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American Samoa - Take normal security precautions
Take normal security precautions in American Samoa.
Safety and security
Petty and violent crime occurs on occasion. Ensure that your personal belongings, including your passport and other travel documents, are secure at all times.
Road conditions and road safety are poor throughout the territory. Vehicle safety regulations aren’t regularly enforced. Traffic violations routinely occur.
Roads often cross small streams. Slow down and be careful when driving over such areas.
- Observe speed limits
- Avoid driving at night outside of main cities
Buses and taxis
Buses and taxis are available.
We do not make assessments on the compliance of foreign domestic airlines with international safety standards.
General information about foreign domestic airlines
Tidal changes can cause powerful currents in the many coastal lagoons around the islands. Several fatal swimming accidents occur each year.
- Consult tour operators for information on possible hazards and safe swimming areas
- Follow the instructions and warnings of local authorities
General safety information
Don’t approach or feed stray dogs, which can become aggressive.
There’s no resident Canadian government office in American Samoa. The Australian High Commission in Apia, Samoa, provides consular assistance to Canadians in American Samoa under the Canada-Australia Consular Services Sharing Agreement.
We encourage you to register with the Australian High Commission to receive the latest information on situations and events that could affect your safety.
Australian High Commission
In an attempt to limit the spread of a novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19), which originated in China, some governments have implemented special entry restrictions for their territory. Before travelling, verify if your destination’s local authorities have implemented any specific entry and exit restrictions related to this situation.
Coronavirus disease (COVID-19): Outbreak update – Public Health Agency of Canada
Every country or territory decides who can enter or exit through its borders. The Government of Canada cannot intervene on your behalf if you do not meet your destination’s entry or exit requirements.
We have obtained the information on this page from American Samoan authorities. It can, however, change at any time.
Verify this information with foreign diplomatic missions and consulates in Canada.
American Samoa is a territory of the United States but retains oversight of its own borders. Some entry and exit requirements, such as passport validity, differ from those of the United States.
More about entry to American Samoa - American Samoa Immigration office
Entry requirements vary depending on the type of passport you use for travel.
Before you travel, check with your transportation company about passport requirements. Its rules on passport validity may be more stringent than the country’s entry rules.
Regular Canadian passport
Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months beyond the date you expect to leave American Samoa.
Passport for official travel
Different entry rules may apply.
Other travel documents
Different entry rules may apply when travelling with a temporary passport or an emergency travel document. Before you leave, check with the closest diplomatic mission for your destination.
Canadians can visit American Samoa without an entry permit or visa for a period of up to 30 days.
At least 48 hours prior to your arrival, you must apply for and receive authorization from the Entry Permit Waiver Program. Cruise ship passengers need not apply.
Online application - Entry Permit Waiver Program
Learn about entry requirements related to measles (vaccine section).
Learn about potential entry requirements related to yellow fever (vaccines section).
Children and travel
Learn about travel with children.
Be sure that your routine vaccines, as per your province or territory, are up-to-date regardless of your travel destination.
Some of these vaccines include: measles-mumps-rubella (MMR), diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, varicella (chickenpox), influenza and others.
Vaccines to Consider
You may be at risk for these vaccine-preventable diseases while travelling in this country. Talk to your travel health professional about which ones are right for you.
Hepatitis A is a disease of the liver spread through contaminated food and water or contact with an infected person. All those travelling to regions with a risk of hepatitis A infection should get vaccinated.
Hepatitis B is a disease of the liver spread through blood or other bodily fluids. Travellers who may be exposed (e.g., through sexual contact, medical treatment, sharing needles, tattooing, acupuncture or occupational exposure) should get vaccinated.
Seasonal influenza occurs worldwide. The flu season usually runs from November to April in the northern hemisphere, between April and October in the southern hemisphere and year round in the tropics. Influenza (flu) is caused by a virus spread from person to person when they cough or sneeze or by touching objects and surfaces that have been contaminated with the virus. Get the flu shot.
Measles *Proof of vaccination*
Measles is a highly contagious viral disease. It can spread quickly from person to person by direct contact and through droplets in the air.
Anyone who is not protected against measles is at risk of being infected with it when travelling internationally.
