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Travel Security Advice for The Solomon Islands

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COUNTRY DESCRIPTION:  

The Solomon Islands form an Archipelago in the southwest Pacific Ocean about 1,200 miles northeast of Australia.  The capital, Honiara, is located on the Island of Guadalcanal. The Solomon Islands are a parliamentary democracy within the British Commonwealth.  Tourism facilities are limited, particularly outside Honiara.  Read the Department of State Background notes on the Solomon Islands for additional information.



REGISTRATION/ EMBASSY LOCATION:  

U.S. citizens living or traveling in the Solomon Islands are encouraged to register with the U.S. Embassy in Port Moresby through the Department of State's travel registration page, in order to obtain updated information on local travel and security.  U.S. citizens without Internet access may register directly with the Embassy.  Registration is important; it allows the State Department to assist U.S. citizens in an emergency.

There is no U.S. Embassy in the Solomon Islands.  However, there is a U.S. Consular Agent in Honiara.  The Consular Agent has general information and forms, such as passport applications, and can be contacted at the United States Consular Agency, Commonwealth Avenue, Point Cruz, telephone number is (677) 23426 or (677) 98367, cell number is (677) 94731, home number is (677) 22539; fax (677) 27429; e-mail This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

The U.S. Embassy in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea provides primary assistance for U.S. citizens in the Solomon Islands.  The Embassy is located on Douglas Street, adjacent to the Bank of Papua New Guinea, in Port Moresby.  Use that address for courier service deliveries.  The mailing address is PO Box 1492, Port Moresby, N.C.D. 121, Papua New Guinea; the telephone number is (675) 321 1455; after hours duty officer telephone number is (675) 68 9 6109; Fax (675) 321 593.  U.S. citizens may submit consular inquiries via e-mail to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it



ENTRY/EXIT REQUIREMENTS: 

U.S. passport holders do not require visas to enter the Solomon Islands.  Passports, onward/return tickets and proof of sufficient funds for the duration of stay are required.  Visitors may be denied boarding at check-in if documents are not in order.  Visitor permits are granted upon arrival at Henderson International Airport in Honiara.  Visitors may enter any number of times provided the total period in the Solomon Islands does not exceed 90 days in a 12-month period.  Persons arriving on one-way airline tickets must have documentation stating their business, for example, a work permit if taking up employment in the Solomon Islands.  The Solomon Islands’ government strictly enforces immigration laws, and travelers may face fines and other penalties if they remain in the country beyond the authorized period of stay.

Persons arriving on yachts should visit the nearest immigration office to complete arrival forms for issuance of visitors' permits or  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Travelers who plan to arrive in the Solomon Islands by plane but who plan to depart on a yacht should apply for a visitor’s permit before their arrival in the Solomon Islands, to the Director of Immigration (via fax to the U.S. Consular Agent in Honiara at 677-27429).  The application should state the traveler’s arrival date, vessel name and registration details, vessel’s arrival date, approximate time traveler will spend in the Solomon Islands, and it should request entry on a one-way (arrival only) airline ticket.  The Director will issue a permit to be presented at airline check-in.  If the traveler does not have this permit, she/he may be denied boarding.  Please allow at least 4 weeks for the permit to be issued.

For more information about entry requirements, travelers may contact the Permanent Mission of Solomon Islands to the United Nations at 800 Second Avenue, Suite 400L, New York, NY 10017-4709; Tel: (212) 599-6192 or 6193 or visit the Permanent Mission of Solomon Islands to the United Nations websiteTravelers who anticipate the possibility of transiting or visiting Australia are advised to obtain an Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) or visa for Australia before leaving the United StatesAirlines and many travel agents in the United States are also able to issue ETAs.

Information 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.

Some HIV/AIDS entry restrictions exist for visitors to and foreign residents of Solomon Islands.  According to the Solomon Islands Immigration Act Cap 60, Section 4 (1) (d) and section 11, subsection (2), an immigration officer can bar a visitor from entering the country or deport an immigrant if he or she refuses to submit to an examination by a government medical officer after being required to do so.



THREATS TO SAFETY AND SECURITY: 

Since July 24, 2003, the Regional Assistance Mission in the Solomon Islands (RAMSI), a coalition of Pacific Island states that includes military and police forces from Australia and several other Pacific Island nations, has helped the Solomon Islands improve law and order.  Visitors should be aware there is an increase in general crime, mainly due to the downturn in the economy.  Therefore extra care should be taken when walking the streets and going to the market or at night.  Tours should be taken with a guide or in a group – landowners may demand money if you enter their land without permission.

For the latest security information, U.S. citizens traveling abroad should regularly monitor the Department of State's, Bureau of Consular Affairs' website

Up-to-date information on safety and security can also be obtained by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll-free within the U.S. and Canada, or by calling a regular toll line, 1-202-501-4444, from other countries. These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).

The Department of State urges U.S. citizens to take responsibility for their own personal security while traveling overseas.  For general information about appropriate measures travelers can take to protect themselves in an overseas environment, see the Department of State’s extensive tips and advice on traveling safely abroad.



CRIME:

Major crimes against travelers are increasing with incidences of theft, mugging, and extortion.  Some 350 RAMSI Police personnel are working alongside the Royal Solomon Islands’ Police (RSIP) to respond to any situation requiring police. 

Lawlessness is increasing in Honiara, mostly in the form of petty crime (theft and harassment for money).  Incidents of harassment of expatriates have increased.  House and vehicle break-ins occur, with expatriates particularly being targeted.  Some recent episodes have involved violence and the use or threatened use of knives.

