All Gump Station users (no matter what their nationality or length of stay) should check with the Station well in advance of their visit about the needs for a scientific permit, known as a "protocole d’accueil". Most users will need one of these but the rules are subject to change. The application form is submitted to the Gump Station (see applications page) and forwarded by us to the government Research Department that issues the protocole d’accueil. At the time of writing, conference participants do not usually need a protocole d'accueil unless their nationality requires them to obtain a visa (see below).
The advice given on this page is for guidance only, we do our best to keep it up to date, but it is subject to change by the French immigration authorities. For all questions related to upcoming visits, please contact Frank Murphy who will forward your information to the appropriate person.
EU citizens: Only a valid EU passport is required. There are no visa requirements for citizens of the European Union (but non-French citizens who stay longer than 3 months should apply for a residency card in Papeete).
US citizens: US citizens involved in scientific activities (research or classes) are allowed to stay in French Polynesia for up to 90 days without a visa so long as they have a valid protocole d’accueil. Note that the 90 day limit is within a 6 month period starting when you first enter FP. You can enter and leave during this period, but the cumulative time you are in FP (inclusive of arrival and departure days) must not exceed 90 days. After the 6 months has passed, the 90 days are reset - the new 6-month period begins the next time you enter FP.
If you are likely to be close to this limit, it is recommended that you apply for a Scientific long-stay Visa (see below).
(Please confirm the visa-waiver time period and other information with your local French consulate to check for any recent changes).
The protocole d’accueil is mandatory and it must be available for checks from the police or gendarmerie. It must specify dates covering your period of stay. Conference participants do not usually require a protocole d'accueil unless they need it to obtain their visa (see below).
Other nationalities: Please check with your nearest French consulate whether your country participates in French Polynesia's visa waiver scheme and how long you are able to come without a visa (for some countries, it is 3 months for others, zero).
Scientific Visa (for stays longer than 'visa waiver' period)
If you need a visa (e.g., you are a US citizen staying > 90 days, or you are citizen of a country that is not part of the visa waiver program) you must go to the French consulate closest to your place of residence at least 2 MONTHS prior to your planned visit to apply for a scientific visa.
The protocole d’accueil issued by French Polynesian government is required for the visa application and must be obtained (as described above) before going to the consulate. You might need the ORIGINAL, so be sure to apply early enough to have the protocole sent to you (FEDEX at your expense).
If you are staying for < 90 days you will be issued a visa (short stay, type C "Schengen" visa) by the consulate and you should also reclaim your original protocole d’accueil. You will need both documents to enter French Polynesia. Once you have arrived in Tahiti, there is no more to do.
If you are staying for > 90 days (long stay, type D visa), after arriving in Tahiti, you must go to the immigration office (DRCL - direction de la reglementation et du controle de la legalite) in Papeete within two months of your arrival with: a valid passport, two photos (passport-size pictures), and a 9000F timbre fiscale (tax stamp). The DRCL office will then issue a carte de sejour temporaire scientifique (temporary scientific residence card). This can usually be renewed each year in Papeete by presenting a renewed protocole d’accueil.