Asia and Oceania

French Polynesia

Still current at: 11 June 2008
Updated: 08 May 2008


This advice has been reviewed and reissued with an amendment to the Health section (prevalence of HIV/AIDS in French Polynesia).  The overall level of the advice has not changed.

(see travel advice legal disclaimer)

Travel advice for this country


Travel Summary

  • French Polynesia is a French Overseas Territory. There is currently no British diplomatic or consular representation. In the event of an emergency, please contact the British Embassy in Paris for assistance. See the General section of this advice for more details.

  • 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.

  • Although the risk from crime is also low, it does exist and you should take normal common-sense precautions.  See the Crime section of the advice for more details.

  • Many hundreds of British tourists visit French Polynesia each year. Most visits are trouble-free. We are not aware of any British nationals who required consular assistance in French Polynesia in 2007.

  • Tropical storms including cyclones can occur between the months of November and April.  See the Natural Disasters section of this advice and Hurricanes for more details.

  • We strongly recommend that you obtain comprehensive travel and medical insurance before travelling to French Polynesia.  You should check any exclusions, and that your policy covers you for all the activities you want to undertake.  See the General (Insurance) section of this advice and Travel Insurance for more details.

Safety and security

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.  For further information see Terrorism Abroad.

Crime
 
For general information see the Victims of Crime Abroad.

Entry requirements

Visas
 
French Polynesia is an Overseas Collective (Collectivité d'Outre-Mer) of France. If you are a British Citizen or British Subject with Right of Abode in the UK, you will not need a visa to enter French Polynesia.  Other British passport holders should confirm the current entry requirements with the nearest French Diplomatic mission.
 
Passport validity
 
All British passport holders require a valid passport.  There is no minimum passport validity requirement but you should ensure that your passport is valid for the proposed period of your stay.
 
Please note that as there is no British Diplomatic or Consular representation in French Polynesia, all applications to replace lost, stolen or expired passports must be made direct to the British Embassy in Paris.  Contact details appear in the General Section of this advice.
 
Working
 
British nationals who wish to work in French Polynesia should make enquiries, prior to departure, at the nearest French Consulate. 
 
Travelling with children
 
Single parents or other adults travelling alone with children should be aware that some countries require documentary evidence of parental responsibility before allowing lone parents to enter the country or, in some cases, before permitting the children to leave the country.

Health

The European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), which has replaced the E111 medical form, does not provide any health cover in French Polynesia.

British nationals planning a permanent move to French Polynesia, especially those who have not yet reached retirement age, should consult the UK Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) at the earliest opportunity to obtain advice on their longer-term entitlement as residents to health care provision under the French national system.  Enquiries should be made to the DWP Overseas Medical Benefits help-line on 00 44 191 218 1999 which is open on Mondays to Fridays from 08.00 to 20.00 daily. Alternatively, 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.

Dengue fever is common on French Polynesia.

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.
 
You should exercise normal precautions to avoid exposure to HIV/AIDS. For more general information on how to do this see HIV and AIDS.

You should seek medical advice before travelling to French Polynesia and ensure that all appropriate vaccinations are up-to-date.  For further information on vaccination requirements, health outbreaks and general disease protection and prevention you should visit the websites of the National Travel Heath Network and Centre NaTHNaC and NHS Scotland's Fit For Travel or call NHS Direct on 0845 46 47.
 
For more general health information see Travel Health.
 
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.  You can also access http://www.nhc.noaa.gov.
 
See Hurricanes page for more details.

General

Insurance

We strongly recommend that you obtain comprehensive travel and medical insurance before travelling to French Polynesia.  You should check any exclusions, and that your policy covers you for the activities you want to undertake.  See Travel Insurance for more details.
 
If things do go wrong when you are overseas, see how we can help.

Consular assistance

There is currently no resident British Diplomatic or Consular Mission in French Polynesia. In case of emergency, please contact the British Embassy Paris. Details are below.
 
Consular Registration

Register with our LOCATE service to tell us when and where you are travelling abroad or where you live abroad so our consular and crisis staff can provide better assistance to you in an emergency.  More information about registering with LOCATE can be found here.

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 in obtaining cash and paying for goods.

Travel advice for this country

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contacts

France, Paris, British Embassy

Address:

British Embassy
BP111-08, 75363 Paris CEDEX 08

Telephone:

(33) 1 44 51 31 00
(33) 1 49 55 73 00 British Council

Fax:

(33) 1 44 51 32 88 Management
(33) 1 44 51 34 01 Commercial
(33) 1 44 51 32 34 Press and Public Affairs
(33) 1 44 51 34 85 Political/Economic
(33) 1 44 51 34 40 Defence/Technology
(33) 1 44 51 31 27 Consular
(33) 1 47 05 77 02 British Council

Email: webmaster.paris@fco.gov.uk

Office hours:

GMT:
Mon -Fri: 0830-1200 / 1330-1600

Local Time:
Mon-Fri: 0930-1300 / 1430-1700

Website: http://www.britishembassy.gov.uk/france