New Caledonia - Consular Information Sheet
April 10, 2000
DESCRIPTION: New Caledonia is a French overseas territory,
consisting of the large island of New Caledonia and several smaller
island groups, located in the South Pacific near Australia. New
Caledonia's moderately-developed economy is based on mining. Tourist
facilities are concentrated on the island of New Caledonia, but
are also available in some of the smaller island groups. The French
Government Tourism Office, which has a wide range of information
available to travelers, can be contacted by telephone at (212)
838-7800. Travelers may also visit the web site of the New Caledonia
Tourism Office at http://www.newcaledonia.org.
ENTRY REQUIREMENTS: A passport is required. Visas are
not required for stays of up to one month. For more information
about entry requirements, travelers may contact the Embassy of
France at 4101 Reservoir Road, NW, Washington, D.C. 20007, telephone
(202) 944-6000. This is particularly true for those persons planning
to enter by sea.
CRIME INFORMATION: The crime rate in New Caledonia is
low; however, petty crime such as pickpocketing and purse-snatching
does occur. The loss or theft abroad of a U.S. passport should
be reported immediately to the local police, and the nearest U.S.
Embassy or Consulate. U.S. citizens may refer to the Department
of State’s pamphlet A Safe Trip
Abroad for ways to promote a more trouble-free journey. The
pamphlet is available by mail from the Superintendent of Documents,
U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington D.C., 20402 or via
the Internet at http://www.access.gpo.gov/su_docs,
or via the Bureau of Consular Affairs home page at http://travel.state.gov.
MEDICAL FACILITIES: Medical treatment on the main island
is generally good, but is more limited on the remote outer islands.
The Centre Hospitalier Territorial in Nouméa provides emergency
and outpatient services, as does the smaller Centre Hospitalier
Territorial in Koumac on the other side of the main island. Medical
services in the remainder of the country are limited. Patients
with more serious illnesses are often referred to Nouméa
or to Australia for treatment. In a case involving medical treatment,
the Australian visa authorities will require a referral from a
local doctor, proof of acceptance by an Australian doctor, and
proof of the patient's ability to pay for the medical treatment.
Serious medical problems requiring hospitalization and/or medical
evacuation to the United States can cost thousands of dollars.
Doctors and hospitals often expect immediate cash payment for
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. Uninsured travelers who require medical care overseas
may face extreme difficulties. Check with your own insurance company
to confirm whether your policy applies overseas, including provisions
for medical evacuation. Ascertain whether payment will be made
to the overseas hospital of doctor or whether you will be reimbursed
later for expenses 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
OTHER HEALTH INFORMATION: 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 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 New Caledonia is provided for general reference
only, and may not be totally accurate in a particular location
Safety of Public Transportation: Good
Urban Road Conditions/Maintenance: Good
Rural Road Conditions/Maintenance: Good
Availability of Roadside Assistance: Urban Areas Only
Roads are generally well maintained except in remote areas. Animals
and unwary pedestrians walking in the road make night driving
on unlit secondary roads hazardous. To obtain information on the
rental and operation of motor vehicles in New Caledonia, contact
the New Caledonia Tourism Office at http://www.newcaledonia.org/
and go to the e-mail address provided for specific inquiries.
AVIATION SAFETY OVERSIGHT: Civil aviation operations in
New Caledonia fall under the jurisdiction of French authorities.
The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has assessed the
government of France’s civil aviation authority as Category 1
- in compliance with international aviation safety standards for
oversight of France’s air carrier operations. For further information,
travelers may contact the Department of Transportation within
the U.S. at 1-800-322-7873, or visit the FAA Internet home page
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 DOD at (618) 229-4801.
CUSTOMS REGULATIONS: Customs authorities may enforce strict
regulations concerning temporary importation into or export from
New Caledonia of items such as agricultural products. It is advisable
to contact the Embassy of France in Washington or one of France’s
consulates in the United States for specific information regarding
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 for similar offenses in the United States. Persons violating
New Caledonia’s laws, even unknowingly, may be expelled, arrested
or imprisoned. Criminal penalties for possession, use, or trafficking
of illegal drugs are strict, and convicted offenders can expect
jail sentences and fines.
CONSULAR ACCESS: 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. If detained, U.S. citizens are encouraged
to request that a consular officer at the U.S. Embassy in Suva,
Fiji be notified.
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: There is no U.S. Embassy
or Consulate in New Caledonia. U.S. citizens living in or visiting
New Caledonia are encouraged to register in person or via telephone
with the U.S. Embassy in Suva, Fiji, whose consular district includes
the French overseas territory of New Caledonia. Given the distance
between Fiji and New Caledonia, the U.S. Embassy's ability to
provide on-the-spot services is limited. The U.S. Embassy in Suva,
Fiji is located at 31 Loftus Street, Suva, Fiji; telephone (679)
314-466; fax (679) 300-081. Updated information on travel and
security in New Caledonia is available from the U.S. Embassy in
Suva or via the U.S. Embassy home page at http://www.amembassy-fiji.gov.