Regardless of where you are going, talk to a health care professional before travelling to make sure you are fully protected against measles.
Proof of vaccination:
Proof of measles vaccination is required from all travellers 62 years old or younger, entering the territory via Samoa or the Kingdom of Tonga. Measles vaccination must have been administered at least 14 days prior to travel. If proof is not presented, travellers will be returned to their previous port of departure.
For more information, see the American Samoa Government's declaration of continued public health emergency. To obtain proof of vaccination, contact your health care professional or your local public health authority.
Yellow Fever - Country Entry Requirements
Yellow fever is a disease caused by a flavivirus from the bite of an infected mosquito.
Travellers get vaccinated either because it is required to enter a country or because it is recommended for their protection.
- There is no risk of yellow fever in this country.
Country Entry Requirement*
- Proof of vaccination is not required to enter this country.
- Vaccination is not recommended.
About Yellow Fever
Yellow Fever Vaccination Centres in Canada
* It is important to note that country entry requirements may not reflect your risk of yellow fever at your destination. It is recommended that you contact the nearest diplomatic or consular office of the destination(s) you will be visiting to verify any additional entry requirements.
Food and Water-borne Diseases
Travellers to any destination in the world can develop travellers' diarrhea from consuming contaminated water or food.
In some areas in the Oceanic Pacific Islands, food and water can also carry diseases like hepatitis A. Practise safe food and water precautions while travelling in the Oceanic Pacific Islands. Remember: Boil it, cook it, peel it, or leave it!
- Travellers' diarrhea is the most common illness affecting travellers. It is spread from eating or drinking contaminated food or water.
- Risk of developing travellers' diarrhea increases when travelling in regions with poor standards of hygiene and sanitation. Practise safe food and water precautions.
- The most important treatment for travellers' diarrhea is rehydration (drinking lots of fluids). Carry oral rehydration salts when travelling.
Insects and Illness
In some areas in the Oceanic Pacific Islands, certain insects carry and spread diseases like chikungunya, dengue fever, Japanese encephalitis, lymphatic filariasis, malaria and Zika virus.
Travellers are advised to take precautions against bites.
There is currently a risk of chikungunya in this country. Chikungunya is a virus spread through the bite of an infected mosquito. Chikungunya can cause a viral disease that typically causes fever and pain in the joints. In some cases, the joint pain can be severe and last for months or years.
Protect yourself from mosquito bites at all times. There is no vaccine available for chikungunya.
- In this country, dengue fever is a risk to travellers year-round. It is a viral disease spread to humans by mosquito bites.
- Dengue fever can cause severe flu-like symptoms. In some cases, it can lead to dengue haemorrhagic fever, which can be fatal.
- The level of risk of dengue fever changes seasonally, and varies from year to year. After a decline in reported dengue cases worldwide in 2017 and 2018, global numbers have been steeply rising again.
- Mosquitoes carrying dengue typically bite during the daytime, particularly around sunrise and sunset.
- Protect yourself from mosquito bites. There is no vaccine or medication that protects against dengue fever.
Zika virus is a risk in this country.
Zika virus is primarily spread through the bite of an infected mosquito. It can also be sexually transmitted. Zika virus can cause serious birth defects.
Pregnant women and women planning a pregnancy should visit a health care professional before travelling to discuss the potential risks of travelling to this country. Pregnant women may choose to avoid or postpone travel to this country.
- Prevent mosquito bites at all times.
- If you are pregnant, always use condoms correctly or avoid sexual contact with anyone who has travelled to this country for the duration of your pregnancy.
- Women: Wait 2 months after travel to this country or after onset of illness due to Zika virus (whichever is longer) before trying for a pregnancy. If your male partner travelled with you, wait 3 months after travel or after onset of illness due to Zika virus (whichever is longer).
- Men: Wait 3 months after travel to this country or after onset of illness due to Zika virus (whichever is longer) before trying for a pregnancy.
For more travel recommendations, see the travel health notice: Zika virus: Advice for travellers
There is no risk of malaria in this country.
Animals and Illness
Travellers are cautioned to avoid contact with animals, including dogs, monkeys, snakes, rodents, birds, and bats. Certain infections found in the Oceanic Pacific Islands, like rabies, can be shared between humans and animals.
