Federated States Of Micronesia travel guide
About Federated States Of Micronesia
Scattered across the Pacific Ocean, the Federated States of Micronesia is the epitome of paradise – with its powdery shores, crystalline waters and colourful coral reefs – but its lack of connectivity and relative obscurity means few travellers actually make it here.
Comprised of some 607 islands, this archipelago is not the easiest place to get to, but it certainly rewards those who do make the journey. In islands like Chuuk, visitors will find vast lagoons of monumental beauty, filled with shipwrecks, kaleidoscopic corals and sandy beaches. The islands are a dream for divers, and many argue that the area’s diving and snorkelling ranks among the best in the world.
It’s not all about natural beauty, though. The Micronesians themselves combine a profusion of languages, customs and folklore, which are captivating to witness. The archipelago is defiantly archaic too, which is wholly refreshing: on the island of Yap, islanders still trade using an ancient stone currency. Some Micronesians can also be glimpsed wearing traditional garments and throughout the nation you are likely to stumble across snatches of unique island music and witness zesty, time-honoured dances.
Though a sovereign nation now, the archipelago has been dragged from pillar to post by various colonial powers. The Portuguese, Spanish, Germans and Japanese have all laid claim to the territory, followed by the USA, which took over the administration the nation in 1947. However, in 1986, the Federated States signed a Compact of Free Association with the USA, allowing for independence with US defence support.
The islands suffer from remoteness and lack of industry and infrastructure. There is development potential, but as yet Micronesia remains dependent on US aid. Tourism is one industry that could potentially boost the island's fiscal situation. However, even if tourism does take off, with 607 islands to speak of, finding some deserted shores to relax on shouldn't be too hard.
702 sq km (271 sq miles).
104,966 (UN estimate 2016).
149.9 per sq km.
Federal Republic in free association with the USA.
President Peter M Christian since 2015.
President Peter M Christian since 2015.
Last updated: 22 April 2018
The travel advice summary below is provided by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in the UK. 'We' refers to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. For their full travel advice, visit www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice.
Cyclone season is normally between November and April but cyclones can occur throughout the year. Severe weather may result in flooding, landslides, and disruption to essential services and infrastructure.
Only a few British tourists visit the Federated States of Micronesia every year. Most visits are trouble-free.
Although there’s no recent history of terrorism in Micronesia, attacks can’t be ruled out.
The Islands of Micronesia are vulnerable to natural disasters including tropical cyclones, floods and severe droughts.
If you’re abroad and you need emergency help from the UK government, contact the nearest British embassy, consulate or high commission.
Safety and security
Crime levels are low. There have been reported incidents of sexual assaults. Visitors should be vigilant, especially when alone.
There are treacherous channel currents and rogue waves in parts of the islands. You should wear appropriate safety equipment and take local advice at all times if you are taking part in adventure sports.
International roaming isn’t available in the Federated States of Micronesia. This means that your UK mobile phone will not be usable.
Although there’s no recent history of terrorism in Micronesia, attacks can’t be ruled out. You should be aware of the global risk of indiscriminate terrorist attacks, which could be in public areas, including those frequented by expatriates and foreign travellers.
There’s a heightened threat of terrorist attack globally against UK interests and British nationals, from groups or individuals motivated by the conflict in Iraq and Syria. You should be vigilant at this time.
Find out more about the global threat from terrorism, how to minimise your risk and what to do in the event of a terrorist attack.
Local laws and customs
There are heavy penalties for drug offences.
Homosexuality is not widely accepted in the Federated States of Micronesia. Open displays of affection between same-sex partners may offend. See our information and advice page for the LGBT community before you travel.
The information on this page covers the most common types of travel and reflects the UK government’s understanding of the rules currently in place. Unless otherwise stated, this information is for travellers using a full ‘British Citizen’ passport.
The authorities in the country or territory you’re travelling to are responsible for setting and enforcing the rules for entry. If you’re unclear about any aspect of the entry requirements, or you need further reassurance, you’ll need to contact the embassy, high commission or consulate of the country or territory you’re travelling to.
