- Normal precautions
- High degree of caution
- Avoid non-essential travel
- Do not travel
- Safety and Security
- Local Laws and Customs
- Additional Information
- Embassy Contact
High Degree of Caution
General Travel Advice
Travellers must have at least 6 months’ validity remaining on their passport from the intended date of departure from Timor Leste. Damaged passports, even with minor damage, can result in denied entry by immigration officials.
Those travelling to Timor Leste should ensure they are in possession of a return ticket in advance of entry as there are limited commercial flight options.
We suggest you learn as much as you can about Timor Leste before your trip from travel agents, tour operators and guide books. The best help is often close at hand so if you have problems when you’re in the country, try talking to your local contacts, tour operator representative or hotel management.
You can contact the emergency services in Timor Leste by dialling the following:
- Police: 112
- Fire: 115
- Medical: 110
Our tips for Safe Travels:
- Get comprehensive travel insurance that covers all your planned activities.
- Register your details with us so that we can contact you quickly if there’s an unforeseen crisis like a natural disaster or a family emergency.
- Follow us on twitter @dfatravelwise for the latest travel updates.
- Read our ‘Know Before You Go’ guide.
As there is no Irish Embassy or Consulate in Timor Leste, we’re limited in the help we can offer in an emergency. However, if you need assistance, you can contact the Irish Embassy in Indonesia.
Safety and Security
Safety and Security
Safety and security
Crime is a problem in Timor-Leste, including gang-related violence, robbery (in some cases armed), assault and attacks on vehicles.
There have been a number of attacks on foreigners in Dili, including bag-snatchings, during the hours of daylight and darkness. Be vigilant at all times and avoid displaying expensive items of jewellery or carrying large sums of money. There have been reports of harassment and violence against women.
There are occasional violent incidents at nightclubs in Dili.
There are occasional incidents of fighting between groups in various districts around Timor-Leste, often but not always related to martial arts groups. These incidents often involve stone throwing and occasionally machetes and knives. Most happen at night.
There is a low threat from terrorism, but you should be aware of the global risk of indiscriminate terrorist attacks, which could be in public areas, including those frequented by expatriates and foreign travellers.
Take care if you go outside after dark. Avoid travelling alone or to isolated areas.
In rural areas there is a danger from unexploded ordnance from World War II and the Indonesian occupation. Don’t stray off well-used roads and paths.
Crocodiles have been seen at beaches and inland waterways near Dili, and attacks have been reported.
Be particularly vigilant in border areas.
Poor road quality and an increasing number of cars, especially in Dili, make driving in Timor-Leste hazardous. Accidents are frequent. Drive with doors locked and windows up.
Drivers must hold a current driving licence valid for the class of vehicle they plan to drive. Third Party motor vehicle insurance is not available.
Take extra care when it is wet. Travel in convoy whenever possible. Main routes are often single-track mountain roads, which can deteriorate rapidly and become impassable, particularly during the rainy season (December-April).
There have been incidents of piracy and armed robbery against ships in neighbouring waters. Mariners should be vigilant, reduce opportunities for theft, establish secure areas onboard and report all incidents to the coastal and flag state authorities.
Avoid any demonstrations and large crowds, as these have the potential to deteriorate quickly and turn violent.
Make sure your travel documents are up-to-date and available in case you need to leave at short notice. Keep a photocopy of the relevant pages of your passport to avoid any complications.
Local Laws and Customs
Local Laws and Customs
Local laws and customs
Remember, the local laws apply to you as a visitor and it is your responsibility to follow them. Be sensitive to local customs, traditions and practices as your behaviour may be seen as improper, hostile or may even be illegal.
Don't become involved with drugs of any kind. Penalties for breaking the law can be severe.
It is not possible to receive an entry permit when you arrive at the land border with West Timor so if you want to enter Timor Leste via the border with Indonesia, you need to get an entry permit in advance from the Immigration Department of Timor Leste.
Travellers arriving in the country by air, can receive an entry permit on arrival at Dili Airport. An entry permit is normally issued for visits of up to 30 days. Fees for these permits can change regularly so you should check with the Immigration Department for up-to-date information about the entry permit.
Passports must be valid for at least six months from date of entry into Timor-Leste. It’s advisable to take a number of photocopies of your passport with you when travelling to Timor-Leste and you should carry a photocopy of your passport at all times during your stay. Damaged passports will result in being denied entry by immigration officials.
Medical services in Timor-Leste are limited, particularly outside Dili. There are very few dental and optical services. In the event of a medical emergency, evacuation to Australia or Singapore is likely to be the only option for treatment. Irish citizens are advised to make sure they have adequate travel insurance and accessible funds to cover the cost of any medical treatment abroad and repatriation.
For emergency medical assistance, dial 110 and ask for an ambulance. Travellers are advised to contact their insurance/medical assistance company promptly if referred to a medical facility for treatment.
Before travelling, get up-to-date medical advice as to whether anti-malarial medication is needed. To avoid mosquito bites it is advisable to use bed nets and repellents, and to wear closed shoes, long sleeves and trousers. If traveling with prescription medication, check with the Timor Leste authorities to ensure the medication is legal in Timor-Leste.
Malaria, dengue fever, tuberculosis and Japanese encephalitis are common throughout Timor-Leste. There is usually an increase in dengue cases during the rainy season, which runs from November to April.
We recommend that drinking only boiled or bottled water.
If you require emergency assistance from the Embassy, please contact us on +62 (0) 21 2809 4300. If you call outside normal working hours with an emergency involving an Irish citizen, you will be given instructions to call another number to speak to a Duty Officer.
If you have a consular assistance query while travelling in Timor Leste please email firstname.lastname@example.org (not monitored outside normal working hours).
You may also wish to call the Department of Foreign Affairs in Dublin directly at +353 1 408 2000.
Embassy of Ireland
World Trade Centre 1
Jl.Jend. Sudirman kave 29-31
Monday to Friday 09:00-13:00 and 13:30-16:00
Get travel and medical insurance
Before travelling, the Department strongly recommends that you obtain comprehensive travel insurance which will cover all overseas medical costs, including medical repatriation/evacuation, repatriation of remains and legal costs. You should check any exclusions and, in particular, that your policy covers you for the activities you want to undertake.