      • The prospective adoptive parents must obtain written consent from (a) the child, and (b) the child's parents or guardians.
      • The prospective adoptive parents may then file an Application for Adoption with the Senior Magistrate Court.
      • The Court appoints the Tuvaluan Social Welfare Officer from the Ministry of Home Affairs as Guardian Ad Litem. The Social Welfare Department conducts a home-study and investigation that assesses the prospective adoptive parents' character, financial competence and suitability, and reports back to the Court.
      • The Magistrate's Court considers whether to grant an Adoption Order based on the report. If the Social Welfare report is favorable, the court grants the Adoption Order.
      • The parents take the Adoption Order to the Tuvaluan Registrar General in order to amend the original birth record to reflect the completion of the adoption. The new parents are issued a new birth certificate showing the adoptive parents as the child's "Father" and "Mother."
    • TIME FRAME: The Department of State has been advised that it generally takes about two months to complete an adoption in Tuvalu, from filing the application until issuance of the adoption order.
    • ADOPTION FEES: The U.S. Government discourages the payment of any fees that are not properly receipted, "donations," or "expediting" fees, that may be requested from prospective adoptive parents. Such fees have the appearance of "buying" a baby and put all future adoptions in Tuvalu at risk.

      Australian currency is used in Tuvalu. A court fee of Australian $6.00 is required to file the motion and receive the Adoption Order.

    • DOCUMENTS REQUIRED: The Social Welfare Officer and the Senior Magistrate Court will require the prospective adoptive parents to submit the following documents:
      • Written consent of the child and the child's parents or guardians.
      • The child's original birth certificate.
      • Adoptive parents' criminal background, financial documents, employment references, evidence of property, etc.
      • Prospective adoptive parents' birth certificates, marriage license, and any divorce decrees from previous marriages.
      • Two written character references for the adoptive parents, preferably from people of high standing, such as church ministers, school principles, or government officials.
      • An independent home study report, conducted by their local social welfare agency.
      • Any other information tending to show that the adoption is in the best interest of the child. (e.g., a statement as to motives for adoption).

    NOTE: Additional documents may be requested. If you are asked to provide proof that a document from the United States is authentic, we can help. Learn how.

  5. Apply for the Child to be Found Eligible for Adoption

    After you finalize the adoption (or gain legal custody) in Tuvalu, the U.S Government, Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) MUST determine whether the child is eligible under U.S. law to be adopted (Form I-600). Learn how.

  6. Bring Your Child Home Now that your adoption is complete (or you have obtained legal custody of the child), there are a few more steps to take before you can head home. Specifically, you need to apply for several documents for your child before he or she can travel to the United States:
    • Birth Certificate 
      You will first need to apply for a new birth certificate for your child, so that you can later apply for a passport. Your name will be added to the new birth certificate.

      In order to do this, you will need to take the Adoption Order to the Tuvaluan Registrar General in order to amend the original birth record to reflect the completion of the adoption. The new birth certificate will show you, the adoptive parents, as the child's "Father" and "Mother."

    • Tuvaluan Passport
      Your child is not yet a U.S. citizen, so he/she will need a travel document or Passport from Tuvalu.

    • U.S. Immigrant Visa 
      After you obtain the new birth certificate and passport for your child, you also need to apply for an U.S. visa from the United States Embassy for your child. After the adoption (or custody for purpose of adoption) is granted, visit the U.S. Embassy for final review and approval of the child's I-600 petition and to obtain a visa for the child. This immigrant visa allows your child to travel home with you. As part of this process, the Consular Officer must be provided the "Panel Physician's" medical report on the child if it was not provided during the provisional approval stage. Learn more.

    NOTE : The U.S. Embassy cannot issue visas on the same day of the visa interview. Prospective adopting parents should expect a minimum of two days for the visa to be issued. American families should make their travel plans accordingly, including allowing for the possibility of computer difficulties or other problems that could potentially further delay visa issuance

CHILD CITIZENSHIP ACT

For adoptions finalized abroad: The Child Citizenship Act of 2000 allows your new child to acquire American citizenship automatically when he or she enters the United States as lawful permanent residents.

For adoptions finalized in the United States: The Child Citizenship Act of 2000 allows your new child to acquire American citizenship automatically when the court in the United States issues the final adoption decree.

* 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.

Learn more about the Child Citizenship Act.

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Traveling Abroad

APPLYING FOR YOUR U.S. PASSPORT

A valid U.S. passport is required to enter and leave Tuvalu. 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 YOUR VISA

In addition to a U.S. passport, you also need to obtain a visa. A visa is an official document issued by a foreign country that formally allows you to visit. Where required, visas are attached to your passport and allow you to enter a foreign nation.

To find information about obtaining a visa for Tuvalu, see the Department of State's Country Specific Information.

STAYING SAFE ON YOUR TRIP

Before you travel, it's always a good practice to investigate the local conditions, laws, political landscape, and culture of the country. The State Department is a good place to start.

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 register your trip with the Department of State. Travel registration makes it possible to contact you if necessary. Whether there's a family emergency in the United States, or a crisis in Tuvalu registration assists the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in reaching you.

Registration is free and can be done online.

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After Adoption

What does Tuvalu require of the adoptive parents after the adoption?

We strongly urge you to comply with the wish of Tuvalu and complete all 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 history of positive experiences with American parents.

What resources are available to assist families after the adoption?

Many adoptive parents find it important to find support after the adoption. Take advantage of all the resources available to your family -- whether it's another adoptive family, a support group, an advocacy organization, or your religious or community services.

