Foreign travel advice

Palau

Summary

There is no British diplomatic representation in Palau. If you need consular assistance, you should contact the British Embassy in Manila.

Most visits to Palau are trouble-free.

Although there’s no recent history of terrorism in Palau, attacks can’t be ruled out.

Palau is vulnerable to tropical cyclones and floods. These are most likely to occur between June and November. You should monitor local and international weather updates, and follow instructions issued by the local authorities.

If you’re abroad and you need emergency help from the UK government, contact the nearest British embassy, consulate or high commission.

Safety and security

Unexploded Ordnance

There is still a significant amount of unexploded ordnance in Palau left over from World War II, particularly in Peleliu and Angaur. Take care, particularly when diving or exploring caves.

Crime

Crime levels are low. However, you should take sensible precautions to protect your belongings.

Water sports

Wear appropriate safety equipment and take local advice on safety. There are over 60 vertical drop-offs in the diving areas and some are for experienced divers only.

Terrorism

Although there’s no recent history of terrorism in Palau, attacks can’t be ruled out.

There’s a heightened threat of terrorist attack globally against UK interests and British nationals, from groups or individuals motivated by the conflict in Iraq and Syria. You should be vigilant at this time.

Find out more about the global threat from terrorism, how to minimise your risk and what to do in the event of a terrorist attack.

Local laws and customs

There are heavy penalties for all drug offences.

The legal drinking age in Palau is 21 years. It is illegal to drink alcohol in public, except on licensed premises.

Entry requirements

The information on this page covers the most common types of travel and reflects the UK government’s understanding of the rules currently in place. Unless otherwise stated, this information is for travellers using a full ‘British Citizen’ passport.

The authorities in the country or territory you’re travelling to are responsible for setting and enforcing the rules for entry. If you’re unclear about any aspect of the entry requirements, or you need further reassurance, you’ll need to contact the embassy, high commission or consulate of the country or territory you’re travelling to.

You should also consider checking with your transport provider or travel company to make sure your passport and other travel documents meet their requirements.

Visas

Visas are not required for British nationals visiting for periods of up to 30 days. Extensions of stay are not automatically granted. On arrival you can ask for entry to be granted for all the time you believe you will need. Consult the Bureau of Immigration before you travel if you are likely to seek an extension of stay. Contact details are (+680) 488 2498 or 2678 (Monday to Friday from 7:30am to 4:30pm); email imm@palaunet.com

Passport validity

Your passport should be valid for a period of at least 6 months from the date of your arrival in Palau.

Departure Tax

A mandatory departure tax of US$20 and environmental fee of US$30 is applicable to all travellers.

Health

Visit your health professional at least 4 to 6 weeks before your trip to check whether you need any vaccinations or other preventive measures. Country specific information and advice is published by the National Travel Health Network and Centre on the TravelHealthPro website and by NHS (Scotland) on the fitfortravel website. Useful information and advice about healthcare abroad is also available on the NHS Choices website.

UK health authorities have classified Palau as having a risk of Zika virus transmission. For more information and advice, visit the website of the National Travel Health Network and Centre

Health facilities in Palau are adequate for routine medical care, but limited in availability and quality. Doctors and hospitals often expect immediate cash payment for health services. Serious medical conditions requiring hospitalisation or evacuation may be very expensive. Make sure you have adequate travel health insurance and accessible funds to cover the cost of any medical treatment abroad and repatriation. 

The only national hospital is ‘Belau National Hospital’, in Koror, which can generally be reached in less than two hours from most locations. The hospital has an operating suite, dialysis machines and an outpatient clinic. The hospital also houses a pharmacy that dispenses basic medicines.

If you need emergency medical assistance during your trip, dial 911 and ask for an ambulance. You should contact your insurance/medical assistance company promptly if you are referred to a medical facility for treatment.

Natural disasters

Palau is vulnerable to tropical cyclones and floods. You should monitor local and international weather updates from the World Meteorological Organisation and the Japanese Meteorological Agency and follow any instructions issued by the local authorities.

See our tropical cyclones page for advice about what to do if you are caught up in a storm.

Travel advice help and support

If you’re abroad and you need emergency help from the UK government, contact the nearest British embassy, consulate or high commission. If you need urgent help because something has happened to a friend or relative abroad, contact the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) in London on 020 7008 1500 (24 hours).

Foreign travel checklist

Read our foreign travel checklist to help you plan for your trip abroad and stay safe while you’re there.

Travel safety

The FCO travel advice helps you make your own decisions about foreign travel. Your safety is our main concern, but we can’t provide tailored advice for individual trips. If you’re concerned about whether or not it’s safe for you to travel, you should read the travel advice for the country or territory you’re travelling to, together with information from other sources you’ve identified, before making your own decision on whether to travel. Only you can decide whether it’s safe for you to travel.

When we judge the level of risk to British nationals in a particular place has become unacceptably high, we’ll state on the travel advice page for that country or territory that we advise against all or all but essential travel. Read more about how the FCO assesses and categorises risk in foreign travel advice.

Our crisis overseas page suggests additional things you can do before and during foreign travel to help you stay safe.

Refunds and cancellations

If you wish to cancel or change a holiday that you’ve booked, you should contact your travel company. The question of refunds and cancellations is a matter for you and your travel company. Travel companies make their own decisions about whether or not to offer customers a refund. Many of them use our travel advice to help them reach these decisions, but we do not instruct travel companies on when they can or can’t offer a refund to their customers.

For more information about your rights if you wish to cancel a holiday, visit the Citizen’s Advice Bureau website. For help resolving problems with a flight booking, visit the website of the Civil Aviation Authority. For questions about travel insurance, contact your insurance provider and if you’re not happy with their response, you can complain to the Financial Ombudsman Service.

Registering your travel details with us

We’re no longer asking people to register with us before travel. Our foreign travel checklist and crisis overseas page suggest things you can do before and during foreign travel to plan your trip and stay safe.

Previous versions of FCO travel advice

If you’re looking for a previous version of the FCO travel advice, visit the National Archives website. If you can’t find the page you’re looking for there, send us a request.

Further help

If you’re a British national and you have a question about travelling abroad that isn’t covered in our foreign travel advice or elsewhere on GOV.UK, you can submit an enquiry. We’re not able to provide tailored advice for specific trips.