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Marshall Islands

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Summary

  • Exercise normal safety precautions in the Marshall Islands. Monitor the media and look out for suspicious behaviour, as you would in Australia.
  • Protect yourself against mosquitoes: outbreaks of dengue fever and Zika virus can occur. If you are pregnant, consult your doctor before travelling to the Marshall Islands. See Health.
  • A number of cases of hepatitis A and mumps have been reported in the Marshall Islands since January 2017. Get vaccinated before you travel to the Marshall Islands. See Health.
  • Tropical storms and typhoons happen throughout the year, especially June to December. These can cause flooding, landslides and other disruptions to services. See Additional information.
  • Australia doesn't have an Embassy or Consulate in the Marshall Islands but the Australian Embassy in the Federated States of Micronesia can provide consular assistance if you need. See Where to get help.

Entry and exit

Every country or territory decides who can enter or exit through its borders. The Australian Government cannot intervene on your behalf if you don't meet your destination’s entry or exit requirements.

Visas

Australians are eligible for a 30-day visitor visa-on-arrival. You can extend this at the Immigration Division for a fee.

Visitors wishing to travel to Kwajalein must hold an Entry Authorisation issued by the US Military.

Visa and other entry and exit conditions (such as currency, customs and quarantine regulations) can change at short notice. For up-to-date visa information for the Marshall Islands, contact:

Division of Immigration
PO Box 890 Majuro, Marshall Islands 96960
Tel: (+692) 625 8633/4572
Fax: (+692) 625 4246
Email: rmi_majuro@rmi-immigration.com  

If you transit through the US on the way to the Marshall Islands you must meet US entry/transit requirements. Check with your nearest US Embassy or Consulate for information well in advance of your travel and read our travel advice for the United States of America.

Other formalities

Adults travelling to Marshall Islands in the company of a child other than their own need a notarised letter from the child's legal guardian granting them permission to accompany the child.

If you use prescription medication, take a letter from your doctor detailing what the medicine is, how much you take and a copy of the prescription.

More information: Health

Passport

Check the expiry date of your Australian passport before you travel. Some countries won’t let you enter unless your passport is valid for six months from when you plan to leave that country.

Your passport is a valuable document and attractive to criminals who may try to use your identity to commit crimes. Always keep it in a safe and dry place.

Be aware of attempts to access your passport by deception. If you’re forced to hand over your passport, contact the Embassy for advice.

If it's lost or stolen, you must notify the Australian Government as soon as possible.

Money

The official currency of the Marshall Islands is USD.

Safety and security

Crime

The Marshall Islands has a low crime rate.

However, petty crime, house break-ins, theft and assaults occur. Alcohol plays a role in most crimes, especially assaults. The risk of being involved in an incident increases at night and in isolated locations such as beaches.

  • Pay attention to your personal security at all times, especially at night, early in the morning, and in isolated locations.
  • Avoid excessive displays of wealth.

Civil unrest and political tension

Civil unrest is uncommon in Marshall Islands. Avoid any protests or demonstrations.

Terrorism

Terrorism is a threat throughout the world.

  • Be alert to possible threats, especially in public places.
  • Report any suspicious activity or items to police.
  • Monitor the media for any new or emerging threats.
  • Take official warnings seriously.
  • Follow local authorities' instructions.

More information: Terrorist threat worldwide

Local travel

Tour operators don't always meet safety and maintenance standards, especially for adventure sports such as diving and yachting. There may not be enough life jackets and safety equipment. Check operators' credentials and safety equipment beforehand and ensure your travel insurance policy covers your planned activities.

Road travel

Drive on the right side of the road. Driving can be dangerous due to poor road maintenance and driving standards, and a lack of streetlights. Road conditions can quickly deteriorate after heavy rain.

More information: Road safety and driving

Driver’s licence

You can drive on an Australian or international driver's licence for 30 days. After 30 days, you must get a local licence.

If you have an accident without being properly licensed, your insurance may be void and liability for the accident fully attributed to you.

Airline safety

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade does not provide information on the safety of individual commercial airlines or flight paths. See the Aviation Safety Network website for information on aviation safety in the Marshall Islands.

More information: Air travel

Laws

Local laws

You're subject to all local laws and penalties, including those that may appear harsh by Australian standards. Research local laws before travelling, especially for an extended stay.

If you're arrested or jailed, the Australian Government will do what it can to help you under our Consular services charter. We can't get you out of jail.

Local customs

Same-sex relationships are legal, but social and cultural attitudes towards same-sex relationships can be conservative. Open displays of affection between same-sex partners could attract adverse attention and may offend. More information: LGBTI travellers page

There are conservative standards of dress and behaviour in the Marshall Islands. Take care not to offend. Women should wear clothing that covers the knees except in resorts.

Drug laws

Penalties for drug-related offences, including marijuana use, are severe and include long jail terms and heavy fines.

More information: Carrying or using drugs

Australian laws

Some Australian criminal laws apply overseas. If you commit these offences, you can be prosecuted in Australia. Laws include those relating to:

  • bribery of foreign public officials
  • child pornography
  • child sex tourism
  • female genital mutilation
  • forced marriage
  • money laundering
  • terrorism.

