- We advise you to exercise normal safety precautions in the Federated States of Micronesia.
- Exercise common sense and look out for suspicious behaviour, as you would in Australia.
- The incidence of crime is higher in Chuuk than other states in Micronesia. The risk of being involved in an incident increases at night.
- Dengue fever outbreaks can occur in the Federated States of Micronesia. For more information, see health.
- Be a smart traveller. Before heading overseas:
Entry and exit
Visa and other entry and exit conditions (such as currency, customs and quarantine regulations) change regularly. Contact the Chief, Division of Immigration & Labor Department of Justice FSM National Government, PO Box PS-105, Palikir, Pohnpei FM 96941, for the most up-to-date information.
Tel: 691.320.5844/2605 Fax: 691.320.7250/6240 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
If you are transiting in Guam or other US points of entry en-route to the Federated States of Micronesia, you are required to meet USA entry/transit requirements. Make sure you check visa requirements with your nearest US Embassy or Consulate well in advance of your travel. For more information, refer to our travel advice for the United States of America.
Make sure your passport has at least six months validity from your planned date of return to Australia. You should carry copies of a recent passport photo with you in case you need a replacement passport while overseas.
Safety and security
Terrorism is a threat throughout the world. You can find more information about this threat in our General Advice to Australian Travellers.
The crime rate in the Federated States of Micronesia is low, although, there are incidents of petty crime, especially house break-ins.
The incidence of crime is higher in Chuuk than other states in Micronesia. Foreigners have been subject to theft, verbal and physical assaults. Alcohol has played a major role in most crimes, especially assaults. The risk of being involved in a incident increases at night.
Sexual assaults against foreigners have occurred. Females in particular should avoid going out alone at night, early morning, or alone to isolated locations, including beaches.
Money and valuables
US dollars are the official currency of the Federated States of Micronesia. Before you go, organise a variety of ways to access your money overseas, such as credit cards, travellers' cheques, cash, debit cards or cash cards. Australian currency and travellers' cheques are not accepted in many countries. Consult with your bank to find out which is the most appropriate currency to carry and whether your ATM card will work overseas.
Make two photocopies of valuables such as your passport, tickets, visas and travellers' cheques. Keep one copy with you in a separate place to the original and leave another copy with someone at home.
While travelling, don't carry too much cash and remember that expensive watches, jewellery and cameras may be tempting targets for thieves.
As a sensible precaution against luggage tampering, including theft, lock your luggage. Information on luggage safety is available from Australia's Civil Aviation Safety Authority.
Your passport is a valuable document that is attractive to criminals who may try to use your identity to commit crimes. It should always be kept in a safe place. You are required by Australian law to report a lost or stolen passport. If your passport is lost or stolen overseas, report it online or contact the nearest Australian Embassy, High Commission or Consulate as soon as possible.
You are required to pay an additional fee to have a lost or stolen passport replaced. In some cases, the Government may also restrict the length of validity or type of replacement passports.
Australians can drive on an Australian driver’s licence for one month after entering the Federated States of Micronesia. Australians should be aware that vehicles drive on the right side of the road. Driving can be hazardous due to poor maintenance of roads, poor driving standards and a lack of streetlights. The condition of roads can deteriorate quickly after heavy rains. For further advice, see our road travel page.
The safety standards you might expect of tour operators are not always met, especially for adventure sports such as diving and yachting. Sufficient life jackets and adequate safety equipment may not be provided. Recommended maintenance standards and safety precautions may not be observed. Check operators' credentials and safety equipment beforehand and ensure your travel insurance policy covers your planned activities. Divers visiting the Federated States of Micronesia should have travel and health insurance that includes coverage for deep sea diving, hyperbaric chamber and evacuation costs.
There are dangerous currents in some channels. These can pose a risk to swimmers and surfers. Advice should be sought from locals on danger spots before swimming.
Unexploded World War II ordnance still exists in the Federated States of Micronesia, especially around Yap harbour and adjacent channels. Care should be taken when boating or diving.
Please refer to our air travel page for information about Aviation Safety and Security.
When you are in the Federated States of Micronesia, be aware that local laws and penalties, including ones that appear harsh by Australian standards, do apply to you. If you are arrested or jailed, the Australian Government will do what it can to help you but we can't get you out of trouble or out of jail.
