Samoa

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Latest updates: This travel advice was thoroughly reviewed and updated.


Risk level(s)

Risk level(s)

SAMOA - Take normal security precautions

Take normal security precautions in Samoa.

Travel Health Notice - Zika virus

The Public Health Agency of Canada has issued advice for travellers on the Zika virus, recommending that Canadians practice special health precautions while travelling in affected countries. Pregnant women and those considering becoming pregnant should avoid travel to Samoa. See Health for more information.

Safety and security

Safety and security

Crime

Petty and violent crime occurs. Ensure that your personal belongings, including your passport and other travel documents, are secure at all times.

Women’s safety

Sexual assaults occur. Women should dress conservatively, be aware of their surroundings and avoid walking alone after dark or in remote areas. Exercise caution near the Beach Road strip of bars in Apia.

Check our safe-travel guide for women.

Road safety

Most main roads on the two main islands of Upolu and Savai’i are paved but in deteriorating condition. Buses and taxis are available. Night driving is not recommended. Roads in Samoa often traverse small streams; exercise caution when going through these streams.

Maritime transportation

There is a ferry service between Upolu and Savai’i.

Air travel

We do not make assessments on the compliance of foreign domestic airlines with international safety standards.

Learn more about foreign domestic airlines.

Swimming

Tidal changes can cause powerful currents in the many coastal lagoons that surround the islands, and several fatal swimming accidents are recorded each year. Consult local residents and tour operators for information on possible hazards and safe swimming areas.

General safety information

Do not approach or feed stray dogs because they can become aggressive.

The Australian High Commission in Apia provides consular assistance to Canadians in Samoa under the Canada-Australia Consular Services Sharing Agreement because there is no resident Canadian government office in Samoa.

Entry/exit requirements

Entry/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 Samoan authorities. It can, however, change at any time.

Verify this information with foreign diplomatic missions and consulates in Canada.

Passport

Canadians must present a passport to visit Samoa, which must be valid for at least six months beyond the date of expected departure from that country. Prior to travelling, ask your transportation company about its requirements related to passport validity, which may be more stringent than the country's entry rules.

Temporary passport holders may be subject to different entry requirements. Check with diplomatic representatives for up-to-date information.

Official (special and diplomatic) passport holders must consult the Official Travel page, as they may be subject to different entry requirements.

Visas         

Tourist visa: Not required for stays less than 60 days
Business visa: Not required for stays less than 60 days
Student visa: Required (temporary resident permit)

You may extend your stay beyond 60 days by applying at the local immigration office. For more information on visas, consult the website of the Government of Samoa.

Important requirements

An onward or return ticket and proof of sufficient funds for the duration of your stay are required to visit Samoa.

Departure fee

A fee of WST40 is payable upon departure. Children aged 11 and under are exempt.

Children and travel

Learn about travel with children.

Yellow fever

Learn about potential entry requirements related to yellow fever (vaccines section).

 

Health

Health

Related Travel Health Notices
Consult a health care provider or visit a travel health clinic preferably six weeks before you travel.
Vaccines

Routine Vaccines

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 provider about which ones are right for you.

Hepatitis A

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

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.

Influenza

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

Measles is a highly contagious viral disease and is common in most parts of the world.

Be sure your measles vaccination is up-to-date regardless of your travel destination.

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.

Risk

  • 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.

Recommendation

  • Vaccination is not recommended.
  • Discuss travel plans, activities, and destinations with a health care provider.
  • There is currently a shortage of the yellow fever vaccine in Canada. It is important for travellers to contact a designated Yellow Fever Vaccination Centre well in advance of their trip to ensure that the vaccine is available.

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/Water

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
  • 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

Insects and Illness

In some areas in the Oceanic Pacific Islands, certain insects carry and spread diseases like chikungunya, dengue fever, Japanese encephalitis, lymphatic filariasismalaria and Zika virus.

 

Travellers are advised to take precautions against bites.

Chikungunya

There is currently an outbreak of chikungunya in this country. Chikungunya is a viral disease spread through the bite of an infected mosquito that typically causes fever and pain in the joints. Protect yourself from mosquito bites, particularly around sunrise and sunset. There is no vaccine available for chikungunya.

Zika virus infection

Zika virus infection is a risk in this country. Recent or ongoing cases of Zika virus have been reported in this country.

Travel recommendations:

All travellers should protect themselves from mosquito bites day and night.

Zika virus infection during pregnancy can cause serious birth defects such as abnormally small heads (microcephaly).   Zika virus can also be sexually transmitted.

