New Guinea (PNG) is a dynamic and democratic country in the
Southwest Pacific, north of Australia. The capital is Port
Moresby. PNG boasts more than 800 distinct languages and tribes
and is home to a number of unique tropical species. Tourist
facilities outside major towns are limited, and crime is a
concern throughout the country (please see the section on
crime below). Read the Department of State Fact
Sheet on Papua New Guinea for additional information.
Exit and Visa Requirements
the Papua New Guinea Immigration website, to enter the country
you must have a passport that is valid for at least six months
from the date of intended travel, an onward/return airline
ticket, and proof of sufficient funds. You may obtain a tourist
visa (valid for stays of up to 60 days, with extensions available
for an additional 30 days) and single-entry business visas
(valid for stays of up to 30 days) when you arrive at Jacksons
International Airport in Port Moresby. You must apply for
a visa in advance if you are traveling for other than business
or tourism. The Embassy of Papua New Guinea is located at
1779 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Suite 805, Washington, DC 20036;
telephone: 202-745-3680. Visit the Embassy
of Papua New Guinea website and the Papua
New Guinea Immigration website for the most current visa
you transit other countries en route to PNG, please follow
all necessary exit/entry procedures for the countries that
you transit. You may need to obtain visas or travel authorizations
for some of those countries, such as Australia.
about dual nationality or the prevention
of international child abduction can be found on our website.
For further information about customs regulations, please
read our Customs Information page.
Restrictions: The Government of Papua New Guinea imposes HIV/AIDS
entry restrictions for visitors and foreign residents. If
you request residency or intend to remain long term in Papua
New Guinea, you are required to have an AIDS test performed
at a U.S. medical facility. Please verify current procedures
with the Embassy
of Papua New Guinea in Washington, DC before you travel.
between communal or clan groups may result in local conflicts
involving bush knives, machetes, or firearms. Consult with
your tour operator or with Papua New Guinean authorities for
current information on areas where you intend to travel.
a high degree of caution in Bougainville. Law enforcement
in this area is ineffective, and tourist and transportation
facilities are limited. Areas near the Panguna mine, located
on the southern part of the Island of Bougainville, have been
officially designated no go zones by the Autonomous
Government of Bougainville; we strongly recommend that you
avoid those areas.
ordinance and mines may be found in Bougainville, East New
Britain, and throughout the Papua New Guinea islands. Exercise
caution when walking or hiking off marked roads and trails.
Enroll in the Smart
Traveler Enrollment Program so we can keep you up to date
with important safety and security announcements.
- Follow the Bureau of Consular Affairs on Twitter
- Bookmark the Bureau
of Consular Affairs website, which contains the current
Warnings and Travel Alerts as well as the Worldwide Caution.
- Follow the U.S. Embassy in Papua New Guinea on Twitter
and visiting the Embassys
- In the event of an emergency, contact us at 1-888-407-4747
toll-free within the United States and Canada, or via a regular
toll line, 1-202-501-4444, from other countries.
- Take some time before traveling to consider your personal
security and checking for useful tips for traveling
CRIME: Papua New Guinea has a high crime rate. U.S. citizens
have been victims of violent crime, including rape, carjacking,
home invasions, kidnappings, and armed robberies. Crime rates
are highest in and around major cities such as Port Moresby,
Lae, Madang, Mount Hagen, and Goroka, but crimes can occur
anywhere. You are at a greater risk of violent crimes such
as robbery or sexual assault if you travel alone, especially
if you plan to hike in isolated rural areas. Pickpockets and
opportunistic bag-snatchers frequent crowded public areas,
including parks, golf courses, beaches, and cemeteries. Bag-snatchers
may try to open doors of automobiles that are stopped or moving
slowly in traffic. Please see our page
on Personal Safety.
tours booked through travel agencies remain the safest means
to visit Papua New Guinea, although on rare occasions, even
persons participating in organized tours have been subject
to violent robbery, assault, serious injury, or death. In
Papua New Guinea, avoid using local taxis or buses, known
as Public Motor Vehicles (PMVs). Rely on your sponsor or hotel
to arrange for hotel transportation or a rental car. Road
travel outside of major towns can be hazardous due to criminal
roadblocks near bridges, curves in the road, or other areas
where vehicle speed and mobility is restricted. Lock your
doors and keep your windows rolled up. Avoid driving after
dark, if possible. Please consult with local law enforcement
officials concerning security conditions before driving between
towns. (See the Traffic Safety and Road Conditions section
below.) Travel to isolated places in Papua New Guinea is possible
primarily by small passenger aircraft to the many small airstrips
throughout the country. Security measures at these airports
throughout Papua New Guinea are often inadequate. When possible,
only fly during daylight hours.
