Caution
October 19, 2023

Worldwide Caution

Update
January 10, 2024

Information for U.S. Citizens in the Middle East

International Travel

English

Learn About Your Destination

China

China
People's Republic of China
Reconsider travel to Mainland China due to the arbitrary enforcement of local laws, including in relation to exit bans, and the risk of wrongful detentions. Exercise increased caution when traveling to the Hong Kong SAR due to the arbitrary enforcement of local laws. Reconsider travel to the Macau SAR due to a limited ability to provide emergency consular services. Exercise increased caution when traveling to the Macau SAR due to the arbitrary enforcement of local laws. See specific risks and conditions in each jurisdiction.

Reissued with updates to wrongful detention language and information for the Hong Kong and Macau Special Administrative Regions (SARs).

Summary: Reconsider travel to Mainland China due to the arbitrary enforcement of local laws, including in relation to exit bans, and the risk of wrongful detentions.

Exercise increased caution when traveling to the Hong Kong SAR due to the arbitrary enforcement of local laws.

Reconsider travel to the Macau SAR due to a limited ability to provide emergency consular services. Exercise increased caution when traveling to the Macau SAR due to the arbitrary enforcement of local laws.

See specific risks and conditions in each jurisdiction. 

... [READ MORE]

Embassy Messages

Alerts

Quick Facts

PASSPORT VALIDITY:


Six months

BLANK PASSPORT PAGES:


Two pages

TOURIST VISA REQUIRED:


Yes

VACCINATIONS:


Recommend consult with travel clinic

CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR ENTRY:


Max RMB 20,000

CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR EXIT:


Max RMB 20,000

Embassies and Consulates

U.S. Embassy Beijing
No. 55 An Jia Lou Road
Chaoyang District, Beijing 100600
Telephone: +86 10-8531-4000
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +86 10-8531-4000
Fax: +86 10-8531-3300
Email: BeijingACS@state.gov
This consular district includes Beijing, Tianjin, Gansu, Hebei, Inner Mongolia, Ningxia, Qinghai, Shaanxi, Shandong, Shanxi, Xinjiang, Chongqing, Guizhou, Sichuan, Yunnan, and Tibet.

U.S. Consulate General Hong Kong & Macau
26 Garden Road
Central, Hong Kong
Telephone: +852 2841-2211, +852 2841-2225, +852 2841-2323 
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: 
+852 2523-9011 
Fax: 
+852 2845-4845
Email: acshk@state.gov 
This consular district includes the Hong Kong and Macau Special Administrative Regions (SARs).

U.S. Consulate General Guangzhou
No. 43 Hua Jiu Road
Zhujiang New Town
Tianhe District, Guangzhou 510623
Telephone: +86 20-3814-5775
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +86 10-8531-4000
Fax: +86 20-3814-5572
Email: GuangzhouACS@state.gov 
This consular district includes Fujian, Guangdong, Guangxi, and Hainan.

U.S. Consulate General Shanghai
No. 1469 Huai Hai Zhong Road
Xuhui District, Shanghai 200041
Telephone: +86 21-8011-2400 
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +86 10-8531-4000 
Fax: +86 21-6148-8266 
Email: ShanghaiACS@state.gov 
This consular district includes Shanghai, Anhui, Jiangsu, and Zhejiang.

U.S. Consulate General Shenyang
No. 52 14th Wei Road
Heping District, Shenyang 110003
Telephone: +86 24-2322-1198 
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +86 10-8531-4000
Fax: +86 24-8610-6904 
Email: ShenyangACS@state.gov 
This consular district includes Heilongjiang, Jilin, and Liaoning.

U.S. Consulate General Wuhan
No. 568 Jian She Avenue
New World International Trade Tower I
Jianghan District, Wuhan 430022
Telephone: +86-27 8555-7791 
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +86 10-8531-4000 
Fax: +86 27-8555-7761
Email: WuhanACS@state.gov
This consular district includes Henan, Hubei, Hunan, and Jiangxi. Please note that U.S. Consulate General Wuhan provides emergency U.S. citizen services, as well as some routine services on a limited basis, until a move to a new office where full services will be provided.

