Road Conditions and Safety: Traffic moves on the left in Tuvalu. The main roads on Funafuti are paved, but other roads on other islands are generally unpaved. Animals and unwary pedestrians walking in the road make night driving on unlit secondary roads hazardous. For specific information concerning Tuvalu driving permits, vehicle inspection, road tax, and mandatory insurance, contact the Tuvalu Permanent Mission to the United Nations.
Traffic Laws: Driving while intoxicated is illegal and punishable by fine or imprisonment. Exercise caution, as traffic tends to move slowly.
Public Transportation: The main forms of public transportation are taxis or motorcycles.
See our Road Safety page for more information.
Aviation Safety Oversight: As there is no direct commercial air service to the United States by carriers registered in Tuvalu, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has not assessed the government of Tuvalu?s Civil Aviation Authority for compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards. Further information may be found on the FAA?s safety assessment page.
Maritime Travel: Mariners planning travel to Tuvalu should also check for U.S. maritime advisories and alerts. Information may also be posted to the U.S. Coast Guard homeport website, and the NGA broadcast warnings.
- Medical and dental care is very limited in Tuvalu.
- Serious medical problems are referred to health professionals and hospitals in 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 payment ?up front? prior to service or admission.
For emergency services in Tuvalu, dial 911.
Ambulance services are:
- not widely available and training and availability of emergency responders may be below U.S. standards.
- not equipped with state-of-the-art medical equipment.
- Injured or seriously ill travelers may prefer to take a taxi or private vehicle to the nearest major hospital rather than wait for an ambulance.
We do not pay medical bills. Be aware that U.S. Medicare/Medicaid does not apply overseas. Most hospitals and doctors overseas do not accept U.S. health insurance.
Medical Insurance: Make sure your health insurance plan provides coverage overseas. Most care providers overseas only accept cash payments. See our webpage for more information on insurance providers for overseas coverage. Visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for more information on type of insurance you should consider before you travel overseas.
We strongly recommend supplemental insurance to cover medical evacuation.
Always carry your prescription medication in original packaging, along with your doctor?s prescription.
Vaccinations: Be up-to-date on all vaccinations recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Further health information:
Air Quality: Visit AirNow Department of State for information on air quality at U.S. Embassies and Consulates.
The U.S. Embassy maintains a list of doctors and hospitals [LINK]. We do not endorse or recommend any specific medical provider or clinic.
Health facilities in general:
- Public medical clinics lack basic resources and supplies.
- We strongly recommend supplemental insurance to cover medical evacuation in the event of unforeseen medical complications.
- In many areas, tap water is not potable. Bottled water and beverages are generally safe, although you should be aware that many restaurants and hotels serve tap water unless bottled water is specifically requested. Be aware that ice for drinks may be made using tap water.
General Health Language:
The following diseases and health concerns are prevalent:
Visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website for more information about Resources for Travelers regarding specific issues in Tuvalu.
Local laws and Special Circumstances
Criminal Penalties: You are subject to local laws. If you violate local laws, even unknowingly, you may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned. Individuals establishing a business or practicing a profession that requires additional permits or licensing should seek information from the competent local authorities, prior to practicing or operating a business.
Arrest Notification: If you are arrested or detained, ask police or prison officials to notify the U.S. Embassy immediately. See our webpage for further information.
Currency: The Australian dollar is the legal currency in Tuvalu. The Tuvalu National Bank accepts traveler?s checks and most major currencies, including U.S. dollars.
You should be prepared to pay cash for hotel bills and all other services, since credit card services are not available. There are no ATMs on Tuvalu, so it may not be possible to withdraw cash from overseas bank accounts.
Cyclone Season: The official cyclone season is November through April. The Fiji Meteorological Service maintains a Tropical Cyclone Warning Center (TCWC) in Nadi serving the Southwest Pacific Region. General information about natural disaster preparedness is available at the State Department?s website, as well as from the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency?s (FEMA) website.
Faith-Based Travelers: See the following webpages for details:
- Faith-Based Travel Information
- International Religious Freedom Report ? see country reports
- Human Rights Report ? see country reports
- Hajj Fact Sheet for Travelers
- Best Practices for Volunteering Abroad
LGBTI Travelers: Sexual conduct between males is illegal, with maximum penalties of seven to 14 years? imprisonment. See our LGBTI Travel Information page and section 6 of our Human Rights report for further details.
Travelers Who Require Accessibility Assistance.
Tuvalu prohibits discrimination on the basis of physical, sensory, intellectual, or mental disability. Supplementary state services to address the special needs of persons with disabilities are very limited.
There are no mandated building accessibility provisions for persons with disabilities. The only multi-story government building has elevators, but they are not always operational. There are no elevators in private multi-story buildings.
Women Travelers: See our travel tips for Women Travelers.
Safety and Security
Crime: Tuvalu has a low crime rate. However, visitors should review their own personal security practices, be alert to any unusual activity around their homes or businesses and report any suspicious incidents to local police authorities.
Victims of Crime:
Report crimes to the local police at 911 and contact the U.S. Embassy at +679 331 4466, or after hours at +679 772 8049. Remember that local authorities are responsible for investigating and prosecuting crime.
See our webpage on help for U.S. victims of crime overseas.
- Help you find appropriate medical care
- Assist you in reporting a crime to the police
- Contact relatives or friends with your written consent
- Provide general information regarding the victim?s role during the local investigation and following its conclusion
- Provide a list of local attorneys
- Provide our information on victim?s compensation programs in the U.S.
- Provide an emergency loan for repatriation to the United States and/or limited medical support in cases of destitution
- Help you find accommodation and arrange flights home
- Replace a stolen or lost passport
Tourism: The tourism industry is unevenly regulated, and safety inspections for equipment and facilities do not commonly occur. Hazardous areas/activities are not always identified with appropriate signage, and staff may not be trained or certified either by the host government or by recognized authorities in the field. In the event of an injury, appropriate medical treatment is typically available only in/near major cities. First responders are generally unable to access areas outside of major cities and to provide urgent medical treatment. U.S. citizens are encouraged to purchase medical evacuation insurance. See our webpage for more information on insurance providers for overseas coverage.
Domestic Violence: U.S. citizen victims of domestic violence are encouraged to contact the Embassy for assistance.
For further information:
- Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
- Call us in Washington at 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or 1-202-501-4444 from other countries from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).
- See the State Department’s travel website for the Worldwide Caution, Travel Advisories, and Alerts.
- Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.
- See traveling safely abroad for useful travel tips.
Entry exit Requirementsh
To enter Tuvalu, you will need:
- A passport with six month validity;
- Onward/return ticket;
- Proof of sufficient funds for your stay;
- Visitor permits valid for up to one month are issued for a fee of AUD $100.
For further information about entry requirements, you may contact:
Tuvalu Permanent Mission to the United Nations
800 2nd Avenue, Suite 400 D
New York, New York 10017
Phone: (212) 490-0534
For individuals planning to enter by sea: Tuvalu?s customs authorities may enforce strict regulations concerning importation or exportation items such as agricultural products. Visit the Tuvalu Permanent Mission to the United Nations website for the most current visa information and customs restrictions.
The U.S. Department of State is unaware of any HIV/AIDS entry restrictions for visitors to or foreign residents of Tuvalu.
See the Department of State?s Fact Sheet Tuvalu for information on U.S. ? Tuvalu relations.