Travellers who are pregnant or planning a pregnancy:

  • Should avoid travel to this country
  • If travel cannot be avoided follow strict mosquito bite prevention measures.
  • Talk to your health care professional about the risk of Zika infection in pregnancy.
  • Use condoms or avoid having sex for the duration of the pregnancy, if you are pregnant and your partner has travelled to this country.
  • Female travellers:  wait at least 2 months after returning from this country before trying to conceive (get pregnant) to ensure that any possible Zika virus infection has cleared your body.
  • Male travellers: wait 6 months after returning from this country before trying to conceive.  Use condoms or avoid having sex during that time.

See travel health notice: Zika virus: Advice for travellers
 


Malaria

Malaria

There is no risk of malaria in this country.


Animals

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.


Person-to-Person

Person-to-Person Infections

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

Hospital and medical facilities are limited, and medical evacuation may be required in serious cases. You may have to pay in advance to receive medical services or provide a deposit if hospitalized. Medical evacuation by air ambulance to Australia or New Zealand is extremely expensive. Evacuations using commercial airlines may be delayed during June and from November to January, when flights are often heavily booked.

There are no hyperbaric chambers in Samoa. Serious cases of decompression sickness are evacuated to the nearest treatment centre in Australia or New Zealand. All registered dive companies carry basic treatment equipment to meet Professional Association of Diving Instructors standards.

Travel insurance

Medical evacuation, which can be very expensive, may be necessary in the event of serious illness or injury. Make sure you have travel insurance that covers all medical expenses, including hospitalization abroad and medical evacuation.

Learn more about 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

Laws & 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.

Imports

Regulations on the importation of drugs, firearms, fruits and pets are strict.

LGBTQ2 travellers

The laws of Samoa prohibit sexual acts between individuals of the same sex. LGBTQ2 travellers should carefully consider the risks of travelling to Samoa.

More information and advice for LGBTQ2 travellers abroad

Driving

Traffic drives on the left.

An International Driving Permit is recommended.

Visitors must obtain a temporary driver’s licence before driving in Samoa. These are available from the Ministry of Works, Transport and Infrastructure office in Vaitele, the Polynesian Xplorer tourist office at Faleolo International Airport and from some car rental agencies in Apia.

Culture

Dress conservatively, behave discreetly and respect religious and social traditions to avoid offending local sensitivities.

Dual citizenship

Dual citizenship is legally recognized in Samoa.

If you are a Canadian citizen, but also a citizen of Samoa, our ability to offer you consular services may be limited in Samoa. You may also be subject to different entry/exit requirements.

Learn more about travelling as a dual citizen.

Money

The currency of Samoa is the tala (WST). Major credit cards (Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Diners Club) are accepted at most large hotels and some restaurants and stores. Traveller’s cheques are widely accepted at major banks and hotels. ATMs are located in and around Apia, and there is one on Savaii.

Natural disasters and climate

Natural disasters & climate

Cyclones

The cyclone season in the South Pacific extends from November to April. Severe rainstorms can cause flooding and landslides, resulting in significant loss of life and extensive damage to infrastructure, and hampering the provision of essential services. Disruptions to air services and water and power supplies may also occur. Keep informed of regional weather forecasts, avoid disaster areas and 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.

Consult Typhoons and monsoons for more information.

Earthquakes

Samoa is in an active seismic zone and prone to earthquakes. Tsunamis may occur after a strong earthquake and can travel long distances across the Pacific Ocean.

Assistance

Assistance

Local services

Emergency services

In case of emergency, dial:

  • police: 995
  • medical assistance: 996
  • firefighters: 994

Consular assistance

There is no resident Canadian government office in Samoa. You can obtain consular assistance and further information from the Australian High Commission in Apia under the Canada-Australia Consular Services Sharing Agreement.

Apia - High Commission of Australia
Street AddressBeach Road, Apia, SamoaPostal AddressP.O. Box 704, ApiaTelephone68 5 23 411Fax68 5 23 159Emailahc.apia@dfat.gov.auInternetwww.samoa.embassy.gov.au/apia/home.html
Wellington - High Commission of Canada
Street AddressLevel 11, 125 The Terrace, Wellington 6011, New ZealandPostal AddressP.O. Box 8047, Wellington 6143, New ZealandTelephone+64 4 473-9577Fax+64 4 471-2082Emailwlgtn@international.gc.caInternetwww.newzealand.gc.caServicesPassport Services AvailableTwitter@CanHCNZ

For emergency consular assistance, call the Australian High Commission in Apia 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, express 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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