COVID-19 - Global travel advisory

Effective date: December 15, 2021

Avoid non-essential travel outside Canada due to the risk of the Omicron variant that causes COVID-19.

This advisory overrides all other advisories on this page, with the exception of those where we advise against all travel.

Continue to avoid all cruise ship travel outside of Canada.

Useful links

Timor-Leste (East Timor) Register Travel insurance Destinations

Last updated: ET

Still valid: ET

Latest updates: Editorial change


Print format
Risk level(s)

Risk level(s)

Avoid non-essential travel outside Canada due to the risk of the Omicron variant that causes COVID-19.

This advisory overrides all other advisories on this page, with the exception of those where we advise against all travel.

TIMOR-LESTE - Exercise a high degree of caution

Exercise a high degree of caution in Timor-Leste due to the fragile security situation and crime.

Safety and security

Safety and security

COVID-19 - Preventative measures and restrictions

In an attempt to limit the spread of COVID-19, most governments have implemented preventative measures and restrictions.

These could include:

  • curfews, movement restrictions, or lockdowns
  • the obligation to wear a face-covering, a surgical or respirator mask in some circumstances
  • the obligation to present proof of vaccination or a COVID-19 test result to access public and private services and spaces, including transportation, restaurants and cultural sites

Foreign authorities might not recognize or accept proof of vaccination issued by Canadian provinces and territories. You may need to obtain a translation, a notarization, an authentication, or the legalization of the document.

Before travelling, verify if specific restrictions or requirements are in effect.

Foreign Representatives in Canada

Political situation and civil unrest

The situation has been calm since UN peacekeepers departed in 2012. However, political tensions remain.

Violent episodes could occur with little notice, especially during significant political events, such as presidential or parliamentary elections. Be vigilant in the periods leading up to, during and following these types of events.

Military operations may take place at any time throughout the country. If you encounter a military operation:

  • leave the area immediately if you can do so safely
  • follow the instructions of local authorities
  • remain vigilant at all times

Crime

Gang-related violence, arson, robbery and vandalism occur, especially in Dili.

Gangs in Dili have attacked cars with stones and darts fired from slingshots, particularly during the early evening hours and at night.

Violence between martial arts groups occurs, despite the government banning most of their activities.

  • Avoid armed non-government groups, including martial arts groups, throughout the country
  • Exercise extreme caution at bars and nightclubs, where altercations between groups may take place

Petty crime, such as pickpocketing and purse snatching, occurs. Thieves frequently target foreigners.

  • Do not show signs of affluence
  • Be aware of your surroundings
  • Ensure that your personal belongings, including your passport and other travel documents, are secure at all times

Demonstrations

Demonstrations take place from time to time. They are likely to occur:

  • near government buildings, institutions or residences
  • around Dili’s Presidente Nicolau Lobato International Airport

Even peaceful demonstrations can turn violent at any time. They can also lead to disruptions to traffic and public transportation.

  • Avoid areas where demonstrations and large gatherings are taking place
  • Follow the instructions of local authorities
  • Monitor local media for information on ongoing demonstrations

More about mass gatherings (large-scale events)

Women’s safety

Women travelling alone may be subject to forms of harassment, violence and verbal abuse. Sexual harassment and groping of women is reported regularly.

Safe-travel guide for women

Tourist facilities

Tourist facilities and services such as hotels, restaurants and public transportation are very limited on the island, except in Dili.

Government services are also limited.

Trekking

Locals regularly find unexploded ordnance in open areas outside Dili.

If you intend on trekking:

  • never do so alone and always hire an experienced guide from a reputable company
  • buy travel insurance that includes helicopter rescue and medical evacuation
  • 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 itinerary, including when you expect to be back to camp
  • know the symptoms of acute altitude sickness, which can be fatal
  • obtain detailed information on trekking routes before setting out and do not venture off marked trails

Water activities

Crocodile attacks occur across the country.

There have been crocodile sightings on beaches in Dili and other popular destinations. They are often present on the south coast.

Check with locals for the latest on the situation.

Swimming

Tidal changes can cause powerful currents and riptides are common.

Rescue services may not be consistent with international standards.

  • Consult locals and tour operators for information on possible hazards and safe swimming areas
  • Wear reef shoes to protect yourself against coral cuts and stonefish
  • Follow the instructions and warnings of local authorities

Diving

Tour operators may not adhere to international standards.

If you undertake adventure sports, such as diving:

  • choose a well-established and reputable company that has insurance
  • ensure that your travel insurance covers the recreational activities you choose

If in doubt concerning the safety of the facilities or equipment, don’t use them.

Water safety abroad

Road safety

Aside from main roads in Dili, road conditions and road safety are poor throughout the country. Roads are poorly maintained and lack adequate lighting. Those outside of Dili are often unpaved.

