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Palau Traveler Information - Travel Advice

Travel Advice with a Travel Advisory overview from the US State Department. Here we cover Visa, Safety & Security, local Laws and Insurance in our Palau Traveler Information guide.

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Note: Always check that your destination country is one approved for travel by your travel insurance provider.

Palau Map

Quick Facts

PASSPORT VALIDITY: Six months.

BLANK PASSPORT PAGES: At least one page per stamp.

TOURIST VISA REQUIRED: None for U.S. citizen tourists visiting for one year or less.

VACCINATIONS: Cholera and yellow fever vaccines required for visitors from affected area.

CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR ENTRY: Amounts over 10,000.00 USD must be declared.

CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR EXIT: Amounts over 10,000.00 USD must be declared.

Embassies and Consulates

U.S. Embassy in Koror, Palau
In Airai State, in an area known as Omsangel (no street address)
P.O. Box 6028, Koror, Palau 96940
Telephone: +680-587-2920/2990
Emergency after-hours telephone: +680-775-6150
Fax: +680-587-2911
Email: usembassykoror@palaunet.com

The U.S. Embassy in Koror accepts passport applications, but does not issue passports or make decisions about citizenship claims; the Honolulu Passport Agency performs these functions. The Embassy does not issue immigrant visas, that function is performed by the U.S. Embassy Manila, Philippines

Destination Description

See the Department of State’s Fact Sheet on Palau for information on U.S. - Palau relations.

Entry, Exit and Visa Requirements

If you are a U.S. citizen visiting Palau for one year or less, you do not need a visa. To visit Palau, you must have a passport valid for at least six months at the time of entry. This requirement does not apply to United States military personnel traveling or visiting Palau on official business.

  • As of Jan. 1, 2018, every visitor coming to Palau will be assessed a $100 environmental fee. Every international airline is required to include the fee in the price of the ticket into Palau sold on or after January 1, 2018.

Diplomats and transit passengers are exempt from the $100 Palau Paradise Environmental Fee (PPEF), and are eligible for a cash refund upon arrival or departure by simply presenting a travel itinerary indicating that the $100 fee was paid and a passport. Visit Pristine Paradise Palaufor more information.

  • Cholera and yellow fever immunizations are required for those arriving from affected areas.

U.S. Military Personnel

  • U.S. military personnel must present official orders or documents certifying their status. 
  • U.S. military dependents ten years or older must have a U.S. Government-issued photo-ID card showing the name, date of birth, and their status. 
  • Dependents under ten years will be granted entry if they are listed in the official orders. 
  • Diplomats, USG Employees, and transit passengers are exempt from the $100 Palau Paradise Environmental Fee (PPEF) and could be given a cash refund upon arrival or departure.
  • Cholera and yellow fever immunizations are required for those arriving from affected areas.
  • Visit the Embassy of Palau website for the most current visa information. 

Visit the Embassy of Palau website for the most current visa information.

HIV/AIDS Restrictions: Some HIV/AIDS entry restrictions exist for visitors to and foreign residents of Palau. Please verify this information with the Embassy of Palau before you travel.

Find information on dual nationality, prevention of international child abduction and customs regulations on our websites.

Safety and Security

Crime: Although the crime rate in Palau is relatively low, you might be the target of petty and sometimes violent crime as well as other random acts against individuals and property. Please stay alert for your personal safety and protect your valuables.

Unexploded ordnance:  Unexploded ordnance from World War II (UXO) remains a problem in Palau. Although the majority of the land-based UXO is found on the island of Peleliu, UXO can be found almost on any island in Palau. Underwater UXO may also present a threat. Tourists are advised to heed all warnings on areas that might be affected.  Travelers are advised to use extreme caution when hiking or scuba diving.

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.  Travelers are advised to use these sites for reference.

International Financial Scams: See the Department of State and the FBI pages for information.

Victims of Crime:

Report crimes to the local police at 911 and contact the U.S. Embassy at +680-775-6150. Remember that local authorities are responsible for investigating and prosecuting crime.

See our webpage on help for U.S. victims of crime overseas.

We can:

  • 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 generally regulated and rules with regard to best practices and safety inspections are regularly enforced. Hazardous areas/activities are identified with appropriate signage and professional staff is typically on hand in support of organized activities. In the event of an injury, appropriate medical treatment is widely available throughout the country. Outside of the central tourism areas, it may take more time for first responders and medical professionals to stabilize a patient and provide life-saving assistance. 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:

Local Laws & 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.

Firearms: Firearms of any kind are strictly prohibited in Palau. The penalty for possession of a firearm or ammunition is up to 15 years imprisonment. Palau customs authorities may enforce strict regulations concerning temporary importation into or export from Palau of certain other items. You should contact the Embassy of Palau in Washington, D.C., for specific information regarding customs requirements.

