Message to the American Community from Consul General Hanscom Smith

All of us at the Consulate General understand that this is a particularly challenging time for the American community in Hong Kong. Our highest priority is always the safety and security of Americans in Hong Kong and Macau.

The current situation in Hong Kong is far different from what we have seen earlier in the pandemic.  As always, our American Citizen Services staff is available to help in any way it can, including by issuing emergency passports and answering questions about traveling to the United States.

We always advocate on behalf of American citizens, and will do everything we can to help mitigate or resolve issues related to family separation, quarantine, and other aspects of Hong Kong’s COVID policies.  We encourage any U.S. citizen facing such issues to contact our American Citizen Services team immediately at  For a summary of how Hong Kong’s current policies could affect you or your family, see our COVID-19 information page.

The American Citizen Services Unit continues to provide U.S. Passport, Consular Report of Birth Abroad, and notarial appointments, but we do have a long wait time for these services as many of our consulate staff are necessarily working remotely.  Our priority is to provide emergency services, including the issuance of passports to U.S. citizens with immediate travel needs.  If you are a U.S. citizen with travel scheduled within the next two weeks and you need to renew your U.S. passport, please contact us immediately at  We plan to open more routine passport and notarial appointments as soon as the situation allows.  As a reminder, if your passport expired on or after January 1, 2020, you may use your expired passport to return to the United States until March 31, 2022.  More information can be found here. The consulate has informed the airlines and the Hong Kong Immigration Department about this policy.

Regulations on testing, quarantine, hospitalization, and social distancing requirements are evolving. We keep an updated list of these regulations on our website as a resource for U.S. citizens in Hong Kong.  We also encourage all U.S. citizens either currently in Hong Kong, or planning to travel to Hong Kong, to review the Department of State’s public travel advisory, which you can find on the State Department’s website. While the ban on passenger flights and arriving passengers traveling from the United States and eight other countries has been extended to April 20, 2022, we are working to promote sufficient flight capacity for U.S. citizens who wish to depart Hong Kong.  Currently, there are indirect flight options to the United States through Tokyo, Seoul, Bangkok, Singapore, and elsewhere.

Travelers to the United States must get a pre-departure COVID-19 test one calendar day before entering the United States, and we know that policy is a concern for many of you.  This policy is global, and applies to U.S. citizens departing Hong Kong.  If you have an emergency need to return to the United States and are unable to get a pre-departure COVID test, we will relay your request for a testing waiver to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  Please note, however, that CDC will only approve waivers to the pre-departure testing requirement if there is a clear medical emergency and the U.S. citizen has urgent travel.  For more information on the policy, please review the CDC website.  In addition to Community Testing Centers, which sometimes have longer wait times for receipt of COVID test results, private hospitals and testing facilities also offer COVID tests.  We encourage people traveling to the United States to reserve testing appointments as soon as travel dates are known, and with an eye toward ensuring that results are available in time for departure.

Due to the current surge in COVID-19 cases, we can unfortunately only accommodate emergency visa appointments.  Our non-immigrant visa unit has cancelled visa appointments scheduled from February 25 through March 21, 2022.  We understand that many U.S. citizens temporarily leaving Hong Kong are interested in a non-immigrant visa appointment for their domestic helpers.  If your helper had an appointment scheduled, she or he should have received a cancellation email from us, and may use the receipt to reschedule the appointment for a later date.  For further information about non-immigrant visas, including the qualifications for an emergency appointment, please visit our website.

Although we do our best to provide services to the American community in Macau, Americans there may also visit our Consulate General in Guangzhou for consular services.  Americans in Macau should contact our ACS team at with any difficulties you are facing.

Once again, the well-being and safety of U.S. citizens remains our top priority. We will continue to do our utmost to support you, and share any updates and official information as quickly as possible.

On behalf of our team, thank you, and I hope that you and your loved ones stay safe and healthy.


February 28, 2022