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Passports are obligatory, and those who don’t need a visa are given a tourist card. Suriname is becoming somewhat liberal with its entry requirements; for example, Guyanese, Brazilian and Japanese citizens don’t require visas, but Australian, Canadian, French, German, Dutch, New Zealand, UK and US nationals still do.

Suriname’s overseas representation is very limited. You can contact the nearest embassy for an application form, but allow four weeks for a postal application. Consulates in Georgetown (Guyana) and Cayenne (French Guiana) charge US$30 (US$50 for US citizens) for two-month single-entry visitor visas and issue them within a couple of hours or days; prices rise for multiple-entry and longer-stay visas. Some say that the process of obtaining a visa is easier in Cayenne than in Georgetown. Bring a passport-sized photo and your ticket out of South America.

To extend your visa, appeal to Vreemdelingenpolitie (Immigration Service; 403609; Havenkomplex, Van ’t Hogerhuysstraat, Nieuwe Haven; 7am-2pm Mon-Fri) in Paramaribo.