Furthermore, some laws are also prosecutable in the United States, regardless of local law.  For examples, see our website on crimes against minors abroad and the Department of Justice website.

Curfew: Koror State, where most tourist facilities are located, may enforce a curfew between 2:30 a.m. and 5:00 a.m., Monday through Thursday, and between 4:00 a.m. and 6:00 a.m., Friday to Sunday, and on national holidays.

Arrest Notification:  If you are arrested or detained, ask police or prison officials to notify the U.S. Embassy immediately.  See our webpagefor further information.

Faith-Based Travelers:  See the following webpages for details:

LGBTI Travelers: There are no legal restrictions on same-sex sexual relations or the organization of LGBTI events in Palau. Palau’s constitution defines marriage as between a man and a woman. 

See our LGBTI Travel Information page and section 6 of our Human Rights report for further details.

Travelers Who Require Accessibility Assistance. Palau’s overall accessibility for the disabled is very limited. While many buildings have ramps to facilitate persons with disabilities, others do not. There is no public transportation equipped to transport persons on wheelchairs and sidewalks around Palau are limited. 

There is no legislation in place that mandates access to transportation, communication, and public buildings for persons with disabilities. The only existing legislation is access to government buildings, which requires that there be at least one designated parking space close to the main entrance of each national government building open to the public. These parking spaces shall be clearly designated through use of words or symbols, as being available for use only by persons with disabilities.

Students: See our Students Abroad page and FBI travel tips.

Women Travelers: See our travel tips for Women Travelers.

Health

For emergency services in Palau, dial 911.

Ambulance services are

  • not widely available and training and availability of emergency responders may not exist or be below U.S. standards.
  • not present throughout the country or are unreliable in most areas except Koror.
  • not equipped with state-of-the-art medical equipment.
  • not staffed with trained paramedics and often have little or no medical equipment.

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 Medical Assistance. We do not endorse or recommend any specific medical provider or clinic.

Health facilities in general

  • Health facilities in Palau are adequate for routine medical care, but the availability and quality of services are limited.
  • Serious medical conditions requiring hospitalizations or evacuation to the United States or elsewhere may cost tens of thousands of dollars.
  • The Belau National Hospital accepts payments in cash or debit/credit card.
  • Private clinics also accept cash and debit/credit cards payments. There are only three private clinics in Palau.
  • Psychological and psychiatric services are limited, with hospital-based care only available through government institutions

Water Quality

  • 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.

Adventure Travel

  • The only hyperbaric chamber is located at the Belau National Hospital in Meyuns, Koror. Many popular dive sites are far away from Koror.
  • Visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website for more information about Adventure Travel.

General Health

The following diseases are prevalent:

Use the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended mosquito repellents and sleep under insecticide-impregnated mosquito nets.

  • Visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website for more information about Resources for Travelers regarding specific issues in Palau.

Travel and Transportation

Road Conditions and Safety: While in Palau, you may encounter road conditions that differ significantly from those in the United States. 

Traffic Laws: Palau accepts a driver's license issued by a U.S. state or military authority for up to 30 days. After 30 days staying in Palau, any foreign driver must obtain a Palauan driver license. Please contact the Bureau of Public Safety at (680) 488-2524for more information and requirements.

  • Passing slow-moving vehicles is illegal. The national speed limit is 25 miles per hour, but drivers routinely ignore this limit in remote areas on good-quality roads and traffic often moves slower in congested areas.
  • It is unlawful for any person who is under the influence of intoxicating liquor or narcotic drugs to drive any vehicle upon any highway within the Republic of Palau.
  • Currently there is no law in place restricting mobile phone use while driving although it is not advisable. A law on the use of seat belt was introduce in Palau National Congress and is still pending further actions.
  • Despite driving on the right, most cars are left-hand drive as they are imported from Japan, which can be slightly confusing for visitors renting a car.

Public Transportation: Unmetered taxis are the only mode of public transportation. There are many taxis in Koror offering comfortable travel, they are not metered and fares are fixed (drivers carry a rate sheet which you can ask to see). It’s common to hire the services of a specific taxi driver for the duration of your stay and simply call them each time you need a lift. Restaurants, hotels and activity centers will happily call a taxi for you.  However, there are no private taxi companies, or services like Uber or Lyft available.

See our Road Safety page for more information.  Visit the website of the Palau Visitors Authority website and national authority responsible for road safety.

Aviation Safety Oversight: As there is no direct commercial air service to the United States other than to Guam by carriers registered in Palau, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has not assessed the government of Palau’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 the Republic of Palau 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.

Fact Sheet

Please see Fact Sheet for this country/area. 

For additional travel information

International Parental Child Abduction

For additional IPCA-related information, please see the International Child Abduction Prevention and Return Act (ICAPRA) report.

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