Brunei travel advice
Latest updates: Removal of COVID-19 information
Last updated: ET
On this page
- Risk level
- Safety and security
- Entry and exit requirements
- Laws and culture
- Natural disasters and climate
- Need help?
Brunei - Take normal security precautions
Take normal security precautions in Brunei.
Safety and security
Violent crime is rare.
Petty crime, such as break-ins and theft, occurs. Crime increases in July when school is out of session, and during the December holidays.
Ensure that your personal belongings, including your passport and other travel documents, are secure at all times. Do not leave possessions in unattended vehicles.
If you intend on trekking in the rainforest:
- use recognized and well-known guides
- stay on the footpaths
- ensure that your physical condition is good enough to meet the challenges of your activity
- ensure that you’re properly equipped and well informed about weather and other conditions that may pose a hazard
- inform a family member or friend of your trekking area, including when you expect to return from your activity
- obtain detailed information on trekking routes before setting out and do not venture off marked paths
Brunei Tourism – Ministry of Primary Resources and Tourism
Road conditions and road safety are good throughout the country.
Speeding, running red lights and distracted driving are common traffic infractions. In case of an accident, remain at the scene and do not move your vehicle until police arrive.
You can get a self-drive rental or chauffeur-driven car from major hotels and the airport. You should make arrangements for this before you arrive.
Buses operate between 6 a.m. and 8 p.m. but are infrequent.
Public bus route – Ministry of Transport and Infocommunications
You can usually get a metered taxi at hotels, shopping centres and the airport. Your hotel can arrange for a taxi or provide a taxi driver’s cell-phone number. Some drivers will negotiate a fare.
Water taxis are the most common form of transport to and from Kampong Ayer. Fares are negotiable.
Brunei Metered Taxi - Land Transport Department of Brunei
We do not make assessments on the compliance of foreign domestic airlines with international safety standards.
Entry and exit requirements
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 the Bruneian authorities. It can, however, change at any time.
Verify this information with the Foreign Representatives in Canada.
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 Brunei.
Passport for official travel
Different entry rules may apply.
Passport with “X” gender identifier
While the Government of Canada issues passports with an “X” gender identifier, it cannot guarantee your entry or transit through other countries. You might face entry restrictions in countries that do not recognize the “X” gender identifier. Before you leave, check with the closest foreign representative for your destination.
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 foreign representative for your destination.
Tourist visa: required for stays of more than 14 days
Business visa: required for stays of more than 14 days
Student visa: required
If you need a visa, you must have at least 6 blank pages in your passport.
Visa information – Ministry of Foreign Affairs Brunei
You will not be allowed entry into Brunei if you have HIV/AIDS or any other communicable disease. You will be asked to complete a health declaration form upon entry.
Children and travel
Learn about travel with children.
Learn about potential entry requirements related to yellow fever (vaccines section).
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.
Pre-travel vaccines and medications
You may be at risk for preventable diseases while travelling in this destination. Talk to a travel health professional about which medications or vaccines are right for you.
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 required if you are coming from or have transited through an airport of a country where yellow fever occurs.
- Vaccination is not recommended.
- Discuss travel plans, activities, and destinations with a health care professional.
- Contact a designated Yellow Fever Vaccination Centre well in advance of your trip to arrange for vaccination.
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.
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.
Rabies is a deadly illness spread to humans through a bite, scratch or lick from an infected animal. Vaccination should be considered for travellers going to areas where rabies exists and who have a high risk of exposure (e.g., are children, have an occupational risk, or in close contact with animals, including free roaming dogs in communities).
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.
Japanese encephalitis is a viral infection that can cause swelling of the brain. It is spread to humans through the bite of an infected mosquito. Risk is very low for most travellers. Travellers at relatively higher risk may want to consider vaccination for JE prior to travelling.
Travellers are at higher risk if they will be:
- travelling long term (e.g. more than 30 days)
- making multiple trips to endemic areas
- staying for extended periods in rural areas
- visiting an area suffering a JE outbreak
- engaging in activities involving high contact with mosquitos (e.g., entomologists)
- There is a limited risk of malaria in this country.
