COUNTRY DESCRIPTION: Solomon Islands form an archipelago in the Southwest Pacific Ocean approximately 1,200 miles northeast of Australia. The capital, Honiara, is located on the Island of Guadalcanal. Solomon Islands is a parliamentary democracy within the British Commonwealth. Tourism facilities are limited, particularly outside Honiara. Read the Department of State Fact Sheet for additional information.
SMART TRAVELER ENROLLMENT PROGRAM(STEP)/EMBASSY LOCATION: If you are going to live in or visit Solomon Islands, please tell our Embassy in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea about your trip. When you enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program, we can keep you up-to-date with important safety and security announcements. STEP enrollment will also help us contact your friends and family in an emergency.
Local embassy information is available below and at the Department of State’s list of embassies and consulates.
The U.S. Embassy in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea provides assistance for U.S. citizens in Solomon Islands. There is a U.S. Consular Agent in Honiara. The Consular Agent provides general information and applications and can provide limited emergency services. The United States Consular Agency in Honiara is located on Commonwealth Avenue, Point Cruz, telephone (677) 23426, (677) 98367, (677) 94731, or (677) 22539; e-mail ConsularPortMoresby@state.gov.
U.S. Embassy in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea,
Courier Service Address: Douglas Street, adjacent to the Bank of Papua New Guinea, Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea
Mailing Address: PO Box 1492, Port Moresby, N.C.D. 121, Papua New Guinea
Telephone number: (675) 321-1455
After hours duty officer telephone number for American Citizen emergencies: (675) 7200-9439
ENTRY / EXIT REQUIREMENTS FOR U.S. CITIZENS: American citizens do not need a visa to enter Solomon Islands. You must have a passport, onward/return ticket, and proof of sufficient funds. You may be denied boarding at check-in or turned around upon arrival in Honiara if your documents are not in order. Visitor permits are granted upon arrival at Henderson International Airport in Honiara, and you may enter any number of times as long as your total time in Solomon Islands does not exceed 90 days in a 12-month period. If you arrive on a one-way airline ticket, you must have documentation stating your business; this includes a work permit if you’re going to work in Solomon Islands. The Solomon Islands’ government strictly enforces immigration laws, and you may face fines and other penalties if you remain in the country beyond the authorized period of stay.
If you arrive in Solomon Islands by plane but plan to depart by yacht, you must apply for a visitor’s permit before you arrive by contacting the Director of Immigration. The application should state your arrival date, the vessel name and registration details, the vessel’s arrival date, and the approximate time you will spend in Solomon Islands. It should also request entry on a one-way (arrival only) airline ticket. The Director will issue a permit to be presented at airline check-in. If you do not have this permit, you may be denied boarding. Please allow at least four weeks for the permit to be issued.
For more information about entry requirements, please 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 web site . If you anticipate the possibility of transiting or visiting Australia we advise you to obtain an Electronic Travel Authoritization (ETA) for Australia before leaving the United States.
HIV/AIDS Restrictions: Some HIV/AIDS entry restrictions exist for visitors to and foreign residents of Solomon Islands. According to the Solomon Islands Immigration Act, an immigration officer can bar you from entering the country or deport you if you refuse to submit to an examination by a government medical officer after being required to do so.
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.
THREATS TO SAFETY AND SECURITY: Acts of political violence and civil unrest sometimes occur in Solomon Islands and may coincide with Parliamentary sessions and court cases. In November 2011, the election of a new Prime Minister was followed by protests in Honiara that resulted in some injuries and property damage. Civil unrest can also occur at sporting or cultural events that attract large crowds, especially if alcohol is involved.
You can obtain up-to-date safety and security information 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).
Stay up-to-date by bookmarking our Bureau of Consular Affairs website, which contains the current Travel Warnings and Travel Alerts as well as the Worldwide Caution. Follow us on Twitter and become a fan of the Bureau of Consular Affairs page on Facebook as well.
Take some time before travel to improve your personal security—conditions in other countries are often different than they are in the United States. Here are some useful tips for traveling safely abroad.
CRIME: Petty theft is common in some parts of Solomon Islands, so take extra care while walking the streets, going to the market, or going out at night. Guided or group tours are generally safer than traveling alone. Landowners may demand money if you enter their land without permission. Home invasions, burglaries, and violent crime typically increase in the months approaching the Christmas holiday season.
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 WWII memorial. You should not go alone to the Japanese memorial . Use caution when shopping in the central market area as purse and mobile phone snatching is common. Police have established a post at the Market area where you can report crimes.
Yacht-related robberies have increased. The perpetrators—usually armed with knives and clubs—board yachts at night while the occupants are asleep and steal valuables and money. Most criminals are not deterred even when boats are anchored off-shore.