Gang-based criminal activity has increased in and around the Burns Creek area in East Honiara and in the Borderline area, which is close to the Japanese memorial.  It is not advisable to go alone to the Japanese memorial.  Travelers are urged to use caution when shopping in the central market area as purse and mobile phone snatching is common.  The Police have established a post at the Market area where crimes can be reported

There has been an increase in the number of yacht-related robberies (over 20 reported this year).  The perpetrators, usually armed with knives and clubs, board the yachts at night while the occupants are asleep, and steal valuables and money.  To date no U.S. citizens have been harmed, but if confronted by robbers, it is best to offer no resistance.  Because of the lack of accessible wharfs in the Solomon Islands, most boats anchor off-shore, which does not deter most criminals.    



VICTIMS OF CRIME:

If you are the victim of a crime abroad, you should contact the local police and the U.S. Embassy in Port Moresby (see the Department of State's list of embassies and consulates).  This includes the loss or theft of a U.S. passport.  The embassy/consulate staff can, for example, help you find appropriate medical care, contact family members or friends and explain how funds may be transferred.  Although the investigation and prosecution of the crime are solely the responsibility of local authorities, consular officers can help you to understand the local criminal justice process and to find an attorney if needed.

The local equivalent to the “911” emergency line in the Solomon Islands is: 999.
Other emergency numbers are:
Ambulance, Hospital - 911
National Disaster - 955
Fire - 988

Please see our information on Victims of Crime, including possible victim compensation programs in the United States.



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 the Solomon Islands’ laws, even unknowingly, may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned.  Penalties for possessing, using, or trafficking in illegal drugs in the Solomon Islands are severe, and convicted offenders can expect long jail sentences and heavy fines.   Engaging in sexual conduct with children or using or disseminating child pornography in a foreign country is a crime, prosecutable in the United States.



SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES:

Customs Information: The Solomon Islands' customs authorities enforce strict regulations concerning temporary importation into or export from the Solomon Islands of items such as firearms and ammunition, sexually explicit material, and certain prescription drugs.  Other items may be subject to quarantine regulations or import duty.  The Solomon Islands' Government prohibits the export of military artifacts from World War II.  It is advisable to contact the Solomon Islands' Mission to the United Nations for specific information regarding customs requirements.

Natural Disasters:  The Solomon Islands lie in the South Pacific cyclonic trajectory, and are vulnerable to earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and sudden tidal movements.  The Pacific cyclone season extends from November through March.  General information about natural disaster preparedness is available from the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).



MEDICAL FACILITIES AND HEALTH INFORMATION: 

Hospitals and pharmacies in the Solomon Islands are limited to population centers and missions.  The level of medical care remains extremely limited.  The nearest reliable medical facilities are in Australia or New Zealand.  There is a hyperbaric recompression chamber in Honiara at the In-the-Zone Medical Centre, phone (677) 23485 or (677) 23482; however, medical conditions resulting from diving accidents may require medical evacuation to Australia or New Zealand.  Serious medical conditions requiring hospitalization and/or medical evacuation to Australia, New Zealand or the United States can cost thousands of dollars.  Doctors and hospitals often expect immediate cash payment for health services.  Travelers who anticipate the possible need for medical treatment in Australia should obtain entry permission for Australia in advance.  Entry permission for Australia can be granted by the Australian High Commission in Honiara, but it is easier to obtain it prior to leaving the United States (see section above on Entry/Exit Requirements).

The incidence of malaria is high.  Information on vaccinations and other health precautions, such as safe food and water precautions and insect bite protection, may be obtained from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) hotline for international travelers at 1-877-FYI-TRIP (1-877-394-8747) or via the CDC websiteFor information about outbreaks of infectious diseases abroad, consult the infectious diseases section of the World Health Organization (WHO) websiteThe WHO website also contains additional health information for travelers, including detailed country-specific health information.



MEDICAL INSURANCE:

The Department of State strongly urges U.S. citizens to consult their medical insurance company prior to traveling abroad to determine whether their policy applies overseas and whether it covers emergency expenses such as a medical evacuation.  For more information, please see our medical insurance overseas page.



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 the Solomon Islands is provided for general reference only, and may not be totally accurate in a particular location or circumstance.

Vehicular traffic in the Solomon Islands moves on the left.  Paved roads are found only in and around Honiara, located on Guadalcanal Island.  These two-lane paved roads are poorly marked and have many potholes.  Roads are not well lit at night.  The remaining roads in the Solomon Islands are made of coral or gravel, or are dirt tracks.  Travelers must take care when driving off main roads to avoid trespassing on communal land.  For information concerning the rental and operation of motor vehicles in the Solomon Islands, contact our Consular Agent in Honiara.

Please refer to our Road Safety page for more information.  For specific information concerning Solomon Islands driving permits, vehicle inspection, road tax and mandatory insurance, visit the Solomon Islands' Department of Commerce web site.



AVIATION SAFETY OVERSIGHT: 

As there is no direct commercial air service to the United States by carriers registered in the Solomon Islands, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has not assessed the government of the Solomon Islands’ 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.



CHILDREN'S ISSUES:

Please see our Office of Children’s Issues web pages on intercountry adoption and international parental child abduction.


This replaces the Country Specific Information for the Solomon Islands dated March 11, 2009, to update sections on entry /exit requirements and crime.


The UK Foreign & Commonwealth office also has information regarding The Solomon Islands HERE.....

Looking for an Embassy ?, You can also check out our World Wide Embassies Listings Section HERE (For US Citizens) or HERE (For UK Citizens)........

There is also a Malaria Warning for The Solomon Islands HERE.....

Regards

The SW Team....... 

 

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