Things You Will Need
  • U.S. passport

  • Non-immigrant visa

The small South Pacific island group of American Samoa became a United States territory in 1900. They are comprised of the main island of Tutuila, and smaller Samoan islands including Manu’a Islands, Rose Atoll, Ofu, Tau, Upolu, and Swains Island. Some of the most well known attractions on these towns and attractions include Fagatogo, Pago Pago and the Pago Pago harbor, Apia, the Ofu-Olosega. and the National Park of American Samoa. The islands are located in the Pacific Ocean near Guam and Fiji.

The islands are known for their coral atolls, lagoons, rainforests, many volcanoes, the Samoan archipelago, and warm climates that attract a considerable number of tourists and cruise ships each year.

American Samoans are considered U.S. nationals but not U.S. citizens, and current U.S. citizens are not considered citizens of American Samoa. If you are a U.S. citizen, there are several important steps to moving to American Samoa. Always be sure to check if any new rules have been put into place by the department of the interior by checking the US Gov website.

1. Obtain a valid U.S. passport.

Obtain a valid U.S. passport. Although American Samoa is a U.S. territory, the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI) now requires that all U.S. citizens travelling outside the U.S. exit with a valid passport. You will also need a valid passport if you ever plan on returning to the U.S.

2. Obtain a visa to visit American Samoa.

Obtain a visa to visit American Samoa. If you plan to move to American Samoa, you'll need a non-immigrant visa, but obtaining one of these visas might require you to have already secured employment in American Samoa, in which case, you might have to visit the island first as a prospective job applicant.

3. Get a job in American Samoa

Get a job in American Samoa either online or by visiting the island by flying into the international airport. You can learn the Samoan way!

4. Apply for a non-immigrant visa.

Apply for a non-immigrant visa. United States citizens applying for visas to American Samoa are subject to the same rules as non-U.S. citizens applying for visas to the U.S.

5. Book accommodations.

Book accommodations. Some companies offer to find housing for U.S. emigrants before they arrive in American Samoa. If you do not want to contract their services, you can stay in a local hotel and search for housing by yourself or through a local real estate office.

6. Book a round-trip plane ticket to American Samoa

Book a round-trip plane ticket to American Samoa. When you arrive in American Samoa, their customs officials will ask you to present proof of a valid return plane ticket that departs from American Samoa within 60 days of your arrival. Even U.S. citizens cannot stay any longer than this period unless they have a non-immigrant visa (see Resource 2).

7. Pack your bags and go.

Pack your bags and go. If you have successfully obtained a non-immigrant visa, you can purchase a one-way flight.


Please note that these steps apply only to citizens of the United States.

On their passport information website, the U.S. Department of State lists a number of differing requirements for U.S. citizens to apply for a passport. First-time applicants, for example, must apply in person at a valid passport office, as must children under 16. Those renewing their passport can file an application for renewal by mail using a form available on the website.

If you are currently on travel in American Samoa, you can apply for a non-immigrant visa in-person at the American Samoan consulate. You can also apply directly to the American Samoan consulate in either New York city or Washington, DC.

Furthermore, the U.S. Department of State does not guarantee that U.S. citizens can reside in American Samoa, and all visa applications must go through the American Samoa Attorney General’s Office. You can find the forms to apply on the U.S. Department of State website (see Reference 2).

If you plan on moving to American Samoa with a pet, please note that according to the Humane Society of American Samoa, their government only allows the importation of cats and/or dogs. They also warn that your pet will have to undergo a 30- to 120-day quarantine in Hawaii before entering their country, as American Samoa does not possess its own quarantine facilities.

As of March 2010, the U.S. State Department has not issued any travel advisories or warnings for US citizens traveling to or residing in American Samoa. You can find frequent updates at their website or check the CIA Factbook for American Samoa.

Please note that according to the CIA Factbook, ‌less than 3% of American Samoans speak English.