Immigration. Travel. Living.

Marshall Islands: immigration guide

Flag of Marshall Islands

About the Marshall Islands

The Republic of the Marshall Islands is one of the youngest nations in the world. Marshall Islanders are famous in the world for their gracious and calm nature. Sharing, hospitality, and caring for others are some of the values they have nurtured over the years. To travel here, you must know the Marshall Islands visa policy, visa types, and visa requirements that apply to you.

Since citizens of certain countries are exempted from the visa before entry policy, an applicant has to find out their eligibility beforehand. If you are not a citizen from such countries, then you have to apply for a visa at the Marshall islands whatever your reason for traveling might be. This guide provides insight into the four main things you must know before planning your move.

  • Visa Types
  • Permanent Residency
  • How to apply
  • Requirements

Visa Types

There are three categories of visas available, and they depend on the purpose of visitation. Each category is explained better in subsequent sections

Tourism Visa

A tourist visa is issued to a foreign entering the country on a visitor for any other personal reason. The visa is valid for 90 days and the holder gets to stay only for the stipulated period. A foreigner on a tourist visa cannot work, or study unless he or she applies for a permit. If you intend to stay with someone here, then you will need evidence of an invitation from your host, otherwise, you should book accommodation before leaving.  This is a required document during your visa application process. 

Business Visa

For foreigners looking to come here for business and work purposes only, this visa is highly recommended. The business visa lets you reside on the island while you attend that business meeting, close the deal, or make new business partners. Because of the nature of the visa, you will have to provide an invitation letter at the embassy or evidence of your business dealings with a Marshall Islands-based company. Your passport has to be valid for at least 6 months past your intended stay. 

Work Visa

The type of visa issued to newly employed foreigners intending to live here while working for a native company. The visa is issued by the embassy when such a foreigner gets employment while in their home country. However, for an applicant already on the island, the visa and work permit is issued by the ministry of foreign affairs. 

blue sea

Permanent Residency

A short-stay visa and permit usually allow an ex-pat to reside for a short time. Depending on the type of visa or permit, such a person is restricted to certain activities. With a resident permit, you can live for a longer time. However, this is also temporary. To live permanently on the island without being a citizen, you must apply for a residence visa. This allows a person who is willing to stay here permanently or set up a business through investments. It is valid for 5 years and renewable. 

How to apply

Apart from applying for a permanent residence permit, there are other options if you are looking to stay for a longer time. For a foreigner to obtain citizenship, he or she has to meet certain requirements. There are only three options open to ex-pats living here. They are:

  • Citizenship by Descent: this applies to a person who has at least one Marshall Islander as a parent.
  • Citizenship by Naturalisation: this applies to a person who has lived a minimum of five years here and has satisfied all requirements asked by the state.
  • Citizenship by Birth: this and dual citizenship does not apply here. However, if a person born in the country denounces their other citizenship, they are eligible to become citizens.


Everyone applying for a visa is expected to provide the following documents during the process:

  1. Completed application form (with two recent passport size photos)
  2. Passport valid for at least 6 months
  3. Letter of the purpose of the stay
  4. Criminal background report
  5. Health clearance, etc.

When you are applying for a residence permit or citizenship, you are expected to provide the following documents: Certificate of residence, Criminal record, valid passport, valid visa, etc. To be eligible, you must satisfy all requirements such as being above 18 years of age, having lived here longer than a minimum of 5 years, having adequate knowledge of the culture, etc.  

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