Palau - Consular Information Sheet
September 14, 1999
COUNTRY DESCRIPTION: The Republic of Palau became a constitutional
democracy in free association with the United States on October
1, 1994. Palau is an archipelago consisting of several hundred
volcanic islands and a few coral atolls, few of which are inhabited,
and is politically divided into 16 states. Palau has a developing
agrarian economy. The capital is Koror. Tourism, especially marine-based
tourism, is an important and growing sector of the economy. While
currently limited, tourist facilities are expanding.
ENTRY REQUIREMENTS: A valid passport or proof of U.S.
citizenship and onward/return ticket for a stay up to 30 days
are required. A visa is required for stays longer than 30 days.
The necessary forms for obtaining an entry permit can be obtained
from airline or shipping agency servicing Palau. For more information
about entry requirements of Palau, travelers may consult with
the Representative Office, 1150 18th St., N.W., Suite 750, Washington,
DC 20036, (202) 452-6814.
MEDICAL FACILITIES: Health facilities in the Republic
of Palau are adequate for routine medical care, but limited in
availability and quality. Doctors and hospitals often expect immediate
cash payment for health services. U.S. medical insurance is not
always valid outside the United States. Supplemental medical insurance
which specifically covers overseas treatment and medical evacuation
has proven useful. The U.S. Medicare/Medicaid program does not
provide payment of medical services outside the United States.
Helpful information on medical emergencies abroad is provided
in the Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs brochure
Medical Information for Americans
Traveling Abroad, available from the Consular Affairs homepage
or via autofax service at 202-647-3000. Additional information
on health matters may be obtained from the Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention (CDC) through its international travelers
hotline at 1-877-FYI-TRIP (1-877-232-3228), via the CDC autofax
service at 1-888-CDC-FAXX (1-888-232-3299), or via the CDC Internet
home page at http://www.cdc.gov.
INFORMATION ON CRIME: The crime rate within the local
community in the Republic of Palau is moderate, with tourists
usually not affected. Foreign residents can be the target of petty
and sometimes violent crimes, as well as other random acts against
person and property. Credible complaints by foreign residents
persist that crimes against non-Palauans are not pursued or prosecuted
by authorities with the same vigor as crimes against Palauan nationals.
The loss or theft abroad of a U.S. passport should be reported
immediately to local police and to the U.S. Embassy in Palau.
Useful information on guarding valuables and protecting personal
security while traveling abroad is provided in the Department
of State 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.gpo.gov/su_docs.
CRIMINAL PENALTIES: While in a foreign county, a U.S.
citizen is subject to that country's laws and regulations, which
sometimes differ significantly from those in the United States
and do not afford the protections available to the individual
under U.S. law. Penalties for breaking the law can be more severe
than in the United States for similar offenses. Persons violating
the 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
CUSTOMS INFORMATION: Firearms of any kind are strictly
prohibited in Palau. The penalty for possession of a firearm or
ammunition is up to fifteen years imprisonment.
ROAD SAFETY: Palau accepts a driver's license issued
by a U.S. state or military authority. Side roads in Koror and
on the island of Babelthuap are in poor condition. The maximum
speed limit is 25 miles per hour, but slower in congested areas.
Passing of slow-moving vehicles is prohibited
AVIATION ISSUES: Palau International Airport is located
on Babelthuap Island, near Koror Island. Direct commercial air
service exists between the U.S. (Guam) and the Republic of Palau.
The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has not assessed
Palaus Civil Aviation Authority for compliance with international
aviation safety standards for oversight of Palaus 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 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 DOD at 618-229-4801.
CHILDRENS ISSUES: For information on international adoption
of children, international parental child abduction, and international
child support enforcement issues, please refer to our Internet
site at http://travel.state.gov/children's_issues.html
or telephone (202) 736-7000.
EMBASSY LOCATION/REGISTRATION: U.S. citizens living in
or visiting Palau are encouraged to register at the U.S. Embassy.
They may also obtain updated information on travel and security
within the country at the Embassy. The U.S. Embassy is located
in Koror, Palau. There is no street address. The Embassy is located
in an area known as Topside, about one and one quarter miles north
of the post office and downtown area of Koror on the main road
towards the airport. The mailing address of the U.S. Embassy is:
P.O. Box 6028, Koror, Palau 96940. The telephone number is (680)
488-2920. The fax number is (680) 488-2911. The Embassy does not
issue passports; that function is performed by the Honolulu Passport