French Polynesia in detail

Entry & Exit Formalities

  • Entry procedures for French Polynesia are straightforward. You’ll have to show your passport, with any visa you may have obtained beforehand. You’ll also need to present completed arrival and departure cards, usually distributed on the incoming flight. You may also be asked to show proof of a return airline ticket.

Customs Regulations

  • The duty-free allowance for visitors entering French Polynesia includes 200 cigarettes or 50 cigars, 2L of wine and 2L of spirits and 50mL of perfume.
  • No live animals can be imported (if they’re on a yacht, they must stay on-board) and certification is required for plants.
  • On the way out of the country you’re allowed to bring up to 10 undrilled pearls plus as much mounted jewellery as you like, tax-free.


Everyone needs a passport to visit French Polynesia. The regulations are much the same as for France: if you need a visa to visit France, you’ll need one to visit French Polynesia. Anyone from an EU country can stay for up to three months without a visa, as can citizens of Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand and Switzerland.

Other nationalities need a visa, which can be applied for at French embassies.

Apart from permanent residents and French citizens, all visitors to French Polynesia need to have an onward or return ticket.

Visa Extensions

Stays by foreign visitors may not exceed three months. For longer periods, you must apply to the French consular authorities in your own country for a residence permit; you cannot lodge your application from French Polynesia unless you have a sponsor or get married to a permanent resident.

Formalities for Yachts

In addition to presenting the certificate of ownership of the vessel, sailors are subject to the same passport and visa requirements as travellers arriving by air or by cruise ship. Unless you have a return air ticket, you are required to provide a banking guarantee of repatriation equivalent to the price of an airline ticket to your country of origin.

Yachties must advise the Police aux Frontières of their final departure. If your first port of call is not Pape’ete, it must be a port with a gendarmerie (police station). The gendarmerie must be advised of each arrival and departure, and of any change of crew.

Before arriving at the port of Pape’ete, announce your arrival on channel 12. Next, you’ll need to report to the Bureau des Yachts, and complete an arrival declaration.


Most nationalities can stay one to three months without a visa.