Visitors in possession of a passport and onward ticket do not require a visa for a stay of one month. Extensions of up to six months are possible (although the actual length of the extension is entirely up to the officers). Allow ample time for this. Visa over-stayers are harshly dealt with here regardless of their nationality. Drug smuggling carries a maximum penalty of 30 years hard labor.
Ports of entry for cruising yachts are Niuafo'ou, Niuatoputapu, Vava'u, Lifuka, and Nuku'alofa. Yachts arriving from the east should call at Vava'u before Nuku'alofa (and Samoa before Tonga), as the prevailing winds make it much easier to sail from Vava'u to Nuku'alofa than vice versa and there are fewer hazardous reefs between Nuku'alofa and Fiji than between Vava'u and Fiji.
Customs and immigration are closed on weekends, and even on weekdays one can expect long waits before the officials come aboard to clear you in.
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