Living in Solomon Islands
- Foreign & Commonwealth Office
- 13 January 2014
Advice for British people living in the Solomon Islands, including information on health, education, employment, benefits and more.
This guide sets out essential information for British nationals residing in or planning to move to Solomon Islands including advice on health, education, benefits, residence requirements and more.
We are unable to provide any guidance on general lifestyle enquiries apart from the information and links listed below. See the Support for British national’s abroad guide for what we can and cannot do for British nationals. This information supplements the travel advice for Solomon Islands.
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You are strongly advised to take comprehensive travel and medical insurance before travelling to Solomon Islands.
Medical facilities in clinics and hospitals are very basic in Solomon Islands. The Government provides free basic healthcare to all and you can attend any medical clinic or hospital. Permanent residents can obtain a Medical History Card from any medical centre which you keep as it gives the details of your treatment to date in Solomon Islands to expedite future treatment. They do have an ambulance service (dial 999) but it carries only basic supplies and is stationed at the National Referral Hospital in Honiara.
There are also privately-owned clinics which require fees for consultation and can provide basic treatment. There is minimal mental and specialist healthcare support in Solomon Islands. For emergency or specialist treatment Australia and New Zealand are the nearest countries with the requisite facilities. However, the medical bills can be high.
Guidance on bringing medication into Solomon Islands
Solomon Islands Customs Authorities allow you to bring small amounts of medication for your personal use, provided that it is kept in carry-on baggage. To avoid problems or misunderstandings it is advisable to bring a letter from your doctor at home for both your prescription drugs and non-prescription medicines.
See the website of the Ministry of Finance and Treasury for more information.
Solomon Islands Ministry of Education is responsible for education policies and services. There are state as well as public schools for children up to the age of 18 but education is not compulsory. For all education levels, both public and private sector, fees are applicable as well as often the purchase of educational materials.
Employment and recognised qualifications
As a general rule, any person other than those who have the right of abode or right to land in Solomon Islands must obtain a visa before coming to Solomon Islands for the purpose of: taking up employment, training, investment or residence.
Do not overstay beyond the limit of your visas as Solomon Islands authorities consider overstaying a serious matter. You may be held in detention, fined and deported, or removed at your own expense. In general, British citizens are allowed a three month visa free stay in Solomon Islands.
Please visit the website of the Solomon Islands Ministry of Commerce for further information.
Solomon Islands Social Welfare Department, part of the Ministry of Health is responsible for administering social security and benefits. In general it is only Solomon Islands residents who are eligible and particularly those who are financially vulnerable.
You can contact the Social Welfare Department for advice and further information. Email email@example.com
The Solomon Islands Ministry of Commerce deals with immigration and residency matters.
If you are considering moving or retiring abroad, there are some British government offices you should inform if you are emigrating. Please also read the Department for Work and Pensions guide ‘State Pension if you retire abroad’ for more information as the DWP has changed their policy on who can now sign “Life Certificates”.
Driving licences and vehicles
In order to drive in Solomon Islands, you will require a Solomon Islands driving licence. Please visit the Minstry of Finance and Treasury website for more information. Alternatively there is online information about UK driving licences.
Social ethics and traditions
Solomon Islands are a predominantly Christian nation. Religious freedom and the freedom of expression are fundamental rights of Solomon Islanders and is covered by the Constitutional Law of Solomon Islands.
This information is provided as a general guide and is based upon information provided to the embassy by the relevant local authorities and may be subject to change at any time with little or no notice. The FCO and the British Embassy will not be liable for any inaccuracies in this information. British nationals wishing to obtain any further information must contact the relevant local authority.
Published: 13 January 2014