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French polynesia
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Latest travel advice for French Polynesia including safety and security, entry requirements, travel warnings and health

2017-01-12T11:41:19.987+00:00: Latest update: this advice has been reviewed and re-issued without amendment

French Polynesia is a French Overseas Territory. There is no British diplomatic representation. The British High Commission in Wellington can provide routine consular assistance. In an emergency you can also contact the Consulate-General of New Zealand in Noumea

There is a low threat from terrorism. See Terrorism

Crime levels are low.

Many hundreds of British tourists visit French Polynesia each year. Most visits are trouble-free.

Tropical storms can occur between the months of November and April. See Natural disasters

Take out comprehensive travel and medical insurance before you travel.

Safety and security

Diving

Diving is popular but you should be aware that the only decompression facility is located in Papeete and that in the event of an accident it might take some time to reach there.

Terrorism

There is a low threat from terrorism, but you should be aware of the global risk of indiscriminate terrorist attacks, which could be in public places, including those frequented by expatriates and foreign travellers.

There is considered to be 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.

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

French Polynesia is an Overseas Collective (Collectivité d’Outre-Mer) of France. If your passport describes you as a British Citizen you will not need a visa to enter French Polynesia. Other British passport holders should check the current entry requirements on the website of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and if necessary confirm with the nearest French Diplomatic mission. 

Passport validity

Your passport should be valid for the proposed duration of your stay. No additional period of validity beyond this is required.

Yellow fever certificate requirements

Check whether you need a yellow fever certificate by visiting the National Travel Health Network and Centre’s TravelHealthPro website.

Working

British nationals who wish to work in French Polynesia should make enquiries, prior to departure, at the nearest French Consulate.

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.

The European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) does not provide any health cover in French Polynesia. Make sure you have adequate travel health insurance and accessible funds to cover the cost of any medical treatment abroad and repatriation.

As French Polynesia is not one of the Overseas Departments which are seen as part of mainland France, for the purposes of the EU regulations governing access to healthcare, there is no cover for the cost of healthcare for any UK resident who goes to French Polynesia for a visit or to live.

Information can be obtained direct from the English language service of the Caisse Primaire d’Assurance Maladie (French social security service) on 00 33 8 20 90 42 12 or CLEISS (the Helpdesk in France for international mobility and social security) on 00 33 1 45 26 33 4.

Cases of Chikungunya virus have been confirmed in French Polynesia. You should take appropriate precautions to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes.

Diving is a popular pastime in the Territory but you should be aware that the only decompression facility is located in Papeete and that in the event of an accident it might take some time to reach from some of the popular diving sites located on other islands.

If you need emergency medical assistance during your trip, dial 15 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

French Polynesia is located in an active earthquake area.

Tropical storms including cyclones can occur between the months of November and April. You should monitor local and international weather updates from the World Meteorological Organisation and follow the advice of the local authorities.

See our Tropical Cyclones page for advice about what to do if you’re caught up in a storm.

Money

If you intend to use a credit card during your stay, you should be aware that only Visa, Mastercard, Amex, Diners and JCP (Japan) are widely accepted in French Polynesia. Holders of other cards may encounter difficulties obtaining cash and paying for goods.

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.

See also

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