Kiribati - Consular Information Sheet
September 8, 2000
COUNTRY DESCRIPTION: The Republic of Kiribati (pronounced
kir-ree-bas) is an island group in the Western Pacific Ocean,
consisting of an archipelago of some 30 low-lying coral atolls
surrounded by extensive reefs with a total land area of 800 square
kilometers. Kiribati gained independence from the United Kingdom
in 1979. Kiribati has an elected President and a legislative assembly.
The capital of Kiribati is Tarawa. Kiribati includes three administrative
units, sixteen atolls of the former Gilbert Islands, eight atolls
of the former Line Islands (including Christmas Island and Fanning
Island), and eight atolls of the former Phoenix Islands. Kiribati
has few natural resources, and its economy is very small. The
islands are not self-sufficient in food. Tourist facilities are
not widely available.
ENTRY REQUIREMENTS: A valid passport and visa are required.
Visa requirements include one application form, two photos and
a fee. There is no Embassy of Kiribati in the United States. For
information on entry requirements, please contact the Honorary
Consulate of the Republic of Kiribati, Suite 503, 850 Richards
Street, Honolulu, HI 96813, telephone (808) 529-7703; fax (808)521-8304.
For visa or other information, travelers may consult the Consular
Section of the nearest British embassy or consulate. The British
Embassy in the United States is located at 3100 Massachusetts
Ave., N.W., Washington, D.C., 20008. The telephone number is (202)
CRIME INFORMATION: The loss or theft of a U.S. passport
abroad should be reported immediately to the local police and
to the U.S. Embassy in Majuro, Republic of the Marshall Islands.
Useful information on safeguarding valuables, protecting personal
security, and other matters while traveling abroad is provided
in the Department of State's pamphlet, A
Safe Trip Abroad, which is available from the
Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office,
Washington, D.C. 20402 or via the Internet at http://www.access.gop.gov/su_docs.
MEDICAL FACILITIES: Health facilities in the Republic
of Kiribati are not comparable to U.S. health standards.
MEDICAL INSURANCE: U.S. medical insurance is not always
valid outside the United States. U.S. Medicare and Medicaid programs
do not provide payment for medical services outside the United
States. Doctors and hospitals often expect immediate cash payment
for health services. Uninsured travelers who require medical care
overseas may face extreme difficulties.
Please check with your own insurance company to confirm whether
your policy applies overseas, including provision for medical
evacuation, and for adequacy of coverage. Serious medical problems
requiring hospitalization and/or medical evacuation to the United
States can cost tens of thousands of dollars. Please ascertain
whether payment will be made to the overseas hospital or doctor
or whether you will be reimbursed later for expenses that you
incur. Some insurance policies also include coverage for psychiatric
treatment and for disposition of remains in the event of death.
Useful information on medical emergencies abroad, including
overseas insurance programs, is provided in the Department of
State's Bureau of Consular Affairs brochure, Medical
Information for Americans Traveling Abroad, available via
the Bureau of Consular Affairs home page or autofax: (202) 647-3000.
OTHER HEALTH INFORMATION: All water should be regarded
as a potential health risk. Visitors should therefore refrain
from drinking any water that is not bottled, boiled or otherwise
sterilized. Vegetables should be cooked and fruit should be peeled
Information on vaccinations and other health precautions 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);
fax 1-888-CDC-FAXX (1-888-232-3299), or via the CDC's Internet
site at http://www.cdc.gov.
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 the Kiribati is provided for general reference
only, and may not be totally accurate in a particular location
Safety of Public Transportation: Poor
Urban Road Conditions/Maintenance: Poor
Rural Road Conditions/Maintenance: Poor
Availability of Roadside Assistance: Poor
Traffic moves on the left side of the road. Roads in urban Tarawa
and Christmas Island, while satisfactory in some areas, are generally
in need of repair. After heavy rains, some road sections experience
temporary flooding. Vehicle traffic proceeds at a relatively slow
rate. Drinking and driving is a common practice, especially on
the weekends. Since visibility is poor with no streetlights, drivers
should be careful when driving at night.
For specific information concerning Kiribati driver's permits,
vehicle inspection, road tax and mandatory insurance, please contact
the Honorary Consulate of the Republic of Kiribati, 850 Richards
Street, Suite 503, Honolulu, HI 96813, tel. (808) 529-7703, fax
AVIATION SAFETY OVERSIGHT: As there is no direct commercial
air service by local carriers at present, nor economic authority
to operate such service between the U.S. and Kiribati, the U.S.
Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has not assessed Kiribati's
Civil Aviation Authority for compliance with international aviation
For further information, travelers may contact the Department
of Transportation within the U.S. at tel. 1-800-322-7873, or visit
Internet web site at http://www.faa.gov/avr/iasa/. The U.S.
Department of Defense (DOD) separately assesses some foreign air
carriers for suitability as official providers of air services.
For information regarding the DOD policy on specific carriers,
travelers may contact the DOD at tel. (618) 229-4801.
CUSTOMS REGULATIONS: The Republic of Kiribati's customs
authorities strictly prohibit the importation of firearms, ammunition,
explosives and indecent publications. Strict quarantine laws govern
the import of any part of plants, fruits, vegetables, soil, as
well as animals and animal products. Visitors are not allowed
to export human remains, artifacts that are 30 or more years old,
traditional fighting swords, traditional tools, dancing ornaments
or suits of armor. For more information, please contact the British
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 the U.S. law. Penalties for breaking the law can be more
severe than in the United States for similar offenses. Persons
violating Kiribati's laws, even unknowingly, may be expelled,
arrested, or imprisoned. Penalties for possession, use, or trafficking
in illegal drugs in Kiribati are strict, and convicted offenders
can expect jail sentences and heavy fines.
SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES: In Kiribati, the Australian dollar
is the legal currency. Travelers' checks and all major currencies
are accepted by banks and may also be exchanged for local currency
at some local hotels. Visa and MasterCard are accepted at most
CHILDREN'S ISSUES: For information
on international adoption of children and international parental
child abduction, please refer to our Internet site at http://travel.state.gov/children's_issues.html
or telephone (202) 736-7000.
REGISTRATION/EMBASSY LOCATION: Americans living in or
visiting Kiribati are encouraged to register at the Consular Section
of the U.S. Embassy in Majuro, whose consular district includes
the Republic of Kiribati. U.S. citizens may also obtain updated
information on travel and security within Kiribati from the Embassy.
Officers of the U.S. Embassy in Majuro, Republic of the Marshall
Islands, are concurrently accredited to Kiribati and make periodic
visits. The U.S. Embassy does not have a street address in Majuro.
The Embassy is located on the ocean-side of the island's road,
near the Church of the Latter-Day Saints and Gibson's Express,
"Long Island." The U.S. Embassy's mailing address is P.O. Box
1379, Majuro, MH 96960-1379. The telephone number is (692) 247-4011.
The fax number is (692) 247-4012.