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Occupying 5,743 square miles on the eastern half of an island in the Timor Sea between Indonesia and Australia, Timor-Leste has a population of approximately 1.1 million people. Timor-Leste became independent on May 20, 2002, and is now a democratically governed, independent nation with an elected President and Parliament. 

In the violence that followed Timor-Leste's 1999 independence referendum, the country’s infrastructure, never robust, was totally destroyed and has been only partially rebuilt.  In April 2006, violence erupted again in and around the capital, Dili, resulting in further damage to infrastructure and setting back economic growth.  Electricity, telephone and telecommunications, roads and lodging remain unreliable, particularly outside of the capital.  Timor-Leste's economy relies largely on international assistance and revenues from oil and gas production.  Read the Department of State’s Background Notes on Timor-Leste for additional information.


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Image of Timor
Country Name: Timor - Leste
Continent: Asia
Capital City: Dili
Boundary Countries:

Indonesia 228 km

Recommended Hospitals in Capital:

None at this time.

Main Cities:

Dili, Pante Makasar, Ermera, Suai, Manatuto, Baucau, Liquica, Viqueque.

Country Size: 15,007 sq km
Population: 1,108,777 - note: other estimates range as low as 800,000 (July 2008 est.)



Tetum (official), Portuguese (official), Indonesian, English
note: there are about 16 indigenous languages; Tetum, Galole, Mambae, and Kemak are spoken by significant numbers of people

Currency: US dollar (USD)
Predominant Religions:

Roman Catholic 98%, Muslim 1%, Protestant 1% (2005)

National Holidays: Independence Day, 28 November (1975)
Economic Status:

In late 1999, about 70% of the economic infrastructure of Timor-Leste was laid waste by Indonesian troops and anti-independence militias. Three hundred thousand people fled westward. Over the next three years a massive international program, manned by 5,000 peacekeepers (8,000 at peak) and 1,300 police officers, led to substantial reconstruction in both urban and rural areas.

The mid-2006 outbreak of violence and civil unrest disrupted both private and public sector economic activity and created 100,000 internally displaced persons - about 10 percent of the population. While real non-oil GDP growth in 2006 was negative, the economy probably rebounded in 2007. The underlying economic policy challenge the country faces remains how best to use oil-and-gas wealth to lift the non-oil economy onto a higher growth path and reduce poverty. In late 2007, the new government announced plans aimed at increasing spending, reducing poverty, and improving the country's infrastructure, but it continues to face capacity constraints. In the short term, the government must also address continuing problems related to the crisis of 2006, especially the displaced Timorese.


Timor-Leste Defense Force (Forcas de Defesa de Timor-L'este, Falintil (FDTL)): Army, Navy (Armada)

US Presence:
U.S. Embassy in Dili
Avenida de Portugal
Praia dos Coqueiros
Dili, Timor-Leste
tel: (670) 332-4684
Document Requirements:

A passport valid for six months beyond the intended date of departure from Timor-Leste is required.  Tourist visas are not required prior to arrival, but travelers arriving in Timor-Leste without a visa will need to pay a $30 fee for a 30-day tourist visa. There is an additional fee for each 30-day renewal of this visa.  Visitors traveling via air must transit Singapore; Darwin, Australia; or Bali, Indonesia en route to Timor-Leste.

The U.S. Department of State is unaware of any HIV/AIDS entry restrictions for visitors to or foreign residents of Timor-Leste.

Information about dual nationality or the prevention of international child abduction can be found on our website.  For further information about customs regulations, please read our Customs Information page.

Major Airports:

Airports:  8, Airports w/paved runways:  3

Dili - Presidente Nicolau Lobato International Airport (DIL/WPDL)

Dili Airport, East Timor, Dili, EAST TIMOR
Tel: (Civil Aviation) +670 331 7110
Fax: +670 331 7111
Customs Tel: +670 3333 9399
Fax: +670 3317 262

Servicing Airlines:
Risks and Precautions:

American citizens in Timor-Leste should exercise caution, use common sense, avoid large gatherings, remain alert with regard to their personal security, and avoid travel after dark to the extent possible. Americans should exercise caution in public places, including, but not limited to, clubs, restaurants, bars, schools, places of worship, outdoor recreational events, hotels, resorts and beaches and other locations frequented by foreigners.