Destination Description

See the U.S. Department of State’s Fact Sheet on the People's Republic of China for information on U.S.-China relations. 

Entry, Exit and Visa Requirements

Entry & Exit:

  • Obtain a visa prior to arrival in the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and have a passport with at least six months' validity remaining. The lack of either will result in a fine and immediate deportation upon arrival.
  • Apply for a ten-year multiple entry visa, useful for repeated travel, or trips to the Hong Kong or Macau Special Administrative Regions (SARs) with returns to mainland China.
  • If you plan to work in the PRC, be sure to obtain the correct visa. Working in the PRC is not permissible on a student or tourist visa, and may result in detention, criminal charges, imprisonment, and deportation.
  • You must have a valid visa to exit the PRC and you must leave the PRC before the expiration of the listed duration of stay.
  • Do not travel to the PRC if you have a warrant for your arrest in the United States.

Lack of a visa, having an expired visa, or overstaying your visa will result in detention and/or fines.

  • Apply for a visa extension from the local Entry-Exit Bureau before attempting to leave the PRC. Do not expect your request to be expedited, so apply ahead of time.
  • Staying in the PRC on an expired visa may lead to a fine, imprisonment, and deportation.
  • Visit the website of the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in the United States of America for current visa information as well as information on the PRC’s immigration and nationality laws.

The Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR): The TAR requires special permits for tourist travel, most often obtained through a travel agent in the PRC. If you do enter a restricted area without the requisite permit, you could be fined, taken into custody, and deported for illegal entry. To learn more about specific entry requirements for the TAR or other restricted areas, check with the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in the United States of America.

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

Transiting the PRC:

  • When transiting certain international airports, you may stay in mainland China without a PRC visa. However, this “visa-free travel” permit is only valid for the city of arrival and does not allow you to visit other cities in the PRC.
  • The duration of allowed stay and how broadly you may travel varies by region.
  • Transiting without a visa requires a valid passport with at least six months of remaining validity, a visa for your onward destination (if necessary), and an onward ticket from the same location.
  • You must inform your airline upon check-in and get an endorsement stamp at the immigration desk before leaving the airport.
  • Consult the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in the United States of America for a current list of eligible airports and more detailed guidance.
  • PRC border officials have the authority to deny foreign travelers’ entry to the PRC without warning or explanation. The U.S. Embassy and Consulates General cannot intervene on your behalf if denied entry to the PRC.

During Your Stay: 

  • Failure to register your stay within 24 hours of arrival in the PRC could result in fines and deportation. You can register with hotel staff or the local police station. 
  • Local regulations require foreigners to carry valid passports and PRC visas or residence permits at all times.
  • Entry and exit requirements are strictly enforced, as are restrictions on activities allowed by any particular visa class.
  • Police, school administrators, transportation officials, and hotel staff may check your visa to make sure you have not overstayed. If you overstay your visa’s duration of stay, you may be denied service by hotels, airports, and train stations, as well as face fines and detention.
  • If you encounter problems in the Tibet Autonomous Region, the U.S. government has limited ability to provide assistance because the PRC government does not usually authorize U.S. government personnel to travel there, even to provide consular assistance to U.S. citizens.

Dual Nationality: The PRC government does not recognize dual nationality. If you are a dual national of the United States and the PRC, or otherwise have ethnic or historical ties to the PRC, it is possible that PRC authorities will assert that you are a PRC citizen, limit your ability to access certain consular services, and, if you are detained, deny your access to U.S. consular officials.

Because the PRC government does not recognize dual citizenship, dual U.S.-PRC citizens may face a number of hurdles when seeking public benefits in the PRC. U.S. citizens who are also citizens of the PRC may experience difficulty in accessing benefits in the PRC, such as enrollment in public schools, treatment at public hospitals and clinics, or obtaining PRC identity and citizenship documents, such as passports. U.S.-PRC dual citizens must navigate conflicting aspects of PRC nationality, which the PRC government may inconsistently apply.

