Macau - Consular Information Sheet
June 11, 2001
COUNTRY DESCRIPTION: Macau, formerly a Chinese territory
under Portuguese administration, became a Special Administrative
Region (SAR) of the People's Republic of China on December 20,
1999, with a high degree of autonomy, except in the areas of defense
and foreign policy. Macau retains its own currency, laws, and
border controls. Facilities for tourism are well developed. Gambling,
tourism, textile and apparel manufacturing are the major factors
in Macau's economy. Macau's revenue from tourism exceeds exports.
Macau, population 437,000, covers a thirteen-square-mile area
on the mainland of China bordering the South China Sea and the
small, adjacent islands of Taipa and Coloane.
ENTRY/EXIT REQUIREMENTS: Passports are required. A visa
is not required for tourist visits of up to 30 days. For further
information on entry requirements contact the Embassy of the People's
Republic of China, 2300 Connecticut Avenue, N.W., Washington D.C.
20008, Tel: (202) 328-2500 through 2502, or the Consulates General
of the PRC in Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, New York City, and
San Francisco. For more information regarding PRC visas, travelers
to Macau may contact the visa section of the Embassy of the People's
Republic of China at (202) 265-9809 or (202) 338-6688. Travelers
may also consult the Macau Tourist Office,(operated as Integrated
Travel Resources Inc.), 5757 West Century Boulevard, Suite 660,
Los Angeles, CA 90045-6407, Tel: (310) 670-2234 or Fax: (310)
338-0708. See also the
Macau Government home page at http://www.macau.gov.mo.
The pataca (US$1.00 to approximately 7.78 patacas) is the official
currency in Macau. Included in the cost of ferry tickets from
Macau to Hong Kong is a departure tax of 19 patacas. The airport
departure tax for flights from Macau to China is 80 patacas, and
130 patacas for flights to other destinations.
In an effort to prevent international child abduction, many governments
have initiated procedures at entry/exit points. These often include
requiring documentary evidence of relationship and permission
for the child's travel from the parent(s) or legal guardian not
present. Having such documentation on hand, even if not required,
may facilitate entry/departure.
DUAL NATIONALITY: Under Chinese nationality law, persons
who are of Chinese descent and who were born in mainland China,
including Macau, are Chinese citizens. However, under an agreement
between the United States and the People's Republic of China,
all U.S. citizens entering Macau on their U.S. passports, including
such persons who may be considered Chinese nationals by the Chinese
authorities, are considered U.S. citizens by the Macau SAR authorities
for purposes of ensuring consular access and protection during
their legal stay in Macau.
However, dual national residents or former residents of Macau
who wish to ensure U.S. consular access and protection after the
initial 30-day period of visa-free admission into Macau, should
declare their U.S. nationality to the Macau Immigration Department
upon arrival. Dual national residents of Macau who enter Macau
on travel documents other than their U.S. passports, and who desire
to guarantee U.S. consular protection, should declare their U.S.
nationality as soon as possible after entry. This declaration
of change of nationality will ensure U.S. consular protection
and will also result in loss of one's Chinese nationality (but
not necessarily one's right of abode). Whereas failure to declare
U.S. nationality may jeopardize U.S. consular protection, such
failure will not jeopardize U.S. citizenship itself.
Dual nationals contemplating onward travel into mainland China
should be attentive to use of their U.S. passports. Dual nationals
who enter or depart China using a U.S. passport and a valid PRC
visa retain the right of U.S. consular access and protection under
the U.S.-PRC Consular Convention. The ability of the U.S. Embassy
or Consulates General to provide normal consular services would
be extremely limited should a dual national enter the PRC on a
Chinese or other non-U.S. passport.
In addition to being subject to all Macau SAR laws affecting
U.S. citizens, dual nationals may also be subject to laws of Macau
that impose special obligations on Macau citizens. For additional
information, see the
Consular Affairs home page on the Internet at http://travel.state.gov
for our dual nationality flyer.
SAFETY AND SECURITY: A fall in violent crime in the Macau
SAR occurred after the return of Macau to Chinese sovereignty
on December 20, 1999. According to the Macau Security Bureau,
there were eleven cases of murder in the first ten months of 2000
in Macau as opposed to thirty-five cases in the same period in
1999. Kidnappings also fell from twenty to seven cases in the
same period. These criminal acts were not aimed at Americans or
other foreign tourists.
CRIME: Petty street crime occasionally occurs in tourist
areas in Macau, including in and around casinos. The loss or theft
abroad of a U.S. passport should be reported immediately to the
local police and to the U.S. Consulate General in Hong Kong. The
Macau Immigration Department, in normal circumstances, will facilitate
the person's travel to Hong Kong to apply for a replacement passport
at the American Consulate General. U.S. citizens may refer to
the Department of State's pamphlet A
Safe Trip Abroad for information on safeguarding valuables,
protecting personal safety, and other suggestions for promoting
a more trouble-free journey. The pamphlet is available by mail
Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office,
Washington, D.C. 20402, via the Internet at http://www.access.gpo.gov/su_docs,
or via the
Bureau of Consular Affairs home page at http://travel.state.gov.
MEDICAL FACILITIES: Several major hospitals in Macau have
adequate medical facilities and are able to provide emergency
medical care. Highly developed medical facilities and trained
personnel are available in Hong Kong, which is about an hour by
jetfoil and ten minutes by helicopter from Macau.
MEDICAL INSURANCE: The Department of State strongly urges
Americans to consult with their medical insurance companies prior
to traveling abroad to confirm whether their policy applies overseas
and whether it will cover emergency expenses such as a medical
evacuation. U.S. medical insurance plans seldom cover health costs
incurred outside the United States unless supplemental coverage
is purchased. Further, U.S. Medicare and Medicaid programs do
not provide payment for medical services outside the United States.
