The latest travel warnings and alerts from the government

Reissued after periodic review.

Reconsider travel to Lebanon due to crime,terrorism, armed conflict, civil unrest, kidnapping and Embassy Beirut’s limited capacity to provide support to U.S. citizens. Some areas have increased risk. Read the entire Travel Advisory.

Do Not Travel to:

  • the border with Syria due to terrorismandarmed conflict
  •  the border with Israel due to the potential forarmed conflict
  • refugee settlements due to the potential forarmed clashes

Country Summary: Local security authorities have noted a rise in violent crimes, including political violence. Multiple unsolved killings in Lebanon may have been politically motivated. U.S. citizens living and working anywhere in Lebanon should be aware of the risks of remaining in the country and review their personal security plans.

U.S. citizens who choose to travel to Lebanon should be aware that consular officers from the U.S. Embassy are not always able to travel to assist them. The Department of State considers the threat to U.S. government personnel in Beirut sufficiently serious to require them to live and work under strict security. The internal security policies of the U.S. Embassy may be adjusted at any time and without advance notice.

Terrorist groups continue plotting possible attacks in Lebanon. Terrorists may conduct attacks with little or no warning targeting tourist locations, transportation hubs, markets/shopping malls, and local government facilities.

The Lebanese government cannot guarantee the protection of U.S. citizens against sudden outbreaks of violence. Family, neighborhood, or sectarian disputes can escalate quickly and can lead to gunfire or other violence with no warning. Armed clashes have occurred along the borders, in Beirut, and in refugee settlements. The Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) have been brought in to quell the violence in these situations.

U.S. citizens should avoid demonstrations and exercise caution if in the vicinity of any large gatherings or protests as some of these have turned violent. Protesters have blocked major roads, including thoroughfares between downtown Beirut and the area where the U.S. Embassy is located, and between Beirut and Beirut Rafic Hariri International Airport.

Kidnapping, whether for ransom, political motives, or family disputes, has occurred in Lebanon. Suspects in kidnappings may have ties to terrorist or criminal organizations.

Read the country information page for additional information on travel to Lebanon.

If you decide to travel to Lebanon:  

Border with Syria – Level 4: Do Not Travel

For years Lebanon has witnessed deadly terror attacks in border towns along Lebanon’s border with Syria, including episodic clashes between the LAF and Syrian-based violent extremist groups. A 2017 LAF offensive expelled ISIS militants from territory along Lebanon’s border with Syria. The U.S. Embassy strongly urges U.S. citizens to avoid the Lebanon-Syria border region. The U.S. Department of State also warns U.S. citizens of the risk of traveling on flights that fly over Syria, which include some flights to and from Beirut.

Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas.

Border with Israel – Level 4: Do Not Travel

There have been sporadic rocket, missile, and artillery exchanges between Israel and Hizballah impacting southern Lebanon, most recently in April 2022. The U.S. Embassy urges U.S. citizens to avoid this border area.

Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas.

Refugee Settlements – Level 4: Do Not Travel

The U.S. Embassy urges U.S. citizens to avoid travel to refugee settlements, which are prone to outbreaks of violence including shootings and explosions.

Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas.

Posted: February 1, 2023, 12:00 am

Last Update: Reissued with updates to health information

Do not travel to Iran due to the risk of kidnapping and the arbitrary arrest and detention of U.S. citizens. Exercise increased caution due to wrongful detentions.  

Country Summary: U.S. citizens visiting or residing in Iran have been kidnapped, arrested, and detained on spurious charges. The Department has determined that at least one U.S. national is wrongfully detained by the Iranian government.

Iranian authorities continue to unjustly detain and imprison U.S. nationals, particularly dual national U.S.-Iranian nationals--including students, journalists, business travelers, and academics--on charges including espionage and posing a threat to national security. Iranian authorities routinely delay consular access to detained U.S. nationals and consistently deny consular access to dual U.S.-Iranian nationals.

The U.S. government does not have diplomatic or consular relations with the Islamic Republic of Iran. The U.S. government is unable to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens in Iran.