Don’t buy counterfeit and pirated goods, even if they are widely available. Not only are the bootlegs illegal in the United States, you may be breaking local law too. Every care should be given when purchasing pharmaceuticals. There are no guarantees that the medicines you purchase in Solomon Islands are genuine.
VICTIMS OF CRIME: If you or someone you know becomes the victim of a crime abroad, contact the local police and the Consular Agency in Honiara (see the Department of State’s list of embassies and consulates ). If your passport is stolen, we can help you replace it. For violent crimes such as assault and rape, we can, for example, help you find appropriate medical care, contact family members or friends, and help you get money from them if you need it. 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 Solomon Islands is “999”. Other emergency numbers are “911” for Ambulance and Hospital, “955” for National Disaster, and “988” for Fire.
Please see our information on victims of crime, including possible victim compensation programs in the United States.
CRIMINAL PENALTIES: While you are traveling in another country, you are subject to its laws. U.S. laws don’t apply, and your U.S. passport won’t help you if you do something illegal overseas. Foreign laws, legal systems, and criminal penalties can be vastly different than those in the United States. There are also some things that might be legal in the country you visit, but still illegal in the United States. Engaging in sexual conduct with children or using or disseminating child pornography in a foreign country is a crime prosecutable in the United States.
Based on the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, bilateral agreements, and customary international law, if you are arrested in Solomon Islands, you have the option to request that the police, prison officials, or other authorities alert the nearest U.S. embassy of your arrest. You may also request to have communications from you forwarded to the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate.
Accessibility: While in Solomon Islands, individuals with disabilities may find accessibility and accommodation very different from what you find in the United States. There is no law or national policy on persons with physical, sensory, intellectual, or mental disabilities, and no legislation mandates access to buildings for such individuals. In practice, very few buildings are accessible to persons with disabilities.
The road network in Solomon Islands is in poor condition, and foot paths and road crossings in most major towns are congested. Open drainage systems in downtown Honiara limit access and movement for people with disabilities.
Customs Information: The Solomon Islands' customs authorities enforce strict regulations for importing or exporting firearms and ammunition, sexually explicit material, and certain prescription drugs to or from Solomon Islands. 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. Contact the Solomon Islands' Mission to the United Nations for specific information regarding customs requirements.
Natural Disasters: 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 Solomon Islands are limited to populated areas and religious missions. 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 treatment 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. If you anticipate the possible need for medical treatment in Australia, obtain entry permission for Australia in advance. Entry permission for Australia can be granted by the Australian High Commission in Honiara but is easier to obtain before you leave the United States (see section above on Entry/Exit Requirements).
Malaria occurs throughout the year in most areas of Solomon Islands. We recommend that you seek medical advice on taking prophylaxis against malaria and that you use an insect repellent at all times. Outbreaks of the mosquito-borne illness, dengue fever, occur from time to time. For information on dengue fever, see the World Health Organization Factsheet. Water-borne, food-borne, parasitic, and other infectious diseases (including hepatitis, tuberculosis, filariasis and sexually transmitted infections) are prevalent, with more serious outbreaks occurring from time to time. We encourage you to consider having vaccinations before travelling. We advise you to boil all drinking water or drink bottled water, and avoid ice cubes and raw and undercooked food. Seek medical advice if you have a fever or are suffering from diarrhea.
You can find good 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. The WHO website also contains additional health information for travelers, including detailed country-specific health information.
MEDICAL INSURANCE: You can’t assume your insurance will go with you when you travel. It’s very important to find out BEFORE you leave. You need to ask your insurance company two questions:
In many places, doctors and hospitals expect payment in cash at the time of service. Your regular U.S. health insurance may not cover doctor and hospital visits in other countries. If your policy doesn’t go with you when you travel, it’s a very good idea to take out another one for your trip. For more information, please see our medical insurance overseas page.
TRAFFIC SAFETY AND ROAD CONDITIONS: While in a foreign country, you may encounter road conditions that differ significantly from those in the United States. The information below concerning Solomon Islands is provided for general reference only and may not be totally accurate in a particular location or circumstance.
Traffic in Solomon Islands moves on the left side of the road. Paved roads are found only in and around Honiara. These two-lane paved roads are poorly marked and have many potholes. Roads are not well lit at night. The remaining roads in Solomon Islands are made of coral or gravel or are dirt tracks. Be careful when driving off main roads to avoid trespassing on communal land.
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 Solomon Islands' Department of Commerce website.
AVIATION SAFETY OVERSIGHT: As there is no direct commercial air service to the United States by carriers registered in 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.
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This replaces the Country Specific Information for Solomon Islands dated May 18, 2011, updating all sections.