Trails: Exercise caution if you plan to hike the Kokoda Track,
the Black Cat Track, or other trails in Papua New Guinea.
Travel with guides from a reputable tour company. Local landowners
occasionally threaten to close parts of the tracks due to
local land and compensation disputes. Check with your travel
agent and/or tour operator for contingency plans in the event
that a track is blocked. Hikers have been attacked even though
they are part of an organized tour, some sustaining serious
injuries or death. You are strongly advised to purchase appropriate
travelers/medical insurance, including medical evacuation
coverage, before arriving in Papua New Guinea. The Kokoda
Track Authority (KTA) has stationed rangers along the track
and at airports to collect fees from trekkers who have not
obtained a valid trekking permit. The KTA can be contacted
by telephone at 675-325-5540 or 675-325-1887 regarding payment
of applicable fees.
OF CRIME: If you or someone you know becomes the victim of
a crime abroad, contact the local police and the nearest U.S.
embassy or consulate. We can:
a stolen passport.
Help you find appropriate medical care if you are the victim
of violent crimes such as assault or rape.
Put you in contact with the appropriate police authorities,
and if you want us to, contact family members or friends.
Help you understand the local criminal justice process and
direct you to local attorneys, although it is important to
remember that local authorities are responsible for investigating
and prosecuting the crime.
The local equivalent to the 911 emergency line
in Papua New Guinea is 111.
see our information
for victims of crime, including possible victim compensation
programs in the United States.
Laws and Special Circumstances
PENALTIES: While you are traveling in Papua New Guinea, you
are subject to its laws. Foreign laws and legal systems can
be vastly different from our own. Persons violating Papua
New Guinea laws, even unknowingly, may be expelled, arrested,
or imprisoned. Penalties for possessing, using, or trafficking
in illegal drugs in Papua New Guinea are severe. Driving under
the influence could land you immediately in jail. If you break
local laws in Papua New Guinea, your U.S. passport wont
help you avoid arrest or prosecution.
are also some things that might be legal in the country you
visit, but still be illegal in the United States. You can
be prosecuted in the United States for engaging in sexual
conduct with children or for using or disseminating child
pornography in a foreign country regardless of the legality
of these activities under that countrys laws. Counterfeit
and pirated goods are illegal in the United States and if
you purchase them in a foreign country, you may be breaking
local law as well.
notifications in host country: While some countries will automatically
notify the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate if a U.S. citizen
is detained or arrested in that country, others may not. To
ensure that the United States is aware of your circumstances,
request that the police and prison officials notify the nearest
U.S. embassy or consulate as soon as you are arrested or detained
Papua New Guinean customs authorities enforce strict regulations
governing firearms, certain prescription drugs, wooden artifacts,
animal products, food, and sexually explicit material. Other
products may be subject to quarantine. You should contact
the Embassy of Papua New Guinea in Washington, D.C. for specific
information regarding customs requirements. (See the contact
information in the section on Entry/Exit Requirements above.)
Disasters: Papua New Guinea lies in an active seismic zone.
Earthquakes, destructive tsunamis, and landslides can occur.
There are active volcanoes in PNG with regular eruptions around
Rabaul, Bougainville, West New Britain, and Manam Island.
Ash from volcanoes in the Rabaul region occasionally disrupts
airline schedules at Kokopo airport. Flights may be cancelled
at short notice.
information about natural disaster preparedness is available
from the U.S.
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
Carry a copy of your U.S. passport at all times so that you
can demonstrate your proof of identity and U.S. citizenship
to authorities if asked.
