Passport, visa and customs
New Caledonia is neither a French overseas region nor an overseas collectivity; it has a sui generis status with broad powers of self-government. It is not part of the Schenghen area within which citizens of EU countries can move from one country to another without border controls. Overseas visitors must therefore comply with specific requirements for entry and stays in New Caledonia.
Visiting New Caledonia : Do you need a visa or not ?
Stays of less than 3 months for tourism or personal reasons
. Passport valid for at least 6 months after date of departure from New Caledonia
- French nationals simply need to be in possession of a current passport
- Flights to New Caledonia usually entail a stopover in another country so you should check passport validity requirements.
. Short-stay visas
- Nationals of European Union and European Economic Area member countries, Switzerland and around fifty other countries (Australia, Canada, U.S., Japan, New Zealand...) do not require a short-stay visa. You will find the full list of short-stay visa exempt countries on the website of the French High Commission.
- Specific exceptions may also be granted to diplomatic passport holders from some countries or to persons providing proof of refugee or stateless status...
- All non-French visitors should however be in a position to show proof of accommodation filled out by their host. They should also be in possession of a valid travel document (air ticket...).
Stays of less than 3 months for professional reasons
Stays of more than 3 months for tourism or personal reasons
. Only nationals from European Union member countries are exempt from compliance with the following requirements:
. You must apply for a visa from the French Consulate or Embassy located in your country of residence. You will find the full list of necessary supporting documents on the website of the French High Commission.
Mandatory documents include: valid passport, proof of accommodation, proof of sufficient funds, valid medical and hospital insurance (including repatriation coverage). Some documents are optional (depending on the case in question): employment contract, welcome protocol/official invitation letter issued by a research institution, etc.
Customs formalities & plant health checks
. International regulations on the importing of arms, narcotics and counterfeit goods are, of course, enforced in New Caledonia
. However, specific regulations also apply to the importing of plants, animals and foodstuffs.
- Importing cheese and processed meat is prohibited to ensure New Caledonian livestock is protected from infection.
- To preserve New Caledonia’s immense wealth of endemic plant species, one of the greatest in the world, the import of plant products (seeds, plants, flowers) is also prohibited unless you hold a phytosanitary certificate authorising such import.
. Import quotas also apply to some commodities, such as tobacco, alcohol, coffee and perfume.
. New Caledonia has implemented a raft of regulations protecting animal and plant species: the export of some species is strictly prohibited.
Please ensure you know exactly what restrictions apply before boarding or making purchases to avoid any hassle at customs!