- Malaria is a serious and occasionally fatal disease that is spread by the bite of an infected mosquito. There is no vaccine against malaria.
- Protect yourself from mosquito bites. This includes covering up, using insect repellent and staying in enclosed, air-conditioned accommodations. You may also consider pre-treating clothing and travel gear with insecticides and sleeping under an insecticide-treated bednet.
- Antimalarial medication may be recommended depending on your itinerary and the time of year you are travelling. See a health care provider or visit a travel health clinic preferably six weeks before you travel to discuss your options.
Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious viral disease. It can spread from person to person by direct contact and through droplets in the air.
It is recommended that all eligible travellers complete a COVID-19 vaccine series along with any additional recommended doses in Canada before travelling. Evidence shows that vaccines are very effective at preventing severe illness, hospitalization and death from COVID-19. While vaccination provides better protection against serious illness, you may still be at risk of infection from the virus that causes COVID-19. Anyone who has not completed a vaccine series is at increased risk of being infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 and is at greater risk for severe disease when travelling internationally.
For destination entry and exit requirements, including for COVID-19 vaccination requirements, please check the Entry/exit requirements section.
Regardless of where you are going, talk to a health care professional before travelling to make sure you are adequately protected against COVID-19.
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 Southeast Asia, food and water can also carry diseases like cholera, hepatitis A, schistosomiasis and typhoid. Practise safe food and water precautions while travelling in Southeast Asia. Remember: Boil it, cook it, peel it, or leave it!
Typhoid is a bacterial infection spread by contaminated food or water. Risk is higher among children, travellers going to rural areas, travellers visiting friends and relatives or those travelling for a long period of time.
Travellers visiting regions with a risk of typhoid, especially those exposed to places with poor sanitation, should speak to a health care professional about vaccination.
Insects and Illness
Travellers are advised to take precautions against bites.
There is a risk of chikungunya in this country. The risk may vary between regions of a 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 is a risk to travellers. It is a viral disease spread to humans by mosquito bites.
- Dengue can cause flu-like symptoms. In some cases, it can lead to severe dengue, which can be fatal.
- The level of risk of dengue changes seasonally, and varies from year to year. The level of risk also varies between regions in a country and can depend on the elevation in the region.
- 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.
Animals and Illness
Travellers are cautioned to avoid contact with animals, including dogs, monkeys, snakes, rodents, birds, and bats. Some infections found in some areas in Southeastern Asia, like avian influenza and rabies, can be shared between humans and animals.
Tuberculosis is an infection caused by bacteria and usually affects the lungs.
For most travellers the risk of tuberculosis is low.
Travellers who may be at high risk while travelling in regions with risk of tuberculosis should discuss pre- and post-travel options with a health care professional.
High-risk travellers include those visiting or working in prisons, refugee camps, homeless shelters, or hospitals, or travellers visiting friends and relatives.
Medical services and facilities
Medical facilities are good, but medical evacuation to Singapore may be necessary for serious medical problems.
Make sure you get travel insurance that includes coverage for medical evacuation and hospital stays.
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. Death is the mandatory penalty for many narcotics offences, including trafficking controlled drugs, even in very small amounts.
You can’t purchase alcohol in Brunei and the import of alcohol is strictly regulated.
- Alcohol, drugs and travel
- Cannabis and international travel
- Narcotics Control Bureau - Government of Brunei
- Import regulations - Ministry of Finance of Brunei
The following activities are illegal and convicted offenders can face severe penalties:
- possession of pornographic material
- possession of firearms, weapons and related accessories
- photography of government and military establishments or equipment
- persuading or inciting a Muslim to neglect their religious duties
- promoting any religion other than Islam
Overstaying a visa
Immigration regulations are strict. Foreign workers who overstay their visas face harsh penalties, including jail sentences and caning. If you’re working in Brunei, closely monitor your immigration status and visa expiration dates.
Extramarital relations and public displays of affection between a Muslim and non-Muslim may be considered a crime in Brunei.