If you are a naturalized U.S. citizen or have a possible claim to PRC citizenship, and you are traveling to the PRC, inform yourself about PRC nationality law and practices relating to determination and loss of PRC citizenship. PRC authorities generally consider a child born in the PRC to at least one PRC-national parent to be a PRC citizen, even if the child was issued a U.S. passport at the time of birth. If you have or had a claim to PRC citizenship and your child is born in the PRC, prior to departing the PRC with your child, you may wish to contact the local Public Security Bureau and/or Entry-Exit Bureau for information on obtaining a travel document. If you have or had a claim to PRC citizenship and your child is born in the United States, please contact the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in the United States of America for specific information on the documentation requirements to bring your child to the PRC.

Find information on dual nationalityprevention of international child abduction, and customs regulations on our websites.

Safety and Security

For most visitors, the PRC remains a very safe country. Traffic accidents are the most common safety concern for U.S. citizens. Training, capability, and responsiveness of PRC authorities vary by region and even by city. The U.S. Embassy and Consulates General have no law enforcement authority and may not represent U.S. citizens in either criminal or civil legal matters.

To ensure your safety and security in the PRC, you should:

  • Take routine safety precautions.
  • Pay attention to surroundings.
  • Report any concerns to the local police.
  • Call “110,” the local equivalent to “911”. English services are often available, but you should not expect English services in remote parts of the PRC.

Violent crime is not common in the PRC, however:

  • While sanctioned demonstrations must be approved by PRC authorities, they can turn violent.
  • Domestic unrest and terrorism can occur.
  • Business disputes between U.S. citizens and PRC-national business partners can sometimes result in physical confrontation, detainment, or coercion. Go straight to the police if you feel threatened or relocate to a public place.

Be alert to criminal schemes, such as:

  • “Tourist Tea” Scams: PRC nationals invite visitors out to tea and leave them with an exorbitant bill.
  • Phone Scams: Callers pose as police officers and request a funds transfer to resolve an identity theft or money laundering investigation. In these cases, DO NOT WIRE any money. If you receive any suspicious calls or requests, contact the local Public Security Bureau to verify the caller’s identity.
  • “Unlicensed or Unapproved Cabs”: Taxi and ridesharing services in China are generally licensed by authorities. Be cautious when using taxi or ridesharing services that are not accessible through mobile applications. If you use the locally approved taxi service, insist that the driver use the meter, and get a receipt. Have the name of your destination written in Chinese characters and ask the driver to remove the bags from the trunk before you get out of the taxi and before you pay.
  • Counterfeit Currency: Although counterfeit currency has been a concern in the PRC the past, making purchases in cash is increasingly less common as most vendors prefer payments through local mobile payment apps. When you need cash, use only ATMs at trusted financial institutions, and carry a variety of denominations as vendors may have limited cash on hand as change.

Be alert to criminal schemes, such as internet, phone scams, dating scams, as well as financial scams. If you already have been victim of a scam, catalogue as many details as possible, including names, telephone and bank numbers, and email and IP addresses; file a police report, and inform the U.S. Embassy or nearest U.S. Consulate General. See the U.S. Department of State's and the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)'s pages for information on scams.

Victims of Crime: Report crimes to the local police and contact the U.S. Embassy or nearest Consulate General. U.S. citizen victims of sexual assault can contact the local police and should contact the U.S. Embassy or nearest U.S. Consulate General.

Remember that local authorities are responsible for investigating and prosecuting the crime. 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.
  • Provide general information regarding the victim’s role during the local investigation and following its conclusion.
  • Provide a list of local attorneys.
  • Provide our information on victim’s compensation programs in the United States.
  • 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.

Lost or Stolen Passports: If your passport is stolen, you must apply for both a new passport at the U.S. Embassy or nearest U.S. Consulate General and a new PRC visa. File a police report at the nearest police station right away. You may also be directed to file a report at the local Exit-Entry Bureau.

Domestic Violence: U.S. citizen victims of domestic violence may contact the U.S. Embassy or nearest U.S. Consulate General for assistance. Domestic violence in the PRC is rarely recognized as a crime.

