COUNTRY DESCRIPTION: With a population of approximately 53,000, the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) covers a land area of only 70.5 square miles but includes one of the largest maritime zones in the Pacific Ocean. The country consists of 29 atolls and five islands. The Marshall Islands is a parliamentary democracy, and its close relationship with the United States is reflected in the Compact of Free Association that binds our two nations. The RMI has a developing agrarian and service-oriented economy. Limited tourist facilities exist, including three major hotels in Majuro, while most other areas have limited guest quarters. For general information, please visit the Marshall Islands' national tourist office website. Please review the Department of State's Fact Sheet on U.S.-RMI relations for additional information.
SMART TRAVELER ENROLLMENT PROGRAM (STEP) / EMBASSY LOCATION: If you are going to live in or visit the Marshall Islands, please take the time to tell our Embassy about your trip. If you enroll, we can keep you up to date with important safety and security announcements. It will also help your friends and family get in touch with you in an emergency. Here’s the link to the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program. If you have no access to the Internet, you may enroll directly with the U.S. Embassy in Majuro.
The U.S. Embassy in Majuro
(no street address)
Located on the ocean-side of the island's major road, approximately two miles east of the airport.
P.O. Box 1379
Majuro, MH 96960-1379
Telephone: (692) 247-4011
Facsimile: (692) 247-4012
ENTRY / EXIT REQUIREMENTS FOR U.S. CITIZENS: Under the Compact of Free Association, if you are a U.S. citizen, you do not need a visa to enter the Marshall Islands. However, there is a departure fee of $20 for individuals over 12 and less than 60 years old. Diplomats are exempt from this fee. Cholera immunizations are required for those arriving from infected areas. Visit the Embassy of the Republic of the Marshall Islands website for the most current visa information.
Some HIV/AIDS entry restrictions exist for visitors to and foreign residents of the Marshall Islands. HIV testing is required for temporary visitors staying more than 30 days and applicants for residence and work permits. Foreign test results are accepted under certain conditions. Please verify this information with the Embassy of the Republic of the Marshall Islands before you travel.
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:
Stay up to date by:
CRIME: Travel around the Marshall Islands is, by most standards, considered safe. The Marshall Islands has a relatively low crime rate. The most common crimes are break-ins and thefts from homes, hotel rooms, and vehicles, as well as occasional random acts of vandalism. There have been a few recent but isolated incidents in which non-U.S. foreigners were assaulted. It is recommended that visitors dress conservatively; skin showing above the knee, especially for females, may be considered offensive to some Marshallese citizens. Keep your hotel room or residence locked at all times. Occasionally, fights and assaults occur at nightclubs and bars. If you visit those establishments, especially late in the evening, be extra vigilant to ensure your personal security.
Don’t buy counterfeit or 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.
VICTIMS OF CRIME: If you or someone you know becomes the victim of a crime abroad, you should contact the local police and the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate. We can:
The local equivalent to the "911" emergency line in the Marshall Islands is "911" or "1911.”
Please see our information on victims of crime, including possible victim compensation programs in the United States.
CRIMINAL PENALTIES: While you are traveling in the Marshall Islands, you are subject to its laws even if you are a U.S. citizen. Foreign laws and legal systems can be vastly different than our own. There are also some things that might be legal in the country you visit, but still illegal in the United States, and you can be prosecuted under U.S. law if you buy pirated goods. Engaging in sexual conduct with children or using or disseminating child pornography in a foreign country is a crime prosecutable in the United States. If you break local laws in the Marshall Islands, your U.S. passport won’t help you avoid arrest or prosecution. It’s very important to know what’s legal and what’s not wherever you go.
While some countries will automatically notify the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate if a U.S. citizen is detained or arrested in a foreign country, that might not always be the case. 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 overseas.