Crowded conditions can increase your risk of certain illnesses. Remember to wash your hands often and practice proper cough and sneeze etiquette to avoid colds, the flu and other illnesses.
Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and HIV are spread through blood and bodily fluids; practise safer sex.
Medical services and facilities
Medical facilities are limited. Health-care facilities are adequate for routine treatments, but limited in range and availability. Immediate cash payment for health services is expected. Pack a travel health kit, especially if you’ll be travelling away from major city centres.
There is a hyperbaric (decompression) chamber available at the LBJ Tropical Medical Center (Tel.: +1 684 633 1222) in Fagaalu on the island of Tutuila.
Medical evacuation can be very expensive and you may need it in case of serious illness or injury.
Make sure you get travel insurance that includes coverage for medical evacuation and hospital stays.
Travel health and safety
Keep in Mind...
The decision to travel is the sole responsibility of the traveller. The traveller is also responsible for his or her own personal safety.
Be prepared. Do not expect medical services to be the same as in Canada. Pack a travel health kit, especially if you will be travelling away from major city centres.
Laws and culture
You must abide by local laws.
Learn about what you should do and how we can help if you are arrested or detained abroad.
Penalties for possession, use or trafficking of illegal drugs are severe. Convicted offenders can expect lengthy prison sentences.
Samoa strictly regulates the import of firearms, pets, plant and animal products, and pornographic materials. Check customs with the Samoa Tourist Authority.
Samoa Tourist Authority - Local customs and culture
American Samoa law does not prohibit sexual acts between individuals of the same sex. However, homosexuality is not widely accepted in American Samoan society.
LGBTQ2 travellers should carefully consider the risks of travelling to American Samoa.
General safety information and advice for LGBTQ2 travellers abroad
Dual citizenship is legally recognized in the United States.
If you are a Canadian citizen, but also a citizen of the United States, our ability to offer you consular services may be limited while you're there. You may also be subject to different entry/exit requirements.
General information for travellers with dual citizenship
Traffic drives on the right. You must carry an international driving permit if you plan on driving in American Samoa for 30 days or more.
More about the International Driving Permit
To avoid offending local sensitivities:
- dress conservatively
- behave discreetly
- respect religious and social traditions
The currency of American Samoa is the U.S. dollar.
Major credit cards are accepted at hotels, car-rental firms and airlines.
ATMs are available.
Natural disasters and climate
American Samoa is prone to earthquakes. A tsunami can occur within minutes of a nearby earthquake and can travel long distances across the Pacific.
- If staying in accommodations on the coast, familiarize yourself with the region’s evacuation plans in the event of a tsunami warning
Rainy and cyclone season
The rainy and cyclone seasons in the South Pacific extend from November to April.
Severe rainstorms can cause flooding and landslides. Flooding and landslides have resulted in significant loss of life and extensive damage to infrastructure. These events hamper the provision of essential services. Disruptions to air services and to water and power supplies may also occur.
- Keep informed of regional weather forecasts
- Avoid disaster areas
- Follow the instructions of local authorities
During a cyclone, hotel guests may be required to leave accommodations near the shore and move to safety centres inland. Travel to and from outer islands may be disrupted for some days.
Hurricanes, typhoons, cyclones and monsoons
Dial 911 for emergency assistance.
There is no resident Canadian government office in American Samoa. You can obtain consular assistance and further information from the High Commission of Australia in Apia, Samoa, under the Canada-Australia Consular Services Sharing Agreement.
Apia - High Commission of Australia
Wellington - High Commission of Canada
For emergency consular assistance, call the High Commission of Australia in Apia, Samoa, and follow the instructions. At any time, you may also contact the Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa.
The decision to travel is your choice and you are responsible for your personal safety abroad. The Government of Canada takes the safety and security of Canadians abroad very seriously and provides credible and timely information in its Travel Advice to enable you to make well-informed decisions regarding your travel abroad. In the event of a large-scale emergency, every effort will be made to provide assistance. However, there may be constraints that will limit the ability of the Government of Canada to provide services.
See Large-scale emergencies abroad for more information.
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