Roads in mountain areas can also be narrow and winding. Driving conditions can be hazardous during the rainy season due to flash floods.

Serious accidents are frequent. Roadblocks are common.

  • Avoid travelling at night
  • Avoid travelling alone or in isolated areas
  • Avoid driving or riding motorcycles, even if you are an experienced motorcyclist

Public transportation

Public transportation is unsafe. Assaults have occurred, including in taxis.

Avoid unnecessary local travel.

Buses

Buses are generally overcrowded and don’t meet international safety standards.

Taxis

If you decide to travel by taxi, keep in mind that yellow taxis aren’t metered, so you should agree on a fare before departure.

Ferries

Ferry accidents are common and often caused by poor safety practices or extreme weather conditions.

If you choose to travel by ferry:

  • make sure the vessel you are boarding is carrying appropriate safety equipment
  • make sure that life jackets are provided for all passengers and accessible at all times
  • don’t board vessels that appear overloaded or unseaworthy
  • verify the safety standards of ferries with your tour operator

Piracy

Pirate attacks and armed robbery against ships occurs in coastal waters and, in some cases, farther out at sea.

Mariners should take appropriate precautions.

Live piracy report - International Maritime Bureau’s Piracy Reporting Centre

Air travel

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

General information about foreign domestic airlines

 

Entry/exit requirements

Entry/exit requirements

COVID-19 - Entry, exit and transit restrictions and requirements

Most governments have implemented special entry and exit restrictions and requirements for their territory due to COVID-19.

Foreign authorities might not recognize or accept proof of vaccination issued by Canadian provinces and territories. You may need to obtain a translation, a notarization, an authentication, or the legalization of the document.

Before travelling, verify if the local authorities of both your current location and destinations have implemented any restrictions or requirements related to this situation.

Restrictions imposed could include:

  • entry bans, particularly for non-residents
  • exit bans
  • quarantines of 14 days or more upon arrival, some in designated facilities, at your own cost
  • health screenings and certificates as well as proof of adequate travel health insurance
  • border closures
  • airport closures
  • flight suspensions to/from certain destinations, and in some cases, all destinations
  • suspensions or reductions of other international transportation options

Additional restrictions can be imposed suddenly. Airlines can also suspend or reduce flights without notice. Your travel plans may be severely disrupted, making it difficult for you to return home. Consider even your transit points, as transit rules are in place in many destinations.

  • Monitor the media for the latest information
  • Contact your airline or tour operator to determine if the situation will disrupt your travel plans
  • Contact the nearest foreign diplomatic office for information on destination-specific restrictions

You should not depend on the Government of Canada for assistance to change your travel plans.

Useful links

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 authorities of Timor-Leste. It can, however, change at any time.

Verify this information with the Foreign Representatives in Canada.

Passport

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 Timor-Leste. It must contain at least one blank page for the placement of a visa.

Passport for official travel

Different entry rules may apply.

Official travel

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.

Useful links

Visas

Tourist visa: required
Business visa: required
Work visa: required

Tourist visas

Entering by air or by sea

You can obtain a tourist visa on arrival at Dili’s international airport and the Port of Dili. You must pay an entry fee for a visit of up to 30 days. You can apply to extend your visa, for a fee, past the 30-day limit at the Immigration Service in Dili.

Entering by land

If you plan to enter by land, you need to apply in advance for a Visa Application Authorization online, or in person at an Embassy or Consulate of Timor-Leste.

Once at the border, you must present the document. If you meet all of the requirements and pay the fee, you can obtain a single or multiple-entry visa valid for a stay up to 90 days.

There are no currency exchange facilities at Dili’s international airport or at border crossings. Carry the exact amount for the entry fee in cash.

Work or business visas

You must obtain business or work visas in advance.

Useful links

Other entry requirements

Customs officials may ask you to show them a return or onward ticket and proof of sufficient funds to pay for your stay and departure from the country. 

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 professional 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 professional about which ones are right for you.

COVID-19

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 in Canada before travelling. Anyone who has not completed a vaccine series is at increased risk of being infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 when travelling internationally.

Regardless of where you are going, talk to a health care professional before travelling to make sure you are adequately protected against COVID-19.

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.

Japanese encephalitis

Japanese encephalitis is a viral infection that can cause swelling of the brain. It is spread by the bite of an infected mosquito. Risk is low for most travellers. Vaccination should be considered for those who may be exposed to mosquito bites (e.g., spending a large amount of time outdoors) while travelling in regions with risk of Japanese encephalitis.

Measles

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.

Rabies

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).

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 not required to enter this country.

Recommendation

  • 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/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 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!

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.
Typhoid

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 typhoid, especially those exposed to places with poor sanitation should speak to a health care professional about vaccination.