Tourism: The tourism industry is unevenly regulated, and safety inspections for equipment and facilities do not commonly occur. Hazardous areas/activities are not always identified with appropriate signage, and staff may not be trained or certified either by the PRC government or by recognized authorities in the field. In the event of an injury, appropriate medical treatment is typically available only in/near major cities. First responders are generally unable to access areas outside of major cities to provide urgent medical treatment. U.S. citizens are encouraged to purchase medical evacuation insurance. See our webpage for more information on insurance providers for overseas coverage.

Local Laws & Special Circumstances

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

Some laws are also prosecutable in the United States, regardless of local law. See crimes against minors abroad and the U.S. Department of Justice website.

Arrest Notification: If you are arrested or detained, ask police or prison officials to notify the U.S. Embassy or nearest U.S. Consulate General immediately.

  • PRC authorities must notify a U.S. consular officer within four days; however, this does not always occur in a timely manner.
  • A consular officer may be the only authorized visitor during your initial detention period.
  • Bail is rarely granted.
  • Detention may last many months before a trial.
  • The U.S. Embassy or nearest U.S. Consulate General is unable to represent you in a legal matter.
  • Travelers to the PRC should enroll in the State Department’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) and you may wish to have someone contact the U.S. Embassy or nearest U.S. Consulate General if you are detained.
  • Please see the section on DUAL NATIONALITY for the limits on consular notification and access to dual nationals.
  • See U.S. Department of State’s webpage for further information.

The PRC legal system can be opaque and the interpretation and enforcement of local laws arbitrary. The judiciary does not enjoy independence from political influence. U.S. citizens traveling or residing in the PRC should be aware of varying levels of scrutiny to which they will be subject from local law enforcement and state security. 

Certain provisions of the Criminal Law of the People’s Republic of China, such as “social order” crimes (Article 293) and crimes involving “endangering state security” and “state secrets” (Article 102 to 113), are ill-defined and can be interpreted by the authorities arbitrarily and situationally. Information that may be common knowledge in other countries could be considered a “state secret” in the PRC, and information can be designated a “state secret” retroactively.

Drug and Alcohol Enforcement:

PRC law-enforcement authorities have little tolerance for illegal drugs, including marijuana. Penalties for possessing, using, or trafficking illegal drugs in the PRC are severe, and convicted offenders can expect long jail sentences, heavy fines, or the death penalty. Police regularly conduct unannounced drug tests on people suspected of drug use and have been known to enter a bar or nightclub and subject all patrons to immediate drug testing. Police may force you to provide a urine, blood, or hair follicle sample on short notice. A positive finding, even if the drug was legal elsewhere or consumed prior to arriving in the PRC, can lead to immediate detention, fines, deportation, and/or a ban from re-entering the PRC.

The PRC also has strict laws against driving under the influence of alcohol that can lead to immediate detention on a criminal charge.

Assisted Reproductive Technology: In vitro fertilization (IVF) is widely and legally practiced. PRC law, however, strictly forbids surrogacy, and surrogacy contracts will not be considered valid. The use of reproductive technology for medical research and profit is strictly controlled.

Contracts and Commercial Disputes: Before entering into a commercial or employment contract in the PRC, have it reviewed by legal counsel both in the United States and in the PRC. The U.S. International Trade Administration can assist you in identifying and vetting business contacts and opportunities but may not intervene in contract disputes. Many U.S. citizens have reported difficulty getting their contracts enforced by PRC courts or being forced out of profitable joint-ventures without opportunity to secure legal recourse in the PRC.

Counterfeit Goods: Do not buy counterfeit or pirated goods. Bootlegs are illegal in the United States, and you may also be breaking local law by purchasing them.

Cruise Ship Passengers: Click here for safety information and travel advice.

Digital Payments: The PRC has transitioned to almost a predominantly cashless society. Some mobile phone applications offer a digital payment solution for individuals visiting the PRC on a temporary or long-term basis. Often, payment is made through an individual using their mobile phone to scan a vendor or business’s QR code. The number of locations accepting foreign credit cards has decreased in recent years. Visitors to the PRC should research whether the locations they are visiting will accept foreign credit cards and familiarize themselves with mobile digital payment options prior to traveling to the PRC.

