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Travel Warning & Consular Information Sheet for Federated States of Micronesia

Federated States of Micronesia - Consular Information Sheet
September 14, 1999

COUNTRY DESCRIPTION: The Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) is composed of four states, named after their main islands, and dozens of atolls extending over a large area of the north central Pacific. The four states are: Pohnpei (formerly Ponape), Kosrae (formerly Kusaie), Chuuk (formerly Truk) and Yap. The federal capital is located at Palikir, on the island of Pohnpei and close to its largest city, Kolonia. The FSM is a constitutional democracy, and is party to a Compact of Free Association with the United States. It is a developing economy reliant on fishing, tourism, and agriculture.

ENTRY REQUIREMENTS: Proof of citizenship, sufficient funds, and onward/return ticket are required for tourist visits up to 30 days. Visits are extendible for up to 60 days total from the initial entry; this extension is sought after arrival in Micronesia. An entry permit may be needed for types of travel other than tourism); the necessary forms may be obtained from the airlines. There is a departure fee of five U.S. dollars. A health certificate may be required if the traveler is arriving from infected area. Travelers are advised to enter and leave the FSM on a valid U.S. passport. The U.S. Embassy in Kolonia does not issue passports; passports for persons living or traveling in the FSM are issued by the Honolulu Passport Agency. For more information about entry requirements of the Federated States of Micronesia, travelers may consult the Embassy of the Federated States of Micronesia, 1725 N Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20038, tel: (202) 223-4383 or via the Internet at http://www.fsmembassy.org. The Federated States of Micronesia also have consulates in Honolulu and Guam.

MEDICAL FACILITIES: Health care facilities in the FSM consist of hospitals on each of the four major islands and a few scattered clinics. These facilities sometimes lack basic supplies and medicines, and the quality of health care is variable. Doctors and hospitals may expect immediate cash payment for health services. U.S. medical insurance is not always valid outside the United States. Supplemental medical insurance with specific coverage for overseas treatment and medical evacuation may prove useful. Medical evacuation can be very expensive for non-ambulatory patients. The U.S. Medicare/Medicaid program does not provide payment of medical services outside the United States. Helpful information on medical emergencies abroad is provided in the Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs’ brochure Medical Information for Americans Traveling Abroad, available from the Consular Affairs homepage on the Internet at http://travel.state.gov or autofax service at 202-647-3000. Additional information on health matters may be obtained from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) through its international travelers hotline at 1-877-FYI-TRIP (1-877-394-8747) via the CDC autofax service at 1-877-CDC-FAXX (1-888-232-3299), or via the CDC home page on the Internet: http://www.cdc.gov.

INFORMATION ON CRIME: The overall crime rate in the FSM is low, but there have been incidents where foreigners have been subject to, and possibly singled out for, verbal and physical abuse. The loss or theft abroad of a U.S. passport should be reported immediately to the local police, and to the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate. Useful information on guarding valuables and protecting personal security while traveling abroad is provided in the Department of State pamphlet A Safe Trip Abroad, which is available from the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington D.C. 20402 or via the Internet at http://www.access.gpo.gov/su_docs.

CRIMINAL PENALTIES: While in a foreign country, a U.S. citizen is subject to that country's laws and regulations, which sometimes differ significantly from those in the United States and do not afford the protections available to the individual under U.S. law. Penalties for breaking the law can be more severe than in the United States for similar offenses. Persons violating the law, even unknowingly, may be expelled, arrested or imprisoned. Penalties for possession, use, or trafficking in illegal drugs are strict. and convicted offenders can expect jail sentences and a fine. Prison conditions in the FSM meet minimal international standards. Legal procedures provide for due process.

ROAD SAFETY: Traffic, particularly in the state capitals, is increasing, and is a problem particularly during the hours at the beginning and end of the work day. Most roads are narrow and without sidewalks, creating a hazard for both drivers and pedestrians. Driving skills vary; drivers often make turns or stop to pick up pedestrians without warning. Roads outside the towns are often unpaved, and are used by pedestrians, playing children, animals and drivers alike.

AVIATION ISSUES: Flight schedules and routes are subject to change and there may be little flexibility or alternatives if flights are canceled or missed. The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has not assessed Micronesia’s Civil Aviation Authority for compliance with international aviation safety standards for oversight of Micronesia’s air carrier operations. For further information, travelers may contact the Department of Transportation within the U.S. at 1-800-322-7873, or visit the FAA Internet home page at http://www.faa.gov/avr/iasa/. The U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) separately assesses some foreign air carriers for suitability as official providers of air services. For information regarding the DOD policy on specific carriers, travelers may contact DOD at 618-229-4801.

CHILDREN’S ISSUES: For information on international adoption of children, international parental child abduction, and international child support enforcement issues, please refer to our Internet site at http://travel.state.gov/children's_issues.html or telephone (202) 736-7000.

REGISTRATION AND EMBASSY LOCATION: U.S. citizens living in or visiting the Federated States of Micronesia are encouraged to register at the U.S. Embassy in Kolonia, where they may also obtain updated information on travel and security within the country. The U.S. Embassy in Kolonia is located on Kasalehlie Street (the main downtown street). The mailing address is P.O. Box 1286, Pohnpei, Federated States of Micronesia 96941. The telephone number is (691) 320-2187. The fax number is (691) 320-2186.

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