Due to the risks of operating civilian aircraft within or in the vicinity of Iran, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has issued a Notice to Air Missions (NOTAM) and/or a Special Federal Aviation Regulation (SFAR). For more information U.S. citizens should consult the Federal Aviation Administration’s Prohibitions, Restrictions and Notices.

Read the country information page for additional information on travel to Iran.

If you are currently in Iran:

  • Read the Department of State’s COVID-19 page before planning any international travel, and read the COVID-19 page for the U.S. Virtual Embassy in Iran for country-specific COVID-19 information.    
  • Consider the risks involved in possessing dual U.S. Iranian nationality.
  •  Review your personal security plan and visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas.
  • Draft a will and designate appropriate insurance beneficiaries and/or power of attorney.
  • Discuss a plan with loved ones regarding care/custody of children, pets, property, belongings, non-liquid assets (collections, artwork, etc.), funeral wishes, etc.
  • Establish your own personal security plan in coordination with your employer or host organization or consider consulting with a professional security organization.
  • Have a plan for departing Iran that does not rely on U.S. government assistance.
  • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
  • Follow the Department of State on Facebook and Twitter.
  • Visit the CDC page for the latest Travel Health Information related to your travel.
  • Prepare a contingency plan for emergency situations. Review the Traveler’s Checklist.
Posted: January 26, 2023, 12:00 am

Last Update: Reissued after periodic review with updates to information about the Chapare and Yungas regions.

Exercise increased caution in Bolivia due to civil unrest. Some areas have increased risk. Read the entire Travel Advisory.

Do not travel to:

  • Chapare region due to crime.

Reconsider travel to:

  • Yungas region due to crime.

Country Summary: Demonstrations, strikes, and roadblocks can occur at any time in Bolivia. Demonstrations can result in violence. Roadblocks and strikes may cut off traffic and restrict the flow of goods and services around the country. Domestic and international flights may be delayed or unexpectedly cancelled.

Read the country information page for additional information on travel to Bolivia.

If you decide to travel to Bolivia:

Chapare Region: Do Not Travel

Due to a high level of violent crime, the U.S. government is limited in its ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens in the Chapare region. U.S. government employees must obtain special authorization to travel there.

Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas.

Yungas Region: Reconsider Travel

Organized criminal groups near Corioco and Carnavi in Yungas have committed carjackings and robberies. The U.S. government is limited in its ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens in the Yungas area. U.S. government employees must obtain special authorization to travel there.

Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas.

Posted: January 26, 2023, 12:00 am

Last Updated: Reissued with updates to staffing and do not travel areas

Reconsider travel to Nigeria due to crimeterrorismcivil unrestkidnapping, and maritime crime.  Some areas have increased risk.  Read the entire Travel Advisory.

U.S. Embassy Abuja is only able to provide emergency assistance to U.S. citizens in Abuja.  U.S. Consulate in Lagos is providing all routine and emergency services to U.S. citizens in Nigeria.  U.S. citizens in Nigeria who require assistance should contact LagosACS@state.gov or +234 1 460 3410.

Do Not Travel to:

  • Borno, Yobe, Kogi, and northern Adamawa states due to terrorism and kidnapping
  • Bauchi, Gombe, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, and Zamfara states due to kidnapping
  • Coastal areas of Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Cross River, Delta, and Rivers states (with the exception of Port Harcourt) due to crimekidnapping, and maritime crime

Country Summary

Violent crime – such as armed robbery, assault, carjacking, kidnapping, hostage taking, banditry, and rape – is common throughout the country.  Kidnappings for ransom occur frequently, often targeting dual national citizens who have returned to Nigeria for a visit, as well as U.S. citizens with perceived wealth.  Kidnapping gangs have also stopped victims on interstate roads.

Terrorists continue plotting and carrying out attacks in Nigeria.  Terrorists may attack with little or no warning, targeting shopping centers, malls, markets, hotels, places of worship, restaurants, bars, schools, government installations, transportation hubs, and other places where crowds gather.  Terrorists are known to work with local gangs to expand their reach.

There is civil unrest and low-level armed militancy in parts of Southern Nigeria, especially in the Niger Delta region.  Armed criminality, including kidnapping and maritime crime, is also pervasive in this region.

