Tuvalu - Consular Information Sheet
April 10, 2000
COUNTRY DESCRIPTION: Tuvalu is a self-governing member
of the British Commonwealth. Its economy is based on agriculture,
a coconut product called copra, tourism and fishing. Postage stamps,
prized by collectors, are a major export.
ENTRY REQUIREMENTS: A passport, onward/return ticket,
and proof of sufficient funds for the trip are required. Visitor
permits are issued upon arrival. For further information about
entry requirements, travelers may wish to contact the British
Embassy in Washington, D.C. at 202-588-7800. This is particularly
true for those persons planning to enter by sea.
CRIME INFORMATION: Tuvalu has a low crime rate. 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
from the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing
Office, Washington, D.C. 20402, via the Internet at http://www.access.gpo.gov/su_docs
or via the Consular Affairs home page at http://travel.state.gov.
MEDICAL FACILITIES: Limited medical and dental clinics
are available in the capital, Funafuti. Serious medical problems
are referred to 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.
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 provision
for medical evacuation. Ascertain whether payment will be made
to the overseas hospital or 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 Consular Affairs homepage
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 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 Tuvalu is provided for general reference only,
and may not be totally accurate in a particular location or circumstance.
Safety of Public Transportation: Fair
Urban Road Conditions/Maintenance: Fair
Rural Road Conditions/Maintenance: Fair
Availability of Roadside Assistance: Not Available
Traffic moves on the left in Tuvalu. The few roads on these tiny
islands are generally unpaved. Animals and unwary pedestrians
walking in the road make night driving on unlit secondary roads
AVIATION SAFETY OVERSIGHT: As there is no direct commercial
air service by local carriers at present, or economic authority
to operate such service, between the U.S. and Tuvalu, the U.S.
Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has not assessed Tuvalu’s
Civil Aviation Authority for compliance with international aviation
safety standards. 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.
CUSTOMS REGULATIONS: Tuvalu’s customs authorities may
enforce strict regulations concerning temporary importation into
or export from Tuvalu of items such as agricultural products.
It is advisable to contact the British Embassy in Washington,
D.C., for specific information regarding customs requirements.
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 in the United States for similar offenses. Persons violating
Tuvalu 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
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 diplomatic post in Tuvalu. Assistance for U.S. citizens in
Tuvalu is provided by the U.S. Embassy in Fiji, which is located
at 31 Loftus Street in Fiji’s capital city of Suva. The telephone
number is (679) 314-466; the fax number is (679)300-081. Americans
may register with the U.S. Embassy in Suva, Fiji and obtain up-to-date
information on travel and security in Tuvalu from the Embassy.
Information may also be obtained by visiting the Embassy’s home
page at http://www.amembassy-fiji.gov.