Earthquakes: Earthquakes occur throughout the PRC. Check here for information about earthquake preparedness.

English/Secondary School Teachers: English teachers in the PRC frequently report employment disputes which can result in questioning by local authorities, termination, lost wages, confiscation of passports, forced eviction from housing, and even threats of violence.

Exit Bans: Business disputes, court orders to pay a settlement, or government investigations into both criminal and civil issues may result in an exit ban which will prohibit your departure from the PRC until the issue is resolved. Even individuals and their family members who are not directly involved, or even aware of these proceedings, can be subject to an exit ban. Additionally, some local businesspeople who feel that they have been wronged by a foreign business partner may hire "debt collectors” to harass, intimidate, and sometimes physically detain foreign business partners or family members in hopes of collecting the debt. The U.S. Embassy or nearest U.S. Consulate General can provide a list of local attorneys who serve U.S. clients but are otherwise unable to intervene in civil cases. Local law enforcement authorities are generally unwilling to become involved in what they consider private business matters and may not provide the individual who has been barred from leaving the PRC with any written notice of the exit ban.

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

LGBTQI+ Travelers: Same sex marriages are not legally recognized in the PRC and local authorities will not provide marriage certificates to same-sex couples. There are no civil rights laws that prohibit discrimination or harassment based on sexual orientation or gender identity, though homosexuality has been decriminalized. Prejudices and discrimination still exist in many parts of the country. There are growing LGBTQI+ communities in some of the largest cities in the PRC and violence against LGBTQI+ individuals in the PRC is relatively rare. See Section 6 of our Human Rights Practices in the Human Rights Report for the People's Republic of China and read our LGBTQI+ Travel Information page.

Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs): In January 2017, the PRC implemented a law regulating the operations of foreign NGOs in the PRC. NGOs and their employees should ensure they are complying with all relevant statutory requirements, particularly if working in sensitive areas or fields. Additionally, the PRC government announced sanctions on five U.S.-based NGOs in December 2019.

North Korea: Do not travel to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea) due to the serious risk of arrest and long-term detention of U.S. nationals. For further information, consult the North Korea International Travel Information page and the North Korea Travel Advisory.

Political and Religious Activity: Participating in unauthorized political or religious activities, including participating in public protests or sending private electronic messages critical of the government may result in detention and PRC government-imposed restrictions on future travel to the PRC. Although the PRC constitution permits freedom of religious belief, it does not permit freedom of religious practice and government officials are increasing pressure on domestic religious activities. The U.S. Mission to the PRC has observed an increase in the number of U.S. citizens being interrogated, detained, and/or forced to leave the country in connection with real or perceived religious proselytization. U.S. citizens have been detained and/or expelled for distributing religious literature, including Bibles, or engaging in unauthorized religious meetings. If you bring religious literature with you, local law dictates that it be a “reasonable amount” for your personal use. If you attempt to bring larger quantities, the literature will likely be confiscated and you may be fined, detained, or deported.

Social Insurance: The PRC has a social insurance system to which foreigners who work in the PRC must contribute. When you sign an employment contract, you must apply for a social insurance number, and it is important that your employer work with you to comply with the regulations. Please check the official website for updated information.

Social Media: Social media accounts are widely monitored in the PRC. Local authorities may use information they deem critical, controversial, or that might involve illegal activity against both the poster of the material and the host of the social media forum under local law. Individuals have also been held responsible for the content that others place within social media spaces they control, such as the comments section under a post or within a group chat that an individual controls.

Special Scrutiny of Foreign Citizens: On occasion, U.S. citizens visiting or resident in the PRC have been interrogated or detained for reasons said to be related to “state security.” In such circumstances, you could face arrest, detention, or an exit ban prohibiting your departure from the PRC for a prolonged period. Dual U.S.-PRC nationals and U.S. citizens of Chinese heritage may be at a higher risk of facing such special scrutiny. Information about dual nationality can be found on our website.

