Tonga - Tips
Visa Or Entry Stamp
Tonga Consular Information
June 11, 2007
COUNTRY DESCRIPTION: Tonga is a South Pacific island
nation consisting of 171 islands, of which 45 are inhabited. Tonga is a
constitutional monarchy and a member of the British Commonwealth. Its
agrarian economy is developing and its tourist industry, although limited, is
growing. Tourist facilities are concentrated in and around the main island
of Tongatapu where the capital, Nukuâ€™alofa, is located. The Tongan Tourist
Bureau, which has a wide range of information of interest to travelers, can be
contacted via the Internet at http://www.vacations.tvb.gov.to
Read the Department of
State Background Notes on Tonga
for additional information.
ENTRY/EXIT REQUIREMENTS: A passport and an
onward/return ticket are required. Visas are not required for stays of up
to 30 days. Tonga collects a departure tax. For further information
about entry requirements, travelers, particularly those planning to enter by
sea, may wish to contact the Consulate General of Tonga at 360 Post Street,
Suite 604, San Francisco, California 94108; telephone 415‑781‑0365. See
Entry Requirements brochure for more information on Tonga and other
Find more information about Entry and Exit
pertaining to dual
and the prevention of
international child abduction.
SAFETY AND SECURITY: An organized movement for
political reform exists in Tonga. Protests in November 2006 became
violent, resulting in fires that destroyed much of the downtown area of
Nukuâ€™alofa. American citizens are advised to avoid large public
gatherings and to exercise caution if within the vicinity of any demonstrations,
as they could turn violent at any time. For the latest security
information, Americans traveling abroad should regularly monitor the Departmentâ€™s Internet web site
Caution Public Announcement, Travel
Warnings and Public Announcements
can be found.
Up-to-date information on security can also be obtained by calling
1-888-407-4747 toll free in the U.S., or, for callers outside the United States
and Canada, a regular toll line at 1-202-501-4444. These numbers are
available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, Monday through
Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).
Americans requiring immediate emergency services in Tonga should call 911
(922 and 933, respectively, are numbers for police and ambulance assistance).
The Department of State urges American citizens to take responsibility for
their own personal security while traveling overseas. For general
information about appropriate measures travelers can take to protect themselves
in an overseas environment, see the Department of State's pamphlet A Safe
CRIME: Although the crime rate in Tonga is low
compared to that in the U.S. and most European countries, petty crime and theft
does take place. Though rare, crimes against persons occur as well.
Visitors should not be complacent regarding personal safety or the protection of
INFORMATION FOR VICTIMS OF CRIME: The loss or theft
abroad of a U.S. passport should be reported immediately to the local police and
the U.S. Embassy in Suva, Fiji at (679) 331 4466 (ask for American Citizen
Services). If you are the victim of a crime while overseas, in addition to
reporting to local police, please contact the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate
for assistance. The Embassy/Consulate staff can, for example, assist you
to find appropriate medical care, to contact family members or friends and
explain how funds could be transferred. Although the investigation and
prosecution of the crime is solely the responsibility of local authorities,
consular officers can help you to understand the local criminal justice process
and to find an attorney, if needed.
See our information on Victims
MEDICAL FACILITIES AND HEALTH INFORMATION: Medical
facilities in Tonga are extremely limited. The cities of Nuku'alofa and
Neiafu have hospitals with limited emergency and outpatient facilities.
Local residents and visitors with serious medical problems 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. Internet: http://www.nzembassy.com/home.cfm.
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.
Information on vaccinations and other health precautions, such as safe food
and water precautions and insect bite protection, may be obtained from the
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's hotline for international travelers
at 1-877-FYI-TRIP (1-877-394-8747) or via the CDC's Internet site at http://www.cdc.gov/travel
information about outbreaks of infectious diseases abroad consult the World
Health Organization's (WHO) website at http://www.who.int/en
. Further health
information for travelers is available at http://www.who.int/ith
MEDICAL INSURANCE: The Department of State strongly
urges Americans to consult with their medical insurance company prior to
traveling abroad to confirm whether their policy applies overseas and if it will
cover emergency expenses such as a medical evacuation.Please see our
information on medical
TRAFFIC SAFETY AND ROAD CONDITIONS: While in a foreign
country, U.S. citizens may encounter road conditions that differ significantly
from those in the United States. 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 Nukuâ€™alofa are paved, most other roads are
not. Animals and unwary pedestrians walking in the road make night driving
on unlit secondary roads hazardous. For specific information concerning
Tonga driving permits, vehicle inspection, road tax and mandatory insurance,
contact the Consulate General of Tonga in San Francisco.
Please refer to our Road
page for more information. Visit the website of the countryâ€™s
national tourist office and national authority responsible for road safety at http://www.vacations.tvb.gov.to
AVIATION OVERSIGHT: The U.S. Federal Aviation
Administration (FAA) has assessed the Government of Tongaâ€™s Civil Aviation
Authority as being in compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization
(ICAO) aviation safety standards for oversight of Tongaâ€™s air carrier
operations. For further information, travelers may visit the FAA's web
site at http://www.faa.gov/safety/programs_initiatives/oversight/iasa/.
SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES: Tongaâ€™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 Consulate General of
Tonga in San Francisco for specific information regarding customs requirements.
Please see our Customs
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 are readily available. U.S. citizens who are detained
are encouraged to request that a consular officer from the U.S. Embassy in Suva,
Fiji, be notified.
The cyclone season is November through April. The Fiji Meteorological
Service maintains a Tropical Cyclone Warning Center (TCWC) in Nadi serving the
Southwest Pacific Region. Please see our information aboutnatural
disaster preparedness, andthe U.S. Federal Emergency Management
Agency's(FEMA) informationat http://www.fema.gov
CRIMINAL PENALTIES: While in a foreign country, a U.S.
citizen is subject to that country's laws and regulations, which sometimes
differ significantly from those in the United States and may not afford the
protections available to the individual under U.S. law. Penalties for
breaking the law can be more severe than those in the United States for similar
offenses. Persons violating Tongan law, even unknowingly, may be expelled,
arrested or imprisoned. Penalties for possession, use, or trafficking in
illegal drugs are strict, and convicted offenders can expect jail sentences and
fines. Engaging in sexual conduct with children or using or disseminating
child pornography in a foreign country is a crime, prosecutable in the United
States. Please see our information on Criminal
CHILDRENâ€™S ISSUES: For information on international
adoption of children and international parental child abduction, see the Office of Childrenâ€™s
REGISTRATION/EMBASSY LOCATION: There is no U.S.
Embassy or other U.S. diplomatic or consular post in Tonga. The U.S.
Embassy in Fiji provides assistance for U.S. citizens in Tonga. Americans living
or traveling in Tonga are encouraged to register with the U.S. Embassy in Suva
through the State Departmentâ€™s
travel registration website
, and to obtain updated information on travel and
security within Tonga. Americans withoutInternet access may
register directly with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. The U.S.
Embassy in Fiji is located at 31 Loftus Street in Fijiâ€™s capital city of
Suva. The telephone number is (679) 331-4466; the fax number is (679)
330-2267. Information may also be obtained by visiting the Embassyâ€™s home
page at http://suva.usembassy.gov/
registering, American citizens make it easier for the Embassy or Consulate to
contact them in case of emergency.
* * *
This replaces the Consular Information Sheet dated August 15, 2006, to update
the Safety and Security section.
Visa Or Entry Stamp