Violence can flare up between communities of farmers and herders in rural areas.

There is frequent maritime crime in the Gulf of Guinea.

The U.S. government has limited ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens in many areas of Nigeria due to security conditions.

Read the country information page for additional information on travel to Nigeria.

  If you decide to travel to Nigeria:

  • Carry proper identification, including a U.S. passport with a current Nigerian visa, if needed.
  • Use caution when walking or driving at night.
  • Keep a low profile.
  • Review travel routes and times to vary your predictability.
  • Do not physically resist any robbery attempt.
  • Be extra vigilant when visiting banks or ATMs.
  • Monitor local media for breaking events and be prepared to adjust your plans.
  • Be aware of your surroundings.
  • Stay alert in locations frequented by Westerners.
  • Avoid demonstrations and large political gatherings.
  • Review your personal security plans.
  • Have evacuation plans that do not rely on U.S. government assistance.
  • Establish a “proof of life” protocol with your loved ones, so that if you are taken hostage, your loved ones know specific questions (and answers) to ask the hostage-takers to be sure that you are alive (and to rule out a hoax).
  • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
  • Obtain comprehensive medical insurance that includes medical evacuation.
  • Follow the Department of State on Facebook and Twitter.
  • Review the Country Security Report for Nigeria.
  • Prepare a contingency plan for emergency situations.  Review the Traveler’s Checklist.
  • Visit the CDC page for the latest Travel Health Information related to your travel.
  • Read the Department of State’s COVID-19 page before you plan any international travel, and read the Embassy COVID-19 page for country-specific COVID-19 information. 

Borno, Yobe, Kogi, and Northern Adamawa states – Level 4: Do Not Travel

The security situation in these states is fluid and unpredictable due to widespread terrorist activity, inter-communal violence, and kidnapping.  Security operations to counter these threats may occur without warning.

Terrorist groups based in the Northeast routinely target humanitarian camps, security forces, churches, schools, mosques, government installations, educational institutions, entertainment venues, and road travelers.  Approximately two million Nigerians have been displaced as a result of the violence in Northeast Nigeria.

Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas.

Bauchi, Gombe, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, and Zamfara states – Level 4: Do Not Travel

The security situation in these states is fluid and unpredictable due to widespread inter-communal violence and armed criminality, especially kidnapping and roadside banditry.  Security operations to counter these threats may occur without warning.

Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas.

Coastal areas of Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Cross River, Delta, and Rivers states (with the exception of Port Harcourt) – Level 4: Do Not Travel

Crime is rampant throughout Southern Nigeria, and there is a heightened risk of kidnapping and maritime crime, especially in the Gulf of Guinea.  Violent civil unrest and armed militancy persist in these areas.

Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas.

Posted: January 20, 2023, 12:00 am

Reissued with updates to health information.

  • Exercise increased caution in Antarctica due to environmental hazards posed by extreme and unpredictable weather and limited emergency services.
  • The U.S. government is unable to provide consular services to U.S. citizens in the Antarctic Region. The closest U.S Embassies/Consulates are in Argentina, Australia, Chile, New Zealand, and South Africa.  U.S. government resources in the Antarctic Region are committed to the U.S. Antarctic Program, per longstanding U.S. policy

Read the country information page for additional information on travel to Antarctica.

If you travel to Antarctica:

Posted: January 19, 2023, 12:00 am

Reissued after periodic review with minor edits.

Exercise normal precautions in Palau. 

Read the country information page for additional information on travel to Palau. 

If you decide to travel to Palau:

Posted: January 19, 2023, 12:00 am

Reissued with updates to U.S. government restrictions on personnel.

Do not travel to Mali due to crime, terrorism, and kidnapping.  

Country Summary: Violent crime, such as kidnapping and armed robbery, is common in Mali. Violent crime is a particular concern during local holidays and seasonal events in Bamako, its suburbs, and Mali’s southern regions.  Roadblocks and random police checkpoints are commonplace throughout the country, especially at night.

Terrorist and armed groups continue plotting kidnappings and attacks in Mali.  They may attack with little or no warning, targeting night clubs, hotels, restaurants, places of worship, international diplomatic missions, and other locations frequented by foreigners.  Attacks may target Malian government offices and infrastructure, in addition to locations frequented by Westerners.  