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

Surveillance and Monitoring: Security personnel carefully watch foreign visitors and may place you under surveillance. Hotel rooms (including meeting rooms), offices, cars, taxis, telephones, internet usage, ​digital payments, and fax machines may be monitored onsite or remotely, and personal possessions in hotel rooms, including computers, may be searched without your consent or knowledge. Security personnel have been known to detain and deport U.S. citizens sending private electronic messages critical of the PRC government.

Transferring Money to/from the PRC: The regulatory environment in the PRC includes tightening capital outflow controls that can severely impact one’s ability to move money out of the country. Wire transfers may only be available to those who have an active bank account in the PRC. Ask your local bank location in the PRC for more information. The U.S. Department of State may be able to help transfer funds to a destitute U.S citizen overseas through our office in Washington, D.C., to a U.S. Embassy or U.S. Consulate General abroad. More information on this option is available here.

Travelers Who Require Accessibility Assistance: U.S. citizens with mobility disabilities may face challenges while traveling in the PRC. Sidewalks often do not have curb cuts and many streets can be crossed only via pedestrian bridges or underpasses accessible by staircase. Assistive technologies for blind people and those with other vision disabilities are unreliable, and access to elevators in public buildings can be restricted. In major cities, public restrooms in places visited by tourists usually have a least one accessible toilet. See Persons with Disabilities in the Human Rights Report for the People's Republic of China (2022).

Typhoons: The southeast coast of the PRC is subject to strong typhoons and tropical storms, usually from July through September. For current information, please consult the Joint Typhoon Warning Center in Honolulu and the National Weather Service's Central Pacific Hurricane Center.

Women Travelers: If you are a woman traveling abroad, please review our travel tips for Women Travelers.

Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region: Extraordinary security measures are in place through the region. Authorities may impose curfews and restrictions on short notice. They may also engage in invasive surveillance techniques against individuals. Expect significant travel delays, avoid gatherings and demonstrations, always carry ID, and follow the instructions of local authorities. Travelers with ethnic ties to the region may experience special restrictions, discrimination, and even arbitrary detention.

Health

COVID-19 Entry Requirements: There are COVID-related entry requirements in place for U.S. citizens.

  • As of May 3, 2023, a negative COVID-19 PCR test or rapid antigen test (home tests are acceptable) within 48 hours of boarding is required for entry. Test results must be self-declared through a Health Declaration Form or through the China Customs smartphone app. Airlines will not check test results anymore. For more information, please see this notice.
  • No proof of vaccination against COVID-19 is required for entry.
  • There is no quarantine period for travelers upon arrival.

COVID-19 Testing: U.S. citizens can obtain a COVID-19 test at most hospitals and clinics in the PRC. They can choose between PCR and antigen tests, which are both available. The cost of the test is about $17 U.S. dollars, but it may vary depending on the location. The test fee is not covered by the host government and must be paid by the U.S. citizen. Test results are usually returned within 12 to 24 hours by email, text, or an update to the local COVID-19 monitoring app. For more information, please see this notice.

COVID-19 Vaccines: Certain COVID-19 vaccines are available for U.S. citizens to receive in the PRC.

  • The PRC government has conditionally authorized several vaccines that are currently available to foreigners residing in the PRC. The two most commonly available, Sinopharm and Sinovac, have not yet received approval by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of the United States. Sinopharm and Sinovac have received approval for emergency use by the World Health Organization (WHO). Please contact your local health authorities for more information.
  • Visit the FDA's website to learn more about FDA-approved vaccines in the United States.

Quality of Care: The standards of medical care in the PRC are not equivalent to those in the United States. Even in private hospitals or public hospitals with well-equipped wards, English-speaking patients frequently encounter difficulty due to cultural, language, and regulatory differences. Rural areas have rudimentary facilities and inadequate staffing. Additionally, Rh-negative blood may be difficult to obtain; the blood type of the general Asian populace is Rh positive.

Payment and Insurance: Ambulances in the PRC are often slow to arrive, and most do not have sophisticated medical equipment or trained responders. Cash payment for services is often required prior to treatment, including emergency cases. Travelers will be asked to post a deposit prior to admission to cover the expected cost of treatment. Hospitals in major cities may accept credit cards. The U.S. Embassy and Consulates General in the PRC maintain lists of local English-speaking doctors and hospitals.