Insects

Insects and Illness

In some areas of Southeastern Asia, 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.

Chikungunya

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.

Dengue
  • 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.

Malaria

Malaria

  • There is a risk of malaria in certain areas and/or during a certain time of year 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 professional or visit a travel health clinic, preferably six weeks before you travel to discuss your options.

Animals

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.


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.

Tuberculosis

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

COVID-19 - Testing

Contact local health authorities, or the nearest Government of Canada office abroad to find out where you can get a COVID-19 test.

Access to health care is limited. Quality of care varies greatly throughout the country.

Dental facilities are very limited outside Dili and the level of dental care is poor throughout the country.

Payment up front is often required.

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

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.

Drugs

Penalties for possession, use or trafficking of illegal drugs are severe. Convicted offenders can expect jail sentences and heavy fines.

Political activities

Foreigners cannot interfere or participate in political activities.

If you engage in such activities, you may be subject to fines, detention and deportation.

Dual citizenship

Dual citizenship is legally recognized in Timor-Leste.

If you are a Canadian citizen, but also a citizen of Timor-Leste, 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

LGBTQ2 travellers

Timorese law does not prohibit sexual acts between individuals of the same sex.

However, LGBTQ2 travellers could be discriminated against based on their sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression or sex characteristics.

Travel and your sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression and sex characteristics

Dress and behaviour

Certain religious or cultural sites may require special permission to enter.

To avoid offending local sensitivities:

  • dress conservatively
  • behave discreetly
  • respect religious and social traditions

Driving

Traffic drives on the left.

You may drive with a valid Canadian driver’s licence and an International Driving Permit for up to 3 months.

If you’re staying longer, you must obtain a local driver’s licence from the Department of Transport and Communications.

All motor vehicles must be registered with the motor vehicle office.

More about the International Driving Permit

Money

The currency in Timor-Leste is the U.S. dollar (USD).

The economy is primarily cash based. Many places will not accept bills issued prior to 2007.

Credit cards are not widely accepted. There are ATMs in Dili; however, they can charge high fees to dispense cash and are often out of order.

Natural disasters and climate

Natural disasters & climate

Monsoons

The rainy (or monsoon) season extends from December to April. Seasonal flooding can hamper overland travel and reduce the provision of essential services. Roads may become impassable and bridges damaged.

  • Stay informed of the latest regional weather forecasts
  • Avoid disaster areas
  • Follow the advice and instructions of local authorities

More about hurricanes, typhoons, cyclones and monsoons

Earthquakes and tsunamis

Timor-Leste is located in an active seismic zone. Earthquakes occur frequently and there is a risk of tsunamis.

  • Familiarize yourself with earthquake security measures in hotels and public and private buildings
  • In the event of an earthquake, pay careful attention to local authorities’ official warnings

A tsunami can occur within minutes of a nearby earthquake. However, the risk of tsunami can remain for several hours following the first tremor. If you’re staying on the coast, familiarize yourself with the region’s evacuation plans in the event of a tsunami warning.

Useful links

 

Assistance

Assistance

Local services

Emergency services

In case of emergency, dial:

  • police: 112
  • medical emergencies: 110
  • firefighters: 115

Consular assistance

There is no resident Canadian government office in Timor-Leste. You can obtain consular assistance and from the Embassy of Australia to Timor-Leste, in Dili, under the Canada-Australia Consular Services Sharing Agreement.

Sign up to receive email updates from the Australian government on situations and events that could affect your safety while in Timor-Leste.

Smartraveller – Australian travel advice

Dili - Embassy of Australia
Street AddressRua Mártires da Pátria, Dili, Timor-LesteTelephone670 332 2111Fax670 332 2247EmailConsular.Dili@dfat.gov.auInternetwww.timorleste.embassy.gov.au/dili/home.htmlFacebookEmbassy of Canada to Indonesia and Timor-LesteTwitter@CanEmbIndonesiaConsular servicesYou are encouraged to register with the Australian embassy in Dili in order to receive the latest information on situations or events that could affect your safety.
Jakarta - Embassy of Canada
Street AddressWorld Trade Centre I, 6th Floor, Jl. Jend Sudirman, Kav. 29, Jakarta 12920, IndonesiaPostal AddressP.O. Box 8324/JKS.MP, Jakarta, 12084 IndonesiaTelephone62 21 2550 7800Fax62 21 2550 7811Emailconsul.jakarta@international.gc.caInternetwww.indonesia.gc.caServicesPassport Services AvailableFacebookEmbassy of Canada to Indonesia and Timor-Leste and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)Twitter@CanEmbIndonesia

For emergency consular assistance, call the the Embassy of Australia to Timor-Leste, in Dili, or the Embassy of Canada to Indonesia, in Jakarta, 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.

Date modified: