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Micronesia
Official Name:

Federated States of Micronesia

Last Updated: December 27, 2016
Further Safety and Security Information

Travel Warnings: Issued when Protracted situations make a country dangerous or unstable. Defer or reconsider travel.

Travel Alerts: Issued when short-term conditions pose imminent threats. Defer or reconsider travel.

Embassy Messages: Issued when local security issues arise.

Assistance for U.S. Citizens

Assistance for U.S. Citizens

U.S. Embassy Kolonia
1286 U.S. Embassy Place, Pohnpei
Kolonia, Federated States of Micronesia
Telephone: +(691) 320-2187
Emergency after-hours telephone: +(691) 920-2369
Fax: +(691) 320-2186
Email: USEmbassy@mail.fm

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Quick Facts
PASSPORT VALIDITY:

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Six months.

BLANK PASSPORT PAGES:

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No requirement

TOURIST VISA REQUIRED:

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Not required

VACCINATIONS:

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None required unless coming from an area suffering an outbreak or epidemic.

CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR ENTRY:

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None

CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR EXIT:

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None. Departure fee of 20 USD to be paid in cash at airport.

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U.S. Embassy Kolonia
1286 U.S. Embassy Place, Pohnpei (near the movie theater)
Kolonia, Federated States of Micronesia
Telephone: +(691) 320-2187
Emergency after-hours telephone: +(691) 920-2369
Fax: +(691) 320-2186
Email: USEmbassy@mail.fm

See the Department of State's Fact Sheet on The Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) for additional information on U.S. – FSM relations.

You will need a U.S. passport valid for at least 180 days from the time of entry, a completed FSM Immigration Arrival and Departure Record (FSM Form 5004), and a completed FSM Customs Form in order to enter the FSM. Your air carrier will distribute the FSM Immigration Arrival and Departure Record and Customs Form before you arrive into the FSM.  U.S. citizens may enter the FSM to live, work or study indefinitely without visas or non-citizen registration requirements. There is no limit to the length of time U.S. citizens can remain in the FSM.

All four states have a 20 USD departure fee that you must pay when you leave each island. Please make sure you have cash available, as credit cards are not accepted and ATM machines are not available at any of the airports.  Visit the Embassy of the Federated States of Micronesia website for the most current information.

HIV/AIDS Restrictions:  The U.S. Department of State is unaware of any HIV/AIDS entry restrictions for visitors to the FSM.

Information on dual nationality, prevention of international child abduction, and customs regulations is available on our website.

CRIME: Most crime in the FSM is petty theft motivated by opportunity and impulse.  However, crime rates are significantly higher in Chuuk than in the other states, and have recently included assaults on U.S. citizens.  Sexual assaults occur, but your risk can be reduced if you take basic security precautions.  Do not attempt to intervene in disputes between local citizens.  Local police are less responsive to victim concerns compared to norms in the United States, particularly in cases involving burglaries.  Local police may not possess the resources to prosecute crimes.

To remain safe:

  • exercise extreme caution at all times
  • be alert to any unusual activity around your home or business
  • stay off the streets after dark
  • drive with the car windows closed and doors locked
  • Report any suspicious incidents to local police
  • ensure that the hotel where you stay is prepared to assist you in an emergency
  • women should travel in groups and walk in well-lit areas
  • exercise caution when diving in Yap harbor or Chuuk lagoon

Unexploded ordnance from World War II remains in some areas.  It is dangerous, as well as illegal, to remove “souvenirs” from sunken WWII vessels and aircraft.

Victims of Crime: Report crimes to the local police at 320-2221 for Pohnpei and 911 on all other islands.  The numbers for fire assistance are 330-2222 (Chuuk), 370-3333 (Kosrae), 320-2223 (Pohnpei), and 350-3333 (Yap).  Remember that local authorities are responsible for investigating and prosecuting the crime.

The capacity of local police and fire departments throughout the FSM is extremely limited. There is often a significant delay for police and firefighters to respond to calls, and they may not be able to respond at all.  Often, no one picks up when dialing emergency numbers, especially after normal business hours.

The capacity to investigate crimes is extremely limited and victims may wait months for an arrest, if ever.  The justice system of the FSM is extremely slow and customary legal standards may not be applied.  Court-appointed attorneys, as well as judges presiding over cases, may not have legal training comparable to that found in the United States. 

See our webpage on help for U.S. victims of crime overseas.

We can:

  • help you find appropriate medical care
  • assist you in reporting a crime to the police
  • contact relatives or friends with your written consent
  • explain the local criminal justice process in general terms
  • provide a list of local attorneys
  • provide our information on victim’s compensation programs in the U.S.
  • provide an emergency loan for repatriation to the United States and/or limited medical
  • support in cases of destitution
  • help you find accommodation and arrange flights home
  • replace a stolen or lost passport

Domestic Violence: U.S. citizen victims of domestic violence may contact the Embassy for assistance.

For further information:

Health care facilities in the FSM consist of state-run hospitals on each of the four major islands and a few scattered clinics.  These facilities lack advanced supplies and medicines, and the quality of health care is low.  Doctors and hospitals expect immediate cash payment for health services. Medical evacuation assistance for non-ambulatory patients will take a minimum of 12 hours to arrive and can be expensive. There are no daily commercial flights, and flights often sell out, so finding last-minute seats is difficult.  Scuba divers should note that although there are decompression chambers in Yap, Chuuk, and Pohnpei, they are generally not in working order, and local staff may not have adequate experience in treating diving injuries.                                  

We do not pay medical bills.  Be aware that U.S. Medicare does not apply overseas.