Use of Medicare/Medicaid in the PRC: Be aware that U.S. Medicare/Medicaid does not apply overseas. Hospitals and doctors in the PRC often do not accept U.S. health insurance.

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. Visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for more information on type of insurance you should consider before you travel overseas.

We strongly recommend supplemental insurance to cover medical evacuation.

Medication: If traveling with prescription medication, check with the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in the United States of America to ensure the medication is legal in the PRC. Carry prescription medication in original packaging, along with the prescription. Many commonly used U.S. drugs and medications are not available in the PRC, and counterfeit, low-quality knockoffs are prevalent. If you try to have medications sent to you from outside the PRC, you may have problems getting them released by PRC Customs authorities and/or you may have to pay high customs duties.

Air Quality: Air pollution is a significant problem in many locations. Visit AirNow Department of State for information on air quality at U.S. Embassies and Consulates. The PRC’s Ministry of Ecology and Environment also provides its own air quality data for cities throughout the PRC.

Most roads and towns in Tibet, Qinghai, parts of Xinjiang, and western Sichuan are situated at altitudes over 10,000 feet. Take appropriate precautions to prepare for and be alert to altitude sickness.

Disease: The following diseases are prevalent:

  • Influenza
  • Typhoid
  • Measles
  • Hepatitis A
  • Hepatitis B
  • Tuberculosis
  • Sexually transmitted infections (e.g., syphilis)

Vaccinations: Be up to date on all routine vaccinations recommended by the CDC. The CDC traveler’s health site for the PRC provides vaccine recommendations specific to travel within the PRC.

For further health information:

Travel and Transportation

Road Conditions and Safety: Traffic safety is generally poor, and driving can be dangerous, though rules, regulations, and conditions vary greatly throughout the PRC.

Traffic can be chaotic and largely unregulated and the rate of accidents, including fatal accidents, is among the highest in the world. Motorcycle and bicycle accidents are frequent and often deadly. Pedestrians do not have the right of way, and you should show extreme caution when walking in traffic, even in marked crosswalks. Child safety seats are not widely available.

Traffic Laws:

  • You may not drive in the PRC using a U.S. or international driver’s license.
  • You can apply for a PRC driver’s license if you have a resident permit.
  • If you are involved in a traffic accident, stay calm and call and wait for the police.
  • If there are no injuries and damage is minimal, the parties often come to agreement on the spot.
  • Unresolved disputes are handled by the courts.
  • In cases involving injuries, the driver determined at fault is responsible for the injured person’s medical costs. Sometimes, the police may hold your passport until the other parties are satisfied with the compensation they receive.

Please refer to our Road Safety page for more information. Also, please review the Law of the People's Republic of China on Road Traffic Safety.

Public Transportation: Public transportation, including subways, trains, and buses, generally has a positive safety record and is widely available in major cities, although individuals on crowded buses and subways can be targeted by pickpockets.

Aviation Safety Oversight: The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has assessed the PRC government’s Civil Aviation Authority as being in compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards for oversight of the PRC’s air carrier operations. Further information may be found on the FAA’s Safety Assessment Page.

Maritime Travel: Mariners planning travel to the PRC should check for U.S. maritime advisories and alerts at the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) Maritime Security Communications with Industry (MSCI) web portal. Information may also be posted to the U.S. Coast Guard Homeport website, and the U.S. National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) Navigational Warnings website.

The Commandant of the Coast Guard is unable to determine if effective anti-terrorism measures are in place in PRC ports as required by 46 U.S. Code § 70108.

For additional travel information

International Parental Child Abduction

Review information about International Parental Child Abduction in China. For additional IPCA-related information, please see the International Child Abduction Prevention and Return Act (ICAPRA) report.

Last Updated: August 2, 2023

Travel Advisory Levels

Assistance for U.S. Citizens

U.S. Embassy Beijing
No. 55 An Jia Lou Road
Chaoyang, Beijing
Telephone
+(86)(10) 8531-4000
Emergency
+(86)(10) 8531-4000
Fax
+(86)(10) 8531-3300

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