Information needed for passengers departing and arriving Tonga.
- Airlines advise minimum check in times of 2 hours before international departures and 1 hour before domestic departures.
- Late check-in can result in being denied boarding.
- All passengers pay certain fees for departing from Tonga’s airports. The only exceptions are infants under 2 years old who are not occupying a seat.
- All the fees are included in the ticket price and no fees are collected at the airport. International passengers pay $55 pa’anga, while domestic passengers pay $10 pa’anga plus CT.
- Passenger fees are common practice around the world and are used to maintain airport facilities and ensure compliance to international safety and security requirements.
- All international air travelers require a valid passport.
- All non-Tongan passport holders must have a passport that is valid for at least 6 months prior to entry into Tonga.
Most visitors are issued with a Visitor’s Visa, free of charge, for the period of one month from the date of arrival at the airport provided they have a valid return ticket out of the Kingdom to a country they shall be able to enter and the Immigration Officer is satisfied that they have sufficient funds to financially maintain themselves while in the Kingdom.
Refer to the list below to check if you require a Visitor’s Visa prior to your arrival in the Kingdom.
Visitors wishing to extend their visa or for wanting more information should contact the Immigration Department in Nuku’alofa by phoning +676 26970 or faxing +676 26971.
Visitors holding non-Tongan passports are advised that it is illegal to take up employment, business, schooling or study courses while in the Kingdom on a visitor’s visa.
All non-Tongan passport holders must also ensure that their visas remain valid for the period for which they are in the Kingdom. Anyone in breach of the Immigration Act may be prosecuted and subject to a term of imprisonment or fine or both.
Do you need a visa?
You do not need a Visitor’s Visa prior to arrival if you are a citizen from one of the following countries (and hold a valid return ticket out of the Kingdom as described above):
- Australia, Austria
- Barbados, Belgium, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam
- Canada, Cook Islands, Cyprus
- Denmark, Dominica
- Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Finland, France, French Polynesia (New Caledonia, Tahiti, Wallis & Futuna)
- Germany, Greece
- Ireland, Italy
- Malaysia, Malta, Marshall Islands, Monaco
- Nauru, Netherlands, New Zealand, Niue, Norway
- Palau, Papua New Guinea, Portugal
- Samoa, Seychelles, Singapore, Solomon Islands, Spain, St Kitts & Nevis, St Lusia, St Vincent & the Grenadines, Sweden, Switzerland
- The Bahamas, Turkey, Tuvalu
- Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States of America
Visitors from all other countries require a Visa prior to arrival.
Non-citizens should apply for their Employment Visas at least one month before entering the Kingdom; or, for those applying for renewal, they must apply one month before the expiry of their current employment visa (otherwise penalty fees shall be charged). Always apply while your current visa is still valid (otherwise penalty fees shall be charged),
Any person holding a Tongan Visitor’s Visa is prohibited from taking up employment while in the Kingdom. There are high financial penalties for any person who enters the Kingdom on a Visitor’s Visa and attempts to transfer it to an employment visa when the Immigration Division did not grant approval PRIOR to their arrival in Tonga.
Businesses registered and operating in Tonga may bring non-citizen employees into the country, provided that the non-citizen holds a specialized skill.
Persons undertaking voluntary and charitable work in the Kingdom are also required to hold an Employment Visa. The same conditions for an Employment Visa apply to applicants undertaking voluntary and charitable work. (Special immigration conditions apply for those international organisations, which bring in voluntary workers to Tonga on a frequent basis and where the Tongan Government has an official agreement, approved by Cabinet, with the said organisation).
For a full list of requirements needed for Employment Visas, contact:
Visa Section Immigration Division Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Government of Tonga
P O Box 352 Nuku’alofa
Tel: (676) 26970 / 26969
Fax: 26971 / 23360
Website: Visa Section
- All passengers should be aware that airlines restrict the weight of passenger baggage, and/or the number of items permitted to be checked in and carried onboard.
- Baggage restrictions are generally 20K per person for checked baggage and 7 kg per person for hand baggage.
- This may vary from airline to airline, the destination in question and the class of travel.
- TAL recommends that travellers check the baggage allowance directly with their airline.
- Travellers should expect to be charged if their baggage exceeds the allowance.
Strict rules apply to what can be carried in checked or hand baggage.
The following items are completely prohibited from aircraft:
Explosives, or any substances or equipment with the capacity to explode, firearms and ammunition.
The following items may not be carried on board and should be placed in your checked baggage:
- Any item which may be used as a weapon. (eg Penknife, scissors, razorblades and other sharp objects.)
- Liquids, Aerosols and Gels (LAGS), with exceptions:
- Items of 100mls or less, which in total fit into one small transparent bag 20 x 20 cm. This bag is to be presented at the security point for visual inspection and x-ray screening. Any LAGS of larger size should be packed in your checked baggage as they will be confiscated at the security point. People passing through the screening point will also be subject to random frisk searches. Passengers will also be required to remove any bulky coats or jackets and present them for x-ray screening.These rules apply to drinks, creams, perfumes, sprays, gels, toothpaste, lipstick, lip balm and similar substances.
- Medicine Medicine or medical devices that are required for the duration of the flight are exempt from LAGs restrictions. Passengers are recommended (but not required) to bring along supporting documentation (ID cards, letters from doctors etc) regarding their medication needs. It is also recommended that the label on the prescription medications match the passengers boarding pass.Medicines may include the following:
– essential prescribed medicines, including angina spray;
– essential non-prescribed medicines;
– children’s medicines;
– insulin, hypodermic needles, epipen;
– contact lens solution, where solutions minimum quantity exceeds 100ml;
– inhaler (with spare canisters to be packed in checked baggage).
- Baby Products
Baby products required for the flight are exempt from LAGs restrictions. Where the volume of baby food is deemed excessive, it is will not be allowed through the screening point.Baby products include:
– baby milk;
– sterilised water;
– baby juice;
– baby food in liquid, gel or paste form;
– powdered baby food;
– wet wipes.
- Customs and Duty FreeYour personal concession allows you to bring into Tonga free of duty two cartons of cigarettes (not exceeding 500 grams) and 2.25 litres of potable spirits or 4.5 litres of wine or beer for persons over the age of 18 years.Passengers are able to purchase LAGs within the departure area of an airport. Duty free goods in sealed duty free bags may be carried on board. Other items, such as drinks purchased from cafés and shops may not and should be consumed or disposed of prior to boarding.If a passenger purchases LAGs inside a departure area, exits and attempts to re-enter, the LAGs will not be permitted through the screening point, regardless of the fact they were purchased beyond the screening point.Travellers transiting in Australia to another international destination will have duty free good purchased in Tonga or other overseas points confiscated.
- Tonga is generally disease free.
- The World Health Organization encourages all travelers, regardless of destination, to obtain Hepatitis A & B, Typhoid and Tetanus vaccinations before the start of their trip.
- Tonga has seen sporadic outbreaks of Dengue Fever and visitors are advised to take precautions to avoid mosquito bites.
- Other hazards are those common to all tropical destinations; sun, dehydration, diarrhea caused by unwashed foods or change of diet.
- Bottled water is readily available.
Ministry of Health Website: Ministry of Health Tonga