The Republic of Palau is a group of approximately 340 islands located in the western Pacific Ocean.
It has an area of 459 km2 and a population of 21,503. The most populous island in Palau is Koror, while its capital Ngerulmud is located on the nearby island of Babeldaob, in Melekeok State.
Traveling to Palau may be in the to-visit list, of many world travelers in this century. With its numerous islands, blues beaches, and wonderful diving spots, the number of tourists to the country is increasing,
If you are planning to travel to the island country anytime soon, this guide will help you understand what you need to do before your trip.
Who Needs a Visa for Palau?
When traveling to Palau, world nationals may or may not need a visa depending on the country, which granted them the passport they hold.
Nationals of the following countries can travel to Palau and stay up to 1 year without any visa:
- Marshall Islands
- United States
Passport holders of the countries listed below can enter without a visa and remain in Palau for a maximum of 90 days:
- All EU/Schengen Member Countries
In addition, Russian nationals can also remain in Palau for up to 30 days without obtaining any visa upon arrival.
The rest of the world nationals can obtain a visa-on-arrival at the Palau airport, which is valid for a maximum stay of 30 days but can be extended twice for a fee.
Only Bangladesh and Myanmar nationals are required to obtain a visa beforehand.
Palau Visa Requirements
As all Palau visas are obtained upon arrival (except for Bangladesh and Myanmar nationals), the application requirements are very simple.
When traveling to Palau, you will need to meet the following requirements:
- Have your valid passport with you. It must have at least one blank page in order for the border authorities to be able to stamp your passport.
- Proof of sufficient funds to cover your stay in Palau, which is at least USD 200 per week.*
- You must hold a return/onward ticket.*
- International Certificate of Vaccination for Yellow Fever required if arriving from an infected area.
*This does not apply to nationals of Marshall Islands, Micronesia and USA.
Palau Visa Application Process
The application process for a Palau visa-on-arrival is simple and quick. Once you arrive, you need to provide the border check authorities with your valid passport and the rest of the documents listed above in this article.
The processing is completed within minutes and you will get your passport back with the visa stamped in it.
The application process is different for nationals of Bangladesh and Myanmar, as they need to apply for the visa before they reach Palau, from their country of residence. Nationals of these two countries should contact the Palau diplomatic mission in their country, other representative authorities or the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Palau Visa Fee
You do not need to pay any fee upon arrival in Palau. However, every traveler departing the country, including those exempt from the visa are obligated to pay:
- A departure tax of US$20.
- An environmental fee of US$30.
Palau Visa Validity
A Palau visa obtained upon arrival is valid for a maximum of 30 days of stay. The day of arrival is counted as day one, even if it is just a couple of minutes before midnight. The visa is, however, extendable, as explained below.
Palau Visa Extension
All those in Palau with a visa, can apply to extend their stay twice, for another 30 days each. The period of stay cannot extend 90 continuous days.
For each extension, the visitor needs to pay USD 50. You are highly advised to apply at least seven days before the expiration date of your current visa at the Bureau of Immigration.
The Bureau of Immigration works from Monday to Friday, starting at 7:30am until 4:30pm.
Tel: (680) 488 – 2498 or 2678
E-mail: [email protected]
Palau Diplomatic Missions Abroad
This is the list of diplomatic missions of the Republic of Palau:
- Embassy of the Republic of Palau to the United States of America located in Washington, D.C.
- Embassy of the Republic of Palau to the Republic of Philippines located in Manila
- Embassy of the Republic of Palau to the State of Japan located in Tokyo
- Embassy of the Republic of Palau to the Republic of China (Taiwan) located in Taipei
- Embassy of the Republic of Palau to the Kingdom of Belgium located in Brussels
This is the list of consulates of the Republic of Palau:
- Consulate General of the Republic of Palau to the Socialist Republic of Vietnam located in Hanoi
- Honorary Consulate General of the Republic of Palau to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
- Consulate General of the Republic of Palau to the Territory of Guam of the United States of America located in Hagåtña
- Consulate General of the Republic of Palau to the Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands located in Saipan
Is Palau a Safe Country to Visit?
Most visits to Palau are trouble-free as the level of crime in Palau is low. However, tourists are highly advised to keep their belongings near them.
Those diving and exploring caves should be cautious, as there is a significant amount of unexploded ordnance left from World War II. There is no recent history of terrorism in Palau, but the island country is vulnerable to tropical cyclones and floods, most likely to occur between June and November.
How Can I Travel to Palau?
You can travel to Palau by plane. There is only one airport in Palau and that is Airai (ROR), on Babeldaob. There are flights from the following countries to Palau:
You can also reach Palau by boat, but that is not quite easy as there are few options for this.
What Can Tourists Do in Palau?
Despite being one of the smallest countries in the world with a very low number of residents, Palau offers a lot to tourists that want to explore the unknown and create new exciting experiences.
Following, find the most interesting things a tourist can see and experience in Palau:
- Visit the Ngardmau Waterfall in Babeldaob, which is the largest waterfall in the country, around 30 meters high and 37 meters wide, at the end of which are formed little pools and miniature waterfalls.
- Check out the Stone Monoliths of Ngarchelong, which are some large blocks of stones alike the Stonehenge, but smaller in size. They are located near the waterfall so you can see both attractions in the same day.
- Go sea kayaking, in the warm and calm seas of Palau. You will get the chance to see maze-like channels, beautiful beaches and the aquamarine waters that surround the jungle-clad islets.
- Swim in the natural pools of Koro and Babeldoab, which are some of the main attractions of both regions.
- Visit the museums of Palau, which display the Palauan and Micronesian culture. You can also check the WWII Memorial Museum
- See WWI relicts, many of which are located on Peleliu since the battle of September 1944.
- Visit the jellyfish lake, which is located on the Eil Malk Island, famous for horizontally migrating millions of golden jellyfishes.