Accessibility: While in the Marshall Islands, individuals with disabilities may find accessibility and accommodation very different from what you find in the United States. There are no mandated rules for special support for persons with disabilities. There are few ramps, almost no sidewalks, and few operational elevators in the Marshall Islands. The public transportation system is nonexistent, but taxis are inexpensive and widely available. The main city has one road, and there are no street addresses or house numbers. Medical facilities have generally limited and inadequate accessibility. On outer atolls, there is no transportation for evacuation to the rudimentary medical facilities on the two atolls with hospitals (Majuro and Kwajalein). Visitors to the Marshall Islands should have medical evacuation insurance and be in good health.
Currency: The Republic of the Marshall Islands uses U.S. dollars. The two ATMs on Majuro can be found at the Bank of Guam and at Robert Reimers Resort. A few hotels and restaurants accept Visa, MasterCard, and American Express credit cards. Most transactions are cash only.
Customs: Customs authorities of the Marshall Islands strictly prohibit the importation of firearms, ammunition, explosives, and indecent publications. Certification from the Quarantine Division is required to import animals, plants, and fruits. We advise you to contact the Embassy of the Republic of the Marshall Islands or one of the Marshall Islands' consulates in the United States for specific information regarding customs requirements, especially when dealing with the importation of animals into the Marshall Islands.
Communication: The Marshall Islands relies primarily on radio in the remote outer islands, which causes some communication problems. Local telephone service as well as worldwide international long distance is available on Majuro and Ebeye. The cost for international calls is quite expensive. Internet service is also available and is relatively expensive.
Flights: United Airlines flies once a day through Majuro, six days a week. Flights in and out of the Marshall Islands are three days a week to the west toward Guam, and three days a week east to Honolulu. Although Air Marshall Islands operates within the Marshall Islands, service is not reliable. Be aware that flights and boats to and from outer islands are often cancelled, sometimes leaving visitors stranded for one or more weeks.
MEDICAL FACILITIES AND HEALTH INFORMATION: Health facilities in Majuro and Ebeye are adequate for routine medical problems. There are few or no health facilities available elsewhere in the Marshall Islands. Majuro has a private clinic and a public hospital. Ebeye also has a public hospital. Most outer islands have medical dispensaries. Serious medical problems requiring hospitalization and/or medical evacuation to the United States can cost tens of thousands of dollars. Prescription and over the counter medicine may not be available. We recommend that you bring a supply of your prescription medication when you visit. Doctors and hospitals often expect immediate cash payment for health services. However, the local cost for service is quite minimal.
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.
Tuberculosis is an increasingly serious health concern in the Marshall Islands. For further information, please consult the CDC's information on TB. The incidence of tuberculosis (TB) is high, and there are a few cases of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDRTB) currently under quarantine or receiving treatment.
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 whether or not your medical insurance will cover you overseas. You need to ask your insurance company two questions:
In many places, doctors and hospitals still 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 the Marshall Islands, you may encounter road conditions that differ significantly from those in the United States. The information below concerning the Marshall Islands is provided for general reference only and may not be totally accurate in a particular location or circumstance.
Majuro atoll has only one main road. The road is paved, but there are few traffic signs and no traffic lights. While driving, you should be alert for dogs, chickens, and pigs roaming the streets and children darting into the road. Children frequently play dangerous games with vehicles, running in front of or behind vehicles. Drinking and driving is common, especially on the weekends, so use caution. Walking beside the street can be dangerous due to poor lighting, absence of sidewalks, and drivers who may have been drinking.
Vehicle traffic proceeds slowly, rarely over 25 miles per hour. Roads experience temporary flooding after heavy rains and during especially high tides. Since there are few streetlights, visibility is poor, and night driving requires special caution. For specific information concerning drivers’ permits, vehicle inspection, road tax, and mandatory insurance, please contact the Embassy of the Republic of the Marshall Islands.
Please refer to our Road Safety page for more information.
AVIATION SAFETY OVERSIGHT: The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has assessed the government of the Marshall Islands’ Civil Aviation Authority as being in compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards for oversight of its air carrier operations. Further information may be found on the FAA’s safety assessment page.
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This replaces the Country Specific Information for the Marshall Islands dated April 13, 2012 without substantive changes.