Here are some good 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

U.S. Embassy in Tuvalu 
The United States does not have an Embassy or Mission in Tuvalu. The Embassy that covers Tuvalu is located in Fiji. That Embassy's Consular Section is located at:

The Embassy of the United States, Suva, Fiji
31 Loftus Street
P.O. Box 218
Suva, Fiji
Tel: (679) 331-4466
Fax: (679) 330-2267
Email: consularsuva@state.gov
Internet: https://fj.usembassy.gov/embassy/suva/

Tuvalu's Adoption Authority 
Magistrate's Court
Funafuti, Tuvalu
Tel: (+688) 20837

Embassy of Tuvalu 
Tuvalu does not have an Embassy or Consulate in Washington, D.C. Tuvalu's only official representative in the United States is at the United Nations in New York:

The Permanent Mission of Tuvalu to the United Nations
800 Second Avenue, Suite 400 B
New York, NY 10017
Tel: (+1 212) 490-0534
Fax: (+1 212) 808-4975

Office of Children's Issues 
U.S. Department of State  
CA/OCS/CI  
SA-17, 9th Floor  
Washington, DC 20522-1709
Tel: 1-888-407-4747
E-mail: AskCI@state.gov
Intenet: http://adoption.state.gov

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) 
For questions about immigration procedures, call the National Customer Service Center (NCSC)
1-800-375-5283 (TTY 1-800-767-1833)

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 60 Months
A-2 None Multiple 60 Months
A-3 1 None Multiple 24 Months
B-1 None Multiple 120 Months
B-2 None Multiple 120 Months
B-1/B-2 None Multiple 120 Months
C-1 None Multiple 60 Months
C-1/D None Multiple 60 Months
C-2 None Multiple 12 Months
C-3 None Multiple 60 Months
CW-1 11 None Multiple 12 Months
CW-2 11 None Multiple 12 Months
D None Multiple 60 Months
E-1 2 No Treaty N/A N/A
E-2 2 No Treaty N/A N/A
E-2C 12 None Multiple 24 Months
F-1 None Multiple 60 Months
F-2 None Multiple 60 Months
G-1 None Multiple 60 Months
G-2 None Multiple 60 Months
G-3 None Multiple 60 Months
G-4 None Multiple 60 Months
G-5 1 None Multiple 24 Months
H-1B None Multiple 60 Months 3
H-1C None Multiple 60 Months 3
H-2A None Multiple 60 Months 3
H-2B None Multiple 60 Months 3
H-2R None Multiple 60 Months 3
H-3 None Multiple 60 Months 3
H-4 None Multiple 60 Months 3
I None Multiple 60 Months
J-1 4 None Multiple 60 Months
J-2 4 None Multiple 60 Months
K-1 None One 6 Months
K-2 None One 6 Months
K-3 None Multiple 24 Months
K-4 None Multiple 24 Months
L-1 None Multiple 60 Months
L-2 None Multiple 60 Months
M-1 None Multiple 60 Months
M-2 None Multiple 60 Months
N-8 None Multiple 60 Months
N-9 None Multiple 60 Months
NATO 1-7 N/A N/A N/A
O-1 None Multiple 60 Months 3
O-2 None Multiple 60 Months 3
O-3 None Multiple 60 Months 3
P-1 None Multiple 60 Months 3
P-2 None Multiple 60 Months 3
P-3 None Multiple 60 Months 3
P-4 None Multiple 60 Months 3
Q-1 6 None Multiple 15 Months 3
R-1 None Multiple 60 Months
R-2 None Multiple 60 Months
S-5 7 None One 1 Month
S-6 7 None One 1 Month
S-7 7 None One 1 Month
T-1 9 N/A N/A N/A
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 click on the individual categories along the left menu for more information.

Birth, Death, Burial Certificates

Birth and Death Certificates

Available from the Office of Chief Minister. There may be a fee for this service.

Ministry of Health
Vaiaku
Funafuti

Telephone: (+688) 20403
Facsimile: (+688) 20832
Email: soh@tuvalu.tv

 

 

Marriage, Divorce Certificates

Marriage Certificates

Available from the Office of Chief Minister. There may be a fee for this service.

Ministry of Health

Vaiaku
Funafuti

Telephone: (+688) 20403
Facsimile: (+688) 20832
Email: soh@tuvalu.tv

Adoption Certificates

Available.  Contact:

High Court
Vaiaku, Funafuti
Telephone: (+688) 20-837

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Identity Card

Not applicable; Tuvalu does not produce a national identity card.

Police, Court, Prison Records

Police Records

Available from the Chief of Police, Police Headquarters, Funafuti.

Tuvalu Police Force
Private Mail Bag
Vaiaku
Funafuti

Telephone: (+688) 20726
Facsimile: (+688) 20149
email: police@tuvalu.tv

Prison Records

Available. See Police Records.

Military Records

Not applicable. Tuvalu has no armed forces.

Passports & Other Travel Documents

Available by contacting:

Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Vaiaku
Funafuti
Telephone: (+688) 20-102
Fascimile: (+688) 20-820

Other Records

Not applicable.

Visa Issuing Posts

Fiji, Suva (Embassy)

Visa Services

IV and NIV applications for nationals of Tuvalu are processed by the U.S. Embassy in Fiji, Suva.

Foreign Consular Office Contact Information

New York, NY (212) 490-0534 (212) 808-4975

Assistance for U.S. Citizens

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