The United States Department of State warned on Friday, June 23, that the National Police of Timor-Leste (PNTL) is establishing periodic checkpoints to ensure foreign nationals are legally in the country and have not overstayed their visa. PNTL officers are also reportedly asking foreign nationals on the street for their identification.
The US Embassy in Dili has advised US citizens to keep their passport in a secure location and to carry a photocopy of the biographical page of their passport as well as the most recent entry stamp.
East Timor is a young country, gaining independence in 2002, with a population of 1.2 million that is facing soaring unemployment rates (around 60 percent) as the government struggles to spread wealth generated by the energy sector, which accounts for roughly 60 percent of the country's gross domestic product (GDP) and more than 90 percent of government revenue.
Individuals present in East Timor are advised to monitor the situation, carry adequate identification at all times, and obey all instructions issued by authorities.