TRAVELER INFORMATION: If you are a woman traveling abroad,
please review our travel tips for Women Travelers.
RIGHTS: Same-sex sexual relations are criminalized in Papua
New Guinea. However, there are no known incidents of the prosecution,
of consenting adults. Papua New Guinea is a conservative country
and public displays of affection are not welcomed. For further
information on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT)
travel, please read our LGBT
Travel Information page.
While in Papua New Guinea, individuals with disabilities may
find accessibility and accommodation very different from that
in the United States. Papua New Guinea does not have legislation
that mandates access to transportation, communication, and
public buildings for persons with disabilities. The road network
in Papua New Guinea is in poor condition and foot paths and
road crossings in most major towns are congested and uneven,
limiting access and movement for people with disabilities.
quality of medical facilities in Papua New Guinea varies greatly
between larger towns and remote areas. Medical facilities
in larger towns are usually adequate for routine problems
and minor emergencies. However, equipment failures and shortages
of common medications can mean that even routine treatments
and procedures (such as X-rays) may be unavailable.
facilities may be inaccessible in some rural areas. Although
there is purportedly one hyperbaric recompression chamber
for diving emergencies located in Port Moresby, it is routinely
inaccessible or non-operational. Diving injuries will therefore
almost always require medical evacuation to Australia, where
more sophisticated facilities are available. Medical evacuation
companies may charge thousands of dollars for transport to
Australia or the United States. If you anticipate the possible
need for medical treatment in Australia, obtain a visa or
entry permission for Australia in advance.
in Papua New Guinea are found only in urban centers. Pharmacies
are generally small and may be inadequately stocked. Doctors
and hospitals often expect immediate cash payment for medical
services. Additional Health and Medical Information is available
on the Embassy
can find detailed information on vaccinations and other health
precautions on the CDC
website. For information about outbreaks of infectious
diseases abroad, consult the World
Health Organization (WHO) website, which contains additional
health information for travelers, including detailed
country-specific health information.
SAFETY AND ROAD CONDITIONS: While in Papua New Guinea, you
may encounter road conditions that differ significantly from
those in the United States. The information below concerning
Papua New Guinea is provided for general reference only and
may not be totally accurate in a particular location or circumstance.
in Papua New Guinea moves on the left. Motor vehicle accidents
are a common cause of serious injury in Papua New Guinea,
especially to passengers sitting in the open bed of a pickup
truck. Whether the driver or a passenger, you should wear
a seatbelt at all times. There is no countrywide road network.
Roads, especially in rural areas, are in a poor state of repair.
Other common safety risks on PNG roads include erratic and
drunk drivers, poorly maintained vehicles, and over-crowded
vehicles. During the rainy season, landslides occur on some
stretches of the Highlands Highway between Lae and Mount Hagen.
Vehicles often encounter criminal roadblocks on the Highlands
Highway during the day and widely after dark.
roadblocks to check vehicle registrations are a regular occurrence
at night in Port Moresby. As a driver, you should ensure that
your vehicle registration and safety stickers are up-to-date
in order to minimize difficulties at roadblocks.
can react emotionally and violently after road accidents.
Crowds form quickly after an accident and may attack those
whom they hold responsible by stoning and/or burning vehicles.
Friends and relatives of an injured party may demand immediate
compensation from the party they hold responsible for injuries,
regardless of legal responsibility. People involved in accidents
should not stop at the scene of the accident, but rather go
directly to the nearest police station.
refer to our Road
Safety page for more information. For specific information
concerning Papua New Guinea driving permits, vehicle inspection,
road tax, road safety and mandatory insurance, please call
the Papua New Guineas Motor Vehicle Institute Limited
at 675-325-9666 or 675-302-4600.
SAFETY OVERSIGHT: As there is no direct commercial air service
to the United States by carriers registered in Papua New Guinea,
the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has not assessed
the government of Papua New Guineas Civil Aviation Authority
for compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization
(ICAO) aviation safety standards. Further information may
be found on the FAAs
safety assessment page.
Department Travel Warnings
Information For PNG Travelers