The U.S. government is unable to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens throughout much of Mali as U.S. government employee travel outside Bamako is restricted due to security concerns.

Due to risks to civil aviation operating within or in the vicinity of Mali, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has issued a Notice to Air Missions (NOTAM).  For more information U.S. citizens should consult the Federal Aviation Administration’s Prohibitions, Restrictions and Notices.

Read the country information page for additional information on travel to Mali.

If you decide to travel to Mali:

  • Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas.
  • Draft a will and designate appropriate insurance beneficiaries and/or power of attorney.
  • Discuss a plan with loved ones regarding care/custody of children, pets, property, belongings, non-liquid assets (collections, artwork, etc.), funeral wishes, etc.
  • Share important documents, login information, and points of contact with loved ones so that they can manage your affairs if you are unable to return as planned to the United States. Find a suggested list of such documents here.
  • Establish your own personal security plan in coordination with your employer or host organization, or consider consulting with a professional security organization.
  • Develop a communication plan with family and/or your employer or host organization so that they can monitor your safety and location as you travel through high-risk areas. This plan should specify whom you would contact first and how they should share the information.
  • Identify key sources of possible assistance for you and your family in case of emergency, such as the local U.S. embassy or consulate, FBI, the State Department, your employer (if traveling on business), and local friends/family in the high-risk area. 
  • Be sure to appoint one family member to serve as the point of contact with hostage-takers, media, U.S. and host country government agencies, and Members of Congress if you are taken hostage or detained.
  • Establish a proof of life protocol with your loved ones so that, if you are taken hostage, your loved ones will know specific questions and answers to ask the hostage-takers to be sure you are alive and to rule out a hoax.
  • Leave DNA samples with your medical provider in case it is necessary for your family to access them.
  • Guard your passport and wallet when in crowded outdoor areas and open-air markets.
  • Be vigilant for pickpockets, especially at night.
  • Use all available safety measures in your home or hotel, including locking doors and windows at all times, and setting the alarm.
  • If asked to stop by police, stop only in well-lit areas or places where several officers are posted.
  • Erase any sensitive photos, comments, or other materials from your social media pages, cameras, laptops, and other electronic devices that could be considered controversial or provocative by local groups.
  • Leave your expensive/sentimental belongings behind.
  • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
  • Follow the Department of State on Facebook and Twitter.
  • Review the Country Security Report for Mali.
  • Prepare a contingency plan for emergency situations. Review the Traveler’s Checklist.
  • Read the Department of State’s COVID-19 page before you plan any international travel, and read the Embassy COVID-19 page for country-specific COVID-19 information. 
  • Visit the CDC page for the latest Travel Health Information related to your travel.   
Posted: January 18, 2023, 12:00 am

Reissued with updates to Crime and removal of Health concerns related to the Ebola Virus Disease outbreak.

Reconsider travel to Uganda due to crime and terrorism.  Some areas have increased risk. Read the entire Travel Advisory.

Country summary: There remains a threat of terrorist attacks in Uganda and throughout the region. Terrorist attacks occurred in several villages in Western Uganda in December 2022 and there were multiple bombings in and around Kampala in 2021. While the attacks did not appear to target foreign nationals, anyone can be a victim. U.S. citizens should remain alert and avoid large public gatherings. 

Violent crime, such as armed robbery, home invasion, and sexual assault, presents a serious threat to those visiting and residing in Uganda and can occur at any time, especially in larger cities, including Kampala and Entebbe, in the Karamoja region, and along Uganda’s western and northern borders.  Local police may lack appropriate resources to respond effectively to serious crime in most areas. 

Read the country information page for additional information on travel to Uganda. 