More information: Staying within the law

Health

Travel insurance

Get comprehensive travel insurance before you leave to cover overseas medical costs, including medical evacuation.

Remember, regardless of how healthy and fit you are, if you can't afford travel insurance, you can't afford to travel. The Australian Government will not pay for your medical expenses overseas or medical evacuation costs. This can be very expensive and cost you many thousands of dollars upfront.

Confirm:

  • What circumstances and activities are and aren't covered under your policy
  • That you're covered for the whole time you will be away.

More information: Travel insurance

Physical and mental health

Consider your physical and mental health before travelling, especially if you have an existing medical condition.

  • At least eight weeks before you leave, see your doctor or travel clinic for a basic health check-up. Discuss your travel plans and implications for your health.
  • Get vaccinated before you travel.

If you need counselling services while overseas, contact the Australian Consular Emergency Centre on +61 2 6261 3305 and ask to speak to a Lifeline telephone counsellor.

Medication

Not all medication available over the counter or by prescription in Australia is available in other countries. Some may even be illegal or a controlled substance, even if prescribed by an Australian doctor.

Take enough prescription medicine to cover your travel. Always carry a copy of your prescription or a letter from your doctor stating what the medicine is, how much you'll take and that it's for personal use only.

Before you leave Australia:

  • check if your medication is legal in the Marshall Islands
  • get medical documents authenticated by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade before you depart (if required).

More information: Prescription medicines

Health risks

Mosquito-borne illnesses

Outbreaks of dengue fever and Zika virus occur, including serious outbreaks. If you're pregnant, discuss travel plans with your doctor and defer non-essential travel to affected areas. Monitor local media for health announcements.

Protect yourself against mosquito-borne illnesses:

  • Ensure your accommodation is mosquito proof
  • use insect repellent and wear long, loose fitting, light coloured clothing
  • seek medical advice if you have a fever, muscle pain, rash or severe headache.

More information:

Hepatitis A

Since January 2017, a number of hepatitis-A cases have been reported . Hepatitis A is a viral liver disease that can cause severe illness. It is transmitted through ingesting of contaminated food or water, or through contact with an infected person or their body fluids. A vaccine is available for hepatitis A that provides near universal protection after four weeks.

  • Practice good hygiene and wash your hands.
  • Boil all drinking water or drink bottled water.
  • Avoid ice cubes.
  • Avoid uncooked and undercooked food.
  • Use condoms or other effective barrier protection.
  • Get vaccinated against Hepatitis A at least four weeks before you travel to the Marshall Islands.

Seek urgent medical attention if you suspect poisoning, if you have a fever or suffer from diarrhoea.

Mumps

Protect yourself against mumps:

  • Seek medical advice
  • Get preventative MMR vaccine (2 doses).

Medical facilities

Hospital and medical facilities in the Marshall Islands are limited and evacuation may be required in cases of serious illness or accident. Infrequent commercial flights could delay medical evacuation. Costs are considerable (in the tens of thousands of dollars).

Basic supplies and medicines are limited. Bring enough medication for your entire visit. Hospitals and doctors may require up-front payment for medical services.

Natural disasters

Typhoons

The Marshall Islands experiences tropical storms and typhoons. These can cause flooding, landslides and other disruptions to services. The direction and strength of typhoons can change with little warning.

Typhoons can occur throughout the year but are more likely from July and November and typically peak in August/September.

If you travel during typhoon season:

  • know your hotel or cruise ship evacuation plans
  • carry your travel documents or secure them in a safe, waterproof location
  • contact your tour operator to check whether tourist services at your planned destination have been affected.

If there's a typhoon or one is approaching:

Typhoons could lead to delayed or suspended flights. Contact your airline for the latest flight information. Access to seaports could be affected.

In some areas, shelter may not be available to all who choose to stay.

More information:

Tsunamis

All oceanic regions of the world can experience tsunamis but the Pacific Ocean has a hiugher riskof large, destructive tsunamis.

Where to get help

Depending on what you need, your best option may be to first contact your family, friends, travel agent, travel insurance provider, employer, or airline.

Emergency phone numbers

  • Criminal issues, contact police: (+671) 625 8666/2333

Tourism services and products

For complaints relating to tourism services or products, contact your service provider directly.

Australian Government

Read the Consular services charter for what the Australian Government can and can't do to help you overseas.

Australia does not have an embassy or consulate in the Marshall Islands. Australians (and Canadians) can obtain consular assistance from the Australian Embassy in the Federated States of Micronesia:

Australian Embassy, Pohnpei

H & E Enterprises Building
Kolonia
Pohnpei, Federated States of Micronesia
Telephone (+691) 320 5448
Facsimile (+691) 320 5449
Email phpi.mail@dfat.gov.au
Website: fsm.embassy.gov.au/ 

Facebook: Australia in Micronesia

Check the Embassy website for information about opening hours and temporary closures that may affect service provision.

If you’re unable to contact the above mission in a consular emergency contact the 24-hour Consular Emergency Centre in Canberra on +61 2 6261 3305 or 1300 555 135 within Australia.

Additional information

Additional resources