While you are traveling in Hong Kong, you are subject to its laws even if you are a U.S. citizen. Foreign laws and legal systems can be vastly different from our own. In Hong Kong you may be taken in for questioning if you don’t have your passport with you. If you are found to be driving under the influence, you could be sent immediately to jail. There are also some things that might be legal in Hong Kong, but still illegal in the United States, and you can be prosecuted under U.S. law if you buy pirated goods. Engaging in sexual conduct with children or using or disseminating child pornography in a foreign country is a crime prosecutable in the United States. If you break local laws in Hong Kong, your U.S. passport won’t help you avoid arrest or prosecution. It’s very important to know what’s legal and what’s not where you are going.
If you violate Hong Kong laws, even unknowingly, you may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned. Penalties for possession of, use of, or trafficking in illegal drugs in Hong Kong are severe, and if you are convicted, you can expect long jail sentences and heavy fines. In Hong Kong, detained U.S. citizens have been surprised that they had been arrested for violations that would not have resulted in arrest in the United States.
Arrest notifications in Hong Kong: If you are arrested in Hong Kong, authorities of Hong Kong are required to notify the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate of your arrest. If you are concerned the Department of State may not be aware of your situation, you should request the police or prison officials to notify the U.S. Consulate General in Hong Kong of your arrest.
You are responsible for ensuring that you meet and comply with foreign entry requirements, health requirements and that you possess the appropriate travel documents. Information provided is subject to change without notice. One should confirm content prior to traveling from other reliable sources. Information published on this website may contain errors. You travel at your own risk and no warranties or guarantees are provided by us.