If you decide to travel to Uganda: 

  • Do not leave food and drinks unattended in public, especially in local clubs. 
  • Remain with a group of friends in public. 
  • Use caution when walking or driving at night. 
  • Keep a low profile. 
  • Be aware of your surroundings.
  • Do not display signs of wealth, such as expensive watches or jewelry.
  • Do not physically resist any robbery attempt. 
  • Do not open your door for people at your hotel/residence unless you know who it is.
  • Stay alert in locations frequented by foreign tourists.
  • Be extra vigilant when visiting banks or ATMs.
  • Carry a copy of your passport and visa (if applicable) and secure originals in your hotel safe. 
  • Provide your itinerary to a family member or friend.
  • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency. 
  • Follow the Department of State on Facebook and Twitter
  • Review the Country Security Report for Uganda. 
  • Prepare a contingency plan for emergency situations. Review the Traveler’s Checklist
  • Visit the CDC page for the latest Travel Health Information related to your travel.
  • Read the Department of State’s COVID-19 page before planning any international travel, and read the Embassy COVID-19 page for country-specific COVID-19 information.
Posted: January 18, 2023, 12:00 am

Last Update: Reissued with updates to the risk indicators.

Do not travel to Venezuela due to crime, civil unrest, kidnapping, and the arbitrary enforcement of local laws.  Reconsider travel due to wrongful detentions, terrorism, and poor health infrastructure.

Country Summary:  On March 11, 2019, the U.S. Department of State announced the withdrawal of diplomatic personnel from U.S. Embassy Caracas.  All consular services, routine and emergency, remain suspended until further notice.  The U.S. government has limited ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens in Venezuela.  U.S. citizens in Venezuela who require consular services should try to leave the country as soon as safely possible and contact a U.S. embassy or consulate in another country.

Violent crimes, such as homicide, armed robbery, kidnapping, and carjacking, are common.  Political rallies and demonstrations occur, often with little notice.  Demonstrations typically elicit a strong police and security force response that includes the use of tear gas, pepper spray, and rubber bullets against participants and occasionally devolve into looting and vandalism.  Reports from the Independent International Fact-Finding Mission document human rights abuses attributed to the Maduro regime, including torture, extrajudicial killings, forced disappearances, and detentions without due process and/or fair trial guarantees or as a pretext for an illegitimate purpose.  Shortages of gasoline, food, electricity, water, medicine, and medical supplies continue throughout much of Venezuela.  The CDC issued a Level 3 ‘Avoid Nonessential Travel’ notice on September 30, 2021, due to inadequate healthcare and the breakdown of the medical infrastructure in Venezuela.

The Department has determined that there is a risk of wrongful detention of U.S. nationals by the Maduro regime.

Regime-aligned security forces have detained U.S. citizens for long periods.  The Maduro regime does not notify the U.S. government of the detention of U.S. citizens and the U.S. government is not granted routine access to those U.S. citizens.

Colombian terrorist groups, such as the National Liberation Army (ELN), Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia – People’s Army (FARC-EP), and Segunda Marquetalia, operate in Venezuela’s border areas with Colombia, Brazil, and Guyana.

Due to risks to civil aviation operating within or in the vicinity of Venezuela, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has issued a Notice to Air Missions (NOTAM) prohibiting all flight operations in the territory and airspace of Venezuela at altitudes below 26,000 feet. .  For more information, U.S. citizens should consult the Federal Aviation Administration’s Prohibitions, Restrictions and Notices.  Emergency medical evacuation flights between the United States and Venezuela may not be possible.

Read the country information page for additional information on travel to Venezuela.

If you decide to travel to Venezuela:

  • Read the Department of State’s COVID-19 page before planning any international travel, and read the Venezuela Affairs Unit’s webpage for country-specific COVID-19 information.
  • Avoid all land border crossings into Venezuela on the Colombian border.
  • Ensure you have a valid Venezuelan visa.  Visas are not available upon arrival.
  • Draft a will and designate appropriate insurance beneficiaries and/or power of attorney.
  • Develop a communication plan with family and/or your employer or host organization. Establish a “proof of life” protocol with your loved ones, so that if you are taken hostage, your loved ones know specific questions (and answers) to ask the hostage-takers to be sure that you are alive (and to rule out a hoax).
  • Have a contingency plan in place that does not rely on U.S. government assistance.
  • Keep travel documents up to date and easily accessible.
  • Avoid travel between cities, or between Simón Bolívar International Airport and Caracas at night.
  • Do not take unregulated taxis from Simón Bolívar International Airport and avoid ATMs in this area.
  • Consider hiring a professional security organization.
  • Bring a sufficient supply of over the counter and prescription medicines for the duration of travel.
  • Consider purchasing medical evacuation insurance.
  • Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas.
  • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
  • Follow the Department of State on Facebook and Twitter.
  • Review the Country Security Report for Venezuela.
  • Visit the CDC page for the latest Travel Health Information related to your travel.
  • Review the Traveler’s Checklist.
  • Be prepared for the high risk of indefinite arbitrary detention on specious charges without consular access.
Posted: January 12, 2023, 12:00 am

