Immigration. Travel. Living.

Palau: immigration guide

Flag of Palau

Here is a guide on how to move permanently here, with ease and most importantly, through legal means. 

Palau is a country consisting of several islands of which only eight are inhabited, the island of Babeldaob being the largest and home to the capital city, Melekeok. Other islands include Koror, Sonsorol, Peleliu, Anguar, Rock, etc. because it is a relatively small island with few populations and a growing economy, foreigners only visit solely for tourism purposes.

Whatever your purpose for traveling might be, you will need a visa and permit to live here. According to the visa policy, citizens from almost all countries in the world can obtain a visa on arrival, which is valid for a maximum of 30 days.

However, citizens from the US and some few nations may reside for up to a year. If you want to know the type of visa you are eligible for, it is best to check out the immigration website or try online visa agents. Let’s look at four main things you should know if you are planning to relocate here. 

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

Visa Types

The visa types available for the country are explained below.

Tourist Visa

This visa is for persons traveling here for private reasons such as sightseeing or reunion. To obtain this, you must submit a passport valid for at least 6 months beyond your stay to the embassy with other required documents such as your bank statement or invitation letter from a host. It is advisable to apply two months before your relocation. This applies to citizens from Bangladesh and Myanmar.

Business Visa

Usually issued to persons coming for business meetings or conferences. If you are a business owner or a partner of a country-based company, you can apply for a business visa when you are traveling for business intent. The company or host you will be visiting has to issue a letter to the authorities stating the reason and duration of your stay.

green island viewing blue sea

Visa on Arrival

Visa on arrival is only available to foreign nationals who are eligible and under specific circumstances at two main airports. You can check out if your country is on the list of the countries with a visa on arrival agreement with Palau. The visa is valid for 30 days at most for nationals of any country with the exemption of Bangladesh and Myanmar. The good news is it can also be extended twice but at a fee. If you are going for this, you should ensure you meet up all requirements before traveling to avoid deportation.

Work visa/permit

This is not a common type of visa because there are few job opportunities for foreigners here. To obtain a work visa though, you will have to secure a job and obtain a work permit before your relocation. You can apply for this at the embassy or consulate in your country of residence.

Permanent Residency

This is when an ex-pat is issued a certificate of residence to live permanently in a foreign country. Permanent residency is often issued here, but it is possible to obtain one. If you intend to live on the island for longer than a year, this is your best option. However, there is a catch to it. To obtain this, you will have to be eligible for it, and for that to happen; you must satisfy certain criteria. You have to live on the island for longer than three years, possess a residence permit, and have a reasonable purpose for stay such as work, investment, purchased properties, etc.

How to Apply

Other than being a resident, you can reside permanently here when you earn citizenship. The two principles of jus soli and jus sanguinis grant a child born in the country citizenship by birth. The following are ways you can become a legal citizen:

  • By descent: born abroad to parents of which at least one is a Palauan.
  • By Birth: born in the country to at least one parent who is a citizen.
  • By naturalization: unlike in other countries, you cannot obtain citizenship by mere residency for a long period or by marriage to a citizen. A foreigner can only obtain this type of citizenship if he or she has recognized Palauan ancestry.
  • By Adoption: a child adopted by parents with Palauan citizenship.


To become a citizen or live permanently here, an ex-pat must satisfy certain criteria. When applying for permanent residency, you have to submit documents to aid your application and when applying for citizenship, you have to have familial affiliations with Palau such as a legally recognized ancestry.

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