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Monthly Archives: February 2017
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.
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.
- 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:
- Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security messages and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
- Call us in Washington at 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or 1-202-501-4444 from other countries from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).
- See the State Department’s travel website for Worldwide Caution, Travel Warnings, and Travel Alerts.
- Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.
- See traveling safely abroad for useful travel tips.
CRIMINAL PENALTIES: You are subject to local laws. If you violate local laws, even unknowingly, you may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned.
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:
- Faith-Based Travel Information
- International Religious Freedom Report – see country reports
- Human Rights Report – see country reports
- Hajj Fact Sheet for Travelers
- Best Practices for Volunteering Abroad
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.
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.
Women Travelers: See our travel tips for Women Travelers.
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.
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:
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:
Orca encounters will be less entertainment-oriented and more about education.
These real-life locations are excellent alternatives to their make-believe counterparts
There are several times a year when air travel increases significantly.
As airlines improved their performance last year, more people than at any time since the airline industry began polling in 1971, according to a survey released Tuesday.
Almost half of them are all in one city. Any guesses?
Expansion plan is latest step in a turn-around effort by the USA’s No. 3 airline.
United Airlines announced a major expansion Monday, adding 22 year-round and seasonal routes.