Reissued with updates to COVID-19 information.

Reconsider travel to the People’s Republic of China (PRC), including the Special Administrative Regions (SARs) of Hong Kong and Macau due to the surge in COVID-19 cases and arbitrary enforcement of local laws.  See specific risks and conditions in each jurisdiction below. Access to medical care, including treatment in hospitals and ambulance service, may be delayed or limited.  Commercial transportation options for international departure and arrival are available. Exercise increased caution in the PRC due to wrongful detentions.

The U.S. government is closely monitoring the COVID-19 situation and may change this guidance again quickly in response to emergent concerns. Please check back frequently for any changes.

COVID-19 Situation Overview

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control has issued a Travel Notice (Alert Level 2, Practice Enhanced Precautions) due to the rapid increase in COVID-19 cases and limited health care resources.    

Travel restrictions, quarantine, testing requirements, access to medical treatment (including hospital capacity, ambulance availability, and medical supplies), and COVID-19 response measures may change or vary across mainland China, Hong Kong SAR, and Macau SAR.

Check with the PRC Embassy in the United States for the most updated information on travel to the PRC. Travelers to Hong Kong SAR are required to present a Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) within 24 hours of flight departure or a PCR test within 48 hours of flight departure. Travelers to Macau SAR are required to have a negative COVID-19 test within 48 hours of flight departure.

Travelers to mainland China may face additional testing requirements to enter some facilities or events.

Visit the Embassy's COVID-19 page for more information on COVID-19 and related restrictions and conditions in mainland areas of the PRC, or the Consulate General Hong Kong and Macau's COVID-19 page for information on the COVID-19 situation in the Hong Kong SAR and the Macau SAR.

COVID-19 Vaccine Information

The Department of State does not provide or coordinate direct medical care to private U.S. citizens abroad. U.S. citizens overseas may receive PRC-approved vaccine doses where they are eligible.

The PRC government has not authorized for use in mainland China many vaccines commonly available in the United States and Europe, including AstraZeneca, Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna, and Johnson and Johnson products. It has conditionally authorized twelve PRC-made vaccines; these are available to anyone residing in China. The two most commonly available, Sinopharm and Sinovac, have not yet received approval by the FDA. Sinopharm and Sinovac have received approval for emergency use by the World Health Organization (WHO).

In Hong Kong SAR and Macau SAR, BioNTech mRNA vaccines, including the bivalent option, are available. Please contact local health authorities for information on available vaccines.

Visit the FDA’s website to learn more about FDA-approved vaccines in the United States.

Country Summary: The PRC government arbitrarily enforces local laws, including issuing exit bans on U.S. citizens and citizens of other countries without fair and transparent process under the law.

The Department has determined the risk of wrongful detention of U.S. nationals by the PRC government exists in mainland China.

U.S. citizens traveling or residing in the PRC, including the Hong Kong SAR and the Macau SAR, may be detained without access to U.S. consular services or information about their alleged crime.  U.S. citizens in the PRC may be subjected to prolonged interrogations and extended detention without due process of law.

Foreigners in the PRC and the Hong Kong SAR, including but not limited to businesspeople, former foreign government personnel, and journalists have been unjustly interrogated and detained by PRC officials for alleged violations of PRC national security laws. The PRC has also interrogated, detained, and expelled U.S. citizens living and working in the PRC.

Security personnel may detain and/or deport U.S. citizens for sending private electronic messages critical of the PRC, Hong Kong SAR, or Macau SAR governments.

