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American Citizen Services – Frequently Asked Questions
U.S. Consulate General Shanghai
13 MINUTE READ
May 11, 2022

IMPORTANT UPDATE: For individuals departing Shanghai, China through June 10, 2022 at 23:59 ET: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has announced that U.S. Citizens; U.S. Nationals, Lawful Permanent Residents (LPR); noncitizens in possession of a valid U.S. immigrant visa; and noncitizen nonimmigrants who are traveling with a U.S. citizen or LPR and possess valid travel documents allowing them to travel to the United States will not be required to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test result or documentation of recovery prior to boarding a flight to the United States.  More information is available at https://www.cdc.gov/quarantine/fr-proof-negative-test.html.  However, we have been made aware that to enter airports in Shanghai, local authorities require proof of a negative COVID-19 test result.

 

Due to local health control measures, the American Citizen Services office in the Westgate Mall in Shanghai closed from Wednesday, March 30.  We expect to remain closed until authorities allow us to reopen our facilities.

Protecting the safety and security of U.S. citizens is our top priority.

If you experience an emergency during our closure period, please call +86 10 8531-4000.  We are coordinating with the Embassy in Beijing and other consulates around the country to provide emergency assistance to U.S. citizens.  Answers to frequently asked questions are below.

We urge all American citizens to register in STEP at https://step.state.gov/ .  This is the easiest way to ensure you get the most up-to-date security information.  Encourage your neighbors and friends to do so immediately if they haven’t done so already. The situation in Shanghai is fluid and rapidly changing.  We are monitoring conditions closely and will inform U.S. citizens of any changes to our security information via STEP.

On April 11, 2022, the U.S. Department of State ordered the departure of non-emergency U.S. government employees and all family members from the Consulate General Shanghai consular district due to a surge in COVID-19 cases and the impact of restrictions related to the People’s Republic of China’s (PRC’s) response.

 

Q: How can I get food and water?  I don’t think I have enough.

Our top priority is ensuring that U.S. citizens have access to these basic needs through local services.  We assess that food is available, though we understand there are interruptions in supply of certain items, provision of food and water varies from district to district, and delivery services are severely delayed or, in some neighborhoods, curtailed completely.

If you have problems obtaining food, the first place to start is with your local neighborhood committee for assistance.  Many individual neighborhoods have set up chat groups for bulk ordering and delivery.

If you cannot reach your local neighborhood committee for assistance and your family has nothing to eat, contact the consulate so that we can help you access the local services you need.  Please email us at shanghaiacs@state.gov or CALL US at +86 10 8531-4000 for assistance, and provide your name, telephone number, address, and contact details for your neighborhood committee.

 

Q: What happens if I have a medical emergency? How can I get access to emergency medical care?

We are engaged on the issue of ensuring every U.S. citizen has access to emergency medical treatment and necessary medications.  Local government has announced that hospital emergency rooms will be open during lockdowns for life-threatening emergencies.  In some cases U.S. citizens have reported difficulties obtaining permission to leave their residence due to pandemic control measures.

If you are not able to access emergency medical treatment or get necessary medications, please email us at shanghaiacs@state.gov or CALL US at +86 10 8531-4000 and provide your name, telephone number, address, and contact details for your neighborhood committee.

 

Q:  Is the U.S. Consulate evacuating American citizens?  Am I able to fly out of Shanghai?

As noted in the Department of State’s updated Travel Advisory for the People’s Republic of China (PRC), the Department has ordered the departure of non-emergency U.S. government employees and all family members from the Consulate General Shanghai consular district due to a surge in COVID-19 cases and the impact of restrictions related to the PRC’s response.  Please be assured that protecting the safety and security of U.S. citizens remains our top priority, and we are sufficiently staffed throughout our Embassy and Consulates to maintain this commitment to U.S. citizens in the PRC.

Commercial flights out of China remain available, but limited.  As lockdowns are extended, we are monitoring this issue closely and we are engaged on the issue of airport access for travelers with confirmed air tickets.  Please email us at shanghaiacs@state.gov or CALL US at +86 10 8531-4000 if you have booked international travel and health control measures prevent you from accessing your travel.

There are no plans for USG-sponsored charter flights.  U.S. citizens who want to depart should have a plan to do so that does not depend on USG assistance.

 

Q:  Are parents and children being separated to go to quarantine facilities? What if that happens to my family?

We are deeply concerned about this issue. It is one of the top issues that we have engaged on and are continuing to engage on, along with the entire diplomatic community.

If this happens to your family, call us at +86 10 8531-4000.  We will make every effort to assist in individual cases. The consulate has extremely limited ability to intervene in local quarantine or pandemic-control measures.

 

Q: What are conditions like in centralized quarantine facilities?

U.S. citizens who test positive may be transferred to a government-designated medical facility. Standards of care, accommodations, testing, and treatments may differ considerably from standards in the United States.  We are engaging on this issue along with the entire diplomatic community.  The consulate has extremely limited ability to intervene in local quarantine or pandemic-control measures.

 

Q:  Is the U.S. Consulate General working with the PRC government to solve these problems?

The U.S. Consulate General cares about the issues that you do and we are advocating on your behalf.  We have engaged and are continuing to engage with local government, both bilaterally and with our like-minded partners, on the important issues surrounding pandemic control measures.

 

Q:  Can the Consulate help with my pets if I have to leave?

We are concerned about the issue of humane treatment of pets.  We cannot assist individuals making travel arrangements for pets.  We recommend you have backup plans for the care of your pets if you are departing the country and are not able to complete necessary steps to bring your pet with you.

 

Q: What happens to my passport that I applied for recently?  Can I pick it up at the consulate?  Will it be delivered by EMS if I selected that option?

Your passport is safely stored in our office and is waiting there for you to pick up as soon as we are able to reopen.  Regarding EMS delivery – EMS has also been under lockdown, not able to pick up passports from us for delivery.  As soon as restrictions are lifted, we expect service to resume.

 

Q: I have upcoming travel plans – can I apply for a new passport now? 

We know many people had to cancel or miss scheduled appointments in the past weeks due to the health control situation in the city. When we are able to re-open, we will make appointments available for people to visit our office and take care of these important services.

Before lockdown, it took 4-6 weeks processing time for passports. If there is not sufficient time for you to obtain a full validity passport before your scheduled travel, we will work with you to issue you a temporary emergency passport so that you are able to travel.

 

Q:  Who else can help me if I have problems during the lockdown?

Amid the difficult on-the-ground conditions, your local authorities and/or employer should be able to best help you immediately.  You can also try to reach the local Foreign Affairs Office (waiban) at affiliated employers, universities, and other organizations.  If you are concerned about language issues, contacting them via WeChat may be better than trying to call. Your local employer might also be able to provide assistance resolving specific issues.

Additional resources and information sources:

  • Check with your hotels, airlines, or cruise lines, and local media and authorities regarding any updated information about your travel plans and/or restrictions.
  • Visit the Embassy COVID-19 webpage for information on conditions in China.
  • For the latest requirements on entering China, please refer to the PRC Embassy’s website .
  • Consult the CDC website for the most recent information on what you can do to reduce your risk of contracting COVID-19.
  • Visit the State.Gov COVID-19 webpage for the latest information by country.

If you find yourself in an emergency, please contact us at 010-8531-4000 or shanghaiacs@state.gov.

Department of State – Consular Affairs
+1-888-407-4747 or +1-202-501-4444

 

If you have a specific question about your personal situation, please email us at shanghaiacs@state.gov.  If you have an emergency, please call us at +86 10 8531-4000.