Health and Travel Alert – Update on Consular Services and Air Travel

Location:  Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, and Vanuatu.

Consular Services:  Due to worldwide precautions and limited resources, U.S. Embassy Port Moresby continues to prioritize emergency and mission-critical consular services, particularly for U.S. citizens. Routine consular services, including the processing of non-emergency visas, remain suspended. The Department of State and the Embassy continue to evaluate global and local conditions that would enable the resumption of routine services.

If you are a U.S. citizen and your passport is lost, expired, is nearing expiration (within the next six months), or you otherwise need a replacement urgently—or you would like to request some other emergency service—please write to ConsularPortMoresby@state.gov. If you are not a U.S. citizen and you have a compelling, emergency need for a visa service, please write to ConsularPortMoresby@state.gov and provide as much information as possible about your circumstances.

On June 22, the President signed a Proclamation that extends the previous Proclamation 10014 and suspends the entry of certain additional foreign nationals. Under the Proclamation, the Embassy will suspend until December 31, 2020, the issuance of immigrant visas (with the exception of IR1, CR1, IR2, CR2, and adoption-related cases), L and H-1B non-immigrant visas, and certain J non-immigrant visas for au pairs, interns, trainees, teachers, camp counselors, or summer work and travel participants.

The Proclamation is not retroactive, and no valid visas will be revoked under the Proclamation. However, if you have a valid visa and you have been in or transited through the Schengen Zone, the United Kingdom, Ireland, China, Iran, and/or Brazil within the last 14 days, you should not travel directly to the United States.

For questions regarding entry into the United States, we refer you to the Department of Homeland Security www.cbp.gov.

Air Travel:

Papua New Guinea: There are multiple commercial air options for U.S. citizens who wish to depart Papua New Guinea en route to the United States. At present, all options route through Brisbane, Australia. Air Niugini is the only carrier operating regular commercial service between Port Moresby and Brisbane. U.S. citizens should carefully review requirements for transiting Australia.

From Brisbane, the following carriers are currently operating commercial air service viable for return to the United States:

  • Air New Zealand – Brisbane to Auckland and Auckland to Los Angeles.
  • Qatar Airways – Brisbane to Doha nonstop (until mid-October) and Doha to multiple destinations in the United States.
  • Emirates – Brisbane to Dubai nonstop and Dubai to multiple destinations in the United States.

U.S. citizens transiting Auckland must have a valid New Zealand Electronic Travel Authority (NZeTA), must have no more than 24 hours transit time in Auckland, and must not leave the airport. U.S. citizens should carefully review requirements for transiting New Zealand.

For all routes, U.S. citizens should look for options that minimize transit time in Brisbane to the greatest extent possible. Transit times of more than eight hours require a valid Australian transit visa or Electronic Travel Authority (ETA), an Australian Border Force exemption, and may require quarantine in a designated hotel at the traveler’s expense.

U.S. citizens are advised that domestic travel from Brisbane to other parts of Australia, even to catch onward international flights, is not possible.  For Qatar Airways and Emirates, look for nonstop routes from Brisbane to Doha and Dubai (not routes that stop in Sydney first).

These routes may also facilitate travel from the United States to Papua New Guinea if the traveler has express written permission to enter the country from the National Pandemic Response Controller’s Office, has a valid visa, has a negative PCR test for COVID performed within 14 days of travel, and can meet all requirements for transiting third countries. U.S. citizens are again advised to review transit requirements for each country and to look for routes that minimize transit times in those countries.

Singapore Airlines is also operating regular commercial air service between Brisbane and Singapore and between Singapore and the Los Angeles. However, at present, U.S. citizens in Papua New Guinea are not advised to take this route, as Singapore Airlines may cancel reservations for any passenger that does not originate at certain approved ports.

Solomon Islands: U.S. citizens who wish immediately to depart Solomon Islands en route to the United States are advised to monitor the availability of repatriation flights organized by the Solomon Islands Government and Solomon Airlines. Future flights, to the extent they occur, are likely to terminate in Brisbane, from which travelers could connect with the commercial air options outlined above. Requirements for transiting Australia would apply.

U.S. citizens who wish to depart Solomon Islands immediately should also complete our repatriation interest form. While the Embassy does not anticipate future U.S. government charter flights, completing the form will allow us to contact you should we become aware of other options.

Vanuatu: U.S. citizens who wish to depart Vanuatu immediately en route to the United States should complete  our repatriation interest form.

While the Embassy does not anticipate future U.S. government charter flights, completing the form will allow us to contact you should we become aware of other options. U.S. citizens may also wish to register their interest with Vanuatu’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

General Guidance: The Embassy has no authority to facilitate exemptions to foreign governments’ border and immigration policies and assumes no liability for delays or disruptions in travel. Additional international commercial air services facilitating return to the United States may continue to be limited for the foreseeable future.

U.S. citizens are advised that the above routes and transit options may be suspended at any time with little or no notice. Routes involving multiple air carriers and itineraries may present difficulties for baggage routing and collection. U.S. citizens should inform the carrier at their point of origin of their subsequent routing. In some case, even in the absence of inter-airline agreements, the carrier may be able to manually tag bags to the final destination or a transit hub.

Actions to Take:

Assistance:

U.S. Embassy Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea

Phone number:            +675 308 2100

Email address: ConsularPortMoresby@state.gov

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/usembassyportmoresby/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/usembassypom?lang=en

 

U.S. Consular Agency in Honiara, Solomon Islands

Phone number:            + 677 27429 or + 677 74 94731

Email address: us_consular@usconsular.com.sb and keithieusa@usconsular.com.sb

 

U.S. State Department – Consular Affairs
+1 888 407 4747 or +1 202 501 4444

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