Information on what Australian consular officers can and cannot do to help Australians in trouble overseas is available from the Consular Services Charter.
There are heavy penalties for drug offences including long gaol terms and heavy fines.
Some Australian criminal laws, such as those relating to money laundering, bribery of foreign public officials, terrorism, child pornography, and child sex tourism, apply to Australians overseas. Australians who commit these offences while overseas may be prosecuted in Australia.
Australian authorities are committed to combating sexual exploitation of children by Australians overseas. Australians may be prosecuted at home under Australian child sex tourism and child pornography laws. These laws provide severe penalties for up to 25 years imprisonment for Australians who engage in child sexual exploitation while outside of Australia.
There are conservative standards of dress and behaviour in the Federated States of Micronesia and you should take care not to offend. Women in particular should dress modestly and wear clothing that is at least knee length if outside of resorts.
We strongly recommend that you take out comprehensive travel insurance that will cover any overseas medical costs, including medical evacuation, before you depart. Confirm that your insurance covers you for the whole time you'll be away and check what circumstances and activities are not included in your policy. Divers visiting the Federated States of Micronesia should have travel and health insurance that includes coverage for deep sea diving, hyperbaric chamber and evacuation costs. Remember, regardless of how healthy and fit you are, if you can't afford travel insurance, you can't afford to travel. The Australian Government will not pay for a traveller's medical expenses overseas or medical evacuation costs.
Your doctor or travel clinic is the best source of information about preventive measures, immunisations (including booster doses of childhood vaccinations) and disease outbreaks overseas. The World Health Organization (WHO) provides information for travellers and our Travelling Well page also provides useful tips for travelling with medicines and staying healthy while overseas.
Hospital and medical facilities are adequate for routine medical services. Basic supplies and medicines can be limited. Hospitals and doctors may require up-front payment for medical services. Evacuation may be required in cases of serious illness or accident. Medical evacuation costs could be considerable (in the tens of thousands of dollars).
Decompression chambers are available in Yap and Chuuk.
Outbreaks of dengue fever can occur, including serious outbreaks from time to time. There are reports of dengue fever in Kosrae. You should monitor local media for health announcements and take precautions against being bitten by mosquitoes, including using insect repellent at all times, wearing long, loose-fitting, light coloured clothing and ensuring your accommodation is mosquito proof. For further information see the WHO factsheet on dengue fever.
Outbreaks of leptospirosis can occur, including serious outbreaks from time to time, especially around Pohnpei. It is recommended you wear closed-in shoes when walking along the water’s edge, avoid swimming and playing in muddy water, and store food in enclosed containers. For information on leptospirosis, see the World Health Organization website.
The World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) has confirmed cases of avian influenza in birds in a number of countries throughout the world. For a list of these countries, visit the OIE website. For more information see our travel bulletin on avian influenza.
Where to get help
In the Federated States of Micronesia you can obtain consular assistance from the:
Australian Embassy, Pohnpei
If you are travelling to the Federated States of Micronesia, whatever the reason and however long you'll be there, we encourage you to register with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. You can register online or in person at any Australian Embassy, High Commission or Consulate. The information you provide will help us to contact you in an emergency - whether it is a natural disaster, civil disturbance or a family issue.
In a consular emergency if you are unable to contact the Embassy you can contact the 24-hour Consular Emergency Centre on +61 2 6261 3305 or 1300 555 135 within Australia.
In Australia, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in Canberra may be contacted on (02) 6261 3305.
Natural disasters, severe weather and climate
The typhoon season is from June to December which may disrupt services. Typhoon and storm information for the Western Pacific Ocean region is available from the USA Navy Joint Typhoon Warning Center, the USA National Weather Service Forecast Office or Humanitarian Early Warning Service. For further information, see also our Severe weather page.
All oceanic regions of the world can experience tsunamis, but in the Indian and Pacific Oceans, there is a more frequent occurrence of large, destructive tsunamis because of the many large earthquakes along major tectonic plate boundaries and ocean trenches. See the Tsunami Awareness page from the Australian Emergency Management Institute.
If a natural disaster occurs, follow the advice of local authorities.
Australians are advised to respect wildlife laws and to maintain a safe and legal distance when observing wildlife, including marine animals and birds. You should only use reputable and professional guides or tour operators and closely follow park regulations and wardens' advice.
For general information and tips on travelling with children see our Travelling with Children page.