The Compact of Free Association Act of 1985 not only formally terminated American trusteeship over the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands. It also established the Republic of the Marshall Islands and the Federated States of Micronesia as sovereign states in special relationships with the United States.
Marshallese and Micronesian citizens are neither American citizens nor nationals; however, most are entitled to apply for admission to the U.S. as non-immigrants without visas.
Although these compacts have been around for over three decades, they remain widely misunderstood. It is perhaps not surprising, then, that the general public sometimes refers to the Republic of the Marshall Islands and the Federated States of Micronesia as constituent parts of the U.S. What is remarkable is that official documents of the U.S. government sometimes make these same mistakes.