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Country Information

Micronesia

Micronesia
Micronesia
Exercise increased caution in Micronesia due to COVID-19 and Embassy Kolonia’s limited capacity to provide support to U.S. citizens.

Exercise increased caution in  Micronesia due to COVID-19 and Embassy Kolonia’s limited capacity to provide support to U.S. citizens.

Read the Department of State’s COVID-19 page before you plan any international travel.  

Micronesia continues to have transportation options, with limited flights into the country (including airport operations and re-opening of borders) and business operations (including day cares and schools).  However, no passengers are able to disembark in the country.  Visit the Embassy's COVID-19 page for more information on COVID-19 in Micronesia.

Read the country information page.

If you decide to travel to the FSM:

Last Update: Reissued with updates to COVID-19 information.

 

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Embassy Messages

Alerts

Quick Facts

PASSPORT VALIDITY:


Six months

BLANK PASSPORT PAGES:


No requirement

TOURIST VISA REQUIRED:


Not required

VACCINATIONS:


A valid international certificate of vaccination is required for travelers coming from a region infected with small pox, yellow fever, or cholera. Current measles vaccine is recommended due to an outbreak in the area the last quarter of 2019.

CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR ENTRY:


You must declare amounts equivalent to $10,000 or above.

CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR EXIT:


None

Embassies and Consulates

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: KoloniaACS@state.gov

Destination Description

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

Entry, Exit and Visa Requirements

Visit the Embassy of the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) website for the most current information.

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, 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 in the FSM. U.S. citizens may enter the FSM to live, work, or study indefinitely without visas or non-citizen registration requirements per the Compact of Free Association between the Unites States and the FSM. There is no limit to the length of time U.S. citizens can remain in the FSM.

The Federated States of Micronesia imposes departure taxes. which you must pay when you leave each island. For current departure fees visit Micronesia’s Customs Regulations webpage. Please make sure you have cash available, as credit cards are not accepted, and ATM machines are not available at any of the airports. There is no departure fee for U.S. officials traveling on official or diplomatic passports.

Travel on commercial aircraft between states of the FSM is considered to be international travel, and persons who are not citizens of the FSM are required to comply with passport requirements upon arrival in any state of the FSM from a commercial aircraft regardless of the point of boarding.

FSM Travel Letters: U.S. citizens with FSM family ties who reside in the continental United States, Hawaii or its Pacific Island territories Guam or the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI), should avoid traveling to Chuuk or Yap States with travel letters issued by the FSM Embassy or Consulate. U.S. citizens who enter  the FSM with a travel letter will not be able to exit the FSM without a valid U.S. passport which can only be obtained on Pohnpei. Travelers, including small children, have been stranded in Chuuk or Yap for days and weeks waiting to receive their passport, because the only U.S. Consulate is on Pohnpei..

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

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

Safety and Security

Crime:

  • Most crime in the FSM is petty theft motivated by opportunity and impulse.
  • In 2019, a U.S. citizen was murdered outside her home after receiving a series of threats. Other U.S. citizens have received threats as well as other foreigners.
  • Outside of city limits, local residents may wield guns as a form of intimidation.
  • Crime rates are significantly higher in Chuuk and incidents in Chuuk have recently included assaults on U.S. citizens.
  • Crime increases at night and alcohol usually plays a role, especially in assaults
  • Sexual assaults occur, but can be avoided if basic precautions are taken.
  • Do not attempt to intervene in disputes between local citizens.
  • Compared to norms in the United States, local police are less responsive to victim concerns, particularly in cases involving burglary.
  • Local police do not possess the resources to fully investigate crimes
  • Unexploded ordnance from sunken WWII vessels and aircraft exists in the area, especially in Chuuk, Yap, and surrounding channels.

To remain safe:

  • Exercise extreme caution at all times
  • Unexploded ordnance from sunken WWII vessels and aircraft exists in the area, especially in Chuuk, Yap, and surrounding channels. Use extreme caution when boating, snorkeling, or diving
  • Report any threats against your safety or suspicious activities to the local police and the U.S. Embassy
  • Be alert to any unusual activity around your home or business
  • Stay off the streets after dark because there are few streetlights
  • Drive with the car windows closed and doors locked
  • Women should travel in groups and walk in well-lit areas

International Financial Scams: See the Department of State and the FBI pages for information.

Victims of Crime:

Report crimes to the local police by dialing 911  and contact the U.S. Embassy at 320-2187.

Remember that local authorities are responsible for investigating and prosecuting 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 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

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 host 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. Divers should check on hyperbaric chamber functionality with a reputable international dive organization before diving in FSM. First responders are generally unable to access areas outside of major cities and 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.

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

For further information:

Local Laws & Special Circumstances

Criminal Penalties: You are subject to local laws. If you violate local laws, even unknowingly, you may be deported, 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.

  • Public drunkenness 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.
  • Furthermore, some laws are also prosecutable in the United States, regardless of local law. For examples, see our website on crimes against minors abroad and the Department of Justice website.
  • It is dangerous as well as illegal to remove WWII “souvenirs” from sunken vessels and aircraft.

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.

Natural Disasters: FSM is subject to typhoons, flooding and mudslides. The Pacific cyclone season extends from November through March. For information about crisis preparedness, see our webpage on Crisis Abroad: Be Ready, the Department of Homeland Security, and the CDC pages.

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

LGBTI 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, if available, are vastly different from what you find in the United States. Neither laws nor regulations mandate accessibility to public facilities, services, or accommodations for persons with mobility issues. There are few sidewalks and streetlights in the FSM. There is no public transportation. Taxis are run by independent operators who make no provision for people with mobility issues. The national Department of Health and Social Services is responsible for protecting the rights of persons with disabilities; however, they rarely take action to enforce these measures.