You should also consider checking with your transport provider or travel company to make sure your passport and other travel documents meet their requirements.
Tourist/visitor visas are issued on arrival and the duration of stay is authorised for the number of days requested. You may extend your visa by up to 30 days. Subsequent extensions may be granted for another 30 days but the total time of stay shall not exceed 90 days. There is no fee charged for an extension of stay. Visa extensions are available from: Chief Immigration Officer, Palikir, Pohnpei. Telephone: + (691) 320 5844 / 320 2605, fax; +(691) 320 7250 / 6240.
Your passport should be valid for a minimum period of 120 days from the date of exit from Micronesia.
Visit your health professional at least 4 to 6 weeks before your trip to check whether you need any vaccinations or other preventive measures. Country specific information and advice is published by the National Travel Health Network and Centre on the TravelHealthPro website and by NHS (Scotland) on the fitfortravel website. Useful information and advice about healthcare abroad is also available on the NHS Choices website.
There has been an increase in reported measles cases in Micronesia. Make sure your vaccinations are up to date.
Medical facilities in Micronesia are adequate for uncomplicated treatment. For more serious or complicated problems, medical evacuation (to Guam or Australia) may be needed. Make sure you have adequate travel health insurance and accessible funds to cover the cost of any medical treatment abroad and repatriation, including medical evacuation by air ambulance.
If you need emergency medical assistance during your trip, dial 911 (the central dispatch number for the country) ask for an ambulance. You should contact your insurance/medical assistance company promptly if you are referred to a medical facility for treatment.
The Islands of Micronesia are vulnerable to natural disasters, including tropical cyclones, floods and severe droughts. Monitor local and international weather updates from the World Meteorological Organisation carefully and follow any instructions issued by the local authorities.
See our Tropical cyclones page for information and advice about what to do if you’re caught up in a storm.
The currency used in Micronesia is the US dollar. Credit cards are accepted in most hotels. ATM facilities are limited.
Travel advice help and support
If you’re abroad and you need emergency help from the UK government, contact the nearest British embassy, consulate or high commission. If you need urgent help because something has happened to a friend or relative abroad, contact the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) in London on 020 7008 1500 (24 hours).
Foreign travel checklist
Read our foreign travel checklist to help you plan for your trip abroad and stay safe while you’re there.
The FCO travel advice helps you make your own decisions about foreign travel. Your safety is our main concern, but we can’t provide tailored advice for individual trips. If you’re concerned about whether or not it’s safe for you to travel, you should read the travel advice for the country or territory you’re travelling to, together with information from other sources you’ve identified, before making your own decision on whether to travel. Only you can decide whether it’s safe for you to travel.
When we judge the level of risk to British nationals in a particular place has become unacceptably high, we’ll state on the travel advice page for that country or territory that we advise against all or all but essential travel. Read more about how the FCO assesses and categorises risk in foreign travel advice.
Our crisis overseas page suggests additional things you can do before and during foreign travel to help you stay safe.
Refunds and cancellations
If you wish to cancel or change a holiday that you’ve booked, you should contact your travel company. The question of refunds and cancellations is a matter for you and your travel company. Travel companies make their own decisions about whether or not to offer customers a refund. Many of them use our travel advice to help them reach these decisions, but we do not instruct travel companies on when they can or can’t offer a refund to their customers.
For more information about your rights if you wish to cancel a holiday, visit the Citizen’s Advice Bureau website. For help resolving problems with a flight booking, visit the website of the Civil Aviation Authority. For questions about travel insurance, contact your insurance provider and if you’re not happy with their response, you can complain to the Financial Ombudsman Service.
Registering your travel details with us
We’re no longer asking people to register with us before travel. Our foreign travel checklist and crisis overseas page suggest things you can do before and during foreign travel to plan your trip and stay safe.
Previous versions of FCO travel advice
If you’re a British national and you have a question about travelling abroad that isn’t covered in our foreign travel advice or elsewhere on GOV.UK, you can submit an enquiry. We’re not able to provide tailored advice for specific trips.