Security Alert
May 17, 2024

Worldwide Caution

International Travel


Learn About Your Destination

Hong Kong

Hong Kong
Hong Kong Special Administrative Region
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.

Updated due to new national security legislation in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.

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 Special Administrative Region (SAR) due to the arbitrary enforcement of local laws.

Reconsider travel to the Macau Special Administrative Region (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


Consulate Messages


Quick Facts


One month beyond the date of your intended stay


One page required for entry stamp


Not required for stays under 90 days







Embassies and Consulates

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 
+852 2845-4845

Destination Description

See the U.S. Department of State’s Fact Sheet on Hong Kong for information on U.S.-Hong Kong relations.

Entry, Exit and Visa Requirements

Visit the Hong Kong Immigration Department website for the most current visa information. 

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

To enter the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR), you need:

  • a passport that is valid for at least one month beyond the date of your intended stay;
  • adequate funds to cover your stay without working locally; and
  • evidence of onward/return transportation.

You only need a visa if:

  • You plan to stay for more than 90 days – obtain an extension with the Hong Kong SAR Immigration Department, if necessary.
  • You plan to work or study in the Hong Kong SAR – visas must be obtained prior to departing the United States.

You must possess a valid passport and PRC visa to enter the People’s Republic of China (PRC) from Hong Kong. Further information on travel to and around the PRC is available on our China International Travel Information and Macau International Travel Information pages.

West Kowloon Train Station: The West Kowloon Train Station is the terminus of the Hong Kong section of the Guangzhou–Shenzhen–Hong Kong Express Rail Link (XRL). Once passengers pass through the Hong Kong immigration exit checkpoint on their way to mainland China inside the train station or on the train itself in that area, they are in the mainland Port Area. Likewise, passengers arriving from mainland China are in the mainland Port Area until they exit the Hong Kong immigration entry checkpoint. 

Health Requirements: There are no COVID-related entry requirements for U.S. citizens. The U.S. Department of State is unaware of any HIV/AIDS entry restrictions for visitors to or foreign residents of the PRC, including Hong Kong. 

Safety and Security

Since the imposition of the National Security Law on June 30, 2020, the People’s Republic of China (PRC) has demonstrated an intent to use the law to target a broad range of activities such as acts of secession, subversion, terrorism, and collusion with foreign entities. The National Security Law also covers offenses committed by non-Hong Kong SAR residents or organizations outside of the Hong Kong SAR, which could subject U.S. citizens who have been publicly critical of the PRC and/or the administration of the Hong Kong SAR to a heightened risk of arrest, detention, expulsion, or prosecution. Mainland PRC security forces, including an Office for Safeguarding National Security, now operate in Hong Kong and are not subject to oversight by the Hong Kong SAR judiciary.

Drug and Alcohol Enforcement: PRC law enforcement authorities have little tolerance for illegal drugs, including marijuana and products containing cannabidiol, also known as CBD. Penalties for possessing, using, or trafficking illegal drugs in the PRC, including Hong Kong, are severe, and convicted offenders can expect long jail sentences, heavy fines, or the death penalty.

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

Demonstrations: Participating in demonstrations or any other activities that authorities interpret as violating Hong Kong law, including the National Security Law, could result in criminal charges. On June 30, 2020, as part of its color-coded system of warning flags, the Hong Kong police unveiled a new purple flag, which warns protesters that shouting slogans or carrying banners with an intent prohibited by the law could now bring criminal charges. Any protests that take place without a permit are considered illegal.

U.S. citizens are strongly cautioned to be aware of their surroundings and avoid demonstrations.

If you decide to travel to Hong Kong: 

  • Monitor local media, local transportations sites and apps like MTR Mobile or CitybusNWFB, and the Hong Kong International Airport website for updates and traffic advisories. 
  • Avoid the areas of the demonstrations. 
  • Exercise caution if you are in the vicinity of large gatherings or protests. 
  • Avoid taking photographs of protesters or police without permission. 
  • Be aware of your surroundings. 
  • Keep a low profile. 

Hong Kong has a low crime rate. Even so, you should exercise caution when in congested areas and pay particular attention to personal belongings while in crowded areas and while traveling on public transportation. Violent crime, though rare, does occur.

  • Take routine safety precautions. 
  • Report any concerns to the local police. 
  • Call “999,” the local equivalent to “911” 

Please note that mace, pepper spray, stun guns, bullets, switch blades, knuckle-dusters and other self-protection weapons are banned in Hong Kong. 