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

Women Travelers: See our travel tips for Women Travelers.

Health

Only basic medical care is available, and only on the main islands of the Federated States of Micronesia.

Health care facilities in the FSM consist of state-run hospitals on each of the four major islands and a few scattered clinics.  Medical evacuation assistance is available only by air. The assistance could take days to arrive and is expensive. There are no daily commercial flights on Chuuk, Yap or Kosrae. Because flights often sell out, finding last-minute seats is difficult.

For emergency services in the FSM, dial 911.

Ambulance services are:

  • Not widely available and training and availability of emergency responders may be below U.S. standards.
  • In Pohnpei, Chuuk, Yap and Kosrae States, you can reach ambulance services by calling the State hospitals.
  • Not equipped with state-of-the-art medical equipment.
  • Not staffed with trained paramedics and often have little or no medical equipment.
  • Injured or seriously ill travelers may prefer to take a taxi or private vehicle to the nearest major hospital rather than wait for an ambulance.

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

Always carry your prescription medication in original packaging, along with your doctor’s prescription. The government does not provide a list of medications that cannot be brought into the FSM but travelers bringing medication should have a doctor’s note prescribing the medication.

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

Further health information:

Air Quality: Visit AirNow Department of State for information on air quality at U.S. Embassies and Consulates.

The U.S. Embassy maintains a list of doctors and hospitals. We do not endorse or recommend any specific medical provider or clinic.

Health facilities in general:

  • Health facilities are available in the State Capitals of Pohnpei, Kosrae, Yap and Chuuk but the quality of care may be below U.S. standards.
  • Public medical clinics lack basic resources and supplies.
  • Private hospitals and doctors often require payment “up front” prior to service or admission. Credit card payment is not always available. Most hospitals and medical professionals require cash payment.
  • Private hospitals usually require advance payment or proof of adequate insurance before admitting a patient.
  • Medical staff may speak little or no English.
  • Generally, in public hospitals only minimal staff is available overnight in non-emergency wards and a patient’s relatives must provide bedding for the bed and operation room gurney.
  • Mental health services are extremely limited with only one psychiatrist on Pohnpei.
  • We strongly recommend supplemental insurance to cover medical evacuation in the event of unforeseen medical complications.
  • Your legal options in case of malpractice are very limited in the FSM.

Pharmaceuticals:        

  • U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the Food and Drug Administration are responsible for rules governing the transport of medication back to the United States. Medication purchased abroad must meet their requirements to be legally brought back into the United States. Medication should be for personal use and must be approved for usage in the United States. Please visit the U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the Food and Drug Administration websites for more information.

Water Quality

  • In many areas, tap water is not potable. Bottled water and beverages are generally safe, although you should be aware that many restaurants and hotels serve tap water unless bottled water is specifically requested. Be aware that ice for drinks may be made using tap water.

Adventure Travel

  • Visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website for more information about Adventure Travel.
  • Scuba divers should note that decompression chambers in Yap, Chuuk, and Pohnpei are generally not working, and local staff may not have adequate experience in recognizing or treating diving injuries.

General Health Language

The following diseases are prevalent:

  • Dengue – The CDC issued a Dengue Outbreak Alert in Yap State.
  • Chikungunya
  • Use the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended mosquito repellents and sleep under insecticide-impregnated mosquito nets. Chemoprophylaxis is recommended for all travelers even for short stays.
  • The FSM experiences frequent shortages of imported food products, water, medicine, medical supplies, etc, due to container shipment delays.
  • Visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website for more information about Resources for Travelers regarding specific issues in Micronesia.

Travel and Transportation

Road Conditions and Safety:

  • Driving in the FSM is hazardous because of poor road conditions, few street lights, no traffic signals, and pedestrians and animals walking in the road.
  • Road conditions can worsen after heavy rains.
  • Roads outside of towns are unpaved.
  • Traffic accidents often result in fatalities or serious injuries.
  • Drivers mostly have no training in safety or driving skills.

Traffic Laws:

  • Motorcyclists are required by law to wear helmets.
  • Traffic moves on the right side of the road, but many people drive used cars from Japan with right hand side steering making it hard for drives to see around corners.
  • It is common for vehicles to stop suddenly and vehicles may not pull off the road.
  • The general speed limit is 25 mph (40 km/hour) and lower in school zones.
  • Driving while under the influence of alcohol or other drugs. ¾ while under the influence of intoxicating liquor, any narcotic drug or any other drug, to a degree which renders him incapable of safely driving, drives any motor vehicle upon any roadway within the state shall be punished by imprisonment for not more than one year, or a fine of not more than $500, or both such fine nd imprisonment.
  • Causing death or bodily injury while driving under the influence. ¾ Any person operating or driving a motor vehicle of any kind while under the influence of intoxicating liquor, and who, by reason of such condition, does any act or neglects any duty imposed by law, which act or neglect of duty causes the death of or bodily injury to any person, shall be punished by imprisonment for less than three years, or a fine of less than $3,000, or both such fine and imprisonment

Public Transportation: There is no public transportation. Taxis are available in the FSM, but you should always be careful, because many taxi drivers are reckless, do not have government issued drivers licenses, and are known to take advantage of single women. Taxis are often shared; very few taxi drivers accept single fares.

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 the FSM, 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.

Maritime Travel: Mariners planning travel to the FSM should also check for U.S. maritime advisories and alerts. Information may also be posted to the U.S. Coast Guard homeport website, and the NGA broadcast warnings. FSM requires all foreign pleasure vessels to check in with immigration and customs upon mooring in the FSM.

For additional travel information

International Parental Child Abduction

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

Last Updated: January 29, 2020

Travel Advisory Levels

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
+(691) 920-2369
Fax
+(691) 320-2186

Micronesia Map