Crimes such as pick pocketing, purse snatchings, residential and automobile break-ins and theft occurs throughout the country, but are more frequent in Dili, the capital.  Victims who resist may be subject to physical violence.  Gang related violence occurs, and has targeted foreign nationals.  Stone-throwing attacks on vehicles occur during periods of gang conflicts and civil unrest, and have resulted in serious injury and death. Visitors should avoid travel at night or in unfamiliar areas alone. Women should avoid traveling alone, especially at night because sexual assault or banditry is possible. Timor-Leste is a socially conservative country, and travelers should avoid wearing revealing clothing, particularly in crowded public areas such as markets.

All traffic operates on the left side of the road, and most vehicles use right-hand drive.

During the rainy season, travel on all cross-island roadways should be considered to be risky. US citizens should use caution when traveling on the cross-island roadways in the mountain areas of Aileu, Ermera, Manatuto, Ainaro and Manufahi provinces.  In December 2003, rain showers severely damaged several cross-island roadways, and several UN vehicles had to be airlifted out of the area south of Aileu due to landslides and roadway damage.

Mortality Statistics:

Infant MR total:  41.98 deaths/1,000 live births
Life expectancy at birth:  TOTAL 66.94 years  (male 64.6/female 69.39)

Immunization Indicators:

Required: None      
Recommended: Hep A & B, Typhoid, Rabies, Japanese encephalitis
Boosters: MMR, DPT, Polio

If you will be visiting a malaria risk area in Timor-Leste (East Timor), you will need to take one of the following antimalarial drugs: atovaquone/proguanil, doxycycline, or mefloquine (primaquine in special circumstances and only after G6PD testing).

Note: Chloroquine is NOT an effective antimalarial drug in Timor-Leste (East Timor) and should not be taken to prevent malaria in this region.

Infectious Disease Concerns:

degree of risk: high
Malaria risk area in Timor-Leste (East Timor): All
Drugs to Prevent Malaria (antimalarial drugs)

Dengue, chikungunya, filariasis, Japanese encephalitis, and plague are diseases carried by insects that also occur in this region. Protecting yourself against insect bites (see below) will help to prevent these diseases.

Do not swim in fresh water (except in well-chlorinated swimming pools) to avoid infection with schistosomiasis.  Leptospirosis, a bacterial infection often contracted through recreational water activities in contaminated water, such as kayaking, is common in tropical areas of Southeast Asia. (For more information, please see Swimming and Recreational Water Safety.) An outbreak was reported in Borneo among expedition travelers in 2000


Overall Quality of Medical Services:

Although limited emergency medical care is available in Dili, options for routine medical care throughout the country are extremely limited.  Serious medical problems requiring hospitalization and/or medical evacuation to Australia, the nearest point with acceptable medical care, to Singapore, or to the United States, can cost thousands of dollars.


Providers in Network:
Direct Payment: 0
Referrals: 0
View Network Providers
Recent Medical Threats/ Concerns/Warnings:

Highly pathogenic avian influenza (H5N1) continues to cause outbreaks in domestic and wild bird populations and has caused human cases in several countries in Southeast Asia. In 2006, the virus continued to spread in poultry populations in Indonesia. Avoid all direct contact with birds, including domestic poultry (such as chickens and ducks) and wild birds, and avoid places such as poultry farms and bird markets where live birds are raised or kept.  For a current list of countries reporting outbreaks of H5N1 among poultry and/or wild birds, view updates from the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), and for total numbers of confirmed human cases of H5N1 virus by country see the World Health Organization (WHO) Avian Influenza website.

Measles transmission persists in the region, although vaccination coverage is improving in some countries in Southeast Asia. Influenza infections can occur throughout the year in tropical areas.

Polio resurfaced in Indonesia in 2005. Imported cases in neighboring countries have occasionally occurred.

Communications Info:

Country Code:  +670  
Internet Code:  .tl


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