Do not buy counterfeit and pirated goods, even if they are widely available. Not only are the bootlegs illegal in the United States, but, if you purchase them, you may also be breaking local law. You may also pay fines or must give them up if you bring them back to the United States. See the U.S. Department of Justice website for more information.

Be alert to criminal schemes, such as internet, phone scams and dating scams, as well as financial scams. 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 at “999” and contact U.S. Consulate General Hong Kong & Macau at +(825) 2523-9011. U.S. citizen victims of sexual assault should first contact U.S. Consulate General Hong Kong & Macau.

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.

Hong Kong has a crime victim compensation program available to U.S. citizens who are legal residents or tourists in Hong Kong. For more detailed information on the program and its requirements, please see the Hong Kong Social Welfare Department webpage. More resources for victims of crime in Hong Kong are available in our Help for U.S. Victims of Crime in Hong Kong information sheet. 

Domestic Violence: U.S. citizen victims of domestic violence can/should contact the Hong Kong police and/or U.S. Consulate General Hong Kong & Macau for assistance. 

Tourism: The tourism industry is generally regulated and rules with regard to best practices and safety inspections are regularly enforced. Hazardous areas/activities are identified with appropriate signage and professional staff is typically on hand in support of organized activities. In the event of an injury, appropriate medical treatment is widely available throughout Hong Kong. Outside of a major metropolitan center, it may take more time for first responders and medical professionals to stabilize a patient and provide life-saving assistance. U.S. citizens are encouraged to purchase medical evacuation insurance

Local Laws & Special Circumstances

Criminal Penalties: You are subject to Hong Kong SAR laws, including certain PRC laws applied to Hong Kong. If you violate Hong Kong SAR laws, even unknowingly, you may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned. Individuals establishing a business or practicing a profession that requires additional permits or licensing should seek information from the competent local authorities, prior to practicing or operating a business. Furthermore, some crimes are prosecutable in the United States, regardless of local law. For examples, see our website on 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. Consulate General Hong Kong & Macau immediately. See our webpage for further information.
  • Hong Kong must notify a U.S. consular officer within four days; however, this does not always occur in a timely manner.
  • The PRC and Hong Kong SAR governments do not recognize dual nationality. The PRC and Hong Kong SAR governments may prevent the U.S. Embassy or U.S. Consulates General from providing consular services to dual U.S.-PRC citizens and U.S. citizens of Chinese descent. Please see the page on dual nationality for more information on the limits on consular notification and access to dual nationals.
  • A consular officer may be the only authorized visitor during your initial detention period.
  • Detention may last many months before a trial.
  • U.S. Consulate General Hong Kong & Macau is unable to represent you in a legal matter.
  • Travelers to the PRC should enroll in the U.S. Department of State’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP), and you may wish to have someone contact U.S. Consulate General Hong Kong & Macau if you are detained.

Hong Kong law provides for an independent judiciary, but PRC actions have eroded the judiciary’s independence and ability to uphold the rule of law, particularly in cases designated as involving national security. U.S. citizens traveling or residing in the PRC, including the Hong Kong SAR, should be aware of varying levels of scrutiny to which they will be subject from PRC state security and Hong Kong local law enforcement. In Hong Kong, police have the right to detain you for questioning if you are not carrying your passport.


Assisted Reproductive Technology: Hong Kong strictly forbids surrogacy, and surrogacy contracts will not be considered valid. The use of reproductive technology for medical research and profit is strictly controlled.

Controlled Items in Hong Kong: Hong Kong customs authorities enforce strict regulations concerning controlled items you might be carrying while transiting Hong Kong (temporary importation or exportation). Hong Kong International Airport (HKG) security routinely and thoroughly screens any luggage loaded onto an aircraft in Hong Kong, whether belonging to a departing or transiting passenger. Discovery of weapons or ammunition of any kind—including mace, pepper spray, stun guns, bullets, air gun pellets, switch blades, knuckle-dusters, and other self-protection weapons—during this screening will be referred to the police for investigation, leading to arrest and detention.

If you bring controlled items into Hong Kong without the necessary Hong Kong documents, you may be prosecuted, and the goods may be seized. The penalty for trafficking in dangerous drugs can be life imprisonment and a heavy fine. Among the other items that you must declare to customs officials are liquors, tobacco, cigarettes and cigars, methyl alcohol, and merchandise imported for commercial purposes. There are no currency restrictions for travelers.

