Flag

An official website of the United States government

American Citizen Services – Frequently Asked Questions
U.S. Consulate General Shanghai
17 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, and we remain sufficiently staffed in Shanghai to maintain this commitment to U.S. citizens in the PRC.

We recommend that you regularly contact family and friends to share updates and let them know you are safe.  Text and data services or social media may work when voice does not.

We urge all U.S. citizens to register in the free Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) at https://step.state.gov/.  This is the easiest way to ensure you get the most up-to-date security information.  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.  

 

Frequently Asked Questions: 

 

Q: What happens to my U.S. 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?

If your inquiry is about a U.S. passport, we will review your request and determine if the passport is available for pickup at the U.S. Consulate General Shanghai.  If your passport is available, you or a representative that you designate in writing may schedule a time to collect the passport in person.  We will contact you to schedule and confirm a pickup time.

EMS is also under lockdown and is not able to collect passports from us for delivery.  As soon as restrictions are lifted, we expect EMS service to resume.

 

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

We have already reached out to those U.S. visa applicants whose passports we have in our possession.  If you have not received an email from the U.S. Consulate General Shanghai, we do not have access to your passport at this time.  In that case, you will need to wait until the local government lifts lockdown restrictions to receive your passport through the courier service you selected at the time of your visa application.  There are reports that Westgate Mall has reopened and that EMS has resumed service.  We do not have information about when EMS will resume passport delivery or when we will be able to resume services at our Westgate location.  As local conditions change, please continue to monitor our website for our operating status.

 

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

We know many people had to cancel or miss scheduled appointments due to the health control situation in the city.  When we can 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 to obtain a new U.S. passport.  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 a temporary emergency passport so that you are able to travel.

 

Q: I have an expired Chinese residency permit or need another service from the local entry-exit bureau (EEB).  

Please call the EEB hotline at 12367.  English-speaking service is available.  The local EEB has announced it has limited service hours in certain cases.

 

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 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.  Protecting the safety and security of U.S. citizens remains our top priority, and we remain sufficiently staffed in Shanghai to maintain this commitment to U.S. citizens in the PRC.

Commercial flights out of the PRC remain available but limited.  As the lockdown is extended, we are monitoring and engaged on the issue of airport access for travelers with confirmed air tickets.  Inquire first with your residential community or neighborhood committee that you will be able to leave your residence to travel to the airport.  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.

 

Q:  Can the Consulate help with my pets to depart the PRC or if I go into quarantine?

We are concerned about the issue of humane treatment of pets.  We cannot assist individuals making travel arrangements for pets or to care for pets if an individual goes into quarantine.  We recommend you have backup plans for the care of your pets if you are departing the country and are not able to bring your pet with you or if you are required to go to a quarantine facility.

U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents travelling with 3 or fewer personal pet dogs from Shanghai, between the dates of April 14 and June 20, 2022, can enter the United States without a CDC Dog Import Permit.  More information can be found at: www.cdc.gov/dogtravel. Please note that state and local PRC laws may require additional documentation.

 

Q:  What are conditions like in centralized quarantine facilities?  Can I refuse to go?

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.  U.S. citizens in the PRC are subject to PRC laws, including those regarding COVID-19 regulations.  The penalties for violating these laws may be severe.

 

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

We are engaged in ensuring every U.S. citizen has access to emergency medical treatment and necessary medications.  The local government 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.

Inquire first with your residential community or neighborhood committee to confirm that you will be able to leave your residence for medical needs.  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: How can I get food and water?  I don’t think I have enough.

Ensuring U.S. citizen access to basic needs through local services is one of our top priorities.  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:  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:  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:  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 the PRC.
  • For the latest requirements on entering the PRC, please refer to the PRC’s Embassy 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.