In addition, the PRC government has used restrictions on travel or departure from the PRC, or so-called exit bans, to:

  • compel individuals to participate in PRC government investigations,
  • pressure family members of the restricted individual to return to the PRC from abroad,
  • resolve civil disputes in favor of PRC citizens, and
  • gain bargaining leverage over foreign governments.

In most cases, U.S. citizens only become aware of an exit ban when they attempt to depart the PRC, and there is no reliable mechanism or legal process to find out how long the ban might continue or to contest it in a court of law.  Relatives, including minor children, of those under investigation in the PRC may become subject to an exit ban.

The PRC, Hong Kong SAR, and Macau SAR governments do not recognize dual nationality.  U.S.-PRC citizens and U.S. citizens of Chinese descent may be subject to additional scrutiny and harassment, and the PRC, Hong Kong SAR, and Macau SAR governments may prevent the U.S. Embassy or U.S. Consulate General from providing consular services.

XINJIANG UYGHUR AUTONOMOUS REGION and TIBET AUTONOMOUS REGION

Extra security measures, such as security checks and increased levels of police presence, are common in the Xinjiang Uyghur and Tibet Autonomous Regions. Authorities may impose curfews and travel restrictions on short notice.

HONG KONG SPECIAL ADMINISTRATIVE REGION

Since the imposition of the National Security Law on June 30, 2020, the PRC unilaterally and arbitrarily exercises police and security power in the Hong Kong SAR. The PRC has demonstrated an intent to use this authority to target a broad range of activities it defines as acts of secession, subversion, terrorism, and collusion with foreign entities. The National Security Law also covers offenses committed by non-Hong Kong residents or organizations outside of Hong Kong, which could subject U.S. citizens who have been publicly critical of the PRC to a heightened risk of arrest, detention, expulsion, or prosecution.  PRC security forces, including the new Office for Safeguarding National Security, now operate in the Hong Kong SAR and are not subject to oversight by the Hong Kong judiciary.

Demonstrations: Participating in demonstrations or any other activities that authorities interpret as constituting an act of secession, subversion, terrorism, or collusion with a foreign country could result in criminal charges. U.S. citizens are strongly cautioned to be aware of their surroundings and avoid demonstrations.

Propaganda: A PRC propaganda campaign has falsely accused individuals, including U.S. citizens, of fomenting unrest in the Hong Kong SAR. In some cases, the campaign has published their personal information, resulting in threats of violence on social media.

Read the country information page for the PRC, the information page for the Hong Kong SAR, and the information page for the Macau SAR for additional information on travel.

If you decide to travel to the PRC, including the Hong Kong SAR and the Macau SAR:

  • Read the Department of State’s COVID-19 page before planning any international travel, read the Embassy COVID-19 page for the PRC and the Consulate General COVID-19 page for the Hong Kong SAR and Macau SAR for specific COVID-19 information.
  • For the Hong Kong SAR, monitor local media, local transportations sites and apps like MTR Mobile or CitybusNWFB, and the Hong Kong International Airport website for updates.
  • Avoid demonstrations.
  • Exercise caution 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.
  • For the Hong Kong SAR, review your Hong Kong flight status with your airline or at the Hong Kong International Airport website.
  • Enter the PRC on your U.S. passport with a valid PRC visa and keep it with you.
  • If you are arrested or detained, ask police or prison officials to notify the U.S. Embassy or the nearest consulate immediately.
  • If you plan to enter the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), read the DPRK Travel Advisory. Travelers should note that U.S. passports are not valid for travel to, in, or through the DPRK, unless they are specially validated by the Department of State.
  • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
  • Follow the Department of State on Facebook and Twitter.  Follow the U.S. Embassy on TwitterWeChat, and Weibo. Follow the U.S. Consulate General Hong Kong and Macau on Facebook and Twitter.
  • Review the Country Security Report for the PRC, the Hong Kong SAR, and the Macau SAR.
  • Visit the CDC page for the latest Travel Health Information related to your travel.
  • Prepare a contingency plan for emergency situations. Review the Traveler’s Checklist.
Posted: January 11, 2023, 12:00 am

Check out additional information on our travel page.