The following is a non-exhaustive list of controlled and/or prohibited items:

  • dangerous drugs
  • psychotropic substances
  • controlled chemicals
  • antibiotics
  • arms
  • ammunition
  • weapons
  • fireworks
  • strategic commodities
  • rough diamonds
  • animals
  • plants
  • endangered species
  • telecommunication equipment
  • game
  • meat
  • poultry
  • eggs
  • powdered formula

Please visit the website of the Hong Kong Customs and Excise Department for specific information regarding Hong Kong customs requirements.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection encourages the use of an ATA (Admission Temporaire/Temporary Admission) carnet for the temporary admission of professional equipment, commercial samples, and/or goods for exhibitions and fair purposes.

For additional information, please visit the U.S. Council for International Business website and the U.S. Customs and Border Protection web page on Traveling with Samples.

Please see our Customs Information sheet for general information.

Dual Nationality: Dual nationality is not recognized under PRC nationality law. Be mindful of the following special circumstances for dual nationals when traveling in the region.

Enter the Hong Kong SAR on your U.S. passport to ensure U.S. Consulate General Hong Kong & Macau can provide consular assistance in case of arrest or other emergency. Regardless of your travel documents, if you are a dual national, or otherwise have ethnic or historical ties to the PRC, it is possible that Hong Kong authorities will assert that you are a PRC citizen and deny your access to U.S. consular representatives if you are detained.

Your child will be considered a PRC citizen if one or both of the parents are PRC nationals regardless of U.S. citizenship.

If traveling onward to mainland China, enter mainland China on your U.S. passport to ensure U.S. consular protection. See our China International Travel Information page for more information.

For further information on consular protection and dual nationality, please refer to our website.

Counterfeit and Pirated Goods: Although counterfeit and pirated goods are prevalent in many countries, they may still be illegal according to local laws. You may also pay fines or must give them up if you bring them back to the United States. See the U.S. Department of Justice website for more information.

Cruise Ship Passengers: Please see our Cruise Ship Passengers page for safety information and travel advice.

Earthquakes: Earthquakes occur throughout the PRC and have affected Hong Kong in the past. Check here for information about preparing for a crisis or disaster overseas.

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

LGBTQI+ Travelers: In Hong Kong, there are no legal restrictions on same-sex sexual relations or the organization of LGBTQI+ events in Hong Kong. See Section 6 of our Human Rights Practices in the Human Rights Report for Hong Kong and read our LGBTQI+ Travel Information page.

Pets: You must have a permit to bring dogs and cats into Hong Kong. Dogs and cats imported from the United States may be exempted from quarantine when they have valid health and vaccination certificates and when the animal has been in the United States for at least six months immediately preceding travel.

Additional information on importing pets is available on the Hong Kong Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department website.

Political Activity: Participating in unauthorized political activities, including participating in unauthorized public protests, or writing social media posts or other online publications critical of the government, may result in detention, criminal charges, and/or PRC government-imposed restrictions on future travel to the PRC, including Hong Kong.

Social Media: Social media accounts are widely monitored in the PRC, including Hong Kong. Social media posts—even content posted outside of Hong Kong—that local authorities deem illegal, including under the National Security Law or other Hong Kong laws, may result in criminal charges against both the poster of the material and the administrator of the social media forum.

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, 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.

Transferring Money to/From Hong Kong: 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 U.S. Consulate General Hong Kong & Macau. More information on this option is available on our Sending Money to Destitute U.S. Citizens Overseas page.

Travelers with Disabilities: 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.

Hong Kong law prohibits discrimination against persons with physical, sensory, intellectual, and mental disabilities in employment, education, access to health care, or the provision of other state services, and the government generally enforces these provisions. The law mandates access to buildings, information, and communications for persons with disabilities. The Hong Kong Social Welfare Department is primarily responsible for coordinating and funding public assistance programs to persons with disabilities. The Hong Kong Tourism Board publishes “Accessible Hong Kong,” a guide for visitors with disabilities and the Hong Kong Transport Department publishes A Guide to Public Transport for People with Disabilities. In addition, the Hong Kong government created Cyberable to provide one-stop information for persons with various disabilities.