Medical Insurance:  Make sure your health insurance plan provides coverage overseas.  Most care providers overseas only accept cash payments.  See our webpage for more information on insurance providers for overseas coverage.

We strongly recommend supplemental insurance  to cover medical evacuation.

If traveling with prescription medication, check with the government of Micronesia to ensure the medication is legal in Micronesia.  Always, carry your prescription medication in original packaging with your doctor’s prescription. 

The following diseases are prevelant:

  •  Leptospirosis

Vaccinations:  Be up-to-date on all vaccinations recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Zika Virus: Zika virus is a mosquito-borne illness that can be spread from a pregnant woman to her unborn baby as well as through sexual contact.  The CDC has concluded that the Zika virus is a cause of microcephaly and other severe fetal brain defects in some fetuses and babies born to infected mothers.  For additional information about Zika, including travel advisories, visit the CDC website.

For further health information, go to:

CRIMINAL PENALTIES: You are subject to local laws.  If you violate local laws, even unknowingly, you may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned.

Furthermore, some laws are also prosecutable in the U.S., regardless of local law. For examples, see our website on crimes against minors abroad and the Department of Justice website.

Public drunkeness is a felony in Yap.  Penalties for possessing, using, or trafficking in illegal drugs, including marijuana, in the FSM are severe, and convicted offenders can expect long jail sentences and heavy fines.

Arrest Notification: If you are arrested or detained, ask police or prison officials to notify the U.S. Embassy immediately. See our webpage for further information.

Faith-Based Travelers:  See our following webpages for details:

LGBT Travelers: There are no legal restrictions on same-sex sexual relations or the organization of LGBT events in the FSM, however Micronesian society is still very conservative and the LGBT community remains very discreet in general.

See our LGBTI Travel Information page and section 6 of our Human Rights report for further details.

Travelers Who Require Accessibility Assistance: Accessibility and accommodation is vastly different from what you find in the United States.  Neither laws nor regulations mandate accessibility to public facilities, services, or accomodations for persons with disabilities. There are few sidewalks in the FSM. There is no public transportation. Taxis are run by independent operators that make no provision for people with disabilities. The national Department of Health and Social Services is responsible for protecting the rights of persons with disabilities; however, action is rarely taken to enforce these measures.

Students: See our Students Abroad page and FBI travel tips.

Women Travelers:  See our travel tips for Women Travelers.

Special Circumstances:

FSM customs authorities charge import taxes on cigarettes, tobacco, alcohol, gasoline, and other personal items that exceed the amounts allowed.  All imports can be physically inspected by customs officials.  Strict quarantine regulations restrict entry of plant and animal products.  You should contact the Embassy of the FSM in Washington, D.C., or one of the FSM consulates in Honolulu or Guam for specific information regarding customs requirements.

Road Conditions and Safety:  The information below concerning the FSM may not be accurate in all locations and circumstances.  Most roads in the FSM are in very poor condition; they are narrow and without sidewalks.  All roads are used simultaneously by pedestrians, children playing, animals, and vehicles.  Road conditions can worsen significantly after heavy rains, which occur frequently.  There are very few street lights, so road visibility is difficult at night, and pedestrians may dress in dark clothing, making them especially hard to see.  Roads outside of towns are mostly unpaved.  Travel by bicycle is hampered by the lack of shoulders on the roads and the presence of many dogs on the island.

There is no formal training in road safety or driving, so many drivers are unaware of road safety rules.  Drivers often make sudden turns or stop without warning to chat with or pick up pedestrians.  When traffic accidents happen, they often result in fatalities or serious injuries.

Motorcyclists are required by law to wear helmets, though this is rarely enforced.

Traffic Laws: Speed limits throughout the FSM are very low: 20-25 miles per hour (mph) in most places and 15 mph in school zones when children are present.  It is not uncommon for drivers to drive at 5 to 10 mph, even when there is no traffic.  Drivers may stop in the roadway without warning to talk to someone on the side of the road.

Driving is on the right-hand side of the road, as in the United States.  However, the majority of vehicles in FSM are right-hand drive vehicles imported from Japan.  Drivers in these vehicles do not have an optimal field of vision, which can interfere with driving maneuvers and drivers’ ability to establish visual contact with other road users.

If you intend to reside in the FSM, you should acquire a local driver’s license with the State Police. In most cases, the police will issue a local license to anyone who presents a U.S. driver’s license. If you will be in the FSM temporarily, a U.S. driver’s license itself is sufficient to rent a car and drive for the duration of your visit.

Public Transportation: Taxis are available in state capitals, but you should always be careful since many taxi drivers are reckless.

See our Road Safety page for more information.

AVIATION SAFETY OVERSIGHT: As there is no direct commercial air service to the United States by carriers registered in Micronesia, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has not assessed the government of the FSM’s Civil Aviation Authority for compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards. Further information may be found on the FAA’s safety assessment page.

United Airlines is the primary commercial carrier connecting the FSM to the United States. Flight schedules and routes are limited and subject to change.  There is only one alternative carrier, Air Nauru, limited to Pohnpei and Kosrae if flights are canceled or missed.  Flights are often fully booked and aircraft weight is an issue due to short runways and the type of aircraft used.  Be aware of these limitations and the numerous transit stops (typical routing to Kolonia, for instance, is via Honolulu with stops in Majuro, Kwajalein, and Kosrae; or via Guam with a stop in Chuuk).  With passengers disembarking and embarking at each stop, baggage sometimes may not be loaded or may be off-loaded by mistake and left behind at an intermediate stop. You should keep these logistical challenges in mind when traveling in the region.  Missing baggage should be reported immediately to United Airlines ground personnel before onward flight. 

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