Sharia penal code
The Sharia penal code applies regardless of a person’s religion or nationality. Penalties for certain offences can be severe, and can include physical punishment and the death penalty. Penalties may be applied for certain offences that would not be considered criminal in Canada. Brunei’s existing civil penal code and civil courts will continue to function in parallel with the Sharia penal code and Sharia Court.
Sharia penal code - Attorney General’s Chambers
In 2023, the lunar month of Ramadan is expected to begin on or around March 22.
In public, between sunrise and sunset, refrain from:
Discussing royal family
Avoid any public criticism of His Majesty the Sultan or other members of the Bruneian royal family.
Bruneian law prohibits sexual acts between individuals of the same sex. Those convicted can face severe penalties, including the death penalty.
2SLGBTQI+ travellers should carefully consider the risks of travelling to Brunei.
Dual citizenship is not legally recognized in Brunei.
If local authorities consider you a citizen of Brunei, they may refuse to grant you access to Canadian consular services. This will prevent us from providing you with those services.
International Child Abduction
The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction is an international treaty. It can help parents with the return of children who have been removed to or retained in certain countries in violation of custody rights. It does not apply between Canada and Brunei.
If your child was wrongfully taken to, or is being held in Brunei by an abducting parent:
- act as quickly as you can
- consult a lawyer in Canada and in Brunei to explore all the legal options for the return of your child
- report the situation to the nearest Canadian government office abroad or to the Vulnerable Children’s Consular Unit at Global Affairs Canada by calling the Emergency Watch and Response Centre.
If your child was removed from a country other than Canada, consult a lawyer to determine if The Hague Convention applies.
Be aware that Canadian consular officials cannot interfere in private legal matters or in another country’s judicial affairs.
- International Child Abduction: A Guidebook for Left-Behind Parents
- Travelling with children
- Canadian embassies and consulates by destination
- Emergency Watch and Response Centre
Traffic drives on the left.
Foreigners holding a driving permit issued by a country that is party to the Geneva Convention may convert that permit to a Brunei permit that can be used for up to one year.
You should carry an international driving permit.
Land Transport Department - Government of Brunei
The currency in Brunei is the Brunei dollar.
Natural disasters and climate
Brunei is located in an active seismic zone. However, earthquakes and volcano activity are not common.
The rainy (or monsoon) seasons occur from September to January and from May to July. During these periods, even small storms can quickly develop into major ones. These severe rainstorms can put you at risk and hamper the provision of essential services. They may also cause flooding and landslides.
If you decide to travel to Brunei during the monsoon seasons:
- know that you expose yourself to serious safety risks
- be prepared to change your travel plans on short notice, including cutting short or cancelling your trip
- stay informed of the latest regional weather forecasts
- carry emergency contact information for your airline or tour operator
- follow the advice and instructions of local authorities
- Hurricanes, typhoons, cyclones and monsoons
- Large-scale emergencies abroad
- Local weather updates - Brunei Meteorological Department
Unrestricted burning in neighbouring Indonesia periodically causes atmospheric pollution to rise to unhealthy levels. Pollutant standard index levels (PSI reading) change quickly and you should closely monitor them by consulting local news and weather reports.
PSI readings - Department of Environment, Parks and Recreation of Brunei
- police: 993
- medical assistance: 991
- firefighters: 995
- search & rescue: 998
The High Commission of Canada in Brunei is now offering consular services from an alternate location. If you need consular assistance, contact the High Commission by email to make an appointment.
Bandar Seri Begawan - High Commission of Canada
For emergency consular assistance, call the High Commission of Canada in Brunei 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. We take the safety and security of Canadians abroad very seriously and provide credible and timely information in our Travel Advice to enable you to make well-informed decisions regarding your travel abroad.
The content on this page is provided for information only. While we make every effort to give you correct information, it is provided on an "as is" basis without warranty of any kind, expressed or implied. The Government of Canada does not assume responsibility and will not be liable for any damages in connection to the information provided.
If you need consular assistance while abroad, we will make every effort to help you. However, there may be constraints that will limit the ability of the Government of Canada to provide services.
Learn more about consular services.
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