Weather: The southeast coast of the PRC is subject to strong typhoons and tropical storms, usually from July through September. The Hong Kong Observatory has an excellent notification and monitoring system and issues typhoon warnings an average of six times a year and heavy rainstorm and hot weather alerts more frequently. Please be advised that if Hong Kong announces a Typhoon Signal 8 or above or Black Rainstorm Warning, U.S. Consulate General Hong Kong & Macau will be closed for services. You may find additional information on Check here for information about preparing for a crisis or disaster overseas on the Bureau of Consular Affairs website.

For current information, please consult the Joint Typhoon Warning Center and the National Weather Service's Central Pacific Hurricane Center.

Women Travelers: See our travel tips for Women Travelers.


For emergency services in Hong Kong, dial 999.

Ambulance services are widely available.

Quality of Care: Good medical facilities are available, and there are many Western-trained physicians. Hong Kong emergency service response times for police, fire, and ambulances are good.

We do not pay medical bills. Be aware that U.S. Medicare/Medicaid does not apply overseas. Most hospitals and doctors overseas 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 coverage overseas. Visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website for more information on type of insurance you should consider before you travel overseas.

We strongly recommend supplemental insurance to cover medical evacuation.

Payment and Insurance: Travelers will be asked to post a deposit prior to admission to hospitals to cover the expected cost of treatment. Hospitals and clinics generally accept credit cards.

U.S. Consulate General Hong Kong & Macau maintains a list of local English-speaking doctors and hospitals. We do not endorse or recommend any specific medical provider or clinic.

Medication: Always carry your prescription medication in original packaging, along with your doctor’s prescription. Prescription drugs are widely available, although names may vary. You need a prescription from a doctor in Hong Kong to purchase medications locally. Bring prescription medications to cover your stay in Hong Kong or plan to see a physician in Hong Kong to obtain a new prescription. If traveling with prescription medication, check with the government of Hong Kong to ensure the medication is legal in Hong Kong. Always carry your prescription medication in original packaging with your doctor’s prescription. 

Air Quality: Visit AirNow Department of State for information on air quality at U.S. Embassies and Consulates. The air quality in Hong Kong varies considerably and fluctuates with the seasons. It is typically at its worst in the summer.

People at the greatest risk from particle pollution exposure include: 

  • Infants, children, and teens;
  • People over 65 years of age;
  • People with lung disease such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), which includes chronic bronchitis and emphysema;
  • People with heart disease or diabetes; and 
  • People who work or are active outdoors.

Vaccinations: Be up-to-date on all vaccinations recommended by the CDC.

COVID-19 Testing: COVID-19 PCR tests are available at private laboratories and clinics in Hong Kong. The price for these PCR tests generally ranges from 50 to 100 US Dollars. The Hong Kong government maintains a list of recognized laboratories. Rapid COVID-19 tests are readily available at pharmacies and retail establishments throughout Hong Kong.   

COVID-19 Vaccines: The COVID-19 vaccine is available for U.S. citizen residents of Hong Kong. U.S. citizens who are not Hong Kong residents are not eligible to receive Hong Kong government-provided vaccines.Visit the FDA's website to learn more about FDA-approved vaccines in the United States.   

For further health information:

Travel and Transportation

Road Conditions and Safety: Road conditions differ significantly from those in the United States. Each year there are approximately 14,000 traffic accidents.

  • Traffic moves on the left.
  • Speed limits vary depending on location.
  • Use of seatbelts is mandatory.
  • You can drive using your U.S. driver’s license for up to a year. If you hold a valid U.S. driver’s license and have resided in the United States at least six months, you can apply for a Hong Kong driver’s license. Visit the Hong Kong Transport Department online for further details. 

Traffic Laws: Many traffic violations are similar to those in the United States, including penalties for reckless driving, driving under the influence, and using a hand-held device while operating a vehicle. Hong Kong law requires that all registered vehicles carry valid third-party liability insurance. 

Public Transportation: Approximately 90 percent of the population in Hong Kong depends on public transport. Taxis, buses, and the mass transit railway (MTR) are readily available, inexpensive, and generally safe. The MTR, an underground railway network, is the most popular mode of public transport, carrying an average of 3.5 million passengers a day.

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

Maritime Travel: Mariners planning travel to Hong Kong 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.

For additional travel information

International Parental Child Abduction

Review information about International Parental Child Abduction in Hong Kong. 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. Consulate General Hong Kong & Macau
26 Garden Road, Central,
Hong Kong
+(852) 2841-2211, +(852) 2841-2225, +(852) 2841-2323
+(852) 2523-9011
+(852) 2845-4845

Hong Kong Map