However, many travel agents and private companies offer insurance
plans that will cover health care expenses incurred overseas including
emergency services such as medical evacuations.
When making a decision regarding health insurance, Americans
should consider that many foreign doctors and hospitals require
payment in cash prior to providing service and that a medical
evacuation to the U.S. may cost well in excess of $50,000. Uninsured
travelers who require medical care overseas often face extreme
difficulties, whereas travelers who have purchased overseas medical
insurance have, when a medical emergency occurs, found it life-saving.
When consulting with your insurer prior to your trip, ascertain
whether payment will be made to the overseas healthcare provider
or whether you will be reimbursed later for expenses you incur.
Some insurance policies also include coverage for psychiatric
treatment and for disposition of remains in the event of death.
Useful information on medical emergencies abroad, including overseas
insurance programs, is provided in the Department of State's,
Bureau of Consular Affairs brochure, Medical
Information for Americans Traveling Abroad, available via
the Internet at http://travel.state.gov/medical.html and through
the Bureau's autofax service at (202) 647-3000.
OTHER HEALTH INFORMATION: Information on vaccinations
and other health precautions may be obtained from the Centers
for Disease Control and Prevention's hotline for international
travelers at 1-877-FYI-TRIP (1-877-394-8747), via the CDC autofax
service at 1-888-CDC-FAXX (1-888-232-3299) or via the
CDC's Internet site at http://www.cdc.gov.
TRAFFIC SAFETY AND ROAD CONDITIONS: While in a foreign
country, U.S. citizens may encounter road conditions that differ
significantly from those in the United States. The information
below concerning Macau is provided for general reference only,
and may not be totally accurate in a particular location or circumstance.
Safety of Public Transportation: Good
Urban Road Conditions/Maintenance: Good
Rural Road Conditions/Maintenance: Good
Availability of Roadside Assistance: Good
Traffic moves on the left in Macau, and roads are narrow and
winding. Traffic is generally congested throughout the day. Taxis
are plentiful and inexpensive, as are public buses.
For additional general information
about road safety, including links to foreign government sites,
see the Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs home page
at http://travel.state.gov/road_safety.html. For specific information
concerning Macau driving permits, vehicle inspection, road tax
and mandatory insurance, contact the Macau Tourist Office (operated
as Integrated Travel Resources, Inc.), 5757 W. Century Boulevard,
Suite 660, Los Angeles, California 90045-6407 (Tel: (310) 670-2234,
Fax: (310) 338-0708), or the Macau Transport Department (Comissariado
de Transito de Macau, Ave Sidonio Pais, Macau (Tel: (853) 374-214,
Fax: (853) 522-966).
AVIATION SAFETY OVERSIGHT: As there is no direct commercial
air service by Macau carriers at present between the U.S. and
Macau, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has not
assessed Macau's Civil Aviation Authority for compliance with
international aviation safety standards. For further information,
travelers may contact the Department of Transportation within
the U.S. at 1-800-322-7873, or visit the
FAA's Internet website 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.
At present, Eva Air, a Taiwan-based company, is the only passenger
air service flying to the United States (with stopover in Taipei)
from Macau International Airport. See the
Macau International Airport home page at http://www.macau-airport.gov.mo/.
CUSTOMS REGULATIONS: Macau customs authorities enforce
strict regulations concerning temporary importation into or export
from Macau of items such as firearms, ivory, certain categories
of medications, and other goods. It is advisable to contact the
Embassy of the People's Republic of China in Washington or one
of China's consulates in the United States, or the Macau Marine
and Customs Police, Calcada da Barra, N 47, Capitania Dos Portos,
Macau (Tel: (853) 559-944, Fax: (853) 371-136), for specific information
regarding customs requirements.
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 may 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
Macau laws, even unknowingly, may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned.
Penalties for possession, use, or trafficking in illegal drugs
in Macau are strict and convicted offenders can expect jail sentences
and heavy fines.
SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES: The official languages in the Macau
SAR are Chinese and Portuguese. English, however, is spoken in
tourist areas. There are no currency restrictions for tourists
in Macau. Although the pataca is the official currency in Macau,
Hong Kong currency is commonly used in transactions, especially
in tourist areas. Pegged to the value of the Hong Kong dollar,
a pataca is worth slightly less than one Hong Kong dollar. Travelers
visiting Macau from Hong Kong may wish to bring sufficient Hong
Kong dollars to cover their expenses. Credit cards and ATM network
debit cards are widely accepted in Macau. Banks and major hotels
accept travelers' checks.
CHILDREN'S ISSUES: For
information on international adoption of children and international
parental child abduction, please refer to our Internet site
at http://travel.state.gov/children's issues.html or telephone
REGISTRATION/U.S. CONSULATE GENERAL LOCATION: There is
no U.S. diplomatic or consular presence in Macau. Consular assistance
for U.S. citizens is provided by the U.S. Consulate General in
Hong Kong. U.S. citizens living in or visiting Macau are encouraged
to register at the Consular Section of the U.S. Consulate General
in Hong Kong and obtain updated information on travel and security
within Macau. The address is 26 Garden Road, Central, Hong Kong.
The telephone number in Hong Kong is (852) 2523-9011 or (852)
2841-2211; fax (852) 2845-4845. The e-mail address of the
American Citizen Services Section of the Consulate General is:
email@example.com. The mailing address (from the U.S.) of
the Consulate General is PSC 461, Box 5, FPO AP 96521-0006; the
Internet home page is http://www.usconsulate.org.hk.